Fire Assembly sign for children

Save the Children

I had a chat last night with a friend of mine about the changes at Fetlife which included age verification. Not unsurprisingly we disagreed on that topic. His feeling was that it was Governments responsibility to keep children safe because parents don’t and that the risk to people giving their details to a website or even the Government and those people being able to link your heretofore anonymous identity to your real life was simply the price that had to be paid. I argued that education was a better path to keeping the wee bairns “safe”. He did not agree and said it would not be effective and take too long.

This conversation has weighed on my mind since having it. I know that I am not going to change his mind on this subject and chances are that if you disagree I will not be able to change your mind either. So as is my usual style of tilting at windmills I will try to do it anyway.

There are some things that we as a society deem suitable for people once they attain a certain age. Activities that are considered dangerous until a certainly level of maturity has been attained. Tobacco, Alcohol, Driving, Gambling, Voting, Military Service. and Depictions of Sexual Activity. The thing about all of the other things I have listed is that we teach children about these things before they are of an age to do them. Well, most of those things anyway. We teach our children how to cross the street safely, we do this at home and the schools do it too. They even provide crossing guard because when children are going to and from school they are statistically more likely to be injured. But the rest of the time the kiddos are on their own. We teach them and then we just let them get on with it. Right? If we we’re really restricting things to keep kids safe we would not let them out on their own, after all cars kill.

This idea that we can hide a biological fact of life (unlike the other items listed) from children until we deem them old enough to have sex and then expect them to automatically understand sex without any education at all is just insane. Imagine trying to hide all knowledge of how driving works until they are old enough to do it and then just tossing them keys and letting them loose on the world? That would be ridiculous right?

We all accept that we need to give the government certain information to participate in adult activities, some of us will have to show ID to buy tobacco and alcohol, but that information isn’t retained, I know I would be more reluctant if the store had to photocopy my ID and keep that on file because I wanted to purchase those things, wouldn’t you?

At the end of the day we all know that the protections we have in place do not actually deter underage persons from obtaining any of the things we prohibit and age verification will not stop children from watching porn, only frank discussion and education will do that. It is merely putting the giant bandaid of “Doing Something” over the actual problem. Oh and put all the rest of us at risk of being outed as perverts when the inevitable hack of these databases are released to the world. Remember Ashley Madison?

Children do need to be kept safe from many things, and sensible laws can help with that, but I think it would be better to devote time, money and effort to things that might actually work and not things that only serve to give people a false sense of security that will only come back to bite us in the ass.

Porn is just the low hanging fruit of censorship and “for the children” has always been the mask that hides this censorship, because, after all, what kind of pervert wants children to be able to watch porn. That is the implication if you don’t support this. And what exactly are we saving the children from? That people have sex? That people like to watch people have sex? They are going to get to the porn, I promise you that, better to prepare them than pretend they can’t see it.

As I tweeted this morning.

Why should my rights be limited because others can’t be bothered to parent their children? Or that the Gov can’t be bothered to provide Ed?

Michael

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3 thoughts on “Save the Children

  1. I completely agree with you on this subject. One of the problems that has arisen from the nanny state is people thinking they can abdicate all responsibility for their actions, not just parents. They are quick enough to claim their human rights are being infringed but forget that rights also come with responsibility. One of the things that I call bullshit on is blaming your child’s/teen’s bad behaviour on being a single parent. I’ve raised mine pretty much single handed and they’re polite, well-mannered, smart questioning people. They know their actions have consequences.
    I’ve never really censored their use of the internet, what they watch or what computer games they play. I talk to them, I explain things to them, I have educated them.
    Unfortunately there are quite a lot of parents who are in denial about their kids. I know what I was doing in my early teens, why would today’s teens be any different? Sometimes I get so frustrated by it. Take responsibility for yourself, your children, learn something and educate them. Stop blaming everyone else and expecting them to do the job for you. Unfortunately the more they think protection is in place the less they think they have to do.
    Rant over.

  2. I’m in agreement with you on this one, it is up to parents to parent and not expect the government to do it for them. Children are a long term responsibility not something you can shirk away from when things get tricky.

    My feelings are that this is just the beginning, after porn what will come next and how far will it go before we’re turned into regimented minions that conform to the governments wishes!

  3. I’m also in agreement with you about this. Education is the key to everything, and especially about sexuality. Yet it’s often the last subject where there is any kind of education, not only for children, but also adults.

    I was one of those who received very little sex ed as a kid or adult. Due to a re-awakening of my sex drive three years ago, I started studying human sexuality to compliment my ongoing studies of anthropology and comparative religion. It’s was a natural transition since religion tends to control what is taught and believed about sex.

    The lack of sex education (using the excuse that kids won’t try what they don’t know.. wrong, by the way), did not protect me from being molested by the druggist in our neighborhood when I was three. It didn’t protect me from being molested from a 15 year old male babysitter when I was 9. It didn’t protect me from being beaten and raped daily by a so called boyfriend when I was 14. The sex ed I did receive at age 12 was a joke, the closest it came to actually discussing sex was a drawing of a flaccid penis. It was a joke because I had already seen an erect cock coming at my face when I was 9. Maybe if I had gotten some kind of information about sex at a young age, I could have at least told someone about these abuses, but I was “trained” to never say no to anyone concerning my body… doctors always had a right to it, “hug your Uncle Louie (with the roaming hands), sex play with my male cousin because he said it was okay and our little secret, never say no to a boy.. he must always be right, and on and on and on. I carried the secret of four sexual abuses for 50 years.

    When I finally chose to have sex with a boyfriend when I was 19, he had to explain to me what an orgasm was. It was many years later when I realized I had actually induced orgasms when I was six by propping myself up on arms and swinging back and forth with my legs crossed as my head dropped back and eyes glazed over.

    The only ‘instruction’ I received from my mother was when I was 10 and she caught me using a Lincoln Log as a dildo and came unglued screaming at me that by doing that could mean I might never have babies. The logic of that didn’t escape me even then. My mother hated sex although she was a very sexy looking woman. I’m amazed at how many of my friends in my age group share that sentiment.

    When my daughter was little, I taught her about her body, using proper names; vagina, labia, and of boys.. penis, etc… I told about her period and why she had one. When she was 16 she became sexually active with her boyfriend and delighting to tell me all about her sex life in glowing detail.

    I worked with kids for 20 years and with parents almost as long (I taught parenting classes), and if the lack of information of parenting is any indication of the lack of sexual knowledge, then I’m not at all surprised about things that are happening with society.

    We have a very long way to go.

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