John on October 24, 2006 at 9:50 am
According to the Internet Watch Foundation — a British group that monitors such activity — child pornography websites are multiplying online:
In 2006 to date, the IWF has received 27,750 reports compared to just 615 in its first year. The vast majority of reports – 85 per cent – are related to suspected child abuse websites.
28,000 websites is quite a lot, especially considering that this activity is illegal in much of the world. One can only imagine how many sites would there be if it wasn’t illegal? How much demand is there for this material?
Evidence that our culture is sexualizing younger and younger children is all around us. Exhibit A: Bratz dolls, which were first sold in 2001, have now become more popular with girls than Barbie dolls. Not that Barbie was all that great a roll model, but Bratz dolls push the envelope. Do we really want seven and eight year olds focused on sexiness? Forget eight year olds. Children’s TV is flooded with commercials for them during shows like Dora the Explorere. My five year old has expressed interest in them several times. I can’t say I understand why parents would buy a doll like this for any child, but they do. Why can’t parents just say no?
Bratz dolls would seem to be the limit of pushing sex to young girls. If only that were so. Exhibit B: This would seem like a joke, but it’s not. A large british chain store has been roundly condemned for selling a pole dancing kit on it’s website. No suprise that someone would try to market such a thing, but check out the descirption:
The Tesco Direct site advertises the kit with the words, “Unleash the sex kitten inside…simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!
“Soon you’ll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars”.
The £49.97 kit comprises a chrome pole extendible to 8ft 6ins, a ‘sexy dance garter’ and a DVD demonstrating suggestive dance moves.
Peekaboo Dance Dollars? I don’t get the idea this is being marketed to housewives. And as the article above notes, it was categorized under “Toys & Games” on the Tesco website. A mother shopping online for Christmas presents for her two pre-teen girls discovered it.
It’s not just toys of course. A few years ago the hot pre-teen music act was the Spice Girls. They had a “Girl Power!” mantra that seemed designed to hook 10 year olds. But obviously a big part of their appeal was not to young girls but to adult men. In fact, I’ll confess to a fondness for Gerri Halliwell myself. But I’m 39 years old. Do we really want to be marketing sex to men and sexiness to pre-teen girls at the same time?
For me, what the toys suggests is an increased comfort level with marketing sexuality to pre-teens. What the websites demonstrate is an increasing interest in exploiting these over-sexualized children. It’s a bad trend and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.
One would be mistaken to think civilized society will automatically reject such a trend. The evidence that it has not is all around us. And as the members of NAMBLA are wont to remind us, there have indeed been times in history when child-adult sexual relationships were considered normal in polite society.
Personally, my family won’t be heading there and I won’t be buying my daughters any Bratz dolls, but I am considering another purchase which may come in handy when the equally over-sexualized teen boys start coming by the house in a few years:
Update: Scott pointed out an amusing clip in the comments. I like it. Here’s what my daughter will see in the back seat of the car on future dates…
Category: Absurd & Outrageous |