Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saucy stories ?

I use Google reader to follow what is published on several websites. Sometimes I get to read a story that is saucy. Today I read about a named 13 year old boy who abused his fathers credit card and after having played in a "World of Warcraft" tournament ordered a supply of Dr Pepper, Fritos and Oreos as well as two escort girls. To quote the article, the boy said he thought it was the thing to do when you win a "World of Warcraft" tournament. To quote the two ladies of the night, they knew that something was up when they ended up playing Halo in stead of providing sexual services.

It is an amusing story but once I realised that this 13 year old kid was named in the article, it became a disgusting story to me. This kid is likely to be stigmatised for the rest of his life. I do not have any respect for a justice system that allows kids to be abused in this way. I do not have any respect for news organisations that name kids in this way. If this defines me and my values, I am proud to have them in this way.

There has been a lot to do about an article that my friend Erik Möller wrote several years ago in kuro5hin. This was written on websites and blogs that I do not care for because of their barrage of negative stories targetted against the Wikimedia Foundation and the people involved in it. I had been asked to take part in an edition of the Wikipedia Weekly, and this subject was discussed. After the program I was urged by Andrew Lih to read the kuro5hin article and make up my own mind.

I have read it and I find again how morals differ. This article is about children and sex; but the notion of what is acceptable and what is not, what is healthy and what is not is apparently very much a cultural thing. The article is about children and sex and provides a decidedly European view. In the Netherlands for instance a girl mature enough to ask a doctor for the pill, is likely to get it. This is much to be preferred over her going to the doctor two months later for an abortus provocatus or becoming a teen mother.

Erik writes: "It is a scandal in itself that the subject of child sexuality cannot be discussed without people raising the spectre of paedophilia", he writes: "If the child doesn't want it, is neutral or ambigious, it's inappropriate. This excludes most adult/child sexual contact, but only little child /child contact". I do not find suggestions in the article that provide an apology for peadophilia. Having read the article, I do not understand what the fuss is about.

What I do know is that both the 13 year old boy and Erik are damaged by a complete lack of what I consider appropriate. The 13 year old boy emulated adult behaviour and the escort girls went their way after having played Halo. Erik is being damaged because of what is to me a narrow minded POV on acceptable sexual morals, a fundamentalist parochial view that is sadly damaging many children. It has everything of a thought police ready to lynch all those who provide strong arguments that their dearly beloved moral beliefs are bankrupt.
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