Never mind nipples, the law is an ass | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Never mind nipples, the law is an ass

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The debate on free speech is heating up around the world, from the tumult of the anti-Islam video to the US boycott of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's UN speech and the tyranny of extremism laid bare in Salman Rushdie's newly published memoir. 

And here's how Thailand contributes to that burning issue, wrapped as usual in the fog of absurdity and phoney moralism: nipples are bad, particularly female ones, and those under 18 should be banned from seeing them.

It's more useless hysteria. The case involves a Thai film called Jan Dara, an adaptation of a famous erotic novel in which a 1930s aristocratic household bristles with carnal excess. The movie, which features a liberal amount of topless females (and transsexuals), has been rated 18-plus, a generous decision from the censors known for their superhuman sensitivity to naked flesh and political allusions. Two weeks after the film's Sept 6 release, Phetchaburi senator Sumol Suttawiriyawat cried foul that the film had too much sex in it and that the Culture Ministry, another super-sensitive organ, was doing nothing to protect young audiences, supposedly from those venomous nipples.

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