Why is sex the exception to laws about free speech? Why is it okay for a Supreme Court Justice to say he can’t define obscenity but he knows it when he sees it… when he wouldn’t in a million years say that he can’t define treason, or separation of church and state, but he knows it when he sees it? Why does our culture have a basic (if grudging) respect for differing tastes in music and movies and home decor… but little to no respect for differing tastes in sex?
It’s called Sex — The Great Exception, and here’s the teaser:
Why is sex an exception?
The principle of free speech is interpreted pretty darned broadly in the U.S. But there are exceptions. There are exceptions for false advertising. For violating copyright. For slander and libel. For revealing state secrets. And for talking about sex.
In other words: Sex is seen as being in a category with fraud, theft, character defamation, and treason.
What â if youâll excuse my language â the fuck?
The whole idea of âcommunity standardsâ for obscenity is another perfect example of this principle. Think about it. We donât allow communities to set standards for any other area of expression. We donât allow communities to set standards for expression of political opinions or religious beliefs; for musical genres or styles of poetry. But the idea that a community should be able to set its own standards for sexual expression: this, for some reason, is seen as totally normal and entirely reasonable.
To find out more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!