The state of California, in another attempt to protect people from themselves, proposed a workplace safety regulation that would require performers in pornographic movies to wear protective gear, including face shields, in some cases.
Of all the things that come from the human body that have the capacity to transmit a pathogen, I can really only think of one that would be a concern in this context. Then again, I have no clue what sort of porn you watch, so I may be way off on this one.
We should pitch “porn actor” to Mike Rowe for an episode of Dirty Jobs.
Some jobs carry a risk of contact with substances, principally blood, that come from other people’s bodies and can carry some nasty things. Even though most of those things are curable, the instinct to flinch is still there when a spurt of blood is coming your way.
Despite what extensive scarring, measurable hearing loss, and occasional confusion from concussions, I’m a big fan of protective gear. I wear hearing protection when I run the Shop-Vac because hearing damage is cumulative and I want to maintain what hearing I have left.
That actress cum spy that survived the basement gunfight in Inglorious Basterds should have been shouting the rest of her lines because you ain’t heard loud until you’ve had an indoor shootout.
Every human endeavor involves risk; some more than others. Aviation, an inherently risky occupation, goes to extremes to mitigate risk because, as the saying goes, “the procedures are written in blood.”
Long before governmental regulatory bodies, whose authority ultimately boils down to men with guns coming to your house and dragging you off to a cage, people within an industry would determine the level of risk they were willing to accept and modify the way they conducted their business to manage the dangers. The people who actually performed the work, the least experienced of whom presumably knew more about their industry than anyone sitting on a safety committee in an air conditioned meeting room, were presumed to be sane, reasonably cautious adults, who could choose the level of risk versus reward they consented to in their lives.
Imagine that. A time when mentally sound adults were left alone by government to make their own choices in life and live with the consequences.
By the slimmest margin of votes, the Cal/OSHA busybody bureaucrats, whose understanding of the adult entertainment industry is at most limited to being consumers of finished product, nearly became white knights for the pitiful wretches who can find work in no other industry that does not involve body fluids flying through the air.
George Orwell coined the term “Big Brother” to describe the all-knowing, overarching government in the dystopian novel 1984. A much more evocative and sinister image would have come from naming the government “Daddy.”
Ever since the institution of the Great Society, that is what government has attempted to become; a replacement Daddy for all the fatherless children created by reliance on government for basic needs and policies that stifle innovation and risk taking.
Don’t believe for an instant government cares one way or another whether any one of us contracts Hepatitis while filming a sex act. What these petty tyrants most covet reduces to two intertwined things; power and money.
Power, not just for the self-indulgent pleasure of bossing around their societal underlings, but to regulate businesses out of existence. At its heart, pornography is a business that creates idealized fantasies where life’s realities of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and body odor don’t exist.
The reason the adult industry doesn’t put Universal Precautions front and center in their films is because they know the product would not sell, if they did.
The people involved in the industry day in and day out know the tastes and proclivities of their audience better than a collection of ninnies gathered around a faux-mahogany table. Government mandates of safety equipment are on par with limiting soda cup sizes. If frustrates the ability of society’s doers to meet a demand in the market.
If California doesn’t like pornography, they should use the political process already in place to ban it outright instead, of slowly strangling it to death through regulation.
More than the heady euphoria of suffocating free enterprise, the miniature Mussolinis of low-level government who lust for money and power will miss no opportunity to manufacture a crisis where none exists.
Growing up during the hysteria of AIDS panic in the eighties, Public Service Announcements would have viewers believe that even with a condom, any sex act was gambling with life itself, and to forgo prophylactic protection entirely guaranteed a case of the Hiv.
The Centers for Disease Control and the various organizations further down the public health pyramid scheme have kept the AIDS money rolling in for well over two decades by crying HIV wolf long after knowing full well that avoidance of intravenous drug use, prostitutes, and homosexual sex reduce the chances of being infected to virtually zero; far less than the odds of dying in a car crash, by shark attack, or on a Malaysian Airlines flight.
Jesus waterskiing Christ. Stop slammin’ the H in your arm and the D in your ass, and you can just about be guaranteed to never need an AZT cocktail.
The unfortunate truth is there is neither money nor power in allowing people to make informed decisions about their lives by weighing the risks and rewards of their choices.
Adult entertainers know the risks they accept, and if they don’t, that is their fault for lack of due diligence. The information is widely available to anyone interested enough to search it out, and claims of ignorance are willful blindness.
An internet connection and slightly more than one minute of research on the Google machine (which is about a minute more research than I typically conduct), revealed an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States are infected with HIV out of a population of 320 million. An on-going Gallup poll lists the percentage of the US population that self-identifies as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender” as 3.8 percent.
To make the math easy and avoid all the silliness of discussing the statistically non-existent transgender group, let’s assume an even split into male and female. That makes 1.9 percent of the US population, or right around six million men, who are big fans of other men’s penis.
I might have fifty friends, if I looked really hard and broadened the definition. So, going by the numbers, one of them should be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, but I can’t think of whom. Either somebody is keeping a secret or I need to have a long talk with myself.
My latent homosexuality aside, the fact remains there are specific choices in life that can reduce, and in many cases eliminate, specific consequences. And quite honestly, any risk a person wants to accept, whether in the profession or recreational realms, is theirs to take, and none of the government’s business.
The willingness to take your lumps for miscalculations while trying to reap the fruits of effort disempowers the trolls who attempt to set up shop under the bridges of life and extort tolls from those adventurous enough to cross.
My daddy died some time ago, and I’m not interested in the government filling the void. I prefer to build my own bridges in my own way. And I don’t need a white knight to vanquish trolls.
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