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Tony Grist

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Fandom [Aug. 4th, 2007|12:12 pm]
Tony Grist
Fandom- I don't get it.

Why would you want to mess with someone else's characters when you can create your own?

Does J.K. Rowling take pleasure in badly written stories about her characters having sex?  I doubt it.  Why- If you admire and enjoy her work - would you want to disrespect her so? 

Isn't "fan" a bit of a misnomer?

But lets move from the general to the specific. An artist just got banned by LJ because of an image she posted of Harry and Snape.

Only the banning seems ineffective because she's bounced back and the image is viewable. (I'm not giving links. I don't want to give her any more publicity than she's getting already).

I clicked. I was expecting an image of them kissing. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The characters were clearly modelled on Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman. Isn't this defamation of character or libel of something?

Even more to the point:  British comedian Chris Langham is about to go to prison for downloading images which (I assume ) are comparable to this. 

So- forget morality- LJ needs to guard itself against prosecution.

But I don't want to forget morality. You take characters from a beloved children's book and you produce an image of them that any paedophile would be proud to own (you can quibble over whether Harry looks underage or not if you want to be legalistic and miss the point) and  I can't think of any grounds on which I'd be prepared  to defend you.

A lot of fans are up in arms and banging on about censorship.  I just watched a video of a girl give a little self-righteous speech then attempt to burn her LJ shirt with a blow torch .  Fine. Off you trot to some less scrupulous site and good luck to you!  As it happens, I'm perfectly happy to see you go.

[User Picture]From: elfwreck
2007-08-05 07:10 am (UTC)

Re: SAY SO. Tell us this is not a fandom-friendly site, and we'll migrate.

Attraction to sexually mature people is not "pedophilic," even if the sexually mature person is under legal age. Whether or not Harry in that drawing is 18, he's certainly not prepubescent. This is not a pedophilic fantasy. This not even a hebephilic fantasy--the character in the picture is physically mature, regardless of apparent age.

I was happily sexually active when my body was as mature as Harry's in this pic. Nobody accused me or my boyfriends of pedophilia.

Claiming that since Harry was 17 at the end of book 7, this must be an underage Harry, is ridiculous. Certainly, this scene depicts nothing that happens in the books. It's bizarre, at best, to say that artwork based on something that never happened in canon must take place within the timeframe of canon.

--You are not expected to say, "Oh, this is acceptable." You are expected to say, "if LJ doesn't want content like this, they should say so specifically, and they should answer questions of people who know their stuff might be borderline, so they understand what's not wanted here."

When they were asked to clarify their "no depictions of underage sex", which they then changed to "... that fail the Miller test", the examples they gave involved first 12-year-olds, and later 7-year-olds. This implied that depictions of 16-18 year olds would be acceptable--or at least borderline enough to get a removal warning, rather than an instant suspension.

And I have no idea where you get the idea rape is involved in this. That picture looks a great deal like positions I have been in consensually--positions that would be fairly difficult to maintain by force.

A picture is not the same as the "real thing," but one wonders about the motives of people who require these pictures to be part of their personal entertainment.

Feel free to wonder. I don't "require" these pictures, but I do enjoy them and collect them.
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2007-08-05 01:54 pm (UTC)

Re: SAY SO. Tell us this is not a fandom-friendly site, and we'll migrate.

You know as well as I do that "physical maturity" does not translate to legal maturity. A 13-year-old girl with a 36-24-36 figure is still a 13-year-old. If a 35-year-old man has sex with her, he's liable under the law for prosecution.

Secondly, this is not a picture of you having sex with your boyfriend at age 17. It is a picture of a character, Snape, who is widely acknowledged as being an adult, having sex with a character, Harry Potter, who is widely acknowledged as being underage. Going on about "canon" is a disconnect from reality. In the wider community, this would be, and is, regarded as pedophilic. Straining at gnats like "Oh, since you said 7 to 12 year olds is not OK, so 16 to 18 is ok, and we demand our rights!" is missing the point and not looking at the real world. If this were to go to court - a real live court, with a judge and a jury - fandom, and LJ/6A, would lose, and lose big, for cash dollars.

And rightfully so, because these depictions of pedophilia fail the Miller test, bigtime. Our society does not condone depictions of sex between adults and children. No amount of exacto-knife dissection of "canon" or LJ's TOS will change that in the least. Our society - the legal system, and public opinion - does not condone sex between adults and minors.

That picture looks a great deal like positions I have been in consensually--positions that would be fairly difficult to maintain by force.

But the point is that it's not a picture of you, having sex as an adult. That is legal. It's a picture of Snape, an adult, having sex with Harry Potter, who is not an adult. There is a HUGE difference. There is a power differential between an adult and a minor. In real life, adult-minor sex is punishable by law because the adult has a power advantage over the minor. The adult has power and influence over the minor and uses it to influence the minor to have sex with them. The minor is not capable, under the law, of reason on the level that the adult is, under the law. Therefore adult-minor sex is, under the law, NON CONSENSUAL by its very nature due to the power differential. Any depiction of adult-minor sex therefore depicts depicts a NON-CONSENSUAL act. And that is skating on the thin ice of the law even if you argue that it's fiction.

A great many erotic story sites do not allow stories of pedophilia or adult-minor sex at all. They'll allow sex between people and plants, or people and aliens, but no adult-minor sex. Even these sites know that they're asking for trouble if they go there, so they don't go there. So why is it that LJ is supposed to allow this, if even adult sites don't? Does LJ have a right to be protected against legal action? Of course they do.

Finally, my concern is that LJ is seen, at least for now, as a place where adults who are not looking for a hookup and not pedophiles can go in order to interact with others in a relatively acceptable manner.

I am fairly certain that 6-Apart does not want LiveJournal to acquire the same reputation as MySpace, which is widely seen as a place where pedophiles go to prey on kids. I got fired from a job for simply HAVING a MySpace page. Never mind that it was a MySpace Music page meant to promote my music, and never mind that it had NO explicit material on it, and never mind that it was allegedly not accessible to people under 18. The very fact that I had a MySpace page was grounds for dismissal.

If you or anyone else is asking me to choose between my having a safe haven to communicate with others as an adult, and the "rights" of a certain segment of fandom to depict what would be perceived as pedophilia under the Miller Test, then that segment of fandom loses.

The Internet is for the use of the public. LJ is a business and exists for the use of the public. The public has a wide range of interests, both prurient and not, but in the wider community, depictions of pedophilia are not socially acceptable, for very good reasons. If a business wishes to avoid appearing as though they endorse or condone pedophilia, then they have every right to do so, just as a restaurant has the right to ask a patron to leave if they engage in behavior that is unacceptable to the management. That's the bottom line, legally and socially.

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[User Picture]From: mokie
2007-08-18 08:35 pm (UTC)

Re: SAY SO. Tell us this is not a fandom-friendly site, and we'll migrate.

I know I'm popping in very late here, but I have to say this is the BEST rebuttal of fandom's complaints that I have seen in this entire debacle, and I thank you for writing it. :)
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