Saturday, June 20, 2009


For filth (I'm glad to say) is in
The mind of the beholder.

When correctly viewed,
/span>Everything is lewd.
(I could tell you things about Peter Pan,
And the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man!)
-From satorist Tom Lehrer’s song, Smut

This has been bugging me for a while, so I figure I’d get it off my chest (so to speak). After all, what’s the fun in bloggin’ if you can’t bitch.

Just the coined word, sexting, is enough to set my teeth on edge. Is it just me, or is there precious little sex in so called sexting. I guess it sounded better than nude-ting or semi-nude-ting.

Casually flip through the news channels on any given day and your sure to come up with yet another tale of an adolescent girl caught using their cell phone camera for more than was intended—wearing a lot less than modesty allows. (I haven’t heard of a boy—gay or straight caught forwarding nudies photos of himself. But I’m guessing it’s out there .)

The stories are infuriating on so many levels.

The exploitation of many of these young girls. The same “if you loved me you’d do it” shit dressed in the latest technology, that young men have been pressuring females with ad infinitum.

And we adults are SHOCKED, SCHOCKED that such behavior continues. Considering the rampant sexual images bombarding our youth, the raging hormones and the lack of frontal lobe development in adolescents, this is disingenuous at best. Give a teenager an appliance or vehicle of any kind and they will find a short-sighted, stupid (although creative) way to use it. It goes with the territory.

The worst of it is the legal morass these young people fall into. The victims of overzealous, hypocritical and puritanical purveyors of the law. The stories sicken me. As one after another teen’s foolish or vengeful choice in pushing the “send” button effectively ruins their lives. I am not talking here about the embarrassment caused my the endless reproduction of these images, growing in concentric electronic circles. That would be bad enough.

I am talking about the application of child porn laws to hound these young people and their families. There are instances of convictions as purveyors of child porn leading to the requirement of registration as sex offenders. There are lost college careers and inability to find jobs. Ok, I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but it doesn’t take a law degree to know this is beyond ....

Where do you draw the line? In one instance, a high school girl is being prosecuted for a photo taken at a slumber party when she was 12, showing a training bra. A male prosecutor calling it “provocative” doesn’t come near to elevating such common girlish silliness to something criminal. In this case, child porn is in the mind of the beholder.

And I don’t buy that “We need to protect the children,” “It’s not my fault, that’s the way the law is written” crap. We all know that prosecutors have a great deal of latitude it what they pursue. Maybe, if they weren’t so distracted by this nonsense, the Bernie Madoffs of this world—not to mention REAL child pornographers would get a bit more attention.

Please, people. I am NOT defending this behavior. Yes, it can go beyond foolish to dangerous. But education, not criminalization is the answer.

If we are honest, we may admit to indulging in similar behavior at some time in our lives. But the damage was limited
by the technology at hand.
Does anybody out there remember Polaroid’s???

No comments: