Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm so stunned by this I can't even speak

Here you have it -- teens are being prosecuted under child pornography laws for
distributing topless pictures of themselves!!!

This is particularly troubling:

[District Attorney] Skumanick told an assembly of students that possessing inappropriate images of minors could be prosecuted under state child porn laws. Anyone convicted under the laws faces a possible seven year sentence and a felony conviction on their record. Under a state sex offender law, they must also register as a sex offender for 10 years and have their name and photo posted on the state's sex offender website -- the latter requirement will include juvenile offenders when the law is amended later this year.

Did you read that? Students are warned that they could be prosecuted for possessing nude pictures of their friends (or even themselves)! Sex offender laws will be amended to include juvenile offenders!!!

Obviously, this illustrates the danger of child pornography laws (and sex offender registries) in the first place -- of course they’re not used to empower children, but to prosecute them! And to legislate some backward vision of morality.

A commenter on the original post says it best: “We have to prosecute the children to protect the children... Think of the children!!"

The photos in this particular case sound slightly less lascivious than a Victoria’s Secret ad, and certainly more tame than your average American Apparel faux-child porn. But one thing the article (and the ACLU) seem to be neglecting is that of course kids should have the right to send out photos **of themselves** -- partially clothed, nude, or dressed up and fucking -- to their friends, right? While the school administrators mention potential bullying and targeting in schools, the problem isn’t the photos -- it’s the way sex is stigmatized and criminalized.

Oh, will he ever live in a culture where teenagers are seen as independent sexual beings?

(Thanks to Bill Dobbs for forwarding)


kayti said...

You already know which kids will be punished by this law. The GDS kids are safe so you do not need to worry about them.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Kayti, you are hilarious (and obscure)!

Love --