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I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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The Internet is not a Frigidaire.
Oh, what the hell.

<wank>

Total personal opinion:

Yes, actually, reading porn is a human right.

Brought to you by a librarian-by-education-and-public-records-professional-by-trade who, personally, thinks censorship of written material is a crock, no matter what the age of the reader.

This does not mean I will not protect myself or think others shouldn't protect themselves by asking people who aren't supposed to be reading my fic, to not read my fic. It does not mean that I would interfere in a parent's right to not allow their child to read something.

It does mean that I disagree with their choice, philosophically.


Not so personal, more debateable (ie, actually willing to debate it) opinion:

The internet is not analogous to harmonyfb's refrigerator. Internet NC-17 archive, if un-passworded = unattended booth in the town square with sign that says "Free beer for adults only, from Writer X." If I grant the beer analogy at all, which I don't, because written porn ≠ beer. Because unlike alcoholic beverages, written porn is not illegal for minors in the US to consume. It's only -- possibly, depending on locality -- illegal for an adult to provide access to it.


</wank>

byrne

2003-06-11 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

/me nods and applauds.

mpoetess

2003-06-11 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

/me puts the divorce papers away. ;-)

zortified

2003-06-11 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

I want a beer.

mpoetess

2003-06-11 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

I hate beer. But you can buy me some porn a cider this weekend...

gwynnega

2003-06-11 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, actually, reading porn is a human right.

I totally agree. In fact, I'd like to wear a T-shirt with that slogan!

obsessedmuch

2003-06-11 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'd buy one... and wear it to the PTA meeting, but I'm really obnoxious like that.

(no subject) - gwynnega, 2003-06-11 12:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)

harmonyfb

2003-06-11 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

who, personally, thinks censorship of written material is a crock, no matter what the age of the reader

I happen to agree on censorship issues - with the caveat that children are not included. They lack the life experiences to make those determinations for themselves - that's why they have parents. So, no, reading erotica is not a human right. It's a right the US permits its citizens (with some restrictions).

I mean, are you really saying - in your quote above - that you see nothing wrong with handing a six year old a sexually explicit novel? Surely not.

written porn is not illegal for minors in the US to consume. It's only -- possibly, depending on locality -- illegal for an adult to provide access to it.

Let me hunt up some specific laws for you; watch my LJ next week.

And I think the fridge analogy works just fine. My website is a place where I place things I'd like to make available to those who are legally permitted to view it. Which for the NC-17 fic would NOT be minors.

mpoetess

2003-06-11 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

I mean, are you really saying - in your quote above - that you see nothing wrong with handing a six year old a sexually explicit novel? Surely not.


No, you're right, I'm not suggesting that a six year old should be handed a sexually explicit novel. If I were the child's parent, I would probably (hypocritcally vis a vis my own stance) tell them "No, you're not old enough to read that yet" and explain to them in general terms why not. If a minor who was old enough to comprehend the words, however, knew the meaning of the terms, wanted to read it? I have severe qualms with suggesting that We The People have the right to make a judgement about what someone should be able to read based on our opinion of their emotional maturity.

Plus -- not restricting access is not the same thing as handing something to someone. As I think we both, with NC-17 websites and NC-17 warnings, would have to agree.

And I think the fridge analogy works just fine. My website is a place where I place things I'd like to make available to those who are legally permitted to view it. Which for the NC-17 fic would NOT be minors.


But your website is not in your house. The internet is a public place. You own the content on your website, but once you put it on the internet, assuming you don't put physical measures in place to restrict access, it's analogous to posting something on a billboard. You don't own the right to view that thing you just posted in public.

(no subject) - surfal666, 2003-06-11 03:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-06-11 07:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-06-11 01:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)

minitrog

2003-06-11 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

I popped over and read some of the debate. This is the thing that struck me the most, summed up by this comment by harmonyfb:

"Some teenagers think they don't have to obey the law. Some adults think that they don't have to obey the law. I'm not going to pretend that I think that attitude is ok. "

There is a lot of similar stuff in the commentry, basically saying that whatever you think is right, you *must* obey the law.

What?

To my understanding, you do what you think is right, and Fuck The Law!

The Law often lags behind general social trends, or represents those in authority who's interests are not necessarily mine. In the UK the age of consent is 16 for both men and women. Until recently it was 18 for men. Was it then *wrong* for those 16 & 17 year olds to have sex with a partner of their choice, and is it suddenly not *wrong* now it is legal.

What I'm talking about of course is that The Law is a general guideline based on the interests and mores of the society in which one lives. In the case in point I feel that The Law is a very crude guideline, and cannot define whether an individual is capable of understanding and appreciating web-smut, or obscure depressing Russian novels come to that!

I remember as a kid reading books which on later re-reads proved to have tons of sex in. Pre-pubescent, I didn't even notice the sex, my mind just skipped over those bits, much as it did with the politics and other stuff that was irrelevant to me.

By the time I was interested in reading about sex, waaaaay pre-internet, I had no difficulty whatsoever getting my hands on material to read. You just try keeping an interested 14 or 15 year old away from sexually explicit material if that's what they are want. Not a chance.

When it comes down to it, obviously one would hope that those who choose to rear a child will do so responsibly, and treat them as an person, catering to their needs as they individually arise. However, as most people appear to breed simply because they *can*, the least of these kids worries is that they will get an early smut fix.

(Parents, pardon my cynicism, but I was a child once...)

So, yes. Censorship is crap. Smut probably won't hurt anyone anyway.

Wow, I probably should have just said that right at the start. *g*

I too want a beer!





byrne

2003-06-11 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

When it comes down to it, obviously one would hope that those who choose to rear a child will do so responsibly, and treat them as an person, catering to their needs as they individually arise. However, as most people appear to breed simply because they *can*, the least of these kids worries is that they will get an early smut fix.

*This* mommy says 'WORD' and cheers you on. That's my job. Teach and rear and guide. And instil self worth or at the bare minimum a free thinking mind.

Also, the rest? About skipping over the parts your brain wasn't interested in etc etc? Same thing here, especially with music. Songs I *loved* and didn't have a clue about until years later. Blessed with parents who didn't freak out, I guess, and eager to do the same for my kids. So long as the volume stays down. :P

/end ramble.

But not. Yeah, as a mom of a five year old, go ahead, hand him NC-17 fiction. He can't read. And when he's six or seven, hand it to him again. He won't process it, he won't comprehend it. Because I'm doing my job well.

Now, when he's twelve I'll have a lock on my hard drive. ahem.

(no subject) - minitrog, 2003-06-11 09:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-06-11 07:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - minitrog, 2003-06-11 09:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)

lumenara

2003-06-11 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, actually, reading porn is a human right.

*cheers you on* Can I get this shirt, too?

mpoetess

2003-06-11 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

I think you'll have to see obsessedmuch about that -- she's starting the PTA coalition. You might be able to get a free one after the bakesale!

(no subject) - lumenara, 2003-06-11 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)

doitninetimes

2003-06-11 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

I love it when people express my opinion much more eloquently than I ever will!

mpoetess

2003-06-11 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm. While we're at it, people, clare_san wants all of you to buy me cookies.

Every single little Christian Fundamentalist kid has porn in their backpack.

Anonymous

2003-06-11 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's called The Bible.

Go check out the Song of Solomon if you don't believe me.

Sex is out there. Kids will find out about it. It's the parent's responsibility to monitor whowhatwhenwherewhyandhow. Last time I checked, I'm nobody's momma. So I'm going to put up warnings on fic and trust that if you're underage and on a list, you're not going to read it. And if you do and get offended and your momma gets offended, I'm gonna slap her head offa her shoulders for letting you read such filth!

AND DAMMIT! THERE'S NO BEER IN MY FRIDGE! *foams at the mouth*

*puts AngrySheep(tm) back in her bottle*
S. da WonderSheep

Re: Every single little Christian Fundamentalist kid has porn in their backpack.

mpoetess

2003-06-11 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Snicker.

*pets the sheep*

*strokes the sheep*

*does porny things to the sheep*

kattahj

2003-06-12 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Have read post you linked to.

*shakes head*

Am very happy I'm not an American. The bare thought of spending all those years when I was the most curious about sex not getting to read about sex baffles me.

snoopygirll

2003-06-12 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)

A child doesn't have to read porn to learn about sex or life. There is plenty of non-fictional material around that I would prefer my child to learn from.

I've read an NC17 fic containing detailed descriptions on how to commit suicide. Another NC17 fic's sex play included asphyixiation with a belt (loved that one personally *heh*). I would not want my child reading this stuff.

Fanfiction I've read first and consider acceptable even though it's marked NC17, is fine by me. But I can't read every story first and you want to take away my helper.

I'm not debating; just saying that I disagree with you.

mpoetess

2003-06-12 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Whoa, though, rewind -- I'm not suggesting taking away anything. I'm an advocate of NC-17 warnings, and an advocate of parents monitoring their kids' internet usage. What helper am I suggesting you lose?

I'm just saying, on the first paragraph, that I don't believe, period, that reading anything can harm a child -- but I respect the right of parents to make that decision themselves. And on the second paragraph, that it's *not*, currently, illegal on the kids' part to look at porn. They can't be arrested or prosecuted for it. I'm not suggesting anything that currently exists be taken away -- just pointing out that (until someone points aout a law that corrects me) that the people who are saying "The *kids* are breaking the law" are factually incorrect.

(no subject) - snoopygirll, 2003-06-12 11:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)

Anonymous

2003-07-14 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Actually, kids can get in trouble for accessing porn where they aren't supposed to. I know that some kids--thirteen and fourteen year olds, young brothers and sisters of college students--hacked into a slew of porn sites when they were up visiting their sisters at college.

The computer lab wasn't blamed, nor was the teacher. Their sisters weren't blamed. Their parents weren't blamed. The kids were. And the school called the cops on them for hacking and for illegal access. They weren't imprisoned, but they had to pay a fine, and the judge wouldn't take the money from their parents. They had to get lots of jobs and pay the money to the court. Because they were not allowed to do this. Because they hacked into a place they shouldn't have been and forced the school to pay more for security measures.

I think there is a time and a place for everything. A five-year-old--and I was reading at sixth grade level at five--should not be reading NC-17 material. Even if the child is intellectually prepared to handle it, emotionally he or she is not. It is no more appropriate to give a kid that than it is to hand a two-year-old a cigarette, a four-year-old a martini, an six-year-old a line of coke or a nine-year-old a diaphragm and the Pill.

We do not need to have instant adulthood. There are far too many legal adults who have never attained maturity. We do not need to have small children treated as adults in every respect. Let them have what little innocence remains to them--and let them learn that with the rights of adulthood also come corresponding responsibilities.

Gehayi

mpoetess

2003-07-14 06:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Actually, kids can get in trouble for accessing porn where they aren't supposed to. I know that some kids--thirteen and fourteen year olds, young brothers and sisters of college students--hacked into a slew of porn sites when they were up visiting their sisters at college.


But then they were prosecuted for *hacking*, yes? Which is a separate crime from simply 'viewing porn.' I, at age 30, could get in trouble for the same thing if I visited that school and hacked their software in order to view porn sites.

--

I think there is a time and a place for everything. A five-year-old--and I was reading at sixth grade level at five--should not be reading NC-17 material. Even if the child is intellectually prepared to handle it, emotionally he or she is not. It is no more appropriate to give a kid that than it is to hand a two-year-old a cigarette, a four-year-old a martini, an six-year-old a line of coke or a nine-year-old a diaphragm and the Pill.


I'll cede that very likely, a five year old is not emotionally equipped to *process* NC-17 material, and it's silly to provide it, as well as legally dangerous for adults -- but it's going to be pretty hard to convince me that seeing such material will harm them. I don't mean via an emotional appeal that we should let them have their childhood because it's gone so fast, etc., but by any reasonable amount of scientific or psychological studies.

It's not like I'm saying "Provide your kids with porn" -- I'm saying that I suspect one's kids, if they have the desire to find and read porn, are going to do it regardless of one's wishes, and strenuous efforts to stop them from doing so, or punish them for doing so, seem more likely to damage the kids psychologically (or escalate the emotional conflict in the relationship) than trying to deal with their curiosity in a non-confrontational way would. When it becomes a matter of battling wills between the adults and the youth over whether they can *read* something, to me it smacks more of the adults trying to maintain control out of their own pride or fear of not being obeyed, than something being done for the welfare of the child.

And every other example you listed is a *physical* example of items that have been easily proven to be harmful to children and adults alike. (Bar the birth control, but that implies you're encouraging a nine year old to have sex, so again physical.) My entire point is that information whether in fictional or non-fictional form, has no such weight of proof that it can harm, behind it.