The many penalties for writing about sex

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

Violet Blue lists the problems she faces because she writes about sex. Since I’m working on software for midwives, it strikes me there is some common theme here. Writing about sex faces outright censorship, whereas trying to get information to pregnant women faces a different kind of censorship, the legal prohibition against giving medical advice unless you are a doctor — a seemingly reasonable limit until you realize how many women are desperately frustrated with their doctor and unable to get the information that they want. Combine the 2 threads and you get an overall theme: female sexuality, from sex to birth, is something that makes many people uncomfortable, and there are some powerful forces in our society that are intent on limiting what information gets out. Those of you who have followed this issue will be thinking “Well, that is pretty obvious. Susie Bright was writing about all this stuff 25 years ago.” Which is true, but it is important to stop and realize that there has been almost no progress over the last 25 years. The huge surge forward that women saw from maybe 1930 to maybe 1980 has beguiled us into thinking that progress is inevitable. The last 25 years should strip us of that idea.

This is Violet Blue:

I’ll just put it this way: If it wasn’t for sex censorship by so many major companies, financial institutions, tools and platforms, I’d *only* have to face the typical set of challenges all women face who run their own business. The limitations of censorship, plus the danger of doing business with companies who routinely deal unfairly (and occasionally behave harmfully) to independent businesses/businesspeople (whose business might be sex-related), has absolutely hurt me as a businessperson.

That’s everything from having my name blacklisted in search engine autocompletes, to getting accounts revoked without actually breaking any rules, being disallowed to advertise (or take advertising) through everyday channels like AdSense, worrying payment processors and social media sites (and more) will delete my account, unable to plan around Amazon and Google who may de-list (or deep-six) sexuality searches without notice, being unable to do a Kickstarter or put an app about human sexuality in Apple or Google’s marketplaces, constantly being reported on sites I have accounts on simply because some people think what I do is wrong, not being able to use any of the decent mailing list companies to have a newsletter… I could go on.

I just write about sex. That’s it.

I’m not even a sex worker, a porn maker, nor have I ever been a porn performer — what they (mostly female entrepreneurs, natch) go through trying to run their businesses is so beyond unfair, it paralyzes me with anger sometimes to think about it.

The part where she writes “paralyzes me with anger” is something that I can relate to, and I am left wondering why our collective anger has not been able to put a dent in the status quo. The forces defending the status quo are much, much more powerful than I previously thought.