I know, I know. When you saw the title of this piece you thought, “Oh no, not again! Can’t she find something lovely to write about, like, perhaps, the changing colors of the leaves.”
But alas, that is not to be, for this blog starts with an invasion into my house, a Hostile Entry, as the name says. And while that event is long past, the memory isn’t gone at all. Whenever I see an article about a man, or a group of men, who have been accused of receipt or distribution of child pornography, even now I gasp quickly for air and hold my breath. Then, my mind slides into sympathy mode for the wives and children of these men. My decision to write about this never-ending saga comes up again and again, whenever there’s a report. Sorry about that.
I cannot understand the pull that child pornography has on some men, but I know it’s there. I’ve read numerous medical and psychological reports over the last eleven years including scientific papers on the various reactions to child pornography that vulnerable men experience.
A few times, in the past, I’ve written about individual men, who I didn’t know, but whose families lived near me. This newspaper report isn’t local or new and took place in New Jersey, but it reached the New York papers. Forty arrests were made and the police seized computers from everyone they arrested. Thirty seven out of the forty were charged with distributing the images which brings with it a much longer prison term. It’s bad enough to receive child pornography but it’s legally much worse to share or sell it.
The men arrested included a school teacher. That certainly brings back memories.
I’m able to write that last sentence now in a more detached manner. Eleven years ago, I felt beaten up. Today I feel badly, mostly for the families. I wonder how many of the marriages will withstand the legal system coming down on them. I know, mine certainly didn’t. I wanted to separate myself from being associated with such behavior as quickly as I could. I feared what stories the feds might create about me that were false. I felt terribly vulnerable.
I still run into well meaning people who say, “Well, the man didn’t hurt any child. He didn’t DO anything. He JUST looked at pictures. Really, what’s the harm in that?”
I might have believed that myself, before I thought long and deeply about the little girls who appear in the photographs. But now, I know that not one child chose to pose for a picture, or appear in a video. Those little girls were either kidnapped or sold to a pornographer. God only knows how that happened. The scenarios are too awful to imagine and in reality, we we’ll never know.
Any man who looks at, or buys, or shares a pornographic picture of a little girl is complicit. It’s not an innocent choice, to receive such photos. It’s immoral and the recipients deserve the prison time they receive.
That was really well done!!
The entry repeats itself – so you might want to delete the second one….
Otherwise, excellent job!
I couldn’t figure out how to delete that repeated entry. I tried and tried!
Susan, I did delete the repeated section. Finally.
Well said, Jane. I can’t imagine the lure, except perhaps in the forbidden and illusive. I’m not sure how I feel about the judicial system for punishment of the crime of looking at something. Jail sentencing seems incongruent to me, in the same way (conversely) that the term rape is no longer used when prosecuting rapists. I just don’t understand the why’s behind the reasoning.
Zelda, I am so glad you raised this question because it is what I thought for some time after my husband’s arrest. Most people believe what you have said is true. Sometimes I can see the logic behind defending the innocence of merely looking at photos. It took me a long time before I understood why just looking was criminal as well.
The photos of the little girls were not taken with their permission. They had no choice. In most of the cases, they were either kidnapped or sold, usually by their families, to a pornographer. If they were sold, the families were told that their daughter would have a good life, perhaps even a luxurious life and in return, their families not only received much needed money, but then had one less mouth to feed. Most often the family was nearly destitute and finding food for everyone was hard, often impossible.
I have seen a few of those pictures and many are horrific. I won’t describe what I saw but whenever I remember the expressions on the girls’ faces, I feel sick.
I realize there will always be child pornographers, as the desire for such photos will always exist in some men. The theory though, is that if it’s illegal to possess, share or sell such photos, it will lessen the number of men who will look at them. That may be impossible to accomplish, but that is the intention.
Looking at pornographic pictures of girls is the market behind the violent world of taking the pictures. Those girls have no say in posing for photos. They are sex slaves with no voice, no ability to leave and in many cases, end up being killed if they attempt to escape.
Thanks for explaining, Jane. It’s so tragic that families face that choice, and for the victims, well, there are no adequate words. Thank you for sharing your experience and for being a voice for these children.
Many of these children appear to be from Russia or Eastern Europe.