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← Porn and common space | Valentina Nappi | TEDxBari

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Showing Revision 6 created 02/14/2019 by Ivana Korom.

  1. The topic of this TEDx event
    is "heterotopia",
  2. although I don’t know how many speakers
  3. will explicitly talk
    about heterotopias today.
  4. Thus, for the sake of clarity,
  5. I’ll start with a definition
    of heterotopia,
  6. a personal definition, one that sounds
    clear and sensible to me.
  7. A heterotopia is a subspace
  8. of the generic space we live in,
  9. a subspace even in a broader sense:
  10. for example, a subspace of the Web.
  11. A subspace where the rules
    of the generic space --
  12. prohibitions, expectations, and so on --
  13. are overturned, modified,
    simplified or mirrored,
  14. depending on the
    type of heterotopia.
  15. Now, let’s make an example
    of heterotopia: carnival.
  16. Someone may call it a heterochronia --
  17. although I think that, after Einstein
    time and space are one.
  18. The carnival is clearly a heterotopia,
  19. and has a feature
    heterotopias typically share:
  20. it’s a "discharge" moment,
  21. a space where contradictions,
  22. instead of exploding
    in a full-blown revolution,
  23. find their place in a contained,
    socially accepted revolution,
  24. with well-defined temporal boundaries.
  25. This way, society prevents
    revolutions and outbursts --
  26. and this is bad.
  27. Porn is also a heterotopia:
  28. when you visit a porn website,
    you are warned.
  29. It’s a place where some rules
  30. are suspended, or reversed --
  31. on a porn website, for example,
    you can see a girl
  32. in postures, attitudes, and behaviors
  33. you can hardly find on common websites;
  34. they're actually forbidden
    everywhere else.
  35. Carnival also looks
    like an upside-down world.
  36. A child, for example,
  37. is forbidden to dress up as Batman
    and go to school.
  38. Porn is an upside-down world
    as well, isn’t it?
  39. It embodies the same subversion
    of usual relations
  40. that we can find in heterotopias.
  41. Alas, much like carnival,
  42. porn is also an outlet, and that’s bad.
  43. That’s bad because
    it keeps contradictions,
  44. arising from how sex is treated
    in the common space,
  45. from exploding.
  46. Therefore, when porn --
  47. like carnival -- stays
    confined, delimited,
  48. it becomes a negative phenomenon.
  49. I believe that we should have the freedom
    to dress like superheroes --
  50. I mean, social freedom --
  51. in any context, even when going to work,
  52. even if we hold a position of power.
  53. And yet, porn tends to trespass,
    to invade the common space.
  54. Prominent examples are nudes
    on ordinary gossip magazines,
  55. or sex scenes in art movies.
  56. Such trespassing of porn into common space
  57. is strongly opposed,
  58. for instance in social network’s rules.
  59. I’ve been told so often:
  60. “Ok, you work in porn.
    Just don’t talk about it, shut up!”.
  61. I can’t even talk about porn per se.
  62. Among the opposers of porn's
    trespassing into common space,
  63. there are feminists, catholics, muslims,
  64. but also intellectuals, atheists too,
    progressives and conservatives,
  65. all united against porn invasion
    of common space.
  66. In my opinion,
  67. porn's trespassing into public domain
  68. is a sign of progress,
    for a very simple reason:
  69. it rubs the nose
    into people's irrationality.
  70. An example: why shouldn’t a child
    watch an intercourse scene
  71. projected on a giant screen
  72. in Piccadilly Circus in London,
    or in Piazza del Popolo in Rome?
  73. What's wrong with that?
  74. The problem lays not only in the influence
  75. religions still have on people
  76. but mostly in current schizophrenias
    between practice and reason --
  77. for example, when a couple
    of atheist parents
  78. decides to baptize their child
  79. for the sake of tradition,
    or just not to disappoint granny.
  80. Or still, in the USA,
  81. a parent that decides
    to circumcise his own son --
  82. so we are talking about
    a genital mutilation here --
  83. just because it’s always been like that.
  84. Someone will bring out
    usual objections like,
  85. “Everybody is free to do
    as they want or as they believe."
  86. But we are not.
  87. Because it’s actually legal
  88. to instill religious irrationalities
    into children's minds,
  89. it’s legal to refuse to transfuse a child,
  90. maybe in the name of Geova,
    and cause him the loss of a limb --
  91. it already happened.
  92. But it’s illegal to show a 13-year-old
  93. a PG-14 rated film,
  94. just because it shows
    plenty of all-nude scenes.
  95. So, where is freedom here?
  96. The truth is we take freedom
    away from rational people,
  97. to give it to irrational ones.
  98. Another example:
    abortion is legal in Italy,
  99. yet most of the women
    who want to have an abortion
  100. struggle to do it
    in a public health facility
  101. because most gynecologists
    are conscientious objectors,
  102. in such facilities.
  103. The truth is, freedom
  104. is never neutral to rationality --
  105. there is always a core of shared truths.
  106. So we must ask ourselves:
    which freedom do we want?
  107. Do we want the freedom
    invoked by religious leaders, popes,
  108. or do we want rational freedom?
  109. According to that relativist freedom,
  110. they can have their medieval parades,
  111. with people self-fustigating
    in the streets,
  112. while I cannot freely walk naked.
  113. There is no symmetry in this freedom,
  114. in this acephalous relativism;
  115. there is only the desire
    to protect irrationality,
  116. not to face our own contradictions.
  117. Today, two ways of thinking
    seem to face each other:
  118. a strong, religious one;
  119. and a weak, secular one.
  120. I believe instead, that a strong,
    rationalist approach should prevail,
  121. one that allows to show
    a movie with nude scenes
  122. to a 13-year-old,
  123. but forbids to instill him with
    religious irrationalities.
  124. (Applause)