Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Wed May 28, 2008 5:19 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:It's not the issue. It's the context in which the issue becomes relevant.
The NSW police disagree with you over their reasons for acting. They took the pictures, in their own words, because they were of a sexual nature. If a 13 year consents to producing a child porn image that image is still illegal. And the police didn't even attempt to establish consent, or even mention it at all.

Quixotess wrote:
Final analogy: If this were a drugs offence, it would be like the police finding white powder in my flat, walking out the door and telling the world media that there was a kilo of cocaine there. Without even testing the stuff to see if they were right. When a bunch of chemists and drung dealers look at it and say, "that doesn't look like any cocaine I ever saw."
Bad analogy. Cocaine is definitely cocaine. Child porn is less clear. The police are probably saying "We're checking this stuff to see if it's porn or if there is a consent issue." A bunch of other people, including the prime minister, are saying "I think this is porn." And cocaine is not harmful to someone if other people look at it.

The point of the analogy is that the police must, absolutely, establish whether the powder is cocaine or not. They can't charge you with suspicion, nor can they charge you with "it really, really looks like cocaine". Even if it is obvious, the evidence must be examined and verified. But that is not what's happening here. The police say "we confiscated sexual images", and "we will be pressing for charges". They do not say, "Bill Henson has been arrested on suspicion of child pornography offences", but they've jumped straight to saying he's essentially guilty, just like if they told the media I had a kilo of coke, they'd be saying I'm essentially guilty of possession and intent to supply an illegal substance.

Jauss wrote:Actually, I think that would translate more to "if a random dude can have the police arrest an upstanding man of the community for allegedly raping someone (who hasn't filed charges) on their word alone, and have the police start talking about prosecution then that random dude has far too much power."

Thank you, that's is a much better way of putting it.
Vaniver wrote:Did they throw Henson into prison, or did they just impound evidence? Because one of those is standard procedure, and the other is guilty until proven innocent.

It's not impounding evidence, it is asserting the presence of hard, indisputable evidence, where no crime may have been committed at all. No facts of the case are in dispute beyond whether the images constitute child pornography. If they are found to be of a sexual nature, Henson is guilty. The police have stated that they impounded the images for being of a sexual nature. The meaning of that statement may not be "he is guilty", but it implies guilt so strongly that there is little difference.


I think in future that I'll refer to the NSW Police as the NSFW Police, as they seem to be experts in the area.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Plasma Man » Wed May 28, 2008 12:37 pm UTC

Interestingly, I might soon be in possession of child pornography, at least if the UK Justice Minister Maria Eagle gets her way. She wants to ban drawn or computer-generated depictions of child sexual abuse - which I'm sure most people is going to think is fine. Unfortunately for me, I own a copy of Alan Moore's Lost Girls, which does feature some such depictions. I didn't buy it for that, I bought it because Alan Moore is a genius and I wanted to see what he'd done with the idea of Alice, Dorothy and Wendy meeting up and comparing their childhood experiences. I'm not willing to throw it away as it is an interesting story, but on the other hand I don't want to risk being branded an owner of child porn and possibly prosecuted for something I bought completely legally.

Anway, read the story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7422595.stm if you're interested.

Oh, and mods, I know this is slightly off topic. If it's too far from the discussion, do as you see fit.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Thu May 29, 2008 3:25 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:And I'm wondering just how any of these models are being protected by the police publicly declaring them to have been depicted in porn, which carries a stigma.

This is a clusterfuck.

Word.
I don't see a problem with the picture in the link Gmal posted, it doesn't even remotely strike me as pornography. For one thing, the lighting is too good, but mostly instead of looking at it and thinking, "Oh hey a naked person I want to sex up" I thought, "Ew! Pre-teen boobies! I remember having those, they were so annoying!"
ANYTHING can be porno to the right person. This is not where I'd like to see the line drawn, because I'd not be at all surprised to learn that a 13-year-old could pose for (what I consider)tasteful nude art photos and not consider it a big deal at all.
Art contains images that are considered tasteless by many people, such is life. Tasteless != victimization.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby phlip » Thu May 29, 2008 4:20 am UTC

I heard a sound bite on the news this morning, of some politician (I think the leader of the opposition, but I'm not sure, I was half-asleep at the time) claim that if the police had found this picture just sitting on someone's computer, they'd arrest that someone for posession of child porn... so it shouldn't be any different for a picture hanging on a gallery wall, and then accused all dissenters of having double standards.

Personally I think this totally begs the question, assuming that the picture is porn, and using that to argue that it is porn. I like LE4d's double standard argument better... if this picture had an adult in it, then it wouldn't be considered porn at all.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu May 29, 2008 5:37 am UTC

Dream wrote:The point of the analogy is that the police must, absolutely, establish whether the powder is cocaine or not. They can't charge you with suspicion, nor can they charge you with "it really, really looks like cocaine". Even if it is obvious, the evidence must be examined and verified.


This is a bloody fantastic point.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Thu May 29, 2008 6:05 am UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:I don't see a problem with the picture in the link Gmal posted, it doesn't even remotely strike me as pornography. For one thing, the lighting is too good, but mostly instead of looking at it and thinking, "Oh hey a naked person I want to sex up" I thought, "Ew! Pre-teen boobies! I remember having those, they were so annoying!"
ANYTHING can be porno to the right person. This is not where I'd like to see the line drawn, because I'd not be at all surprised to learn that a 13-year-old could pose for (what I consider)tasteful nude art photos and not consider it a big deal at all.
Art contains images that are considered tasteless by many people, such is life. Tasteless != victimization.

I think I posted this in the OP, but I'd add to this, which I agree completely with, that even if the image is sexual I don't see why that can't be a subject in art. Teenage sexuality exists. It exists in 13 year old girls, and banning that from the public sphere is stupid. It's the old issue that the thing itself is not bad or illegal, so how can an image of it be?

Maybe they thing upstanding, right thinking people everywhere will be turned paedo by it...
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Malice » Thu May 29, 2008 8:36 am UTC

The way the situation is dealt with, if it is decided that is porn, depends on what the point of the anti-child-porn statutes are in the first place. Is the point to prevent children from being abused through photo sessions? Or is to keep child porn out of the hands of pedophiles?

The former warrants punishing the photographer; only the later warrants arresting anybody possessing a copy.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Thu May 29, 2008 9:12 am UTC

If possession and publication are illegal, everyone is committing an offence. Gallery, artist, customers, actual paedophiles, me, whoever. Also, if it is an offence for the image to be "sexual" as opposed to pornographic then no intent needs to exist in the artist, who could have made the most "art " image imaginable and prove that it is nothing to do with pornography, and still be found guilty of an offence.

The above is the strong implication in the initial police statments.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby zenten » Thu May 29, 2008 12:23 pm UTC

Malice wrote:The way the situation is dealt with, if it is decided that is porn, depends on what the point of the anti-child-porn statutes are in the first place. Is the point to prevent children from being abused through photo sessions? Or is to keep child porn out of the hands of pedophiles?

The former warrants punishing the photographer; only the later warrants arresting anybody possessing a copy.


That's bull. If I buy say ivory recently poached from endangered elephants I am committing a crime, because I am paying money to help in the poaching of elephants.

Now, your reasoning does play into whether this should be illegal or not. If it's about preventing child abuse, then all that's important is if the child was abused (yes, that also gets into a different difficult decision, but one that is narrower and easier to determine). If it's about keeping porn out of the hands to pedophiles, then these works should be removed. As should any other pictures showing children in a sexual fashion, including pictures from beauty pageants, and that Coppertone ad that was being used years ago.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Thu May 29, 2008 12:49 pm UTC

That's bull. If I buy say ivory recently poached from endangered elephants I am committing a crime, because I am paying money to help in the poaching of elephants.


So, so long as $person isn't paying for it, it's okay?

Also, Coppertone girl = child porn? Are you serious?
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby hyperion » Thu May 29, 2008 1:09 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:Also, Coppertone girl = child porn? Are you serious?

Possibly
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby zenten » Thu May 29, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:
That's bull. If I buy say ivory recently poached from endangered elephants I am committing a crime, because I am paying money to help in the poaching of elephants.


So, so long as $person isn't paying for it, it's okay?

Also, Coppertone girl = child porn? Are you serious?


No, I'm saying paying for something made through illegal means isn't ok.

And yeah, I'm serious. The line between that ad and this guys artwork is very very fine.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Thu May 29, 2008 3:38 pm UTC

zenten wrote:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Also, Coppertone girl = child porn? Are you serious?

And yeah, I'm serious. The line between that ad and this guys artwork is very very fine.

So, you think Henson's work is child pornography?
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby zenten » Thu May 29, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
zenten wrote:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Also, Coppertone girl = child porn? Are you serious?

And yeah, I'm serious. The line between that ad and this guys artwork is very very fine.

So, you think Henson's work is child pornography?


No, I don't think either is pornography.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Joeldi » Thu May 29, 2008 11:39 pm UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:I don't see a problem with the picture in the link Gmal posted, it doesn't even remotely strike me as pornography. For one thing, the lighting is too good, but mostly instead of looking at it and thinking, "Oh hey a naked person I want to sex up" I thought, "Ew! Pre-teen boobies! I remember having those, they were so annoying!"


I don't really have a point here, but It does show how perspective can change the sexual nature of something.

I have no desire to have any sexual conduct with 13 year old girls, but when I was 13, you damn well bet I did. But underage boobs were something I never got to see. So basically, while this image in no way arouses me, I find it insigntful to look at, not from an artistic view point, but from a sexual one
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby phlip » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:17 am UTC

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transc ... 262896.htm

... this... just...

I have no words for this.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:30 am UTC

phlip wrote:http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2262896.htm

... this... just...

I have no words for this.

I believe the entire fiasco began with a radio show that couldn't get a controversy going over the exhibition, so they called the police. The Age reported on the beginnings of it yesterday.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby hermaj » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:57 pm UTC

I think the entire thing is ridiculous and rather embarrassing. The way it is being handled is completely ridiculous and the trial by media is horrible. They should have been quietly pulled and investigated to the best of the police's ability (though seeing this seems to have been headed by the media, I respect it may have been difficult for them to pull away) rather than everyone rushing in prematurely to freak out, basically. Kevin Rudd has done exactly two things so far I am not happy about, and commenting on this business was one of them. There was no need for him to comment and he should not have, nor should the other ministers have until anyone actually knew anything about the situation. It's done nothing but add to the media frenzy.

What about Henson's career, even? Even if he eventually receives a formal apology, which he should, this is some seriously damaging stuff, and the controversy surrounding the balance of freedom of artistic expression and protection of children means that it should have been handled all the more carefully. And, as has been touched upon, the precedents it might create should be considered, too. Next we won't be allowed to read Keats, since having contact with something described as a "ripening breast" obviously makes the entire poem a recreation of a pornographic situation involving a minor.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:43 am UTC

hermaj wrote:There was no need for him to comment and he should not have, nor should the other ministers have until anyone actually knew anything about the situation. It's done nothing but add to the media frenzy.

That was media interference again. Some radio host handed him one of the images on air, and asked him to comment. He went into full "hate the paedos" mode, because he'd have been politically stupid not to. I despise him for it, as he conciously put his political standing ahead of the lives of an innocent artist and model.
What about Henson's career, even? Even if he eventually receives a formal apology, which he should, this is some seriously damaging stuff, and the controversy surrounding the balance of freedom of artistic expression and protection of children means that it should have been handled all the more carefully.

No artist's career was ever hurt by controversy, except perhaps in the worst cases. This controversy is so obviously a sham that I do not fear for his career. The real problem will be with his standing in the community. If this ends really badly, he may find himself a marked man, especially if he continues to produce similar work.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby hermaj » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:59 am UTC

What about Henson's career, even? Even if he eventually receives a formal apology, which he should, this is some seriously damaging stuff, and the controversy surrounding the balance of freedom of artistic expression and protection of children means that it should have been handled all the more carefully.

No artist's career was ever hurt by controversy, except perhaps in the worst cases. This controversy is so obviously a sham that I do not fear for his career. The real problem will be with his standing in the community. If this ends really badly, he may find himself a marked man, especially if he continues to produce similar work.


I was getting more at the fact that these accusations are something that can really destory a person, and considering (from what I understand of art) it has some degree of deep, core feelings of the artist invested in it, it could destroy him all the more. If it does not destory him, it might disenchant him. Anything like that could mean that when this is done, no matter the outcome, he may not want or be able to make art again. And that would be a truly devastating thing.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:25 pm UTC

hermaj wrote:I was getting more at the fact that these accusations are something that can really destory a person, and considering (from what I understand of art) it has some degree of deep, core feelings of the artist invested in it, it could destroy him all the more. If it does not destory him, it might disenchant him. Anything like that could mean that when this is done, no matter the outcome, he may not want or be able to make art again. And that would be a truly devastating thing.

It would be devastating, but remember that these are still groundless enough accusations that he can ignore them personally. (Perhaps not nationally.) I would guess that he has come across this kind of "criticism" before, though in a less high profile manner. Most likely he has thought about it himself, and made his peace long ago with the kind of reaction a demagogue could cause his work to inspire. I hope he has, in any case.

If it went badly, he might leave Australia before he quit art altogether. He might redouble his efforts to convince people of the value of his work. Giving up entirely is unlikely, I think.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Amarantha » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:04 am UTC


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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby phlip » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:33 am UTC

Huzzah! Finally, the OFLC gets something right.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:59 am UTC

Should never have gone to the censors anyway. I hate slippery slope arguments, but this will just convince the idiots that started this whole thing that anyhting at all can be age rated. Books, art, advertisements, medical diagrams, whatever. If it makes these people use their brains to decide if they might be aroused or not, they'll be baying for it to be sent for classification. Bad Precedent.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Vaniver » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:36 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Should never have gone to the censors anyway. I hate slippery slope arguments, but this will just convince the idiots that started this whole thing that anyhting at all can be age rated. Books, art, advertisements, medical diagrams, whatever. If it makes these people use their brains to decide if they might be aroused or not, they'll be baying for it to be sent for classification. Bad Precedent.
I still don't see how "art is above the law" is a better precedent than "we've looked and no, this art isn't pornography."
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:59 pm UTC

"We looked and no, this isn't porn", which is what it was already at, is better than, "this sort of this has been to the censors before, so we're now going to try to get it in trouble it a lot more!" though.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:42 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Dream wrote:Should never have gone to the censors anyway. I hate slippery slope arguments, but this will just convince the idiots that started this whole thing that anyhting at all can be age rated. Books, art, advertisements, medical diagrams, whatever. If it makes these people use their brains to decide if they might be aroused or not, they'll be baying for it to be sent for classification. Bad Precedent.
I still don't see how "art is above the law" is a better precedent than "we've looked and no, this art isn't pornography."


I can't see how it's possible to be any further from child porn than these works and still deal with the subject matter. It isn't above the law, it deserves to be treated with some respect by the law. Would you prefer it if anything and everything that deals with children be subject to official moral approval? If an individual's personal opinion of an artwork is enough to start a criminal investigation?
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby masher » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:56 am UTC

Dream wrote:If an individual's personal opinion of an artwork is enough to start a criminal investigation?


An individual's opinion is enough to start sexual harassment charges...

There are a few gray things that are the subject of opinions...

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby phlip » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Well, it looks like this is being dragged back into the spotlight... Art Monthly Magazine's published an issue with a 6-year-old nude on the cover, partly in protest over the Bill Henson thing. And, despite the cover being even less pornographic (in my opinion) than the Bill Henson stuff, it's getting slammed by the politicians as being irredeemable child abuse. Kevin Rudd, in particular, is spending quite a bit of time expressing his outrage.

I know I'm going to send our beloved PM a letter complaining about his behavior here... this certainly isn't a situation which needs, or even wants, his comments. He should really be staying out of this, and failing that, he should get a saner opinion... hopefully LE4d won't mind if I... "borrow" his argument that this absolutely would not be considered porn at all if the model were an adult.

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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby JayDee » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:50 am UTC

I saw a newspaper cover (was it yesterday?) that mentioned nude child photos or somesuch, and thought to myself "surely it can't be that Bill Henson nonsense being dragged up again?" I need to lower my expectations.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby zealo » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:45 am UTC

on the radio i heard nelson give a huge speech saying (paraphrased) "the police need to look into this to see if the law has been broken as it stands now. if this is not the case, then the law obviously needs to change."

i really, really hope this is just a case of the loud idiots getting their way over a sane majority stunned into silence, rather than the same but with 'majority' swapped for 'minority'
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby random_kitty » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

In a society where McDonald's can be done for making people fat - it is not enough to say "it is not the responsibility of the producer/company/artist how others choose to use or consume this product". There are laws in bars about not being able to serve alcoholic drinks to people who are drunk, the government imposes significant tariffs (in NZ) on cigarettes and alcohol to curb consumption.

Yet any suggestion that these pictures might be best kept out of the public arena as some people might gain sexual satisfaction is considered abhorrent - we would not want to be giving into these sick/evil paedophiles.

It might not be popular to say - but i feel some sympathy for those who are sexually attracted to children and actively try to minimise the harm of such a mind-set. The media blow up is forcing these issues into their conciousness. As for those that are not trying to actively avoid these types of pictures - it is a lot easier for them now huh?

I heard on a news report that we cannot possibly change the way we run the world for the sake of paedophiles as they are sick/evil people. That stinks of putting one's hands over our eyes and saying "I can't see you so you are not real". Why create or encourage more barriers for those who want to avoid such images? Why feed albeit accidentally the hunger of those who don't want to avoid such images for sexual purposes? Paedophiles are people - being ostracised, forced into isolation, and ignored will not make their problems and consequently societies problems disappear.

I do not thing naked=porn, but publicly displayed images of naked people between 2-18 years old is inappropriate due to informed consent. I guess I find Anne Geddes style pics to be a grey area as the pic is not as identifiable as time progresses as pics of 5-13 year olds to the adult they will become.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby pollywog » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:31 am UTC

I find the Bill henson pictures to be art, not porn. One is now my desktop picture. However, if my parents see it, I'll be in massive trouble, as it is obviously porn to them. It's this one.

Not porn, and the situation got out of hand.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby random_kitty » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:34 am UTC

pollywog wrote:I find the Bill henson pictures to be art, not porn. One is now my desktop picture. However, if my parents see it, I'll be in massive trouble, as it is obviously porn to them. It's this one.

Not porn, and the situation got out of hand.


That does look arty rather than porn like - but I still think it is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18 in a Westernised country to pose for such photos.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby pollywog » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:49 am UTC

random_kitty wrote:
pollywog wrote:I find the Bill henson pictures to be art, not porn. One is now my desktop picture. However, if my parents see it, I'll be in massive trouble, as it is obviously porn to them. It's this one.

Not porn, and the situation got out of hand.


That does look arty rather than porn like - but I still think it is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18 in a Westernised country to pose for such photos.


The age of 18 thing always annoyed me. I can consent to sex at 16, but can't buy porn till I'm 18. Not that I would ever buy porn. Or masturbate, become aroused by porn, etc.

This sort of thing needs to be decided on a case by case basis. It is wrong to say "All pictures of naked (underwhateveragepeople) are pornographic", just as it is wrong to say the opposite.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby random_kitty » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:58 am UTC

I am not arguing from the "It's porn" angle - but from informed consent.

In NZ - not until age 18 are legal contracts enforceable. Therefore that is an age (albeit arbitrary) it is deemed a person has the cognitive capacities (some of which do not fully develop until early to mid-twenties) to consider long-term consequences and deal with the ramifications of those if/when they arise for any decisions.

With age - people learn that whether we like it or not how others view our actions is relevant and can impact on our options in life. It sucks but it is a reality. By 18 y.o. people have greater perspective if who they are and who they want to be.


Off-topic - I see reasonable justification for why sex can be consensual but pornography purchase and participation is delays - but this is not the place for that discussion.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:37 am UTC

random_kitty wrote:I am not arguing from the "It's porn" angle - but from informed consent.


Sex can be informedly consented to before the age of 18. The potential consequences of that sex could have decades long ramifications. But you think that posing for a photograph should not be legally allowed, and that the consequences could be worse until the age of 18, when it all becomes OK?
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby random_kitty » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:25 am UTC

Most laws are arbitrary in that they draw a line in the sand (in this case age) where they deem certain actions as allowable or not as a means to protect those who are perceived to be unable to protect themselves or make informed consent. The nature of large societies is that it is unreasonable and impracticable to individual test and measure every person to determined when they are 'mature' or 'grown' enough to pass certain legal milestones. Age lines are crude but the best we have.

What you call "informally consented" sex I would call statutory rape (age dependant on country). As I have already stated in this and the other thread on a similar topic (well same topic - different artists under fire) I consider there to be potential for long term ramifications of nude shots taken in childhood. Even if there is not - I believe a person of sound rational mind should have control over what happens to their body and who views it naked. Developmentally - children have not fully developed their cognitive abilities and their parents should not be able to choose for them.
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Dream » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

random_kitty wrote:Most laws are arbitrary in that they draw a line in the sand ... ...Age lines are crude but the best we have.

What you call "informally consented" sex I would call statutory rape (age dependant on country).

There is obvious cognitive dissonance here. It can't be both crude and arbitrary and at the same time defensible as the basis of a serious crime.

In any case, I can spell it out more clearly: If it is possible to take responsibility for the risks of sexual contact (including disease, pregnancy, emotional damage and abuse) from age 16 (in most countries), why is it not possible (in your mind) to take responsibility for the consequences of an artistic nude image (embarrassment?)at that age? And if that age, why not earlier, as we are not talking about a sexual act in the photography, nor in its display?

If the image were altered to protect the identity of the sitter so that she could not be bullied, discriminated against or feel violated by viewer's gazes, would that change anything?
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Re: Bill Henson to be charged with "child porn" offences

Postby Drew_E » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:16 am UTC

I made an account just to post a response about random_kitty and this debate.

Anyone notice how all the instigators on this are female? You have Hetty Johnson who demanded action of key politicians and police commissioners through private channels. You have the opinion writer for the Sydney Morning Herald who is a female and was the other primary instigator of the media generated outrage. You have now an opinion writer for The Australian giving a similar piece on Art Monthly. Female.

And here on this forum we see the interjection into a surprisingly rational debate of a presumably female poster who gives a random splurge of memetic fragments from the debate that when put together or analysed, make little sense. Yet the poster says it all without breaking stride, seemingly ignoring the entire content of the discussion so far and the arguments in it.

And Quixotess, is presumably female, also coincidentally (?) happens to have a feminist background in her website femspace.com? What is going on here, I wonder. There is something extremely disturbing in these witch-hunts and the characteristics of the debate and nonsense being asserted in favour of and by Hetty Johnson. The quickness of public figures to condemn Henson and the pictures before anything concrete was established apparently moved as a reaction to these multiple, 'spontaneous' attacks.

Society must take a very hard look at how these issues played out and closely examine the protagonists of the debate, people (seemingly predominantly women) who at least in the case of one anecdote about another woman here- have pure uncontrolled rage as a reaction to a media story.


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