Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. The same goes for tolerance. 13-year-olds are children, physically and mentally. Even if kids are forced to grow up too fast for their own good - which is very often the case in certain countries - and even if they get to choose who they marry - which is very often not the case- they are too immature to realize the full consequences of what they do. That part of the human isn't fully developed until people are 21 years old. So if anything, 18 is too young.
Once again: moderation. It isn't bad to have an ethnocentric point of view. You can still tolerate and even accept other cultures. What is important, that one has a good understanding of what they are talking about and that one is true to their heart. Having an open mind doesn't mean everything should be justified.
This is going to earn me a lot of hate, but whatever. I think we need to change the official age of ADULTHOOD to 16. By that time, a man or woman is sexually mature 100%. However, we also need to keep the ages for smoking, and drinking alcohol the same because of their ill effects. By age 16, you should be fully capable of understanding how dangerous, but rewarding love can be. You should be able to understand, biologically, your own body, male or female. While you're still growing, I still think the age of sexual consent should be 16. By that time, you should be fully matured sexually.
Back to the question: I don't really have an answer. Morality is strictly a person by person thing, and only one's personal convictions can determine what morality is and isn't. Only groups and populations can come up with moral standards, and even then, we need to keep in mind that we should not oppose differing moral views, but listen and understand one another. If someone in Japan draws a sexually posed 15 year old girl, I am okay with it, because I understand that their age of consent is 14, and they're not breaking any laws. Lolicon, however disgusts me. Anyway, while I do think the laws are okay as it is, I think you should be able to portray romantic and sometimes sexual relationships between teenagers and not get in trouble for it. Teen sexuality is a HUGE issue, and it doesn't get talked about in the media enough in a way that's even remotely satisfactory. I certainly hope that I can be an author that will bring this issue to the forefront as well as thousands of others who are trying to do the same. May we come into a time where sex is longer something to be feared, but rather, something to discuss seriously and with open minds, and open hearts.
"I noticed lots of artists *not naming them* draw young girls, not always in a sexual manner but in still a romanticized way. And they end up being looked down on."
Free speech is a two way street. Your right to provocative and objectionable art is the same as someone to criticize you for it. If we WERE to get rid of freedom of speech, people drawing kids in sexual situations would go before their critics.
I definitely believe in free speech. Theirs and Yours.
"is it just cultural ignorance that drives people to riot and burn people at the cross? Or is the moral compass of a single country being challenged?"
Well, if you were to understand culture as the most probable result as a unit of values in a bunch of people (clan, society, you name it...) then: yes, it's very likely that ignorance on other cultures (which may be slightly different to cultural ignorance) is a big factor when it comes to riots and burning people on the cross. However, you can't address that as the moral compass of a single country as a thing that's different from culture, because it encompass the moral of a lot of people, who can be called country and society, ergo their culture.
And deeper into that, you will have to be able to understand the values of each individual in that society (or culture) just to understand the reason behind the attack to an artist, who in his own eyes, was just expressing himself. However, if said work weren't to comply to the rules of the place where it was posted (namely deviantArt), then he/she will be in a big trouble.
>Now I'm only wondering, is it just cultural ignorance that drives people to riot and burn people at the cross? Or is the moral compass of a single country being challenged?
Morality is not 100% relative to culture. There is a such thing as cultures which as a whole justify immoral things. Some things might be so complex it's impossible to PINPOINT what the best way is, ans so it is slightly subjective in that it may be better to come to a decision either way. But that doesn't mean that nothing matters on a universal scale.
Hmm. Reading the other replies, I think I should probably clarify, because I may be talking about something else.
Sexual attraction to a sexually mature person is not biologically inappropriate. So I would hope we're not talking about LITTLE little girls here. Once you're past that one criterion, what age you consider a person old enough to enter into a sexual relationship or to have their sexuality expressed in a clear way is a cultural matter as reflected by varying ages of consent across the US and around the world.
Sexualization of little children IS a problem. It's why people object to beauty contests for little girls and shows like "Toddlers & Tiaras". The standard of beauty these little girls are expected to conform to is a sexual one. Why anyone would want a child that age to be sexually attractive I have no idea.
I think it's nothing more than that certain people really, really love feeling morally superior to others. Throwing the "pedo" label around over a matter of local culture is an easy way to get there. (Hell, not even the US can agree within itself what an appropriate age of consent ought to be. There's no reason at all to expect it would be agreed on internationally.)
Culture relativism is not simply saying "it's okay because it's their culture." In fact, culture relativism has absolutely nothing to do with whether a culture's behaviour is right or wrong. It simply means that you need to understand it in context, and know why they do the things that they do before you judge them.
For example, when it comes to the particular issue of "child" sexualisation, you might be calling a fourteen-year-old a girl because in your culture she is, but in other cultures a sixteen-year-old girl is not a child. She's a grown woman, with her own life and her own responsibilities and no mommy and daddy to hold her hand. She's expected to act like an adult, so is it so wrong to allow her to have sex like an adult? And are we in any position to criticise them for sexualising such young but independent women when we ourself tend to prefer "college girls," who may be older but certainly aren't any more mature? Clearly it is not just their culture, but ours as well that prefers women as young as we can get them without them technically being considered children.
Some things need to be addressed. Just because one country thinks it ok to film 10 year-old girls in sexual situations doesn't make it right or acceptable. If you go to a public forum, post your art in a public space, you open it up to critique and yourself up to judgement of your own morals.
There are many things legal in my country that are reprehensible. The law does not dictate my moral compass.
Sorry to bump in, unfortunately the OP apparently blocked me so i can't directly answer her previous post.
For Teh-Kenji: I don't have any intent to be patronizing or whatever else you thought i might be.
I"ll try to explain myself clearer. As far as i can understand what you advocate here is, cultural and moral relativism. That is why asked you few times, "Is it ok for them, or not..." note, that i didn't ask you about a your country/law, or whether you support it or not, i asked you; Is it right for them to do so even if it is their culture?
In both previous cases you did not answer my question, you answered "your own" questions: 1.Do i support it or not...? 2.Is it ok with/in my country/laws...?
Only in your last post you replied that you "don't agree with it", it is closer to what I've asked you but still quite far from the point.
The question here is actually a very important one, what is moral or not? what is right/wrong?
That is why the semantics is really important, if it still wasn't clear enough i can explain it further. But i do really hope that you would answer this question.
Well at least you know where your morals are at, but it seems like laws do dictate other peoples opinions, even if they are obviously wrong.
I agree that such things shouldn't be posted on a public or any forum for that matter. But it seems like they are doing things legally nationally but still have draw such a large crowd of people against them at the same time.
I don't see this person changing their opinion of their countries laws since it dictates their artwork.
so what if a large crowd of people are against that person? what else could the person expect- it's not like they are on a website where they only interact with people from their same culture. they're on deviantart, a site based in america and a site with people all over the world, too. many cultures see 13 as too young for an age of consent (and rightfully so. i don't know how anyone could possibly argue that a 13-year-old is mature enough to give consent anyway). so yeah, that person will see that a lot of people dislike the fact that they see 13-year-old girls sexually. why is that a bad thing? maybe that person will change their mind and realize what's wrong with their country's consent laws. (they don't have to agree with their country's laws...)
i really hate this politically correct movement i keep seeing, where every culture is equally right and it's "bigoted" to say anything bad about someone else's culture. no, some things are just wrong and calling them out does not make you a bigot.
Defamation is not a crime in the US. It can be a civil infringement with monetary repercussion.
But someone giving an opinion is not defamation. Usually, to show a legal requirement of defamation the statement needs to meet these criteria:
published false injurious unprivileged
Saying someone is wrong for their art is not defamation. Lying and saying that they use real under-aged girls as reference models can be. If this statement causes a client of the artist to withdraw or there can be shown a detriment to business reputation.