Quick Hit: Itty Bitty Titties Banned in Australian Porn

So many jokes come to mind here, but I’m going to leave the analysis to Ms. Naughty on Australia’s weird ban:

Why ban small boobs? I can only assume it stems from paranoia that flat chests somehow stir up the pedophiles. And you only need to mention that “p” word to start a full-scale moral panic in Parliament.
Shall we put such hysteria aside and look at what this ruling is saying to Australian women? Basically, it’s classing a certain normal female body type as obscene. It’s declaring all flat chests to be automatically juvenile, something that should not be viewed by anyone because of a fear that it will stir up “base instincts” in certain people.
Can the Classification Board be any more insulting or sexist?

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36 Comments

  1. makomk
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if some country was going to try this. It’s already legally risky to possess pornographic drawings of women with small breasts in some places. For example, the UK government recently passed a law prohibiting the possession of pornographic drawings of children, defined to include any non-photographic image where “the predominant impression conveyed” is that the person is under 18.

  2. hardlycore
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    The more I think about this, the more upset it gets me – the rule itself is so arbitrary it seems impossible to enforce. As if small-breasted women (myself included) needed any more of the idea that our bodies are inherently unsexy.

  3. CaptainFelt
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    God i hope Australia’s crazy laws don’t drift over here to New Zealand.

  4. Kathleen Hagerty
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Ban?! What about the people who like small breasts? Are they all pedophiles? Hey, guess what, unless you’re fantasizing about having sex with a child, and women with small boobs aren’t children by the way, you’re not a pedophile. Gawd.

  5. daveNYC
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I believe that the Australians would first check to see if the women they are interested also have full Brazilians.
    I’m not sure if I’m joking.

  6. Fitz
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t heard about any legislation involving sheep, so i believe you’re safe for the time being.

  7. Principes
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Does this mean that Australia will soon be instituting mandatory boob jobs for small breasted women? In the name of public safety of course.

  8. ohdesy
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    For real. I could get behind mandatory body hair on pornographic actresses . . . . Also not sure if I’m kidding or not.

  9. Lydia
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I agree, ohdesy, and I’m not sure if I’m kidding either. At any rate, it would certainly make a lot more sense than banning small breasts, based on the implicit assumption that big boobs=womanhood.

  10. Antigone
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm… This regulation is incredibly stupid! I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say it’s a condemnation of small-breasted women though. I think that’s overlooking the complete lack of thought that whoever passed this regulation possessed.
    It’s subjective enough that I doubt it will be applied. If it is though… I can forsee some fun protests!

  11. Lydia
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Read Ms. Naughty’s article. What really confuses me is that she also alludes to a requirement that inner labia be photo-shopped out. Wtf? If anything would make a woman look more like a girl it would be removing her inner labia, since they don’t become prominent until puberty. The only vulvae you really see without noticeable inner labia are those of little girls.
    But obviously Australia is pretty confused. If their laws dealing with ACTUAL pedophilia and child sexual abuse are anywhere near as toothless as ours here in the U.S. than they’ve really got some ‘splainin’ to do. When it comes to pedophilia, rarely have I seen an issue that is more able to whip up so many emotions in people without producing any sensible ideas for solutions. If you want to do something about the sexual abuse of children, why not beef up the laws that protect actual children and then enforce those laws while you’re at it. Instead of telling small-breasted women that they’re children and that anyone who might like looking at them is a pedophile. I mean, for crying out loud…

  12. nobody
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget that female ejaculation is also banned, because its- 1) urination and 2) “abhorrent”

  13. LurkinMerkin
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m calling my boyfriend right now to tell him that he’s a pedophile for finding me attractive. I guess I’ll also have to either get breast implants or never have sex again. Thanks a lot, Australia.

  14. qtiger
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I think that we’re at the point where all men are considered either pedophiles or potential pedophiles.
    I’m not sure if it’s just another part of ‘think of the children’ hysteria, an extension of ‘men are too stupid to control their penises,’ or both.

  15. aleks
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Small boobs in porn? Even if that’s a problem it can’t be one that comes up very often.

  16. SecondBeach
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    What. The. Fuck.

  17. nikki#2
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, me and my itty bitty titties are not pleased.

  18. lilacsigil
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s not true, but the ban on female ejaculation in porn *is* true, as is an ongoing attack on internet freedom. More details on the internet issues and more details on small breasts in porn.

  19. Melimalle
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    That was one of my first thoughts because we do have a tendency to mimic Oz laws. Second thought was that I refuse to move to a country that doesn’t allow me to look at small breasts!

  20. RespectIsSexy
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone else feel that the tone of this post would be less jokey and more genuinely outraged if it were an ordinance banning large women for bullshit health reasons or something like that?

  21. Kurumi & Cheese
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Sorry this is a little long … just kind of venting about breasts:
    I’ve always preferred smaller breasts from a fashion standpoint. I’ve had a big chest and a small chest, and I find clothes look a lot better and fit better on me when I have little to no boobage. It’s just my preference/opinion.
    I collect dolls, and I prefer dolls that are similarly small-chested for the same reason. When I sew or dress the dolls, a flatter chest is easier to tailor for and easier to fit. But a lot of doll companies make dolls with huge breasts (or even giant breasts) and I always chalked it up to the companies being run by men and the sculpts being done by men. In large part, they are.
    Among a lot of female collectors in western countries who buy female dolls, I find that there is a preference for big breasts. Because, they say, big breasts indicate maturity. “It means she’s a woman, not a little girl.” And I go … “Huh.” Because my bra size is something ridiculously AAA and I’m 26. My body shape isn’t that of a kid. I have hips and a defined waist, but I just have really flat breasts. I don’t gain a lot of body fat on my torso, so I don’t have a big chest, and my chest is always the first to go if I lose weight.
    So I’m not an adult? I’m not “mature?” I’m not a woman?
    My mom always got angry at me when I said I liked having a flat chest. Because she saw breasts as these huge indicators of adult womanhood. I never understood why she would be so seethingly angry at me for preferring my body one way or the other, but she seems to place a HUGE value on having breasts. Her back problems would greatly benefit from weight loss. All her extra weight is around her stomach, so it’s like she’s been pregnant … for the past 10 years. But she adamantly refuses to do anything to lose weight because she’s so afraid her breasts will get smaller.
    Why are breasts so important? They’re just sacks of fat. SACKS OF FAT. They don’t make you more mature, they don’t make you more ladylike, they don’t make you an adult, they don’t make you more anything. Except maybe heavier or lighter. Or more or less able to buy blouses. 12-year-olds grow giant breasts overnight. Adults like me have nearly flat chests. They don’t mean anything. They are not that important. If you want to have babies you can breastfeed no matter what size they are. If you don’t want babies, they are purely ornamental and serve no purpose except to fill out your clothes. They are really not important. If you like them touched during sex, the size still doesn’t matter.
    I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. Breast size means NOTHING. It changes NOTHING.
    And yet it’s this hugely important indicator of somethingorother, and people get really hung up about it all the time and tease each other (even as adults) and make a big deal (like my mom RE mine) and so on and so forth. And this sort of crap just reinforces all of that bs. Breast size is important and means something.
    NO IT DOES NOT.
    There are far better indicators of adulthood on a physical level. Body shape is not 100%, but hair is a pretty good one. Except we like to shave all that off (omg gross hair ew mammals). How about having porn actresses flash their passports first? That seems to be a much better indicator of maturity. (The birthdate, not the actual passport.)

  22. Melanie
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Is that true? =O (that it’s not allowed for those reasons, not is it true that it’s ‘abhorrent’)

  23. Nancy Shrew
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    This is quite possibly the stupidest modern law I have ever heard of.

  24. gadgetgal
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    I think the law as it is written is fine so long as no one goes crazy and starts deliberately banning any images like you’ve mentioned above, e.g. small boobs rather than child porn. The law actually states this:
    (Restricted Classification – publications that) “describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not)”
    Unfortunately it’s then all down to the prosecutor, judges, jury, etc. etc. but I think that’s the only way you could do it anyway.
    I know everyone here is looking at it from the extreme view, which would be terrible if they started banning artworks or obviously older women with smaller boobs, but I have a bit of inside info on this type of porn because one of my friends at university did it. She did quite a lot of print and video porn because it was quite good money for very little effort – I have no probs with that. Having seen it (and her) I DID have a problem with the fact that they were using her because she looked about 12 years old – perfectly legal in most places (including the UK) so long as you include phrases like “barely legal” or you say “she’s a virgin except she’s been with 2 women”, again, by implication, she’s young but not too young (even though she’s wearing kids clothes, moaning in a high voice, saying “it hurts” and banging a really old dude).
    Maybe I’m seeing it from a different perspective – over here page 3 is the thing, it’s seen as harmless fun, but they had to have a crackdown on it because a few years ago it was fine for a 16 year old to do it, and they started having 15 year olds in bikinis or underwear with countdowns to their birthdays when you could see their breasts. I don’t know if you have anything quite that extreme in the US that’s as mainstream (these are national newspapers, kids can and do buy them) but I think that and the porn I mentioned above is the kind of thing they’re really trying to counteract.
    As I said, though, ANY law that is misused is a bad thing – hopefully lobby groups and civil liberty groups in Australia will do their best to try and make sure people and publications aren’t being unfairly targeted.

  25. Melissa
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Well this might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while.
    I can pretty much get behind the idea that women in porn should look indisputably over the age of 18. But I fail to see what breast size has to do with that. Plenty of children under 18 have large breasts, and plenty of adult women have small ones. This is bullshit.

  26. Toongrrl
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    What ever happened to ” When
    a woman sleeps with me, I
    yell ‘Thank You!’” ?

  27. vhs
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Even though it’s somewhat of a stretch to say, that “small breasts” are explicitly banned, it’s also a stretch to say that it’s simply not true.
    Australia has old-fashioned censorship. Materials have to go through an official board of censors for being approved and classified. Material not approved or determined to be “Refusal to Classify” is in fact illegal to possess in parts of Australia and illegal to distribute in other parts. What is more concerning, though, is that Australia is considering a China-like mandatory internet-filter where everything on the “RC”-list (the blacklist) may or may not be blocked.
    Back to the issue of the breasts and the article claiming it’s not true at all. The article does in fact quote that there has been at least 3 cases of material being blacklisted due to breast sizes.
    No, breast size is not a formal and explicit requirement. And the original article did not claim that either – they claimed that it appeared to them, that it was a factor in what got censored. And the article you link to confirms that. Although it may not have been many cases breast size is clearly one of the factors that they use in blacklisting material – according to this article it has been the determining factor at least 3 times. No, pictures of small breasts are not explicitly “banned” but it is one among other determining factors that can get materials banned.
    BTW. It is not just breast sizes and porn that is censored in Australia. Among the illegal porn is anything deemed “unnatural” or “offensive” such as spanking and, bizarrely, body piercings. But the blacklist guidelines includes material that may glorify acts of crime such as graffiti, information about euthanasia, drugs and … this one is good: “revolting or abhorrent phenomena” which may “offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety”!
    All of this may or may not become blocked from the internet in Australia if the law passes (they are not clear about whether they want to use the entire blacklist as a filter or something less restrictive).

  28. GalFawkes
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    You know this law would at least make a lick of sense if they outlawed a lack of pubic hair, but noooooooooooo. This is less about forcing women in porn to look more adult and more about further enforcing narrow beauty standards. Boo.

  29. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    It depends what type of porn you look at.
    Yes, a LOT of US-produced pornography has images of extremely large breasted women – but not all porn is like that.
    In particular, a lot of porno from Russia, the Ukraine and Japan shows images of small breasted women (maybe because women from those places are less likely to be busty).

  30. TD
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I believe that those are the two possibilities for its ban, neither has been explicitly stated as the reason.

  31. TD
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I can pretty much get behind the idea that women in porn should look indisputably over the age of 18.
    Yet, we have cases in the states where girls have taken pictures of themselves and been charged with child pornography if they are minors.
    Are we also going to see cases from Australia where 20 year olds take pictures of themselves but are then later deemed by a court to look ‘too young’ and charged with child pornography? If we add an exemption for her, what about her boyfriend? Would too adults who are able to enter into any legal contract and engage in any activity be barred from looking at digital images of each other naked because a court deems one of them to have an inappropriate body?

  32. sess
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes, those are the specific reasons cited in the press release from the ASP (which is against the bans): http://www.sexparty.org.au/index.php/press-releases/619-depictions-of-female-orgasm-being-banned-by-classification-board

  33. Tracey T
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Not mandatory, and for “psychological reasons”, but only for military members.
    http://www.news.com.au/navy-defends-breast-implants/story-e6frfkp9-1111114427036

  34. Melissa
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Wait, whoa, that’s not remotely what I said.
    Privately transmitted photos being passed on and put in the public sphere against the will of the subject of those photos is an entirely unrelated issue. And it’s a serious issue. And yes, I do hope that charges (whether they’re child pornography charges, sexual assault/harassment charges, whatever works) are brought against the people who send those photos. (Remember, not the subjects of the photos, but the people who spread them without the consent of the subject.) But I fail to see what any of that has to do with refraining from using underage girls (or women who look underage) in mainstream porn.
    If you want to disagree with my statements, you’re certainly free to do so. Just make sure you’re disagreeing with what I actually said rather than some entirely unrelated issue.

  35. TD
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Wait, whoa, that’s not remotely what I said.
    Privately transmitted photos

    Forget the rest of it, just privately transmitted photos. No distribution beyond the intended recipients.
    The thing is, if we’re going to argue about whether the person ‘looks’ of age rather then dealing with objective facts of if they are or are not, (when they are available) we open women who are clearly of age to being prosecuted for taking a photo of themselves. We open their spouses and boyfriends/girlfriends up to prosecution because the adult woman they are in a relationship with is deemed by a court to look too young.
    Certainly that is not something that you proposed, it is the consequence of what you proposed.

  36. everybodyever
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    For one thing, this seems to be a pretty unconfirmed report. The links all trace back to the Web site of Australia’s Sex Party, not to any official documentation, as this blog points out. (Of course, the stipulation that “depictions of persons who appear to be under 18 must be refused classification” is itself problematic.)
    For another, if this report WERE true, what about it is worthy of “so many jokes?” I’m disturbed that Feministing seems so amused and unconcerned by the threat of a national censor’s exclusion of all actresses of a certain body type from porn. I agree with the other commenter here who speculated that y’all would be up in arms if, say, fat women were the ones banned.

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