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The Forum > Article Comments > A culture supportive of child abuse? > Comments

A culture supportive of child abuse? : Comments

By Patmalar Ambikapathy Thuraisingham, published 29/5/2008

This is not just a debate on art, censorship or rights, but whether we are a society supportive of child abuse.

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Patmalar Ambikapathy,

Sir,

"What is child abuse and child pornography? Legal definitions exist for both and there are also private opinions of what is, or is not, child pornography."
Can you please tell me the Australian Legal definitions or the private opinions you prefer?

And please note here in Australia we once arbitrarily defined children as people under the age of 21. The legal definition changed 3 times last century. How many alterations do you think we should we make this century?
Should it depend solely upon the majority flavour morality of any peculiar time?

I think you'll see by answering the above querries we in Australia, who follow liberal democratic notions, are obviously not a culture supportive of child abuse.

You might also consider our developing liberal democratic attitudes towards censorship and our history of bans on literature film and other art.

Even if we Australians are able to be easily corrupted and need protection I find myself asking why would we need to go to an art gallery to view child pornography when there are, apparently, plenty of networks peddling much more horrific rubbish on the net?

So has the art gallery been targeted because they and an artist are 'easy marks'? It is plainely easier to 'nab' a gallery, an artist and his exhibition and the likelihood of gaining a conviction than 'nabbing' a true dealer in blatant paedophillia?
Posted by keith, Thursday, 29 May 2008 10:06:40 AM
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I feel very sad to read Keith's post.
Are you saying that "Art" / "Artists" have the say in how our children are portrayed.
Parents are no longer allowed to take photgraphs of clothed children at sports and cultural events. Your opinion is all about the grandiose idea that art should be protected at all costs no matter what damage the art does. I think that we should protect children whatever the cost.
MAREE LORRAINE
Posted by MAREE LORRAINE, Thursday, 29 May 2008 11:14:27 AM
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I agree with the author. When we as a society make rules to protect children and set legal parameters to what constitutes pornography under the law, this does not imply exceptions.

If there are exceptions under the law lets debate and discuss them but the bottom line is that protection of children should be the first priority not some commercial or artistic motivation as the author describes. This debate is not just about the children portrayed but what this means for all children by default.

I would argue that the pro-Henson advocates are not supporting child abuse per se or have that intention. I imagine they believe that they are in their own way protecting chidren under some sort of libertarian concept or in the interests of artistic freedom.

However, this is simplistic and does not change the fact that this particular art, depicts child sexuality in a public forum.
Posted by pelican, Thursday, 29 May 2008 11:28:03 AM
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i note 3 new articles about this topic

very interesting that some feel need to keep starting new debates with new angles to defend the perversion of children as art

We cannot reply to all the posts
[noting 5 on the topic all ready isnt that enough?]

it is hardly possable to reply to any one 'topic' unless like the supporters of this 'artist' one acts in concord or somehow has access to multiple id's.

But we know that the issue boils down to having images of children means some feeling is being satisfied ,
i just dont care to condone that naked children is the right thing [or the right multiple topic ,to give adults satisfaction.

I understand the arty types feel they deserve more
[more of the public purse[more time [more attention,more rights to subvert children in the name of 'ART'

noting 40 who attended the 20/20 find the time to support the perveyor of perversion to avoid the concequences of his perversions [in the name of art]

when are we going to say this topic has had enough EXPOSURE ,
to allow children to be children,

[i hear that even as recently as today these fine arty types have sent in an underage CHILD to defend their colluded transgressions of human decency.

Can you sympathising bleading hearts stop and think for a moment is it
is ok for a child to run nakid through the street
[or through an 'ART' gallery
[or come to your subsidised dinner party ,and strip off]

please wake up people
this isnt about ART its about allowing children to be perverted for adult tittillation

Imaging the child models school friends
[or more specificlly the 'boys' in her class passing arround HER photo]
this CHILD forever bears the scar of your sought out perversional need

Our deeds have consequences
[if you photo nakid kids you commit a crime]
get over it
grow up

[how many more shots you plan to plant here to squew the debate about this matter in this forum?]
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 29 May 2008 11:54:08 AM
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ďÖ I support the actions of the New South Wales and Victorian police in their investigation of what is alleged to be child pornography.Ē

I very strongly disagree Patmalar. The actions of confiscating artworks and threatening to charge the artist and gallery are just way over the top.

If the police had made it clear that a legal line was possibly being breached with the display of Hensonís work and that the parameters needed to be resolved, then fine. But their hardline action is completely unacceptable.

Iím not going to repeat my argument here. Iíve explained why I think this on another thread (one of the five active threads on this subject!!) http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=1831#36422, http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=1831#36740
Posted by Ludwig, Thursday, 29 May 2008 12:48:39 PM
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A very sad but much needed debate.

I have worked for the past six years in very remote aboriginal Australia in WA, QLD, SA and NT all greater than 4 hours drive from a Coles or Woolworths supermarket (my definition of remote by the way). In all six communities I have worked in I have been confronted by horrendous child abuse and it has been going on for years. The abused often grow up to be abusers themselves..... we all know the story and let me assure you that Nanette Rogers didn't tell half of it. (Alice Springs Prosecutor)

My nursing colleagues all knew it was going on in all the years I was there and just put it down to "the aboriginal way" - end of story.

However after a serious, but much needed breakdown, directly precipitated by the child abuse I was confronted with and the subsequent action or lack thereof of the agencies I worked for, I have permanently left remote health after over 23 years and I have taken up a new career in mental health, never I hope to look child abuse in the face again.

I couldn't have been more wrong! I am living and working in a white community in an acute mental health facility with 20 beds. Almost all of our patients have suffered sexual abuse as children. I couldn't believe it! I guess the climate now is to tell all and I think this is great - lets just make sure that these people who do tell their stories do not talk to deaf ears, as so many did out remote. And lets make sure that those ears that are listening like mine, are not castigated for their efforts.

Keep debating my friends and above all "Maintain your rage" - I am.

"The greatest reason for evil to flourish is for good men to stand by and do nothing" Edmund Burke 1700's (I think)
Posted by Helen54, Thursday, 29 May 2008 1:10:20 PM
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