U.S. Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga) has introduced a bill that would ban all sexually explicit material from military bases overseas, including Playboy, Penthouse, and Maxim magazines — currently there is a ban on “porn” enforced, but there is a loophole. Critics of the bill say it would be bad for morale.
A Department of Defense committee that reviews materials sold on bases ruled last year that magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse are not pornographic. But Broun’s Military Honor and Decency Act includes language that could make those magazines eligible for the ban…. Broun, a Marine veteran, told Newsweek recently that the magazines sold in military exchanges are partly responsible for a rise in sexual assaults in the military and other problems.
Talk about putting a useless band-aid on a serious problem. Reading Maxim doesn’t make soldiers commit rape. Saying it does implies that rape occurs because someone is sexually aroused and can’t control their urges, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I get why women may feel like these magazines objectify women and offend them — but the appeal of these magazines, especially for guys who are busting their butts each day in a very dangerous situation, is best expressed by this soldier: “Playboy is good entertainment while you are on the can. They have jokes and good stories.” Maybe while this soldier is enjoying his ten minutes on the crapper, reading an interview with Gore Vidal in Playboy, Rep. Broun could spend a little time actually working on a real solution for sexual assault in the military. [Alternet.org]