All right, I’m going to go out on a limb and stir the pot (not to mention mixing my metaphors), because it’s a very gross pot:
[Dear Everyone In Fandom Under The Age Of 18,]
It’s not that I don’t think you should participate in fandom. I myself started at 15. But FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do not advertise your age anywhere if you are writing/commenting on/or doing art for a story with an adult rating (in other words, PORN). Because that gets REALLY TRICKY for those of us who are adults and have to think about child pornography laws (a blanket term that ALSO includes rules about PROVIDING people under 18 with porn).
Thank you for your time,
No, fuck that shit.
If you’re under the age of 18 and you want to participate in discussions about real or imagined sex or sexuality of any kind, it’s true you’ve got to do it really carefully for everyone’s sake—yours and others’. On the other hand, that very fact shows just how ageist and puritanical our society is.
I am very glad to hear that people who are legally minors are making themselves and their interest in
“adult” sexuality discussions known. I hope these discussions are self-affirming for all parties, and conducted in a way that respects everyone’s participation as well as their personal boundaries. But I am also glad that some of these conversations are clearly making the people with power—the adults—uncomfortable, because it forces them to acknowledge young people’s presence and, more importantly, the validity of their presence.
If you are an adult and you are bothered by having to think about child porn laws, then guess what, you are privileged. You are probably someone who should be on the front fucking lines of fighting against the incredibly harmful censorship and morality laws that are so commonly used to target you and young people under the disingenuous guise of being “for your own protection”!
Because, really, how dare any community encourage behaviors that make it necessary for an individual to lie to protect themselves? What right do you have to pressure someone into lying about their age anymore than you have to pressure them to lie about their sexual orientation or race or gender? And it’s not like this is news; women routinely use gender-neutral or even traditionally male-sounding names online because they are likely to be harassed otherwise. Since this is far less common in fandom, I’d like to think that fandom communities are filled with people who are damn well aware of the pain of feeling ostracized for something about yourself that you are powerless to change—like your gender or age.
Systemically silencing or discouraging youth from participating as empowered, fully self-actualized and self-expressed individuals in sexuality discussions is called sexual adultism and it’s a fucking detestably common behavior pattern I’d like to see ended.
So, wanna fix this problem faster? Stop telling young people to shut up or lie. Encourage them to speak truth to power, support them when they do, and then do your part, too.
Thank you for your time.
this times one million.