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Gloria Steinem Among Signatories Of Letter Of Support For Anti-Porn Legislation

Gloria Steinem Among Signatories Of Letter Of Support For Anti-Porn Legislation

Published March 20, 2013

A letter has been sent to Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson expressing support for his efforts toward restricting access to online porn, and the signatories include none other than noted feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem, Smugan reports.
Dated 18 March, the letter commends Ögmundur and the government’s efforts to combat the harmful effects of violent pornography.
“Especially commendable is your government’s commitment to protect children from the harms of pornography. We recognize in other contexts (e.g., advertising) that children’s unique developmental needs mandate protecting them from predatory corporate interests. As pornography invades children’s lives and psyches at ever earlier ages and with ever more distressing effects, this recognition must be applied to pornography. It is naïve and unrealistic to expect parents and schools to counter effectively the influence of this powerful and pervasive industry. Rather, society must act on its compelling interest in providing a safe and nourishing environment for children. We applaud your government’s effort to exercise collective responsibility for children’s well-being by placing limits on a toxic media environment from which they cannot otherwise be sufficiently shielded,” the letter reads, in part.
Also listed among the more than 100 signatories is comedic actress-cum-politician Rosanne Barr, feminist activist and scholar John Stoltenberg, and many other noted scholars, writers, and women’s rights workers.
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March 18, 2013
Ögmundur Jónasson
Innanríkisráðuneytið
Sölvhólsgötu
Reykjavík
Dear Mr. Jónasson,
We are writing to express our support for current efforts in Iceland to develop and implement legal limits on violent Internet pornography. As scholars, medical and public health professionals, social service providers, and community activists, we commend your government’s determination to confront the harms of pornography. As part of a comprehensive approach to violence prevention, sex education, and public health, legally limiting Internet pornography will reduce the power of this multi-billion dollar global industry to distort and diminish the lives, opportunities, and relationships of Icelandic citizens.
Especially commendable is your government’s commitment to protect children from the harms of pornography. We recognize in other contexts (e.g., advertising) that children’s unique developmental needs mandate protecting them from predatory corporate interests. As pornography invades children’s lives and psyches at ever earlier ages and with ever more distressing effects, this recognition must be applied to pornography. It is naïve and unrealistic to expect parents and schools to counter effectively the influence of this powerful
and pervasive industry. Rather, society must act on its compelling interest in providing a safe and nourishing environment for children. We applaud your government’s effort to exercise collective responsibility for children’s well-being by placing limits on a toxic media environment from which they cannot otherwise be sufficiently shielded.
We understand that your deliberations remain at an early stage and that many important aspects of the proposed legislation remain to be worked out. That said, we commend your government’s stated intention to define pornography narrowly (as sexual material involving violence and degradation), thus ensuring Icelandic citizens’ access to the fullest possible range of online information consistent with the protection of children and of women’s civil right to equality. As your efforts continue to develop, we would urge you not to be dissuaded by dark invocations of totalitarianism or of an unregulated black market in pornography. The pornography industry could hardly be any less regulated than it is currently, nor could the motivations and methods of the Icelandic initiative differ more starkly from those of authoritarian governments.
From adopting the so-called “Nordic” approach to prostitution in 2009 to banning strip clubs in 2010, and having stood virtually alone among nations in holding banks to account in the wake of the global financial crisis, Iceland is a global leader both in gender equality and in confronting corporate power. We are inspired by your boldness and innovation in protecting children, honoring women’s rights to safety and equality, and maintaining the integrity of Icelandic culture against the onslaught of an unrestrained industry of sexual exploitation. As a group of similarly committed scholars, activists, and professionals across the globe, we stand with you and look forward to seeing the final result of your efforts.



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Red Cross, UNHCR —And Prison Director— Agree: Stop Arresting Irregular Migrants

Red Cross, UNHCR —And Prison Director— Agree: Stop Arresting Irregular Migrants

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“I don’t understand how a society can afford to break people this way,” said the UNHCR’s Pia Prytz Phiri at the Red Cross’ press meeting last Tuesday, referring to the conditions asylum seekers in Iceland have endured in recent years. Lawyer Katrín Oddsdóttir has described the situation of at least one imprisoned asylum seeker as slavery. Phiri says the UNHCR will continue to press Iceland to cease arresting and imprisoning those who, seeking asylum, enter the country on false IDs. This was reported by DV. On Sunday, RÚV reported that Páll Winkel, Director of the Icelandic Prison Service, called the

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Gáttaþefur Breaks Nose, Will Have To Wait Month For Treatment

Gáttaþefur Breaks Nose, Will Have To Wait Month For Treatment

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The eleventh Yule Lad, Gáttaþefur (Door Sniffer) was admitted to hospital yesterday after slipping on a stretch of icy pavement in downtown Reykjavík. “I had just caught the scent of some Laufabrauð when I slipped and fell flat on my face,” Gáttaþefur told the Grapevine over the phone. “I was really lucky that a passerby stopped and drove me to the hospital but since I got here nothing has happened. Apparently my case is non-critical.” Gáttaþefur, who leaves his home in the mountains each December 22, is known for his trademark large nose and his unparalelled sense of smell which

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John Grant Presents Icelandic Music In BBC Special

John Grant Presents Icelandic Music In BBC Special

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American musician, John Grant, who recently relocated to Reykjavík hosted a winter solstice music special on BBC 6 called “Songs from a Dark Place”, reports RÚV. The show documented the rise of Iceland’s music scene and included tracks by Björk, The Sugarcubes, Sigur Rós, Ben Frost and contributions from Ólöf Arnalds, Ásgeir and Mammút and Fufanu, who were recently handpicked by Damon Albarn to support him at the Royal Albert Hall. Listen to the programme yourself on the BBC iPlayer Radio.

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National University Hospital Dealing With Leaky Roof

National University Hospital Dealing With Leaky Roof

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The Reykjavík Fire Department were called to Landspítalinn (the National University Hospital of Iceland) yesterday to deal with several roof leaks, reports RÚV. As the temperature rose and the ice on the roof began to melt, water started to pour through holes in the ceilings of the main building and the psych ward. Although water poured into a few offices and pooled in the hallways, little damage has been reported. The Icelandic healthcare system has been straining under the weight of the national doctor strike and austerity measures. To read a comprehensive overview of the state of the Icelandic healthcare system

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Jon Hamm Claims To Have A List Of Reasons To Like Iceland

Jon Hamm Claims To Have A List Of Reasons To Like Iceland

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As reported by RÚV, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm appeared on Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show, last Monday. While admitting that he had never been to Iceland, after Ferguson briefed him on former Mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr and his Best Party, Hamm replied: “This is why the list of why I like Iceland keeps growing and growing.” Hamm’s gestures at that point seemed to indicate he had a somewhat extensive list in mind.

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Artificial Christmas Trees More Popular Than Actual Pine

Artificial Christmas Trees More Popular Than Actual Pine

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If you spend your holidays at an Icelandic household, you will most likely see the living room decorated, or perhaps occupied, by green plastic in the shape of a pine tree. The artificial Christmas tree seems to be taking over. It is likely that you will be served smoked pork —hamborgarhryggur— on Christmas Eve, and you will almost unavoidably be offered smoked lamb or mutton —hangikjöt— on Christmas day. This is according to a recent poll, conducted by MMR. Most likely to deviate in any of the above are supporters of the Pirate Party, and the poll’s highest wage group.

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