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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

Big time trigger warnings

Ok, ages ago I posted on the bruhaha over the Bill Henson images, and promised to post on the notion of the sexual ‘innocence’ of children and why I think it’s a dangerous concept.

Briefly, I think it’s dangerous to make *that* the harm – if the harm lies solely in the ‘corruption’ of ‘innocence’ then a it would seem that a range of things flow from this:

a/ the focus lies on the victim and not the perpetrator in assessing the magnitude of the wrong and the insinuation is that the *wrong* is the ‘loss of innocence’ rather than the fact that an adult is having sex with a child.

The adult, the person of full capacity is doing something they know is not okay, and they’re doing it for their own gratification. (Yes, we can get into chats about pathologies etc later, but I don’t believe that every person who has sex with a child is *diseased* and therefore *helpless* and I think to say that’s always true makes sex crimes the acts of monsters, and takes focus away from the overwhelming instances where abuse happens within the home, and covers over a real discussion of the issues at play when people molest children)

b/ this worship of innocence plays out in an unspoken suggestion that a ‘less innocent’ child is less wronged, or maybe even brought it on by their own behaviour. See above. Don’t have sex with kids.

In the context of a society that puts preteen girls on the runway, that fetishizes the teen body incessantly, that fantasizes about ‘naughty schoolgirls’, that pornifies women’s bodies in ways which erase markers of maturity and womanhood, that airbrushes even the Crowned Most Beautiful in order to make their bodies more like that of a young teenager, this innocence/not innocence trope is profoundly sinister.

We worship bodies that look fifteen, though to assuage our guilt we’ll tolerate bodies that look, say twenty. We sexualise girls the minute their breast show the slightest HINTS of budding, we accept grown men leering over young girls as A-ok. We’ve set society up for the pitfalls of finding sex with kids a tempting idea…and then the innocence thing…

We buy into archetypes of sexuality that rely on the corruption of innocence for their ‘hawtness’, teen and preteen porn is everywhere, men leer and backslap over teen girls (through the years, Anna Kournicova, the Olsen Twins, the Veronicas etc), we debate whether Lolita was asking for it, whether she seduced him or not…the trope of the hapless unhappily married man seduced by a sexy teenager is rife in movies and tv. The ‘naughty schoolgirl’ look has an enduring appeal for men’s mags/strip shows/porn sites, and the whole basis seems to be the idea that when men are honest, they must admit that they want to corrupt innocence, to defile youth, they want to make that ‘innocent young thing’ admit she’s not so innocent at all. That seems at the heart of it all – no matter what we say, no matter how much she doth protest…she’s still a chick and we all know chicks *want it baby*, yeah.

We’ve set up the notion that it’s desirable to have sex with very young bodies, and we buy into the innocence thing in order to get off, we utilise this innocence in order to pervert it for cheap sexual gratification and now as a society we have the hide to pick up this notion of ‘innocence’ as though we’ve not utterly perverted it anyway, and suggest that *this* is what makes sex with kids wrong? Does this not suggest immediately that if the child in question is less innocent, say she dressed all sexy-like, say she made moves, say she seemed like she knew what she was doing, oh, say she had some boobs…well, you know…that means it’s not as bad as when the child is ‘innocent’ right??

Does it not also rely on biblical notions of purity and corruption? Does it not make knowledge of sex or sexual desire in and of itself *bad* and *dirty*? Are not bad and dirty girls to be punished? Does it not locate the sin in the body that ‘tempts’? Does it not make a child’s body bared into the site of temptaion and sin? Does it not take the focus *off* the wrong, off the perpetrator, of the desire, off the society that says that desire is fine/normal and ok? Is it not just an easy fucking answer to absolve us of having real discussions of where we’re going wrong?

So, in case you missed it, I hate the notion that the wrong in adults having sex with kids is in the ‘corruption of innocence’ as it plays into the notion that some rape is worse than others, not due to how fucked up the rapist is, not to the barbarity involved, not to how much humiliation was intended, not to the fact that an adult thought they could use their influence to get off at the expense of letting a child come into their own sexuality in their own time and with persons of their own age?

I also think that this notion of innocence in relation to sex crimes is not confined to childhood – the old argument “It’s worse to rape a nun than a prostitute” still finds plenty of support. NO…it’s wrong to rape. Period. To suggest otherwise is to say that some women ask for it which is to say that rape is about women tempting men and not men using their dicks as weapons of humiliation, degradation and pain.

What’s raised all this again for me is the notion of ‘availability’. It seems (and I’ve covered this before) that women are *for* sex, that’s what they’re for, no matter what they’re doing/saying, underneath it all, she’s really just a body (a pussy), a site for men’s pleasure. I mean take a look at what we’re doing to Sarah Palin. Feminists ought to vote for her cos she has a vagina – Vaginas Unite! But also we can’t quite take her seriously can we? VPILF was up within days, and in my last post I discussed the Sarah Palin dolls. Cool. Let’s fetishise her as a dominatrix and a schoolgirl. Cos while she’s the Republican candidate for VP, she’s also a chick – see above for what we know about chicks.

Anyway, with all this, and with our notions about women’s bodies as penetrable is another linked idea – that women are always and ever ‘available’ to men. I mean you can see that in the way women are ranked and assessed and leered at and harrassed in walking down the street, in our commodification in magazines etc. But some more examples came up for me this week and made me really fucking angry.

Hoyden About Town has a discussion of a Jim Beam ad which relies for it’s humour on the fact that two really hot chicks are lesbians – it’s entitled The Tragedy. It’s part of an ongoing campaign which trivialises stalking and makes stalking ‘fun and funny’, and which suggests that women all really ought to be compliant, brainless, opinionless, human sex robots- the perfect girlfried is an automaton that thinks her piggish muntheaded man can do no wrong…ahaha! Oh women, they’re so ANNOYING, and stupid, and they EXPECT things, and they hate it when I’m a prick! God, wouldn’t a sex slave who thought I was the shit be great. Yeah, that’s what ALL women should be…and yeah of course…it’s a tragedy for men that two hot chicks would dig each other and not them.

Unsurprisingly the ad was complained about and the response of the Advertising Standards Bureau was that:

“The Tragedy”, was not intended to mean that it was a tragedy generally for women to be lesbians, but that such an attractive woman was not available to heterosexual men.

Well, phew. Lesbianism itself is not a problem to men, so long as it’s *ugly* chicks, and the lesbians aren’t going to begin stealing mens possessions – hot chicks. And EXCUSE ME??? The tragedy is that the hottie is not *available* to heterosexual men…men, not even man. Are you getting this everyone? All women everywhere are the property of Teh Menz. Teh Menz reserve the right to put their dicks in any such woman as they find appropriate -whenever and whereever and no furhter correspondence is to be entered into.

Hot on the heels of pondering this I hear this following story in which an 18 year old hid in the boot of a car waiting for the topless waitress to leave her job at the bucks party so he could rape her repeatedly calling her a ‘bitch’ and a ‘slut’, saying ‘You asked for this slut, you’re just a stripper’, telling her if she did what she was told, ie to let him rape her repeatedly while telling her it was all her fault, she wouldn’t get ‘hurt’. Curious definition of what counts as ‘hurt’. But fuck – any more chrystal clear examples of the attitude that women are ‘available’ to men? He saw, he hid, he raped, he took what he thought was his. He humiliated and punished, he hurt, he raped, he did his best to destroy her. Why? Well, really, she had ‘ no innocence’, therefore she ‘asked for it’. No innocence=sexually available=ought to be punished. The thing is it’s not confined to examples, it’s not confined to one fucked up dude, it’s about society’s fucked up attitudes to women and girls, to sex and bodies, to consent, to innocence/corruption, availability, sex and rape. It permeates everything, it’s there when we don’t acknowledge it, and it means that a child who is molested who is seen as less ‘innocent’ somehow *caused* the actions, or the topless waitress somehow *caused* this piece of shit to hide and rape her repeatedly. It means that the focus of sex crimes is taken *off* the perpetrator, and put onto the victim – is s/he sufficiently chaste enough to be deserving of our sympathies? No? Well, nasty ‘slut’  probably *wanted it* then – I mean for real??? Can we not put the fucking emphasis where it ought to be – rape and child molestation: DON’T DO IT – EVER.

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