Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writer's World Wednesdays-Fifty Shades of Child Pornography

Several things combined this week leading up to this post.  Fair warning, if you are here for a short and sweet, fun and fluffy post, turn back now.

Here are the events:

  1. Romance Writer's of America's annual convention.  Several of my writer friends attended so I was seeing pictures posted in their Facebook feeds.  In the past, I've heard some of them describe the workshops as being overly abundant in the area of how to graphically write sex scenes to capture a reader's imagination.
  2. I overheard a "statistic" that men are the fastest growing audience of romance novels because the level of graphic sex in them is mental pornography.  I only overheard this statistic and a quick Google search didn't turn anything up so I'm not claiming it's true; I'm just saying it contributed to where my mind went.
  3. First release of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie trailer which also exploded in my Facebook feed both with excited, "Can't WAIT!" and, "This is HORRIBLE!".
  4. This news article on recruiting special op's veterans who have seen the worst war can dish out to track down child pornography perpetrators.  The entire article isn't long and is worth reading, but here's the bit that unnerved me the most:

There are more than 500,000 individual computers in the U.S. storing or transmitting hard-core images and movies of infants and toddlers being raped, according to Cooper. Seizure of those computers and arrests involving their owners leads to the direct rescue of actual child victims in more than half the cases, she said.
“Much like trading baseball cards, this crime is predominantly fueled by predators interested in "sharing." The images themselves become the currency in this global trade,” said Cooper. “The demand for new images of children being raped fuels the demand for new and more violent, sadistic images which can then only be met by the rape of additional children.”
“This isn’t a profit-motivated crime,” says Arnold. “It’s twisted. They are collectors and it’s more fun to share. It’s evil.”
There are a hundred ways to weigh in on the "Fifty Shades of Grey" argument, but here's my question: From where are the above-mentioned perpetrators of child pornography drawing their inspiration for "new and more violent, sadistic images"?  Would women be clamoring to read the book or see the movie if the heroine was seventeen? What if she was twelve? How about Seven? Or three? Two months old? Where does the line between what's acceptable to our collective society and what's perverted get drawn?

As a writer--as a Christian woman who writes romantic stories--where do I draw the line?  I firmly believe that God invented sex, created our bodies to enjoy it, and set boundaries allowing us to freely enjoy it.  I don't find anything objectionable in describing how a kiss or a touch can be exciting to the senses as long as it doesn't cross over the line.
But where's the line?
My line is different than yours. My line is affected by how, when I was a young girl, I read innocent Harlequin Romances that led me down a path to more and more graphic descriptions. My line comes from a place where I can no longer read anything that delves beyond what would be considered unrealistic by most because it's sin for me.
As a writer--as a Christian woman who longs to pass wisdom and a Godly example to those who follow behind me--where do I draw my line knowing that even the most innocent descriptions can lead a reader to seek out something "more realistic"?
As a writer--as a Christian woman with a enough sense to know that I can't make choices for others--should I compromise on "my line" to sell a book? What if a publisher wants more? What if they want less? Is my line the standard, or is it what's acceptable to the publisher who knows their audience better than I do?
Not a lot of answers today--not for you and not for me. But I encourage you to ask your own questions and set your own lines with your children and your children's children in mind.
Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Good post! I have not read Fifty Shades of Gray nor will I see the movie. I try to keep my mind clean of this trash. It's hard in today's society!


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