To Deprave and Corrupt

Obscenity Battles in British Law and Culture

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About the Book

Thousands have run afoul of Britain’s Obscene Publications Act—from Victorian erotica presses to 21st-century dominatrices. At a time when the internet has made sexually explicit material ubiquitous, why are British traditional media still regulated by a vaguely worded law from 1857?
This comprehensive analysis of obscenity in British culture explores what is considered obscene, who gets to decide, and how class, race and gender inform laws regarding adult content. The author describes how obscenity laws disproportionately affect the BDSM subculture, the LGBT community and feminist porn performers.

About the Author(s)

The late Catherine Scott was a freelance writer from Great Britain. She wrote for Ms. magazine, the Daily Telegraph and the Times Literary Supplement.

Bibliographic Details

Catherine Scott
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7283-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3310-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1. The Current Situation 17

2. Then and Now 37

3. Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?! 54

4. A Very Great Mischief 74

5. 20th-Century Smut 90

6. Women Don’t Want That Sort of Thing 106

7. That Special Relationship 124

8. Shoving It Down Our Throats 142

9. Privilege and Platforms: Obscenity in the Modern World 153

Afterword 171

Chapter Notes 177

Bibliography 183

Index 185

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Scott’s breadth of knowledge is astonishing, and her prose is immensely readable (and, at times, very funny indeed): she’s achieved that rare goal of scholarly writing that doesn’t snare the reader at every turn in theoretical thickets of academic jargon.”—Professor Emma Rees, Director, Institute of Gender Studies, University of Chester
  • “Superb, erudite, well-written and interesting.”—Neil Brown, technology lawyer