FCC’s Head Up Its Sexual Organ?

The Language Log has an article about ABC showing an episode of some show where a woman’s buttocks were visible. “So nu?” you might think if, like me, you were kickstarted into puberty by seeing boobs on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the Benny Hill Show in the 70s and 80s.

But no, the FCC decided that showing a butt demanded a $1.4 million fine. the most puzzling bit is this statement by the FCC:

Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ,22 we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law23 and common sense.

Does the FCC really think that buttocks are involved in sex as more than erogenous zones? If so, they’ll need to ban everything from eyes to well-turned ankles. Is “asshat” a sexual term?

The Language Log does a fine job of fisking this arrant nonsense, from both linguistic and legal standpoints, so go read that. But in an amusing coincidence, I was watching Australia’s The Chasers War on Everything and something from the BBC, and wondering why they get to say “fuck” on TV, while Jon Stewart gets bleeped when he says “blow job”.

Welcome to the US, the last industrialized nation that

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6 Responses to FCC’s Head Up Its Sexual Organ?

  1. Troublesome Frog says:

    Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense.

    Wow. I didn’t know those guys were in to that kind of thing.

    Like

  2. arensb says:

    I didn’t know those guys were in to that kind of thing.

    They need to talk to some of the teenagers who engage in anal sex as a way to not break their chastity vows.

    Like

  3. Mark says:

    Welcome to the US, the last industrialized nation that

    Reading that list reminds me that I appreciate being a dual citizen. I always have an emergency out in case the ambient stupidity gets too much.

    Like

  4. arensb says:

    Mark:

    Reading that list

    I suspect “smoke pot” will soon make that list as well.

    I recently ran across the term “narcissistic” to describe Americans, and I think it fits. Every so often, someone will sue the government and win, or tell the president to his face that he sucks (like Stephen Colbert), or rise from poverty to become a millionaire, or some such, and some commentator will ask, “Where but in America could something like this happen?” In my mind, I answer, “Well, there’s Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Japan, …”

    Partly, I think it’s because the US is a continent-sized nation. In Europe, it’s possible to live one’s whole life among people who speak the same language, live under the same government, use the same currency, shop at the same stores, etc., but just barely, and that assumes that you never do such things as travel on vacation. In the US, it’s not only possible, but quite easy. And being a superpower means not being affected as much by what other countries do, so that helps maintain the bubble.

    We have the great national myths of the revolutionary war for freedom, westward expansion, and so on and so forth, but the bubble means that there’s no reality check when we start believing our own PR. The bubble also means that we don’t really look outside and think, “Ooh, lookit that parliamentary system Canada’s set up. I gotta get me one of those.”

    And no, I’m not immune from the bubble. I couldn’t begin to tell you how Spain’s or Germany’s government differs from ours, or how well England’s National Health Service works, or how often people say “fuck” on Australian TV. But it’d be nice to.

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  5. Voice of reason says:

    Haha guys. I just had a long and hard laugh at the expense of the FCC. This is quite new. I wonder whether the FCC has ever googled the term “sex organ” lol. On a more serious note, arensb, i think you make a pretty good point of the bubbled in society America has become. America’s entire history is clouded with isolation – Where was the US in the first and second World Wars? The US joined WW1 in 1917 (war started 1914) and WW2 joined in December 1941 (War started 1939). I would also like to point out the ‘world series’… Why do only US teams compeat there? Why do the US not focus on competing in sports like cricket, rugby and soccer, where there is major competition on the world stage and you measure yourself to other countries? It’s not like the US have got crap quality athletes (you just need to take a look at the medal count at the Olympics to see that) I think it is factors like these that allow the American public to forget that there exists a world outside their borders.

    Would like to hear your input on this guys. Cheers

    Like

  6. Cyde Weys says:

    Hopefully we’ll get over this nudity hang-up some day. I would say “as long as we still have Republicans in the White House” — but you’re right, the Democrats aren’t exactly progressive on this issue either.

    And hopefully we’ll get universal health care after this next election.

    Like

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