the Art Monthly Australia Cover with the new M classification
The goal of protecting children should have no argument. But making children afraid of all nudity doesn’t protect them. It makes them anxious, insecure and more susceptible to poor body image and other problems, including abuse.
The desireless subjectivity that we construct as childhood innocence seems never to work. Then we construct dangers to justify our wrong notion, like pedophiles lurking on every street, or good sex education causing teens to have sex. These are contemporary versions of warnings about masturbation causing blindness.
Australia’s insidious media frenzy in these fiascos may seem exaggerated to us. But the censorious attitude is also found in North America. To develop real child protection and teach teens about responsible sexual health, we must stop misconstruing photographs, oversexualizing children and fabricating a moral panic.
This is some of the sanest arguing on this subject I have seen. and not just because it mirrors my own beliefs. I believe that they are tackling this issue the wrong way and in a way that will ultimately be more harmful for children. the latest news in this long line of histrionics is the decision to change classification laws in Australia. in other words, “we don’t like the results the classification board is giving so we are going to change them to suit our own means”. does this strike anyone else as wrong? I thought the point was that the classification board was above the meddling of any one group. totally autonomous. that was supposed to be their strength last I heard.
there are genuine child sex abuse crises happening in Australia at the moment. and have been for some time. and I’m pretty sure that the key demographic involved neither read Art Monthly Australia nor visit upscale Sydney Galleries. but this is a way for the government to look like it’s doing something I guess. it’s something that says we care about children (white, middle class children anyway). it just happens that what they are doing is completely useless to the children involved, and harmful in other ways that they’ve never considered. but like most crusades, it’s more about the face value than the actual damage and actual results.