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Music that glorifies violence against women should be banned

Violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights abuses affecting the world today. Every day, thousands of women and girls are abused and murdered by their families, raped in armed conflicts and attacked for defending woman’s rights. [[http://www.amnesty.org.au/svaw/]] We must take initiative now and make a move towards a more proactive approach to stamping out the violent undercurrents which have not allowed women to be truly free from violent social norms.

Simply stating that VAW is wrong and dealing with situations one by one as they occur is no longer an option as it has proven to not solve the problem. In fact, it has allowed the problem to become even more widespread thanks to the advancements in technology, and in particular the internet. We must, as individual nations, come together and redefine the perceptions of the masses. In order to do this we must take drastic measures to ensure that the underlying acceptance that VAW is OK is forced to change and that mediums which influence the development of such acceptance; eg music and TV are stopped from continuing this violent development of gender norms.

Music ratings and restrictions are not as tightly regulated or enforced as other forms of media, such as feature films and television shows [[http://caslon.com.au/censorshipguide18.htm]]. This, combined with the ever increasing use of the internet to obtain and share music, shows that there are inconsistencies between the expectations and restrictions put on music and music videos and the expectations and restrictions placed on other forms of media.
—————– OPP —————–

The Opposition in this debate will take the position oft attributed to Voltaire, that we may disapprove of what you say, but we will defend to the death your right to say it. We do not support violence against women but we believe that in a democracy the right to free speech, as repulsive as it may be, cannot be compromised mealy because the majority in society does not like it. We think that the only circumstance in which the right to free speech may be curtailed is when there is direct, tangible, physical harm being imposed on someone else. The proverbial shouting fire in a crowded theater springs to mind.

All the Yes points:

  1. A change is needed to stop the cycle of violence.
  2. A ban is necessary for progress in the status of women.
  3. There is a need to change perceptions.
  4. Real social change requires real action.
  5. The Plight of Women
  6. Harmful speech needs to be filtered
  7. Australian Summary

All the No points:

  1. People are justified in listening to violent music
  2. Insensitive towards women
  3. Censoring Art Is Dangerous
  4. Marginalizing Society

A change is needed to stop the cycle of violence.

Yes because…

Any material which explicitly devalues the intrinsic worth of another human or expresses a message of malefaction or malice without justification needs careful examination. We must consider the impact of the content in music and the content in music videos on the general public; including all of the stakeholders who are affected by being exposed to such negative portrayals of VAW. Men are not as heavily represented in lyrical content, nor have they been suffering from abuse & violence as severely as women over history. As such we find the portrayal of women in music & music videos to be a major problem that must be actioned immediately in order to stop the continuing cycle of abuse against women across the globe.

If music explicitly expresses a message of debasement, hatred, or violence without just cause, then what is the real benefit to society- and in particular women- of producing & distributing such content? There is a clear moral imperative to not accept the current status quo, as women shouldn’t be forced to tolerate or condone music which debases their character or dignity.

Team Australia proposes a model system in which current government censorship bodies in any given nation would simply censor or ban any music which contain lyrics any reasonable person would deem to recount/encourage violence against women. This would be based the consideration of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Through education & explicit action each country would be expected to consider this protocol seriously & act; therefore not behaving as the ‘Nanny’ of the country but as a powerful implementer of policy that truly is effective in the long term, reducing the market and appeal of such music and the video spin-offs that potentially cement these poor depictions of behaviour towards women; behaviour that without change will continue to be the norm. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/protocol/index.

No because…

We do not think that it is sensible for gov to widen the scope of the debate to “any given nation” as it is impossible for either team to sufficiently analyze the unique nuances of different cultural contexts given the limit to the points we may present. We will therefore focus on western liberal democracies such as the US.

1. Is prop willing to ban any music/speech that ” expresses a message of malefaction or malice without justification”? What is so special about women that they deserve these protections over ethnic, sexual, religious or political minorities?

2. Prop asserts that their goal is “to stop the continuing cycle of abuse against women across the globe.” This presumes that people who listen to such music are more likely to harm women. This is pure nonsense.

3. By saying, “If music explicitly expresses a message of violence without just cause, then what is the real benefit to society of producing such content?” They presume that only speech which has some kind of societal value should be allowed. This is not the case.

4. It is impossible to eradicate this material. People can still access this media from countries that have not banned it and its very easy to distribute over the web.

Prop’s assertion that music needs to only deal with issues that please the majority is a complete nonsense as it clearly tramples upon the rights of the minority with no justification whatsoever. For such discriminations to be allowed, we would need some analysis on how the majority of average reasonable adults in western liberal democracies wouldstart beating women on the streets the minute they see ‘these’ music albums in the stores.

A ban is necessary for progress in the status of women.

Yes because…

Ever since the sexual revolution era of modern developed nations, we have tried to make progress in the status and role of women in society. However, music that glorifies violence against women is preventing us from succeeding. Such music is demoralising to women and reinforces the idea that domination by males is natural and acceptable.

This is not the case and therefore a ban is necessary. Banning this music would send a clear message that such attitudes are not acceptable in our society. Like any society, we have to enforce the values we wish to uphold. Music is an influential aspect of culture that DOES carry with it certain ideas, this is inevitable and therefore music that profits from its message of violence against women does glorify that violence and encourages it to continue. Remember that popular music is going to be far more influential than anything taught in schools or by the government. Popular artists are much more the role-models in society than the educators. In fact, many studies have linked media violence to aggressive real-world behavior [[http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/violence/effects_media_violence.cfm]], finding that listening to violent songs causes an increase in aggression [[http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084039.htm]]. As popular music has such a strong impact, the only way the spread of such a backwards message can be curtailed is by banning the music that is glorifying that message.

Violence against women is still, in most places, a huge problem. South Africa, for example, where more than a quarter of all men admitted to having raped a woman [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/17/south-africa-rape-survey]]. Music which encourages violence allows society to become complacent to the idea of such atrocities happening and is hindering the fight to change attitudes. It represents a perspective that is unacceptable and it offends the integrity of the world’s arduous journey to fix these problems.

No because…

How exactly is this music stopping womens progress? Over the years women have acquired the right to vote, the right to equal work opportunities & pay all while this music has existed. Female enrollment in college is higher than that for men and we even almost had a female president in Hilary Clinton in the USA & Australia has a woman PM Julia Gillard.[1][2]

The fact is that this music is for a small segment of the population that is misogynistic. Majority of the population either rejects their views or see them as harmless entertainment. Much in the same way many rap fans do not take the lyrics of their favorite artists seriously. Else, as the prop would have it, there would be absolute carnage on the streets as 50 Cent and Ja Rule fans would be mowing each other down in the streets.

The props own reference refutes their point. “Others, like Jonathan Freedman of the University of Toronto, maintain that “the scientific evidence simply does not show that watching violence either produces violence in people, or desensitizes them to it.”” The fact is that non of the scientific evidence is conclusive. Each side can point to studies that support its own conclusion. What we can deduce from logic however is that the ban is not needed as we have had significant progress with regards to womens rights while we allowed free speech. The prop has to show how exactly the ban will hasten this process.

Props reliance on the idea that people are shallow minded and only use misogynistic music as their guidance to making lifestyle choices is really not helping their case. We are working on a more accurate portrayal of society and music as an influence. First and foremost the majority of music listeners are reasonable adults who know how to handle issues such as violence against women. Secondly, EVEN IF people are shallow minded, music albums glorifying VAW are so far less available compared to their more contemporary adversaries for it influen


There is a need to change perceptions.

Yes because…

Music that glorifies violence against women has permeated throughout our society, thanks to the radio and the tv. Its consequences can be devastating, particularly to those who are forming their perceptions regarding gender roles. As such, these powerful agents for socialisation must be responsibly managed to ensure that children and teenagers are not corrupted by violent misogynistic music, who are becoming more and more influenced in our technologically savvy world.

This matter has been extensively studies by sociologists, who created the Cultivation Theory. The Cultivation Theory outlines that mass media such as TV and radio shape the norms, values and beliefs of a society. This is clearly a pressing issue, as “This cultivation can have an impact even on light viewers of TV, because the impact on heavy viewers has an impact on our entire culture.” Gerbner and Gross (1976).

When this theory is applied to songs such as The Misfits’s Die, Die My Darling, where they say “Die, die, die my darling Don’t utter a single word/ Die, die, die my darling/ Just shut your pretty eyes/ I’ll be seeing you in hell”. This incredibly violent song is just one of the many outrageously misogynstic songs that are played around the world. Songs that glorify violence against women have no social merit, and simply subvert the morals of our society by shaping the minds of the viewer.

This is especially troublesome when the bulk of music is consumed by the youth in society, with when in 2005 on any given day in America, 85% of 8- to 18-year-olds spend at least a few minutes listening to one of the audio media, and 44% spend in excess of an hour [[http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/Executive-Summary-Generation-M-Media-in-the-Lives-of-8-18-Year-olds.pdf]]. The progress we have made in giving women equal status becomes retrograde when the youth of the world listen to sexist music. We simply must not allow the resocialisation of our world’s children to occur- we must ban this abhorrent music

No because…

Props characterization would make it seem as if there is promotion of VAW at every turn in the media. This is simply false. These misogynistic views are in the minority. This is so because if they were the majority then we would not have been able to get equal opportunity legislation such as the equal pay act.. The vast majority of music is not sexist (50% is produced by female artists anyway). They need to show why, if tv & music are so influential, people would be influenced by the little misogynistic media available, yet be unaffected by majority neutral & feminist media. Neutral media sends the message of gender equality by presenting equal roles for men & women.

Again the claim that “Songs that glorify violence against women have no social merit,” and should therefore be banned does not hold up. Social merit is never the criteria we use for free speech. That is dangerous reasoning that can lead to govt abuses. The onus should never be on the speaker to prove the value of their speech, other wise the government could shut up its critics and demand that they prove their criticism has “social merit” further eroding rights.

Real social change requires real action.

Yes because…

Today’s society boasts of if equality towards both genders, though the lyrics and contexts of modern music state otherwise. By merely watching and hearing lyrics of the most popular songs from adolescent culture, it is inevitable to notice the sheer absence of respect for women, even through Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” which features Rihanna. The lyrics, “If she ever tries to f***ing leave again, I’mma tie her to the bed and set the house on fire” directly shows the violence and the music video not only collaborates this violence but also portrays females’ as sex objects. Rihanna’s own experience with violence through her boyfriend, Chris Brown, and her part in the song “but that’s OK, because I like the way it hurts” subliminally sends a message to many teens that even females find violent behaviour and abuse OK.

A study done during 2003 in Washington, proved that violent lyrics directly affected, and caused violent thoughts. It is then unsurprising that statistics in the US of VAW show that every 18 minutes a female is beaten, and a female is raped every 6 minutes [[http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1772e.htm]]. It is also shown that in France, 95% of victims of violence are females, 51% of these crimes are committed by their husbands [[http://www.ideaconnection.com/solutions/7216-Violence-against-women.html]] – the link between violence and song lyrics that heavily glorifies violence is clear.

It is preposterous for society to merely put on a facade that there is equality between the sexes, and yet, when statistics and studies prove and explain evidence contradict this do nothing about it. UN conventions, such as the UN Convention on Discrimination against Women have been put into place for the sole purpose of protecting women from inhumanity and yet the incidences are not declining significantly enough. Proving that these restrictions are not working and shows why further restrictions on music content are necessary.

No because…

Majority of society already believes in womens rights. There is a minority who do not. In order for the prop argument to stand they need to show us why 1) Normal people are likely to consume this media and if they do, how & why their views on women are likely to change. 2) Why the bigots would change their minds simply because they cannot access this music. The ban will not change this because they listen to this music because they are bigots, not that they are bigots because they listen to the music. So the problem starts with the misogynistic attitudes of the person to begin with. This is more rational to believe based on simple economics. People are in the music business to make money. It is very expensive to produce and market records. So it makes sense to make records for a market that already exists rather than hoping to change society to like the music you produce. Simply put, suppliers supply what is demanded rather than consumers demanding anything that is supplied. So the problem the govt should be solving is changing societal attitudes. The west has already succeeded in doing this because we recognize that you cannot change the opinion of every signle individual and that some bigots will always exist. We can look at examples like EU countries that ban holocaust denial or glorifying Nazism. Despite these bans we still see the existence of Neo-Nazi & Facist groups. In fact they are more prevalent in countries that ban holocaust denial than in the US which allows it. You can never have a total eradication of bigotry.

The Plight of Women

Yes because…

For the opposition to state that the subjugation of females around the world is too hard to stop, and trivialise it to a minor matter that does not need to be addressed is disgusting. The fact is that women are treated as inferior to men, and live a life of lower standards and often suffer from much abuse.

Across the world, the rape of women has reached epidemic proportions, as though it is a societal norm. In Australia, 1% of the population were raped in the previous year, which is not taking into account those that women do not report to the police.[[http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_vic-crime-rape-victims]] A report released said that “Estimates from research suggest that between 75 & 95 per cent of rape crimes are never reported to the police.” [[http://www.hmic.gov.uk/sitecollectiondocuments/thematics/thm_20070101_2.pdf]] The epidemic amounts of rapes we seen now is only the tip of the iceberg. In South Africa, a woman is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1909220.stm]] To simply be dismissive of such disturbing statistics is indifferent to the plight of women everywhere. Isn’t the link between the crime of rape and the views of women apparent? The opposition says that there is only a minority of bigots, and yet violent crimes against women continue to be one of the most pressing issues in every society. Clearly we must ban misogynistic music from being a part of the threads of our society, to show that songs that glorify vicious crimes against women should not be acceptable as the “harmless entertainment” that the opposition suggests it could be. By linking songs about rape, murder and violence against women with “harmless entertainment”, does Team Botswana not see the effect that this music can have on what society deems as the norm?
Furthermore, given that vilification laws are present against other minorities, such as race and sexual orientation, why would we choose to exclude women?

No because…

It is unrealistic for prop to set this case in “the world” because different societies function uniquely. It seems as if they set this debate this way so they always have atrocity somewhere they can point to, and just because someone in that country listened to an Eminem album, the two are correlated. But this is absurd, firstly, we have shown that in western liberal democracies Women’s rights have come in leaps and bounds alongside violent media, and they have conceded to this, so now they need to tell us exactly how much progress they want to make in western liberal nations, and how much they feel they will gain from their proposal, because thus far their proposal has been vague.

Wait a minute. Are they telling us that their proposal will reduce rape? They have yet to even show a link between this music and increased VAW. Regardless, it is disingenuous for them to talk of 3rd world countries. Music that contains these lyrics is not even popular in countries like South Africa[1] Moreover their case is grossly exaggerated. They say a woman is more likely to be raped than learn how to read. But SA has a female literacy of 85%[2] If over 85% of women are raped in a country with 50mil people then they are saying that there are over 21 million rapes in South Africa. Such drivel highlights the level of ignorance we are dealing with.

The prop said if the govt does not ban this music then automatically the govt condones it. So because the following are not illegal then using their logic we can conclude the US govt condones holocaust denial, KKK membership, smoking, acting in porn. Clearly anyone with common sense can see that this is not the case.
The entire case is fraught with melodramatic characterizations. We challenge them to link to examples of, “songs about rape, murder and violence against women.” Name one popular musician who glorified rape. The music that exists in reality is not that extreme.


Harmful speech needs to be filtered

Yes because…

One of the opposition’s main assertions is that free speech should be prioritised over society’s need to prevent hateful speech. They also mentioned the ‘shouting fire in a crowded theatre’ paradigm – and stated that music inciting violence against women does not pose a direct physical threat to anybody. This is untrue. Firstly, let’s consider the extent of the right to free speech. The aforementioned paradigm is an example of harmful speech for three reasons; it poses a threat to human safety, it is untruthful, and it has no useful purpose. Similarly, consider what would happen if two people were involved in some sort of dispute. It would most certainly be illegal if a someone came into it and encouraged one of them to fight the other. More than that, it would be considered illegal to threaten to kill somebody, even if it was a lie. We can apply this to the music situation. The music that is the subject of this debate encourages and promotes violence. It serves no reasonable purpose, certainly none that outweighs the negative effects of violent music that have been documented by science. Now let’s consider how free speech is already limited by law. In Australia, one can be charged with vilification if speech that incites hatred is done in a public venue[[http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/SydLRev/2005/10.html]]. However, in private one IS free to speak one’s mind as this speech does not necessarily expose its influence to a wide audience. This demonstrates that limiting free speech does not mean that we should have anything to fear. Regulation is done here because the benefit of preventing harmful speech far outweighs whatever reasons we as a society have to allow hate speech. By definition every right has a corresponding responsibility. We all have the right to free speech – however we also have a responsibility to ensure that this free speech does not infringe on the rights of others. And that includes the right to be free from vilification.

No because…

Prop need to take a position on violent media as a whole. If they contend that music that glorifies VAW creates VAW, then obviously it’s implicit within that argument that violent music leads to actual violence. What Prop have shown us is that women tend to be victimized more often than most other demographics, but they have thus far failed to justify why their proposal only seeks to protect women from violence, are they asserting that a female victim is more of a victim than a male victim? If indeed a causal link exists between musical violence and real violence, then shouldn’t the government be banning all violent music? An opposition to music that glorifies VAW is a principle opposition to all violent music, which is why our second question became pertinent and was inadequately dealt with; what makes music so special that only violent music creates street violence? Why is it that horror films which are made for no other reason than to entertain and terrify, and which stimulate more senses than any song could (movies add visual stimulation), are permissible under Props paradigm, but Eminem’s song is not?

We expect the majority of society to be at the very least as reasonable as the members of team Australia. Bear in mind that it’s not a very high bar that we had to set considering what we’ve seen so far. The difference between the forms of speech that prop refers to & Eminem’s song is that their speech is specifically targeted at an individual with the aim of inducing a specific, violent response, but a recorded song is open to interpretation, the songs that do call for violence against a specific group (versus mearly glorifying it) are usually classified as hate speech and are banned in most western nations, but when they are it’s done consistantly against all forms of hate speech, why does prop seek to protect only women, if their proposal is truly effective, where is the harm in protecting other groups as well? Clearly because there is no real benefit.

Australian Summary

Yes because…

The idea of globalisation (as brought up by the opp) and the fact that music cannot be limited to singular nations dictates that this discussion be on a whole world scale. Limiting the discussion to the effects on only the affluent and ‘educated’ nations is unfair and does not take into account the insidious nature of VAW, which is an issue that is highly prevalent throughout the entire world [[http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html]]

There is inequality in the world’s restrictions in relation to different kinds of artistic mediums. There are legal restrictions put on all kinds of art including, but not limited to, art (eg Bill Henson’s exhibition was shut down by police [[http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/police-shut-down-child-porn-art-exhibition-in-paddington/story-e6freuy9-1111116418937]] ), movies (movies are banned completely from multiple countries such as Australia, Columbia, Finland, France and Thailand for containing excessively abusive content [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_picture_rating_system]]), video games have been banned by governments of various states in the world for having excessive violence and cruelty [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_video_games]], and distribution of books which contain explicit sexual content and human rights violations are also restricted from release [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_by_governments]]. Why then is it OK for the opp to declare that we have no right to discuss the restriction of the most accessible and influential mediums in the world – music?

VAW is everywhere. It is identified as one of the biggest human rights issues in the world – in the past & now too. We must recognise that music is one of the most transmittable and accessible mediums in the world. People from all classes, all races, and all education levels have ready access all kinds of musical content (even Congo [DRC], the poorest country in the world, has 5% of it’s population able to access music via the web) [[http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=it_net_user_p2&idim=country:COG&dl=en&hl=en&q=internet+usage+congo]]. We must consider the evidence and research that links viewing violence to increased violent behaviour [[http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084039.htm]], heavy metal music and rap are listened to by large segments of the world’s population (especially in the countries the opp wants to focus on) and do present many disturbing images of violence, sex, and misogyny; it is estimated that VAW content in these genres ranges from 25-70%. With VAW statistics so high [[http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/digest6e.pdf]], it is clear that due to the influential nature of music, combined with the rising prevalence of extremely violent content in music lyrics, plus the never decreasing statistics of VAW cases indicates that the banning of extremely violent content is NOT an overreaction to the current situation.

No because…

People are justified in listening to violent music

No because…

One fact that is undeniable about humanity is that morbidity is part of the human condition. A consequence of our highly developed brains is that we become very conscious of our mortality, we become fascinated with violence as well because it is so closely linked to death, and we all want to understand death, we all want to know what happens after we die. So people end up seeking different ways of dealing with their fear of death, but the most common way is by desensitizing ourselves to the idea. Some of us do this by delving into religious scriptures because they offer salvation after death, but a lot of us also subject ourselves to an environment awash with death. The most read newspaper articles are usually those about wars and murders and other acts of violence, even when they are not pertinent to our direct personal security, because the more we hear and read about violence and death, the less shocking it becomes, and we spend less of lives fearing it.This obviously extends to the creative aspect of humanity as well. We all spend a lot of time thinking about violence, so it is not really surprising that the most creative of us end up making art about it. From paintings, to music, to theatre, we are obsessed with violence in our entertainment, even gratuitous violence. We have famous painters like Francisco Goya (1) being applauded for their violent art , Stanley Kubrick getting an Oscar nomination for directing ”A Clockwork Orange”, a movie rampant with misogyny; which clearly demonstrates humanity’s appreciation of violent art. So why is it that Prop want to ban only violent music? We have always had violent art within society, but contrary to what proposition would have you believe, we have also made monumental progress in terms of equal rights, so we need clear demonstration that violent music more than any other form of art, creates violence in society.

(1) (http://emptyeasel.com/2007/06/06/francisco-goya-paintings-from-the-famous-spanish-artist/)

Yes because…

We would like to clarify that our topic is banning music that glorifies excessive, unnecessary violence against women not merely “violent music”. The opposition seems to hold the sensationalised belief that everyone has a dangerous obsession with violence & death. They further stated things relating to religion and the fact that everyone is so scared of death that they have become obsessed with violence in their media. The opposition stated that “we need clear demonstration that violent music more than any other form of art, creates violence in society.” However as we previously mentioned, multiple researches have shown, eg in 2003 in Washington, proved that exposure to violent music directly affected the humans in a way that they became more aggressive. They have also stated that the most read newspaper articles are “usually about wars and murders and other acts of violence…” Firstly we would like to point out that these statements technically had nothing to do with violence against women, therefore their points can be deemed irrelevant. Secondly even if the opposition’s statement is valid they are not supported with any proof. Opposition also stated that “we also made monumental progress in terms of equal rights…” We believe that this statement is true, but in terms of some countries across the globe such as Canada and USA, whereas continents such as Africa & other third world countries do not have the benefit of such equal rights. Women of various ethnicities are being degraded to mere sex objects, most prominently Asians & Black women, in which society has responded in outrage. This isn’t enough as the degradation of women continues. It is for the purpose that there is so much glorifying of this violence within music, and it has clearly been shown to have connection with mental thoughts by those that listen to it, that we feel the need and the urgency for this music to be banned. Again, we are purely talking about music that glorifies VAW

Insensitive towards women

No because…

Props reliance on the idea that people are shallow minded and only use misogynistic music as their guide to making lifestyle choices is really not helping their case. We are working on a more accurate portrayal of society where music can play an influence. First and foremost the majority of music listeners are reasonable adults who know how to handle issues such as violence against women. Secondly, EVEN IF people are as shallow as Prop has painted, music albums that glorify VAW are far less available in the market compared to their more contemporary adversaries. The majority of music albums provide a buffer against ideas that are not accepted by the masses and help people in making better informed choices.

We don’t think women are as weak as Prop has asserted. In the fight to empower women in liberal democracies the state has never infringed on a person’s right to express his’her opinion. It is very condescending to both women’s right movements and the majority of average reasonable adults when Prop assumes that the value of the views and opinions of women’s rights movements, and the rest of society can be undermined by a minority of misogynistic music albums.

Yes because…

Team Australia has not made loose generalisations suggesting that all people are shallow minded and use music as a giuide to direct social and moral choices. The opposition agrees themselves that music is an influence. We are concerned about the level of this influence. No intervention effectively condones the intimidation of such music on 50% of the population. If the rights for one citizen prevents the rights of another citizen there is a problem and this is the case we are making here. The problem is that for far too long women have been subjected to music that encourages violence against women so that many have adopted a tolerance to such material. When there is no representation to protect women and society in general then there is no where to go for complaints. It is interesting that the opposition uses the idea- suggesting that because this music is far less available- which is not the case but even if it were true- it is not necessary to ban it because it doesn’t do any harm to any one. This is flawed. Firstly there are few places women can go to change or prevent bands or musicians from making this music and producing it. Secondly the wheels of popular culture are so powerful, fed by the consumerist mentalities of the marketers that responsible marketing and making of music has been abandoned at the cost of the dignity of women. This is evident in the absence of industry watchdog bodies that exist.which make even the french advertising industry look more reliable over its concern for the dignity of women in the banning of underwear adds that breached its code of conduct and contributed to systematic sexualisation of women. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-knickers-in-in-a-twist

Censoring Art Is Dangerous

No because…

What side prop fails to acknowledge is that people are generally reasonable, which is why governments empower people to make choices that could harm them, because we expect every adult to be able to make informed decisions, and most of the time we are proven correct, which is why most people are not criminals. The harm that propositions logic has is that they do not realize that depending on the person listening to the song, we could have completely different interpretations of what the song means. This is because art is intensely personal; the emotions that art evokes are completely subjective, so one cannot simply assume that once someone hears a misogynistic song, they will be compelled to oppress women. For example, a lot of feminists maligned A Clockwork Orange for being exploitative to women because it depicted a lot of women being raped, but most people appreciated it as a warning against a society that was depriving people of their humanity (1), metaphorically turning them into cogs in a clock. This movie won four Oscar nominations, showing that gratuitous violence can be acceptable in society, and that we are capable of reading between the lines. So the question becomes: how exactly will proposition determine which songs are worthless and which are not? That is why censoring this music and any form of art is never a good idea. We can never really know the value of a work of art to different individuals, so it would be wrong to ban it unless we can determine a real harm, but as we have proven, the only harm that has been demonstrated by proposition is completely assertive. Music audiences have repeatedly proven that they do not take lyrics literally as the popularity of songs like Blowin’ In The Wind by Bob Dylan would suggest, or Yellow Submarine(2) by the Beatles.


Yes because…

We can not expect ‘all people to be generally reasonable’, as the opposition argues – this is unrealistic. For one, the majority of the audience listening to this contentious music are under 25 years old and as recent research a 2 institutes have shown ‘intellectual maturity’ is not fully developed until the until age 25 [[http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2005-02-20-juvenile-deathpenalty_x.htm]] It is unreasonable to assert that this kind of content is not affecting the developing values of people, least of all our youth. Music is not legally rated, unlike almost all other visual and aural media, yet it is the most accessible and inexpensive medium and people, all over the world, can access music. Popular radio marketing has chart toppers being repeated over and over again taking on an almost chant-like quality; and as a song rises in popularity we are then subjected to it’s video clip version which in these days often pushes societies boundaries and aims to shock thus increasing the song’s appeal despite its negative content. Is the opp telling us that it is OK to continue to support the connotative message ‘that violence against women is ok'” despite the facts we have already supplied in relation to this matter? The content of such music cannot be equated with art.

The opp states that music cannot be limited bcecause we all interpret it differently. I would like to point out that statements such as “I may have to blow your brains out, baby. Then you won’t bother me no more” (Eric Clapton) or “I used to love her, But I had to kill her, … She’s buried right in my backyard” (Guns and Roses) or “If she ever tries to fucking leave again, I’mma tie her to the bed, And set the house on fire” (Eminem) send a very clear message that is not dependent on the individual’s perception. Not only are these examples not alone, they are among a rising population of excessively violent lyrics which are most often directed at females.

Marginalizing Society

No because…

Artists often use allegory to convey messages, which is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than the literal. We see this all the time, (e.g Animal farm), so how will props censor know when a song is being pointlessly misogynistic or being allegoric? And what about pornography? Some feminist condemn it, some promote it, will phone sex agencies be legal or deemed misogynistic? In order for proposition to remain consistent, they will have to stifle society.

We’ve explained how society has always enjoyed fictional violence, but how come it has never lead to real violence? Firstly because we’re intuitively built for survival, and as is quite common amongst primates, we need to survive in packs which is where our care for our fellow man is borne, Prop does not have exclusivity on these sentiments. That is why we came up with the concept of human rights, fictional violence can be entertaining, but real violence is abhorrent, hence the number of soldiers who suffer PTSD (1), I’m sure they’ve all seen war dramas before! Secondly, modern societies generally have laws that provide a disincentive to committing crimes, so even if you want to commit rape, most of us don’t because we don’t want to spend our lives in prison. And thirdly is the enforcement of those laws, it is no coincidence that the most egregious crimes are committed in the countries with the worst law enforcement, hence the high rate of human rights abuses during war as prop rightly pointed out, it’s hard to have law enforcement on a battlefield. Finally, we have society which condemns real acts of VAW, even in South Africa rape is not celebrated, it is just that crime is a natural part of life for about 40% of South Africans, they have high murder and Assault rates along with VAW. A more solid correlation to high VAW is poverty rates, neighborhoods,education, these should be fixed before a ban on speech.


Yes because…

The opposition is introducing other content that does already fall under ratings or censorship therefore irrelevant to their case. egAnimal Farm, Clockwork Orange. even Pornography. Opposition must stay on the topic.

Fictional violence does lead to real violence!!! It is a sad state of affairs when we decide that fictional gratuitous violence is entertainment. It appears the Opposition would rather subject our youth to the glorification of VAW then try blame perpetrators because jail was a deterrent and they should have been ‘reasonable’

Poverty rates go hand in hand with poor literacy but globalisation impacts all regardless of values and situation. So censorship; in this case. the banning of music that glorifies VAW is essential.
We affirm the line that this music that ‘GLORIFIES’. VAW must be banned because it is morally imperative regardless of the number of people who act on the inherent messages within the music because it breaks down the moral fabric of society, hence potentially encouraging singers like Pink who create reactionary songs that glorify acts of violence against men in her song- ‘So what?’; and it places women in a position where they are still fighting against the sexual objectification of women that condones them being subjugated and then condones them having a poor sense of self worth believing that they have to be subject to males, often idealised as ‘pimps’ in this music. It doesn’t matter if the audience is so called ‘reasonable’ the govt bodies have the responsibilty to help maintain the dignity and respect of all genders. There are racial & homosexual vilification laws, but no gender vilification laws that protect women from being subjected to these messages.They have no power then to stop these attitudes permeating society because we give ‘tacit consent’. This is why we need to have govt bodiest that act on our ‘express consent’.[[Loche,Second Treatise of Government, 1690.Hackett Publishing Comp]]

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4 years ago

Why must it be only violence against women, shouldn’t we also look at the fact that violence against men also exists in the case of music. But even then music is someone’s choice to make, if they want to say “all women/men should die” or something of the such it should be their choice to say that.

Babs Williams
7 years ago

Glad to find this website. I heard the song Delilah by Tom Jones recently and thought how confronting the words are. Even worse are the lyrics of Beatles Song which I think is called Run For Your Life. It begins… I’d rather see you dead little girl than to see you with another man. Both songs are about perceived ownership of the woman by the man and killing or threatening to kill is acceptable. Delilah”s man may be remorseful after but he turned up at her house with a knife in his hand.
Disgusting lyrics to have played on radio!

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