Queensland to ban adult shops near schools and churches

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Agent 204 Agent 204's picture
Queensland to ban adult shops near schools and churches

I wonder how many children will be protected by this measure?

Quote:
Adult shops will be banned from opening within 200 metres of Queensland schools and churches under proposed planning regulations.

The move follows Whitsunday Regional Council's difficulties trying to stop an adult shop opening opposite a Catholic school in April last year.

From the Courier-Mail.

martin dufresne

Thank you for your concern.

I imagine that we are lucky it isn't yet the other way around, with the sex industry getting schools zoned away from their strips, as 'bad for business'.

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

Well, I suppose it's possible that people who buy sex toys are more likely than average to be sexual predators, but I haven't seen any evidence of this. Obviously, if they sell adult materials to minors, that's a problem... but I think existing laws in most places would deal with that problem. This strikes me as a law that is more about appearances than anything.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

There's different types of 'sex or adult shops', at least in my view. You have the ones that Martin is likely refering to that are found on the 'strips'. XXX, hardcore porn, peep show types where one thinks of the stereotypical pervert hanging out and those like places like Womyn's Ware or the Love Nest in Vancouver which aren't found on a 'strip' but in an average shop or mall type environment. Some would say all are bad I guess but to me some are based more on exploitation and the others aren't. I would likely have a problem if the sex strip triple xxx type opened it's door across from my kids school. A shop like Womyn's Ware not so much.

 

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

Fair point that not all shops are created equal. But do even the really bad ones actually produce significant risk to children by being there?

As well, I think the fact that it applies to churches as well as schools speaks volumes about the real motivation for the law. Issues of "community standards" are probably best dealt with in municipal zoning bylaws, I'd say.

Jingles

I dunno. Priests + children + sex toys= bad PR for Herr Benedict.

Now the clergy will have to travel further for their porn. 

Doug

Good. Who wants their sex toy shopping disturbed by recess or bell ringing? Laughing

NorthReport

Isn't China trying to shut down pornography on the 'net, and who can blame them. Good luck to them, although I wonder what their real reasons are for trying to do so.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

What fantastic legislation! Thank god the government is saving us from such evil pursuits. It's about time other governing bodies started following New York where instead of this:

[IMG]http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/2717/timessquare1970s2sj0.gif[/IMG]

We now have this:

[IMG]http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/3370/timessquareoneviewfd2.jpg[/IMG]

U-S-A! U-S-A!

NorthReport

It would be great if porn was set packing to the place it belongs - the garbage dump.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Agent 204 wrote:

Fair point that not all shops are created equal. But do even the really bad ones actually produce significant risk to children by being there?

As well, I think the fact that it applies to churches as well as schools speaks volumes about the real motivation for the law. Issues of "community standards" are probably best dealt with in municipal zoning bylaws, I'd say.

 

Maybe not actual risk, but who needs their 6 year old asking why the mannequin in the window is dressed in naughty underwear on the way home from school?  I'd definitely find an adult shop across from my kids' school an annoyance.

lagatta

Yes, it is merely a zoning issue, unless it is applied to make it impossible to sell legal "adult" literature and products to consenting adults.

There are many such zoning issues, and most often "morality" has nothing to do with them. For example, regulating the number of restaurants, cafés and bars. Unless you are a temperance nut, there is no reason to ban those, but their overgrowth can create a nuisance, and also drive out the neighbourhood businesses that make life much more agreable; hardware stores, greengrocers etc.

I wish such a zoning regulation had come into force on the part of St-Laurent ("the Main") between Sherbrooke and avenue des Pins, for example. There is nothing there but trendy restaurants most residents certainly can't eat at every week.

What can be more problematic is "cleaning up" an area, which may have some short-term impact on the sex industry, but often a more serious one on people in prostitution, who are pushed out into areas that are less safe for them, and often into working-class neighbourhoods, with the inevitable conflicts. That is never a simple issue.

Michelle

martin dufresne wrote:

Thank you for your concern.

Agent 204 has been a progressive poster on this site for a heck of a lot longer than you have, martin - many years, in fact - so I'd watch who I was calling a "concern troll" if I were you, just because he doesn't embrace your particular brand of anti-sex feminism.

Michelle

Maybe it's because I'm used to living in downtown Toronto and raising a child here, but I've never really had a problem with walking by sex shops on the street with my son.  When they're really young, they generally don't notice much. 

When he was around 6 or 7, we went by an adult toy and clothing shop on Queen Street where they have live models in the windows wearing fetish lingerie.  My son laughed and thought it was funny to see live models, and asked me why they were "wearing their underwear".  I laughed and told him that they sell it in there.  He was all, "Oh, okay."

Most sex shops don't have huge dildoes in the window or anything.  They might have condoms, and cock rings and other stuff that a kid wouldn't know from anything.

When he was 8 or so, he saw a funny ad for condoms on the bus.  He asked me what they were, and I told him.  And he was like, "Oh, okay."  No big deal.  If we walked past a sex shop now, and he asked me what that stuff was for, I'd just tell him that they're things people buy to play with while they're having sex.  I don't need to give him the gory details, that's usually enough of an explanation, and if he asks me anything that I think is too much, I just tell him that when he gets a bit older, I'll tell him about it.

I really don't think this is that big a deal, unless they're actually trying to lure the kids into the shop.  Which I HIGHLY doubt they are.

Michelle

As for churches - seriously?  Screw them.  I don't particularly like the idea of some flat-earth, evangelical, gaybashing, woman-hating church near my house either, but hey, what are you going to do?  I'd much rather have a sex shop next door.

Sven Sven's picture

Michelle wrote:
As for churches - seriously?  Screw them.  I don't particularly like the idea of some flat-earth, evangelical, gaybashing, woman-hating church near my house either, but hey, what are you going to do?  I'd much rather have a sex shop next door.

Wink

The schools objection is a maybe.  But, the church objection is just stupid.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Sky Captain wrote:
Excuse me, but a little historical perspective is in order.

Right. No need to get snooty about it. I was making the point that Giuliani et al. tried to frame the rezoning of Times Square as 'cleaning up', when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort. Like you say, what in fact was involved was moving out the socially marginalized and ushering in capitalist, corporate interest with unprecedented tax breaks in a switch that made Blade Runner look naive.

I'm not sure how your historical perspective reflects on the current situation, but we should remain suspicious of language that includes 'cleaning up' certain areas.

Tommy_Paine

Of course, a saner society would prohibit the presence of a church within ten country miles of any educational institution.

Anyway.

London, Ontario tried such a bylaw, and the first attempt failed because the distance restrictions were such that there was no place in London where a "sex shop" could locate.   There's a law against  the law doing an end run around the law, as it turns out.

I think the restriction of sex shops in proximity to churches is outlandish.

It's not humorous or satirical, but quite factual, that the church has done more to damage the sexuality of children and adults than a sex shop or shops ever could, or has.

Hmm.  Maybe we should make churches open only to those with an age of majority card.

Seriously.

 

 

jas

Michelle wrote:

just because he doesn't embrace your particular brand of anti-sex feminism.

Really, Michelle? Someone who is critical of porn culture and its relationship to prostitution in our society is "anti-sex"? Something tells me you know that's not really a fair label. 

Tommy_Paine

Yeah, I think Michelle missed the mark a bit.  There isn't, I don't think, an "anti sex" type of feminism.  Just an "anti-other people having sex" type of feminism.

Do try to be carefull, Michelle.  Laughing

Papal Bull

Michelle wrote:

Most sex shops don't have huge dildoes in the window or anything.  They might have condoms, and cock rings and other stuff that a kid wouldn't know from anything.

 

"Decoder rings" and "funny balloons" are the proper terms, I believe.

Jingles

A while ago, a swinger's club tried to get a license to open up in Edmonton, in one of the ubiquitous strip malls. Faster than you can say your Safeword, the local "think of the children!!" chorus stuck their dysfunctional noses into the process. No one would have known the club was there until those stupid freaks started pampheltting the neighbourhood.

Of course, the city buckled under the pressure and denied the application. Why children would have anything to do with what consenting adults do behind closed doors escapes me, and it just pissed me off that these people can't mind their own goddamn business. (I have nothing to do with the club, by the way. )

Why is it that we can't shut down the childmolester clubs known as churches that infect our neighbourhoods? Why am I subsidising those diddlers with my tax dollars when they build their tax exempt megachurches? I hope the fuckers all get syphyllus.

NorthReport

Yea, our communities just won't be fulfilled without swingers' clubs.

martin dufresne

(Not worth starting a new thread about, but still of interest to see the "pro-porn-as-sex" line spelled out this explicitly... Onwards, Capitalist Soldiers!)

Cunning Stunt? Porn Industry Wants Bailout
By Lisa Derrick, Firedoglake
Posted on Alternet January 7, 2009

In what may be a legit need, or just a way to yank Congress' chain, Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt has asked the government for a $5 billion dollar bailout package for the adult entertainment industry since magazine and DVD sales are down. I guess Nailin' Palin didn't do as well as expected...

Flynt, a satirist and free speech advocate as well as a pornographer, states:

People are too depressed to be sexually active. This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex. With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.
(...)

lagatta

I agree that calling people who object to the pornofication of culture and the trafficking of people for sex "anti-sex" is an extreme simplification of the view of a large portion of the women's movement in many countries.

see: www.sisyphe.org

I'm definitely pro-sex! Hope people fuck away to their heart's content. What I'm opposed to is the commodification of human beings.

Though agree that Agent 204 is no kind of troll, on the contrary, a longterm progressive poster at babble.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Yeah, "anti-sex" is a little harsh, I prefer to use the expression "neo-Victorian".

I would be a little more sympathetic to such a ban if it was part of a larger package prohibiting the sale of alcohol, tobacco, potato chips and brightly coloured refined sugar products within 200 metres of a school.

The only objection I have to window displays at "adult stores" is when they put "humourous" novelty items out -- they same stupid things you used to find in "joke" shops and "smoke" shops years ago... the kind of things your thick uncle would put on the shelves of the wet bar in his rumpus room -- and the last time I saw something like that was in the early 90s on Yonge Street. Although I am certain someone will jump in to correct me, my impression is that the majority of adult store window displays (for the few where the windows are not totally opaque) are bottles of lotions and lubricants and/or lingerie -- and somehow I doubt seeing a bottle of scented KY jelly in the window is going to cause any (much less lasting) harm to little Janie or Johnny when they pass by.

lagatta

I'm not really alarmed at all by adult stores if you mean "sex shops". I just pointed out that zoning is normal. I know there have been attempts to limit school pupils' access to junk food in some areas. As for alcohol and tobacco, it is more a question of enforcing existing age minima.

It is true that zoning can be so broad as to be tantamount to a ban on a legitimate business.

martin dufresne

It seems to me that the "legitimate" character of any "business" should always be debatable by people, esp. if we are to challenge the commodification of human beings. I question the notion that businesses (or anything with a sexual component) are somehow sacred and beyond acceptable human intervention. If something is 'Victorian', it is this Noli me tangere fundamentalist iron rule.

lagatta

Well, yes, robber barons and all that - very Victorian indeed.

I was thinking originally more of pornography than sex shops, and in particular of the very exploitative conditions - and often slavery - in which pornography is produced, to say nothing of the way it distorts sexual and social relations between people and their own self-image. All the spam we keep getting about getting a HUGE penis is just an example of that - I imagine all these guys with perfectly average and normal penises comparing themselves to Big Dick in the skin flick... and really thinking that is what will make those horny women all want to fall into bed with them.

martin dufresne

... and gloating about being "naughty" when, in fact, they are just where the system wants them, sitting on women's lives and rights.

Jingles

Quote:
Yea, our communities just won't be fulfilled without swingers' clubs.

That's the point. No one new about the place until the "family values" crowd started their yelping. And it's none of your or their fucking business what consenting adults in private. It's too bad the thought of people enjoying themselves is such a hardship for you.

Our communities are already filled with places that are demonstrably far more damaging to both adults and children than a private sex club. Yet somehow, we all end up paying for their "holy" operations.

martin dufresne

If sexual behaviours are so uniformly and unquestioningly wonderful and no one else's business, why are you using "fucking" as a pejorative expletive?

"No one (k)new about the place..."

Talk about Victorian ethics...

remind remind's picture

No, I agree with Michelle's use of the term "anti-sex", as more than once I have read something of martin's that has came across definitely anti-sexual, as opposed to being anti-pornography and feminist.

___________________________________________________________

"watching the tide roll away"

jas

The fact that there's a thread on Babble about what is really an inconsequential news item seems a little silly to me to begin with.

That said, the term "adult shop" encompasses a variety of businesses, both healthy and sex-positive as well as the grimy old porn shops of the kind that (used to, don't know if they still do) offer peep shows. There's a big difference, in my opinion. The article states that Queensland has more sex shops than any other state and that the number has doubled in the last five years. Obviously the bylaw is in response to what some are probably seeing as an over-proliferation of these kinds of businesses in one particular area. Is this something that Babblers need to be concerned about?

jas

Right, because being critical of porn or prostitution denies other people their right to have sex! Just like being critical of tobacco marketing and consumption denies people the right to smoke! Anywhere! At any time!

just one of the...

It is anti-sex, because "adult shops" do not mean human trafficking any more than "clothing store" means counterfeit jeans, or "bakery" means pot brownies.

This is more important than ordinary video stores where kids can go and rent violent movies? Come on.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Looks like they won't be selling XXX porn videos 

"The sex industry's peak body says Queensland's "archaic" laws had created the problem.

Eros (Australia's national adult retail and entertainment association)Association executive officer Fiona Patten said not only were adult stores unregulated in the state, but the sale of X-rated videos and DVDs was technically illegal."

martin dufresne

"technically illegal"... as in wink wink nudge nudge "illegal"?

remind, I am curious as to what it is I have said that forms the basis of your support for michelle's personal attack. I do not identify or perceive as myself as anti-sex* - and I won't lose much sleep over the fact that some think I am - but I am curious as to what evidence and train of thought lead you to that puzzling assertion.

*I hope I don't have to go into details, testimony from partners, or some kind of blood oath...

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

remind wrote:

No, I agree with Michelle's use of the term "anti-sex", as more than once I have read something of martin's that has came across definitely anti-sexual, as opposed to being anti-pornography and feminist.

___________________________________________________________

"watching the tide roll away"

Remind:

I was being half jocular, half serious. I actually prefer "neo-Victorian" for its connotations of prudishness and/or prissiness, not to mention its aura of presumptive (if not actually compulsory) heterosexuality. Since it is the tone rather than the substance of his remarks on sexuality that I find irritating, I prefer to indulge in stylistic needling. And just so he doesn't get all defensive and whinging about personal attacks... the use of the word irritating (rather than offensive) is there to make it clear that I am describing my reaction as opposed to inferences about his intentions. I am quite sure others on Babble find it just as irritating on those occasions where I allow my inner guttersnipe to run wild and indulge in the belief, typical for my generation of gay males, that to wallow unapologetically in bad taste is a good thing.

CMOT Dibbler

The term anti sex isn't all that accurate.  Even the most right wing evangelical is pro sex.  If you don't have sex, you can't produce more evangelicals, and fundamentalist churches can't grow.    What the moral majority morons are opposed to, in fact, is pleasure.  

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 Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

CMOT Dibbler

 

It would be interesting if people, rather than labeling anyone "anti-sex" (or whatever insult seems passable), shelved the demonizing rhetoric and stated why they disagree with any limit being put on pornography or prostitution, if this is indeed their position.  

Who has said that? 

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Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

martin dufresne

"(...)I think that in order to avoid dressing judgemental prudes in the
cloak of Kerouac the Hip we should just call them, well, judgemental
prudes.  I  don't care how sexually active the people on Babble's comitee for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice
are.  I care about how they treat others."

If there is such a thing as a straw dildo this blunderbuss characterization takes the brass ring!

BTW is it to be open-minded to support anything sexual, or is it being close-minded to ethical consequences?

It would be interesting if people, rather than labeling anyone "anti-sex" (or whatever insult seems passable), shelved the demonizing rhetoric and stated why they disagree with any limit being put on pornography or prostitution, if this is indeed their position.

CMOT Dibbler

 

I am just trying to find some actual position beneath the facile sarcasm. 

I want to see a social saftey net for sex workers.  I think that laws which ban sex work outright are stupid, destructive and do not protect prostitutes, and I think that leftists who support such laws (regardless of how bohemian they are in private) are not true leftists.

Look, my sense is that there are pro prostitution activists who essentially agree  with you, they just take a different position on how the abolition of sex work will take place.  Do sex workers get unions and other protections which will allow them to gain the wherewithall to eventually leave the trade, or will prostitution continue to be a netless profession where workers are stuck with wages so low they cannot transition to another job.  I may have buggered the arguement up.  This would be a lot easier if we had an actual sex worker rights activist making these points.  God but this place is a monocultural shithole.   

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Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

Tommy_Paine

"...are not true leftists."

Maybe they are.  True politicians, anyway.  One of the fun ways to control people is to control who they have sex with, and how.   It translates to power and profit.  Profit, remember, is not always measured in terms of money or goods.  

So, we have these control freaks who profit from sex, certainly in the porn industry.  And, it goes without saying we have them in our religious movements, and certainly across all spectrums of political orientations.

Pretty twisted people, really.

 

 

martin dufresne

I am just trying to find some actual position beneath the facile sarcasm.

Mine - in a nutshell - is that in a world structured by various oppressions, sex - as we know it - is rarely value-free.  A cultural artefact like most other human activities, it often is imbued with power over, reflective and protective of dominant-group politics, and multiplied by an industry that goes for heterosexist, racist, able-ist, sexist and classist stereotypes and especially for objectification. When sex is made into an industry, it cannot be defended as being somehow above the critiques we can level at any industry using human beings for profit.

martin dufresne

CMOT Dibbler: "...This would be a lot easier if we had an actual sex worker rights activist making these points..."

And what if she turned out to make different points altogether? Let's see how long it would/will take you to diss and dismiss her...

Trisha Baptie from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside - here  and here

CMOT Dibbler

 And what if she turned out to make different points altogether? Let's see how long it would/will take you to diss and dismiss her...

Yes please.  I don't care if she believes the moon is made of green cheese.  Any voice that isn't white, male, middle class and middle aged would be welcome.  

Pro or against pal I don't have much ammunition, and I can't really hurt you( regardless of how much I might want to) so I'm just going leave it there for tonight, and we'll continue this discussion tommorow...maybe.  

   

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Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

CMOT Dibbler

 

Profit, remember, is not always measured in terms of money or goods.

What other kinds of profit are there?    

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Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

jas

CMOT Dibbler wrote:

Do sex workers get unions and other protections which will allow them to gain the wherewithall to eventually leave the trade, or will prostitution continue to be a netless profession where workers are stuck with wages so low they cannot transition to another job.

Um, but why would they need to transition to another job if prostitution is a personal choice and moreover, a pretty good career? Which most of the arguments about agency seem to be about. If they choose that career, why would they need or want to leave it? 

Maysie Maysie's picture

A few comments.

First, since the thread drifted into "Sex work: pro or con?" territory, the women's voices have largely vanished. Just something to think about for the men who are passionately engaged in this argument, once again.

Second, this thread was originally about sex shops being banned near schools and churches in a region in AUSTRALIA. Not that we can't generalize from there, but clearly the community there would have had a far longer history with the context behind it than a "sexy" (pun intended) story to hit the international news.

Third, we often get posts on babble about "wild and wooly" news from around the world. I'm generally not a fan but whatever. Threads can always be ignored if they're irritating us.

Fourth, CMOT, I know you're frustrated with this conversation, and to tell you the truth I'm not sure what exactly you're arguing here, although I know you and martin generally end up on the opposite sides of this argument. I doubt any minds are going to be changed at this point, so that then begs the question of what kind of respectful discussion are we able to have on this topic?

 

CMOT Dibbler

 

Um, but why would they need to transition to another job if prostitution is a personal choice and moreover, a pretty good career? Which most of the arguments about agency seem to be about. If they choose that career, why would they need or want to leave it? 

 A lot of people choose to be janitors, it dosen't mean that they all want to be janitors forever. 

Fourth, CMOT, I know you're frustrated with this conversation, and to tell you the truth I'm not sure what exactly you're arguing here, although I know you and martin generally end up on the opposite sides of this argument. I doubt any minds are going to be changed at this point, so that then begs the question of what kind of respectful discussion are we able to have on this topic?

We can't.  I'm sorry for the confusion.  I guess that's what happens when a guy with to much time on his hands and too little information tries to argue in favor of deciminalizing something he knows almost nothing about. I'll try to be more coherent in the future. 

I'm going to eat lunch now.  PEACE OUT!

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Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

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