Saturday musings

11 Aug

I haven’t said much about the whole LJ fiasco, because I’m generally on the outside of it all except as it impacts people on my flist. But I am curious where the line is. I think of Season 2 of BtVS, for example, where 16-turning-17 year-old Buffy is showing sleeping with Angel, who of course is an adult in every sense of the world. Or on Deep Space Nine, where the 16-year old Jake Sisko dates a 20-year old dabo girl.

There are underage-older relationships on TV all the time, many of them explicitly sexual, and that’s not illegal, depicting that. So what’s the line, anyway?

38 Responses to “Saturday musings”

  1. buffyannotater August 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    I was thinking about that, too. It happens a lot in literature, also. In John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, for example, a 16-year-old boy has an affair with a middle-aged married woman. In Augusten Burroughs’ Running with Scissors, a middle-aged man has an affair with a 12- or 13-year-old boy (though that’s a memoir), and then of course, there’s Lolita.

  2. arethusa2 August 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm #

    In “Pride and Prejudice,” Lydia is 15 when she marries, and the family, while aghast, consider her age the least of their worries. If she was old enough to runoff and sleep with a soldier, she was old enough to get married.

  3. midnightsjane August 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm #

    With S2 Buffy, she’s 17; I’m not sure what the age of consent is in the US, but I think it’s 16 here in Canada.
    I think it has more to do with the power structure in the relationship; with Buffy and Angel it seemed more equal to me; he’s not in a position of authority. I’d certainly be squicked if Giles had come on to Buffy, for example.

  4. humming_along August 11, 2007 at 5:07 pm #

    Well, that’s the problem. LJ seems to be changing the line every day, with every response, and the only consensus is that the line changed on a case by cases, as decided by the LJ abuse team.

  5. cactuswatcher August 11, 2007 at 5:16 pm #

    It varies from state to state. Someplaces it’s 16, somplaces it’s 18. I think there are still a few states where the girl can get married as young as 14 with parental permission.

  6. ann1962 August 11, 2007 at 5:51 pm #

    Maturity in it all is paramount as to where the almost adult squiggly line is.
    And consent. Lolita did not consent.

  7. cornerofmadness August 11, 2007 at 6:02 pm #

    that really rather is the problem. Our fandoms have these kinds of relationships as canon. I’ve written in Fruits Basket where one of the canon characters is 15 and he has a relationship with a girl two years older, who’s also a cousin. At this point that should get me banned from LJ or a majority of the BA fic out there since technically she’s underaged.
    As I mentioned in my own journal, I’m more worried even out here in the real world where recently high school kids have been going to jail for having sex and then will find themselves dogged by sex offender titles for the rest of their lives. This haziness isn’t confined to LJ and it’s abuse team and its willynilly decisions

  8. chicken_cem August 11, 2007 at 6:09 pm #

    It’s crazy that LJ feels it is in their purview to decide where that line might be, for FICTIONAL characters. I just don’t get it.

  9. tyreseus August 11, 2007 at 6:31 pm #

    Utah – you can get married at 14 (with an OK from you parents and a judge), have sex at 16 (with less than 10 years between the age of partners), and you can screw whomever you like or marry whenever you like after 18.
    California – the age of consent is 18, but a relationship between people with less than 3 years age difference is allowed. Marriage before 18 requres parental consent and approval of a judge.
    Hawaii – the age of consent was recently raised to 16 (from 14), but legislators made an exception of 14 and 15 year old for a person less than 5 years older.
    With so much variety just travelling from state to state, it’s no wonder LJ/6A cannot clearly define what is appropriate and what is not.

  10. chaos_by_design August 11, 2007 at 6:40 pm #

    I think people should care more about what real people are doing to abuse children rather than what fictional characters are doing.
    That’s the line for me.

  11. aycheb August 11, 2007 at 7:28 pm #

    I think LJ and US law in general is drawing a big distinction between graphic depiction of older/under aged sex and textual description or, on broadcast TV, the mere implication that it’s occurred. It’s about context. and there’s much less scope for supplying nuanced context to pictures than to text or movies.
    I mean anyone TV literate to tell from watching Surprise /Innocence that Buffy has had sex with Angel at the age of just turned 17 is also literate enough to understand that there was a lot more to the story than putting ‘hot’ underage nubility on view for those who get off on that sort of thing. Moreover while the episode claimed that Buffy was just 17, Sarah Michelle Gellar was clearly in her early twenties. With the picture that was posted unlocked on pornish_pixies even the functionally illiterate would have recognised Harry/Daniel Radcliffe (who I think was still under 18 in the most recent movie and looked significantly younger in the drawing). Moreover, as far as the non-fannish are concerned Harry is a schoolboy, Snape is his much older teacher and here was a picture that seemed to uncritically depict Harry as the object of Snape’s desire.

  12. darlas_mom August 11, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    It’s all so crazy. I’ve been sitting here worrying about a fic I wrote with Sirius/Andromeda (canonically, cousins with a seven-year age gap) and they didn’t even actually have sex in it, they just made out and he groped her. I’ve also been paranoid about a Connor/Fred I did where he just watches her (without her knowledge) in the shower; they never even so much as kiss.
    I’m actually more worried about those relatively tame pieces than all the Connor/Angel I’ve written. (I always write them as consensual, and always write Connor as being over eighteen at the time) It’s still all so shaky.
    Hello, paranoia, my old friend; I’ve come to talk with you again. ::sigh::

  13. neshaffer August 11, 2007 at 11:31 pm #

    I’ve been considering a younger-older (maybe 6-7 years, but one underage) relationship in one of my WIPs. I actually set everything up for it in previous episodes before this all started, and it would be awkward to just let it drop now. I wasn’t sure I wanted to “go there” (a sexual relationship) before all this, now I’m even more not sure.
    But I don’t know what else to do with the relationship now that I’ve already started building it up!

  14. scrollgirl August 12, 2007 at 12:05 am #

    In California, the age of consent is 18. So yes, Buffy is underage in “Surprise”.
    has a fascinating post about our culture’s hypocrisy. Our media encourages us to objectify teenage bodies, they do everything but take off their bras (and sometimes they even do that) but if we ever make it public that we actually *do* desire what they tell us to desire, if we extrapolate or create art or fiction based on those desires, we’re called disgusting perverts and oh, won’t you please think of the children!
    See, it’s okay if you’re a big corporation making money off teenage bodies. But if you’re a private citizen making art for free, then it’s WRONG.

  15. neshaffer August 12, 2007 at 12:18 am #

    I was going to mention the power differential between Hollywood on the one hand and fan fic writers on the other that allows the former to get away with what the latter cannot.

  16. scrollgirl August 12, 2007 at 12:31 am #

    Oh yeah. It’s all about the money. If you can lobby, if you can hire lawyers, then you’ll always be safer than the private citizens who have no choice but to roll over for your C&D letters. None of us are rich enough to give a shot at being that test case brought to court.
    I can totally understand why LJ feels scared enough to be jackasses to fandom. Fandom has long learned to police itself, to keep people who don’t understand our freakish behaviour and who will judge us out of context from taking our toys away. LJ realises it needs to police itself too, before they get sued or the gov’t comes down on them.
    That said, they’re still being jackasses. If they’re so eager to cover their own butts, they need to at least be clear about their goals and what they will and will not allow.
    And even with all that, even though I understand to a certain extent, I’m still very disappointed that LJ is cracking down. Art is art, IMHO. Fiction is fiction. No harming of actual children has occurred, and that’s all that should really matter.

  17. spiletta42 August 12, 2007 at 12:58 am #

    To cross the line in the eyes of the law, the material must show the intimate details of the relationship in a graphic way. On tv, Buffy is PG-13, and also SMG is older than her character. Also, as for fanfic, prose can legally go a whole lot farther than anything with pictures.
    Here ends my knowledge, because I’m not paying the slightest attention to the latest panicky fleeing of evil LJ for banning Potter Porn, out of rabid apathy.

  18. anomster August 12, 2007 at 4:26 am #

    um…
    …actually, she starts it. It’s been a long time since I read it, but I specifically remember the quote: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury [meaning the readers, he’s not on trial], she seduced me.” And as described in the novel, she did.

  19. ann1962 August 12, 2007 at 12:34 pm #

    He wrote her as his fantasy
    I don’t believe child molesters. He raped her. He drugs her. 12 year olds can not give consent even if she wanted to, and even if she did, he was the adult that raped a child. He used her mother to get to her. He married her mother to abuse both the mother and the daughter. Part of what Nabokov was doing with this novel was challenging the reader to choose. Whom would they believe? Humbert seduces the reader into thinking that Lolita chose this, when in fact Humbert structured the situation to be able to get away with rape. Humbert believes himself the victim of Lolita, (should we feel sympathy for him?) but personally, I don’t believe him.

  20. arethusa2 August 12, 2007 at 4:48 pm #

    Re: He wrote her as his fantasy
    The book is brilliant because we can see how delusional he is, while he is trying to convince his “audience” and probably himself that his view is the right one.
    Twelve-year-olds don’t seduce adults. They might replay adult behavior they see or that has been forced upon them, but they are just children mentally and emotionally.

  21. bhadrasvapna August 12, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    IMO, the children mentioned in the literary examples are children for a reason. In Lolita it paints Humbert as beyond evil. In things like Romeo and Juliet it is used to show innocence/loss of innocence and why the episode where Buffy loses her virginity is Surprise/Innocence. Age is also used to illustrate the time period. These are not remotely comparable to the stuff 6A has deemed lacking “artistic merit.” The line is simple. Pictures and stories that have the purpose of titilating the audience should not be allowed. Images of children should not be used to excite anyone. Period.
    It’s not about “age of consent.” Illegal things are represented in various mediums all the time. If it is a matter of not being able to show something that is illegal, crime dramas are in a lot of trouble. It is about common decency. Society has the right to label things as unacceptable or obscene. Using children for visual or intellectual sexual gratification is one such instance. I wrote about this in better detail over at my journal.

  22. ann1962 August 12, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

    Re: He wrote her as his fantasy
    Yes, and every time they do play adult behavior (acting out as such at these young ages), that means they know adult behavior somehow and is almost always an indication of past abuse.

  23. bhadrasvapna August 12, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    DeviantART specifically says no pornography, nudity involving a minor, or ANYTHING sexually driven? If you want the specifics check out faq’s. IMO LJ should just cut & paste that.
    What is Art has been debated for millennium. It should be. The word “art” isn’t protection to express yourself however you want. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what is societally acceptable isn’t. Minors may be forbidden for legal reasons, but sexually driven is legal.
    Two more sites: the biggest site devoted to fantasy/sci-fi/horror/anime illustrations and stories is Elfwood followed by Epilogue.
    1. Elfwood only allows original fiction. You can’t even mention words like “Drow” or use the name “Frodo” in a story. It does allow original fanart in a specific section.
    2. “Don’t swear, post anything offensive, or do anything that makes your Elfwood space unpleasant to look at. If it wouldn’t be appropriate in a public forum, it’s not appropriate here.” “There are three words that will get you in trouble if you use them anywhere within Elfwood. Shit, fuck and cunt” You can’t even swear at Elfwood.
    3.”The following is a non-exclusive list of actions and content that are not permitted on the Site:…Any material that is perceived by Elfwood or its members as abusive, deceptive, profane, slanderous, offensive, or inappropriate, including explicit pornography in visual or written form.”
    I can easily go on and on here. Nudity is acceptable here, just like at DeviantART. It may be relationship-oriented (even that “taboo” of homosexuality), but it’s never explicitly sexual. You can be erotic with clothes on. Romance novel covers do it all the time.
    Now for Epilogue:
    Q: Does Epilogue allow nudity?
    A: The key word here is *tasteful*. Sexually suggestive or explicit nudity is not permitted.
    “Reasons for rejection: Excessive violence or vulgarity/Explicit sexual themes/Inappropriate subject matter/Suggestive or explicit nudity – While Epilogue is open to artistic nudity, and even sensuality, anything which would have a rating of R or higher if it were in a movie is generally unacceptable. Explicit depictions of sexual arousal and/or sexual acts will not be approved.”
    Mermaids tend not to wear tops. They also fall in love with Angels. Mermaids kiss Angels while they aren’t wearing tops. They lovingly embrace each other. Same goes for fairies, aliens, anime, yada yada. All the above sites will allow this. There are lines. In these cases, the lines are a lot more restrictive than what LJ allows.
    Saying art is art is like saying flaming is legitimate criticism. The harming of actual children is only 1 issue at hand here. The Supreme Court in the landmark decision that ok’ed photomanips based on no harm said that society could ban such images as “obscene.” It isn’t just about money. It’s about common decency. If people want to hide behind the first amendment, it is up to us as a society to say “enough.” There is such a thing as common sense, with common being part of the term.
    As Masq asks, what’s the line?

  24. bhadrasvapna August 12, 2007 at 7:18 pm #

    Isn’t that what the US courts do? They decide obscenity on a case by case basis. The only other alternative is very strict guidelines and even those have to still be interpreted.

  25. scrollgirl August 13, 2007 at 2:36 pm #

    Trust me, I totally understand that one could make the argument for common decency. And if that’s the line 6A wants to draw, then they should just come right out and say it, and tell us exactly what is not permitted on their site. But they’ve been waffling for months now, saying one thing and then doing another, unwilling to answer our direct questions.
    I’m not saying LJ can’t delete stuff because they don’t like it — of course they can. They’re a private company and can delete whatever they want. But if they want to use “obscenity” as their reason why some stuff is being deleted, then they’re walking a dangerous tightrope. For one thing, only the court can legally rule (based on community standards) that a particular piece of artwork is obscene. If 6A wants to keep calling art obscene, then they should have the guts to take it to court. Now, of course NOBODY wants that to happen — not 6A, not the artists. So I can’t understand why 6A keeps painting a target on themselves.
    Not to mention — which community are we talking about? Whose standards? Pornish_pixies? HP fandom? LJ as a whole? The people who live in San Francisco where 6A has their offices? Leaving aside 6A implying that their users are criminals (which I don’t agree with), and assuming we should police ourselves before the courts do (which I do agree with), how exactly is 6A deciding what is allowed and what isn’t? One of the 3 checkboxes for obscenity is lack of artistic merit — who gets to decide that Fan A’s artwork has artistic merit, and Fan B’s artwork doesn’t? The LJ Abuse team? They won’t even tell us what their criteria is, let alone their process, so it’s no wonder we’re all very sceptical of recent events.
    There’s a reason why we usually allow the courts to decide these things. It takes care and consideration that fandom and 6A just don’t have. More and more, though, I find myself not trusting the American courts. And sadly the rest of the world has to deal with the consequences, even though we have little say in the decision-making.

  26. scrollgirl August 13, 2007 at 3:06 pm #

    I found Kita’s post very interesting: http://kita0610.livejournal.com/381248.html?format=light
    I agree with her sentiments, for the most part, even though I (thankfully) can’t relate to her personal experiences.

  27. bhadrasvapna August 13, 2007 at 4:47 pm #

    enough is enough
    I hate to say this, but been there, done that. I don’t mean just the sexual abuse. More to the point, the whole “I don’t think I have more whatever because of X, but let me give you X, so you know that I should be against/for something I’m not, which means my argument *is* more valid.” If not, why spend all that time saying you should believe something, but don’t? It’s an easy trap to fall into.
    I will say that pics like this do cause harm, not to individual children or to the viewer. The harm is to society as a whole. There are things society has decided are unacceptable for any number of reasons. Do we seriously want to go down the same path Rome did, because if we don’t say “enough is enough” that is exactly where we are heading. Masq asked where the lines are. There are lines, things society should allow and things society shouldn’t allow. There are various levels of disgust. There is a line that disgust reaches where “enough is enough.”
    With all that, I will say that I admire people who genuinely believe life begins at conception who are pro-life and actively work to support this belief. I admire anyone whose actions follow from their beliefs. There are those levels that determine whether action is required. This particular belief is one of those levels, as far as I’m concerned. There are other things to consider, but actions should still be determined by the levels of those beliefs.
    It is up to us as a society to decide when there is enough ick to say “enough is enough.” The art communities I have sited have all said it. Did/is LJ/6A handling this thing badly? Yep. They don’t have the balls to state what their convictions are. They are trying to appear tolerant of something that really shouldn’t be tolerated by hiding behind money, legality and harm, just like Congress has done in the past.
    If I hear one more time “they are a business” and “it is their right” I will scream. That argument completely ducks the bigger picture. It is easier to say “they aren’t handing things right.” Masq was right in asking “what’s the line.” We (especially liberals) need to start acknowledging not only are there lines, but that is ok to design our more perfect union taking these into consideration.
    IMO the difference between a conservative and a liberal shouldn’t be whether they have lines, but just where those lines are. How much ick you will tolerate makes you a liberal, not whether you will tolerate anything.
    That is where the argument about artistic merit comes. We aren’t talking about aesthetics. We are talking about why something should or shouldn’t be tolerated. Change “artistic merit” to “societal value.” That is where artistic merit is derived from. That is something that should be taken into consideration when deciding how much ick to tolerate.
    So is society better off with or without whatever? That is the question that should be asked when it comes to any freedom. The argument can be made there isn’t enough ick present (or even that there never can be enough) and that censorship is a dangerous slippery slope. My counter is that the more dangerous precedent is allowing things we find totally repulsive. The government shouldn’t forbid such things, because that is a dangerous slippery slope. We as a society should just go “enough is enough” and we don’t want that in our sandbox. We shouldn’t feel we can’t, otherwise all you get are two extremes going at it with their strongly held convictions. The conviction that should be held by every living human being is the importance of discernment. This is just one of many issues that illustrates this. There are more and more everyday as the extremes are the only ones voicing their opinions.

  28. scrollgirl August 13, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    Re: enough is enough
    I will say that pics like this do cause harm, not to individual children or to the viewer. The harm is to society as a whole. There are things society has decided are unacceptable for any number of reasons. […] My counter is that the more dangerous precedent is allowing things we find totally repulsive.
    Part of me strongly agrees with you, Jeanie. I’ve often felt that I’ve become desensitised to violence and sexual taboos due to my reading and TV-watching habits. If I weren’t so weak, I’d draw a line in the sand instead of allowing my curiosity and/or interest to sway me.
    But, as with the issue of abortion, I don’t think it’s hypocritical to believe something is repulsive and wrong, but still want to uphold your right to do it.
    (Or maybe that just makes me a really lousy pro-life person. If I truly believe that babies are being killed, shouldn’t I be protesting at abortion clinics? *is confused*)

  29. bhadrasvapna August 13, 2007 at 5:40 pm #

    The courts interpret the law. I’m not talking about the law. This shouldn’t even be an issue for the government or law. The courts decide what the government can and cannot define as obscene *and* criminalize. I have not advocated the punishment of any of the banned individuals. I have gone as far as to say if LJ has gone to ISP’s to get the offending users internet access restricted, I do have a serious problem. This issue should be confined to this issue and not affect the artist’s life in any other way. What was done was wrong, but not *that* wrong. You can infer something is criminal. Working to get someone jailed is another thing. Have they done that?
    The three sites I have given all require self-policing. There are various parental warnings labels and access levels placed on artwork even just involving nudity. Does this require the courts’ approval? IMO the way these sites are handling things is the best. This is for a reason. They are art sites. I’m not sure what 6A is used to, but based on how they have handled things, they aren’t familiar with how the world of art, either fandom related or original, works. Art is used to complaints about pornography and obscenity. That is why a site who deals with artistic nudity and controversial issues calls itself “deviant.” This also applies to any of the erotic fiction sites I have talked about in my journal who don’t allow anything involving a minor. 6A should use these sites as a model of what to do rather than keep digging themselves a deeper hole.
    This is an issue that actually affects the entire body of “we the people,” what actions would lead to that more perfect union we are supposed to be striving for. Since I am the one writing, I am speaking about what actions I believe would accomplish this best. Others also have their opinions and when they are writing, they speak about their ideas. That is where the dialog should be – what I think should happen and why. It is the why that causes synergy and interesting solutions.
    As for determining whether something has societal value, there is always the problem of who gets to decide anything, be it something as trivial as an icontest or as important as this. The sites I have sited all have their own abuse teams that decide this. The judicial branch in any system is what interprets the laws/rules. In the case of web sites this is the abuse team. Again, since I am writing, I am saying what I believe has societal value.
    What their criteria is? IMO they should cut and paste what DeviantART has said into the TOS. Then it is up to the individual whether they want to be a part of that. 6A is a lot more lenient than any of the sites I have listed (and I don’t think they should be). Is that what fandom wants to see happen, because if I were 6A that is *exactly* what I’d do now. IMO the stuff they have banned is simple common sense. You don’t need criteria after Strikethrough `07 to say that they didn’t approve of Harry Potter porn. They made their stance on child pornography rather clear. IMO, anyone who thought they could get away with porn involving a young Harry Potter is either delusional, foolish or trying to cause a fight. IMO, they were daring 6A to act and 6A acted. Now fandom has something to bitch about rather than engage in the standard summer flame wars. 6A could easily retaliate by re-evaluating their policies to forbid everything. Then no criteria is needed and their job is much simpler. That means bye-bye to the grey area of fanfic as well.

  30. bhadrasvapna August 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm #

    Re: enough is enough
    Not necessarily hypocritical. There are lines, levels and all sorts of considerations. Take abortion. If you believe it is murder, there is that side. You can also believe it is an issue about women/individual rights to determine what happens to your own body. What is more repulsive – the murder or infringing that right? What side creates a better society? Is there a compromise possible (something people seem to have forgotten. America was founded on compromise)? We all want to live in a society where abortion isn’t even necessary. I’ve gotten into arguments at rallies with pro-life people who carried signs saying “Abortion isn’t contraception.” I retaliated “then what do you have against contraception?” Many (not all) pro-life people are also against contraception. IMO, they need to decide what it more repulsive, contraception or abortion, because I know what I choose. The alternative to abortion is contraception and education. Abstinence just isn’t going to happen. IMO it is unreasonable and unconscionable to force a girl to come to term (especially under all circumstances) and give up the unwanted baby.
    So back to 6A, what is more repulsive, the offending drawings or the idea of censoring them? There are people who find them offensive, just not offensive enough to justify what 6A did. Levels, lines and other considerations. Isn’t that the dialog that should be happening rather than “they handled things badly?”

  31. scrollgirl August 13, 2007 at 6:31 pm #

    You can infer something is criminal. Working to get someone jailed is another thing. Have they done that?
    I never said 6A is trying to jail us — in fact, I was saying that both 6A and fandom are doing their best to *avoid* such a situation. What I’m saying is that 6A has *called* us criminals — they’ve called us pedophiles, both explicitly and implicitly. But sticks and stones, yadda yadda. Not my biggest concern.
    I totally think it’s better for everybody if 6A self-polices. Like I said, it’s what fandom does (though with different criteria) and it’s certainly better than having more right-wing nutbars threatening advertising dollars, right? Of course, I still *wish* that 6A didn’t have to be so strict. Yes, they’re more lenient than deviantART, but these changes are new and of course we’re going to feel growing pains. Pains compounded by 6A’s inconsistent policies and contradictory behaviour.
    What their criteria is? IMO they should cut and paste what DeviantART has said into the TOS. Then it is up to the individual whether they want to be a part of that.
    I think for most of fandom, that’s all we’re really asking for right now. Tell us one way or the other, and then we can make up our minds to stay or go.
    You don’t need criteria after Strikethrough `07 to say that they didn’t approve of Harry Potter porn. They made their stance on child pornography rather clear. IMO, anyone who thought they could get away with porn involving a young Harry Potter is either delusional, foolish or trying to cause a fight.
    But it is NOT as black and white as you seem to think it is! At least, considering how widespread the debate is, clearly most of us don’t think it’s that black and white. And 6A obviously isn’t very sure either, if their attempts to “clarify” are evidence — or else they *want* to keep the situation hazy so that their users don’t all up and leave.
    Think of the two ways you use “porn” in your above statement. Harry Potter “porn” does NOT fall under the *legal* definition of “child porn”. Not even underage Harry/Snape. Mixing up the two uses of the word “porn” is one reason why there’s so much confusion in this debate.
    First 6A says they aren’t targeting fandom, that pornish_pixies is fine. They say that they know fiction is fiction, and won’t penalise people for it. Then they say, nope, only if it’s not porn. They say (this particular) HP fan art is child porn. But once we point out that, legally, it’s not child porn because no actual children were involved in the making/viewing of it, then they say it’s obscene. They say they don’t allow obscenity on LJ. Which would be fine, except it’s NOT obscene because to declare something legally obscene requires that *particular* piece of art going to court. Which means that this bit of HP fan art is NOT porn and it’s NOT obscene (legally).
    Now, 6A can simply say they don’t *like* this kind of HP fan art. They can say they won’t allow any kind of explicit art that depicts fictional teenagers under 18 having sex, and fandom would have no choice but to comply. We can say that we want to uphold common decency and disallow such art on LJ. That’s fine. Maybe that’s what is necessary. We can stay or leave, once we know what LJ will or won’t allow. As I’ve said, I have a permanent account and I don’t want to leave/be chased away.
    IMO, anyone who thought they could get away with porn involving a young Harry Potter is either delusional, foolish or trying to cause a fight. IMO, they were daring 6A to act and 6A acted.
    Now *this* I agree with. The two artists who got deleted were tempting fate, and acted pretty foolishly. We have to police ourselves so LJ doesn’t police us. Just as LJ has to police itself so that the gov’t/whoever doesn’t police *them*.

  32. scrollgirl August 13, 2007 at 6:42 pm #

    Re-reading your comment above, I’m starting to realise that we’re talking at cross-purposes. We actually agree on the main point that LJ should police themselves, and that it’s up to them to define policies. And if they want to draw the line more narrowly than the courts, it’s totally up to them. (And maybe it’s even for the best.)
    I guess the reason I’m so frustrated with the situation is that it’s been how many months since Memorial Day? And they keep dodging the questions, throwing around words like “obscenity” and “child pornography” as if we were actually guilty of these things. We’re not. We have done nothing illegal (aside from copyright violation).
    Didn’t mean to take my frustration out on you, because while I seem to be drawing my lines more loosely than you, I do know where you’re coming from.

  33. scrollgirl August 13, 2007 at 6:59 pm #

    Re: enough is enough
    So back to 6A, what is more repulsive, the offending drawings or the idea of censoring them? There are people who find them offensive, just not offensive enough to justify what 6A did. Levels, lines and other considerations. Isn’t that the dialog that should be happening rather than “they handled things badly?”
    Yeah, there are a few people talking about the levels, lines of what is offensive, what too repulsive to endure, etc. Not many, but a few. This probably *should* be a larger discussion.
    Most of us seem to be focused more on 6A’s behaviour — I know I am. Probably because my line keeps shifting. It’s not just that I’ve grown more liberal over the years — sometimes I get hit by a “spasm” of conscience, and feel that I need to draw the line more rigidly. I dunno, sometimes it feels like it all depends on what side of the bed I wake up that morning! Which means I avoid introspection. *sigh*
    It’s easier for us to just be mad at 6A 😛

  34. bhadrasvapna August 14, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    Re: enough is enough
    Don’t you feel like a pendulum that can’t find a resting spot and if you only could you would find actual peace?
    Or the way I sometimes describe it is a plate balancing on a pin. If you aren’t in the center (not as in Moderate, but as in your particular center given your experiences and beliefs) enough, you wobble. Wobble too much and you crash to the floor.

  35. bhadrasvapna August 14, 2007 at 6:34 pm #

    Just a suggestion, but the characters could acknowledge the feelings, but admit that it is wrong and don’t do it (though you can sure build up the tension if this causes them to want it more. The lure of forbidden fruit).
    OR
    There is nothing saying a non-sexual relationship is less validating than a more physical one. Feelings don’t have to lead to anything physical and can still be romantic. Think Courtly love. It takes more skill as a writer to convey deep feelings without the shorthand of sending the characters to bed or even lust. It is a fun exercise.

  36. neshaffer August 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm #

    Interesting suggestions, if done right.

  37. bhadrasvapna August 14, 2007 at 6:45 pm #

    Don’t worry about it. It is just as important for people to see this debate, especially when it really doesn’t seem to be happening. I know a certain individual who loves to play Devil’s Advocate just to push me into examining what I really believe and work on formulating arguments. That and I think he just likes to drive me crazy.
    I am seriously tempted to send 6A an email with links to how other art communities handle this issue. They obviously don’t know how and aren’t figuring it out. If they listen that will mean the lines will be a lot more restrictive, maybe even banning fanfic. I’m not sure if I want to do that to my friends.
    Obscene has more than a legal definition. Anyone is entitled to say what they believe is obscene. I just use the word “ick.” Same for “child pornography.” How much of this argument is because they poorly chose their words? Just like Strikeout should tell the posters a bit about 6A, the posters’ reaction to that should have told 6A that they needed to take more care than this. Most of those messages seem to have just been dashed off (especially the response about anorexia). I don’t blame people for feeling ignored and even marginalized by this approach. I just wish people could get beyond the hurt feelings and start a real dialog/debate. This has deeper ramifications than LJ.

  38. bhadrasvapna August 14, 2007 at 7:13 pm #

    This is actually the part of the psychology of the issue that fascinates me the most and I wish I felt comfortable writing about it. You said “how widespread the debate is.” How widespread is it really? In your circle/flist, it is probably a high concentration, but in mine, not so much and I am involved in more than a few graphic communities. That is probably why 6A is basically dismissing this.
    It seems to be an illusion that fandom in general supports/creates, but it seems more pronounced in the HP fandom, most likely due to all those books sold and the mass reaction to the series. My father and uncles read all of them and discussed DH after my grandfather’s funeral. That is the extent of it. Most of those zillion people who read HP don’t even know the word fandom, let alone consider themselves part of one.
    I am not saying that these numbers/illusion mean that 6A should be as dismissive as they are. I don’t think that should happen to any group, no matter the size. I just find the view that this is huge or widespread to be interesting. As entertaining as this is, Fandomwank is still occupied with other things as well. IMO, based on my interaction with art/graphic communities, I would say Manga/Anime rules the fandom world in terms of numbers, especially when it comes to graphics/art. It just isn’t *our* fandom.
    IMO,legally speaking, 6A should refund part of the money for the permanent accounts to the banned individuals and anyone wishing to leave after this. I want them to just make it go away. They can say anything is obscene. It has more than a legal definition. 6A just isn’t used to the semantics involved with porn. Profane is a much better choice of words. I wish they would learn those semantics and give fandom less to complain about.

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