UPDATE (4/24/13) – “AB332 Faced Death in Committee, But Passe[d]” –> here
UPDATE (4/17/13) – the FSC has issued a call to action for all members of the adult industry and all friends and fans of adult entertainment.
Please consider writing letters to members of the California State Assembly Labor and Employment Committee by April 24, 2013. If you need inspiration, text and a framework from FSC are here. You may also use any of the points I have outlined below.
UPDATE (4/9/13) – AB332 was approved by the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media committee, with only one opposing vote from Assemblymember Scott Wilk.
The bill now moves to the Labor and Employment Committee, which is expected to hold a hearing on April 24, 2013. That committee is chaired by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (@Roger_Hernandez) and vice-chaired by Assemblymember Mike Morrell (@MikeMorrellGOP).
UPDATE – the hearing has been rescheduled for April 9, 2013. Read about amendments and additions —> here.
* * *
California State Assembly Bill 332 – also known as AB332, officially being tagged on twitter as #AB332 – is not going away. If you are not paying attention to developments regarding this bill AND reaching out to assemblymembers, then you are contributing to its passage.
I’m not joking, it’s like that.
If you do not know what AB332 is, basically:
California State Assemblymember Isadore Hall III recently (mid-February) introduced Assembly Bill 332. Isadore’s proposition would change the California Labor Code to require that all adult performers use “engineering and work practice controls” when performing sex acts in porn.
Specifically, the bill would create a new Labor Code section – Section 6720. Part C of (proposed) Section 6720 reads: “An employer shall maintain engineering and work practice controls sufficient to protect employees from exposure to blood and any potentially infectious materials. Engineering and work practice controls shall include, but are not limited to, the following…”
(1) Simulation of sex acts using acting, production, and postproduction techniques.
(2) Provision of and required use of condoms and other protective barriers whenever acts of vaginal or anal intercourse are filmed. [emphases added]
Following are only some of the reasons why I – a sociologist who is affiliated with some of the top research universities in the country and a person who is very well-versed in the adult community – feel AB332 is extremely problematic and detrimental to adult performers, California residents, the structure of the state overall, and the whole of US culture.
1. AB332 is a violation of civil rights and is anti-choice – regardless of the nature of an option, an option ceases to be an option once that option becomes mandatory. Through its mandates, AB332 is an affront to free creative expression and bodily autonomy.
Further, AB332 champions one version of “safe/r sex” – if one version of sexual expression can be mandated as “correct” …well, what’s next?
2. Condoms and other forms of barrier protection introduce a series of occupational hazards that non-porn performers do not seem to understand. AB332 does not take into consideration the specific nature of adult performers’ work, nor does it consider workers’ insights and experiences.
See —> Tibbals, Chauntelle Anne. 2012. “‘Anything that forces itself into my vagina is by definition raping me…’ – Adult Performers and Occupational Safety and Health.” Stanford Law and Policy Review (SLPR).
3. AB332 attempts to address a problem that is not there. The professional adult content production industry has developed its own system of STI testing and mitigation that works for the community.
See —> Tibbals, Chauntelle Anne. 2010. “From ‘The Devil in Miss Jones’ to ‘DMJ6′ – Power, Inequality, and Consistency in the Content of US Adult Films.” Sexualities.
4a. The State of California cannot afford to lose more jobs and sources of employment, and the adult industry is made up of way more than *just* performers – AB332’s potential negative economic impact is staggering.
4b. In shuttering California’s professional adult content production industry, AB332 will also fracture the existing adult community. Members of the adult community – performers, as well as those who do not work in front of the camera – are still highly stigmatized, judged, and discriminated against in wider culture. Destroying the adult community will effectively destroy a group’s social, emotional, etc support system.
See —> Tibbals, Chauntelle Anne. 2013 (early release 2011). “Sex Work, Office Work – Women Working Behind the Scenes in the US Adult Film Industry.” Gender, Work & Organization.
See also —> Tibbals, Chauntelle Anne. 2013 (forthcoming). “When Law Moves Quicker Than Culture – Key Jurisprudential Regulations Shaping the US Adult Content Production Industry.” St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice.
5. AB332 has the potential to entrap adult content fans and consumers into criminal activity… because people will continue to seek out their preferred content, especially in a situation like this – where “preferred content” is neither a cultural taboo nor illegal outside the US.
(the above referenced peer-reviewed scholarly articles are itemized at www.chauntelletibbals.com and can be found via your local university library)
I will stop there… but not because I’m done – because five+ points is a pretty big start.
You really really REALLY need to pay attention to this bill. The implications of it are so huge and so detrimental to our society and culture… well, it’s almost too much for me to wrap my head around. For those of you who may be thinking “I don’t work in porn, so I don’t care!!” or “I don’t live in California, so I don’t care!!” – mark my words: you need to care because this is going to impact you. (not just “them”)
Now, nothing here is to suggest the adult industry is perfect – it’s not. (nothing is) *BUT* there are many alternative courses of action that could be explored in lieu of AB332 – work on enhancing the quality and accessibility of sex education in California and the US, both for young people AND for adults… collaborative efforts with adult performers, efforts that look to improve occupational safety WITHOUT violating civil rights and destroying livelihoods… and on and on. But no.
The first committee hearing on AB332
is scheduled for Tuesday March 19, 2013 has been rescheduled for Tuesday April 9, 2013. This is the process:
[The March 19th hearing] will be the first action taken on the bill since introduced last month by [Isadore] Hall, a Democrat, who announced the proposal at AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s headquarters, alongside AHF President Michael Weinstein.
The bill starts off at the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media legislative committee…
During the committee hearing, Hall will present the bill to the committee and testimony can be heard in opposition or support to the bill based on analysis of the legislation.
The committee then votes by passing the bill, passing the bill as amended, or defeating the bill.
If after several rounds through committees the bill stays alive, it proceeds to the Senate where the procedure is repeated.
If both houses approve the bill, it then goes to the governor for a veto or signing into law. (here)
In the words of Mo Reese:
AB 332 doesn’t involve the voters, it’s decided by members of the legislature. Contact the Assemblymembers & tell them to vote No.
— Mo Reese (@MOXXX) March 7, 2013
So, contact members of the The Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media committee!! Even if you don’t live in California, please explain to these folks that this is an issue that will impact our culture as a whole. (if you do anything on twitter, remember to add #AB332)
Here’s all their (publicly available) contact info:
Cheryl Brown http://asmdc.org/members/a47/
And please contact me – residents, researchers, assembly members, and more!! Do not hide from this issue, and do not assume it’s taken care of (I’m talking to you, adult industry). We all need to step up in this effort. Now.
Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (me!!) twitter – @drchauntelle
NO EXCUSES – YOU CANNOT COMPLAIN LATER IF YOU DON’T TAKE ACTION NOW!!
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage/PVVOnline, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”