Childrenīs world of prohibited desires
Andriy Taranenko, boiler.odessa.net, [Ukraine; date unknown]
Quiet and sluggish Ukrainian citizens
Quiet and sluggish Ukrainian citizens
In 1997 the Investigative Administration of the Kiev Militia initiated a criminal case against Ukrainian Server Company "Relcom". This company, which renders services to very respectable structures
was accused of spreading child pornography on the Internet.
After a newscast about this scandalous investigation was broadcast on television, quiet and sluggish Ukrainian citizens turned into Godzillas, enraged by their own righteousness. Why?
Adult's views on children
Because from the viewpoint of adults children appear as some mythological beings, which should be prayed, feared and offered sacrifices. And at the same time, the "priestly structure" of the adult society contrives to combine this worship with ignoring the sexual rights of children, including the right to information.
A child is considered not as a subject, but only as an object of sexual behavior. Meanwhile, modern civilization is a super-pedophilic civilization, as never in the history of mankind has childhood been so fetishized.
If a child gets poisoned by Coca-Cola, there would be an international scandal. If an adult gets poisoned by the same drink, it would be considered an accident. Such an accident could finally lead to an international scandal, but this would require at least a hundred dead adults, whereas in the case of children, ten deaths would suffice.
An intellectual person would enjoy attending "Nabokov seminars", but God defend visiting a child porn site! Despite the fact that many of Nabokov's books ("The Enchanter", "Camera Obscura", "Lolita", "Ada") depict sex appeal of children. For drawing children into the sex industry you would be torn to shreds, while you can buy adult pornography in any bookstand.
Somebody once decided that children - like unicorns - are clean and innocent creatures. But it is children themselves who provoke and draw adults into sexual contacts, initiating pleasant erotic games and achieving corresponding touches and caresses. It addition to satisfaction, this gives a child infinite power over the adult.
It is difficult to call such relations "child abuse". If a child wants to earn some dollars and let photographs of his or her naked body to be taken - what is pathological or amoral in this?
It should be noted that practically all child porn is built on voluntary basis of the child and adult. If law-enforcement organs determined an evident fact of coercion, then investigation should be carried on irrespective of the victim's age.
Moral hysteria about child pornography (as the hysteria about drugs) is high on the checklist of a modern middlebrow.
In the United States a criminal case was initiated against a man who filmed his three-year-old daughter without clothes for the family video archive. Why did somebody decide that this was sexual abuse? Because the girl was grizzling in front of the camera? Then why aren't leaflets with undressed children discontentedly sitting on artificial sunflowers, considered abuse?
We should also remember that some acts, which today are severely punished, such as undressing and sexual stimulation of a child (e.g. playing with a boy's genitals), were widely practiced by parents and teachers of the previous century. Today you can find yourself on the wrong side of the bar for even much more modest attention to children.
"Believe the child!"
When little children are concerned, the degree of reliability of their stories about sexual encroachments is of utmost importance. Classical psychoanalysis, beginning with Freud, held that children lie, presenting imaginary for real.
In the 1980s, a new trend appeared in western sexology - the requirement "Believe the child!" became the first rule. But after several scandalous court processes based on children's testimony, fell apart the pendulum swung in the opposite direction.
Real abuse: the hyper-compensation phenomenon
Modern society with its "morals" can easily be accused of real sexual abuse of children. It proceeds from the fact that children are denied the right to sexual feelings and realization of sexual desires.
Practically every healthy 5-7 year old child begins to feel certain desire for the opposite (or the same) sex. It starts to peep, fantasize, masturbate, tries to touch the genitals of other children. Every child that starts to express its sexual desire, suffers severe constraint from adults (parents, mentors, teachers), who mark its libido as a taboo zone. Prohibition of expression of sexuality is drummed into children's heads.
There is a widespread superstition that if a child starts expressing too much interest "in this", its mentality will be disrupted and its morals will take perverse forms.
In reality, the hyper-compensation phenomenon
is characteristic only of adults. And there is no hope trying to persuade our society that "moral pressing" from adults causes much more harm to children, traumatizing their psyche and giving rise to various complexes.
Frankly speaking, nobody has the right to forbid a child to experience erotic desires and realize them in any form that is pleasant for the child.
Our society still confuses sexual drive for children, which is inherent in any adult, with pedophilia, which is expressed in foreground attitude to children.
The concept of "pedophilia" itself is divided into three categories:
Pedophiles that are attracted to girls can be divided into two conventional types:
the American type and the European type.
By the way, the latter have announced the date when Charles L.Dodgeson (Carol) met Alice Lindell (April 25) as Day of Pedophile Pride. In the Soviet Union such a famous date could be the visit of American girl Samantha Smith to General Secretary Yuriy Andropov.
Pedophiles that prefer boys even have their own organization - the North American Man/Boy Association (NAMBLA). This organization (one of its founders is a well-known beat-poet Alan Ginsberg) has existed for a long time, despite prosecution by authorities.
NAMBLA activists lead the life of soviet-era dissidents. Though in ancient Greece and Rome love between boys and men was considered ordinary. Leonardo da Vinci was also fond of young boys, and this did not prevent him from being a great artist and engineer.
We should note that the child's reaction to sexual contact with adults is rather ambiguous. The reaction primarily depends on the character of their general relations and the specific situation of contact. It often turns out that an act, which started under pressure becomes a voluntary interaction. The atmosphere of erotic game and subjective special sense of this interaction sometimes become more important for the child than the sexual content.
Even incest (with parents or older brothers/sisters) is often regarded by the child as normal playing activity and does not cause any painful experience. Jean Jacque Rousseau, for example, said that he received his first sexual experience while being flogged by his governess, who replaced his mother. In his childhood this woman caused strong erotic feelings in him and later she became his lover.
Rationalization & speculative regulations
We should also note, that causal relationship between a child's sexual experience and later neuroses, on which many "defenders of moral" insist, has still not been proved. This is often only a retrospective rationalization of dissatisfaction by oneself and one's life: "I am such, because this was done to me".
However, basing on arguments such as these "testimonies", the state monopolized "child sex" and codified this monopoly in form of speculative regulations, known as "family values".
While consumers of "child pornography" were hastily transformed into an image of a preoccupied psychopath.
By the way, it is with such a freak, who shot child porno in the beginning of the century that spectators meet in Russian movie "About freaks and people". The society is tolerant to politicians, bankers and pop stars, who have fun with prostitutes of any age and sex.
The scandal with Zhirinovsky, for example, was perceived as another extravagant feature of the LDPR leader. And this is also very expensive fun.
Michael Jackson paid many millions of dollars (through court) for only one boy, but this did not affect his career. Probably this ability to pay good money (which preoccupied psychopaths don't have) gives these gentlemen the privilege to violate the "family values" that they themselves invented. Because such values are the moral and highly-spiritual chewing-gum for the poor.
This is why they are so irritated by the Internet, because it equalizes "the masters of life" and "preoccupied psychopaths". Demonstrative court trials, like the one with "Relcom" (this year the case was filed as "lacking prospects"), are aimed at supporting anti-pornographic hysteria in the society and establishing state monopoly on the sex industry.
The authorities' concept of child pornography includes photographs, paintings, videos and any other images, which contain an allusion to erotic exploitation of children.
With literature, things aren't that bad - it does not contain visual information. Though today you can find yourself in prison for verbal fantasies as well. But still a book by its appearance does not have a "sinful character" - the most straight-forward one does not differ in any way from the most modest ones. A figurative image, however, expresses its fornication on first sight without any linguistics.
Possibly this is the reason why a few years ago books by Marquis de Sad (especially "120 days of Sodom") depicting how children are exposed to the most exquisite torture and abuse, and murdered, were published in Russian.
Due to this fortunate chance such books as "Gamiani" by Alfred de Musset, "Anti-Joustine" by Retiph de la Breton, "Emmanuelle and her Children" by Emmanuelle Arsan, an anonymous story "Young Jackdaw", which some literary critic attribute to Chekhov, were published in Russian.
These works in one way or another touch upon issues, which fall under the category "child pornography". And they were published uncut, despite censorship, which supervises such publications.
Possibly this was due to their being branded as works of art. Such branding enables us to get acquainted with other genres of world culture, which touch upon these prohibited issues. Possibly this is the only chance to see such things without fear of the Criminal Code. I give you this possibility.
Thus we can state the fact that in world culture there exists quite a number of works of art, which if desired (and here we have the desire and time for this) can be attributed to child pornography.
In painting, for example, the theme of Venus and Cupid (mother and son) is presented rather ambiguously. The child is either present during his mother's sexual games, or takes part in them.
And what about numerous images of children (an invariable attribute of mythological and allegorical scenes), who take part in the most awful orgies together with adults?
But the mythological context saves these works from moral totalitarianism. Otherwise it would be necessary to cut the incest episode (with consequences) about Lot and his daughters out of the Bible. Whereas this episode was very popular among painters with world reputation.
In the late 19th century artists cease to use mythological context when addressing child sexuality. Naturally, allegoric and symbolic moments are still present in the images, but only as optional fragments.
One of the most prominent artists, who expressed child sexuality in their works, was marquis Franz von Byros. The delicacy of his images, which are denoted by the style "Art Nouveau" and decadent dissipation of the theme, placed Byros among artists, which are dangerous for pubic morals. Though a viewer, less inclined to moral superstitions, enjoys his position of an invisible tempter, in a way an Ole Lukoie, who splashed warm sweet milk into children's eyes.
You will recollect that this ejaculation of the perverted wizard submerged children into hypnotic trance.
In Anderson's tale, Ole Lukoie was the possessor of two magic umbrellas - a colored one like a Hawaiian shirt, and a dark gray one like an impressionist reproduction from an old Hungarian album.
But the Danish story-teller keeps silence about Ole Lukoie's
It is not without reason that after the song "Ole, Ole" Kiev newspaper "Bulvar" accused Russian singer Leonid Agutin of pedophilia.
It was Franz von Byros, who was possessed the third umbrella. His graphics are full of sexual play of libertines with one another and adults (both as seducers and seduced). Byros was one of the first to use attributes of children's rooms - toys and textbooks - in "child porn".
Photography in the 20th century
Meanwhile photography of the beginning of the century could not venture to be so candid as to show child sex. Therefore, in photography the sexuality of a child's body was underlined by modestly covering it with pieces of cloth, thus accenting the temptation of this body even more.
The viewer was now given an aggressive role - in his imagination he had to tear these pieces off the body of his desire.
Scenes "a la Little Red Riding Hood" were also characteristic of these photographs - a girl, having put her basket aside, begins to bear her shoulders. The viewer turned out in the position of the wolf of the fairy-tale.
Among the artists of the 20th century regarding our topic we should certainly note such renowned masters of painting as Baltus and Eric Fischl. "Child" paintings by Baltus are always limited to the boundaries of a room and the characters are static like mannequins. This creates the feeling that the painter sacralizes children's sexuality, and the scene in children's rooms bear features of secret rituals.
In contrast, Fischl abandons such flatulency. He has an ironic view on emerging children's libido and first sexual experience. He gives us a possibility to peep at some elements of bourgeois weekends taking place on beaches or near swimming-pools of country houses.
A large number of his scenes can be compared with episodes of domestic resort life. Take, for example, ten year old girls, who always try to stay away from the rest of the family, so as to have the possibility, at the right time, to dump sand between their legs to hide their panties, to piss there and then scornfully turn over on their stomach. And with sensual curiosity to scan the contents of swimming trunks of adult men walking to the nearest bar for a bottle of beer.
An eleven year old boy, hiding behind a big umbrella with his nudist mother, shamelessly flickers his own birth-gate with a bookmark. Meanwhile the woman, not paying any attention at the titillations between her legs is busy flowing up a semitransparent mattress. The valve, which she is holding in her mouth, is probably of the same size as her son's pole. It is such scenes that Eric Fischl shows in his paintings.
Some modern artists in their works show not only children's sexuality but also abuse, which sometimes leads to their death. Such works destroy the last limits of social morals - representation of children's death is considered one of the most taboo zones of modern culture.
But how should we then perceive the biblical scene of "Slaughter of the innocents", which was so popular among the artists of previous ages? Or maybe we should ban Sergey Eisenstein's movies "Battleship Potyomkin" and "Alexander Nevsky" in which children are trampled and thrown into fire?
The most noteworthy event in this respect is a series of photographs by Wendy Ewald, which shows corpses of children, who were victims of accidents and intentional murder. This arouses, not even on the sexual level, but on the emotional.
Though for many of my contemporaries, the picture of a naked Vietnamese girl running on the road away from napalm explosions was primarily sexual and then political. This is a striking example of visual-erotic hunger for children during soviet times. It is not without reason that exquisite murder of teenagers in such series as "Nightmare on Elm Street" is interpreted today as fear of our own libido.
Child abuse in modern arts also has other forms of expression. British artists the Chapman brothers turn children's mannequins into Siamese twins with male of female genitals on their faces. In works by renowned Czech photographer Jan Saudek children are forced to kiss adult hands. It Terry Richardson's advertising series (British magazine "The Face") a boy-page is dressing - beginning from underwear - a majestic woman-mistress.
In principle sexual abuse of children in advertising is becoming more and more popular. Renowned modeler Calvin Klein even had serious problems. An equally famous modeler Donna Karan formulated the appeal of such advertisement:
Images in which elements of child mentality are presented in "adult" context can also be considered as sexual abuse of children (from the viewpoint of moralists).
In his photographs, for example, Mike Kelly imitates copulation with plush rabbits and teddy-bears, while in other installations he builds a similar "adult situation" between the toys themselves. Other artists force characters of Disney's cartoons to indulge in unbelievable excessivenesses. Such works are considered obscene.
It is interesting to note that moralists are completely indifferent to similar examples of "child porno" produced by domestic industry. I mean the silhouette of a boy pissing into a piss-bowl, and that of a girl under a shower. Not long ago such signs were used for marking toilets and bathrooms in apartments of ordinary citizens.
Or remember a wonderful doll of soviet times - a boy pulling up his pants. At this, his rear, which was worshiped by de Sad's characters, remains uncovered. By the way, such industrial arrogance inspired Jeff Koons, when he created his "Child couple".
Modern Japanese culture
In the context of our topic we should also note regional peculiarities of modern Japanese culture. The thing is that emancipation of women in Far East countries struck a blow on local traditions. Japanese men became alarmed by the issue of equal rights (including sexual rights) in the society, as defenseless womanhood was now being substituted by cold pragmatism. School-girls are the last bulwark of traditional feminity. This shift in social consciousness is being put to commercial use.
Young ladies now install web cameras in their bedrooms and toilets, and for a small sum propose those interested to "peep" at them in real time. Special stores sell worn panties of a nymphet in vacuum package. Naturally such processes are mirrored in modern art.
Most overtly children's sexuality is shown in Japanese Manga and Hentai comics. Drawn girls with sly eyes and capricious faces openly demonstrate their seductiveness. Very often these pictures combine naive childish faces with hypertrophiedly developed bodies. It is not surprising that the new teenage starlet Britney Spears wants to increase her breast. In combination with "a la Barbie" eyes this will be an extraordinary sight.
On the CIS pop stage attention is drawn by the "Duna" group, in which adult men enjoy dressing in childish clothes. Local moralists consider this simply funny. While in the United States there exists a whole industry producing and selling by mail large-sized diapers for adult men. Men in these diapers require a woman dressed as a nurse to feed them from a bottle and then to abuse their "child sexuality".
Some words should be said about movies. You will hardly find a videocassette with genuine "child porn" in our country. And even if you do, it would cost several thousand dollars.
Therefore, let us dwell on elements of "child porn" (or allusions to it) in mass movies. I do not mean such movies as "Baby-sitter with moustache" or "Kindergarten Police officer" and not even the movie version of "Lolita", which are mostly asexual, nor the "Morning Star" TV show or calisthenics competitions. By the way, Roman Viktyuk's staging of "Lolita" to a greater degree corresponds to Nabokov's atmosphere of pedophile drama.
I would like to recollect Visconti's "Death of gods", in which handsome Helmut Berger seduces a little Jewish girl. Or the French film "Cement garden", in which the theme of incest among teenagers declared as main.
By the way the leading role in this film is performed by Charlotte Gainsburg, the daughter of renowned singer Serge Gainsburg. In early childhood she sang together with her father in his hit "Incest" and even stared in a music video on this song.
Photographer and director Larry Clark in his movie "Children" (as in his photographs) shows "underage" sex influenced by drugs.
This year two new films were produced on which I would like to dwell separately.
Finally, I would like to say a few words about Ukrainian culture in the context of our topic.
In Shevchenko's work we come across abuse of children. Let us recollect his Kirghiz boys graphics or murder of children in "Gaydamaki". Bruno Schultz shows the reader the child's view of astonishing sexual relations between his father and a housemaid. It is not surprising that the "children" theme, including sexuality, is present in modern Ukrainian art.
For example, Alexander Gnilitskiy (Kiev) on one of the exhibitions presented two big mechanical dolls - a boy and a girl - who take turns at showing each other their genitals.
A dissolute little schoolgirl became the main character in Vasil Tsagolov's (Kiev) photographic work "How can I not love you, my Kiev?"
With Vladimir Kozhukhar (Odessa) child sexuality is the individual concept of his art. In his series of "dirty" paintings children's fear of forbidden pleasures has the taste of Orbit Winterfresh, while the pleasure themselves are transfused with despair of their physiological limitation. In his paintings Kozhukhar addresses modern forms of child fetishism. Erotic games today are associated not with tin soldiers and wooden horses, but brand-name running shoes, white gaiters and plastic rollers' equipment.
The hypocritical alarm of the moralists
Thus, hypocritical "alarm" of moralists about family and children is becoming a background for striking cultural phenomena. And these phenomena should be appreciated without the Criminal Code.
The sexual appeal of children is fact that cannot be ignored. And modern culture (including the Internet) has all the rights to interpret this appeal. And if you are interested whether a child's orgasm ends in a shriek or sob - find out yourself.