PBS, of all things, has run afoul of YouTube’s age restriction policies. I happened to see a Tweet regarding the PBS channel “The Art Assignment,” one of the various PBS channels I subscribe to. It took me to an episode that aired before I subscribed, “The Case for Nudity.” It is an analysis of our uncomfortable relationship between, art nudity and the censors.
As an art class figure model, I have a special interest here. Many colleges have stopped using nude models because of the protests of a small but vocal group of cultural conservatives. (The far left and the far right seem equally bent on censorship of conflicting POVs. They just censor different things.) Colleges are notoriously cowardly and readily surrender to the heckler’s veto.
So, I was going to write an essay of the history of nudity in art and link to the PBS video as an outstanding bit of intelligent thinking. But then, this is what showed up:
There’s nothing about this video that is even vaguely pornographic or sexually explicit. It is an academic treatise. But there are a small number of people out there who would make a big noise so of course, YouTube must protect itself against being yelled at. That’s the power of the heckler’s veto.
Yeah, we can still watch it but we have to log in to our YouTube accounts to prove we are old enough. I have yet to find out what YouTube considers old enough. To me, this is crazy. As an experiment, I changed my age in my YouTube account to 14, logged out of YouTube, cleared my cache and cookies, and then tried to view the PBS video. Here is what I got:
I hit the sign-in button and the video launched. What age range are they “protecting?” I went back in and tried to make myself younger. The algorithm wouldn’t let me be younger than my YouTube account, so I called it quits. Maybe 5-year-olds couldn’t see it but I’m too lazy to make a new account to find out.
Which brings up another strange point… the age of the account holder seems to be entirely on the honor system. All this age-based restriction seems to be a facade for the benefit of moral reactionaries. While at the same time, the unrestricted access to seeing breastfeeding nipples is likely a bone tossed to yet another group and not a belief that breasts are wholesome in general. If you aren’t breastfeeding, your nipples are age-restricted. YouTube policies seem tuned to the demands of specific groups rather than any overarching principles
So, after all that commentary, I grabbed a frame from the video and made it into a link for the video because I don’t like big black warning boxes in my blog. Here is the PBS: The Art Assignment video, “The Case for Nudity.”
February 9, 2021 at 12:35
As a Pron webmaster, we used to laugh among ourselves as we attempted to “protect” our websites from access from minors. Mostly it was by asking for a credit card – and I know LOTS of minors, especially teens, have their own credit cards now. When it comes to stories with erotica, there seems to be no sort of “policing” for lack of a better term. I read WAY more sexual material on fanfic sites with NO “protection” other than maybe an “intended for adults” blurb somewhere. As if that ever stopped a curious teen. But the website that used to get all kinds of hell was run by a friend who wanted to make sexual information, actual scientific information, and free condoms available to teens. Holy crap every time you turned around there was something going on there. The U.S.A., especially, is just (IMHO) silly over all this. Curious teens are gonna find out – from their friends or from pron sites and preferably from a book, a teacher, a website that hands out actual factual scientifically based information over whacked out religious or commercial pron shit.
No law, governmental or religious, will make human sexuality go away. If it does, well, that’s our last generation!
The fact that art nudes get dragged into this at ALL is completely insane. I lived in a small (and very wacky) town in New Mexico where the churches got together and tried to get the city to categorize all the art galleries in town as SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESSES, because someone showed a nude. When that didn’t work, they went after them for alcohol because some galleries sometimes offered free wine at openings or on their Art Walk night once a month. In the end, the galleries all agreed they would not show any nudes ever again!
Where does it all end?
February 9, 2021 at 12:54
Cowardice runs rampant? The desire to meet the approval of one’s neighbiors is very powerful. Right up there with sexual desire and probably well above freedom.
I grew up in one of those towns and lived in a closet much of my life.
February 9, 2021 at 13:31
It makes life hard, doesn’t it? I reached a point where I either lived my truth, or I killed myself slowly with booze. Hard as it is at time being who and what I am, it’s impossibly hard being in the closet – for me anyway. I’m so glad you’re free now XOXOX