In the past few years, more women have started to own their sexualities and emphasize that their bodies are nobody’s property. This can be mostly attributed to empowerment from modern-day feminism and the sex positivity movement.
While we’re all for sexual liberation, we also have to remember its repercussions. Local Twitter recently raised awareness to minors allegedly posting explicit photos on their alter accounts. Some netizens also claimed that they pretend to be older so they can share these photos to their followers.
Meanwhile, there were also Twitter users who defended minors who chose to share sexy photos of themselves. One said, “Why would you deprive women of posting pics that boost their self-confidence just because they’re minors?”
why would you deprive women of posting pics that boost their self-confidence just because they’re mInOrS? they have their rights so they are the ones who need to be defended. instead of teaching them who would exploit them, +
— 𝓼𝓱𝓮𝓵𝓼𝓮𝓪 (@shelseacruz_) October 22, 2019
Many of these justifications are made in the guise of feminism, body positivity, and the openness to talk about one’s sexuality. But as many people pointed out, minors who post explicit photos are sharing child pornography and encouraging its spread. They are also putting themselves at risk of being exploited, groomed, and/or targeted by predators.
minors should know that posting nudes/nsfw content online is not an feminism empowerment, there's a lot of ways to do women empowerment than posting sexual nsfw online
you're allowing predators to prey on minors and promote child pornography
— Donna.Psd #JoinPandaySining #LabanBayan (@lesbianjesuus) October 25, 2019
its okay to teach minors liberation- but making them believe the only liberation they can have is through sexual liberation could put them at risk of predatory men exploiting them for their vulnerability. minors should not, and cannot post NSFW content. period
— sunn (@pusangkalat) October 21, 2019
Young girls and sexual liberation
Teen Vogue recently got flak for siding with Netflix after it defended “Riverdale” against claims it sexualizes teenage girls. The streaming platform replied to a netizen with “Young women shouldn’t feel ashamed for being sexual humans.” It’s true that actresses Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, and Madelaine Petsch aren’t minors, but they are playing high school students in the show.
"Young women shouldn’t feel shamed for being sexual humans." 👏👏👏https://t.co/FSYSkBrCDy
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) October 20, 2019
Again, this is another example of defending the promiscuity of minors in the guise of feminism and women empowerment. We understand the intention to promote sex positivity and acceptance at an early age. But educating them on sex and telling them it’s okay to post NSFW content at their age are two different things.
Making sexual posts online also reminds us of the Danielle Cohn issue. The YouTuber and TikTok personality is 15 years old, but several sources say she’s 13. Whatever her age may be, she is a minor who’s become known for posting sexy photos of herself (ie. wearing lingerie and posing provocatively) on Instagram. What’s worse is that based on a screenshot she shared, her primary demographic on IG are 18 to 24-year-olds, followed by 25 to 34-year-olds. But when this concern was brought up to Danielle’s mom, she would say that everything her daughter posts is completely her choice.
Still, that’s not an excuse to let an underaged person put themselves in danger on the internet. A minor still needs guidance and they are too young to give consent. If they aren’t educated on sexual health and what protects them, they might do something reckless like meeting up with older men. Also remember that the Philippines’ age of consent is 12 years old, but minors will still need adult supervision to access contraceptives and get tested for STDs or HIV. There aren’t any set rules on how old minors should start having sex, but the law suggests that it’s only considered statutory rape when someone has forced intercourse with a child below 12 years old.
To quote one netizen: “Before teaching them about [sexual] liberation, teach young girls about making sure they’re safe. Teach them about those who could exploit them, teach them about their rights and security.”
before teaching them about liberation, teach young girls about making sure they're safe. teach them about those who could exploit them, teach them about their rights and security.
minors pretending theyre legal just to post nsfw are putting themselves- and others at risk.
— sunn (@pusangkalat) October 21, 2019
What does the law say?
Republic Act 9775 or the “Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009” is a law dedicated to the protection of minors from exploitation and abuse. It prohibits the hiring of minors from the production of pornography, distribution, willfully accessing any form of child pornography, and grooming. If a person is found guilty of any crime under this law, they can be jailed for 20 to 40 years and fined up to P5 million.
Another law that bans online child pornography is Republic Act 10175 or the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.” According to Inquirer.net, those who disseminate, produce, and publish such content via a computer will be penalized “a degree higher than that provided by RA 9775.”
If a minor were to post an explicit photo or video of themselves, their followers—whether they’re aware of the minor’s age or not—may be put at risk of accessing child porn. Or worse, some creep on the internet might save it and spread it, and might also try to contact the minor for sexual favors.
If you think that’s terrifying, UNICEF reported in 2016 that the Philippines is the number one global source of child porn “with mostly poor families forcing their children to perform live sex online for pedophiles around the world in exchange for huge amounts of money.” Sen. Grace Poe said it’s a “billion-dollar business,” citing that half of the 7,000 cybercrime-related cases reported in the Philippines were related to child sex abuse.
So what do we do? Once you see someone alerting their followers of potential child porn, go to the post and account in question and report them immediately. You should also do the same with pedophiles’ accounts. Don’t like, retweet, or quote tweet—the more engagement a post gets, it becomes viral and will reach more people. If a social media platform doesn’t take action, either keep reporting the post or contact the authorities.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
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