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Erotic 'under age' cartoons to be made illegal? - Ed's journal
sobrique
sobrique
Erotic 'under age' cartoons to be made illegal?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7422595.stm

It's an announcment of proposed legislation, that would essentially make 'computer generated' child sex imagery illegal.

Is it just me who finds this a little disturbing?

I always thought the various laws on pedophilia and the like, had a purpose in protecting children. I see no problem with this - sexual activity between consenting adults being fine, it makes sense that sexual activity with people who cannot (legally at least) consent as an adult should be illegal.

Secondary practices that also involve child abuse, such as pornographic photography, would also make a lot of sense - in both cases there is a victim, and the victim is the child.

But to make illegal what is essentially fiction, strikes me as ... well, actually more an attempt to persecute people, than actually protect anyone at all.

I mean, it wasn't so very long ago that homosexuality was considered a 'major evil'. Recognising that people don't get to choose their sexual orientation, and what harms none (or is between consenting adults) is no crime, I feel is a positive growth in society.

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that having sex with minors should ever be made legal, but ... to find someone who's 15 sexually attractive is hardly a crime, any more than thinking 'wow I'd do her' when someone good looking walks past is rape.

We distinguish actions, not thoughts.

I don't like furry porn, and I think some of the 'slash' out there is ... well remarkably distasteful. But I'm capable of exercising my right as an adult to choose what I read, and what I don't. Most websites with 'dubious' content, also make some kind of effort to ensure they're avoidable too.

But is not liking someone's taste in perversion reason enough to make it illegal? I think not. Porn doesn't make people commit crimes, any more than GTA 4 is responsible a crime spree, or playing grannies garden on the BBC micro makes me more likely to prod apple trees to see if they open a magic portal. (OK, I did do that, but I was seven, ok)

It is, and should be illegal to harm a child, regardless of whether it's sexual or not. I don't think it should be illegal to view material that harms no one, and is objectionable to someone else.

And lets face it, how old are people in cartoons anyway? Can you tell Dilbert is actually 14, and so finding him arousing makes you a filthy pervert?

Once upon a time, we burned witches, for being witches, and anyone speaking out was burned too.
Once upon a time, homosexuals were considered a massive evil, and were persecuted just because they happened to find men attractive.
Do we really need more persecution of someone who does nothing wrong?
18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
mister_jack From: mister_jack Date: May 29th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, real child pornography is rightly banned not on the basis that it's gross but because it involves actual harm to children. Fiction, and art, doesn't so why should it be illegal?

I also think it is counter-productive. Evidence from Australia shows that increasing the supply of pornography reduces the incidence of rape; it otherwords that pornography acts as a substitute for sex. I suspect removing a legal means for paedophiles to get their kicks will increase rates of offending not decrease them.
From: stelas Date: May 29th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
As regards 'just stating someone is [age]', the law is worded as regards their likeness, so Dilbert spans 20-50 with a decent argument.

It's not active persecution per se, it's the handwringing WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN bubble-wrapping of society that's been going on for the last five years in the UK, ever since people realised that they could sue people for getting their feelings lightly bruised. Homogenization of culture is the only way to avoid upsetting ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE (that matters or is perceived as sensible), and those managing the bills are embedded so deep in this handwringing that they literally don't see the harm in what is essentially a thought/fiction crime.

Since the maximum age that qualifies for these bevy of laws is actually 18 (yes, this means you could take a photo of two 17-year-old adults legally consenting to sex and be nailed under the child abuse acts) then if this were properly enforced it would destroy comics and animation industries (particularly Japanese ones) not to mention cut out big big swathes of our literature. Not just stuff like Lolita, but you know, that Bible had a few young people being 'begotten'. Churches are in for a nasty shock.

Fortunately, this is nigh-on unpinnable on anything but the least borderline of cases. It's such a wishy-washy law - especially where 'likeness' is concerned - that it'll be extremely hard to stick it to anything but the most obvious situations to bolster an existing case, which is likely the intended effect. There have been laws against child abuse in films since the 1950s and hey, you can still buy Lolita at Amazon in tens of different formats.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 29th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Likeness is pretty subjective though. Age of consent is difficult enough (which is why it varies across the world), but at least we recognise a defined measurable threshold there.

But yeah, clearly what we need is yet more marginally enforcible laws.
From: stelas Date: May 29th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
The trouble is that our 'defined measurable threshold' is 2 years above our 'age of consent'. That's a clear and incredibly moronic contradiction. If someone is a legal adult they have power of consent and it can't be child abuse, surely? Or does that not count for consent?

What we need is far less, and simpler, laws. Too many have been introduced in the last few years that it's turned into a mire of 1984-ish proportions and yet the actual sentencing and cleanup of criminals simply isn't effective enough against the sheer amount of shit.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 29th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think we could simplify it greatly, by simply making 'being a criminal' illegal. Then you'd have one law to catch everyone with it's recursive awesome.
From: stelas Date: May 29th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Make it chavs instead and you've a deal.
necessitysslave From: necessitysslave Date: May 29th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
In america it is even more stupid
A 15 year old girl "been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography" (the photos were all of herself taken by herself)

Linky
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 29th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOLWUT

is about the only response I can think of.
warmage From: warmage Date: May 29th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting double-standard here... if they try prosecuting her as an adult what does that do to the argument that it's child pornography?
mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: May 29th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
And where does it put those nausea-inducing child beauty pageants?

Enquiring minds etc.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 29th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Clearly it makes their parents pedophiles for producing photographs of children with sexual overtones. WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!11111one

From: linamishima Date: May 29th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, that's the majority of anime banned, I suspect ¬.¬
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 29th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd be inclined to agree. The vast majority of anime is by it's nature 'cutesy'.
mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: May 29th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
You find Dilbert arousing? I don't need *that* in my head. Ew.

I confess I find the sexualisation of children to be particularly hackle-raising; to the point that I will actively sneer at those anime who do this (yes I'm looking at you DigiMon).

In case you hadn't noticed, we're already living in a society that legislates against sexuality. Operation Spanner for the BDSM community and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for teenagers.

There are others but those two are the obvious ones.

There may be another of my political posts about this subject.

Damnit.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 29th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't say it's something I appreciate. Then again, I find yiffing to be somewhat distastful and sneerworthy too. And don't get me started on bad slashfic. Or worse bad goth vampire porn. And I'm very worried about stuff like 'Squad Broken' (WH40K, don't ask, and if you google it don't blame me for the wreckage it will make of all you knew about 40k).

But I also think that telling people what it's ok to find attractive/erotic, and what it's not ok to find attractive/erotic is bad. Thought crimes here we come.

Although, that Sexual Offenses for Teenagers act is also a bit on the stupid side. I mean, seriously, the law exists to serve a purpose, and that purposes is the protection of individuals and society as a whole. The law fails if it's unenforcible, or not _meant_ to be enforced. It just becomes bureacracy, and negatively affects our police force's ability to deal with what might be considered 'real' crimes.
From: linamishima Date: May 30th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Have a look at this...

modern art
They claim this to be intended for only 'realistic' art, but where will it end? Would this utterly disgusting and depraved act shown above be dealt with too? Will my* children be safe from this fate?!?!?!

*Proverbial :P
phlebas From: phlebas Date: May 30th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
The aim (or at least the stated aim) of the legislation isn't to catch out people who're doing nothing wrong, though. The idea is to catch people who are making actual child porn, digitally processing the images and then basing their defence on the claim that since it's hard to tell whether the image is a genuine photo, they can't be prosecuted as though it were.
Now, whether this legislation is
(a)likely to prove effective in such cases,
(b)likely to be used beyond its stated purpose,
(c)an unacceptable erosion of civil liberties even if (a) is true and (b) is not
are all valid questions. But none of the commentary I've seen online has been addressing those questions, just giving a kneejerk OMG EVIL CENSORSHIP 1984 THOUGHTCRIME screaming response without apparently having read the BBC article, let alone the proposal itself.

Oh. And you know Dilbert got laid once, right?
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 30th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Making actual child porn is illegal already.
You can either prove it, and this legislation is redundant, or you cannot, and you've just turned our 'innocent until proven guilty' principle of law on it's head.

I think we've already seen the 'prevention of terrorism' act used for reasons that aren't really in the 'spirit' of the law. (I'm sure someone could fish out links on the subject).

I cannot fault the police for using every means at their disposal, which is why I feel we need to be extremely careful in enacting laws like this. To say a law 'was not intended' to do what it quite clearly outlines, is, I feel asking for trouble, especially when loading it on the back of an emotive subject.
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