children accessing porn; adults turning off filterware

Kristine Buchanan kbucha at
Wed Jul 9 10:19:10 EDT 1997

  Well said!

On Tue, 8 Jul 1997, Thomas W. Perrin wrote:

> Dear Brian
> You wrote:
> > 
> >  When I was 13, I knew
> > everything.
> Well, I had to wait until I was 15.  What a glorious year. You couldn't
> tell me anything.  It took a while, but even I eventually acquired a
> small inkling of how much I don't know, along with an ability to change
> my mindset from time to time.
> I'm old enough to remember when Time magazine first accepted
> advertisements which didn't airbrush out the navel on photographs of
> women, when wearing a bikini on a public beach could get you arrested,
> and pornographic pictures were any pictures of women that didn't have
> pubic hair and nipples airbrushed out.    I also know that hard as it is
> to reverse 350 years of Puritan ancestry, I was never harmed by looking
> at pictures of naked women, or of naked men, at any age, in any place. 
> As for benefits, consider a better body image, appreciation of the nude
> as an art form, unconditional positive regard for my fellow human
> beings, etc, etc. 
> You probably wouldn't want to let your child go to Europe and watch
> television, where the commercials have had full frontal nudity for some
> twenty years, or watch the soaps here in the United States, or go to a
> clothing optional beach anywhere, or go to the Museum of Modern Art or
> the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any other place which collects art). 
> But that doesn't give you, or anyone else, a right to prohibit such
> activities by others.
> > Is there a safe
> > and proper use of pornography?
> > 
> Given enough time and motivation to do a dissertation, I could probably
> come up with one or more arguments in favor of pornography, to say
> nothing of the erotic.  But your fear, I think, is the inappropriate
> eroticization of children. It is always inappropriate to eroticize
> children.  It is questionable, however, whether the viewing of naked
> bodies, in person or by photographic proxy, does that. I suspect that
> more damage is done by saying how awful it is.  I would rather take the
> curiosity out of the situation by pointing out alternatives to
> pornography that aren't quite so boring (as the porn).
> The appropriate solution, it seems to me, is to select good sites for
> kids, and inundate them with the good stuff.
> >  If your solution prevails and libraries offer
> > totally unrestricted access to the internet, then I want adults
> > monitoring what kids see. 
> If you substitute the word "parents" for the word "adults" in the above,
> I don't think you would have any argument from any of the anti-filter
> and pro-full access forces (Among which I count myself).  On the
> contrary, it seems to me that having parents accompany their kids to the
> library fosters family values.(The family that reads together stays
> together?)  But just think what happens when parents dump their kids at
> the library, and take off to the local tavern (or worse, don't dump
> their kids at the library, but take them to the tavern). So if full
> unrestricted internet access brings parents into the library, why should
> I complain?
> The New York Public Library's internet access policy says it all very
> succinctly:  It puts the
> responsibility directly where it lies - with the parents. The public
> library cannot, and should not, take the place of the parents.
> Tom Perrin

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