Apr 23, 2013

Williams v. Kinsey argument

I'll say something to this effect today:

Linda Williams does a rigorous job contextualizing and analyzing the stag films she saw from the Kinsey Institute archives. Unfortunately, not everyone is Linda Williams. Access to an archives' wares should not be severely constricted, but it should also be responsibly regulated. Simply allowing everyone to see these films, as she proposes, could result in unwanted controversy. A film like "KKK Night Riders," much less the other racist, sexist or otherwise offensive films in this archive, requires contextualization. It was not collected because the Kinsey Institute simply wanted to preserve something offensive. Williams proposes releasing certain films in a package, as with the French stag film compilation that wound up being distributed in America under the title "The Good Old Naughty Days." But even she confesses that title and the way it was packaged last decade cheapens the films. The majority of audiences who saw this compilation film did get context and only viewed them as mere sex films at which to chuckle. If everyone was Linda Williams, then all of the Institute's stag films should be available without any stipulations. But everyone is not.

above, I did not write. -- Dan S.

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