Cross-posted to fandom_scruplesblack·list [ blák lìst ]
noun (plural black·lists)
list of disapproved people: a list of people or groups who are under suspicion or excluded from something
a credit blacklist
transitive verb (past black·list·ed, past participle black·list·ed, present participle black·list·ing, 3rd person present singular black·lists)
1. put on blacklist: to add somebody’s name to a blacklist
2. condemn: to shun or condemn somebody for behavior that breaks implicit or explicit rules from Encarta
It's funny, because if you'd asked anyone on the blacklist
whether they were in favor of giving pornography to children, they'd probably have said no. I don't think that that was anyone's goal--corrupting the youth of America. But then again, that's not really what fandom_scruples
is about, is it? It's not about ethics. It's about pointing fingers.
I had this whole rant prepared. I was going to write about The First Amendment. Censorship. The People Vs. BNFs. How everyone has the right to write whatever they want, and post it wherever they want. But then I realized that if fandom_scruples
was meant to be a legitimate attempt by the Harry Potter fandom to police the Harry Potter fandom, it wouldn't have set itself up as a witch hunt. Still, I thought, why would they call this thing a blacklist? Don't they know what a hurtful, hateful period that was for America? Why would they want to commemorate something like that? The original blacklist had nothing to do with creative content, and nothing to do with censorship. The original blacklist was about hate, pure and simple. It ruined lives.
Is this blacklist any different? It encourages fans to turn in other fans anonymously. Why anonymously, you might ask? Maybe because people who read NC17 stories but don't like
them are embarassed to admit to their hypocrisy? No, that's not it at all. The reason is, so that those pointing fingers can't be flamed. It's very tidy that way. After all, you can't turn on your accusers. In fact, you can't even see the "proof" they've provided. Only the moderator can see that. They can post your lj name, and they can put you on their list, but you'd better not attempt to defend yourself. If you do that, you're definitely guilty.
I'm not, myself, a particular fan of pornography for children. On the other hand, what constitutes NC17 fic? According to fanfiction.net
[R] Restricted-Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian : This signifies that the rating board has concluded that the film rated contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their children to see it. An R may be assigned due to, among other things, a film's use of language, theme, violence, sex or its portrayal of drug use.
[NC-17] No One 17 and Under Admitted : This signifies that the rating board believes that most American parents would feel that the film is patently adult and that children age 17 and under should not be admitted to it. The film may contain explicit sex scenes, an accumulation of sexually-oriented language, or scenes of excessive violence. The NC-17 designation does not, however, signify that the rated film is obscene or pornographic.
And according to fictionalley.org
R - Restricted
(Similar, although slightly more restrictive than, 15 in the United Kingdom)
Children under 17 should generally not read this fic, as it contains adult material. An R may be assigned due to, among other things, a fanfic's use of language, theme, violence, sex or its portrayal of drug use. While there are no restrictions on nonsexual nudity, sexual activity and nudity may be portrayed. There may be occasional strong verbal references to sexual behaviour. Violence may be strong but should ay not dwell on the infliction of pain. Scenes of sexual violence must be handled carefully. Drug taking may be shown but clear instructive and imitable detail is unacceptable. Dangerous techniques (examples include: combat, hanging, suicides) should contain no imitable detail. We recommend use of the "fade to black" technique, instead of use of action verbs, in describing otherwise-explicit sexual interactions. We may place an additional warning for strong material at the top of a submission.
These are pretty amorphous definitions. The most important factor in determining a fic's rating generally turns out to be intent. Both ff.net and FA claim to enforce their policies. If you believe a fic really doesn't fit the guidelines, it's easy enough to notify a moderator who should deal with it appropriately. There is no comprehensive guide to what can and can't go in an R rated fic, and it's probably not something the fandom needs.
I won't post the links here, but I happen to know of a couple of huge erotic stories archives that aren't password protected. One of them even contains a Harry/ Draco fic. The thing about password protection is that it's not at all effective. A child who will disregard a disclaimer and rating will probably also lie to get into a password protected site. There is no effective way to control this without asking for credit card numbers, which I think we can all agree is not an option. I have yet to read anything, on any site, that I feel would be inappropriate for a mature twelve or thirteen year-old to read. Incest? Try Flowers in the Attic
. Sex? Try The O.C.
. Violence? Try any movie rated PG13. Obviously every parent has to decide what is appropriate for his or her own children. If parents feel strongly enough, they will
supervise their children; if they don't they won't. It may take a village to raise a child, but my children will be raised according to my
standards, not yours, the MPAA's, or the village's.
I used to teach middle school; for us "Won't somebody think of the children" was a joke, not a rallying cry. Protect the children from NC17 stories they might or might not ever encounter? Or protect them from the realities? You've drawn a line; I know which side I want to be on. Please include me in your blacklist. You can find my NC17 fic at ishafel