Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On doing the right thing?

I don't have much to add to the whole Amazon defending "The Pedophile's Guide" except to thank Amazon for finally coming to its senses and removing the book (there is some dispute on if it was withdrawn by its publisher/author or dropped from Amazon). Amazon was in the wrong, they weren't defending free speech as "speech" that incites one to commit a crime (directly as compared to "the devil made me do it" argument) is not protected speech. Considering part of the description of the book included a phrase similar to "how to avoid harsh criminal penalties," I think it's fairly lumped in that category.

Also considering Amazon's policy of removing other "offensive" materials for "pornographic content" (read "homosexual" and "kink" books). However, it's not like Amazon doesn't have their own red-light district (look under health and personal care/sexual health… there's more than condoms down there).

But here is the difference (for those who like to shout the "but it's censorship and if we allow that then we'll also allow removing Ulysses" - which Amazon has done with their Kindle store IIRC - or the "but homosexuality was once considered offense…"), a child can not consent (by law). And not just in the matters of sex, they can't consent in many other areas according to the law; sign contracts, engage in business, be hired )although that's now only below 16 in most states), purchase restricted items (porn and sexual content being one such area), join the military, etc. So the sex here isn't consensual by definition (and here is where I differ from some of the current mores of society, I still think that the concept of "Jail Bait" is valid, and that "Romeo and Juliet" laws are very misguided).

This isn't an argument on maturity (as in "but some kids are more mature…"), yes, I know some kids who have more maturity than some people my own age. However, the law/society can't discriminate on that bases, so yes, a magic wand is waved over the head of those who reach majority on the day of their birthdate.

So I go back to the fact that one half of this "relationship" is not consensual. What adults do with/to each other with their free consent is their own business. Work of some literary value is different (say if this book had been written as a "work of fiction" I would be uncomfortable with it, but would have a different conclusion, or I detest his "stories" that he included, but would be willing to argue that yes, they may be protected speech, "may be" being the operative clause here).

Add on top of this the power differential in any such relationship (yes, I know there are one or two in which the younger member of the "couple" is the one driving the relationship, but in the vast, overwhelming sea of the opposite, they don't even come close to a rounder error percentage wise) and you can see just how troublesome this is. No, the other side does not have "a choice" in this. And if you don't understand how co-dependent relationships work, well I say, "Happy you." I recommend the book "Co-dependent No More" to either break out of such a situation or to learn more on how they work.

Therefore these relationships by definition are always 1) predatory, 2) illegal, and 3) statutory rape.

I've removed all items from my wish lists on Amazon. And I was in the process of removing all my "shopping cart on hold" items. I also have enough credit cards that I could drop the Amazon one and not have a problem. Now I'll need to think of how far I want to go to sever my connections to Amazon.

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