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.

9 thoughts on “Elderly and disabled pornographers

  1. My jaw just dropped.
    It is implied that people are not able to think for themselves when they are over 60?
    Am thinking that Hugh Hefner probably is in big trouble.

    I couldn’t really find the definition of “disabled”, by the way. Are you disabled when you miss half a pink, or lost the sight in one eye, or when you have really bad eyesight, if you suffer from bad migraines? What if you’re a porn star with a limp?
    I really can’t figure why they didn’t just limit it to people incapable to consenting as Volokh said. All the cases in the Boston Herald are about just these cases.

    Completely insane and very demeaning.

  2. All of the above would count as ‘disabled’ according to the definition. It’s part of the way down the page I linked to. It reads: ‘“Person with disability”, a person with a permanent or long-term physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts the individual’s ability to provide for his or her own care or protection’.

  3. Lol – yes – if Hugh has taken saucy pics of himself, he will be in the same boat as the teenagers in this post.

  4. I’m just thinking of what a lovely 60th birthday present is in store for folks in Mass: “Happy birthday! No more taking naughty pictures with your partner. Why? Because you’re no longer capable of consent. Cheers!” (And if they’re no longer capable of consent, then it’s not just porn that’s a problem but also sex.)

    The disability clause, aside from being deeply offensive, also clearly fails to capture what it’s after by focussing only on permanent or long-term disabilities. If some the worry is about people unable to give consent, why shouldn’t it apply to people who lack this ability in the sort-term?

  5. Uhoh. I have arthritis that restricts my ‘ability to provide for my own care or protection’. And, I’ll soon be 58. Holy Cow, better get out the camera quickly.

  6. My Mom is distraught. She’s going to have to find a new hobby and refill her anti-depressant! And think about all the senior center activity directors who will be scrambling to pull the shuffle board back out. And what happened to all the checkerboard peices?

    Excuse me, but WTFudge?

    Is there a senator out there that just can’t stand the idea of his/her parents getting it on?

  7. KM that was my thought exactly. a bunch of 30-somethings who are creeped out by the idea of mum & dad doing it…so they’re going to *outlaw* it. that bit of it is simply humorous. the fact that the same 30-somethings seem not to be able to stand the thought of people with disability doing it…well…not quite so funny.

  8. I think this is crazy, they listed our new publication, (not even out) as a playboy like for disabled women, because we say we are beautiful and sexy and are disabled. we do not have porn on our publication. This is on the brink of being discrimination and thinking that because I use a wheelchair I am disabled and not able to use my mind.. Well at least I can do a bit of research, and find out that chloe magazine for awesome, sexy disabled women is not porn or playboy like.

    So the Senator is saying that because I am disabled or over 60 that I am too stupid to make a decision. Gee thanks, wonder why I ran for a state assembly office.. or run a publication, or am a mother. .what is next.. take my wheelchair away because you don’t like the color I choose.. go figure..one torked disabled woman who’s publication is NOT playboy like..www.chloemagazine.com

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