Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Even the child being "defended" sees this for what it is

Fascinating: in the wake of the moral panic triggered by a photo of an unclothed 6-year-old girl on an art magazine, the girl herself says that she has no problems with the photos. You'd think that her claim not to need any defense might at least slow down the people rushing to defend her from the big bad artists just a little bit. Not so. And the rhetorical move used to counter her claim is entirely predictable: accuse her parents of putting her up to it
Mr Rudd is standing by his comments and has warned against allowing children to speak out on the issue.

"If people want to make a political point in opposition to me, I don't think it's right they use underage children to make that point," he said.

"They can engage the political debate as much as they want, it's a free country, but when it comes to protection of children, that should be a foremost responsibility for each of us."

Because, apparently, children have no will of their own and no ability to form an opinion that is different from their parents. One of the commentwrs at the ABC website ("kieran" at 07 Jul 2008, 03:02pm) put it best:
It may be the norm for you to treat your children like this (stifling them, leaning on them, making sure they say what you want them to say), however there are parents who do give their children the freedom to think... I can think of a number of parents who are like this, and they are generally involved in the arts (the whole freedom of expression, etc).

Olympia Nelson deviated from the script that the fiction of a child as a helpless and angelic non-entity would require her to follow. It's depressing, but not at all surprising, that her comments are hammered into fitting that script of child as helpless non-entity regardless.

This really is more about defending a magical ideal of childhood that exists in our society than it is about defending any actual child, near as I can tell. Or that's how I read it from the way that the moral guardians are refusing to admit that Olympia Nelson might possibly have a mind of her own.

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