We Will Thwart You, and Then We Will Mock You

by | July 24, 2013 | General | 6 comments

By Kathleen Bradean

Please read Remittance Girl’s excellent write-up on all things censorship in the UK. Then don’t get too cozy, my US friends, seeing as
we’re living in a pre-fascist society hurtling toward doom of our own making if
things don’t turn around fast. And Canadians, gosh, I hate to say it, seeing as
you’re usually the sensible neighbor compared to our ‘drunken frat boy passed
out on the lawn, ‘ but you’ve got some weird-assed reactionary crap going on
under your own roof lately too.

It seems the churches have about given up on controlling us.
I mean, they do try, but even the choir is sneaking out during the sermon to
play hide the communion wafer with each other. So here come our governments stepping
into the power void. Seems humans can’t survive without someone wagging a
finger in our faces. They learned from the churches that the best way to
control people is to thwart natural sexuality, but the government doesn’t want
to be obvious about it, so they’re trying to shut down the ability of UK citizens to search for
erotica and adult content.

Hmm. Amazon just won a HUGE contract to host government
stuff on their server farms. Perhaps the whole ‘hide the literary salami’ game where
they disappeared all erotica (except big seller FSOG from a big publisher got a
magical pass) was just a sales demonstration of their might with
index-obliteration. Hmmm.   Oh wait, that
sounds like a conspiracy theory. They probably just did it because… reasons.   “Oh,
we’re Amazon, and we’ve decided money is gross! Get away, evil sales.”  Yeah. I can totes see that.

This week, Tumblr sent multiple fandoms into vaporlock by
hiding all their slashy fanfic memes, as well as the sites that played by the
rules and admitted they had adult content or were NSFW. (and got shamed into sort of bringing them back)

And then there’s that whole thing with Blogger turning
uptight maiden auntie on anyone with links to ickle adult sites on their blogs.

This affects all of us, no matter where we are. Writers and
artists, our blogs and Tumblrs and books have been banished to limbo without
last rites. Not deleted, because oh no, that would be “bad” government
censorship. Just made invisible. Disappeared. It’s Turn of the

In the UK, Cameron can order Google to hide information on
breast cancer. Oh, that’s not what his censorship is supposed to do, but that’s
effectively what happens. We have seen it many times before. Cameron can also try to make it so consenting adults
can’t read perfectly legal stories — again collateral damage of poor policy. Or make it nearly impossible for rape
victims to find  support anonymously
online. And be sure that girls can never find information on their own bodies
because there’s something so terrible about female genitalia that no woman must
ever be allowed to see it. Do you think you can really protect people by denying
them access to information, Mr Cameron?  I don’t feel comfortable calling you a cynical, lying bastard without knowing for a fact that you are, so I’m going to assume that you’re so technologically illiterate
that you shouldn’t ever be allowed near a piece of legislation involving the
Internet, computers, surveillance, telecommunications, or any technology. Even if you are, you
should know this won’t work. Ask countries that tried to block off the entire internet
during revolutions and outright slaughter of their citizens. If they couldn’t
stop the Tweets from finding a way past electronic borders, what chance do you
think you have?

By the way, do you know which one of the examples above will find a way
to reach its audience no matter what you do?  Erotica. 

You, Amazon, Tumblr, Google– You’re  just the latest wrinkle in a war that’s been raging
since the first time someone picked up a stick to draw a cock in the sand and
someone else kicked dirt over it. 

And we’ve always won
this fight. From well-fondled copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover to bawdy tales
around the campfire with Chaucer, we endure. 
We laugh at you, with your silly belief that you can kill an idea and
control people. Pandora’s Box, baby.  It’s
open, and if you try to put a lid on it, we will find another way. To reach our
readers, if we must, we will sell our novels and anthologies under the genre
title Romance (Let’s see you cut off 50% of your sales, Amazon). Or Westerns. Or
Mysteries. Or  Literature.  Or all the genres.  To hide in plain sight, we will use euphemisms
so obscure that readers will leave an Urban Dictionary tab open to figure out
what’s going on. Or we will go Shakespearean on their asses. We will change
faster than your filters can keep up.  We
will be agile. We will be goddamn Kaiser Soze—poof, and we’re gone, as far as you know. But not
really. We will always be here. Because we are writers. Because words are our
fucking tools, and we know how to use them.


Here’s a petition you can sign (UK citizens, one supposes), but personally, I think respectful phone calls work much better. Also, VOTING.

Kathleen Bradean

Kathleen Bradean’s stories can be found in The Best Women’s Erotica 2007, Haunted Hearths, Garden of the Perverse, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 6, and She’s On Top in print. Clean Sheets and The Erotica Readers and Writer’s Association websites have also featured her stories. Writing as Jay Lygon, her stories can be found in Inside Him, Blue Collar Taste Tests, Toy Box: Floggers, and the novels Chaos Magic, Love Runes, and Personal Demons. Read more about Kathleen Bradean at: KathleenBradean.Blogspot.com www.JayLygonWrites.com


  1. Donna

    You're just the latest wrinkle in a war that’s been raging since the first time someone picked up a stick to draw a cock in the sand and someone else kicked dirt over it.

    Very true and an amusing image! (Got to keep one's sense of humor which is another resilient weapon). Not that it won't be frustrating to deal with the setbacks, and if you look at history, any attempt to secure freedom and equality whether by race, gender, religion or whatever, is a jerky two-steps-forward-one-step-back dance. Sexuality is still so vulnerable to this kind of thing because most people feel too ashamed to stand up for free speech in this area. They use mockery against us, too, but again the shaming isn't quite as effective as it once was. Ain't no one going to recall all of those copies of 50 Shades! Sign petitions, vote, and keep writing and blogging, everyone!

  2. Kathleen Bradean

    They claim it's to cut down on sexual abuse of children, but as RG points out on her blog, it won't. However, it probably will be used to block out political parties the government doesn't want people to see.

    What many people don't understand is that what they see is already heavily filtered. If you tend to search for conservative key words, you aren't shown the most liberal leaning answer even if it would be the top search term otherwise. And vice versa. If Google decides you're liberal, it will hide conservative search results, or at least rank them lower. So I suppose we should all switch to non-filtering, non-tracking search engines.

  3. Kathleen Bradean

    We seriously need to elect a better class of people. The problem is that smart people don't want to run for office, and anyone with tech knowledge or a solid background in science is better off monetarily staying in their field.

    And it would help if laws got professional review before they're voted on. Although, if one were extremely cynical, one could say that bill was designed to be a mess so it would be overturned so politician could get points with their constituents for voting against online gambling but still take money from online gambling companies.

  4. Jean Roberta

    Timely discussion. I hope the petition that RG is promoting in the UK gets lots of signatures. And yes, creeping fascism is happening in the UK, the US and Canada. Right-wing regimes at every level of government in Canada have done their best to defund and scale back long-standing liberal Canadian traditions without alerting the voting public. Vigilance seems to be the antidote.

  5. Kathleen Bradean

    I think people are numb to the near constant assaults on their liberties and have no idea what to do.

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