Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Think of the children

Not irrelevant to the post I might eventually write at some point during my lifetime about young people and sex: I see that Perez Hilton could conceivably be charged with distributing child porn, which according to the article carries a mandatory minimum 15 year sentence, for linking to an upskirt underpantsless photograph of seventeen and a half year old Miley Cyrus.

Now, from what the article says, no one is actually charging him as of yet. But I hope we can all see past the natural disgust we feel towards Perez Hilton, and towards the concept of upskirt shots, to see how patently ludicrous even the possibility, even the suggestion, that someone could be imprisoned for fifteen years for not taking, not posting, but linking to a photograph, taken in public, that includes a glimpse of a vagina belonging to a woman half a year away from an arbitrary "age of majority."

I mean, it's absurd to call that porn, let alone criminal child porn. Our society's attitudes about sex are insane. That includes both what I've just described and the attitude that leads to the idea that taking and "distributing" such a picture is desirable. In fact, they're the same fucking attitudes.

Incidentally, I stumbled upon that article because it was linked to in the sidebar of this Greenwald article, which is overall his usual decent quality but which also casually refers to high school seniors as "children." I mean, what is wrong with us?


some guy said...

u r right. and how come incredibly hot 20-something bored wife English teachers never hit on me when I was 15, and don't most high school males think the same thing?

Ethan said...


ASP said...

In fact, they're the same fucking attitudes.

That's true, they stem from the same premise: the idea that patriarchy should have the right to control one's sexuality. On the one hand through repression of sexuality, and on the other by asserting that some people have the right of access to other people's bodies (in this case, to distribute pictures and videos of people who've obviously not consented to that. Consent is here treated like it is often treated in rape cases - like the woman who wears revealing clothing is asking to be raped, so the woman who goes pantiles and accidentally flashes her vulva is asking to have photos of her vulva distributed all over the Internet. Consent? What consent? Her body is public property.)

Ethan said...


What's also weird is that, in this situation, Miley Cyrus is simultaneously positioned as sexually endangered (she is being victimized by being used in "child porn") and sexually dangerous (she's a slut!). Both roles are justified by the "think of the children" rationale, which just reinforces to me how messed up our concept of "the child" is.

By "weird," I of course mean "completely ordinary, absolutely everyday and unremarkable in this world, but fucking insane."

Richard said...

'By "weird," I of course mean "completely ordinary, absolutely everyday and unremarkable in this world, but fucking insane."'

Have you by any chance ever read Derrick Jensen? He writes as a critic of civilization in general, and basically says we're all fucking insane. His books aren't exactly cheerful, of course, but how could they be?

If you're interested, here's the published works page of his website. I've read the two volumes of Endgame, which has its own site here.

Ethan said...

Richard, I was not familiar and I am most certainly interested! Judging from your links and his wikipedia page he sounds a lot like my father, actually. Definitely going to add him towards the top of the long list, though at my reading rate that probably means I'll get to him sometime in my dotage. Thanks for the suggestion!