Naomi Wolf credit Brian O’Shea

Naomi Wolf

Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love

FoI at Waterstones/
Wed 22 May 2019

Naomi Wolf

Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love

Naomi Wolf credit Brian O’Shea
Wed 22 May 2019,

Bestselling author Naomi Wolf illuminates a dramatic history – how a single English law in 1857 led to a maelstrom, with reverberations lasting down to our day.

That law was the Obscene Publications Act and it was a crucial turning point. Why? Because dissent and morality; ‘deviancy’ and ‘normalcy’; unprintable and printable were suddenly lawful concepts in the modern sense. This new law effectively invented modern obscenity. In a single stroke, not only was love between men illegal, but anything referring to this love also became unspeakable. And writers, editors and printers became the gatekeepers with a responsibility to uphold the morals of society – followed by serious criminal penalties if they didn’t. Wolf describes the ways this set of laws and consolidation of what we would call homophobia and censorship played out. She examines the idea of the state’s purported need and right to police speech – an idea which is with us to this day.

Share this/