Child Porn and the People It Affects

I’m glad that the media has started picking up stories about this new sexting craze (as a side note, I hate names that are cute and catchy like this, it’s just dumb). What I really dislike, however, is how a lot of people are reacting to this happening in the US. For instance, a school assistant principle was charged with child pornography for having a picture on his phone of a girl who wasn’t even naked.

The image depicted only the torso of a girl — later determined to be a 17-year old student — wearing only underwear, her arms mostly covering her breasts. The boy claimed he didn’t know who sent him the photo or who the girl was.

Oei says he showed the image to his boss, Principal Christine Forester, who told him to preserve a copy on his office computer for the investigation. A computer neophyte, Oei didn’t know how to transfer the image from the boy’s cell phone, so the teen sent the picture to Oei’s phone, and told him how to forward it to his work e-mail address. When the process was complete, Oei instructed the student to delete the image from his phone.

Oei and the school security specialist interviewed more students, but were unable to find additional pictures or identify the girl in the photo. Oei concluded she probably wasn’t a student at the school. Relieved, he says he reported his findings to the principal, thinking the matter was done.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Child pornography laws make sense when you’re thinking of skeezy old guys getting kids together to do things they obviously shouldn’t be doing. They were trying to protect the children, and that’s obviously a good thing. Today, however, kids have more access to technology and less inhibitions. The fallout from that is going to take a tremendous toll on the lives of innocent people like Oei. Prosecutors need to understand and take into account intention when deciding to charge people with child pornography charges. That’s a stigma that isn’t easy to get rid of, even in cases like Oei’s where he’s completely innocent.

April Fool’s

I hate April Fool’s day. It’s a day in which people think it’s collectively funny to do stupid things. You can’t trust anything that comes out today and even into the next couple of days (since people like to be cute sometimes and get you when you’re not thinking it’s a joke!). Fuck that headache.

Child Porn and the Kids Who Create It

A Wired article about Child Pornography cases is quite disturbing. Not so much in that there are creepy old guys making kids do bad stuff as the kids themselves recording what they’re doing. Teenagers have been having sex since the dawn of time, and yet in the US (and many other places), it’s looked down upon as something that’s bad. It’s one of those things where once people get older, they suddenly forget that they were once teenagers going through hormonal changes and wanting to have sex just as much as the current generation does.

So fast forward technology to the point where every kid these days has a cell phone, camera, webcam, computer, etc and combine that with their desire to have sex and do sexual related things, and you get child porn. How do you deal with people creating what is essentially child porn who are children themselves? Can you really condemn it if you can’t condemn them having sex in the first place? What if it’s not distributed to anyone but their significant other? What if it’s a group of people doing it? I’ve talked about this before and I think our laws are woefully out of date with regards to teenagers’ sex lives. No, I’m not some creepy 27 year old (almost 28!) looking to hook up with someone 10+ years younger than me, but I do think that if two 17 year olds decide to have sex that there’s not much the state should be able to do about it. The problem with that, however, is where do you draw the line? Technically neither one of them is a consenting adult and therefore should not be able to make a life altering decision like that, and yet teenagers are going to do it regardless of the legal ramifications. Do we really expect them to behave any differently?

I’ve never liked the double standard that the adults have with the non-adults in this country. I remember being pissed when a helmet law came into affect where everyone under 18 was required to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Why not every single person? Are people who are 18 and older more aware of their surroundings to the point where they can choose to be dumb and not wear one? I don’t think so. I think it had more to do with the fact that most adults would have thrown a fit if it had been pressed on the, but if it’s the children, well good. Because you know, we have to save the children from themselves.

I honestly don’t know what the right answer is, but what I do know is that persecuting kids for taking pictures of themselves is utterly stupid.