Freedom of speech and expression is something I take very, very seriously. My entire life and guiding philosophy is built around the concept of free thought and expression, and when the ability to freely express or view something is impinged, so too is the ability to freely think about it. It’s just simple fact.
I’m not a pedophile. I don’t have any interest in children. Yet, as I’ve come to learn more about them and the distinction between thoughts and acts became more and more clear, I’ve began to realize that, so long as they’re not harming anybody or consuming CSAM or anything made from the abuse of real children, they’re no different than any other person, and their rights are our rights.
The hand of censorship is one of cruelty, that of malice. It is never guided by a protective interest. This has been the case with the anti-religious/blasphemous or atheist literature, the rights of racial and cultural minorities, and of course the LGBT community and their rights and speech.
This is why I don’t consider child pornography/CSAM laws as acts of censorship, because they’re not concerned with the suppression of an idea, but rather the means by which the media was created, hence why virtual child pornography, such as lolicon, are presumptively protected by the First Amendment. Real children must be sexually exploited in order to create real CP/CSAM, therein being an intrinsic link to the abuse. It is the commoditization of real abuse materials.
Pornography really is nothing more than the expression of an idea, like any other form of speech. It is innately artistic, expressive. To deny certain groups or those with particular interests their right to express their ideas notwithstanding the mediums or methodology by which the work is created is to undermine and weaken those protections which we depend on. These restrictions and their heinous and inhumane enforcement only serve to validate and embrace the insecurities and prejudices of those who have them, and serve as calling cards to the extremists willing to cause harm to those they merely disagree.
We can go back and forth on the ethics of pedophilia and child sex abuse, but to carve out restrictions on how it (or any sexual matter) can be discussed, for the sake of preserving those views, is a ethical and ideological crutch designed to sate unfounded, unwarranted fears of cultural disintegration.
The obscenity doctrine is a pox and the First Amendment was never designed to accommodate such an arbitrary, unjustified reach into how people are allowed to speak.
I’ve been under grueling amounts of stress, paranoia, and anxiety over simply knowing that this doctrine exists. Not a night goes by without a dystopian 1984-esque dream about some poor man or woman being flogged or grossly victimized, akin to the Salem Witch Trials, all in the name of “preventing adult/child exploitation”, despite the fact that it’s been all but empirically proven that such materials do not yield a causal relationship with sexual aggression or the subsequent commission of sex crimes. In fact, they are known to reduce them at the population level.
Not a day goes by where I’m not constantly worrying for those trying to create their art without fear.
I find myself drowned in a sea of anxiety, with my own physician telling me that my stress levels are akin to that of a person with PTSD.
I want it to stop. I want to sleep again. I want to breathe peacefully again. I want to look at my flag again with pride, not disgust. I find myself more likely to desecrate the flag than to fly it proudly or staple it to my wall, for every day that the precedent set forth in Roth/Miller is not overruled.
It begins to eat at my sanity more and more, and it needs to stop.
I ask myself “Is this what growing up during the Civil Rights era was like, or what being a part of the LGBT community was like during the years of Bowers v. Hardwick, where private, consensual acts of anal sex between two men were considered criminal and not protected by the Constitution?”
I can’t help but worry about those whose rights are violated. This is a very real example of a misjustice, and it needs to stop, for my sake and everyone else whom the law may be targeted towards.