Bravo Time Magazine! You succeeded in causing an uproar about attachment parenting with your shocking cover of Jamie Lynne Grumet nursing her 3-year-old son, accompanied by your even more controversial headline, “Are You Mom Enough?” Yes you definitely managed to grab the attention of every media outlet there is.
However, while TV, radio, and Internet was blowing up over the Time Magazine article (more so, its cover), there was another story that emerged this past week, that also received some media attention, but did not explode to the degree that the attachment parenting issue did. Yet, it’s an issue, which I believe is even more crucial and controversial than that of a mother who has a parenting method in which some people may or may not agree with.
On Tuesday the New York State’s Court of Appeals ruled that simply looking at child pornography online does not constitute criminal possession or procurement of the images. In simpler terms, it is now NOT illegal to view child pornography online in the state of New York. Yes, of course, this did grab some media attention, but I did not see my Facebook and Twitter feed blow up with this headline to the degree that it did of the Time Magazine article. As a matter of fact, I don’t really recall anybody talking about this anywhere within my social media communities, and so now I find myself asking, did attachment parenting outshine child pornography? Doesn’t this recent current event deserve the same, if not even more outrage and attention than the Time Magazine article? I believe so.
What will it take to muster up the concern, the disdain, the outpouring of disbelief about the six-judge ruling, in which Judge Victoria A. Graffeo wrote, “The purposeful viewing of child pornography on the Internet is now legal in New York.” What will it take for people to voice their disgust about this and for the media to go crazy over this? Will it take a Time Magazine cover of a person masturbating to a computer image of an eight-year old girl in lingerie with her legs spread open? I’m so sorry to have to paint such a disturbing visual for everyone, because trust me it sends horrible chills down my spine just having to write this. However, that’s exactly the type of images that was found within the legal case in which this ruling was based on.
This ruling was based on a former professor, 65-year old James Kent at Marist College whose computer was found to contain pornographic images in 2007. Kent was convicted on 134 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child and two counts of procuring, but he only received a one-to-three year sentence in 2009. That light sentence alone is horrifying to me, but then to think that two of the counts were absolved by this ruling because some images were considered to be automatically stored by sites he had visited, rather than directly by him. So basically, as long as you don’t download, print, save, or do some other “affirmative act” as described by Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, then it’s okay to view online all the child pornography you want in the state of New York. In Kent’s case he was found with at least one folder on his computer where he contained approximately 13,000 saved images of female children, whom Investigator Friedman estimated to be 8 or 9 years old and they were dressed in lingerie or bathing suits and many with their legs spread open as I wrote about earlier. Once again a feeling of sickness sets into my stomach.
So I find myself coming back to the question of how does a mother breastfeeding her three-year old child cause more shock than legal viewing of child pornography? This simply baffles my mind. When does protecting children from sexual exploitation become more of a concern to all of us?
Michelle Rivera writes at Mommyhood to Hollywood