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Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Politics of Legal

If you want to see exactly why Famous Males Forums, once my go-to site for pictures and information about celebrity males,  with an emphasis on U.K. celebrities, has become almost unbearable to read, you need look no further than a recent post made on the occasion of Austin Mahone's 18th birthday.  The usual inane bitchery that always appears there (not almost always, always) is par for the course, but of particular interest is a long argument about the appropriateness of showing shirtless pictures of a newly adult man, especially on his birthday.

Several years ago, due to a bizarre misreading of U.K. anti-pornography law, Famous Male Forums instituted a rule that any and all pictures of any person under the age of 18 must never appear there, the logic being that any photo of a person under 18, even if it is a cap from a mainstream movie, TV show, or magazine, even in a country where the age of consent is 16, and even on a non-pornographic site,  could be construed as sexual in nature and lead to... well, God knows what.  It takes a special kind of paranoia, but it's a privately owned site, and if its owner is that afraid of the draconian state, so be it.  But even before the rule went into place,  and teenagers under the age of 18 appeared there regularly, there was always someone who was ready to act as the thought police, and to condemn anybody who recognized and admired the beauty of a 17-year-old, suggesting that they were pedophiles, or at the very least, creepy.  This, of course, lead to a lot of debate and name-calling,  mostly  name-calling.  If the powers that be at FMForums thought that the rule change would put an end to the controversy, they were woefully mistaken. The same naysayers were just as happy to condemn anyone who enjoys adult men who "look too young."  I kid you not.  This leads to people being called out as pedophiles for the crime of posting pictures of people as old as 25.  It also leads to bizarre examinations of each and every picture of anyone under 20 to determine exactly how old they were when the picture was taken.  Imagine how corrupting it would be to see a picture of Harry Styles when he was on The X Factor and not yet 18.  The world might end.

At any rate, something good came out of the whole kerfuffle, and that was a nice collection of shirtless photos of Austin Mahone, a lovey specimen no matter how old he is.

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