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Of Child Porn and Women Soldiers

Conservative Japan refuses to ban child pornography because it violates individual freedom of expression. Is this freedom and is it expression?

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan has refused to make possession of child pornographic material a criminal offence. In an incident that is frightening a mother took images of her infant son and sold them on the internet. What was she expressing? What about the infant’s freedom of expression, freedom to privacy? What about every child’s?

It is true that young people do post pictures of themselves and their friends – and the motives could vary from vicarious thrills, exhibitionism to revenge. But, more often it is a market that abuses children.

Keiji Goto, a lawyer and chairman of the Forum for Creating a Society That Does Not Tolerate Child Pornography, says:

“We consider child porn to be the worst of all evils and find it hard to understand how images of naked children tied up with ropes can be considered acceptable. The only people who will be pleased at the failure to pass this legislation are paedophiles.”

Not all those who watch child porn are active paedophiles.

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An Indian army officer has been arrested for uploading child porn.

I was appalled to read that there is a thriving community that shares information on new videos available and has discussion forums. It is well-orchestrated. According to cyber experts:

“It's a moral responsibility of every member of such community to upload as many videos as they download. This is what keeps the community alive and the site running. If people only keep downloading, after a point there will be nothing to download. The entire system works on the principles of demand and supply. On the internet it is known as leechers and seeders. A video that has more seeders than leechers will have a better quality as there are more number of people uploading it than the number of people downloading it.”

The armyman was obviously aware of what the papers referred to as his “moral responsibility” since he had uploaded 157 videos; all the children in it were Caucasian. The authorities, therefore, deduce that none of these were shot by him.

He was quite tech-savvy and had the software to convert these files and transfer them to CDs he could watch later. Given this knowledge, and his access to forums, it is possible that some captive children by a member were made to perform before him on webcam and he shot those sequences. The technicalities, however, are not germane to the issue.

We have had many cases of Indian children being used in such pornographic material. It takes a long time for the culprits to get caught. They are often tourists who hole up for months and pretend to run shelters for poor kids.

It is a disgusting crime to use children in such a manner, but there is a thriving business going on that must be addressed. The children are obviously lured with some bait or drugged and made dependent. Another crucial aspect is to try and see if there is any reason why children are targeted. The obvious psychological reason is that they are sexually non-threatening. This leads to the dilemma for the child who feels threatened for life by such acts. The authority figure in any field becomes a potential exploiter in the mind of the child even when s/he grows up.

Personal perversions apart, why is there no legislation stringent enough to take action? What about the Japanese ruling party? Children don’t vote, so it is not losing out in elections because of them. I am not sure whether they have a list of those who patronise child porn and will not vote for them because of a ban. If this is the case, then a political party ought to be happy that it has stuck its neck out.

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Are laws sufficient and what do they mean?

When an official British army magazine asks its women soldiers to carry condoms because “on deployment, there’ll be 50 blokes to each woman” it conveys that these 50 blokes who are supposed to be prepared for any skirmishes are obviously not expected to be ready to take responsibility for their hormones.

It sounds like a bunch of men who have no sense of either propriety or practical sense. And the fact that women are expected to take care of themselves or “face something you really don’t want to hear” is rather unfortunate.

It is entirely possible that people who are in a tense situation and lonely might get attracted and although there is a ‘no- touching’ rule that does not permit sex among military personnel, it does happen.

What surprised me is that if the soldiers are of the same rank the seniors ignore it, but if there is a disparity in hierarchy then both can be dismissed. If the British armed forces are concerned about expenditure “at a time of serious financial squeeze” as a former MP said, then how would the rank of the soldiers matter?

I am assuming that we are talking about choice here. There are occasions when force has been used. If colleagues are not exempt from such harassment, can we imagine how the people who are being ‘protected’ are used, not to speak about prisoners?

Condoms can only prevent pregnancies and not sexual abuse.

Comments
5 Comment count
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Perturbed and Disturbed

I struggle with both of these issues. My husband was a cop for 20 years. When he was in the detective bureau his area was child sexual assault and sexual abuse. I can't even begin to tell you what he witnessed, and the responses from the abusers. He had to interview pedophiles. Sometimes he would come home angry - sometimes he would just cry.

As for the women soldiers. It seems to me that the majority of our population seem to think that a bit of latex is the answer for nearly everything. How sad.

Excellent post.

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Disturbing, indeed

Sharon, when I read about personal experiences I wonder how feeble is one's own knowledge. I can, however, empathise with your husband. I know from my journalistic field work that I would return quite devastated aftre certain assignments. At leats he was in a position to do something pro-active.

I am sorry about what your son had to go through and a support system would have helped. 

Thank you for sharing. 

~F

 

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Thanks for This

The more we keep the problem in the public eye, the better chance we have for change. As a child I experienced pedophilia and am appalled at the acceptance of it, 50 years later. Keep up the good work.

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How true.

My son, at the age of 7 also was a victim of pedophilia. I too am appalled and saddened.

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Hello Monty

I admire the candour and also understand that the years cannot take away the pain of such a negative experience.

Sometimes, I admit that keeping such issues in the public eye does not always result in action against rhe criminals.  It does sensitise people, though and one hopes that can have some effect in the logn run, though the long run seems to never end.

As I mentioned to Sharon, there is a feeling of helplessness. 

If you are interested, I had written another blogpost about child prostitution

~F