Elderly and disabled pornographers

Massachussetts is considering making ‘elder’ porn illegal. The definition of ‘elder’ is anyone over the age of sixty. Under the proposed legislation, porn showing sixty-year olds will be treated in the same way as child pornography. The law is not limited to hardcore porn, nor is it restricted to commercial porn. Elderly lovers who take rude pictures of each other will be liable for prosecution. The Bill will also make porn featuring mentally or physically disabled people illegal. The purpose of the Bill is obviously to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people. But as one civil rights attorney has pointed out, there are already laws that can be used to deal with such cases. Moreover, the Bill presupposes that all disabled people and those over the age of sixty are incapable of consenting to being in pornographic material. This clearly isn’t the case. And I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to see this as reflecting attitudes to sexuality: older people and the disabled are not sexual beings. Clearly no such person ‘in their right mind’ would consent to taking part in porn. These attitudes need to be challenged. Here’s the Bill. The provisions it seeks to amend are here, and here. Here’s the definition of ‘elder’ and ‘disabled’. Finally, here are two different takes on the issue from The Volokh Conspiracy and the Boston Herald.