Is it child pornography if the child has become an adult?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by emre, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. If you believe that displaying pictures of naked children is wrong, does it
    become all right if the pictures are of someone who has become an adult since
    the pictures were taken?
     
  2. No, pobably nowhere. You can get anyone to court for child abuse, no matter how old he/she is now.
     
  3. Not all photographs, drawings, paintings, written descriptions , etc. of a naked child are pornographic.
    You know pornography when you see it, some people might try to jcloak their pornographic iamges in the guise of art, but you still know that they are , at their fundamental core pornographic in intent.

    On the other hand a non-pornographic image of any person, place, event or thing can of course stimulate sexual thoughts of a mind inclined to find images or descriptions of that subject sexually arousing.
     
  4. I think the answer is that it doesn't matter if the child is an adult. I believe it could still be prosecuted. The issue is probably when you say "naked" children, in what context.

    I saw the image owned by Elton John and seized by police from a gallery (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/09/26/elton-john-defends-photo-_n_65937.html). It is probably way over the top, but I can see how there is a large degree of opinion involved.
     
  5. What if the model as an adult has given consent, then?
     
  6. In what context is this image made and by who's societal standards shall this question be evaluated by?
     
  7. I'm not interested in the legal response. I'm interested in what people intuitively feel; esp. those would who be offended in the subject is still a child, so judge it by your own standards. I'm trying to gauge the weight people place on age and consent in coming to a decision, since some people object on the grounds that "the child is not old enough to know what it means".
     
  8. "What if the model as an adult has given consent, then?"

    That is an interesting question. Would their consent as an adult over ride their parents or guardians refusal of consent when they were children/ Or vice versa: Could they as an adult withdraw the consent their parents or guardians signed off on?
     
  9. Ellis, regarding your first post. Isn't the problem that you or I may know it when we see it, but
    "we" don't seem to be able to know it when we see it? Witness the varying and heated
    opinions on the Nan Goldin thread. The fact is that the "I" who matters in the "I'll know it
    when I see it" scenario is usually an FBI agent, a policeman, a politician, a prosecutor, or a
    judge, none of whom I trust as much as you or me to judge the difference between art and
    pornography.
     
  10. I dunno, but check out the work of Hendrik Kerstens who photographed his own daughter. Calling something "art" lets you get away with a lot of things (I mean this in a good way).
     
  11. jtk

    jtk

    The intent of this question was specifically to imply that our "feelings" are relevant to the definition of "child porn"... to find out what we think we can get away with, since "child porn" is a purely legal question, not a matter of our "feelings."

    In the US a superior court's initial findings, rather than photographer's "feelings" or theories or Webster definition, or even the ultimate trial jury, makes erotic photos of children into felony evidence for prosecution, irrespective some pervert's "feelings" or intent.

    "Intent" and "today's age of former child" are irrelevant distractions: the file or film or print constitutes the porn, and that's what jails people. Child porn from 1920 can land you in prison.

    Perverts should be ESPECIALLY fearful of parents who "consent" because that turn this into "conspiracy" bringing the FBI, even if it's not interstate or Internet.

    Parents facilitate and take part in sexual abuse of their own children all the time.

    Why are we trying to justify child porn here?

    One's "own standards" are irrelevant. This is defined by law and society, not by the "feelings" of individual perverts.
     
  12. "I'm interested in what people intuitively feel;..."

    If this refers to my post, what we feel, has very much to do with societal norms so this has to be considered in a question of this nature.

    Where is this question being asked? What societal standards are we using, underground, polite society or local (regional)? Are we in India, Pakistan, France, Brazil, China, Iran or the USA. Or are we in Moscow, Vatican, Beijing, Paris or San Francisco? Are we in SOHO, the Bible thumping South, The Sudan (Darfur region), The US Supreme Court court room chamber or The Castro? Where exactly are these values being discussed and by whom as the prevailing morality of the venue makes a huge difference as to a generalized response in regard to your question.
     
  13. If this is a question about sexuality in photographic images, if so please be so kind as to say so.

    "If you believe that displaying pictures of naked children is wrong,..."

    Please define your above. Are you writing about bathtub pics of a child in a non-descrip pose with bubbles and a yellow rubber ducky when six months old or images designed to give a (perv) pedophile a full blown woody?
     
  14. jtk

    jtk

    Emre "I'm not interested in the legal response."

    In that case you've got a problem because "child porn" is not a question of "feelings," it's a legal question.

    Emre, how do you "feel" about rape?
     
  15. Brooke Shields said once that the picture of her that she did topless made her feel awful for a very long time. I don't think anyone under the legal age would be in the right mind would be me mentally able to have their picture out for public consuption. Were talking THEM not even the feelings of the people that would actually be seeing the picture.

    I think this man Hendrik Kerstens was a good point to bring up. Does he have a right to do what he does. I don't think he does. I don't think he has the right. I personally think that if he were in the US it would be considered child abuse. I am kind of sickened not only by the fact that he is doing it but by the way she looks. Knowing her age in some of those pictures I was almost ill looking at them. Honestly.

    I'm sorry but there is something wrong with that, so if I am repulsed by it I think that gives you my answer.

    A man or woman taking pictures of anyone under a certain age to show off to the world or anyone else for gain of pleasure art or otherwise is wrong.

    I do agree with Fred. Who is going to really regulate it. HOW am I going to know if you are 14 or 18? My daughter is 14 but some of her friends LOOK 18 and some look 12. I can't even tell.

    I looked 20 when I was 13. It is so confusing now.

    So, I would almost be saying 16 and younger. I would have to be saying that. Unfortunately. GIRLS/BOYS in their preteens. Lets not forget the boys. They are just as abused.

    A mom who takes pictures of her four and five year old taken a bath in bubbles is not. PERIOD. If said four year old grows up and wants to show the world this picture when they become a movie star and it goes onto some television show then I see nothing wrong with that.

    If said boyfriend took a picture of the movie star when she was 14 in her underwear and movie star wants to show the world then have at it. THEN she is an adult. That is her doing. If she were naked it would be another story. That is how I feel.

    PERVERTS should not be given any more things to look at then they already do.
     
  16. It's very simple. Imagine an objectionable picture with a naked child. Would the picture become acceptable in your eyes if you knew the child and had given consent as an adult?
     
  17. John K, what do you think of this Nan Goldin's photo and the fact that it was seized from Elton John even though before the seizure it has exhibited all over the world without any legal problems?
     
  18. Micki Ferguson said: I am kind of sickened not only by the fact that [Hendrik Kerstens] is doing it but by the way she looks.
    What do you find sickening about Kertens' photos? If you find them sickening, you have a lot of homework to do on the history of photography and art. A trip to the Netherlands' and a few museums wouldn't hurt as well.
     
  19. Micki Fegusopn also said: I personally think that if he were in the US it would be considered child abuse.
    Oh really? How did then Sally Mann (Lexington, Virginia) get away with it?
     
  20. "It's very simple. Imagine an objectionable picture with a naked child. Would the picture become acceptable in your eyes if you knew the child and had given consent as an adult?"

    You seem to intentionally be skirting the issue of societal values/morality which define "objectionable" and one needs to ask, by what societal/sub-societal values is this judgment being made? What sort of image are you writing of and by who's standards is this image being found objectionable?

    Without definition, it's intellectually an open border with no ability to intelligently answer your question.

    Me? Personally, I'm a closed intellectual door. Why? In the simple, leave the children alone. Let them make "their" decision, when they've come of legal age. Now, what do you think is going be the response of a producer of child porn?

    You need to define (flesh out) your question as sans definition, you're just throwing mud on a wall so as to see what flies will be attracted.
     
  21. To make a further argument, Sally Mann isn't the only U.S. photographer whose work is relevant here. Jock Sturges is worth mentioning as well.
    To conclude, I already listed four artists whose work is relevant. The rest of the folks on this thread (with the exception of Michael) are just babbling out their lawyer-wannabe ass instead of answering the question.
     
  22. If it was pornograhpy when taken, it is pornography even 100 years later. Or 1,000 years.

    Now there are many pics of unclothed family memebrs and events around one's house. These never were pornography. They are simply naked bottom shots. I have seen many of kids in bathtubs, on the potty, running wild indoors or out. So what? We all have a naked body under our clothes that is not pornographic.
     
  23. I am not skirting it. I am asking you to evaluate the question based on your values. There is no single answer. Here is mine: I would be much more tolerant knowing the model had given consent.
     
  24. jtk

    jtk

    Emre, what's your "feeling" about rape? You didn't answer that earlier and it's virtually identical to your original topic.

    The "simple answer" is defined by law, at least in the US. Possession or production of "child porn" is a felony here, as is rape for the same reason. Emre, do you understand why?

    You would be "tolerant if the model had given consent." You are saying you would make "child porn" (your phrase) with the consent of a child (the "model"). Seems like rape to me.

    The notion that one "feels" a child's parents may give consent for erotic photos of their children means specifically that the photographer and parents do not recognize the humanity of the child: Gang rape.

    Sturges was righteously prosecuted because of the content of some of his photos. Their beauty allowed a controversy, as a minority thinks beauty cannot coexist with evil, and that ignorance is bliss. He would have had no problem if he'd photographed adults in any sort of sexual activity because, unlike Mapplethorpe, Sturges showed in private galleries and for money, rather than in taxpayer-supported venues.
     
  25. "I am not skirting it. I am asking you to evaluate the question based on your values."

    You really are skirting as you posed a wide open question which clearly suffers from a lack of definition.

    My values (answer) have no meaning other than being that of a respondent to an overly simplistic poll question. Without definition, the answers have absolutely no meaning or merit other than taking up (no disrespect intended) idle bandwidth.

    Meaningful responses to the question need to take into consideration the value system (and the basis of their morality) each respondent holds near and dear and what it is you're asking, needs to be better defined as what one finds offensive, another will embrace. Sans exploring the basis of a value system, all responses have no meaning.
     
  26. I'll write a longer answer later, but first let me address rape. That is defined as an act committed against someone's will. Otherwise it is just sex. There has to be a victim. Who is the victim here?

    I did not say child porn is okay if consent is given. Rather, it is not child porn if consent is given, but something else which I do not have a label for.
     
  27. Sturges was righteously prosecuted because of the content of some of his photos.
    John K, you didn't mention how the case ended. You should have mentioned it, otherwise you're cherry-picking facts. And you still didn't answer my question above.
     
  28. "I did not say child porn is okay if consent is given. Rather, it is not child porn if consent is given,..."

    Wow! Explains why not wanting to better define the question as that's a pretty revealing statement in regard to a value system.

    "...it is not child porn if consent is given,..."

    It's not porn, if it's not illegal (socially unacceptable) either.

    Wow!
     
  29. "Here is mine: I would be much more tolerant knowing the model had given consent."

    Emre, try to ask yourself, if it was a consent given by YOUR daughter at the age of 7, 8 even 10-or 12, would you be tolerant as well?

    The fact that there are artists that did it, does not give justification. It is imo an abuse of a child's innocence. The inability of a child to think of what does it means to give a concent, the implications for the future, a child needs a childhood and not be a model for nude photography.
     
  30. I didn't say that. Say your daughter took a naughty picture of herself in the mirror, forgot about it, rediscovered it thirty years down the road, then exhibited it. The significance of age is what I am exploring.
     
  31. jtk

    jtk

    Eugene, the key to your philosophy is "get away with it."

    This is a chat room. Denounce those who condemn child sexual abuse, but don't ask us to make legal cases.

    But please do explain why you think laws designed to protect children from sex abuse shouldn't apply to collectors of child porn (child porn is the topic, not your list of celebrities).

    That Elton John freely walks the earth is good news for his creditors but of no relevance to this discussion. He was once a creative person, but that may not provide cover for him forever ("get away with it" to use your phrase).

    Someone took a risk and decided he was not an immediate peril. Let's hope age is advancing on him fast enough to keep him out of more trouble.

    It's weird that celebrities and celebrity photographers are dragged into a discussion in order to defend child sexual abuse. Let us hope nobody thinks Paris Hilton is relevant.
     
  32. " Say your daughter took a naughty picture of herself in the mirror"....

    Emre, we are talking of series not " one naughty picture of herself in the mirror"....The significance is of being a " model" for nude photography.
     
  33. jtk

    jtk

    "There has to be a victim. Who is the victim here?"

    Emre, people who sexually victimize children characteristically do not know the answer to your question. Children are just cuddly animals to them. Right?

    Eugene, the outcome I know of for Sturges is that many of his photos can't be shown online and his evident motivations have been publicized. This surely cannot hurt print sales. I doubt he's in prison, if that's your question. Ask Elton, he'll know.
     
  34. Pnina: So if no adult was present then it's not child pornography?

    John: That is an interesting point. What constitutes victimization?
     
  35. He was once a creative person, but that may not provide cover for him forever
    I am outraged by your statement. I am an advocate of a liberal world where artists do not get thrown into prisons, but that does not mean that I consider artists any more special than other people. I want a liberal world for everyone. Yes, the true "perverts" should be separated from any possibility of influencing children, but the current public opinion about the issue of children is borderline-paranoic. If you watch the news, you surely have heard that some states are pushing towards the addresses of people convicted of pedophilia to be made available publicly. That is outrageous for a society that respects individual rights. What next, lynching?
    the outcome I know of for Sturges is that many of his photos can't be shown online
    How do you explain this?
     
  36. "I am an advocate of a liberal world where artists do not get thrown into prisons, but that does not mean that I consider artists any more special than other people."

    "Yes, the true "perverts" should be separated from any possibility of influencing children,..."

    And by who's standards shall "perverts" be defined? By adding the modifier "true," it allows for degrees of perversion to enter the equation as by your above, only "true" perverts shall separated from?

    Standards do require definition and sans an accepted definition, one can't have standards.
     
  37. Eugene, the dimwit Amy Stein has made an assumption it's that piture - that is in fact the wrong one and I don't know how she even guessed it might be the one she posted! If you'd checked what was written in the comments on her site you would find a link to the correct picture. It's also discussed in the Elton John thread in Casual Conversation.
     
  38. Well Eugene, since you called out me by name I have actually personally looked at both SALLY and Jock and I did not FEEL that these people, some family's, kids and it looks like brothers, playmates and all sorts of people that were taken together in the nude doing all sorts of things were taken somewhat against their will.
    I felt VERY disturbed and very disjointed by Hendrik's pictures. Now I am NOT the FBI, nor am I a fan of JOCKS or SALLY'S work or do I say "HEY MAN" let's go to one of their exhibits if they come to town.

    Well, I right now live in Florida so I don't see that happening but that is beside the point. What you are doing is for me to explain my intuiting and feelings on the matter so I will do that very simple A MAN who dresses up his daughter. Oh wait UNDRESSES her and makes her pose in front of the world in a pensive way for MEN to look at and calls it art when he knows that her "at the age less than 14" is WRONG.

    Now I am not fond of people who point finger (finger pointer Eugene). I am not fond of people who assume that one hasn't been to any museums or lived less than five miles from the biggest of them in DC. Actually taken their children there three times a week and learning from every aspect that they can. I'm not fond of you not understanding that I didn't just half look at what he does but went and studied EVERY PICTURE and her eyes to find her soul in them and understand that I felt she was trapped just like she was meant to be in her pictures.

    I have traveled all over the world to Paris, Germany Japan and many other countries and always studied their art. When I look at pictures here I do not just rate quickly but I look at pictures and feel them and make comments on them. I am not someone who judges something quickly.

    In the Smithonian I had no problem taking my children all through the paintings of the Elizabethan Era, Renaissance and other fine arts as well as many modern artists works. That is not the point. The point is I looked at what he did, saw it and new that he had overstepped my understanding of what a FATHER should be doing. He could have stopped at a certain point and he went a bit farther that I think he should have into a sensuality that maybe I feel he should go.
    It is my opinion and one you should not accuse me of be ignorant over.
    As for the way things USED be we.

    100 years ago woman were getting married at 14 and having babies by 15. So, our society is different. Things are different now and I don't expect my 14 year old to be taking of her clothes for ANYONE. Get my drift?
    So, consider me educated and not ignorant, well if you want to. Also someone who doesn't shelter her kids so don't consider me one of those "people" either who does that. So quit pointing the finger at me. My head is starting to show an indention, Ouch (sad face).
    I have to be honest. I just wanted to come on here and give my opinion and not get told my opinion was crap.

    I will say this. It dawned on me. What about all those "KIDS" who are taking off their clothes in movies? hmmm
    I started remembering back in my mind of those movies while growing up in adolescence and as a teenager where their was a naked body or breast here and there. I forgot all about that. Any discussion about that? Seems like we forgot all about that impact. Why is THAT ok but not still photography?
     
  39. Eugene - the reason there are "banned" pictures on the internet, and discussion and photo sharing sites for paedophiles, is all to do with certain governments and freedom of speech. If a government wants to stop this sort of thing they can do - look at Burma today...all of a sudden no internet...just like that.
     
  40. jtk

    jtk

    Eugene:

    "What next, lynching?"

    That's Limbaugh-think: protecting children from photo-wankers (who ask little Eugene Jr's "consent" or obtain "parent's permission" and are, after all ARTISTS and CELEBRITIES) is evidently mere Political Correctness.

    Next you'll be saying it's PC to damn the "N" word.

    This thread shows precisely why civilized societies train policemen.

    The Sturges you linked is for obvious reasons not the Sturges he cannot show online. Hmm. Some may find this hard to understand. Knock-knock, anybody home?
     
  41. Pete said: Eugene - the reason there are "banned" pictures on the internet, and discussion and photo sharing sites for paedophiles is all to do with certain governments and freedom of speech
    Pete, I did not post a link to a pedophile forum. I posted two links to respected galleries who can legally stand up for what they are showing. And, by the way, you contradict yourself by saying that "banned" can be up online due to freedom of speech. If something is covered under freedom of speech, it cannot be "banned" by definition.
    John said: The Sturges you linked is for obvious reasons not the Sturges he cannot show online.
    So that means you and Pete disagree with each other, right?
     
  42. And this folks is what happens to "intelligent" conversation when folks refuse to define terms regarding an overly simplistic question.
     
  43. jtk

    jtk

    I should have included more of Eugene's stuff:

    "the current public opinion about the issue of children is borderline-paranoic. If you watch the news, you surely have heard that some states are pushing towards the addresses of people convicted of pedophilia to be made available publicly. That is outrageous for a society that respects individual rights."

    Evidently we're talking about mere "current public opinion" and child porn is a mere "issue" that's overblown. Evidently things were better for certain people in another era.

    And convicted child predators deserve privacy. Hmm.

    IMO it's better that they're not hounded by mobs after they've served their time, but since there's no "cure" and the world's full of enablers (parental consent etc) it's crucial that cops regularly remind/threaten them.
     
  44. Micki said: I will do that very simple A MAN who dresses up his daughter.
    How is that different from a WOMAN?
    Micki further said: Oh wait UNDRESSES her and makes her pose in front of the world in a pensive way for MEN to look at
    Whoa! Something is clearly wrong in your assumption if you think Kerstens was making porn for men to look at. Or maybe you think there are no WOMEN in galleries? No female curators?
    I felt she was trapped just like she was meant to be in her pictures.
    Again, you're way off base in your assumptions. Yeah, right, Vermeer's subjects were trapped. All this brouhaha on rethinking old masters is just the same old entrapment. You lost me here.
     
  45. Thomas: The question is about the definition. If we had a simple definition then the problem would be solved. Duh.
     
  46. Hang on. I'm not aware of any of Sturges images that can't be shown online. Sturges is not
    a child pornographer! We have a real conflict in our society over sexuality. We have nudity
    and sexuality all mixed up. Nudity is the natural state of man. Clothing is the aberration.
    So, you guys are now going to claim that you've never seen an attractive teenage girl on
    the street and had "impure" (yes, I'm being sarcastic) thoughts about her? Isn't that
    pornographic? That's some man's daughter!
    <p>My point is that we have gone overboard. Yes, there are pediphiles in this world. But
    just because you might lust "in your heart" after a hot teenage girl doesn't mean you are
    going to act out and rape her. Pediphiles are an aberration, just like lots of other bad guys.
    We cannot construct enough laws to keep them from acting out in tragic ways. Convicted
    and monitored pediphiles do it all the time. So our reaction is to arrest mothers who take
    snapshots of their kids in the tub.
    <p>If you remove every photo of a naked child under sixteen from print and from the
    web, pediphiles will still act out tragically against children. They do not need the stimulus
    of naked pictures of kids to cause them to do what they do. Most have never seen the
    child they attact naked.
    <p>The whole argument against child nudity in photography is specious.
     
  47. "The question is about the definition. If we had a simple definition then the problem would be solved. Duh."

    Here's your original comment.

    "If you believe that displaying pictures of naked children is wrong, does it become all right if the pictures are of someone who has become an adult since the pictures were taken?"

    First, answer the question: By who's standards?

    "Duh."

    Sorry, "Duh." doesn't qualify as intelligent writing and I ain't seen any intelligence in any of the above comments. When folks grow up and begin to deal with other's values (because they see themselves as the only aspect of a complex society), then progress, in regard to the question can be made.

    You have no idea how silly the above responses have been (my view) as they skirt issues of societal standards and what the general population wants for their society as bashing becomes an answer.

    Wouldn't it just be easier on the conversation if folks came out and said, the only laws they like are ones which agree with their POV.
     
  48. Eugene, again you are a silly man. My assumption is that HE, she, them, THEY, IT, are, would, could and SHOULD, hopefully wouldn't be anywhere near you whenever they try to understand just WHO you are trying to offend or what side you are really on. HA!





    You are a silly man, or female, or GOD (who by the way might be a man or woman, I would hate to make the assumption) for all I know to just start saying anything at this point to make me feel like I would be on the defense. I said all that I can say. made my point as best I could with my obvious NON ability to get through your head as best as I could. I am truly sorry. I only wanted to let you know. I don't mind those other guys/gals. But HIM (yes, HIM) the one I saw taking in the picture for the interview. Oh, yeah you figure it out. HE, bugged me. HA! I didn't like his shifty eyes, maybe it was because HE really was sad because HE didn't get enough pudding when HE was younger. I don't know but I do know I just don't like the pictures of his NAKED daughter. That is all.





    See ALL smiles. It is my opinion. Now quit pointing that finger. My head is really hurting now. he he




    And just so you know I DO know woman look at porn too. Gosh, I didn't mean to leave my own sex out of this. (sigh)
     
  49. Thomas I just read your comment. Gee I wish you would have wrote that way at the top. I would have just skipped this forum question. :)

    Duh, HA
     
  50. The whole issue comes down to exploitation of kids. Is it exploiting kids to take photos of
    them naked against their will? Yeah. Just as it is exploitation of adults to do the same. But
    an adult can give legal consent and a child can't.
    <p>Does a parent have the right to take photos of their kids naked against their will?
    Society doesn't know how to answer that question. Does the child have no free will until
    age 18 or 21? Does a parent have the legal right to supercede the will of the child? Society
    says they can in some areas, but they can't in others. Who makes that distinction? Society?
    Which society?
    <p>In many societies children routinely drink wine with meals. In the US, it is illegal to
    provide alchohol to a child. Should children drink wine or not? Should they be
    photographed by their parents naked or not? By others or not? Are those who look at
    photos of naked children, sexualized or not, pediphiles? Or, are those who actually
    sexually molest children pediphiles? Should there be laws making it illegal to look at
    photos of naked children? Where does that leave parents? What if their children don't want
    their parents to see them naked? Is it then exploitation if the parent then does so?
    <p>Society suffers from schizophrenia in these areas. How do you base laws on the
    schizophrenic views of millions of individuals?
    <p>Every time you say, "there ought to be a law," the wall of laws you build to keep others
    out is boxing you in.
     
  51. Why are there so many photographers who believe that their personal rights trump the rights of those whom they photograph?

    I am saddened that there are people who simply cannot understand that children are not appropriate sex objects. Then again, serial stupidity is an indicator of conscious intent. Pretending that "sexual" is in the eye of the beholder is a straw man if ever there was one. What a convenient loophole in any discussion of morality. It is simple: A child put into a position that would be considered erotic if the same pose were used by an adult is pornography. That isn't the beginning and end of the definition, but a very good place to start.

    Look at the explosion of "Lolita" porn where grown women dress like little girls. Often it involves a lollipop and teddy bear, pigtails, etc. Vile in the extreme. The pedophile will say that no laws are broken. Well, that is exactly what makes it sickening. The gratuitous celebration of child rape done in a way that allows the pervert to fantasize about raping a child while staying within the bounds of the law. Intent is what makes something immoral. Legality only refers to specific acts. You can be a perfectly legal perverted disgusting excuse for a human being. Breaking the law or not isn't what makes someone pathetic.

    I think a very poigniant statement was made above - that many of these arguments depend on the pretense that morality where children are concerned cannot be defined. That is the universal philosophy of child molesters. "If the child enjoys it it's not rape, right?", goes the thinking. Even more sickening is someone who believes that although exploiting a child may not be 'socially acceptable' there should be nothing wrong with enjoying the product of that exploitation.

    "Cultural sensibilities" is the other red herring. Going to Thailand because you can have sex with 7 year old boys without getting arrested doesn't make it right.
     
  52. "If you believe that displaying pictures of naked children is wrong, does it become all right if the pictures are of someone who has become an adult since the pictures were taken?"
    Let's break this question down logically. Why do you preface the real question with "If you believe. . . ."? Your belief one way or the other does not determine whether it was or was not "all right." Giving an objective definition of porn is hard, if not impossible, but, if it was porn, then it still is.
    --Lannie
     
  53. "A child put into a position that would be considered erotic if the same pose were used by an adult is pornography."

    John, It is a good starting definition and maybe nearly the end, you can speak of the nuances, but it IS the reality of the porno industry, exploitation of children by adults, and also in a pretext of art by artists like the names mentioned above. I think there is only one moral for the question, your upper sentence definition.

    Being also a medical professional, I saw enough results of the life damage and vulnerability of children abuse, for sex purposes done by adults.
     
  54. "Intent is what makes something immoral. Legality only refers to specific acts. You can be
    a
    perfectly legal perverted disgusting excuse for a human being. Breaking the law or not
    isn't
    what makes someone pathetic."

    So now you advocate thought police, where it is our thoughts that make us guilty. We
    condemn folks based on your definition of what is and isn't "moral." In that case we must
    find someway to guard our dreams at night.
    <p>Whether someone is a "disgusting excuse for a human being" is irrelevent to me. It's if
    he acts out in the world outside his thoughts that is the concern.
    <p>As for teenage sexuality, weren't you (collective you) sexual when you were a
    teenager? Didn't you express your sexuality when you were a teenager? Just because our
    society has moved "adulthood" forward in years doesn't change biology. When it was
    common for women (and, men for that matter) to marry when they were 13 or 14, was sex
    with them disqusting or perverted? Did it constitute rape because they were too young to
    give consent? Or does God's blessing in marriage make sex with children o.k.?
    <p>While I personally don't really understand why anyone (except another teenager...lol)
    would want to have sex with a teenager, my grandmother was 14 (I'm 57, so that was a
    long time ago) when she married my 22 year old grandfather (as was common at the time)
    and their marriage lasted 52 years until he died. Was he a moral degenerate for having sex
    with a teenager?
    <p>I think a lot of people simply react to this stuff without really thinking it through.
     
  55. Eugene "Pete said: Eugene - the reason there are "banned" pictures on the internet, and discussion and photo sharing sites for paedophiles is all to do with certain governments and freedom of speech

    Pete, I did not post a link to a pedophile forum. I posted two links to respected galleries who can legally stand up for what they are showing. And, by the way, you contradict yourself by saying that "banned" can be up online due to freedom of speech. If something is covered under freedom of speech, it cannot be "banned" by definition."

    Sorry, I thought you were referring images shown on the internet by the galleries. My misunderstanding.
     
  56. Actually, I retract my apology - John said to you
    "the outcome I know of for Sturges is that many of his photos can't be shown online"

    And you then said:

    "How do you explain this?"

    So your reply of "How do you explain this?" was in response to "many of his (Sturges') photos can't be shown online".
     
  57. I assume you were implying that it's ok for a respected gallery to show suspect pictures of children online, but not for anyone else...
     
  58. Thomas: I can only assume you are being slow on purpose. I have repeatedly said "by your standards". I want to know YOUR point of view.

    ---
    Landrum: I deliberately prefaced the question because people who think it is all right would not ask for consent. SOME people who think it is not all right MAY change their mind if consent is provided.

    Maybe I should not have said child porn but child nudity. I am not so interested in the clear cases where there is sexual activity, but the borderline cases which some think are lewd and others do not.

    Discussing this issue with some friends last night, someone did mention a good reason to ban the public display of such photography: it incites bad behavior. Whatever indecency laws that apply to incitement of other bad behavior should apply here.
     
  59. I am getting out of this thread. People here have no clue about:
    1. what law is and to whom it applies
    2. what pornography is
    3. what art is and how it is different from pornography
    What strikes me most is that people here believe (and I mean honestly, truly believe), (1) that the intention of certain artists is to titillate, and (2) that nude body is always erotic. Both assumptions are completely ridiculous. No respected gallery would accept erotic art for its titillating value, whether it is of adults or of children. There is not much difference between erotic art and pornography, but there is a huge difference between Art and erotic art.
     
  60. "Every time you say, "there ought to be a law," the wall of laws you build to keep others out is boxing you in."

    Well color me the fool then cause I'm not boxed in by all these laws. I'm on the internet this morning, ate some decent BBQ last night married up with some imported wine and in a short bit this morning, I'm off to provide services so I can get my pay.

    Things I can do today; work, play and have a great time.

    Things I can't do today, cheat on my taxes, make porn, do drugs, rob a store, kill a neighbor (in general, things which do harm to others) but I can cheat on my wife as that's not been made illegal; go figure. I'm sooooo boxed in. :)

    What's the complaint; porn and naked baby pics which are being used by pervs. Gee, but some here want me to believe that protecting the rights and needs of children is subservient to folks "need" to make naked children pics that can be used as porn because making art is more important then protecting the innocents of children?

    "If you believe that displaying pictures of naked children is wrong, does it become all right if the pictures are of someone who has become an adult since the pictures were taken?"

    "Say your daughter took a naughty picture of herself in the mirror, forgot about it, rediscovered it thirty years down the road, then exhibited it. The significance of age is what I am exploring."

    "The law is against porn. One must ask, what motivates a child to make images that would be construed as porn when she becomes an adult. That's the deeper question that's yet to be asked."

    I find that the only people being boxed in, are those who are pathological, not the other way around and we're not talking laws in regard to issues of slavery, so please, don't go there.

    "Thomas: I can only assume you are being slow on purpose. I have repeatedly said "by your standards". I want to know YOUR point of view."

    It is not I who's the slow one here. The society that one grows up in, influences their POV so by not exploring this fact, one is only giving a shallow, egocentric POV of no use other than being nothing more than a cable news channel poll question of the day.

    Example; News poll shows, only 33% of the respondents support the Prez. What they don't say is only 22% of the same respondents support Congress. But is sure makes their point, doesn't it? :) The point, if you're going have an intelligent conversation, you're going have to inject intelligence; omnidirectional thinking, beyond that of the simplistic answer of a response.
     
  61. "People here have no clue about:"

    That must be it as we're all stupid because we don't agree with your POV. :)

    "No respected gallery would accept erotic art for its titillating value, whether it is of adults or of children."

    Let's see what Google has to say on the matter.

    "Pornography in art museums."

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=pornography+in+art+museums&btnG=Search

    Hmmmmmm! :)

    The below Elton John link, clearly shows how societal mores, influences legal decisions. It really is up to the people in which to decide (democratic) as it's not up to the individual (dictatorship) to decide for everybody else.

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3658634&page=1

    One really does have to, when asking questions of this nature, delve deeper than the simple.
     
  62. Eugene, I'm sure people here have a resaonable understanding of what law is, what pornography is, what art is - and we are all allowed to voice opinions or interprete things in different ways. After all , isn't that partly what prosecution and defence lawyers do? Won't they need to discuss the interpretation of "indecent" with respect to the Klara and Edda picture (I'm not sure if you've actually seen that picture - the picture you provided a link to seemed very decent in comparison). Instead of leaving the discussion, it would be more constructive if you would at least impart your educated wisdom on those of us who so obviously have a much lower leve of understanding than your good self. All condescending comments will achieve is getting people's backs up and disliking the attitude of you people who place higher importance on "artistic freedom of expression" than on "child protection" or whatever. It's all very well having your opinions on the art side of things given to us, but sometimes it would be nice to have more - if it was your children, in this day and age, how would you feel about them, now they're older than 18 years old, consenting to the publication of an image that showed them spreadeagled and naked at the age of, say, 8 - an image that could perhaps be construed as "indecent" in nature?
     
  63. Emre, I actually find myself in more general agreement with Eugene on many points, since his response is more nuanced than most and is not a knee-jerk reaction one way or the other. I say "in general" since I have followed this thread somewhat casually, not reading every post, but I have been reading Eugene's comments on many topics for a long time. He is a serious thinker and contributor on topics from color management to the philosophy of photography. I hate to see him being put on the defensive for trying to make intelligible and intelligent distinctions.
    I am not sure if I got your last point, but let me say one thing about consent: I do not think that consent is generally relevant where children are concerned, and I am not talking about something as obvious as statutory rape (where consent is likewise deemed irrelevant if the child is below a certain age or if there is too great a difference in ages between the partners). In photography, children simply might have no idea as to what use the pictures are being put, nor have any idea of the motives of the photographer or the distributor. Children qua children are not even aware of the existence of such a thing as sexual exploitation. Therefore the criterion of correctness surely is not solely or primarily whether a child gave his or her permission to have the picture taken. A child's consent as a child cannot therefore legitimize anything in this area. That said, there certainly is a lot of hysteria on this issue, in the same way that there used to be (and still can be) about nudes in general. There is no question in my mind that many nudes of adult subjects are made in a spirit of complete innocence, and surely not all pictures made of nude children are pornographic, starting with the ubiquitous baby picture which used to be a staple of almost every family's collection of old photos. Attempts to specify what is or is not acceptable legally can likewise vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, making the whole area of nude photography a minefield for anyone trying to do serious work in this entire area, i.e., nude photography in general, not just the photography of children.
    I do believe that there are cultures where the sexual exploitation of children is more common than in others, and I am not sure why this is (or might be) the case--but our culture might be one of them. Even if so, I seriously doubt that more repressive legislation is going to solve that problem.
    The tone of the discussion reminds me of some issues in nude photography in general. I am reminded of some rather sad facts, such as Edward Weston's fear of being arrested for mailing some of his classic nudes through the U.S. mail. When serious artists live in a climate of fear, art suffers, and, where true art suffers, we all suffer.
    When someone as thoughtful as Eugene is "jumped" for trying to formulate an answer to these difficult questions, then rest assured that almost no one else is going to want to enter the fray. Even so, taking the safe way out by avoiding commentary is not the proper option. The issues will not go away, and I am not going to surrender the field (any field) to the hysterics.
    Frankly, I am wary of offering much in the way of generalizations on this topic. Sweeping generalizations are generally (but not always) wrong. Some photos would obviously be ruled out of bounds by any dispassionate observer. Others would (perhaps ironically) have to be viewed before a moral judgment could be made.
    Now (finally), back to your original question, as to whether consent becomes relevant later (after the subject of the photo has become an adult), let me answer the title of your question as posted: "Is it child pornography if the child has become an adult?" My answer remains the same: if it was pornography, then it still is. The problem remains the antecedent ("if. . ."), not the consequent ("then. . ."). That is, was it pornography in the first place? My answer begs most of the questions in this problematic area (i.e., defining pornography), but I hope that it addresses your very specific question. I almost fear posting further on this issue myself, for fear of being misunderstood, but I hate to see any discussion degenerate into the usual mindless ranting that removes all possibility of rational thought and analysis. I especially hate to see a thoughtful and valuable contributor virtually demonized for trying to answer a difficult question--or for asking it in the first place. This is a philosophy of photography forum, after all, and speculation on these matters does not imply that any of us who are responding are actually doing this kind of photography. Philosophy tries to evaluate problematic ethical choices before they become personal choices. It likwise impels us to place ourselves into possible scenarios that could not possibly come to be, such as "Should a woman choose to have an abortion given x, y, or z circumstances?" I can surely reflect on that question, even though it is not conceivable that I as a male shall ever have to make that choice.
    The question that you have asked really belongs to the subset of the intersection of two problematic areas: (1) what is pornography? and (2) what is the moral significance of consent where children are concerned? Unless that is understood (and Eugene at least understands it), then people are simply going to emote, not analyze rationally in their responses. --Lannie
     
  64. I admit it was my mistake to use the word pornography in the original question, since to me pornography implies intent of arousal, and thus an adult photographer. I should have said nudity. So the photographer could be an adult, or another child--possibly the model himself/herself. Some may consider the nudity suggestive and others may not.
     
  65. Lanny, Emre and I are buddies.
     
  66. Eugene, I did not see you and Emre as being in opposition, nor in collusion. I took the question and his comments on their own merits, and yours as well.

    If you guys planned this together, you did a fine job. This is a good thread, if only because it is at times so bad.

    Given the seizure of Sir Elton's photos, this question could not have been posted at a more opportune time to point up the popular hysteria and why we absolutely have to resist it.

    --Lannie
     
  67. I'm so sorry Eugene, I so wanted to be your buddy :(
    I just didn't like one artist (sigh).




    I guess it didn't help that I, however, am not one of those people, out there to "GET" the STURGES'S of the world. Just the silly photo's I felt cross the line a bit more. Maybe my "OPINION" and feelings got more in the way on this one. Call it the mother in me.
    It still comes down to the question. Lets make it backwards. What if the CHILD doesn't WANT her picture (nude) out there anymore, once it had been taken by the adult who took it (nude art). hmmm (sigh)




    Once they BECOME an adult they go OMG, what happened while I was 14 through 18. All these pictures of me? Hmmm
    What THEN? You can't take it back can you? It is there forever.
    And Emre, how can we know who is in the state of arousal and who is not by a picture? I mean some of the flowers on PN are pretty sensual. So even THAT is suggestive. We don't know or probably want to know what is in the implication of people's mind or the mind of the people taking the pictures.




    I still say Pictures taken before they are 18 should still fall under the act of CHILD protection. It is the looker and not the person being taken that is considered. The difference would be in fine art but who defines that. Oh I double talk (ouch) :(
    So confused and so not my definition to sort out.




    Morality? "The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct".




    I have no clue what is good conduct in any of this honestly.
     
  68. I saw the Nan Goldin shot that was seized at the following site:

    http://hitsusa.com/blog/140/klara-and-edda-belly-dancing/

    Of course it has been modified for public consumption, but I found myself uttering a real belly laugh on this one--first for the picture itself, and second for the fact that it was seized as "kiddie porn." This is too rich to be believed.

    --Lannie
     
  69. I posed this question because the Elton John case made me think of it. I asked myself "under what conditions would someone who objects to it as it is consider it acceptable?" I am not trying to drum up hysteria, though some people are letting their emotions get the better of them.
     
  70. Lannie, I think I mentioned earlier on in either this thread, or the Elton John one, that I don't think it (the Klara and Edda picture) iss an image that could be classified as "child pornography" (there is no indication of sex acts, or implied sex acts), but it is certainly an image of a child that could be classified as "indecent" to some degree or other. The whole Elton Klara Edda thing will boil down to the interpretation of "indecent" and to how well this, in my mind piece of crap photo, can be defended as art. I think the hysteria thing you mention is another "straw man" - I don't think there is hysteria, but there is, rightfully, concern about balancing child protection issues with the rights of so called "artists" to publish works like this one of Goldin's. I've asked several times in various threads whether anyone would consider the Klara and Edda picture as "art" if the girl on the floor had been wearing knickers. I suspect not. Unless of course any piece of crap photo taken by Goldin would be considered as art regardless. Would the Klara and Edda pictures "art" defence work if you or I had taken it and had printed a load of prints and floged them via ebay - maybe even as part of a series that included pictures of junkies jacking up, masturbation and so on - you know, because images like that with it in the series must really make it artful.

    Anyway, if the case does progress over here and Elton is convicted then he would most likely be required to sign the sex offenders register and would be restricted in his ability to have contact with children. That's probably about as far as it would go. That's assuming he's not a bit more of a Gary Glitter - which I doubt.

    Elton John is apparently good friends with Goldin, and he gives a lot of money to charity - I'm sure they'll work something out.
     
  71. Thomas--

    What's your point about the News poll? I thought you were going to point to a hypocrisy or
    contradiction, but that polling data makes perfect and consistent sense. Only 33% support
    the prez. That's because he's a bad prez. Only 22% support the congress mainly because
    the
    congress was elected to force the prez to change policies and it's been spineless and
    ineffective in doing anything about the prez. It seems to me that both figures support the
    news media's conveying to their audience that this is one bad prez.

    Surely you, as a discerning and informed citizen know not to read low poll numbers only at
    some shallow level like, well there both unpopular because they're all bad. I know you
    recognize that there is no moral equivalence in bad poll numbers here.
     
  72. Lannie, I know you as an intelligent thinking person, and I respect your point of view. As you know I'm an artist that worked with nude for years in painting and photography, nude is a part of my art school education. I'm sure that if you see a nude photo you will know the difference if it is art, erotic, pornography, without needing a definition.... but aside from being an artist I'm a mother to a daughter too, looking at the photo of NG I did not feel comfortable, examining my feelings by thinking "what if it was my daughter in that pose....
    "what motivates a child to make images that would be construed as porn when she becomes an adult. That's the deeper question that's yet to be asked".

    I'm sure the child in the photo, that looks as very young of age, did not know anything of what is sex, nude, porno, or even life in general, simply a child palying/dancing, that was staged or only photographed by the artist.What does she know about concent?, and even if she was asked and said yes, can she understand the implication at this age? and when she is at the right age, adult, and don't like her photo in that pose being so public, can she do something about it?

    You spoke of nude in adults as well, but the subject was children nude, adults in many cases can choose to do it or not, while a child can not.

    That is my point of view, Lannie, and I have experience from both sides, as an artist and a medical professional, that dealt with children abuse concequences.
     
  73. But does that photo contribute to child abuse, Pnina? I have no evidence that it would or does. I have absolutely no reason to think that it would. Kids run around like that all the time when they are that age. I have read several forums on this photo since I posted above, however, and I am surprised by the vehemence with which people condemn Elton John as a "perv," etc. for having such a photo. Feelings are running high on this one, and I frankly do not understand it.

    I can, on the other hand, relate to the later potential embarrassment to the child as such as image gets loose on the internet and the child comes of age, since, once the image is out there, it is out there for good. For that reason I would not take or post such a picture. It is a long leap from that to calling it "kiddie porn," however, or from making any inferences about such images promoting child abuse.

    Even so, one reason would be reason enough for me not to post it, if I made such photos, which I do not.

    In many culture, these questions would not arise, and not because parents don't have digital cameras: the kids don't wear clothes, and no sexual abuse results. I think that we have to look elsewhere for explanations for child abuse, not in images such as this one, which to me is above all a humorous photo of two kids playing.

    I frankly think that the photo is a good "catch the moment" photo. I am truly sorry that it cannot be universally appreciated at that level. That to me is the sad part about all this. Not only the U.S. but apparently all of Western civilization has become a world of hysterics who want simple answers to complex problems.

    --Lannie
     
  74. "t is certainly an image of a child that could be classified as 'indecent' to some degree or other. The whole Elton Klara Edda thing will boil down to the interpretation of 'indecent' and to how well this, in my mind piece of crap photo, can be defended as art." --Pete Mills Pete, lo, I was browsing through your own photos and found this photo, which I consider harmless but a notch or two or three higher on the indecency scale--and then you talk about how a "piece of crap photo can be defined as art"?? The mind boggles. --Lannie
    00MlS7-38844884.jpg
     
  75. "Anyway, if the case does progress over here and Elton is convicted then he would most likely be required to sign the sex offenders register and would be restricted in his ability to have contact with children." --Pete Mills

    This is what I would call hysteria--having Elton John on the sex offender registry for owning the photo in question. This is getting too bizarre for words.

    --Lannie
     
  76. And may I also add that I strongly suspect that Sir Elton is getting mauled by at least some persons due to the fact that he is gay, since in many persons' minds gay persons are prone to more sexual deviance, a fact which I very, very strongly doubt.

    --Lannie
     
  77. "But does that photo contribute to child abuse, Pnina? I have no evidence that it would or does"

    I agree with you Lannie, I don't know either, childern are running and playing, even as nudes, the difference is photographing them and open them to the public, a way of no return! for the child's thinking of it when he/she can judge. Yes, there are cultures that everybody is walking nude, children included, and that is not porno, and not erotic, and not art either, just a culture.... but the western society IS different, and you know , as I do, that there is enough exploitation of human being, children included, because there are customers for this kind.
     
  78. Lannie, I don't think I ever described my own picture as art. And I don't think anyone else would. But if that picture of mine that you just posted was taken by an "artist" then I'm sure it would be classified as art, rather than just some crumby self-portrait of mine. Is it indecent? I'd hope not - but who knows.

    Now the hysteria bit you refer to with respect to the sex offenders register. I don't think there's any hysteria involved and I don't think it's that bizarre - it's something that would apply to anyone if they were guilty of possession on an image of a child that was found to be indecent. Just because it's a picture by a famous artist, and is owned by Elton John, should it really be treated differently? I dunno.
    At least over here in the UK I don't think there is any law against possessing pictures of other people's fully clothed children. Maybe there is - I'll check later. However, if someone was seen hanging around kids taking picture then it might arouse suspicion - and in some cases (such as the astrophysicist in London) this suspicion has been correct. It's not hysteria if being wary or suspicious leads to conviction of paedophiles is it? Of course, nobody is suggesting Elton John is a paedophile, but the law has to be applied him the same as to anyone else - I think. Otherwise it would be unjust wouldn't it?
     
  79. Lannie and all - I must point out that these discussions are definitely worthwhile, and I for one, certainly end up with lots to think about. I thought I'd mention this before someone comes along and says it's all bollocks!
     
  80. Actually, Pete, I like your work and don't consider the shot above indecent, but the point is that we have gotten a bit carried away with what is "indecent," in my opinion. In any case, I suspect that there are parts of the world where you could lose body parts for walking around with no shirt, just as there are parts of the world where nobody wears anything and there is no increase in promiscuity. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that taboos about bodily display are entirely matters of convention, and sometimes of superstition. I think that we have to be taught to be ashamed of our bodies. I could be wrong, of course, but such a perspective informs my commentary above.

    Frankly, I would not want Elton John or anyone else convicted of indecency for what in another age or another culture would be of no particular cause for concern or remark.

    While I'm at it, let me apologize for getting your name wrong. I thought in addition that I was responding to a fellow American, and I was confused by what you were talking about by "over here."

    --Lannie
     
  81. What Lannie is so eloquently and visually pointing out is that INDECENCY is in the eye of
    the beholder.

    Banning "indecent" photos or jailing people for owning them or making them, instead of
    concentrating on what really causes child abuse is misplaced energy. Child abuse is a
    societal problem that has to do with many other factors and way, way down on the scale is
    Nan's photo or Elton owning it.

    Last night's local San Francisco news carried a story about a fairly large-scale group in
    town calling for a ban and shut-down of the Folsom Street Fair (primarily gay but oriented
    toward mainstream S&M as well) because of public nudity, which is tolerated fairly liberally
    at all street fairs and parades in San Francisco both by the public and city and police
    officials. It's not that much of a leap to understand that a certain segment of society
    believes as fervently that public nudity and displays of sexuality are INDECENT, just as
    many on this board think Nan's work is indecent.

    My comment to both camps is, maintain your standards, protect your children to whatever
    extent you can, watch out for others' children, don't go to these parades and street fairs,
    stay out of art galleries where Nan's work is shown, don't accept the next invitation to tea
    from Elton John, and leave the rest of us alone. Your version of INDECENT is not the one
    that matters. It is the law's version, and in a society founded on free speech the law MUST
    remain liberal when it comes to such matters. If it catered to every group that was
    offended by someone else's expression, we'd soon be very unfree people.

    Of course, the law has to err on the side of freedom, even when children are concerned.
    Sometimes a basic principle does have to outweigh a seemingly urgent specific situation.
    That's why we don't torture people (or, I should say, we shouldn't be torturing people). It
    might bring us short term gains. And in the long run we lose more, our humanity. Those
    so willing to give up freedoms in the name of what they think of as extremes need only
    study history to see what happens when you give an inch on these matters.

    Is a photographer's right to a photograph, after all, that important? Yes, it's as important
    as your right to make submissions to this board, your right to marry whoever the hell you
    want, and your right to send emails to people without government interference (all of
    which, by the way, are compromised already on many levels). Those willing to define
    INDECENT for others and ban others' expressions better watch it because someone else is
    likely right behind you thinking there's something INDECENT about you.
     
  82. "My comment to both camps is, maintain your standards, protect your children to whatever extent you can, watch out for others' children, don't go to these parades and street fairs, stay out of art galleries where Nan's work is shown, don't accept the next invitation to tea from Elton John, and leave the rest of us alone."

    Fair enough. Agreed, and very well put.

    Someone accused me of proposing "thought police" which is absurd. All I said was that child pornography is wrong, and desiring to have sex with children is immoral. You can desire whatever you like- that is legal and you have the legal right to want to be as immoral as you wish. The point was a person can be immoral without breaking the law and that the law does not decide what is moral. Well, Sharia law attempts that, but law in western society does not and should not. My example still fits: a person can go to Thailand and rape children without being jailed. It does not make it right to do such things. Any rational person should understand the difference.

    To argue that there is no such thing as right and wrong is absurd. That harming a child in any way is evil is a universally held belief. Even in the prison system killers and rapists look down on child molesters to the point of killing them. What does it say when society's lowest common denominator recognize that some things are simply unnaceptable and certain people cannot be a part of a society- even a prison society.
     
  83. "[Y]ou know, as I do, that there is enough exploitation of human beings." --Pnina Evental

    Yes, Pnina, and this does concern me. I have looked back at the photo in question belonging to Elton John that was seized. I do not see it as kiddie porn or as indecent, but I strongly suspect now that it was not a "capture the moment" shot, but a shot that was set up.

    The difference to the child is nil. If the child is later embarrassed by the appearance of the shot on the web, then it does not much matter what motivated the adult who took the shot. It does affect my perception of the value of the shot, however, since, if a shot is not beautiful or intellectually interesting, it is usually of value because it does document an event or moment. To the extent that any documentary shot (including the ordinary snapshot) is doctored or set up, then the value of the shot is reduced to zero or near zero. What claim it might have had to some category of photographic art has evaporated.

    In addition, there is always the possibility that the photographer knew that showing a bit of controversial flesh would make for publicity, and, as they say in Hollywood, "there is no bad publicity." Thus many of us who had not previously heard of Nan Goldin now have, and she has probably upped her public visibility (and marketability) greatly by virtue of having one of her photos seized. Maybe she even hoped that would happen, if all that resulted was controversy and publicity, but no charges. If so, then, yes, I would consider that exploitation and indefensible, although something like it happens all the time. It is all the more offensive if it takes the form of exploiting children, even if sexual abuse in the strong sense is not a consequence. In some weaker sense, that is, sexual abuse has already occurred, although saying so would depend on one's precise definition of "sexual abuse."

    None of this bears upon the graver issues of child abuse, i.e., stimulating pedophiles to do things that they otherwise might not, but it does bear upon the question of exploitation. Perhaps all commercial photographers run the risk of being exploiters, but the deliberate use of children to enrich oneself, even if no harm comes to the child, is offensive.

    I will not say that that is what happened here. I simply do not know. I am rather glad that the publicity has helped stimulate controversy about some important issues, but I, too, am against exploitation in all forms. The more pressing question, however, remains: was the exploitation overtly sexual, and did it in any way injure the children involved or lead to the greater likelihood of injury to other children? That is much, much harder to answer.

    In any case, I do not think that we are in any danger of becoming too liberal about such matters anytime soon. By the time these kids grow up, nudity on television commercials will likely be the norm, as will nude beaches on the European model. Even the true perverts will have trouble being aroused by that which they see all the time, if such comes to pass.

    All of which raises the question of the possible role of repression in the creation of pedophiles. Is it possible, that is, that in our zeal to protect children, we are creating the kind of repression which will tend to produce even more pedophilies? I do not know enough about either anthropology or psychology to answer my own question.

    All of these are complicated questions that defy simple answers. It is clear, however, that some persons need at least to begin to think about these matters. There is too much in the way of mindless overreaction in some responses to the Nan Goldin photo to suit me.

    --Lannie
     
  84. "What's your point about the News poll?"

    The point, as stated, had to do, not with what was included but with what isn't included out of deceptive convenience.
     
  85. John Wilson: "That harming a child in any way is evil is a universally held belief."

    I appreciate what you're saying, don't think you've proposed thought police, and think you
    have a sane approach to the matter. But regarding the above quote of yours . . .

    What about the toddlers who were mere collateral damage in the Iraq war bombings? Their
    harm was certainly justified by a whole lot of folks. Unfortunately, nothing really does
    seem to hold universally. Often evils get weighed against other evils and evil remains
    absolute only until the greater evil comes along. Unfortunately, as in my Iraq example, the
    weighing is often prey to a faulty set of scales, but that's another matter.

    Many think of the Ten Commandments as pretty absolute values for good and against evil.
    Absolute, that is, until Thou Shalt Not Kill becomes Thou Shalt Not Kill except for capital
    punishment which is justified because . . .
     
  86. "Feelings are running high on this one, and I frankly do not understand it."

    In truth, feeling are running pretty low key in regard to this thread compared to many other's on same said subject matter. :)
     
  87. Thomas, where's the deception. With the inclusion of the poll about congress or without its
    inclusion, the point the news media is making is that the prez is bad. They recognize, as you
    and I should, that the poll about congress just reinforces that information, it doesn't say
    something different. Reporting the congressional poll, which I have seen done a lot, as if it's
    a case that the people think equally that all branches of government are bad is actually the
    deception.
     
  88. "Absolute, that is, until Thou Shalt Not Kill becomes Thou Shalt Not Kill except for capital punishment which is justified because . . ."

    It never hurts to understand the context of a Commandment.

    "Thou Shall Not Kill" refers to murder, the "unlawful" taking of life.

    http://www.biblestudy.org/question/notkill.html
     
  89. "With the inclusion of the poll about congress or without its inclusion, the point the news media is making is that the prez is bad."

    Without, as stated.

    "Example; News poll shows, only 33% of the respondents support the Prez. What they don't say is only 22% of the same respondents support Congress. But is sure makes their point, doesn't it? :)"
     
  90. Believe me Thomas, I understand the context and have taken many a bible study class and
    understand well all the rationalizations for all the convenient interpretations of scripture. The
    twists and turns on why this commandment should be followed here but not there and why
    this law of Leviticus should be interpreted strictly but this other law doesn't count would
    make for a good modern dance but doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The contexts of
    commandments somehow are vital but the contexts of other insipid biblical rules and
    regulations are so often irrelevant. Selective morality is of the most dangerous kind.
     
  91. Interesting reading for anyone who has a spare hour....
    http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/csisp/papers/oswell_images_matter.pdf
    It's more directed at the internet in many ways, but it is well worth a read.
     
  92. Landrum, I must first thank you for reminding me I had not gone back to look at Pete's portfolio.

    You did however forget to mention his better picture, HALF of ME , and one I tend to think of as a great artistic picture in itself with a slight bit a seduction and great lines to it. Well you can read what I wrote a while back.



    As for all this continued talk. YES, I agree all this in the media has made us much more aware (somewhat) of what is going on in the world today. Some people are not aware of the changes in the media and what the internet has helped move the world along in the last ten years. I was away for four years and came back to junk. Junk on TV. Not just SEX but political (news), stupidity and wasteful junk. Society is filled with JUNK. Unlike what we are talking about. Sorry guys but ultimately when it gets down to this the core values of our society is just a bit skewed is it not?

    I mean PETE gave us the link to a lot of reading about the Internet rules for Pornography (children). What are we talking about here. I started thinking about this. Lets hit home. You have a child. Your child is under 18. Go take that child's clothes off, take pictures of that child. Take those pictures to your next door neighbors house and say here. Now tell your neighbor to keep them or distribute them anyway they want to. You just took them with your brand new NIKON D80 camera and you are NOW an ARTIST and you are proud of your work. Give him your business card and tell him to make sure his friends know you do this kind of work. THEN make sure you save pictures in case your CHILD wants to have them when they get old enough to give them out when they turn of age. DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND WRONG?

    Sorry but my flag is going off. WRONG! I had to think about it and it just hit me.

    So, I get a great name for myself and I do normal nudes and I do normal stuff for a while and then BAM I start doing other stuff and then BAM I get caught doing this other crap and I go we we we we it is art. Nope, Flag. It is going off. It is the same stuff as if they were doing it now before they became an "artist".

    Yes, I look at the Sturgens of the world and know that there are people out there that have nothing wrong with being NUDE and having their pictures taken, and frankly those pictures do nothing for me and I think they are beautiful in there own way.

    But WOW!!

    I have problem with those NEIGHBORS. What would the neighber. Throat clears. Can't have it both ways.

    (sigh)

    So, I rest my case on the I don't care if they are 40 and they have those pictures when they were 15 I don't think they should be able to share them. I would consider it wrong.

    Oh my definition of indecent (for my daughter of 14), uh ~ no bra strap showing and no more than four inches above the knee skirt.

    Oh, and no nude pictures on her myspace. LOL
     
  93. "It never hurts to understand the context of a Commandment. 'Thou Shall Not Kill' refers to murder, the 'unlawful' taking of life." --Thomas Gardner

    Thomas, do you believe in both capital punishment and "turning the other cheek"? Just wondering.

    Lots of people do, in any case. The human capacity for rationalization amazes me, although I don't why it should after so many years.

    --Lannie
     
  94. Micki, I went back and read what you said about Pete's "Half of Me." Here is the picture of you and your husband when you saw the other half. --Lannie
    00MldV-38848884.jpg
     
  95. Pete, I read the long piece. All that I can conclude is that the cops who look into child porn are de facto pervs and that their claim to be looking for the sake of research and investigation must thereby be specious. They clicked, they looked, and they downloaded and stored. They're guilty.

    Nice to have nice, neat solutions to complicated social problems, no?

    --Lannie
     
  96. Okay, if you read the article Pete cited, you now understand the law on these matters in the UK:

    All of the 25,000,000 people (more or less) who this week looked at the photo to see what Elton John was up to must also be de facto pervs. Even if they did not download, they looked. They must be pervs.

    Now it is simple, Pete, due to the article that you cited above. Now that I have seen what the UK defines as criminal evidence, I am convinced that at least half of you Brits might as well turn yourselves in today. The other half have until next week, when you will inevitably have to look to see what all the stink is about. (Don't even ask about the numbers for the rest of the world.)

    On a more somber and serious note: the true horror of actual sex abuse derivative of pedophilia continues. Linking it to the internet in any simple way remains a bit more difficult. Understanding it and solving the root causes and pathologies are anything but simple. I have a hunch that this is not a simple law enforcement problem, but as a social theorist I am fresh out of theories on this one, both as to cause and solution. I have entertained one general theory above, that it is somehow linked to repression. Even that is suspect, however, as are all simple theories.

    --Lannie
     
  97. HA HA HA HA

    I'm sorry

    ROTFLMAOTTCFOTC

    rolling on the floor laughing my ars off till the the cat fell of the counter

    yep

    I can't help myself

    You, Landrum made me giggle. I like that ;) Now where is my two cents for the Right Click save. he he

    LOL!!!

    I do agree wth your ideas of those cops (possibly). hmmm


    Now Lanrum, I am sad, I had much better pictures of me than the first picture out of mu husband's camera. Look at me, I have no lipstick on. :) he he Almost naked myself! LOL

    AND, btw ~ I enjoyed reading your Rules of Ideas. It is nice to read some refreshing stuff every once in a while. Thank you for adding the link.


    Silly Silly ~ still laughing. Gee, I should remember I have all those silly pictures of HIM in my portfolio. HA!
     
  98. "I should remember I have all those silly pictures of HIM in my portfolio. HA!"

    Darned right, Micki. You never know when you might have to blackmail him.

    Oops. Broached another ethical issue. . . . Will this thread never cease?

    I'm glad I spun my 1982 Honda CB900 C around city and county for a couple or three hours in there before I came back to read all of the remarks. Social theory is, well, interesting, but there's nothing like contemplating skidding down the pavement for a couple of hundred feet to give you some real perspective on what is real.

    --Lannie
     
  99. So, you read the whole thing and realized all along I have tried to stay on point and say the same thing the whole time? yes?

    HA!

    Gee, all I had back in the 80's when I was a teenager was a Honda CB 250 I think an RS, but I have no clue anymore. It was red. I started with a Honda 75. That was a trip.

    So, can we ever consider a thread like this dead? That WOULD be the ethical question wouldn't it. But then you are the philosopher.

    I am just a glorified lady who waits for someone to bug her when they get home from school so she can kinkly ask for them to do the dishes like they are suppose to. :)
     
  100. That was their marketing slogan way back then, as I recall.

    Well, Micki, if you kinkily ask, you will probably get some interesting results.

    As for enduring issues, many of the ancient Greeks saw no problems with all kinds of pedophilia. Many people today still have no problem with it. It does make one wonder whether there is any real progress, or whether the same old issues simply come around again and again in different form. It also makes you wonder to what extent it really is a social pathology as opposed to being an individual pathology. No, philosophers sure don't have the answers, only more questions.

    --Lannie
     
  101. Lannie, there have been problems with police "research" into child pornography. It's the same ol' thing of what differentiates a "bona fide researcher" from someone who is just inquisitive and then differentiate each of these from someone who is a pervert? Similarly, what really differentiates people like Goldin, a "bona fide, well respected artist" from a photographer who is a "budding artist" or enthusiast - and then how are these differentiated from someone who is producing indecent images of kids for satisfying perversions?

    The picture that has been bandied around of Klara and Edda has been airbrushed for the sake of modesty - I don't know how that would appear in the eyes of the law, but it's certainly no different from how it would be depicted in the papers.
     
  102. And, in another thread in the Street photography forum here, a man taking photos in a
    farmers market was told to stop taking pictures of a pumpkin the owner of the stall had for
    sale. I guess the pumpkin was being exploited, had no way of giving consent, and the owner
    was simply protecting its rights.
    <p>The illogical conclusion of censorship.
     
  103. Jim, that's nothing to do with censorship - it's the pumpkin owner exercising his rights to prevent exploitation of his pumpkin, or its image thereof.

    I think though, that the rights and welfare of a child are more important than those of a pumpkin.

    vic?tim (vktm)
    n.
    1. One who is harmed or killed by another: a victim of a mugging.
    2. A living creature slain and offered as a sacrifice during a religious rite.
    3. One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition: victims of war.
    4. A person who suffers injury, loss, or death as a result of a voluntary undertaking: You are a victim of your own scheming.
    5. A person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of: the victim of a cruel hoax.

    QUESTIONS - in photographs like "Klara and Edda Belly Dancing" are the children taken advantage of in the name of "art"? Might they suffer in any way?


    Noun 1. victimisation - an act that exploits or victimizes someone (treats them unfairly); "capitalistic exploitation of the working class"; "paying Blacks less and charging them more is a form of victimization"

    QUESTIONS - in photographs like "Klara and Edda Belly Dancing", are the children exploited or treated unfairly in the name of "art"?

    Actually, whose children are they? Has the family been exploited in any way by the "artist"?
     
  104. It takes little more than moronic understanding to accept the child does not give consent nor could possibly be argued to have given legitimate consent in any situation regards being photographed. It is therefore up to the photographer to not take advantage of that situation. Unfortunately not all photographers come with an understanding equal under all circumstances. More unfortunately there are predators who will hide among the less than adequately understanding image takers, claiming ignorance and pretending stupidity.

    The original posters question seems to fall in this category: "Is it child pornography if the child has become an adult?"

    The question seems more to be based on...what can we get away with?

    While we may still be ignorant of the result on our children of attitudes prevailing today, we have no excuse but to accept the fault in issues where we have previously learned and have erred.

    If you are in doubt...ask yourself if you would accept your child being used in a suggested fashion...if you agree it is acceptable...then go back to your original doubt...and deal with the issue at its base. Our obligation is to our children.

    For those who enjoy throwing in those "But If" situations...if you know the question..you probably know the answer.
     
  105. "Thomas, do you believe in both capital punishment and "turning the other cheek"? Just wondering."

    I believe that every time one takes a caged life in support of the law, it takes a nick out of civilized existence. I also don't see capital punishment as a deterrent for in the simple, it's punishment. Capital punishment addresses the willful and intentional planned taking of a life, not the accidental. I see life in prison, without chance of parole, to be a far more serious punishment then any form of capital punishment. I also believe that if some dumb-ass wants to rob a bank or liquor store, killing folks in the process of acting out this overt, planned event, then being shot themselves, is a reasonable (rational response) expectation; capital punishment.

    As to turning the other cheek, one would go mad if they didn't daily, many, many times a day, turn the other cheek.

    "Lots of people do, in any case. The human capacity for rationalization amazes me, although I don't why it should after so many years."

    Smiling as I read your above; unbeknownst to you, this amazement you're experiencing, is a two-way street. ;-)
     
  106. Pete, thanks for the definition of victimisation.

    There are some more questions to be asked. Is the parents concent, to use their child as a model for nude photography is valid and moral?

    I don't think so! as it is not a father's right to rape his daughter or parents to abuse their children.I think that the role of parents is to protect their children till they can do it thenmselves and decide for themselves.

    NG did a lot of money selling that photo, I'm sure not only to Elton.What happens if the child photographed in that pose, as a thinking adult, does not want to be a public "art model" of this kind, what can she do? sue NG? ,that will have all the money resources to defend herself, with the best of lawyers and plead that the law of obsolete is valid...?
     
  107. "I think that the role of parents is to protect their children till they can do it thenmselves
    and decide for themselves."

    <p>Ah, but there's the rub. In most states it is legal for parents to sign papers to allow
    their teenage children to marry. Anyone of the opposite sex of any age. In effect, the
    parent has given legal consent for the teen to have sex with, perhaps, an adult (if they are
    marrying an adult). If a parent giving consent for a photographer to take photos of their
    children naked is grevious, isn't giving consent to what would otherwise be statutory rape
    even more grievous?
    <p>Parents also have the right to make life and death medical decisions for their kids,
    decisions that, in many cases, will effect the rest of the child's life.
    <p>I guess, then, that we need more laws dealing with each specific situation in which a
    parent might find themselves so we can be certain social values are maintained?
     
  108. What kind of parent would sign a paper giving consent for their 14 year old daughter to marry? I know it goes on - arranged marriages and all that, parents in certain US states signing papers so their 14 year old daughter can marry some 40 year old bloke - but is that right? Of course not. Is it any more grievous than consenting for the child to appear in "indecent"? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, maybe they are both equally grievous - I personally think they're both the lowest of the low when it comes to the welfare of children, and clearly not in the best interests of the child. Is it not parental responsibility to act in the best interests of their children? And is it not the children's right to expect their parents to be acting in their best interests? Children need to be able to trust that their parents will act in their best interest, and clearly giving consent for certain things as have been discussed here, is breaching that trust.

    Jim, you mention life and death medical decisions that may effect the rest of the child's life - straw man - is it not the case such decisions are USUALLY made in the best interests of the child? Maybe something goes wrong and things don't turn out right, but that's a risk of any life and death medical decision. The fact is, that such decisions are generally made in the best interests of the child.

    Maybe the parents of "Klara and Edda" thought that by allowing Goldin to publish this picture that they were acting in the best interests of their young kids.....hmmm....
     
  109. Jim: "I guess, then, that we need more laws dealing with each specific situation in which a parent might find themselves so we can be certain social values are maintained?"

    No I don't think so. I'm not sure of the situation in the US, but here in the UK I think a parent giving consent for an underage child to appear in a photo like Goldin's would likely be considered as "neglect". There are already reasonable laws in place concerning parental responsibility. And I think it is quite clear that making an informed medical decision and giving consent for an operation that is believed to be in the best interest of the child is far far removed from consenting to what has been discussed here.

    Emre - back to your initial question....I believe you are asking would this Goldin picture, for example, be acceptable if it were published at a time when the naked girl had reached the age of 18 (age of consent) and given her consent for it to be published? I don't believe it would be. For the simple reason that the image is a depiction of a naked child that could be considered as "indecent". The fact that the girl when she reaches 18 might give consent for it to be published does not change what the image is - it is still an "indecent" image of a naked child. The only thing that would change that would be if, at the time the girl reaches 18, the law has become so unprotective of children that it no longer considers such photos to be indecent or inappropriate.
     
  110. Or maybe they thought it was harmless.
     
  111. Emre, true - maybe they thought it was harmless. I don't know what the law is where you are, but over here I'm not sure how well "ignorance of the law" works as a defence. I don't think it works that well.
     
  112. Pete, throughout your responses, I see you defining "moral" and "immoral," "right" and "wrong" based on your own personal views which are based on what you consider the appropriate social norms. Problem is, your social norms aren't the norms everywhere, and what you consider immoral or harmful to a child's welfare might not raise an eyebrow in other cultures.

    Here in Korea, public bathhouses are quite popular. While the sexes are segregated, if young children are coming with only one parent of the opposite sex, then the kids go with that parent into the bathhouse. It's not terribly unusual to see girls the age of the kids in Goldin's photo in the men's side of the bathhouse (or, conversely, young boys that age in the women's side). No one is shocked or offended; the kids aren't traumatized. It's also quite common to see naked kids changing clothes at the beach. Or to have boys (grade school to high school) eager to share the open shower room with their adult teachers. The paranoia about pedophilia simply isn't common here.

    I showed the Goldin image to my (Korean) girlfriend, without a prior explanation about the controversy, and asked what she thought of it. She didn't see anything shocking about it. When I explained that it had been seized from a British art gallery for potentially being child pornography, then she was shocked.

    There are plenty of people in this world who would find the debate in this thread about such images being pornography or exploiting or damaging the children as rather odd.
     
  113. I don't know the laws in the States, and if it is acceptable that parents give concent to that kind of marriage, is it for the best interest of a 14 years old child to marry a 40 years old man? of course not.

    In my country there is a law against that kind of marriage, till the age of 18. There is also a concel of professionals ,for the welfare of the child, that deals (between other subjects) with execptions, and the welfare of the child is the leading decision taken.

    Life and death or other medical grave problems are done with physicians, psychologists, and even with the court, and the welfare of the child is again the leading decision. Parents that abuse their children , the children are taken out in order to save their life.

    This kind of NG photo published in the papers, as an art work, was not passing as such, and was thought of as abuse and the right measures for the child were than taken .
     
  114. Mike, it is the same here in the UK with changing facilities at swimming pools and health clubs. I often have son and daughter with me in mens changing room if I'm in charge, and my wife does if she's in charge. No problem with that at all. But the health club we went to has some stupid rule now where kids over 7 have to go into the changing room for their sex, accompnaied by a "chaperone" supplied by the club if necessary! Bizarre!!
     
  115. Precisely the point, Pete. One man's "Bizarre!!" is another man's protecting the children.
     
  116. last night married up with some imported wine...Things I can't do today, cheat on my taxes, make porn, do drugs,
    Alcohol is a drug - one that was prohibited and quite illegal in the US at one time and is still illegal in many societies. The Boston Tea Party was a tax revolt and beyond simple "cheating", yet we in the US hold those who did it in high esteem. (They were considered "terrorists" by the British Crown at the time) Almost any nude image will be considered "porn" by someone, somewhere.
    If someone paints realistic "pornographic" images of a child... is that a crime?
    Many of these issues discussed are relevent to the society and the times. There are no absolutes in some cases.
     
  117. "There are no absolutes in some cases."

    Has nothing to do with "absolutes" as it has to do with what a society at large wants; codification of morality.

    If one doesn't like it, as a mature thinking individual, they'll find that there are four choices; live with it, contact their representative (the democratic way) and have the law changed, move to another country that allows for a certain behavior and embrace their way of life or kill themselves; choices.

    Adult behavior deals with it, children whine and complain how they don't like something, stomp their feet and cry about how unfair life is.
     
  118. Thomas--

    Of course, it has to do with absolutes.

    When John Wilson said "That harming a child in any way is evil is a universally held belief,"
    I responded by saying that that belief, like the commandment not to kill, was not absolute.
    You responded by suggesting viewing the commandment in a certain context, implying
    that the commandment was, in fact, absolute.

    The important thing, though, is how that relates to this discussion.

    "Codification of morality" is done not only by writing laws but by enforcing them. The law
    this country follows is not set in stone. The law is fluid and, to be enforced, is dependent
    on prosecutors' and judges' interpretations and actions and jury's verdicts.

    There is no specific law that says Nan Goldin, for example, may not photograph children in
    such and such a position in such and such a state of undress. The law has to be applied. It
    has to be applied by a society whose morality will vary depending on context, place, time,
    and many other things.

    Whether a prosecutor will CHOOSE to take up a case, whether a jury will CHOOSE to
    convict someone like Nan Goldin will all be relative to the prevailing morality of the time
    and place.

    Beau is right and it's a key element in most moral and legal reasoning. There are no
    absolutes. American society, particular under the current simple-minded administration, is
    being led through fear into assuming that there are absolute rights and wrongs, that the
    world boils down to black and white, us versus them. It doesn't.

    Codification of morality and what a society at large wants are all well and good terms but
    they are, of course, misleading if read as knowable quantities.

    Your four choices are too simple and too limited. The law doesn't always need to be
    changed if it's not working. Society's understanding of the law and the issues involved may
    need changing. Child pornography laws may stand, but a discerning populace will
    hopefully be able to understand the difference between what shocks them and what
    should be banned, what they don't like and what harms someone.

    The matter at hand is child pornography. Changing laws, contacting representatives,
    moving to other countries, and killing oneself will not have much effect on the matter.
    Educating society, doing some research into the actual causal relationship between porn
    and crimes, getting society over its repressive approach to nudity, understanding that
    crimes against children need to be dealt with in a deep and meaningful fashion instead of
    with knee-jerk and quick moral pronouncements will make the difference here.

    Capital punishment is a red herring because dealing effectively with heinous criminals is
    so difficult and complicated and true crime prevention is so evasive but it's easy for those
    in charge and for all of us to avoid all the hard work and make the public debate to hang
    or not to hang. Focusing on child pornography and any absolutes about it is a similar red
    herring. It does little to serve our children. It just soothes our collective guilt at often
    being impotent to protect them.
     
  119. Mike, I lived in Japan for three years. I have been in those bath houses. I lived in fact in Japan when I was litte.

    I know exactly what you are talking about. BUT those images are not permanent, walking around naked. It is natural. We are talking about living breathing naked kids sitting next to us not pictures of them staring at us in our hands.

    Because my daughter babysits the next door neighbors kids and gives them baths and see's them naked does not make me worry.

    IT would make me worry for her to see that PICTURE. Do you understand that difference.

    My daughter has been in a BATHHOUSE with other NAKED girls her age. That did not bug me. BUT, you didn't see me there with a camera.

    Let me explain this in simple terms. Crotch shot like a penthouse magazine on a little girl less than six years old so some man or woman can lust after it in some perverted way is not MORAL (my opinion). NOT art! AND a bad picture too! Too much yellow in it. arghhhh

    Ok, is that simple enough for you guys! I don't think that we need a picture like that out there for ANYONE to see.

    So, guys lets not get into the cultural thing. It was in bad taste and YES I think she did it for a bit of a "can I get away with it" move. See how far she can go.

    Ok, sorry, I can get a little mad if you compare it to walking around naked with people and then putting naked young girls up in a pose like that. A picture is worth a THOUSAND words. What words do you hear that picture speak? (sigh)

    Just my thoughts. ~ micki
     
  120. Micki, Micki, Micki--
    ". . . so some man or woman can lust after it in some perverted way is not MORAL."
    In my mind, you're confusing two things. There's what Nan Goldin has done. And then there's what MAY BE some reactions by some sick people. The pervs are reacting, using Nan's photo in a certain way. Nan's photo didn't CAUSE their reactions. Second, luckily, lusting is not an action and is not a crime. Harming is. Even Jimmy Carter recognized the difference.
    More importantly though. You know I love your work and style and I actually think if you looked carefully at Nan's work, you'd see similarities to your own, in style (which you're now criticizing), not content. I'm not sure you're seeing terribly clearly if you can make a statement like . . .
    "NOT art! AND a bad picture too! Too much yellow in it. arghhhh"
    . . . given that you have created some unusually color-influenced photos of your own . . .
    for instance, THIS and THIS.
     
  121. Micki, stating your views in the most-patronizing tone you can muster doesn't actually make your viewpoint the correct one. Why should I believe that your perspective is more valid than my girlfriend's perspective? Or my perspective?
    As for what I "hear that picture speak," I see two kids, entirely unashamed, engrossed in their play. To me, the photo is very-specifically about innocence. Your inability to see anything beyond a Penthouse-style crotch shot doesn't mean that everyone else shares that limited view.
     
  122. "You responded by suggesting viewing the commandment in a certain context, implying that the commandment was, in fact, absolute."

    Never did what you suggest in your above as I corrected the misunderstanding of what folks "think" the commandment is about. It's very clear, the Commandment refers to the "unlawful" taking of life but many like to twist this Commandment to suit their agenda.

    "It doesn't."

    In the final, it does.

    "Your four choices are too simple and too limited."

    Intentionally so as life is real simple but many, for their benefit, like to obfuscate as this obfuscation serves their purposes.

    "Child pornography laws may stand, but a discerning populace will hopefully be able to understand the difference between what shocks them and what should be banned, what they don't like and what harms someone."

    Considering what's being displayed, daily, on the news, pretty much right up there with zero of that happening.

    "Educating society, doing some research into the actual causal relationship between porn and crimes, getting society over its repressive approach to nudity, understanding that crimes against children need to be dealt with in a deep and meaningful fashion instead of with knee-jerk and quick moral pronouncements will make the difference here."

    Educating society? To what, your POV?

    "...need to be dealt with in a deep and meaningful fashion instead of with knee-jerk and quick moral pronouncements..."

    Yeah! More talk. The poor misunderstood perv. Got it. LOL

    "Capital punishment is a red herring because dealing effectively with heinous criminals is so difficult and complicated and true crime prevention is so evasive..."

    Where's capital punishment come into the conversation? There's nothing difficult about dealing with heinous criminals, nor is it complicated. "...true crime prevention..."? As opposed to what, just sitting around and talking about it or providing therapy for the whack jobs so they can feel good about themselves?

    "It just soothes our collective guilt at often being impotent to protect them."

    Society (do good, feel good courts) won't allow us to protect our children because the bad person's just a misunderstood victim also. There's no guilt; anger yes, guilt no.
     
  123. Fred, exactly room for opinon, my opion on how I feel about the picture the color and the why the picture makes me feel got your attention didn't it. Why did THAT get your attention more than anything else I have said? hmmm

    Why can't I have THAT opinion? I personally still thnk the picture is WAY wrong and still think again in my opinion the picture is bad, ut I put in the feeling that the picture is way over what her norm is too, not that I really have studied her work, but truthfully not even worthy of 3's here on pn if the little girl had her underwear on.

    Once I make a statement like that people take notice (not that I'm an expert, so again it is my opinion). OHHH she said something bad about the picture (not the picture and the naked girl) but the picture itself. oh no. Sorry Fred, not being condesending it is just that we are forgetting that the picture is MADE to look like it is kind of "trailor trashy" ok. I'm calling a spade a spade here now. I am have decided to stop playing around the bush a bit.

    And for the record on my pictures they are painted and saturated. Done in photoshop some. I expect them to be overdone. Yes, on purpose and yes, my style. True, not far off from here in ways. But not photograhy.

    And as far as you Mike I told you straight up. My opinion. Didn't say I was right. Never once have I said I was right. Just stating my viewpoint and backing up that I have been there and maybe sat in your shoes too. I actually agree with you on everything you said except for the actual picture.

    I also don't know how to fix this, make it better, or even start a support group to even help those that have been hurt by those that have fallen into a trap or been trapped by the "fallen people of the FORUM that will never end".

    Mike, any conversation here is welcome. I actually welcomed what you had to say and have been lightly trying to say what I have been saying. I just finally said what I said in plain english. Sorry it looked like it was at your expense.

    I just have also been where you have been.

    I can't justify what anyone will feel nor know how they will feel when they will look at any nude or any piece of fruit or tree or silly animals out in the wild doing who knows what. No clue what goes on in any mans/womans mind.

    What one commercial can do to one person one piece of art does nothing to. Again, I have no clue?

    I just don't think THAT picture is approriate and NO I don't think when she turns 18 she should be able to pass it around going look here you can have it and show it on tv either. It would still be child pornography. The answer to the forum question still.

    ~ micki
     
  124. SIDEBAR

    This might be the longest thread I have ever seen. I also want to thank everyone for maintaining a thoughtful, even if sometimes heated, debate.

    I know perfectly well how I feel about things based on many years of coming to those conclusions. It is a good thing to be challenged on those views from time to time. Whether or not I change my mind or simply become reinforced in my current opinions, it is only in having my opinions challenged that they stand up to the test or not. To steal a line from a song, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

    Good arguments all around. Great thread.
     
  125. Fred, I wanted to address something you asked me. Your question was a very good one.

    "What about the toddlers who were mere collateral damage in the Iraq war bombings?"

    Caveat: The Iraq war is without a doubt the most precision war ever carried out. Every attempt possible has been made to eliminate unnecessary loss of life. Effectively, the US and Great Britain have carried out this war in velvet gloves with both hands tied behind their backs. At no other time in history has any force taken so much care in avoiding needless death and destruction by limiting themselves to the point of dancing with self-inflicted failure rather than bringing all available force to bear. I would argue against this kind of limited warfare. It has given too many people the insane idea that war is antiseptic and manageble. It has reduced the meaning of war to police action. Conversely, war as all out devastation where civilizations are alterred gives any rational person pause when considering war as a viable solution to the problem at hand. Therefore, horrible wars breed less wars. I apologize for the cruelty of that statement, but I stand behind it.

    Back to your question to me: What about the children in Iraq? Have they been killed as collateral damage?

    You are correct, of course. My answer may cause some people more grief than I already have, and may cause others to think me daft, but here goes:

    War is evil in every way. War is awful and terrible and should be avoided whenever possible. That does not mean that war is unnecessary.

    General Robert E. Lee, for those following this thread who are not Americans, was the commanding General of the Confederate States (the South) during the American Civil War. While watching the thousands upon thousands of men maneuvering and dying in the valley below, he turned to his second in command and said, "It is a good thing war is so terrible - lest we grow too fond of it."

    Nobody who has ever seen war wants to be a part of another one. That is the point General Lee was making. On a personal level, no good comes from the dying and devastation. Yes, innocents, children among them, get killed in horrible ways. In the heat of insanity that is war, a soldier must be good at killing without becoming a wanton killer. No small feat.

    Is the death of innocent civilians, children among them, evil? Yes. In every way. Once war is committed to, victory is the goal. It is too late then to worry about the evil that will be caused. That is the debate which should be won before war has been accepted as the solution.

    It is a good thing war is so terrible, lest we become too fond of it.
     
  126. LOL ~ YES, The longest forum thread ever and there are really two of them (one in in Casual Conversations along these same lines).

    Exactly what you said, challenging the views from time to time. Actually I think my views have become stronger on some things because of these discussions. Things I had not thought of in a long time. Things I had not thought of because of the internet and now that my daughter takes self portraits of herself as a 14 year old.

    Things change when you are a parents or something happens in your life that changes you forever. Something traumatic. Life experience as they call it.

    I also agree that my views have changed about certain types of nudity and art. Or rather solidified it by some of the reading here.

    Thanks `~ micki
     
  127. Thanks for your answer. You have dealt with many important issues. And some of your approach is sound. BUT . . . I hope you don't mind a few paragraphs from Dickens (Hard Times) to begin my response:
    "You don't know," said Sissy, half crying, "what a stupid girl I am. All through school hours I make mistakes. Mr. and Mrs. M'Choakumchild call me up, over and over again, regularly to make mistakes. I can't help them. They seem to come naturally.... Today, for instance, Mr. M'Choakumchild was explaining to us about Natural Prosperity.... And he said, Now, this schoolroom is a Nation. And in this nation there are fifty millions of money. Isn't this a prosperous nation? Girl number twenty, isn't this a prosperous nation, and an't you in a thriving state?"
    "What did you say?" asked Louisa.
    "Miss Louisa, I said I didn't know. I thought I couldn't know whether it was a prosperous nation or not, and whether I was in a thriving state or not unless I knew who had got the money, and whether any of it was mine. But that had nothing to do with it. It was not in the figures at all," said Sissy, wiping her eyes.
    "That was a great mistake of yours," observed Louisa.
    "Yes, Miss Louisa, I know it was now. Then Mr. M'Choakumchild said he would try me again. And he said, This schoolroom is an immense town, and there are a million of inhabitants, and only five and twenty are starved to death in the streets, in the course of a year. What is your remark on that proportion? And my remark was -- for I couldn't think of a better one -- that I thought it must be just as hard upon those who were starved, whether the others were a million, or a million million. And that was wrong too."
    "Of course it was."
    Then Mr. M'Choakumchild said he would try me once more... And I find (Mr. M. said) that in a given time a hundred thousand persons went to sea on long voyages, and only five hundred of them were drowned or burnt to death. What is the percentage? And I said Miss;" here Sissy fairly sobbed as confessing with extreme contrition to her greatest error; "I said it was nothing."
    "Nothing, Sissy?"
    "Nothing, Miss -- to the relations and friends of the people who were killed. I shall never learn!"

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about precision bombing.
    But I will also say that I'm afraid I do have grave doubts about this being a precision war. Firstly, I have doubts that the administration running the war cares as much as you do or as General Lee did about unnecessary loss of life. If they did, they wouldn't have exaggerated and cherry-picked evidence in order to enter an unnecessary war of choice.
    Secondly, even if I were to give them humanitarian credits which they have not shown they deserve and the political benefit of the doubt on the decision to go to war, they are clearly an incompetent bunch. They couldn't get Katrina right. They can't manage not to overpay for toilet seats. They can't supply their fighting troops with proper armor. They put Brownie in charge of FEMA and Gonzales in charge of the DOJ. But I'm going to believe them when they tell me they've used the utmost precision to avoid collateral damage? Sorry, not buying it.
    Unfortunately, as General and then President Eisenhower predicted, the military-industrial complex that this nation has become does have a distinct interest in war and does seem to have grown fond of it.
    Thank you for including this sage advice: "That is the debate which should be won before war has been accepted as the solution."
    Unfortunately, not much substantive debate takes place in this country anymore. Certainly not about the current situation which you refer to as a precision war and I would refer to as a moral, political, and practical catastrophe.
    Regardless of any of this, political disagreement or not, my point was that nothing is absolute and clearly the engagement of war, even necessary wars (which I do believe have been fought) trumps protecting children. Killing children may have to be justified to fight a righteous war, but that undercuts the notion that protecting children is an absolute moral imperative.
     
  128. I may have shortchanged you. Honestly, I've known Nan Goldin's work for a while and the
    minute I saw her stuff I thought of you. It just seemed similar to what you do on various
    stylistic and esthetic levels, sexuality aside. The natural
    way she handles stuff, the around-the-house, unadorned mentality, the exaggerated use
    of color and light here and there. Given your
    moral outrage at this photo of hers, I thought you were letting that influence your opinion
    of her photos in general, especially since you had said you weren't that familiar with her
    stuff. But I know you're a discerning person and you like what you like. So if you tell me
    that
    "arggggh" about her work wasn't influenced by your moral dislike and was an honest
    assessment of her talent, I believe you and apologize for not having faith that you were
    making that distinction.

    But, whether she might get 1s, 2s, or 3s from Pnetters is a joke. Of course she would. But
    any decent photographer who goes a little outside the oversaturated landscape or busty
    thin female nude genre would as well. Ratings from Pnetters, as we all know, proves
    NOTHING. I'm sure photographs from those of Avedon to Adams to Cartier Bresson would
    get low ratings.
     
  129. "It's very clear, the Commandment refers to the 'unlawful' taking of life but many like to
    twist this Commandment to suit their agenda.

    We disagree on what's clear about the Commandment but we agree that many like to twist
    it to suit their agenda.

    "In the final, it does [boil down to black and white]."

    You think it's black and white and I don't. Glad that's settled.

    "Intentionally so as life is real simple but many, for their benefit, like to obfuscate as this
    obfuscation serves their purposes."

    Simplicity and assaults on intellectualism run rampant when the ruling class wants to keep
    the masses ignorant in order to maintain power. Education, research, and critical thinking
    are not obfuscation, although they can be. Overcomplicating and oversimplifying can each
    be obfuscating.

    "Considering what's being displayed, daily, on the news, pretty much right up there with
    zero of that happening."

    I agree, there is little discernment and tv news is awful and that's a problem for society.

    "Educating society? To what, your POV?"

    No, educating society so that we are exposed to a variety of viewpoints and a wealth of
    available facts, statistics, and data in order to make up our own minds. There will always
    be some bias in all education, all reading that we do, all discussions that we have. There
    are ways to recognize that bias and to filter it out to greater or lesser extents, even if we
    can't ever get rid of it completely.

    "Yeah! More talk. The poor misunderstood perv. Got it. LOL"

    No, it's not about the poor misunderstood pervs, LOL. It's about the schmucks who allow
    crime to continue unabated by thinking that strict punishment will solve everything
    instead of paying some attention to root causes and prevention.

    " '...true crime prevention...'? As opposed to what, just sitting around and talking about it
    or providing therapy for the whack jobs so they can feel good about themselves?"

    No, not therapy for whack jobs, although clearly some can use it. Crime prevention. I'm
    sure your local police have some ideas on prevention for which they are underfunded
    because prisons are getting all the bucks.

    "Society (do good, feel good courts) won't allow us to protect our children because the bad
    person's just a misunderstood victim also."

    No, it's not about the bad person being misunderstood. It's about the bad person being
    stopped before he does something bad.
     
  130. Yes Fred, my arghhhh was that I thought THAT one photo was wrong on her part. AND partly I was being a bit sarcastic myself on the "YELLOW" comment as I do tend to try and be a bit yellow in my pictures (because I like it).

    I have also tried to say I do not dislike her work. Not a follower of her work, a bit retro which is a style I truly do LOVE and do have a bit of style of myself, but I do not dislike it at all. I just feel she is warrenting an arghhhh on that photo.

    I do also want to say this. Something I haven't said.

    I don't think that she should be getting arrested for this picture or SIR JOHN should either. I think they are not really doing these things out of harm. I think there is a bit of a lesson here. I truly think all these things are very "miss managed" on the rules and who governs them and who really says what is what. Take it away and don't show it anymore. But hey, now it is everywher so "whatever" as my daughter would say.

    I'm not for "GOING AFTER" her or him.

    I just wanted my opinion known on this matter.

    I am hoping she will be able to get on with her art and make more pictures and leave all this behind her.

    I can only say thank Fred that you would even consider me anywhere in a near sentence with someone who has a vision such as her. She might make some weird decisions but I think sometimes I think it is just how we see things at the time. Again, that is why we all have "FREEDOM" here in our country to speak about these things. I also have the ability to turn my computer or TV of off or not buy her picture. We have thought of that haven't we. I do have that control.

    Boy, I sure am glad I haven't had to listen to a single thing about this in the media. I think my head would explode ;)
     
  131. jtk

    jtk

    By and large "root causes" will not be addressed. Ever. "Root causes" are the ultimate dodge.

    In its collective accumulated wisdom our generic civilization takes other protective steps. Protective of what? Children. The essence of the perversion we're discussing here is that certain individuals don't "get" that children are a special case, a protected class. The essence isn't sexual acts themselves, it's the failure to "get," the failure to understand this issue.

    If one knows dogs, and I don't mean those that are so highly bred they're freaks, one knows that pups roll onto their backs and pee into the air when threatened. A "normal" adult dog then stops the threat. That's hard-wired. If however the adult continues the attack, a full-hearted owner will then "put it down." Kill it. That's an ethical responsibility. There is no fix for bad wiring. The alternative is to let the wiring blow out the rest of the species, as man's best friend for millenia becomes a feral thing.

    The same applies to people who think of children as consenting sexual partners. We don't put them down, which may be a mistake, but we do try to control them for the rest of their lives as there is no cure.

    If one is uncomfortable with that reality, one needs to be very careful because this is one of the most basic realities of civilization.
     
  132. " 'Root causes' are the ultimate dodge."

    No, they're not.
     
  133. AND . . .

    If, while you're putting down the dog that molested your child or while you're controlling it
    for the rest of its life, you're not also trying to figure out why the hell more and more dogs
    are molesting children and more are doing so in your backyard than in other backyards, then
    more and more you will have yourself to blame when the next dog comes along and molests
    your next child. Your ego and dick may swell when you shoot the dogs dead or throw them in
    the pen for life but the children you're charged with protecting don't get helped, they just
    continue to get molested while you're feeling full of yourself.
     
  134. I know why more and more children are being molested by dogs here - it's because more and more dumb people see it as "big" and "clever" and "cool" to have rottweilers, bull terriers (staffordshire, pits and so on) and are too stupid to accept the responsibility that goes with it - leaving a toddler shut in a room with a pit bull terrier, letting little 7 year old kid take big Rottie for a walk on his own. So, while the dog itself isn't the root cause of the problem of kids being killed by dogs, irresposible parenting and irresponsible dog ownership is. How do we prevent kids being harmed or killed by American Pit Bull Terriers and other "dangerous" dogs? Do we hold up pictures of what they have done to kids and say "come on parents, please me more responsible", and then let other kids be maimed and prosecute irresponsible parents and owners after the event? Should we just accept that we might lose a few more kids on the way to having more responsible parenting? Irresponsible parents and irresponsible dog owners and irresponsible anyone tends not to learn from example anyway - they just don't care and they'll always be irresponsible. Or do we, as a society, make a decision that dangerous, or potentially dangerous, animals have no place in our over-crowded towns and therefore ban the import and breeding of them, hopefully reducing the risk of another child being killed? This is of course the precautionary principle to risk assessment and errs on the side of protection of kids as opposed to being in favour of someone's right to own a pet. It may not solve the problem as the same irresponsible "chav scum" people who choose to keep such an animal will not care for the law anyway - but it does make that ownership illegal, and there is the tool in place to be able to seize the dog, prosecute the owner, prosecute the importer or breeder, and "potentially" protect a child. It all boils down to whether the desire to try and protect kids is more, or less, important than the right to own a dog.

    Getting back to the publication of the Goldin picture, and similar "innocent" images like this one - I certainly don't think these would cause someone to become a paedophile - that's a big red herring. And I agree that the causes of paedophilia lie elsewhere. And I think if this is a purely innocent image of your own children at play, and you're not someone who is an abuser of children, and this is a picture that is just part of your family growing up, and is alongside typical family photos - then fine.

    But my bigger concern is the publication and public display of it - it doesn't respect the children or the children's right to privacy and it exploits the children purely for the gain of adults. If we say this image is acceptable then there is "potential" for commissioning of works of art like this, which we would therefore be saying is ok as how can you discern between an innocent shot and a commissioned posed shot? And this would/could lead to exploitation of kids for the making of this sort of image. There IS a market for imagery like this and if we are saying it's acceptable (in the name of art and rights of free expression of course) then that demand will create a supply of "legal indecent images of children". If we say "no" to it, then that's again following the precautionary principle - but is that so wrong? Should we just say it's ok and allow people to go ahead and expoit kids in this way? Of course kids get exploited in all sorts of ways in other cultures and here at home - but is there any harm in chipping away at the problem bit by bit. Or is it case that only a few percent of kids are exploited so the problem isn't big enough to even consider?
    Mate, I know how I feel about this, and I don't think I'll be changing my thoughts now.
     
  135. Sorry, just read last line of my previous post - and it sounds rude. It's meant to sound like "oh man - what to do" so of thing (we use the expression "mate" said in a certina way but it's hard to express that way in writing!)
     
  136. ""In the final, it does [boil down to black and white]."

    You think it's black and white and I don't. Glad that's settled. "

    Where are you getting the above quote from?
     
  137. "No, educating society so that we are exposed to a variety of viewpoints and a wealth of available facts, statistics, and data in order to make up our own minds."

    And in real terms, you want the reader to come to your conclusion, or you won't be happy.

    "There will always be some bias in all education, all reading that we do, all discussions that we have."

    The current educational organizations of "higher" learning are rift with bias education. Me, I'm glad to be free from this form of "forced" thinking where those who think differently than the ruling junta are openly oppressed in the US. Freedom to think what you will is what happens "after" you leave today's education institutions.

    "It's about the schmucks who allow crime to continue unabated by thinking that strict punishment will solve everything instead of paying some attention to root causes and prevention."

    "...the schmucks who allow crime to continue unabated by thinking that strict punisment will..." That's it, blame the good guys. LOL Yeah, the pervs are all messed up cause they're were incarcerated because of their bad behavior. :)

    The root cause is because people in general are a bunch of rat bastards (that's all of us) and this genetic fact is going be passed on generation after generation. Some folks you can reach and get to toe the line but millions, no matter what feel good program you institute, won't fix a bad gene. That's a fact you're going need to get used to, not I. In your world of non-absolutes, that's an absolute. :)

    "No, not therapy for whack jobs, although clearly some can use it. Crime prevention. I'm sure your local police have some ideas on prevention for which they are underfunded because prisons are getting all the bucks."

    Crime continues unabated, despite local feel good efforts even as you point typical fingers of blame. Yeah! Because we lock up bad guys, the local cops don't have drug therapy money as folks clammer for more liberal drug laws. We want the rule of law but.......

    "It's about the bad person being stopped before he does something bad."

    Yeay! That's it. Mind control. Didn't Tom Cruise make a movie along your above lines. Or should we go back in time to "1984". :) Ya can't control people, no matter how good intentioned your intentions. Part of growing up is accepting people as they really are, not how you want them to be. Anything more than that, is wishful thinking.
     
  138. "Anything more than that, is wishful thinking."

    And just for the record, the above is an absolute. :)
     
  139. "And in real terms, you want the reader to come to your conclusion, or you won't be
    happy."

    Thomas, It is my perception that the way you continue to have a dialogue, again and again
    and again and again and again, is to put words in the mouth of the person (me, in this
    case) to whom you are talking, words that you believe are there but that are not. The
    above is, obviously, only one example. When you and I talk, there seem to three people
    involved. You, me, and the person you are creating (the one who speaks in liberal mumbo-
    jumbo) who you are actually talking to instead of me. That person you create is typically
    known as a straw man, because he never really existed. While it's fun to see what ideas
    you will attribute to me each time I actually say something very different than the thing
    you would like to argue against, it's an exercise in futility.
     
  140. "Or is it case that only a few percent of kids are exploited so the problem isn't big enough to
    even consider? Mate, I know how I feel about this, and I don't think I'll be changing my
    thoughts now."

    The problem is not that kids are being exploited in photos. The problem is that the majority
    of kids who are abused, sexually and psychologically, are abused by their own parents or
    family members. But that fact is uncomfortable for us, so we worry about pediphiles seeing
    pictures of naked kids.
     
  141. Jim, we know that the majority of kids who are abused are abused by people close to them. Of course that is an uncomfortable fact. But does that make it so wrong to WANT to chip away at the problem where we can. I said before (or it might be in the other thread) that I accept that images like this don't cause people to be paedophiles. But if images like this of children, who have a right to believe their parents are looking after them and protecting them and their rights to privacy, are deemed to be acceptable, then will it, or will it not open the door for the production of more such images? If there is a more free market, through the fact that we have suddenly decided these images are acceptable, then is it not a fact that if people can make money from them, if "artists" can sell them, then there is the potential of children being exploited for the production of these images? If it's suddenly ok then there is a legal opportunity for irresponsible or desperate parents to see their kids as money making machines - "hello artist - give me 50 quid and you can photograph my little Chardonnay doing naked gymnastics". So you all seem to be saying this is ok - if the photographer is an artist, if nobody is sexually assaulting the kid, if the picture is considered as "art", then is can be published, printed, sold and absolutely nobody is harmed in the process. After all, how can the kid be harmed - nobody touched her, she's only 5 so of course she doesn't sexualise her gymnastics, her parents gave their consent, so it's all above board and legal. Harmless.

    Would Chardonnay have been exploited? Of course - using her to make money or to make an artistic statement without any consideration of her rights. They could make the 50 quid by shoving her up a chimney to sweep it instead.
     
  142. JOHN ~ " The same applies to people who think of children as consenting sexual partners. We don't put them down, which may be a mistake, but we do try to control them for the rest of their lives as there is no cure."

    I know I have said that this perversion is wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Ok, but I am a bit confused as to why you would say and put down the words put them down.

    POW

    Compare with putting them down like a dog.

    Ok, maybe I am ignorant. I'm sure some of you would agree. But all of us, including me as I am no saint, have some perversion to us. Some deep dark secret that we all have to hide somewhere in our past present or future.

    We start pointing the finger like that and say PUT "THEM" down for even "thinking" of children as a sexual partner then by GOD I think the show oh what's it called DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES should now be the catalist for having all housewives to be PUT DOWN because you have just put "us" in the category to lust after our gardners (hubba hubba). Those 16 year old bodies out there in the grass (hubba hubba). No disrespect to gardners out there intended.

    Think about it. That sentense is a bit over the top don't you think? "put them down".

    How can we put people down for just THINKING a thought?

    That is like putting that dog down for barking at the neighbor.

    Is this where I get to go ARGHHH again.

    I think John you meant to make a point but kind of screwed it up. Sorry, I don't think we need to put ANY person down or even in jail, hell I don't think we even need to slap someones hand for watching a TV show about that.
     
  143. Micki, I do a lot of gardening work for people. If they want to lust after me then that's no problem - I mean, as an adult, of 40, I'd be flattered :)
     
  144. "That person you create is typically known as a straw man, because he never really existed."

    No straw man here as (based upon your writings) the person I describe, actually exists.

    Sadly, I see these non-existent straw people daily, as they deny their very existence. These are the same people who cut you off on the road, are quick to flip you off as they, in the same breath tell you what wonderful people they are. There's no entertainment to the exercise, as there's no exercise.

    "...it's an exercise in futility."

    Yes, very non-absolute of you. :) Me, I see the interchange in a different light, one of transparency; pull the covers of the wolf and let the sheep's clothing fall where it may. Your writings are not that of the innocent; no hidden agenda or motivation.

    Compromise (diplomacy) requires two willing parties; not writing that we're negotiating. Sans a willingness of "compromise" a deal "can't" be hammered out. Your writing clearly display an unwillingness to compromise to any ideologies which aren't of your own and they also display an unwillingness to share ideologies on a central stage.

    Ideology: no naked pictures, period.

    Compromise: naked pics of consenting adults, including porn but "no" public (museum or otherwise) display of porn.

    Ideology: No naked pics of children, period.

    Compromise: non-suggestive pics (and yes, we all know what are considered suggestive pics, except, of course, those who are pretenders) allowed for family album consumption, but not for general public display; hiding behind the veil (skirt, like a child) of legitimacy provided by museums.

    As an adult, one must learn (or be taught; willing vs unwilling) that compromise (considering the sensibilities of others) is a necessary part of civilized behavior. All or nothing is not a compromise as we can't expect to get everything; either which way.

    One needs to challenge this need to continually and aggressively violate the innocents of children (enough is enough), as clearly this need to constantly visit and revisit this behavior (desensitization), belies intentions. It's not being done out of innocents as it's clearly being done for the benefit of the slippery slope crowd of what else can we get away with; spoiled child syndrome; it's all about me. This is a fact you and others need to get a grip on, not I, as championing a child's right to innocents (the weak and vulnerable who can't protect themselves) is good, not bad and nowhere is it considered the right of others to violate a child's innocents.
     
  145. "But if images like this of children, who have a right to believe their parents are looking
    after them and protecting them and their rights to privacy, are deemed to be acceptable,
    then will it, or will it not open the door for the production of more such images?"
    <p>
    You're asking if publishing any images of naked children is a slippery slope to a constant
    flood of images of naked kids to satisfy the lust of millions of adults? Tell me, when you
    look at photos of naked children, what is your reaction? Are you repulsed? Sexually
    stimulated?
    <p>My point is that relatively few people have any reaction at all to photos of naked kids
    (unless, obviously from this thread, it is to think that they are being exploited). So, how
    big a market do you think there really is for photos of naked children? I'm not talking
    about photos of kids having sex...I think we can agree that's over the line. I'm talking
    about, for example, teenage girls as Sturges portrays them.
    <p>I think your argument is something of a straw man.
     
  146. "...to lust after our gardners (hubba hubba)."

    That would be me, but with a capital "G", as my desperate housewife (my wife) can legally lust after me all day long. I think you mean "gardeners." :)

    Sorry, resembling that remark, I couldn't resist. :)
     
  147. No straw man here as (based upon your writings) the person I describe, actually exists.
    That "person" exists only in your mind, Thomas (in good company with your versions of "intellectuals," "academia," and a wide assortment of other windmills at which you're constantly tilting). I am amazed at Fred's patience and civility in response to your persistent distortions of (and outright fabrications about) what he has said.
     
  148. Thomas,

    While you've been so busy creating me in your image, we've actually agreed/compromised
    on several key points. You've unfortunately missed them because you're onto your next
    fiction before you ever actually consider what I've said.

    We've agreed and compromised on the fact that The Commandments get twisted to suit
    agendas. That would be on both sides of the religious and political spectrum and I'm sure
    we could have fun listing together all the ways it's done.

    I thought I was compromising and meeting you half way when I stated that both
    simplifying and complicating could be obfuscating, but you never responded to that one.
    Hmmm.

    We agreed that tv news is problematic and I'm sure we could have a field day going
    through examples of CNN's bias and Fox News's bias.

    My suggestion that education does, in fact, have bias attached, was a reaching out to
    discussion about its possible shortcomings even though I believe in its benefits. You didn't
    respond to this notion either.

    We reached common ground on the futility of therapy for whackos.

    Sadly, once I realized that you missed all those golden opportunities, I felt it futile to go
    on. I don't know what's absolute about a feeling of futility.
     
  149. Jim: "Tell me, when you look at photos of naked children, what is your reaction? Are you repulsed? Sexually stimulated?

    My point is that relatively few people have any reaction at all to photos of naked kids (unless, obviously from this thread, it is to think that they are being exploited). So, how big a market do you think there really is for photos of naked children?

    Jim, I'm certainly not repulsed, and I'm certainly not sexually stimulated, in most cases I would just see kids, but in some cases I am pretty horrified that some images are seen as acceptable.

    How do you know relatively few people are sexually stimulated by this sort of imagery? What research can you point me to that shows this? How few is relatively few? Less than half a percent of the adult population? Less than 5 percent? Even half of one percent is a huge number - that would be something like 100,000 UK males adults. If it's seen as ok to publish pictures of girls like the "Klara and Edda" one, then I'd say there could be a fair size market - maybe not as a proportion of the population - half a percent sounds small - but rather as a real number.
     
  150. Mike-- Thanks!
     
  151. "That "person" exists only in your mind,..."

    The person is real enough, based upon what he wrote as Fred chose to freely respond to my comments and artists tout free thought for it's revealing nature.

    You can't have free thought if you overtly set about to shut it up and if you don't respond, then you won't reveal yourself; a two way street.

    I won't argue your point that you find my comments "tilting" in nature as there's no point in trying to sway your thinking. And by definition, a crazy doesn't know they're crazy, so maybe Don Q is a distant cousin of mine or yours. It does me no harm for others to find my thinking in conflict with theirs, nor for others to see my philosophy in a tilting nature (challenging) as the harm is created when others make public conflict for their (your) gain at the expense of the forum. Let Fred speak for himself (respond), if he so chooses, or not and he and I, also, can have no more exchanges; his free choice.

    Child pornography is an ideology who's genesis comes out of disrespect towards the child; caring what the person thinks of the individual. Parents of the child who create these sorts of images (borderline or otherwise), disrespect the child by taking advantage of this familia parent/child relationship because it's natural to overlook the flaws (transgressions) of a loved one, more so than that of a complete stranger. The question really is about how much disrespect are you and others willing to heap on the unsuspecting (trusting nature) child for personal self-gain in the name of art or otherwise?

    As an adult, you and Fred..... can defend yourselves but a five or ten year old child, is not so fortunate.
     
  152. "I thought I was compromising and meeting you half way when I stated that both simplifying and complicating could be obfuscating, but you never responded to that one. Hmmm."

    Not intentional as many points are being made and responded to.

    "I don't know what's absolute about a feeling of futility."

    Capitulation. :)

    I do appreciate the interchange, so don't run away as challenge you I will, but at no time, in my mind, am I, in my responses, being disrespectful (lacking a caring of what your opinion of me might be) but this respect I show, won't stop me from writing my mind (conflicting or revealing inner feelings/honesty) nor would I expect your respect for me or others to stop you from sharing your internals; necessary dark thoughts, of course, being withheld. :) Honesty has a certain... shall we say, unintended abrasiveness to it.
     
  153. I won't run away because of your challenges, I will walk away because of your lack of
    respect. I find little more disrespectful than to put words into others' mouths, than not to
    believe the actual words someone speaks but instead to assume you know what their
    words are hiding, especially when you have no direct knoweldge of this person's actions,
    behavior, history, or reality.

    "The person is real enough, based upon what he wrote."

    You speak truth here. Unfortunately you have not based the person on what he wrote but
    on what you wanted him to write or what you think his ilk would write.

    Thank you for acknowledging that I may choose not to have more exchanges with you. I
    do so choose. I have actually so chosen in the past. I should have been more absolute
    about it. See, I'm learning.
     
  154. Skipping over the Fred and Thomas exchange. As my kids would write OMG, can you say ring around the OMG would someone just get off that ride and settle down for a moment! I agree you guys are never going to finish that one. I can't even follow what ya'll are talking about personally.

    I will again say, on point.

    I agree with this and this only.

    What was said above quoating what PETE said:

    "Jim, I'm certainly not repulsed, and I'm certainly not sexually stimulated, in most cases I would just see kids, but in some cases I am pretty horrified that some images are seen as acceptable."

    The rest of what you speak? I have not a clue how, what, the way, when, or getting it all to be regulated etc...

    (sigh)

    Almost about ready to tell you to let it go :)

    Go do some work in the garden (smile) yeah you PETE. You will feel better.

    As silly as it sounds (and the only female that has been saying anything), I truly think that most of you males have been somewhat on the same page but been pointing (as I have) the finger at each other but not really hearing what the other is saying.

    I think it is time for this forum question to end. The answer to it has been done. Now we are just getting down to name calling.

    Now I don't think this has anything to do with philosophy of photography at all.

    ~ THANKS, micki
     
  155. "How do you know relatively few people are sexually stimulated by this sort of imagery?
    What research can you point me to that shows this? How few is relatively few?"

    <p>So you think a lot of people are sexually stimulated when they look at naked
    children? Then we have a social problem far worse than the issue with naked kid photos.
    What position does that put kids in if substantial numbers of parents are sexually
    stimulated by looking at their children with no clothes on? I've seen no evidence of this
    being the case, but I could be wrong. Many of these folks you say are so stimulated must
    be parents of the numbers are large.
    <p>Lots of kids are injured playing sports each year, but we haven't outlawed sports.
    Parents make the choice to allow their children to play sports. All three of my nephews
    have blown out knees from playing high school football, which their parents consented to.
    Is this also child abuse?
    <p>Parents routinely give permission for children to do things that are potentially harmful
    to them. Where on that slippery slope do you draw the line?
     
  156. "I think it is time for this forum question to end. The answer to it has been done."

    What is the answer?
     
  157. "I find little more disrespectful than to put words into others' mouths, than not to believe the actual words someone speaks but instead to assume you know what their words are hiding, especially when you have no direct knoweldge of this person's actions, behavior, history, or reality."

    Sorry to say but I have been privy to far too many people's private thoughts to see "anybody" as enigmatic. From what I have learned to be a fact about people, there is what they write and want people to know, and then there's the other side of midnight where the unspoken word resides. A person is not only what they write, but they're also what they don't write, when they can.

    "I do so choose."

    Sorry to read that you're taking the road of convenience (the road which serves) but I'm not surprised as that's predictably, human nature. :)
     
  158. Fer Fack Sake Jim, you're twisting the whole thing round - there are some things in life that are necessary or desirable or healthy as part of growing up, like taking part in active sports, like going out with friends, like having a social life, like going to school, like going on holiday. If a parent forced a child to take part in sports against their wishes then of course that would be abuse. If they want to do sports and they get injured, then it's bad luck - just one of those things.

    But you try and tell me exactly what about having explicit photographs of your 5 year old daughter published is necessary or desirable or healthy for her development. You try and tell me that this is done for the child rather than for the ego of the "artist" and to satisfy consumers of the "artist's" work.

    Can you really not see the difference? Can you really not see where a line could be drawn?

    And you want figures on intrafamiliar child sex abuse?

    Study in Finland found incest rates between father and daughter of 0.2% (that's 2 in 1000 kids), and 0.5% (5 in 1000) between step-father and daughter [ref ^ Sariola, H. & Uutela, A. (1996). The prevalence and context of incest abuse in Finland. Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 20, Issue 9, September 1996, Pages 843-850.]. But a further study said this figure should be higher as professionals failed to report 40% of cases.

    Lowest estimates of child sexual abuse rate is 1-2% (1 to 2 out of every 100 children) [ref Kutchinsky, B. (1992). The Child Sexual Abuse Panic. Nordisk Sexologi 10 (1) 30, 1992. ], but other studies have indicated this could be much higher - mean rates of 17% for boys and 28% for girls [ref Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. & Bauserman, R. (1998). A Meta-analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Psychological Bulletin. 124(1), 22-53.]

    So to answer your question, it would appear that a lot of people are stimulated by looking at naked children, and the problem is bigger than perhaps you realise. In the good ol' USA, the US Dept of Education found between 9 and 10% of pupils were targets of educator sexual misconduct at some time during their schooling. Would it be comforting to know that your 5 year old daughter's primary school teacher could quite legitimately have a 20x30 "Klara and Edda Belly Dancing" print on his wall at home, or maybe some pictures like this in his drawer? While we're at it, why not have the 20x30 print on the staff room wall - after all, it's only "art".

    Again though, what these people do is beside the point - never have I said that images of naked children is a cause of paedophilia or child sexual abuse. The FACT is that publication of them is an infringement of their basic rights, and plays no positive role in their development.

    Your comment regarding sports and other activities that provide a positive contribution to child development (unless forced upon the child by overbearing or abusive parents) is complete and utter tosh. It shows nothing but a serious lack of comprehension of the difference between decisions that can benefit the child and those that can harm/exploit/victimise/devalue the child.

    As you said, parents "make the choice to allow their children" to take part in sports - in other words they support their children in what their children want to do. If the child didn't want to play football and "competitive dad" bullied them into it, then that is abuse. Supporting what THE CHILD WANTS to do is not abuse. If the child wants to do something dangerous like cross the main road on his own at the age of 5 to go up town and buy sweets, then a responsible parent would not allow it. If they did allow it then that would be "neglect", or "irresponsible", not "abuse".

    BUT does a child at the age of 5 or 10 or 14 say "Mummy, please can I have a naked picture of me showing my nonny taken and published by this well respected artist?". And even if the child did, do you really think any responsible parent would support her in that choice - "yes, of course dear, that would be lovely!". Any image like this that is published as a piece of art is instigate without the child's informed consent, does not consider the privacy of the child, is not something the child has asked to have done, is not necessary for healthy development. As I said, it's done purely for the ego of the "artist" and to satisfy consumers of the "artist's" work.
     
  159. Jim, do you have kids? Or are you just Uncle Jim? If you're Uncle Jim then why don't you point your brother or sister to this thread and ask them for their thoughts on it. If you have kids, how would you feel about pictures showing all their pride and glory at say 5, 10 or 14 years old being published in the name of "art" and possibly hung on their teacher's wall? Ask your brother or sister if they would think it's cool and trendy and so very good in the name of "art".
     
  160. Actually Uncle Jim, how about showing an uneditted version of the "Klara and Edda Belly Dancing" picture to your young niece if you have one, and ask her if she would like to star in a picture like that. Then arrange it with Nan. I'm sure she'd love to, and of course your brother or sister wouldn't mind as it's harmless.
     
  161. "Lots of kids are injured playing sports each year, but we haven't outlawed sports."

    Funny, but many school districts "are" banning competitive contact sports:)

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-06-26-recess-bans_x.htm

    http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=Schools+banning+contact+sports&btnG=Google+Search

    Not such a far fetch idea anymore by some educators, educated opinion. :)
     
  162. Thomas, that really shows how screwed up things are - legitimise dodgy pictures of kids and stop them playing! What a heap of bollocks.
     
  163. "...that really shows how screwed up things are - legitimise dodgy pictures of kids and stop them playing!"

    Yes it does. :)
     
  164. Hmmm here is something to really think about. There are 52 registered (only registered mind you) sex offenders in my little town I live in. That means my ZIP CODE only. That zip code has one High School. That is about as big as the football Varsity and JV Team.

    Just thought I would say hmmm.

    Has nothing really to do with much of anything. Just how screwed up EVERYTHING IS!

    Pete, your beating a dead horse. :(

    I'm with you. (sigh) I don't think it's about the silly games the kids play.

    Next time I go to my kids schools I'll make sure I actually LOOK at what pictures are on the walls. I'll make a mental note of it. You really have me doing lots of thinking here. That is good.
     
  165. Sorry to say but I have been privy to far too many people's private thoughts to see "anybody" as enigmatic. From what I have learned to be a fact about people, there is what they write and want people to know, and then there's the other side of midnight where the unspoken word resides.
    No matter how confident you are that you know what people really mean, this forum is for a discussion of what people actually say. If you want to generate both sides of the conversation (and claim that one side is what someone else really meant), you can start your own blog.
     
  166. jtk

    jtk

    Miki: "I think John you meant to make a point but kind of screwed it up. Sorry, I don't think we need to put ANY person down or even in jail, hell I don't think we even need to slap someones hand for watching a TV show about that."

    No, I didn't "screw it up." You chose to misread.

    You may not think it necessary to put "ANY person down or even in jail" but the population at large disagrees with you.

    If you meant to limit your thought "only" to child molestation, you may want to remember that molestation is enough to convert manslaughter to first degree murder in most states, authorizing death penalty. You may not think that "necessary," but it's law.

    If you bobbled it and meant your whole point to refer to pervs watching TV, you will recall that ownership of that material is enough
    for conviction and jail in all of the US right now, it's a Federal offense...case right now in Nevada, getting lots of Yahoo headlines...

    Granted, there are some organizations populated with perfectly nice perverts that disagree with the larger population, actually advocating and facilitating sex with children, but their lives are limited severely.
     
  167. Pornography7, if that was its intent, remains pornography6 throughout its life.

    However, there is a huge difference between pornography and abuse. The first does not require a living person at all, the second does require a victim.

    Is Donatello's David - reputed to be a 15 year old Leonardo da Vinci - pornographis? Maybe. It is abuse? That's a different matter altogether.

    Nowadays it is possible to produce an image that appears to be photographic reality that is not. But drawing, painting, etching, etc., have always been within the artist's reach and whether an acutal person posed - or if they were truly naked when they posed - is impossible to know.

    Shoulde someone be imprisoned for drawing a picture of a naked child from their imagination? Absolutely not. No mater how pornographic it may be. The courts in the United States have ruled in agreement with me.
     
  168. I know this is a very sticky situation we have here, but I have a couple of stories to relate, one of which is personal.

    A few years ago I was approached by a young woman who wanted to model for a series I was working on. She was not quite of the age of consent. Thing is she seemed very ernest and brought both her parents by who were sympathetic to her wishes to model and who were both willing to sign consent forms in her behalf.

    The image is here (and it is not pornographic) http://www.artists-society.ab.ca/artists/default.aspx?id=1868&parentID=2232

    I checked with a lawyer versed in this area and his advice was as follows. I could photograph her but NOT show the photographs until she turned of age (16 where I am). As well the photos could never be used for anything but in conjuction with the art project they were intended for...specifically they could never be used in a commercial aspect.

    Now this was all 10 years ago. Today I would hesitate to take on the commission at all...even in 10 years it has become increasingly risky to make photographs like this, even when completely legitimate.

    My other story involves Toronto, a large Canadian city where a young child (about 2 years old) was taken from her parents and not returned for 2 months. The reason being that an over-zealous photofinishing staff person took issue with the photo of the father blowing kissing his daughters tummy after her bath (photo taken by mom). The image (which was 'clean' enough to be shown in a newspaper) showed the dad was kissing in the area of the childs navel and that the genitals were not at all in the photo.

    Yet it was enough, as I mentioned that the child was removed from the home for 2 months while case was investigated...with complete exoneration. This was in 2006.
     
  169. Shoulde someone be imprisoned for drawing a picture of a naked child from their imagination? Absolutely not. No mater how pornographic it may be. The courts in the United States have ruled in agreement with me.​
    For the UN perspective, check out article 2c of the OPCRC (note the wording: "any representation, by any means").
     
  170. "It's very simple. Imagine an objectionable picture with a naked child. Would the picture become acceptable in your eyes if you knew the child and had given consent as an adult?"

    So the drawing of a picture is OK? How about if you create it in Illustrator or Photoshop, as a 'photograph', with all the sharpness, texture and detail that is possible when using the program to its potential? If you are good you can create a 'photograph' from the imagination and few could tell it was not reality without the original digital files and/or history.

    If the 'child model' doesn't really exist is it child porn?
     
  171. "If the 'child model' doesn't really exist is it child porn?"

    It's still a depiction of a child - so I'd say yes. In same way I could produce pictures glamourising the use of Blacks as slaves, or glamourising the killing of Jews, or glamourising the beating of gays. All of these could be done with no photographs of real people so people would argue they are victimless pictures. BUT it is the message they give that would be considered wrong.
     
  172. Scrolled through the Kerstens stuff provided by the link. A lot of those photos are fantastic- exceedingly Vermeer like. But a few of them cross a line, I think. When compared with the underage model from Alberta, there is a large measure of eroticism present in some of Kerstens images. Particularly the head on "pimp" photo with the makeup. It's not directly sexually suggestive (at least to me, but then again, I'm not into kids); but it is definitely making use of the elements of sexual provocation found in advertising or pornography. It would certainly be stimulating to a pedophile.

    Not that this is, in of itself, reason to reject it. We can't judge everything we do by whether or not it negates pedophilic standards, or relates to certain perverts at all. Some folks may have ridiculous fetishes involving shoes and bananas. I'm not therefore a perv if I wear shoes while eating a banana.

    That being said, I can't help but suspect that there is an unhealthy relationship here. And, if the photos were released for publication before the model came of age and consented to it (and I think this addresses the heart of Emre's question), then it is definitely exploitation. Can you photograph your kids without clothes on? Sure. should every individual have a right to control the level of privacy with which they lived their life? Yes.

    I personally don't give a damn if my mom posts the picture from the 70's where I'm nekkid on a bear rug, or whatever. And I wouldn't mind even if cheescake shots of me had been taken- because I don't care much about my image or people's perception of me. Frankly, I'm far too lazy to care.

    But what if I had turned out to be the kind of midwestern corn-fed conservative that we all can't stand here? The ones who don't like public nudity, even when it is art? Do they get to be autonomous individuals as well, or just footstools for the cultural elite?

    The point is that children don't know yet, with the clarity of judgment that comes from maturity, who they are or what they will become. That's why we don't let them make life altering decisions or indergo stresses that take enormous amounts of maturity to deal with.

    That's why they can't vote, drink, sign binding contracts, and be drafted into the army and forced to suffer and inflict violence. because they can't fashion informed consent, and they are not prepared to accept and deal with consequences.

    Now, a photo like Kersten's which is borderline (thanks Eugene, I've been to the Rijksmuseum, and I stil think some of those photos are borderline)and isn't clear cut kiddie porn could be shown, ethically, if the model, as an adult, gave informed consent to it. Because the Adult is then determining the level of openness, in terms of privacy, that they have to the world.

    Then again, Kerstens is clearly a European. And all Europeans are Pervs. It's a known fact. Praga Khan is from Europe. Ergo.
     

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