|Lillian Gish goes to the scaffold once more in an adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.|
|Thomas Bowdler's legacy|
Nearly two centuries after Bowdler's death, writers and artists must still contend with the prevailing moral attitudes of their time. This blog, for instance, has been created on the Blogger platform. Blogger, in turn, is owned by Google. And Google has, I can assure you, an absolute horror of sex. They're not alone. Lots of people have a horror of sex. It disturbs them to a greater extent than any act of violence ever could. For many of these people, nudity and sex are synonymous. The image of a bared female breast is, for these people, a source of great discomfort. That's just a reality. It's how people think. So what does this mean for me? Well, for the last few months, it has meant that my blog has had a "Content Warning" screen that readers had to click through before they could read whatever I'd just written. I opted to put one on there myself so that Google wouldn't do it for me. That would have been far too embarrassing. To be honest, though, I hated that warning, even though it was self-inflicted. I cringed every time it popped up on my own screen. Yes, even I had to click through it to reach my own blog. Even though I have never profited one dime from Dead 2 Rights, that warning made me feel like a pornographer. Like Hester Prynne, I was wearing a badge of sexual shame. Hers was red, mine was orange.
So this week, I did what I felt I had to do: I bowdlerized the holy hell out of Dead 2 Rights. In essence, I performed an exorcism on this blog... or, perhaps more accurately, a sexorcism. As far as I can remember, not a word of the text has been altered, though some links have been removed, as have some embedded videos. Most crucially, over 50 images have been voluntarily altered rather than excised. Exposed breasts, vaginas, penises, and even asses have been dutifully blacked out. As you might imagine, this almost exclusively affects the Ed Wood Wednesdays series. I'm very proud of the work I have done on those articles, and I want them to remain easily available and accessible. If that means putting black rectangles over some boobies, so be it.
Thanks for understanding,