Pornography tax ill-advised
In the realm of university life, certain
things are plentiful: essays, alcohol and pornography. From
magazines to homemade videos, most students have tested out
one form or another.
Is there anything wrong with seeking out sexual pleasure through
pornographic materials? The Manitoba-based social concern group,
UNPAC (United Nations Platform for Action Committee) seems
to think so. The group suggests that pornography be taxed and
the funds donated to women’s shelters.
Such a proposal implies that pornography is harmful to women;
however, if a woman gives her consent, why is she considered
exploited? Acceptable forms of pornography is anything that
involves consenting adults partaking in various forms of pleasure.
UNPAC’s proposal assumes that any woman who puts herself
in a sexual position is degraded. It also assumes pornography
is like prostitution. However, pornography is not synonymous
with prostitution. While prostitutes may not have another option,
women in pornography may actually enjoy performing their line
of work. Women will audition for a pornography if they are
confident and comfortable with their bodies, and willing to
show it off. Although porno are frequently filmed from a male’s
perspective — to satisfy the market — the male “actor” usually
serves as nothing more than an apparatus. Besides, we all know
female pornography stars bring home more bling than their typically
unattractive male costars.
If the government taxes pornography, where would they draw
the line? Would taxable pornography include magazines? Rentals?
Toys? What about the places one can download free pornography
all day, every day, including weekends and holidays? Taxing
Internet pornography, as well as deciding which products to
tax, would generate even more problems.
It is understandable when the government tax things such as
tobacco and oil: they cause health problems, costing the health
care system, and are detrimental to the environment. However,
pornographyography does not generate similar effects — it
does not harm the environment nor does it cause disease. Therefore,
it is unclear as to why a tax should be applied. Pornography
is not immoral, nor does it exploit women.
If a pornography tax is created, then shouldn’t the
government instill a few more taxes? What about a sugar tax?
A fast food tax? It is easy to recognize the potentially harmful
effects of fast food, but pornography definitely does more
good than harm. A little bit of sexual pleasure gained from
pornography is healthy, but since some viewers stare fascinatingly
at their computer screens and indulge in massive quantities
of pornography, it actually becomes an atypical public service:
it keeps the hardcore perverts off the streets.