A recent Supreme Court ruling has (again) declared representations of child pornography (drawn, digitally drawn etc) to also constitute child pornography.
Jill from Feministe has a nice post analyzing the intentions behind the ruling.
Whether that’s “really” child porn isn’t a closed subject, I don’t think. No, it’s not using actually children, but it is digitally altering adults to look like actual children. It is banking on the idea that pedophiles or people which pedophilic sexual urges will believe the images feature actual children.
And all of that rests on the premise that what makes child porn child porn is the appearance of it, not necessarily the actual age of the person in it. The actual-age argument is one that Ren and lots of others rely on, and it makes a lot of sense. But I remain troubled by it, especially in light of the fact that a whole lot of people who look at child porn go on to molest actual children. I don’t buy the argument that there’s a big fat line between what people enjoy in their pornography and what they enjoy in real life, especially when it comes to things like this.
The guy who’s looking at naked children is doing it because he thinks naked children are hot. That’s a big problem in itself, and a bigger problem if he decides to seek out some sort of sexual interaction with the kind of people he’s attracted to.
So I haven’t seen any child pornography, but I doubt that the children are happy and “consenting” to the sexual advances of adults in the videos. Thus, child porn promotes the rape of children. And even if the children do “consent” in the porn, it would promote the heavily unbalanced power play of an adult seducing a child. Which would be rape.
But to call attraction to children itself “a big problem” gives me pause. The act of sex with children (rape) is illegal. But should the attraction be condemned? Society reacts so viciously to pedophiles
and convicted child rapists. We declare them automatic monsters, regardless of whether the person in question is a pedophile or not. Very few people would voluntarily choose to become pedophiles, in my opinion, except for those who find that molesting children is a good way to exert power. But to turn to children in the first place – I’m so disgusted by the thought that I can’t comprehend it. And I imagine it is that way for most of the population.
But what happens is that pedophiles find that they are rejected from society. Any mention of “I need help, I find children erotic” brings a reaction of “you’re a monster. Get away from my children!” And then what do they do? Because regardless of how you feel about pedophiles, as long as they haven’t raped a child, they’re still human. And even after they’ve raped a child, it’s arguable, but they’re still human.
So what should they do? If society condemns the act but not the attraction, that sets up for some serious compartmentalizing. So I have no clue on this topic. Thoughts?
P.S. My previous stance on pornography has changed. I now believe that any portrayals of live adults in pornography is exploitive, even if the sex is safe and both parties are enjoying pleasure and nobody is being hurt. It is still putting on display the bodies of one, two, or more people and focusing on specific body parts. However, safe, pleasurable, consenting sex in the form of literature/art is fine by me. As long as it doesn’t promote abuse, misogyny, violence, and the negative gamut of porn.