"Playboy go to hell"

The magazine's plans for a local edition in Indonesia anger antiporn activists.

Published February 10, 2006 8:30PM (EST)

News of Playboy's plans to produce an Indonesian edition of the magazine has aggravated an already intense debate over pornography in the country, according to a BBC report. Since early last month, a series of demonstrations have been staged in the country's capital of Jakarta in support of an antipornography bill that is currently being drafted. Recently, protesters have donned signs reading, "Playboy go to hell."

Interestingly though, the magazine will not feature its typical nude pictorials. David Walker, editorial director of the Indonesian edition, told the Guardian, "Any magazine we launch in Indonesia would be focused on many of the other things Playboy is well known for: high-quality editorial, including interviews and feature stories written by renowned local writers and journalists." (I guess subscribers will be able to believably claim: "I read it for the articles.")

Playboy's entrance comes at an interesting time, considering that the antipornography bill is expected to pass in the next six months. The bill would "make it an offense to show what it calls sensual body parts, including the navel, hips and thighs." But offenders wouldn't receive a harmless slap on the wrist -- try two years in jail.

Some argue that the legislation is about anything but pornography. Women's rights activist Husna Mulya told the BBC, "The people behind this are using religious values to make their argument, especially Muslim groups. It is not stated in the bill, but the standard being used is the standard of Sharia law." Mulya argues that more than pornography, legislators are offended by the current Indonesian fashion of wearing slim-fitting pants and cleavage-revealing tops.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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