Title: On the topic of Censorship
Description: Exactly What It Sounds Like
Nifar - April 7, 2010 03:19 AM (GMT)
What's this? Nifar's not just idly commenting on a serious discussion, but is actually starting one? Why yes, I am.
Y'see, there are very few serious things that actually interest me enough to bother debating/discussing them. Religion is one, video games are another, sex is a third, and the last two topics that I actually bother with beyond idle comments are piracy and censorship (Well, and prostitution, but that usually falls under censorship or sex). I'm going to assume that none of you are idiots, and can figure out which one of those topics this thread is about.
That said, there is a bit of required watching for this thread, mostly because it's what I'm going to be basing my rant on. MarzGirl's Anime News Editorial from March 10th
. I'd also recommend checking out the news articles that she mentions, the addresses of which can be found at the end of the video.
Now on to the rant:
I'm not entirely certain I can express just how strongly I disagree with what Funimation is doing to the anime in question, but I'll try.
I can understand the reason why they'd edit their streaming videos. They realize that pretty much anyone can watch those, and they'd like to cover their own asses. However, while I understand the reason for editing the DVD release as well, I disagree with it. Y'see, the character in question is not the child she appears to be. She is hundreds of years old, and well aware of the consequences of her actions, she's simply trapped in the body of a nine year old. The law attempting to persecute anyone in possession of this anime could be likened to them attempting to persecute someone in a relation with a man or woman suffering from neoteny. In both cases the "child" is a mature adult who simply has the body of a child. Granted, you should probably keep an eye on the other person in both cases, but no laws have been broken.
To quote one of the commentators on the video I linked,
|This is the current US law regarding the matter, the 2003 Protect Act. Section 502 deals with drawings of actual children in a sexual manner (ie: the drawing depicts an actual, existing child engaging in sexual activity). This is the charge that gets you listed as a sex offender. Section 504 deals with purely fictitious characters engaged in sexual activity. This one gets you an obscenity charge and no sex offender listing.|
The argument behind these laws is that a person prone to pedophilia would be encouraged by this kind of artwork. In other words, the fear that someone who is otherwise under control of their urges would be spurred into committing an actual sex offense against a minor after viewing this kind of restricted artwork.
According to section 504, works of accepted artistic value (meaning not made just for the reason of making someone sexually aroused) are excluded.
Honestly, I think the gross misconception by the lawmakers is that a person who is a pedophile, but otherwise in control of their urges, can be aroused to illegal action based just on viewing of these restricted images. Granted, section 502 is all fine and well because it prevents the exploitation of actual, real children; but section 504 needs to be rescinded because it has no place in the modern world. People can control their own thoughts and emotions. Those that can't, can't; with or without these kinds of stimuli.[...]
Personally, I'm of the opinion that this would fall under "works of accepted artistic value", seeing as the series isn't just porn, and to my knowledge doesn't actually have any sex scenes in it.
Now, I realize that the "slipper slope" argument could be applied here, and that it may actually have some validity to it, but I would like to think that people are smart enough to be able to distinguish when something stops being a story that happens to involve nudity and/or sex and starts being porn.
Also, three links for those interested in the Hadley case: Neil Gaiman and the CBLDF on the Hadly case, take one
, take two
, and take three
mordain - April 7, 2010 03:24 AM (GMT)
|Y'see, the character in question is not the child she appears to be. She is hundreds of years old, and well aware of the consequences of her actions, she's simply trapped in the body of a nine year old.|
This right here is what makes me totally ignore the bulk of your argument. I even tried to read it in the hopes that you were being sarcastic (and if you were being sarcastic it didn't come through at ALL).
That rationale is the stupidest excuse for loli porn ever, and probably the main reason that so many people make fun of female anime characters.
"Oh, she's not twelve, she's really eighteen, she just looks young for her age!"
Bullshit. It's a flimsy excuse to draw what looks like a child in a sexual situation. No dice. I'm not going to watch videos when the bulk of your argument boils down to "She's mentally older! The body just happens to be younger!".
Nifar - April 7, 2010 03:47 AM (GMT)
|Granted, you should probably keep an eye on the other person in both cases[...]|
The "other person" in this case would be the consumer. I could understand and even agree with this kind of material being added to some kind of "watch list", where purchases of this anime and other material like it are monitored, and folks who are expressing a trend in purchasing such things are periodically checked on to make sure they're not up to anything illegal with children.
Of course mentoring people opens up a whole other can of worms, and it's always easier to censor something than it is to make it available but monitored...
mordain - April 7, 2010 03:53 AM (GMT)
And which is worse? Censorship or monitoring?
You're basically saying that people who purchase this are essentially being put on some sort of secret pedophile watch list. Are they informed about this?
It's frankly easier and probably more ethical to ban it completely.
...plus, the "she's hundreds of years old, really!" argument is a really, really, really retarded one.
Red Silvers - April 7, 2010 01:09 PM (GMT)
The only thing I know about the anime in question is what MarzGurl said in the video.
...It didn't strike me as sounding like a series I wanted to see, anyway.
Grandmaster Jogurt - April 7, 2010 01:14 PM (GMT)
Banning any kind of drawn pornography is pure moralism, but what's the argument here? That FUNimation is being bad for following the law? That the law is bad? That the law should apply to porn but not not-explicitly-pornographic shows? This is a discussion forum, not a rant forum.
Spriteless Girl - April 7, 2010 03:18 PM (GMT)
I think it is a bigger problem that they bought an anime without knowing what it was about. But that is not illegal, just bad business.
Nifar - April 7, 2010 10:45 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Grandmaster Jogurt @ Apr 7 2010, 08:14 AM)|
|Banning any kind of drawn pornography is pure moralism, but what's the argument here? That FUNimation is being bad for following the law? That the law is bad? That the law should apply to porn but not not-explicitly-pornographic shows? This is a discussion forum, not a rant forum.|
My argument was originally that the "obscenity" bit is bad, and that FUNimation and other importers shouldn't have to censor anything.
To be honest, I have no interest in watching the show, censored or not, but I have a strong anti-censorship sentiment. I don't believe that anything should be censored. This doesn't mean that I think it's okay to make kiddie porn, but since there are laws protecting real kids without censoring anything, those stop that nicely.
But see, here's the thing: I'm not actually against the creation of lolicon. I'm not personally interested in it, but since no real people are being hurt, I don't believe that the government should step in to stop it.
LuppyLuptonium - April 8, 2010 02:05 AM (GMT)
Ok, the Lup man pokes his head into the Serious discussion forum because I for once take something seriously.
There are a lot of people who seem dismissive in this topic. If this were as basic as it seems I wouldn't blame you. On a basic level it is a translation company bringing over an anime that in and of itself has a niche audience and censoring it to stop it from being perceived as a show for pedophiles, and avoiding controversy.
Now while I agree the whole concept of having 18 to 709 year old 7 year old looking children in order to get past a age limitation on media is not just bad, but stupid art; I do believe that censoring said art when it is actually done for art sake is technically wrong.
Right now in Japan, the government is trying to change child porn laws to make drawing, animating and playing these types of things illegal sadly enough based on a controversy here in the States over an old horrible videogame from 1996 that allows you to stick your willy in girls that say no. Artists of course are fighting this
. But that's the funny thing with censorship, no one wants it until someone else gets pissed off at you and threatens to pull money and or power away.
As Americans, I wonder why we can't ever take the discussion beyond eww gross and actually find something constructive in all of this. Maybe using a pen and paper medium, without fear of censorship, explore the horrors of child exploitation. I know we can explore it to a much wider degree in books, the ones with just words in them. But, honestly, A picture is worth more than 1000 words. A picture can be instantly recognized and carry impact. I know maybe you don't want to see it, but in that case that would kind of be the point.
So here I stand untorn. Yes Funimation is censoring art.... Bad art but art in and of itself. This should not be abided by. Censorship is a serious issue in all forms of media, and shrugging because you personally are not being effected by it is completely the wrong viewpoint to have.
Cyrus - April 8, 2010 05:21 AM (GMT)
You know what else is wrong? Violence. Killing people. But it's shown all the time in movies, and hell, you get to control it in video games. But that's okay, since it's not real. It's because my mind so readily accepts this that I don't really see a problem with... err... 'lolicon'. It's no more child pornography than GTA is beating someone up.
MFD - April 8, 2010 01:32 PM (GMT)
There's definitely a sexual taboo at work here in the states. To continue Cyrus's example, "Hot Coffee" wasn't even in the game without a cheating device, and look at all the controversy behind two consenting adult characters banging.
I mean, obviously, it should be A-O if it were included in the game, but that means stores can choose to not stock A-O games. Like family-friendly (but not the family who owned the small-time produce mart we just shut down) Walmart.
Alphawolf55 - April 8, 2010 04:32 PM (GMT)
I've heard some people argue that the reason why sex is taken more seriously then violence is because sex is a bigger part of our lives. Chances are not many of us are going to get a rocket launcher and blow up an old up, on the other hand most of us will get laid at some point in time. The argument is that by minors getting caught up in sex aspects that young will lead to warp and unrealistic expectations of what sex is. (I believe I read a study once that said that this generation due to porn had an unrealistic and overly stimulated aspect of sex that quite frankly our generation is full of kinky pervs). With sex being an actual part (and some say important part) of the human experience, this can lead to real problems down the road.
Now personally I say this is poppycock, I mean I can see their point but I personally think most people know that the sex seen in porn is unrealistic and that even though one could defintely argue that our taste is getting a little weirder (lets face it, the average person knows WAY more about deviant sex aspects and seen them then any generation in this country) that doesn't make it worse.
Spriteless Girl - April 8, 2010 04:46 PM (GMT)
Ehh, The Story of O has been around for decades before the internet, and Tijuana Bibles were popular even before then. Still, you are right, the 'average' person knows more, or at least admits to knowing more, about 'kinky' sex than before. It is more that it isn't shameful to know, actually.
mordain - April 8, 2010 04:53 PM (GMT)
Porn's always existed, but it's definitely getting crazier and kinkier in modern times.
Also, I don't like comparing pornography to violence because they're not the same thing.
Injuring/killing someone is bad 99% of the time, with the singular exception (self-defense) being something that you better be able to prove pretty decisively.
Sex isn't bad except for an almost-as-narrow category of circumstances, pretty much just consisting of "when the other person doesn't want to or is legally incapable of giving consent". It's much, much more nebulous.
Plus, not to be crude, but to be crude - people masturbate to porn. I don't think people get up in the middle of GTA, grab their gun, and start pot-shotting at people on the street. It's a difference in degree of mental separation.
And that's about all I'm going to argue. The entire topic is stupid, yes, but there's no real point.
I just mostly wanted to mock Nifar for actually using the "she's really hundreds of years old!" as a serious defense.
Alphawolf55 - April 8, 2010 06:54 PM (GMT)
I can see how it would be ridiculous but in some ways I can understand how it makes sense. Some aspects of pedophiles isn't just being attracted to people with young looking bodies, but the knowledge that they are children. It creates a taboo association that they find attractive. Plus while it sounds ridiculous it has some point. For example, lets say theres porn of a girl that looks 12 (and lets face it there are adults that look 12, like that Lazytown girl). Now she has the body of someone underage but it legally an adult, should that be considered child porn?
Grandmaster Jogurt - April 8, 2010 07:27 PM (GMT)
Child pornography is considered particularly bad because it's the exploitation of minors. If you have a real person who is 20 but looks 10, well, we let other 20 year olds work in pornography. They're adults. If some people want to masturbate to that, well, at least they're not trying to lure kids into vans or anything with that time spent.
On the other side, if a 13 year old looks 20, don't make porn with that person. It'd be perfectly healthy to be aroused by that person, but they're still kids and you should treat them just the same, and 13 year olds aren't legal adults, with all that entails.
Whacking off to drawn pornography of a fictional 12 year old and to a fictional 100 year old who looks twelve are the same thing. They're fictional and either way it doesn't matter how old they are. The idea is bad because of the effects it can have on those involved, and fictional people are all equally unable to be harmed and unable to give consent no matter how old they're supposed to be. It's not because it's creepy to enjoy it.
JC123 - May 3, 2010 04:34 PM (GMT)
The law doesn't agree
Or rather, the government doesn't.
If it's loli in any way, you might want to be careful of obscene material laws rearing their head.