Pedophilia Chic; Criminal Parenting?

Joe Carter wrote earlier this week, about how Vogue has sexualized little girls to the extreme–and served up a platterful of fantasy for pedophiles–while intoning “innocence” and “playing dress up.”

And in this picture, I can actually buy it:

I’m not easily shocked, but now Deacon Greg links to a batch of these appalling pictures, and yes, color me shocked:

Look, I know the world is full of dark, evil places, none darker or more easily conformed to evil than the human heart itself, but I look at these pictures and I can’t help thinking, what the hell is wrong with the parents of these little girls? Some of these children are 6 or 7 years old!

Someone comes up to you and your beautiful daughter and says, “I will pay you to let me dress her up like a 24 year old and pose her seductively under a Christmas tree, as though she is a present to be opened,” and you don’t smack the crap out of that person?

You take the money and let him do it? You take the money and become part of the whole social devolution within society that is normalizing perversion at an alarming pace–even unto “tolerating” incest.

You take the money and tell yourself that you are not selling your child as a sexualized object serving grotesque imagings, but that you are somehow, serving “art”?

I suspect that the people who will applaud and defend these photographs are the same people who quite rightly decry every decades-old revelation of the reprehensible, sinful exploitation of children at the hands of priests and churchfolk, while having nothing much to say about the thousands of new cases of sexual abuse of our kids which occur each year in our public schools.

Look, my church has sinned and admits it with great shame; in an ongoing season of penance, it has taken solid steps to insure that children are protected and that such horrific acts are never again tolerated or not acted upon swiftly, and with justly harsh action.

But can we at least all get on the same page about what constitutes the sexual exploitation of children? Can we stop making exceptions about what it is, if we can put scarequotes around it and call it “art”?

Pedophilia is a very grave, life-destroying sickness; it robs children of trust, of innocence, of a feeling of personal safety; it inflicts upon them a life-long sense of failure, complicity and fault. This is true whether the sin is perpetrated against them by priest, or parents or yes…even fashion photographers. And the rate of recidivism, of pedophiles returning to their sick, criminal ways is nearly 100%. A heart given over to that stuff is rarely able be fully cleansed of it.

I don’t see how these pictures can be tolerated, praised or brushed off by a society that claims to want the best for children, and pays lip service to protecting them from sexual molestation and exploitation.

Even if they did originate in France, where people like Roman Polanski are celebrated.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: There is a lot of buzz going on right now about the Discovery Channel working with the Church to talk about exorcisms, and also about the upcoming release of this film. I’m beginning to think the whole society needs an exorcism!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • AmberRose of PCP

    I may no longer be Catholic, and belong more to the “unnamed old faiths”. I’m also an artist that is a bit on the “out there” side of things. I’m not going to disagree with the point that the photos can be seen as inappropriate. HOWEVER…there seems to be an unhealthy understanding of pedophilia out there.

    Each pedophile is different. Ever read Lolita? I’ve had some unfortunate instances with interactions regarding a pedophile or two. I can say from experience…most of them took little girls that dressed normal. One was even a little tomboy. One was ultra-conservative little plain-dressed girl. The only exception was a single instance where the girl was in her early teens and dressed to look 20′something. The point isn’t to start a “the sky is falling” type of discussion…but rather to bring it to full circle. It’s fine to say the pictures are inappropriate or ridiculous. But the pictures are not catering to pedophiles…it’s just an idiot with a camera and fancy cloths. If it were really catering to pedophiles…it would have skimpier and more sheer clothing, or poses where you can almost “see”…or where somethings are airbrushed.

    I’ll agree there is a problem with parenting…but again…it goes into a chicken-little type discussion where every other parent is blamed for how they raise their children to the media to other religions. There is a whole generation of parents that like to “play house” or “play dress-up” rather than have children. This isn’t just with dressing provocatively, this is also trying to turn their children into little cut-out cookie people to look like little angles during social events with their church. If there was more of a complete understanding…from all angles…on child development…this would be a better understood issue.

    You can’t protect your child from everything. You’re not supposed to. What you’re there to do, is let your child know what is out there. Let them know what to look for. Let them know what to do if they encounter a problem. You’re not going to solve the world of pedophilia, you’re not be able to protect your children from every horror out there. I’m not trying to sound cruel…it’s just the sad facts. The most you can do is to teach them why they should not wear shorts that show their ass…and be there for them to help them learn lessons when something goes wrong while praying that it never happens in the first place.

    I agree with some of the other comments up there. Good parenting means sacrificing. Sacrificing what was once a comfort (ie adult themed movies or games). It comes to a hard balance because of the society we live in. We can’t completely shelter them because them we strip them of the tools to handle a problem if it comes up. But we can’t over-expose them because then they get confused. But that’s what parenting is all about.

    And just on a side note…not all of us pagans are all about polygamy. And just because most pagans are happy about gay marriage, doesn’t mean that they think pedophilia is okay in any way, shape, or form. And statistically speaking, homosexuals are LESS likely to molest children as many seem to be recovering from trauma in their youth…they are not jumping to traumatize another one. That’s just a personal rant.

  • Peg

    With all due respect, how does someone who is NOT a pedophile know what would seem “sexual” to a pedophile? Doesn’t it make sense that all pedophiles are different and find different kinds of things arousing? Maybe some of them don’t like make-up because they like the way “innocent” little girls look without it? In which case, there’s nothing inappropriate about these photos.

    I’m just saying, don’t assume you know how every pedophile in the world feels or thinks.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Peter from MN, not to mention the pedophilia scandal in the UN—which quickly dropped from sight, and aroused little outrage, and the ongoing pedophilia of the sex industry/human trafficing trade.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Peter, Vogue feels no guilt over the pedeophilia being perpetrated on its pages, because they’re the “right” kind of people, as opposed to the “wrong” people (all those narsty Judeo-Christian types.)

    Therefore, for them it’s okay.