January 27th, 2004

documentation, writing, quill

Wouldn't be complete without a (sane) rebuttal from the other side.

I was talking with someone, and we came to an ideological impasse. And there were some really sane things said, and we realized that we were at an impasse, and we left it there. And I wouldn't be doing the right thing if I didn't put the other arguments out there.

Warning: all italicized material following is my reconstruction of the stance. It's not my stance, but it's not their exact words either.

Kids too young to read, and kids young enough to obey their parents' injunctions to stay away from fic they're not old enough to read, goddamn it!, and kids mature enough to seek it out and enjoy it are not the ones we want to lock this away from using passwords and some form of secure age authentication. Kids who are too young for it, it'll pass right over their heads. Kids who are mature enough for it will appreciate it and thank gods for it being there. It's the gap in between those maturity levels that concern us.

The age/interest group that we want to protect most is those kids who are barging around on the internet deliberately seeking out R and NC-17 content, not because they actually can use it, but because they just want to stir up trouble. They'll read the warnings, and they'll go ahead and read it anyway, because they know they're not supposed to. They're the kids who break rules just because they're there to break, not because they care what the rules stand for or what the rules are there to protect them from.

They're at an age and experience level where they may understand the idea of sex, but they don't have context for it yet. They can't yet sort out "This is pretty typical" from "This is some seriously fucked-up shit" because while they may have had the theory, this is as close to the practice as they've ever been, and there is no one there telling them what's right and what's wrong. "They could go to their parents and ask about it," yeah right. Have you seen some of those parents out there?

And, more to the point, those kids. Those are the kids who would never dream of going to their parents if they ran into something disturbing. They'll process it by themselves, and probably do a fucked-up job of it. Like it or not, if your sick incest story is the first thing that kid runs into that's not school textbook biology, that's what they're going to have as their first impression of explicit sex. It's not the kids with the good parents that we have to worry about. The good parents are watching the kids, and making sure they're well-educated enough to handle whatever they run into, be it bad or good. You don't have to worry so much about the parents who are watching their kids like hawks. It's the parents who just don't care what their kids are doing, the ones who let their kids do whatever online, that have sufficiently fucked-up relationships with their kids so the kids can't trust them to talk about things with. Those kids are the ones who need good education the most, and those are the ones least likely to get it. The only hope for them is to keep the weird stuff well enough out of their way that the odds are that they'll run into an educational site when they're looking for explicit materials just because they can get away with it.

It would be fine if everybody was educated in how to handle sexually explicit materials, but the fact is, they're not. And I really don't see that happening any time soon, with the fucked-up families that aren't communicating with each other, leaving schools to do all the teaching. It sucks shit that fanfic authors have to do the work that parents should be doing, but the fact remains that while the parents aren't doing their job, someone has to be.


Something more to think about. The only reason that this is not my stance is because this is not my experience; my experience is of being one of the kids who was mature enough to handle it (and need it), but not comfortable enough with the parents to ask specifically whether reading adult material was OK.
Eris Raven, Marah

Perspective

It's easy for me to say now that my parents were the cool parents.

Back then, I was terrified that my father might kill me, literally kill me, if I went over the line, and I wasn't quite sure where the line was, but I knew it had to be somewhere before me getting pregnant.

I'm 23, and I can laugh at 15-year-old self, virgin, wondering if she would have to run away if she got pregnant, because her father would kill her, literally, and her mother wouldn't stop him. It was hyperbole, in my journal, but that's how 15 year olds are. And how 10 year olds are. And, probably, how 23 year olds are. But I believed every word of it, otherwise I wouldn't have written it.

My father is a Quaker. My father is a pacifist. My father was distraught at having to put down a goose. My father killed a few barnyard animals for food and put out rattraps for squirrels, but never did go hunting. My father loves me, and adores children. And I was mortally terrified that if I got pregnant, I would die.

Perspective.

Our fears shape us, even if they're only ghosts after we pass through them. Perspective.

What works for one, what doesn't work for another. An Alpha memorizing by rote. A Rho left to figure out things on their own. An Alpha figuring out things independantly. A Rho secure in memorized routine. CITs don't come pre-sorted.
running, bomb tech

Birthday

Happy Birthday, starbrow. Thank you for giving all of us (and especially fandom_scruples) $5 of your birthday money.

Shall I tell your paternal unit how much the gift rocked? <azzgrin>
running, bomb tech

loving cats

eris_raven was holding my hand last night. I put my hand out to pet her, and she grabbed it with her paws, and when I tried to take it back, she sunk in the claws (she's clipped) and held on with her teeth.

I think she really does like me.

Oh, and she curls up in her pillow spot on the shelf sometimes.
running, bomb tech

PSA

LJ sucks today. There's also a big virus going around. Journalfen is down too.

These may or may not be related.

Um, Cartman is down. Guess who's on Cartman? Me, yep.
running, bomb tech

Afternoonish things

Went to plasma place. (Was dropped off by Votania. She picked up LF.) Movie: American Wedding. Someday, I will encounter someone who matches my delight in movies like that. Dropped by bank. Was unable to take enough out of AK account to put in AZ account for all the things that I need the money in there for by the end of the month. Much annoyance. Will do again tomorrow. Came home.

After some chill-out time that would have been better if LJ had not gone down (Cartman, specifically) and had my back not felt stuck, we went off to Fry's Electronics, where I found a bread machine. Muahaha! It was the only one left, so SCORE!

Continued on the trip to pick up Marx. Called wiseheron, chatted. Much fun. Got to talk to Red Sandalwood as well; told him that I still don't have a photo of my girlfriend. :-P (I haven't gotten around to getting the photos developed yet. Plus, she's not exactly a camera hog, and I'm usually on the business end of cameras rather than the coming-out-in-photos-afterwards end.) (He wanted us to run into him while I was in California a few months ago, but it never did work out. Old letch.)

Went out to dinner with the family. Went very well for everyone being tired.

Home again now. Making bread. Mmmm, bread.