2D Lolicon Art: Harmless fun or dangerous thought crime?

Kawaii

Pic unrelated to content.

Recently there has been a huge hoohaa about the fact that certain countries are actively prosecuting and/or passing bills that are criminalizing 2D lolicon pornography materials (“materials” because it covers a wide range of media). I don’t think I need quote examples here, since anyone who is reading this is probably of the same demographic that cares about this issue at hand.

To be honest, most of the news really does not affect me, mainly because I am living in a country that is more concerned about other bread-butter issues, and we lack the free time from the politicking around to actually care about stuff like this. Therefore, I am pretty disconnected as to the impacts of those laws being passed in their country of origin. That’s not to say I will be not affected if those are passed, since it would make the materials harder to procure and to enjoy in a guiltless manner, haha.

Well, my personal stance is pretty passive about this issue, but I do think that censorship of any material, will in the end, backfire and cause more damage than it would have been if it wasn’t. For one, it’s almost impossible to police thought “crimes” (until someone invents mind-reading machines, and then I wish I will long and dearly departed by then, because it would fucking creepy if someone snooped through my head), and many “crimes” aren’t really criminal as such as just being anti-establishment. I think history has a loooooooong story to tell us about the “thought criminals” and how exactly such people have prevailed in the end. The current situation on the Internet is one such example of their legacy, but even now that is being threatened from many fronts.

I really think that the true issue behind the debate of criminalizing 2D lolicon art isn’t about the content. If you ask me, it is terribly hard to justify those materials, even if you claim it’s just merely a fantasy and for private consumption bla bla bla, but about the possibility of the act of censorship being extended to whatever subject that doesn’t conform to the current establishment’s ideals. China is a pretty good example of the future of the Internet if the worst case scenario happens, so it’s actually funny how people who can condemn China’s censorship policies can and will support the ban on 2D lolicon art.

Perhaps I am not exactly the right person to elaborate on this topic, mainly because I am not as much of a fluent debater as I would like to be, nor am I a very passionate activist for my beliefs and thoughts. Komidol of the Orange Farm has written a very long post explaining how to campaign against this, and Yes to Freedom is another good resource for anti-censorship supporters.

Finally I would say, rather than blocking access to undesirable material, it is better to educate people from young about the best way to differentiate good and bad. After all, if you give a man a fish, he will be full that day, but teach him how to fish, and he’ll never go hungry again.

32 Comments

  1. Komidol Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

    “Well, my personal stance is pretty passive about this issue, but I do think that censorship of any material, will in the end, backfire and cause more damage than it would have been if it wasn’t.”

    You make a really good point, Kurogane. The American prohibition is a pretty good example of this. But yeah, a lot of contradictions and hypocritical actions have taken place ( such as Google’s ban on a 2d Lolicon Blog – http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=42ef23b063343df1&hl=en ). I am in support of those fighting against the thought-crimes writers and politicians have warned us of from centuries ago.

    I’m glad to see more people stand up, take notice, and fight against what they feel is wrong. Maybe our race is still capable of revolution, but evolved enough to do it without violence. Now it’s just up to the people on top to listen.

  2. NovaJinx Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    Not to mention the dilemma about where to draw the line. In the case of Japanese art it’s not all that obvious whether something’s loli or not. Or should we go SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING Australia-style and just ban everything with small tits?

    Censorship is just sweeping shit under the carpet. That’s all.

  3. Grimmer Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    I’m going quite OT but I’m in dire need of sharing :p.

    I’ve always had a hard time forming my own views on censorship…
    I share Kurogane’s views concerning the pornography issue…altough the fantasy aspect does matter to me…
    Every sane person can make a clear distinction between reality and fiction…if that weren’t the case, it would be horribly frightening to see people ‘enjoy’ a horror movie or even just a thriller.
    In practice I’m completely against censorship…but in theory I’m not.
    Personally I would love the censorship of all deliberate(!) misinformation (this obviously doesn’t go for the ‘funny untruths’ like Uncyclopedia etc. bot solely for the lies masquerading as truth) I also strongly believe that warped minds (the type that belongs in a mental institution) shouldn’t get the chance to spread their thoughts.

    But sadly enough, the thing is that it’s mostly subjective. Any government could decide that a verbal attack on their regime implies craziness. And people deliberately spreading lies can hide their malicious intent behind stupidity.

    It’s easy to say that it’s up to the individual to separate lies from truth…but it’s still freakin’ annoying. There happens to be a guy living around here, who spreads out pamphlets in my town and on campus…his thoughts suggest high levels of crazy, but still he manages to voice his opinion…even on his personal website,…
    Such repulsive misinformation hurts me a lot more than a punch in the face would, but we can’t keep him from voicing his thoughts because that would be ‘bad’. Trying to bring light in the darkness through discussion doesn’t work on him either…many have tried, but the ‘inner crazy’ tends to be more persuasive than voices from the outside. Many (if not all) just mock that man, but in the end it’s far from funny…and the fact that he’s got a university degree might give him the slight bit of credibility needed in order to get a few morons to believe him.

    It should be obvious that harm is not only caused through physical violence…
    ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ the saying goes…I’d love it if the pen didn’t get away with everything it did.

  4. DKellis Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

    Much of my objections come from the fact that so far, all the laws (both passed and proposed) are so horribly-worded that even a cursory glance will reveal that they can cause far more trouble than they allegedly solve.

    For example, the infamous UK ban on pornographic images of animated children… except that “child” in this case is defined as “under 18″, and “pornographic” is “intended to cause an aroused reaction of any sort”. Meaning bunnysuit Haruhi is considered “child porn”.

    Not to mention that via a literal reading of the law, a figurine of bunnysuit Haruhi will not run afoul, but the box art of that figurine would.

    This issue causes such a reactionary and knee-jerk response that it seems almost impossible to hold any meaningful dialogue on it. Especially on the Internet, where the trolls come out for their own brand of performance art (for a given definition of “art”).

  5. Grimmer Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

    There’s no solid, good way to put it, lol. There’ll always be people pissed off because they draw their line in different places…it’s a very subjective matter (most decide that the sick ones are all those more extreme than themselves :p)

    Which is exactly why it’s important for legislators to keep in the back of their mind that humanity isn’t a reflection of themselves…

  6. Cho_Hakkai Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

    I just post the question of whether “Fictional Character” have “Human Rights” in Lowyat’s forum “Real World Issue” and waiting for their reply.

  7. deaky Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

    This is all about people who like to control other people’s lives. If they had half a brain among them they would already know that these tactics do not work, and are a distracting waste of money that undermines solving the real problem. It always stuns me when people have this much time on their hands and yet want to waste it away on such unproductive nonsense. The world’s burning and these people are more concerned about removing people’s right to fantasize. If only they put this much effort into solving an ACTUAL problem..

  8. The Hordesman Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    Whether this is just a gust of wind or truth, I think the industry will make tons of monies on us foreigners in either case.

    Because now is the time to go on a shopping spree!

    Seriously though, I would say that this is all quite preposterous because 2d people are not people and got no human rights whatsoever, they don’t even look human, yeah.
    Maybe we should charge writers for all the deaths in their stories. Think of all the people dying in the background of ww2-based fiction!

    Oh, and I will go on that shopping spree.

  9. Grimmer Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 12:14 am

    …lol? It’s clearly not about the characters themselves lol…can’t even think of something more absurd…
    It’s a discussion about the moral/mental health of people circumventing the ban on child pornography by looking at stylized depictions of it instead (and the detrimental effects it might have on those who indulge in it).

  10. bgsm Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 2:00 am

    It is difficult to see a thing for what it is from two different perspectives, which in this case, is 2d loli art.
    It just so happened that the higher-ups saw this thing in a negative light, connected it with the rape cases in their country and boom, now you have this.

  11. yanipheonu Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 2:52 am

    All I know is making IMAGINARY girls a crime is a little close to 1984-esque thought crime to me.

    For all I care, you could have the world’s worst thoughts in your head, but if you don’t act on that and actually hurt someone, you totally have the right to think that. It’s YOUR FRAKING MIND.

  12. DocAstaroth Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 4:57 am

    Very intelligent article in my opinion, Kurogane.

    However, I think, these guys are barking at the wrong tree.
    At first, I think, they should try to stop crimes concerning 3D Lolis (and shotas)… In that cases real humans are getting hurt!

  13. Anon Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 5:43 am

    >>circumventing the ban on child pornography
    >what? Wouldn’t you just search for child pornography if you wanted to see it?

    >>(and the detrimental effects it might have on those who indulge in it)
    >Because there aren’t even lackluster studies to support this point right?

    fixed; why is there no edit function; I’m tired and my keyboard is fucking up.

  14. pcm Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 5:49 am

    What about Shotacon?!? It’s just as bad as Lolicon! :P

    Unless 2D Lolicon art has been truthfully proven to cause other crimes, it’s not worth pursuing at all. And there’s other issues that are more important than this…except violence and sex in video games.

  15. Grimmer Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 5:58 am

    1) Actually searching/watching (for) child porn is a crime, a really nasty one at that…if you get a kick out of that sort of stuff, you’d better try to get help…
    I’m not really into any of that sort of stuff so I wouldn’t know the specifics, but I can only assume that all people have at least a tiny bit of morality and would at least try to do anything to keep themselves from moving on to the real deal…

    2) I very deliberately used the word ‘might’…i’m not voicing my opinion, but I was empathising with the legislators…figuring out the rationale behind their actions…

  16. Kai Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    It’s just like violent video games, just because you play it doesn’t mean you’ll turn into a murderer I mean millions of kids are playing GTA and Manhunt so why isn’t there a Columbine every day. And it’s the same thing with hentai games, just because we play games like rapelay doesn’t mean everyone who plays it will turn into a rapist.

  17. sai Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    To be honest, most of the news really does not affect me, mainly because I am living in a country that is more concerned about other bread-butter issues, and we lack the free time from the politicking around to actually care about stuff like this.

    would you mind telling us what country you live in? let me guess…central/south america? perhaps Colombia?

  18. sai Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    oh, sorry, just read the about page. Malaysia?! oh lol, so it’s already banned just like it is in every muslim country.

  19. Haesslich Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 10:59 am

    sai: Yes, lolicon is banned, but it’s legal to marry underaged girls and have sex with them in those countries, so take from that what you will – fictional girls are off-limits, but you can violate the real thing with impunity. :P

    I love how those priorities are set up…

  20. soloista Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Yes to Freedom will never succeed.

    At face value alone, it cannot be taken seriously for as long as their mascot is something that the general public cannot grasp straight-faced.

    They didn’t take my advice either.

  21. ewok Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    yeah lets ban all the children books… sigh…
    mind you, I have grown up in a communist country, and masturbating to the likes of Venus of Milo or Countess Borghese by Canova…
    one thing that springs to my mind is watch your country’s lawmakers and keep your computer banned-pictures-free

  22. Logopolis Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    The most clear fundamental definition of wrongdoing would be hurting other people who aren’t doing anything to hurt you or anyone else. Putting people in prison or the like because they’ve got certain media is a very clear example of this. It is those who support or implement these bans who are the real criminals.

  23. Grimmer Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

    OT — @Logopolis: Is that your definition in general? What about the promotion of thoughts and ideas that encourage or motivate people into causing harm?
    The ringleaders are rarely those who deal out punches, so to speak.

  24. On censorship – an honest opinion « orz – I Will Show You Terror in a Handful of Flans Said,

    April 22, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

    [...] Blocks lolicon, the Aftermath The Obligatory Reaction Piece Obligatory Reaction Piece, Part 2 Why is Kuro Here I don’t Even Yes To [...]

  25. CK Said,

    April 22, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    Imo, society fails at educating and instituting morals, which is why they criminalize stuff. If educating people were enough, then there wouldn’t be any druggies or homeless people on the street. I’m in canada, so we have a zero tolerance policy on the stuff. Meaning, even one victim is one too many. I’m not against the laws per se. I’m against people going gung-ho over it when they have no clue as to why it’s bad. For example, if you can criminalize the head of a 2000 year old religious sect and make followers with blind faith lose their trust just by accusing him of being a pedophile based on shaky evidence, it’s safe to say you can criminalize anyone.

    That said, I’ve always been a private person. Whatever sick thoughts, fetishes, anti-conformist ideals, etc. a person has in their mind is their own business so long asd they don’t act upon it. Also, whatever a person does to get off is also their own business. Judging people based on their sexual preferences or tendencies is pretty ridiculous. As far as I’m concerned, the pedophile is the same as the guy with the fat fetish. It’s a matter of preference, nothing more nothing less. One guy likes small, the other guy likes big. Our society just happens to be based on fairness and equality these days, so they’re all strung up on protecting the weak and defensless. Nothing wrong about that, but I don’t think they should lose sight of their target (Well, most of them are zealous Christians who accepts no compromises and would stop at nothing to destroy the opposition because they don’t see it their way).

  26. ewok Said,

    April 22, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

    Well its rare occurence of synoptic view of a problem by christian far right and feminist far left… We should celebrate such bipartizanship! /sarcasm off/ .Other than that there is always the question of human imagination that can paint any picture in the world… How do we ban that?

  27. super bastard Said,

    April 22, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    the religious wrong and other idiots that are easily swayed by tactics like this are the cancer killing the internet.

  28. hurin Said,

    April 24, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    Installing TrueCrypt and encrypting the ENTIRE drive is the only way to protect yourself. The laws are so badly drafted you can get in trouble over the images stored in the browser cache.

    I frequent Sankaku Complex so I probably have several miniature drawing of underage characters in my cache, and probably so have you.

  29. whiic Said,

    May 1, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    I don’t know where Kurogane lives (outside US obviously) but expecting lolicon ban to never be implemented there is extremely unlikely unless the global trend is stopped.

    Even if any European nation had hands full of actual serious issues and no motivation to go on a moralfaggoted crusade against all perversions (minus homosexuality which due to political correctness is not allowed to be equated to other sexual minorities).

    COM (2009) 135, Proposal for a
    COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION
    on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography,
    repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA,
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/com/com_com(2009)0135_/com_com(2009)0135_en.pdf

  30. whiic Said,

    May 1, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    In previous message (I had to cut it because spam filter kept bitching at me) is a draft that if passed will OVERRIDE national legislation and ban lolicon throughout EU member states. Unlike the already existing “Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; CETS 201″ the new draft by European Commission is obligatory (unlike anything included in Europe Conventions publication). Contents are mostly similar, biggest difference being stripping member states the freedom of decide whether to implement them. Not just a suggestion that is.

    All of Europe is basically only months away from having a lolicon ban and since it’s done on EU level instead of national, there’s not much debate about it.

  31. not .xxx Said,

    June 30, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    I didn’t read this all yet, but I’m really angry about this, not just the banning of lolicon or 18+ manga, but censoring art in general.

    The Miller Test states that anything with scientific, artistic, or literal merit is not pornography, yet we have this stupid virtual child pornography law that’s now integrated into the definition of real child pornography, as if we need the consent of the drawing.

    [quote]Perhaps I am not exactly the right person to elaborate on this topic, mainly because I am not as much of a fluent debater as I would like to be, nor am I a very passionate activist for my beliefs and thoughts.[/quote]

    Actually I’m the same way, sort of.
    I read the news, get all worked up over it, read more info about it, wish I could do something about it, get very angry but don’t do anything.
    I would say I’m passionate though.

  32. not xxx Said,

    June 30, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    I meant literary merit, also political.

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