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Thread: Gender and the law

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    For me, I cannot allow my desire for a drag performer to be treated with normal human respect to go beyond my natural protection of children.
    Protect children from what, exactly? (my emphasis added above). What additional threat do you see in these persons?

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill
    They are adults and must own their decision and how they perform.
    This is the crux of the issue. The costume is irrelevant.

    Pick your character from the band "Village People". Cop, construction worker, cowboy, etc... Would you want any adult male, in any costume, performing sexualized stripper routines for children?

    Trans or drag don't get a pass. They're still adults in a costume performing sex routines for children.

    All of which leads back to: The question is not why we should object to this (which is patently obvious).

    The real question - that TSherbs has not answered - is: Why do adult men want to wear a costume and perform stripper routines for children?

    -edit-

    Gender isn't even relevant (other than it's men dressing up as women in the drag queen case). Would you want an adult woman performing stripper routines for children?

    Or most clearly: Why do adults want to wear a costume and perform stripper routines for children?

    TSherbs will barely even acknowledge that question exists, and quickly dismisses it. You're watching cognitive dissonance happen in near real time. An echo-chamber, and denial of simple reality.

    But he wonders why we can't have discussion here...
    Last edited by dneal; April 3rd, 2023 at 11:33 AM.
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    For me, I cannot allow my desire for a drag performer to be treated with normal human respect to go beyond my natural protection of children.
    Protect children from what, exactly? (my emphasis added above). What additional threat do you see in these persons?
    Consider the question, and you might find the answer.

    Why do adults want to perform sexualized routines for children?
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    For me, I cannot allow my desire for a drag performer to be treated with normal human respect to go beyond my natural protection of children.
    Protect children from what, exactly? (my emphasis added above). What additional threat do you see in these persons?
    I feel like I am having to repeat myself over and over on this topic. Let me ask you a question that might help, what value does a child obtain from watch a drag performance? I have to ask, do you think watching these performances produce an acceptance for the LGBQ rights as any other human being should be accepted?

    If you had to choose between what you felt was appropriate for a child vs how to better support drag performers, which would you prioritize?
    “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    During both of these threads, I have not noticed, maybe you did, that you came down on asking what is best for children to see and how what they see is portrayed.
    “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    For me, I cannot allow my desire for a drag performer to be treated with normal human respect to go beyond my natural protection of children.
    Protect children from what, exactly? (my emphasis added above). What additional threat do you see in these persons?
    I feel like I am having to repeat myself over and over on this topic.
    Did I miss something? I only recall you ever insinuating that there is something about men in women's clothing that children need to be protected from. But you have never stated what, exactly. I just keep asking you to be plain about it rather than insinuating it.

    Do you think that they are molestors? Do you think that they are evil in God's eyes and should not be seen by children? Do you think that they are kidnappers? Really, what? Do you think that gender fluidity (multi-gender identities) should be kept from a child's understanding? What are you worried about protecting children from at libraries with their parents?

    Yes, you have asked me about "drag" motivation or, now, "value" in reading to children. Here is why I refuse to entertain the question: this, to me, is like asking a mixed couple, "Why would a black man have any interest in marrying a white woman?" "What is the value in a bi-racial couple?" The question itself assumes that the bi-racial couple has to justifiy their love or value (the presumption being that bi-racial love is twisted or perverted) in ways that a same-race couple does not. If the question of motivation is to be asked of drag preformer readers, then it must be asked of ALL adult readers, male, female, cis-gender, bi-racial, whatever. There is no special or additional justification or explanation that a gay person needs to want to get married, have spousal benefits, or read to children. No special justification that men need, or that women need. Nor that trans persons need. Nor drag performers. You kept asking it about only "female impersonators," which meant men in women's clothing and make-up, so I could already see your bias (distrust) against persons born male who later dress as women. These questions are all the same kind: they come from suspicion of the category of person being asked about. I keep trying to bring out your suspicion so that we can talk about it.

    And on not answering your question: dneal asked it, and you repeated it (by proxy). I am done responding to dneal. Secondly, I don't want to justify all suspicious questions. Some questions deserve to be ignored, because answering them legitimizes them. Some questions aren't asked in good faith. Some are simply rude and meant as trolling bait for contraversy and conflict. Some questions are so ignorant that I ignore them in an effort to keep quiet rather than openly impolite. Some are irrelevant to the topic (law and gender). The law asks not what motivates libraries readers (money, happiness, smiling faces, great children's book stories, the pleasure of reading aloud to a captivated audience..?)

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    During both of these threads, I have not noticed, maybe you did, that you came down on asking what is best for children to see and how what they see is portrayed.
    I honestly don't understand this sentence.

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    In both threads I have identified female impersonators and the sexuality implied and depicted as not suitable for children.

    Also, I contrasted drag from Mrs Doubtfire or Victor Victoria.

    I’ve contrasted drag performers from transitioning people.

    I’ve noticed you tend to respond to one sentence or two rather than the whole post. I have to assume you are not reading my posts, but choosing one for which to disagree or at times agree. Therefore, I’m having to repeat myself.

    By this time you should have an understanding of my opinion.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Chuck Naill For This Useful Post:

    dneal (April 3rd, 2023)

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    In both threads I have identified female impersonators and the sexuality implied and depicted as not suitable for children.
    Chuck, I am asking *why* it isn't suitable. I know that you think it is not. I am asking the *reason* that you think this.

    I quote snippets because I have a question about just one part. And it shortens the amount of scrolling required.

    Even in this quote I don't know what you mean about "the sexuality implied". What sexuality? Gay? Bi? Trans? Hetero? What "sexuality" do you see?

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    I gave a somewhat lengthy and very sincere explanation of the bias that I perceive in these efforts trying to make special restrictions for drag readings above and beyond the restrictions or requirements for other library readers or entertainers. I gave my *reasons,* too. I even explained that I have my own impulses of bias, and how I try to work against them (because bias is unjust when it comes to policy). We all have our own biases. But when or if we are going to ask others to live in accordance with our own biases, then we are perhaps asking for an injustice. So, it behooves us to explain at length why that bias is actually legitimate and worthy of asking others to submit to.

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Ted, you are persistent in asking more questions and seeking more clarifications. @dneal asked a question and you said it was biased. I always attempt to provide a response to your questions on this and other threads.

    It would be good of you to attempt to answer our question.


    Not all biases are unjust. As in the case of these performers, my concern for children justifies my biases when performed in that setting where they are in attendance. As the performer said, drag is of a sexual nature.

    However, you may disagree, but your disagreement is not because you are more just. Justice desires fairness. It causes us to seek win win results where the actors can perform if there is a market, and certain age groups are shielded if their parents wish them to be shielded. While some children might not be adversely affected, some might.
    “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    As in the case of these performers, my concern for children justifies my biases when performed in that setting where they are in attendance. As the performer said, drag is of a sexual nature.
    emphasis mine

    How is a reading of a children's book "of a sexual nature," Chuck? I don't understand this at all. I am beginning to think that this is all a reflection of your own sexualized reaction to cross-dressing. My sense is that you found a drag performer who said something to confirm your bias and have solidified your position even more. You are giving no reason, no analogy, no anything that explains what or how you see this as "sexualized" any more than a hetero woman in a dress (or pants) might be "sexualized". I can't see anything here except your own bias against what you perceive as flamboyant male gayness which also for some unexplained reason you see as a threat to children.

    Is flamboyant male gayness a threat to children, Chuck? If you think so, can you explain in what way it is a threat?

    I wonder if you have the same objections to childhood beauty pageants and the "sexualization" of little girls that goes on in those? They are totally legal, and are still quite popular in the south. Or teen beauty pageants? Or, as I have mentioned about five times now, cheerleading outfits (and routines) in middle school and high school (popular across the nation)?

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Everyone else is talking about sexualized drag routines, but TSherbs ignores that and pretends we’re talking about reading books.

    Take your Orwellian partisan blinders off. Address reality. Then there can be discussion.
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Statistically speaking, the biggest danger to children in sexual terms is probably from male clergy and similar male authority figures (coaches, scout leaders, doctors, etc.) who are frequently attracted to roles where they can act out their fantasies.

    Drag queens are just an easy target for bigots.

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    As in the case of these performers, my concern for children justifies my biases when performed in that setting where they are in attendance. As the performer said, drag is of a sexual nature.
    emphasis mine

    How is a reading of a children's book "of a sexual nature," Chuck? I don't understand this at all. I am beginning to think that this is all a reflection of your own sexualized reaction to cross-dressing. My sense is that you found a drag performer who said something to confirm your bias and have solidified your position even more. You are giving no reason, no analogy, no anything that explains what or how you see this as "sexualized" any more than a hetero woman in a dress (or pants) might be "sexualized". I can't see anything here except your own bias against what you perceive as flamboyant male gayness which also for some unexplained reason you see as a threat to children.

    Is flamboyant male gayness a threat to children, Chuck? If you think so, can you explain in what way it is a threat?

    I wonder if you have the same objections to childhood beauty pageants and the "sexualization" of little girls that goes on in those? They are totally legal, and are still quite popular in the south. Or teen beauty pageants? Or, as I have mentioned about five times now, cheerleading outfits (and routines) in middle school and high school (popular across the nation)?

    This is what I referred to last week. Here is the interview and video of a performance. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6FORM%3DHDRSC4

    What about flamboyant heterosexual males, Ted? Would those be a greater or lesser threat than the homosexual?

    I don't care for those beauty pageants either, Ted.
    “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    As in the case of these performers, my concern for children justifies my biases when performed in that setting where they are in attendance. As the performer said, drag is of a sexual nature.
    emphasis mine

    How is a reading of a children's book "of a sexual nature," Chuck? I don't understand this at all. I am beginning to think that this is all a reflection of your own sexualized reaction to cross-dressing. My sense is that you found a drag performer who said something to confirm your bias and have solidified your position even more. You are giving no reason, no analogy, no anything that explains what or how you see this as "sexualized" any more than a hetero woman in a dress (or pants) might be "sexualized". I can't see anything here except your own bias against what you perceive as flamboyant male gayness which also for some unexplained reason you see as a threat to children.

    Is flamboyant male gayness a threat to children, Chuck? If you think so, can you explain in what way it is a threat?

    I wonder if you have the same objections to childhood beauty pageants and the "sexualization" of little girls that goes on in those? They are totally legal, and are still quite popular in the south. Or teen beauty pageants? Or, as I have mentioned about five times now, cheerleading outfits (and routines) in middle school and high school (popular across the nation)?

    This is what I referred to last week. Here is the interview and video of a performance. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6FORM%3DHDRSC4

    What about flamboyant heterosexual males, Ted? Would those be a greater or lesser threat than the homosexual?

    I don't care for those beauty pageants either, Ted.
    Not "caring" for something is quite different from supporting a law to restrict it.

    And gosh, no. Flamboyant gays are no greater "threat" to childen than, say, hyper-masculine heterosexual gun-loving Alabama football fans tailgating for hours and cruising Tinder for a quick lay with an 18-yr-old.

    It's not men in dresses at group readings with parents at libraries who are a threat to children, Chuck. We can look at abuse and sexual assault statistics if it would help you to see this. It's not flamboyant gay men who teach girls (or boys) to sexualize themselves, either. Wanting to restrict knowledge of flamboyant gay individuals (male or female) from children is to ignore (take the focus off of) the real threats and problems with the over-sexualization of children.

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    As in the case of these performers, my concern for children justifies my biases when performed in that setting where they are in attendance. As the performer said, drag is of a sexual nature.
    emphasis mine

    How is a reading of a children's book "of a sexual nature," Chuck? I don't understand this at all. I am beginning to think that this is all a reflection of your own sexualized reaction to cross-dressing. My sense is that you found a drag performer who said something to confirm your bias and have solidified your position even more. You are giving no reason, no analogy, no anything that explains what or how you see this as "sexualized" any more than a hetero woman in a dress (or pants) might be "sexualized". I can't see anything here except your own bias against what you perceive as flamboyant male gayness which also for some unexplained reason you see as a threat to children.

    Is flamboyant male gayness a threat to children, Chuck? If you think so, can you explain in what way it is a threat?

    I wonder if you have the same objections to childhood beauty pageants and the "sexualization" of little girls that goes on in those? They are totally legal, and are still quite popular in the south. Or teen beauty pageants? Or, as I have mentioned about five times now, cheerleading outfits (and routines) in middle school and high school (popular across the nation)?

    This is what I referred to last week. Here is the interview and video of a performance. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6FORM%3DHDRSC4

    What about flamboyant heterosexual males, Ted? Would those be a greater or lesser threat than the homosexual?

    I don't care for those beauty pageants either, Ted.
    Not "caring" for something is quite different from supporting a law to restrict it.

    And gosh, no. Flamboyant gays are no greater "threat" to childen than, say, hyper-masculine heterosexual gun-loving Alabama football fans tailgating for hours and cruising Tinder for a quick lay with an 18-yr-old.

    It's not men in dresses at group readings with parents at libraries who are a threat to children, Chuck. We can look at abuse and sexual assault statistics if it would help you to see this. It's not flamboyant gay men who teach girls (or boys) to sexualize themselves, either. Wanting to restrict knowledge of flamboyant gay individuals (male or female) from children is to ignore (take the focus off of) the real threats and problems with the over-sexualization of children.
    This is where you go off the rails, Ted. You said you fight against your biases, but your posts say otherwise. What does Alabama Football have to do with this thread?

    You've just demonstrated why being liberal or conservative is not the answer to how to think and have a good life. Sure you support all of the groups that liberals usually support, but your bigotry toward Alabama Football fans is just a bad. It is laughable that you are not more self-aware.

    And, your faith in no god is not making you into a better person. You just have friends that agree with you and perhaps it give you a warm feeling. As Jesus said, by the measure you judge others, that same measure with be used against you". We've just seen this in action, Ted.

    This is not a personal attack!! I wish you could see yourself more clearly.
    “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    As in the case of these performers, my concern for children justifies my biases when performed in that setting where they are in attendance. As the performer said, drag is of a sexual nature.
    emphasis mine

    How is a reading of a children's book "of a sexual nature," Chuck? I don't understand this at all. I am beginning to think that this is all a reflection of your own sexualized reaction to cross-dressing. My sense is that you found a drag performer who said something to confirm your bias and have solidified your position even more. You are giving no reason, no analogy, no anything that explains what or how you see this as "sexualized" any more than a hetero woman in a dress (or pants) might be "sexualized". I can't see anything here except your own bias against what you perceive as flamboyant male gayness which also for some unexplained reason you see as a threat to children.

    Is flamboyant male gayness a threat to children, Chuck? If you think so, can you explain in what way it is a threat?

    I wonder if you have the same objections to childhood beauty pageants and the "sexualization" of little girls that goes on in those? They are totally legal, and are still quite popular in the south. Or teen beauty pageants? Or, as I have mentioned about five times now, cheerleading outfits (and routines) in middle school and high school (popular across the nation)?

    This is what I referred to last week. Here is the interview and video of a performance. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6FORM%3DHDRSC4

    What about flamboyant heterosexual males, Ted? Would those be a greater or lesser threat than the homosexual?

    I don't care for those beauty pageants either, Ted.
    Not "caring" for something is quite different from supporting a law to restrict it.

    And gosh, no. Flamboyant gays are no greater "threat" to childen than, say, hyper-masculine heterosexual gun-loving Alabama football fans tailgating for hours and cruising Tinder for a quick lay with an 18-yr-old.

    It's not men in dresses at group readings with parents at libraries who are a threat to children, Chuck. We can look at abuse and sexual assault statistics if it would help you to see this. It's not flamboyant gay men who teach girls (or boys) to sexualize themselves, either. Wanting to restrict knowledge of flamboyant gay individuals (male or female) from children is to ignore (take the focus off of) the real threats and problems with the over-sexualization of children.
    This is where you go off the rails, Ted. You said you fight against your biases, but your posts say otherwise. What does Alabama Football have to do with this thread?

    You've just demonstrated why being liberal or conservative is not the answer to how to think and have a good life. Sure you support all of the groups that liberals usually support, but your bigotry toward Alabama Football fans is just a bad.
    I don't know what to say except that you don't understand the use of analogy. Or you're just playing rope-a-dope.

    It was an intentional use of a stereotyped trope from your own state to jar you into perhaps recognizing the stereotyped bigotry that you yourself were displaying in mistrusting flamboyant gays. The comment isn't about football, Chuck! If the reference annoyed you, then use that to think about your fear (and suggestive slander) of gay men whom you don't seem to trust.

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    Poor choice that exposed your own bigotry, Ted.

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    Default Re: Gender and the law

    I thought that I might provide a longer piece of writing on the topic of legal attempts to restrict the teaching (or distribution) of materials in schools that include references or images of sexualized content.

    Alert: legal descriptions of sexual acts to follow (from the Missouri Senate Bill 775)

    I thought that I might try to illustrate the problem with legally attempting to ban or criminalize certain types of school or library materials from acts of legislature. Recently, the governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, has threatened to defund the entire state system of public libraries if they continue to try to fight a state law (examined below) that was enacted last August in an attempt to criminalize the use of objectionable sexual material in schools. The new law passed and the governor signed it. Librarian professional organizations and the ACLU have joined to challenge the law in court, and Parson has since threatened to remove all state funding for libraries if they don’t desist (a kind of “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” approach).

    So I took a look at the language of the law. The law--SB775--has a lot of reasonable stuff in it about protecting minors from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and victimization and trying to secure their rights. My pdf version of the law is 68 pages long: it covers a lot. Only a small portion of it is about schools and libraries, but that is all that the librarians are objecting to. This is what happens when a bill carries many pages and many separate items: you end up having to oppose the entire bill even though you only object to a portion of it. This is my way of saying that I find reasonable many portions of this bill.

    But the school/library section is fraught with problems. Here is how the statute defines criminal conduct under the distribution of “Explicit Sexual Material”:
    “any pictorial, three dimensional, or visual depiction, including any photography, film, video, picture, or computer-generated image, showing human masturbation, deviate sexual intercourse as defined in section 566.010, sexual intercourse, direct physical stimulation of genitals, sadomasochistic abuse, or emphasizing the depiction of postpubertal human genitals; provided, however, that works of art, when taken as a whole, that have serious artistic significance, or works of anthropological significance, or materials used in science courses, including but not limited to materials used in biology, anatomy, physiology, and sexual education classes shall not be deemed to be within the foregoing definition….”
    Initially, the draft of the law also covered all written descriptions of the above (words only), but this restriction was removed in committee as it was deemed to have gone too far. But note that it was the initial purpose to criminalize even written depictions of these events.

    First of all, I was surprised by the list of acts and the details of them in the law, but I guess that the lawyers were just trying to be as specific as possible to stave off certain objections over vagueness or lack of clarity. I’ll comment more on all this in a bit.

    The list seemed fairly typical to me otherwise, except for the reference to “deviate sexual intercourse,” which is obviously a label, and not a description of any particular act (unlike the other specifics in the paragraph). So I found the definition of this category of “deviate” acts elsewhere in the document, and include it here:

    "Deviate sexual intercourse", any act involving the genitals of one person and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person or a sexual act involving the penetration, however slight, of the penis, female genitalia, or the anus by a finger, instrument or object done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person or for the purpose of terrorizing the victim…
    Okay, if you have persisted through these various lists and descriptions, you are likely beginning to form opinions as to the nature and scope and purpose of this part of the law (the part governing schools and materials available to students). Here are my comments:

    1) Protecting children from trauma from a too-early exposure to the full range of sexual behaviors of consenting (and definitely non-consenting) adults is important. Wanting to protect is an important ethic for a community and its teachers.

    2) This bill goes too far and does not allow for any distinction between what can be age-appropriate for a kindergartner versus what may be age-appropriate for a senior (in other words, the law makes no allowance for a different acceptable approach between the youngest of students and the oldest. One law, one set of descriptors, for all ages.
    3) Teachers of literature are omitted from the list of exceptions for educational purposes and are thus additionally vulnerable to over-application of an already expansive law.
    4) Violation is deemed a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2000 fine), oddly much more than the same bill deems an adult paying a minor to do a sexual dance or other performance for him/her: this is deemed only a Class C misdemeanor (max 15 days in jail, $700). Your average “John,” whether in a club where he trusts that the venue has vetted the dancers accurately or in a back room or massage parlor having hired the “performer” for a one-v-one act, is subject to a much lower penalty than, potentially, a teacher who hands out a graphic novel or watches a movie that briefly emphasizes “post-pubertal” frontal nudity (adults with hair?). What does “emphasize” mean? Close up? Having an actor pause for a few seconds in front of the camera? Is that enough to be subject to a year in jail or $2000 fine?

    My reactions more generally:

    The language and scope of this bill reflects a legislative desire to try to remove at least the perceived image-based sexual immorality from the school learning of any and all youth in MIssouri. The list of sexual acts--some called “deviate” (originally a noun used to mean sexual pervert) simply because they do not involve penis-vagina intercourse, some actually common forms of adolescent (and adult) “sex” without penetration of a vagina by a penis (what in the 20s through the 50s was called “petting”)--reveals itself mostly to be a list of commonly practiced forms of sexual conduct among teens and adults, and most of them known at least as information widely by most young persons of, say, 14 and older. For the vast majority of high school students (who start at 14 years old), encountering a brief scene of making out and groping in a graphic novel would be nothing. Yes, more explicit or detailed or close up of some of this would be inappropriate, but this is not what the language of the bill states. It says “emphasize,” which is a judgment term, and not a physical descriptor.

    Moreover, for in whatever they mean by “art,” the work must, when taken as a whole, have “serious artistic significance” to display, for instance, full frontal adult nudity (this is otherwise prohibited). “Serious artistic significance” is a legal judgment term that makes librarians and teachers of literature very nervous if they are not, professionally, allowed to define it themselves, especially when multi-year prison terms are at stake. I’ll give an example from my own teaching in the past that would have landed me afoul of this law: In a comedy and satire class, I taught The Clouds, by Aristophanes. Sure, the book is verbal only, but the law was originally meant also to criminalize some verbal descriptions, and librarians and teachers know this and fear it anyway. I began the course with it and was the oldest play that I taught. It was a comedy, and a very bawdy one. It includes a scene between father and son with crude physical comedy about erections. The scene gets “emphasis” even though it is crude and silly. No one would read it and think that it was “pornographic” today, but it does violate the language of the law as written: it is not “serious” art and it involves “emphasis” of male genitalia in an aroused state. It would certainly violate the language of the law to show a filmed stage version of the play that stayed true to the material in the play. This was an elective class for seniors only, but that does not make a difference in the language of this law.

    In another class for seniors, I taught a unit on empowered female characters, and for the film component of that unit I showed The Piano, by Jane Campion. It is an Oscar-winning film, very adult and very serious. A work of genius, truly. I asked a lot of the seniors and their maturity by showing it, and I would talk to them about it. The film includes full frontal nudity of both the man and the woman (it is actually a scene of extra-marital sex: the woman is the married one) and a sex scene (no view of genitalia then, but not much is left to the imagination). There is also simulated masturbation in a different scene by the cuckolded husband (no view of genitals, but still). This material is entirely visual (interestingly, the female lead character cannot speak--she is mute. Holly Hunter won an Oscar for her performance without speaking), and thus would fall under the restrictions of this law. Yes, it is “serious,” but it violates other aspects of the language of the law and includes post-pubertal views of naked persons, with some “emphasis.” I would have to drop that film in that senior class or face a real threat of prosecution. Teaching Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut would be out of the question (that has crude drawings of genitalia in it, and I have never tried to teach it in high school). I also taught Howl by Ginsberg and sometimes showed the film version (James Franco). Teaching both of these, especially the film, would put me in jeopardy because of the references to and depictions of sex. So, no more of the outrageous Beats in the class, or maybe I could just do the watered down ones.

    Until laws like this make better distinctions between the maturity of the oldest students in schools versus the youngest and try to take the power of making that decision away from the professionals actually running the classes and libraries, then these laws, even if born from a valid motivation, go too far and deserve legal counter measures to stop them. And that these laws are written to stop explicit references to sex acts (even consensual forms of manual “deviate” sex), while at the same time legally permitting the viewing of many types of violent assault and outrage visually upon bodies (rape, war, murder, brawling) and also trusting that to teachers (in the cases of scenes of violence) is a bizarre double standard of permissiveness toward explicit violence but a commensurate squeamishness toward explicit sex. Very American, in my view, and part of our problem.
    Last edited by TSherbs; April 4th, 2023 at 12:58 PM.

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