How can I start such post… Finding the right words to express my feelings is much more difficult in light of such news and the opinion I’d like to share with you, people of the world.
As many of you already know, on January 7th, two gunmen killed journalists of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. I got the news about 2 hours later and felt a pain I never had before. Not because I was friends or family with the victims, not because I liked their newspaper (their silly drawings made me smile sometimes but I was not interested in buying it), but because out of sheer hate for a couple silly and stupid caricatures 12 people died and 11 wounded. Because two brothers disliked something and expressed their point of view with war weapons, when they could have been sitting down and talk to them and understand that it was never bad-minded, never insulting, never hating, just sympathy and daring humor to make you laugh (maybe) and make you think (always). They wanted to offend, but they never enjoyed hurting people’s feelings. I hope now that people get more aware of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, that existing satirical newspapers continue their work and new ones appear, that haters remember that the best way to express your anger against them is by sending them your own caricatures, that people remind how easy it is to turn groups against each other when they must accept their differences and live together in peace.
Lastly about this event: I’d like to thank you, people all around the world, for the heartwarming messages I saw online and in the gatherings in major cities. I know
some most of you have low esteem about France, land of the arrogant cheesy-frog-eating wine drunkards and the scooter-punk socialist president with that gross dick-shaped steel mess we call “Eiffel tower” from up where you can breathe all of Paris’ air pollution after getting your shoes in dog shit several times walking a stupid avenue that’s impossible to pronounce correctly. Of course some is true, some is not, it can offend French people, and against that we make fun of you too, and it’s perfectly okay because we still manage to live in peace with each other and do good things together.
Your countries and your freedoms
The thing that made me write this post is also because Onahole Review gets visitors from all around the world, including some where the subjects published (sex toys, masturbation, gender freedom,..) are offensive or downright illegal. Yes, some people are at risk for simply accessing this blog, even if they personally disagree with the content. The internet may be worldwide, in some places there is pressure against website editors to make them comply with specific regulations, in some others the government and/or private companies simply censor a part or all the website to prevent the people accessing it, no matter what their personal opinions are.
Nearly 1 out of 3 visitors are from the USA. I know Americans love their Constitution and it’s amendments, including the 1st that protects freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Yet “fuck”s get censored on TV, caricatures and satiric content is uncommon since newspapers won’t take the risk to loose readers or even receive a class-action in the face, and muslims are too often regarded as “terrorists unless proven otherwise”. In some states, some content of the blog could be outlaw.
Russia ranked itself second recently in my stats. Russia actively censors press and all disrespect for the orthodox religion (see: Pussy Riot), up to specific laws against the “LGBT-lobby”. I wouldn’t dare drawing Putin, if I was Russian. No doubt the blog could get blocked.
Canada. I take a wild guess: less freedom than in California.
Germany. Freedom of expression and the press is good, but you better not talk bad about religion too often there. There’s something underway, as the PEGIDA movement shows.
UK, the brothers I like to pick on sometimes. Freedoms are fairly good, unless it’s about the royal family. And oh: they got something against porn lately. Wouldn’t be surprised some ISPs already block the blog.
Australia. I don’t know much about freedoms there, maybe less good than New Zealand ?
France. We love to strut about human rights and all, yet freedoms have subtle limits: defamation and calumny for example are illegal, and many courts are overloaded with those. Defamation is often used against the press, even the little bloggers that just talk bad about a company. For example, Tamatoys could attack me for defamation because I made low ratings of their products. IMO, it’s a law that is too broad. Religion is something to deal with softly, there are laws against sects, and you better not pick on catholics or muslims unless you like receiving death threats from angry haters. There is still strong religious influence, as the same-sex marriage law showed. And for them, the blog would be on the takedown list.
Japan. Freedoms there have blurry limits, the press has usually no problem badtalking the government yet none would dare say anything bad about the emperor (or try to do so, and you get a massive press backslash). Caricatures are rare, I think it’s partly due to a different culture: all Japanese think they have almost the same DNA, it wouldn’t come to their mind drawing exaggerated physical appearances to make fun of somebody. Sexual content is somewhat getting repressed these last years, with the “obscenity law” requiring censorship of the genitalia in porn.
And then, countries like Venezuela, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Serbia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, where it can be real bad to visit this blog because anything satirical or sexual gets from a slap on the hand up to death penalty.
Freedoms are gained and defended by using them
Use all the freedoms you have, and if enough people do so then freedoms get more easily widened. Also, let the magic of the internet do it’s work: people from all around the world now have the chance to talk to each other, to share their culture, to express themselves without requiring the government’s authorization, get to know each other and to build a better future together. That’s how you make peace. That’s how you progress.
I made this blog because I had fun with weird Japanese sex toys and wanted to share my opinions about them. We are now 3 weirdos publishing our content here and having lots of fun, and we will keep doing it as long as we have fun doing it. Lots of other people are having fun too now thanks to us, and that makes us even more happy. I personally learned many things, I met awesome people, I discovered so much different fantasies, sexual orientations, gender freedoms and means to have fun. But then there are also people that are offended, and I well know what has offended people, including:
- explicit content with uncensored genitalia
- questionable packaging
- Japanese onahole users not wanting their hobby spreading worldwide
- reviews being not objective
- showing myself wearing female-type clothing
- promoting waste of sperm
- me being French and putting spaces before question marks
It never feels good when people are sad, deceived or angry on things you spent so much time on, but creating content is also knowing that it won’t be accepted by everyone, it may offend, and even hurt people. You can’t make everyone happy, and that’s okay. It may offend and open debates, and that’s okay. It may hurt, and that’s okay if you don’t mean to hurt and accept those who are, so you won’t hurt them again. Never turn down those who tell you that they got hurt, because it’s always much easier to click on the “Like” button than to express a different opinion, explaining why it hurts your feelings. Talk, debate, understand, accept, create, get better together, be friends with your differences or peacefully ignore each other if you can’t. Never censor. Never harm. Never kill.
What would a censorship look like ? Here 🙂