Wednesday, 20 July 2011

“I was always attracted to older men”...

This quote is brought to you by that paragon of journalistic integrity: SunMedia aka Sun Infotainment.

That much-vaunted integrity was on display when David Akin deign to step down from the heights of his high horse to rub elbows with hoi polloi - figuratively at least - and to defend his readers' right to view pictures of an accidentally exposed royal buttock.

In keeping with such rigorous standards of hard news reporting, the SunMedia hack who covered the trial of Bartley Sagmoen supplied the verbal equivalent of the porn industry's *money shot*.

A 15 year old adolescent girl allegedly declares “I was always attracted to older men”; ipso facto some girls are *naturally* inclined to feel libidinous urges toward grandfather figures. That would certainly be a self-fulfilling belief among pedophiles and SunMedia does appear eager to validate its readers' pathologies.

When a teenager announces the existence of a long-held interest in sports for example, one can safely assume evidence of family support, coaching, participation in events and so on.

What *cultural* environment and which institutions would foster the development of yearnings for the sexual attention of older men, now that the Vatican Taliban has stopped protecting clergy who are sexual predators?

I offer this observation. Beauty pageants that require female children to exhibit themselves as creepy parodies of Vegas showgirls might possibly provide good training ground in that regard.

UPDATE - I removed the embedded video. Strangely enough, the adverts for the Ontario govt played fine though the ABC report about Eden Wood didn't. Click here to view it.

There appears to be a number of such events in the US; The Learning Channel has dedicated itself to producing a series that covers this phenomenon. Hard-hitting journalism and serious analysis? Nope, just sugar and spice and all things nice.

Fortunately, it seems Australians are not eager to deprive their daughters of their childhood and to deliver them as raw material to mold and shape into budding pedophile bait.

You can imagine the howls of outrage from the owners of kiddy pageant franchises who are being denied their right to exploit girls, to train them in the art of being valuable sexual commodities and to get rich doing it. Greed just doesn't get ANY respect these days.

Unless one might happen to be Rupert Murdoch, of course.

Grand merci to JB and JCP for source material.


Dr.Dawg said...

This is simply excellent, but is the tip, I fear, of an iceberg. There is something in our culture that is bringing this stuff to the surface. Freud would bemoan the lack of "healthy repression," and for once I'm not inclined to argue.

Is it a backlash against feminism (men afraid of now-confident, assertive women looking for more exploitable subjects--the same crowd who do the Filipina mail-order thing)? Has it always been there, but is now just below the surface of very thin ice because of a consumptive (pun intended) culture of gratification and commodification?

After seeing the video, I feel ill.

fern hill said...

Yeesh. I could only manage to watch about a minute of the video.

Dr. Dawg: I think it's both (newish) backlash and age-old misogyny. Definitely ramped up by consumerism.

Beijing York said...

Very disturbing video.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if little boys were being sexualized like this. I'm guessing Sun media would treat it somewhat differently.

Niles said...

I have to disagree with a backlash against feminism angle. Haven't wee-girl and baby beauty pageants been with us since the start of beauty pageants?

At least one huge example is the Shirley Temple-alike contests in the wake of the starlet's rocketing popularity in the 1930s.

It might be said that's comparing kids to a kid standard, but Shirley was being held up as an example of how to commodify your girl child as an income and status strategy to everyone in the US(and via newsreels, the world).

Shirley certainly wasn't being displayed as a casual playground kid either (although, dressing kids in kid-specific fashions and not as miniature adults is a cultural phenom of recent times. same for teenagers) Of course, Shirley *was* extremely talented, the poster child for 'precocious' in her wit and personality, and desperately cloned ever since.

I'd venture the present pageants function on the same level as the pageants of The Shirley times and likely with Shirley still as the role model.

Economic hard times coupled with the age-old encouragement to dress little girls as well-trained-please-the-adults dolls rather than human beings can equal vicarious social status and income gained by parents. Rather like sending kids out to street beg, only with bling.

It seems to me the women/mothers displaying their daughters are still being pressured that their primary value in life is as a mother to a child and any other goal path is selfish. They're also being pressured that they are the main keepers of acceptable gender role training(hearkening to the shrieks responding to a couple not informing people, by talk or visual cue, what sex their newest chid is).

Pageants like these appear to reinforce both 'good mother' functions when girls are at an age of naturally exploring gender(dress-up princesses for one), while simultaneously being an 'acceptable' outlet for 'good mothers' stifled personal ambitions.

Although, there is still the 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' effect, since the moving invisible line of how soon and how intensely a woman can pRimp her daughter for public sexual gaze gets crossed and shocked SHOCKED critics deride the woman for being selfish and uncaring of the child. Double plus more gossipy outrage if a pageant girl is murdered.

So, not really a feminism backlash in my opinion, just a publicized continuance of a world where a judge can *seriously* state a three year old girl (in the ultimate virgin madonna/whore dichotomy) had sexual agency in leading a mature man on and let the man off on sexual assault charges. Not to mention countless generations pre-feminism of children being sexually exploited by those that can.

As for little boys being displayed for sexual gaze and the outrage being different, read reactions to information that young boys are trained to be 'entertainment' for all male parties in the 'arabic' lands. Same shite, different day, but-it-would-never-happen-here. At least not openly.

Dr.Dawg said...

Two comments, Niles.

First, the Shirley Temple stuff was hardly so obviously sexualized. I'm not saying it wasn't, but it wasn't nearly so in-your-face freakin' obvious. Nor was there nearly so much of it.

Your example of the judge and the 3-year-old (do you have a citation?) goes right to my point.

I would suggest something else is at play in the "arabic" lands: namely a patriarchy so intense and enforced that women, very much second-class citizens, are relegated to specific sexual purposes within marriage. This reminds me of the Enga in New Guinea, for whom homosexuality was the norm and man-woman relations secretive and shameful (Davenport, W. H. 1977. "Sex in cross-cultural perspective." In: F. A. Beach, ed., Human sexuality in four perspectives (pp. 115-163). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 136. What you have to look at here is the status of women, not role-reversal as you suggest.

deBeauxOs said...

Niles! Were have you been?

Shirley Temple? Yup, that was the depression. Too bad she grew up to be such an insipid Reaganite.

As for little boys entertaining the big boys in Saudi Arabia, say - that is the logical consequence of a rigidly homosocially gendered class system.

Niles said...

Ms DeBee! Other than life, trying to contact you via your email addys, but they hate me apparently. Just keep getting failure to deliver mail messages.

Dr. D, I would swear I read the judge call on one of the blogs around DJ last year (before the Dewar uproar), but I can't google the piece on line. My parameters are too vague and I keep running into all the *other* cases of judges dismissing the sexual assaults on young girls, but nothing matching what I'm sure I read. It had to do with the child being interested in playing with the man's penis and being precociously sexual ergo seduction and not assault. With much ensuing blowing of sanity meters .

So I'm guilty of citing something I can't link. But I didn't make it up in my brain I swear.

Regarding Shirley, she wasn't *directly* sexualized, but she was heavily dolled up and costumed while being the goldmine role model for parents getting kids into pageants. Now, around Shirley, there were definitely filmic pieces, often shorts, where pre-adolescent kids were aping adult roles and mannerisms while dressed in adult costumes. That included sexy cabaret/follies dresses for the girls. You can see the pieces sometimes on TCM.

And if you think the pageants are bad, I'm also sure, in a very unreliable manner, that one of the blogs around DJ showed a service where a normal baby picture of a little girl could be photoshopped to make her 'beautiful'. Which included adding adult style cosmeticizing and 'feminine' accessories.

Niles said...

oh, Dr. D, sorry, I wasn't suggesting role reversal, just that highly delighted horror abounds amid the pearl clutchers about little brown barbarians sexually devouring children of both sexes, while they simultaneously manage to ignore or dismiss the same happening to kids in this country because it's not State approved, or something. Boys are being sexualized just like girls are - if to a lesser publically commercial degree in some societies.

ok, that's creepy, the verification word is popett which is too close to poppet for me.

deBeauxOs said...

Niles, my email address should be on my profile page but just in case it's not, here it is:

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