Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rancid Meat

In 1987, Lee Baxandall penned a letter to Ed Lange, taking him to task for continuing to distribute a magazine entitled "Young and Naked", a "nudist" magazine featuring photos of pre-pubescent children, calling it "rancid meat" and asserting that the appeal of such material could only be to pedophiles.
I don't want to belong to a movement that sells its product chiefly to non-nudists who will never participate because they really want crude lewdness or child pornography, and who will make do with "nudist" literature rather than settle for the Sears catalog.
Such child exploitation has not been eradicated from the naturist world. Back in 2009 I wrote about, saying that children in those photos and videos are being "used as props and products to appeal to the lowest common denominator", and such material only "encourages pedophiles to feel welcome in the naturist world."

And in late 2009, I called out the Federation of Canadian Naturists for accepting advertising from in their "Going Natural" publication. I'm pleased to say that finally, with the Winter 2010-11 issue, the "rancid meat" is gone.The FCN board of directors voted to remove the adverting for and related businesses.

The question is: what took them so long?

It's an example of naturists simply thinking things through a bit too much. All the usual arguments surely were debated, such as pointing out that there is no real pornography in the children videos, no proof that the materials are being purchased by actual pedophiles (or actual naturists, for that matter), that banning such videos is an admission that there is something wrong with children in nudism, selling such materials is perfectly legal, and finally wondering where and when one can draw the line on this issue.

It's simply not that complicated. There is no redeeming value in peddling videos and photographs of nude pre-pubescent children. These images are not the fine art of Jock Sturges, Bill Henson, or Nan Goldin. These videos have no artistic merit, no interest to true naturists, and serve no practical purpose in furthering the cause of nude recreation to non-naturists.

These videos exist for the sole purpose of appealing to pedophiles.

Which brings us to the case of convicted Canadian sex offender Eric Wanamaker, who is currently awaiting the judge's decision on his latest case, where he is accused of accessing and possessing child pornography. And just what is the nature of the materials authorities found in his possession?
More than 30,000 photos and 72 movies of children in various states of dress were found on the convicted pedophile's computer and on burned CDs, which Crown prosecutor Judy Rees argued were for a sexual purpose and therefore constituted child pornography.
Defence lawyer Patrick Flynn argued that Wanamaker is a naturist and the images and videos were simply a reflection of his interest in nudism and art.
While none of the material presented showed children in explicit sexual acts, the images depict preteen children in poses similar to those seen in adult magazines while wearing revealing clothing, including panties and bikinis.
Exactly the same types of materials which used to be advertised in the FCN magazine.

In this particular case, both the prosecution and the defense are correct. The materials are not child pornography, and Wanamaker is not a naturist. But to Wanamaker, who has a 30 year history of sexual offenses, these images of nude children are pornography in his eyes.

In case you were wondering, here is the U.S. code on child pornography. Here is the Canadian definition.

The mere fact that Wanamaker apparently feels sexually aroused by the photos does not make them pornographic. Human beings are complex sexually, with people being turned-on by bare feet, by fur, by wearing diapers, and so on. We cannot as a society begin to see everything through the eyes of someone who might be sexually aroused by what is ordinary to most people. As Lee Baxandall pointed out, pedophiles can find sexual pleasure by looking through the Sears catalog.

We cannot continue to see children through the eyes of a pedophile. To do so is to deny youngsters the innocence of childhood. On the other hand, we cannot view such obviously exploitative materials such as those sold at through the eyes of a naturist. We cannot let our respect for the human body cloud our vision for what is absolutely disrespectful.

A decision in the Wanamaker case is scheduled for April 20.
Defence lawyer Patrick Flynn argued the issue of whether material can be labelled child pornography, or not, depends largely on community standards.
“We live in a modern world, your honour,” he said.
“That needs to be considered when we consider the reasonable person test,” he said, of the standard Hunt McDonald must look at.
“What’s a reasonable person in today’s society viewing those photos (going to think).”
I think a reasonable person would not consider the images to be child pornography, but a reasonable person is also going to feel uncomfortable looking at nude children frolicking about for the camera so that some company can sell their photos over the Internet.

FCN did the reasonable thing in discontinuing the ads for enature and russianbare. In the case of Erik Wanamaker, it's far more difficult to remain reasonable in light of his very troubled past. Whatever the decision of Justice Hunt McDonald, the fact that naturism is a part of this case is disturbing, and graphic evidence as to why organizations like FCN, AANR and TNS must completely disassociate themselves from the exploitation of images of nude children for profit.


Anonymous said...

By the same reasoning, we have to ban all adult porn, because rapists look at it. And we have to ban all non-nude photos of kids, because pedophiles look at that too. Nude sculpture of cherubs? They have to go.

Some religions make women cover-up from head to toe, because "they make men" act impulsively and improperly. Now I have to destroy my naked baby photos because someone else might have impure thoughts. Does that make my parents pedophiles?

Remember he old feminist argument was that all porn was abusive to women. Undoubtedly some young nudist imagery appeals to the wrong type of person, but so does the Sears catalog section on kids clothing.

woody said...

I really think you are being hysterical here. Children are nudists too. The nude body is a beautiful thing to behold, no matter what age, color, shape, or gender. Obscenity rests in the mind of the beholder. Honi soit gui mal y pense.

Nudiarist said...

Woody, so you support the manufacturing and marketing of photos of nude children which only have appeal to pedophiles? C'mon, of course there is nothing wrong with children being nudists, but exploiting their nude bodies for profit has nothing to do with nudism or naturism.

woody said...

With that line of thinking we should not exploit ANY bodies for profit, so no videos, no magazines. I own, watch, and enjoy the videos you mentioned which include mixed age group nudity. I don't believe that makes me a pedophile. Honi soit gui mal y pense.

Nudiarist said...

Woody, nobody is calling for the censorship of these videos, or making them illegal. We are talking about these materials in the context of nudism and naturism, which needs to distance itself from any exploitation of children, specifically the marketing of the images and videos of nude children. AANR, TNS, and now FCN have made the decision not to advertise these materials, and I believe that is the right decision.

Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park said...

What constitutes pornography is in the intent of the author and the eye of the beholder. For people with a foot fetish, photographs of feet would be their pornography.

I think it is pretty clear that Nudiarist is not suggesting that imagery of nude children should be banned. It is not pornography to naturists or most of the population.

The problem is that there are those out there who seem to be intentionally and knowingly creating child pornography. But they hide behind the naturist or nudist label in order to give themselves a cloak of legitimacy. It is those people that naturists must decry.

I've seen some of these videos. One hour of children doing ballet dancing nude without any narration or editing is boring! So who is willing to pay $60-$95 for that type of video? I am very suspicious of the motives that lead anyone who buys and watch those videos.