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.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
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A change is needed to stop the cycle of violence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Plight of Women
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?
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 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% 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
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.
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.
People are justified in listening to violent music
Insensitive towards women
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.
Censoring Art Is Dangerous
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.
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.
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]]
What do you think?