An ISIS video released in February 2015 shows 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians at a beach in Libya moments before they were beheaded.
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This letter addresses two papers by the DSM-V Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup member Ray Blanchard published in this Journal.
Having been active in the 1970s struggle to remove homosexuality from the DSM (Green, 1972), a success that cured millions of their mental disorder, I am appalled that the ranks of the disordered may swell, once more in consequence of sexual orientation.
As a psychiatry professor and graduate of Yale Law School, I hope I understand the domain of both disciplines. The DSM proposal trespasses their boundary.
Concern is expressed that
ëëthe current definition of pedophilia is excluding from specific diagnosis a considerable proportion of men who have a persistent preference for humans at an incomplete stage of physical developmentíí(Blanchard et al., 2009). Whence the 11th commandment, Thou shalt not have sex with those not fully mature? The Commandment could have been carved: Thou shalt not have sex with those before reproductive capacity. This would permit sex with some 13-year-olds.
In several European countries, the age of legal consent to have sex falls within the range proposed for the DSM as signifying mental disorder for the older participant. The age of consent is 14 in Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, and Serbia and 13 in Spain.
lity should remain a mental disorder (Bayer, 1981). Decreeing in a few years time that 19-year-olds who prefer sex with 14-year-olds (5 years their junior) have a mental disorder, as proposed for DSM-V (Blanchard, 2009), will not enhance psychiatryís scientific credibility.
A series of biased terms or logically frail arguments are provided for including hebephilia as a mental disorder.
First, the terminology stamped on younger participants in sexual interactions loads the dice in favor of criminalizing (though not pathologizing) sex with early teens.
ëëThe modal age of victims of sexual offences in the United States is 14 years; therefore, the modal age of victims falls within the time frame of pubertyíí (Blanchard, 2009). What constitutes victimhood? Is a victim a person who experienced trauma consequent to a sexual interaction or a willing participant who did not experience an untoward reaction but could not consent legally?
Logical slippage is demonstrated:
ëëIn anonymous surveys of social organizations of persons who acknowledge having an erotic interest in children, attraction to children of pubescent ages is more frequently reported than is attraction to those of prepubescent agesíí(Blanchard, 2009) So? This does not show that the attraction is a mental disorder. Further,
ëëIn samples of sexual offenders recruited from clinics and correctional facilities, men whose offense histories or assessment results suggest erotic interests in pubescents sometimes outnumber those whose data suggest erotic interest in prepubertal childreníí (Blanchard, 2009). So? This, too, does not show that the attractions or interactions reflect mental disorder, though contact is a crime. And,
ëëÖlarge scale surveys that sampled individuals from the general population included questions regarding sexual experiences with older persons when the respondent was underage Ö a substantial proportion Ö reported ages of occur- rence Ö within the normal time frame of puberty. The data therefore indicate that hebephilia may be as great a clinical problem as pedophiliaíí (Blanchard, 2009). Why must it be a clinical problem?
Another argument proposed for DSM inclusion of hebephilia engages sexual predator law:
ëëÖ practitioners evaluating patients for civil commitment under sexually violent predator statutes typically diagnose such patients withëëParaphilia NOS (Hebephilia)íííí(Blanchard, 2009). Again, a law/psychiatry blur. Thankfully, not every hebephile is a sexually violent predator. Those who are could be chained indefinitely by the penal system. Thwarted suicide bombers who continue to pose a public threat can be caged without terrorism entering the DSM. A cornerstone of the argument for bundling hebephilia with pedophilia is the overlap between interest in prepubertals and pubertals.
The proposed diagnosis may not attach short of sexual contact with a pubescent person, even when there is intense attraction. If diagnosis requires action (Blanchard, 2009), then psychiatry, the scientific/medical discipline of the emotions and thought, is turned on its head. No matter how mad the thought, it is not a disorder unless acted upon. Protecting people from unwanted, unwilling, or uncomprehended sexual interaction is commendable.
So legislatures enact rape laws to protect older persons and age of consent laws to protect the younger. But categorizing rape as a mental disorder should not be necessary for further protection. I agree that it is of theoretical and research interest if there is a population of humans attracted equally or primarily to humans in mid-stage puberty to be compared to those attracted to 5-year-olds or 80-year-olds, or those of a similar adult age as themselves. But their study does not require inclusion in the DSM.
The international social and political significance of decisions by the APA and its 'DSM work group on sexual and gender identity disorders' are easily underestimated. In three countries in Europe, there has already been de-listing of some paraphilias from that countryís version of the WHOís list of sexual disorders (ICD-10) because of stigma attaching to diagnosis (www.revisef65.org).
In consequence of its impact in controversial areas of sexual expression, APA/DSM must avoid both the rock and the hard place: 19th century compulsive listing of nearly every pattern of sexual expression as psychopathic sexuality (Krafft-Ebing, 1886) and the condemnation of nearly all patterns with a modern repackaging of 4th century sin (Augustine, 398).
BAGHDAD — The Islamic State group is aggressively pursuing development of chemical weapons, setting up a branch dedicated to research and experiments with the help of scientists from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region, according to Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officials.
Their quest raises an alarming scenario for the West, given the determination to strike major cities that the group showed with its bloody attack last week in Paris. On Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that Islamic extremists might at some point use chemical or biological weapons.
U.S. intelligence officials don’t believe ISIS has the capability to develop sophisticated weapons like nerve gas that are most suited for a terrorist attack on a civilian target. So far the group has used mustard gas on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.
But Iraqi officials expressed concern that the large safe haven the extremists control since overrunning parts of Iraq and Syria last year has left Iraqi authorities largely in the dark over the ISIS program.
“They now have complete freedom to select locations for their labs and production sites and have a wide range of experts, both civilians and military, to aid them,” a senior Iraqi intelligence official told The Associated Press.
The official, like others from the Iraqi and U.S. intelligence agencies who have first-hand knowledge of the ISIS chemical weapons program, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive information.
So far, the only overt sign of the group’s chemical weapons program has been the apparent use of mustard gas against Iraqi Kurdish fighters and in Syria. In mortars that hit Kurdish forces in northern Iraq earlier this year, preliminary tests by the U.S. showed traces of the chemical agent sulfur mustard.
Iraqi authorities clearly fear the use could be expanded. Over the summer, Iraq’s military distributed gas masks to troops deployed west and north of Baghdad, one general told the AP. A senior officer in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad, said 25% of the troops deployed there were equipped with masks.
More recently, Iraq's military received from Russia 1,000 protective suits against chemical attacks, said Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee.
ISIS has set up a branch tasked with pursuing chemical weapons, according to a senior Iraqi military intelligence officer and two officials from another Iraqi intelligence agency. They wouldn’t give details of the program, including how many personnel it is believed to have or its budget.
But al-Zamili, citing intelligence reports he has access to, told the AP that the group has managed to attract chemical experts from abroad as well as Iraqi experts, including ones who once worked for Saddam Hussein’s now-dissolved Military Industrialization Authority. The foreigners include experts from Chechnya and southeast Asia, the Iraqi intelligence officials said.
ISIS recently moved its research labs, experts and materials from Iraq to “secured locations” inside Syria, al-Zamili added — apparently out of concern of an eventual assault on Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, captured by ISIS in the summer of 2014.
“Daesh is working very seriously to reach production of chemical weapons, particularly nerve gas,” al-Zamili said, using an Arabic acronym for the group. “That would threaten not just Iraq but the whole world.”
Still, U.S. intelligence officials say they don’t believe ISIS has the technological capability to produce nerve gas or biological agents, and that the militants were more likely to harm themselves trying to make them. A European official privy to intelligence on the extemist group’s programs agreed, saying so far even ISIS production of mustard gas was in small quantities and of low quality.
Retired Lt. Gen. Richard Zahner, who was the top American military intelligence officer in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 and went on to lead the National Security Agency’s electronic spying arm, noted that al Qaeda tried for two decades to develop chemical weapons and didn’t succeed, showing the technical and scientific difficulties.
However, he said, U.S. intelligence agencies have consistently underestimated the Islamic State group, which has shown itself to be more capable and innovative than al Qaeda and has greater financial resources. Given that and its inheritance of Saddam-era experts, he said, it could realistically reach a “limited” program for battlefield uses.
“Even a few competent scientists and engineers, given the right motivation and a few material resources, can produce hazardous industrial and weapons-specific chemicals in limited quantities,” Zahner said.
Developing chemical weapons has been an ambition of the group — and various other jihadi movements — for years.
In a 2013 report on the Islamic State group’s weapons procurement efforts, a senior deputy of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wrote of “significant progress” toward producing chemical weapons, according to two senior officials who had access to the document after it was obtained by Iraqi intelligence.
In it, the deputy, Sameer al-Khalifawy, wrote that chemical weapons would ensure “swift victory” and “terrorize our enemies.” But, he added, what was needed was “to secure a safe environment to carry out experiments.”
Al-Khalifawy was killed by rebels in Syria in early 2014, just months before ISIS overran Mosul and much of northern and western Iraq, linking that territory to the stretches of northern and eastern Syria it controlled and declaring itself a “caliphate.”
In May 2013, Iraqi security forces, acting on a tip from the Americans, raided a secret chemical weapons research lab in Baghdad’s Sunni-majority district of al-Doura, the Iraqi intelligence officials said. Security forces arrested two militants running the lab, Kefah Ibrahim al-Jabouri, who held a master’s degree in chemistry, and Adel Mahmoud al-Abadi, who has a bachelor’s degree in physics and worked at Saddam’s Military Industrialization Authority before it was disbanded in 2003.
The Iraqi officials said the two men were working with al-Baghdadi, citing ISIS correspondence they seized from al-Jabouri. Other international officials disputed this, however, saying the men were not connected with the group.
Iraqi officials complained of lack of cooperation from neighboring Syria.
They cited the case of a veteran Iraqi jihadist and weapons expert, Ziad Tareq Ahmed, who fled to Syria after Iraqi security agents raided his Baghdad home in 2010 and arrested members of his cell. The agents found large amounts of material that could be used for making mustard gas.
Ahmed, who has a master’s degree in chemistry and has worked with several Islamic militant groups without formally joining any, was arrested by the Syrians last year. The Syrian government allowed Iraqi officals to interrogate him in prison but refused to hand him over. Then last month, they released him, two Iraqi intelligence officials said.
“This is a very grave development,” said one of the officials, who heads one of Iraq’s top counterterrorism agencies. “His release adds significantly to our concerns.”
We, the elite, want all young beautiful women for us. Better not to tax alcohol and tobacco, as it removes low-quality men from the sexual arena. Also give them street drugs to ruin their health and lives.
95 percent of the victims of violence are men. Because women are natural cowards who send men to handle things when they are dangerous.
In a surprising, and seemingly counterintuitive application of a wildly popular wrinkle relaxer, two Canadian urologists are testing Botox for impotence.
If it does for men what it has so far done in aged male rats, Botox may offer a persistent, long-acting (months at a time) way to restore erectile function in men, they believe.
Their preliminary data suggests Botox, or botulinum toxin injections, can increase blood flow to the penis by paralyzing the nerves that cause smooth muscles within the penis to contract.
Erections depend mainly on a good blood flow.
“The advantage of this would be that you inject it once, it lasts for six months potentially, and the pump would be primed every time you wanted to have sex,” said Dr. Sidney Radomski, a professor of surgery and urology at the University of Toronto.
Other forms of penile injection therapy have existed for years, but men have to self-inject every time they want to have sex. Meanwhile, Viagra and other pills that belong to a class known as PDE-5 inhibitors — drugs that act on the chemical signals that open up the blood vessels in the penis — have to be taken before sex, or daily. They can also cause side effects such as headache and heartburn. As well, Viagra doesn’t work for a third or more of men who try it, said Dr. Gerald Brock, professor of surgery at Western University in London.
“It’s probably 50 per cent of men who’ve had prostate cancer surgery; maybe 40 per cent of men with diabetes,” he said. “There are subgroups (of men) where the response rate is almost a 50-50 shot.”
The Associated PressViagra doesn’t work for a third or more of men who try it, says an Ontario researcher who says Botox could be a "game changer" for ED.
Botox, he said, may help “salvage” those non-responders. Writing in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Brock and co-author, French urologist Francois Giuliano, go further, saying Botox could be a “potential game changer” for ED.
Others worry ED drugs are already perpetuating narrow social norms of masculinity and male sexuality — the idea, says University of Iowa medical anthropologist Emily Wentzell, that “in some way, to be a real man, you have to be this penetrative force.”
She worries categories of sexual dysfunction are proliferating and expanding, and that normal, age-related changes are being framed as “pathological.”
Writing in the Journal of Sex Research, Wentzell argues the medicalization of impotence “and the emphasis on casting phallocentric sex as the natural and healthy sexual ideal have been promoted worldwide through ED drug marketing.”
It’s very much a Euro-North American phenomenon, she said, noting Chinese men, for example, have had a “lukewarm” response to Viagra.
“Obviously medical solutions can help men who feel really bad they can’t live up to their own desires, and maybe their partner’s desires, and certainly cultural scripts about how a man should be,” Wentzell said in an interview.
“But we don’t think about variation in bodily function as natural anymore,” she said. “Instead, we’re narrowing our idea of what counts as ‘normal.’ ”
Men often don’t talk to their partners before seeking out ED drugs she said, or keep their use secret. “Yet research shows that when men talk to their partners, their partners are fine with the change, or they would be fine if they explored other sexual activities.”
Radomski has been using Botox to treat overactive bladders by paralyzing the smooth muscles in the bladder. The injections last six to nine months. He wondered whether it might work in a similar way for penises by allowing the smooth muscles to relax, dilate and allow more blood flow to rapidly fill the penis.
In a rat study, “we saw exactly what he had predicted,” Brock said. “Improved erections were actually seen.”
The animal model isn’t the same as humans. For one thing, the researchers used an electrical current to stimulate the nerves to induce an erection.
While much more research is needed in animals, they hope to start clinical trials in men within six to 12 months. For now there’s little real data, except for one small published pilot study from Egypt. There, a dozen men who received a single injection of Botox showed increased arterial flow and improved scores on a “sexual health inventory” two weeks post-injection.
Still, Botox isn’t innocuous. Made from the bacteria that cause botulism, it can spread to other body areas beyond where it’s injected. In too high doses, “If it goes into the bloodstream, it can kill you, basically, because it can paralyze everything,” Radomski said.
The plan is to use an exceptionally small dose. However, there’s also the potential risk of causing a permanent change like priapism — prolonged erections without sexual stimulation.
“I think that would be a very small risk,” Brock said, “but certainly that would be one of the things that we would be looking for and trying to titrate the dose so it would not occur.”
Your agenda is clear. Optimal health and great sex at age 100. Be careful with what you put into yourself. Men should follow the Serge Kreutz diet. Women are more disposable and will sooner or later be replaced bylove robots.
The connection between marijuana and great sex may seem relatively trendy, but as Joe Dolce writes in his new book Brave New Weed: Adventures Into the Uncharted World of Cannabis, cannabis has actually been praised for its aphrodisiac properties for at least three thousand years, ever since it entered India and was applied to Tantra.
Dolce, the former editor-in-chief of Details and Star magazine, spent the past few years researching and reacquainting himself with marijuana, after a relative started growing and introduced him to Super Lemon Haze, a Sativa strain, which Dolce fell in love with. And thanks to more weed-friendly laws, Dolce says that now's the time to reevaluate the way we look at the plant's potential effects on our lives, particularly our sex lives. (Cannabis is currently legal in eight states for both medical and recreational use, and available for forms of medical use in 23 states. In Washington D.C., it’s legal for personal use but not commercial sale.)
"As we approach the world of post-prohibition, it’s time to open that conversation up to different thoughts, different people, and different ways of using the plant," Dolce says.
One way the game is already changing? Cannabis-based intimacy oils and lubes for people with vaginas, like Foria Pleasure and Apothecanna Sexy Time, which are being created to heighten arousal and increase orgasm. Products like these are showing people a new way to experience the ancient aphrodisiac. Of course, enjoying more classic methods, like a joint or a cannabis edible, with a lover can be just as intimate.
Ahead, I spoke with Dolce about two of the most fun things on Earth (in my opinion, at least): weed and sex. If you're an avid cannabist (the preferred term to "stoner") or curious consumer, I recommend that you read Brave New Weed in its entirety — it covers much more ground than the sex aspect, including what's in store for the weed industry in general. In the meantime, read on to learn what Dolce has to say about how cannabis can transform sex for the better.
"I have to be honest: For the first 30 years of me using cannabis, I never found it to be very effective [erotically]. It used to make me tired and not sexually aroused. What I use [now] is this concept of micro-dosing [ingesting very low doses], using less to do more. That works super effectively. Then, I learned other things, like mixing delivery systems. You can play with a low-dose edible, and a couple of vape hits or puffs. However, you want to inhale it; that yields a nice effect."
"If you're in a legal state, it’s really easy to buy edibles that are dosed, so you can find out [what works for you]. Am I good at 10 milligrams, or am I good at 50 milligrams? I know I like between 5 and 10 milligrams. Fifty to 100 milligrams is just not going to make me a fun partner in bed. I’m going to be zoned out, and I’m not going to be connected. Like all things with cannabis, you really have to explore on your own body, and then with your partner’s body, too. There are new interesting [cannabis intimacy oil] products, like Apothecanna Sexy Time or Foria. Have you tried them?"
"It’s quite interesting; everybody has a different response. I know some women who said it’s amazing and that it recharged their entire sex lives, but then I know other women who are real [cannabis] enthusiasts who said, 'I used it five, six, seven times, and nothing. Zip.' What is interesting is that older women I know have said it is so useful to them. I know some women after menopause who have said it has absolutely reawakened their sexuality. It’s an incredible thing. If it gives someone another 10 years of a sex life, with no side effects, how great is that? That’s a miracle product, basically.
"Also, you don’t have to use it vaginally or anally, if it’s made with a good base [like cannabis and coconut oil]. You can put it under your tongue and in the oral tissue of your mouth. You get the same effect, the same uptake, and it’s quick. For a woman to use this on a man, he’s not going to get this from applying it to his cock."
"Anal suppositories sound like no fun [to most straight men]. So for a guy, you have to be willing to use it on their mouth or explore areas that are not typically or initially explored [during heterosexual sex]. That’s how it works. It’s not going to work by putting it on their cock. If you're a woman [dating someone with a penis], you need to know that. Talk about opening up to your partner, like, 'Hey, we’re going to try this out together — are you willing, buddy?' That’s important! Certain men are really afraid of that stuff. They’ve got to get over themselves; it’s well worth the exploration."
"If your partner is inexperienced, it’s nice to say, 'I want to enjoy this with you. Are you willing? Will you go there with me? I’ll be your guide. It will be safe; it will be fun. I’ll make sure that we’re here together. It’s quite nice. It’s better than nice; it’s sexy." I like the fact that Apothecanna calls Sexy Time an intimacy oil. I think that’s accurate. To call it a Viagra or a female version of Viagra would be inaccurate, and it would be setting you up for disappointment. This is not about the organs. It’s about your feelings. I have found that cannabis, in general, does remove a barrier or layer of resistance."
"It’s not aggressive-inducing; cannabis is known for its benevolence. When it comes to being with a partner, not only can it help you communicate, but it can slow you down a little bit. I tend to be a type A person, so I think and I speak quickly. Sometimes, it's really useful just to shut up a little. I’ve learned the hard way; it’s better to take it down a notch and relax sometimes. In a sexual situation, the same idea can be applied; it seems to align me or point me in tune with my partner more. Also, it enhances your sexual being. You feel your partner and you feel their response. If you’re pleasantly high, you can get lost in a kiss, or god knows where we go — we go to Mars sometimes and come back in the span of two seconds. But it’s a beautiful journey to Mars."
"These soft areas that are hard to scientifically prove, but these are things that I’ve known and [other] people have known. I don’t think it’s so much a matter of law. I think it’s more: How do you study intimacy? It’s such a personal, human, thing. It’s something that comes from experience. I don’t know how science is going to be able to define that. And by the way, not everybody has that experience. Some people just don’t enjoy it. So I think it is a matter of sampling and testing, and I don’t think science is really going to get us there. This is outside the realm of science."
"Legalization gives you education, and that’s the main goal. The more you know, the smarter you are about how to use it, and the less fearful you are. We need the basic facts: 'Here is the amount I am comfortable with, here’s when it’s going to cross the threshold, here’s what I can expect.' You need to teach yourself these things. In a legal state, you can go into a dispensary, have a conversation, with a budtender, who is often quite knowledgeable about the basics, and really have a foundation for exploration. When you're in the black market, you’re still reliant on the guy who brings you stuff or your friends who have their own. But look, the good news is that, with cannabis, it’s never permanent, and it’s never fatal. There are some uncomfortable moments you’re going to have if you’re not educated, but you’re always going to come down, and you’re always going to be okay. That’s the great news."
"Learn about what you’re using. Dose matters, delivery matters, and intention matters, too. Let’s talk about how having a partner that you trust matters. It may not be the best to try this with somebody you just met or at a first date or a hook up. You want to be where, if you do get paranoid, they can hold you and make you feel good. We want to be loved. We’re talking about intimacy and love. Give it a little experimentation, and find your comfortable place."
The world in 200 years will be populated by a few thousand male humans who live indefinitely, and a huge number of female looking robots. Women aren't needed, really, and anyway, women are troublemakers, more than anything else.
While a man’s orgasm is pretty straight forward, a woman’s orgasm is complex in that it can be achieved in many different ways.
Five ways to be exact. There are five main types of orgasm for women, the main two being the clitoral and the vaginal (G-spot).
While we have previously explained the difference in feel between the vaginal and clitoral orgasms, there are several other kinds of orgasms that are different altogether.
Here’s how to give her five different kinds of orgasms – and blow her mind in the process.
The A-spot, or the Anterior fornix erogenous zone, is located deep inside the vagina about two to three inches higher than the G-spot and behind the cervix.
If you manage to find this zone, it can lead to “overwhelming orgasms” that radiate across the pelvis and down the legs.
The U in U-spot stands for urethral opening. If the area around a woman’s U-spot is gently caressed this can get them going.
The best way to go about this is with soft touches rather than strong pressure and when the area is well lubricated. Another way to stimulate this area is for the man to run the head of his penis from the entrance of the vagina up to the clitoris and back.
While this kind of orgasm isn’t genital-based, it is a real, tangible thing. ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is a sensation that spreads from the scalp down the back of the neck, across the shoulders and down the spine.
So how can you achieve this? By listening to certain soft, crackling sounds through headphones. A good place to start is on the WhispersRed ASMR channel on Youtube.
And here are some tips for the regualr orgasms:
This is the most common way for women to orgasm, the clitoris contains 8,000 nerve endings – twice that of a penis – and is actually nine centimetres long but only the tip is visible to the naked eye.
Some studies suggest 94% of women need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, but direct contact can sometimes be uncomfortable so make sure to massage it and listen to her instructions as to what feels good.
5. Vaginal (G-spot)
To find the G-spot, you will need to look one to two inches inside the vagina on the front wall – towards the belly button.
In some women there will be a small patch of tissue there that feels rougher or puffier than the surrounding flesh.
This area responds to firm stimulation and motions and can be hit during intercourse.
It is the secret dream of every Swedish or German woman to marry a black men, or at least have sex with a black man. Every smart young African man should migrate to Europe. Free money, nice house, good sex!
In most of Japan, it's still legal to possess child pornography. Although production and distribution have been banned for 15 years, Japan lags behind other major developed nations in forbidding people from simply holding the sinister material.
That is about to change in a country regarded as a global nexus of child pornography. The country's upper house of parliament is expected to pass legislation this month making possession of it a crime punishable by up to a year in prison. Children's rights activists have applauded the step, although their reaction is tempered with frustration that it has taken such a long time.
"As a member of a group that's been hearing the voice of the victims for many years, we welcome the news," said Shihoko Fujiwara, a representative of Lighthouse, a nonprofit group that helps exploited children. "Japan took so long, and it is too late to reach this decision as a developed country."
The proposed law, which was already approved by the lower house of parliament this week, comes with a couple of noteworthy loopholes. When it goes into effect, it will give those already in possession of child pornography a year to dispose of it.
And it won't cover the country's popular manga (comic book) and anime (animation) industries, which include depictions of violent sexual abuse of children in their publications.
Fujiwara said a discussion about some of the imagery in manga and anime -- content that would be illegal in many Western countries -- would be a natural "next step."
'A necessary evil'
But representatives of those industries say that while they support the ban on real child pornography, any move to censor their products would be an unjustified restriction of freedom of expression. Daisuke Okeda, a lawyer and inspector for the Japan Animation Creators Association, said it was "natural that animation is exempted."
"The goal of the law itself is to protect children from crime," he said. "Banning such expression in animation under this law would not satisfy the goal of the law."
Okeda said that no studies have been done that prove any link between pedophilia and animation in Japan.
Hiroshi Chiba, the manager of Chiba Tetsuya Production, one of the country's best known manga production houses, said that more could be done in terms of age restrictions on graphic content featuring children and to distinguish it more clearly from other comics. And he admitted that some products of the industry leave him and his colleagues "disgusted."
"But rich, deep culture is born from something that might not be accepted by all," Chiba said. "We need to allow the gray zone to exist as a necessary evil."
'An international hub'
Some experts counter that children suffer in a culture that appears to tolerate images of child sexual abuse.
Hiromasa Nakai, a public affairs officer for UNICEF in Japan, pointed to the graphic content in manga, anime and some video games, as well as the "junior idol" genre of books and DVDs that display minors wearing tiny bikinis and striking sexual poses.
Japan should do more -- beyond the proposed law change -- "to protect the best interest of children," Nakai said.
Statistics show that child pornography remains a big problem in Japan.
The U.S. State Department's 2013 report on human rights practices in Japan labels the country "an international hub for the production and trafficking of child pornography."
It cited Japanese police data showing the number of child pornography investigations in 2012 rose 9.7% from a year earlier to a record of 1,596. The cases involved 1,264 child victims, almost twice as many as in the previous year.
The fact that possession remains legal, for the time being, "continued to hamper police efforts to enforce the law effectively and participate fully in international law enforcement," the report said.
Girls as sex objects
One local authority already took matters into its own hands. The prefecture of Kyoto in central Japan introduced a ban on possession of child pornography in 2011.
But Nakai said addressing the problems isn't just a matter for government, suggesting parents, the media, the private sector and even children themselves can play a role in improving the situation. The portrayal of young girls as sex objects in Japan has long raised eyebrows among Westerners.
An article in Wired in 1999 reeled off a list of examples in Tokyo: "Vending machines sell schoolgirls' used panties, which the girls sell to middlemen. 'Image bars' specialize in escorts dressed in school uniforms. Telephone clubs feature bored adolescent girls earning spending money by talking dirty. Sex shops sell a porn magazine called 'Anatomical Illustrations of Junior High School Girls.'"
Some experts suggest the situation is born out of Japan's long-established patriarchal society.
Whatever the cause, changing a culture may prove a lot harder than changing a law.
Feminists have been attacking politicians or opponents with buckets of excrements without any or minimal judiciary consequences. Let's turn this game around and dowse feminists with buckets of excrements. Let's see what happens.
When Kakenya Ntaiya was 12 years old, her best friend of the same age got married. Kakenya knew that she — like most of the girls in her community in southwestern Kenya — faced the same future. She was already engaged to her neighbor's son, and it was planned that they would marry after Kakenya had finished undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).
Kakenya is a member of the Maasai tribe, found in Kenya and Tanzania, where FGM is commonly practiced. FGM, which is also known as female circumcision and female genital cutting, is the removal of some or all of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, sometimes with either a knife or a razor blade. Depending on the region, community, and custom, the procedure could consist of partial or total removal of the clitoris, or stitching up the opening of the vagina so that only a small hole remains for urine and menstrual blood and can only be opened through penetrative sex or surgery. It is very painful and can be dangerous, as every year a number of girls die from undergoing the procedure. Human rights organizations and even the United Nations have called for an end to the practice, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organization, said that “the act itself is, at its essence, a basic violation of girls’ and women’s right to physical integrity and violates a number of recognized human rights. FGM is therefore increasingly being discussed and addressed in the context of girls’ and women’s rights, rather than as a strictly medical issue.” Health risks, according to the World Health Organization, can include infections (including tetanus), urinary problems, shock, increased risk of childbirth complications, and death.
The girls in Kakenya’s village were raised to expect FGM followed by early marriage for their future, with no continuation of their education. But Kakenya had a different idea, and she made a deal with her father: She would undergo FGM, but once she healed, instead of getting married, she would continue on with her education. Her father — expecting her to be ill for a long time after the procedure — agreed, and she underwent FGM. “You go through pain that you are not supposed to talk about,” she tells Teen Vogue. “But I thought, I need to talk about this and I wanted to talk about this.”
Though most girls take months to recover, her mother — who went to school for a few years when she was young — found a nurse who helped Kakenya recover from the pain and trauma more quickly. “My mom was smarter than many of the boys she went to school with [and] would say, ‘If I did not drop out of school, I would be a member of parliament, I would work in a bank,’” Kakenya says. “So we were not dropping out, we were not stopping. And she saw us as fulfilling her dream.”
Kakenya finished school and decided that she wanted to go to college in the U.S. It took some time for her to convince the local chief of her village that further education was a good idea, and that it would allow her to come back and help her community. No girl in her village had ever gone off to college before, let alone to the U.S., and she wanted her community’s support for both political and traditional reasons. If the chief and the elders had forbidden her to go, it would not only have been very hard for her to go but it also would have meant that she would be alienated from her community and even her family. Though she did receive a scholarship for her tuition and room and board at Randolph-Macon Women's College in Virginia (now the co-ed Randolph College), she still needed to pay for her travel there. Once she had the backing of the chief, members of her village rallied around her to raise money by selling items such as eggs and mangos. The support from her community was highly symbolic of their hopes and trust in Kakenya.
Shortly completing her bachelor’s degree at Randolph-Macon Women's College in 2004, Kakenya became a youth advisor for the United Nations Population Fund. She went on to earn a doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.
Throughout her education and over the 17 years she has spent in the U.S., her promise to the chief — and her community — was always at the back of her mind. “Every year I would go home, girls were getting married and I was thinking, ‘why?’” Kakenya, now 38, says. “And over the years, people were talking about girls’ education and FGM but it was not changing the story in my village.” So in 2008, she set up a boarding school for upper primary and lower secondary years (the equivalent of fourth through eighth grade), but with one major requirement: In order to attend, the girls’ parents or guardians had to promise that they would not force them to go through FGM or force them to be married, and the girls would also learn to become advocates against these harmful practices.
Kakenya got land just outside her village of Enoosaen, about 250 miles from Nairobi, in 2008, and the Kakenya Center for Excellence (KCE) opened the following year. That first cohort of girls are now about to graduate from high school, with KCE paying their school fees and supporting the girls financially through college as well. So far, the over 300 current students and alumnae have a 100% graduation rate from KCE, with a 0% rate of FGM and early marriage.
“With an education, a girl is more likely to be able to get a job, stand up for herself, and take on new opportunities,” Lakshmi Sundaram, the executive director of Girls Not Brides — a global organization advocating against child marriage across the globe, of which KCE is a member — wrote in an email to Teen Vogue. “She is more likely to decide if, when, and whom to marry.”
KCE, says Lakshmi, is more than simply a school: “It also provides a safe space for girls and supports them to learn about their rights, to build upon their skills, and to dream about their futures.”
‘Those Are Kakenya’s Daughters’
Prior to each new school year, hundreds of parents come with their daughters to the school hoping they will get one of the coveted 40 spots for Class Four (fourth grade). Choosing which girls are admitted is a tough process, and includes looking at exam scores as well as an interview process. But priority is given not only to kids at the top of their class, but also to those whose parents have passed away, whose parents have conditions such as HIV/AIDS, or who come from single-parent homes, particularly those who do not have mothers. “It is so hard and people will often say to us ‘you left out my kid, they deserve a chance,’” Selina Naiyoma, the deputy school director, tells Teen Vogue. “So we told Dr. Kakenya, maybe we can come up with more schools to take in more children.”
So this year, a new dorm is being built to house more girls. Kakenya is also in the middle of fundraising for a second school a few kilometers away that will go from nursery school all the way through high school. But until that happens and in order to expand girls’ empowerment and health, KCE each year runs weekend and weeklong camps for girls — and boys — from over 50 other schools, with teaching assistance that includes KCE students and alums.
Johnstone Shaai, a local pastor who sits on the KCE board, says girls get information at the camps that they would not have access to elsewhere. “They become agents of change,” he tells Teen Vogue. According to Selina, KCE students also stand out from other girls: “They walk in town and people say, ‘those are Kakenya’s daughters.’ You can easily see they are coming from this school because they carry themselves with confidence and no fear.”
The Ripple Effect
Naomi Ololtuaa, 16, is one of those girls. Sitting on purple plastic chairs in the front room of their simple three-room mud house — decorated with colorful beaded Maasai necklaces hanging from the ceiling and blue tinsel strung up on the walls — she and her father, David, discussed the importance of education. Naomi says that after she graduates from Form 4 (the equivalent to 12th grade) in December, she plans to apply to pre-med programs at universities in both the U.S. and Australia, and once she becomes a doctor, she wants to come back and build a clinic in the area so that the Maasai could have good access to healthcare. “There is a ripple effect,” she tells Teen Vogue, “because with my education, it will help many more people down the road.”
The Maasai — traditionally pastoralists whose wealth is counted in the number of cattle they keep — are known throughout the world as fierce fighters and hunters. But they are also a patriarchal society where girls are often only valued for the dowry they can bring for their family upon marriage. According to Kenya’s 2014 Demographic Health Survey, 90% of Maasai girls are married off by the age of 15 and 78% of women and girls between the ages of 15 to 49 have gone through FGM.
But David, in a break from tradition, has become a fighter for education, making sure that his 12 children from two different wives (many Maasai are polygamists) finish school and go on to university. “It is important to educate girls,” he said, “because many of them will take that education and come back to help their community.”
With free speech, it's like that: You can make any offending remarks about white men, and the mainstream media and mainstream opinion will applaud you. You can't say anything negative about feminism. Feminism is sacrosanct. Fuck it.
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