DH Lawrence wrote a number of ground breaking novels. Reviews of his work were very hostile when first published because they were viewed as being graphically sexual. He continued to write controversial novels that were widely censored. Lawrence attempted to use his novels to shock a post-Victorian society into confronting sex and relationships. Since Lawrence’s death, censorship has become more liberal although the media continues to be regulated. However the Internet creates a challenge to censorship and regulatory bodies.
The group defined pornography in terms of a wide range of mostly visual material, made widely available in ‘soft’ forms e.g. page 3 models that is accessible to everyone, whereas ‘harder’ versions are more strictly censored. Censorship of film and TV is currently clear in the U.K; ‘ratings’ make viewers aware of explicit content. The group agreed that censorship needs to continue in order to protect children from viewing violent acts and inappropriate sexual material. Opinion was divided about swear words; some are still shocked by their frequent and repetitive use. Others felt swearing is only offensive in a particular context and an aggressive tone of voice.
Even though I’m not significantly shocked or offended by films/TV containing sex and violence, this may be because censorship laws are so lenient that they become ‘normal’ viewing. However, violence can be disturbing at times but I believe that viewers are pre-warned by censor ratings of the levels of violent scenes, and sexual violence/explicit sexual materials therefore it becomes a viewer’s choice of whether to watch or not. The British Board of Film Classification makes this easy for all viewers as it is designed to keep the public and the industry informed about classification decisions, whenever a film, DVD or video game is submitted for classification.(BBFC on-line, December 1 st 2009).
British Board of Film Classification,
www.bbfc.co.uk, December 1st 2009