Alex Blaze

Gay porn panic rejected by jury

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 16, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: lawsuit, panic, porn, sex-phobia, sexual panic

Conservatives complain a lot about silly lawsuits, which are the main means by which consumer protections are enforced in the US, but usually the silliest lawsuits are filed by them. Here's one such case.

freshmen-august-cover.jpgA man says he received an offer for a gay porn magazine in 2007 that he didn't want, and his daughter (who was 12 or 13 at the time) went through the mail....

She told jurors she thought it might be a Disney movie offer so she opened the envelope.

Inside was a tri-folded brochure. On its cover, it carried a warning label of sexually explicit material, her father's name and address, and the name of the magazine and free DVD. The girl, now 16, said she didn't notice the warning label.

Madison Blackwelder, a talented athlete and honor-roll student, said she was "embarrassed, just really confused" about what she saw and ran to her room. She said it made her fearful of "being kidnapped," and, after her father filed the lawsuit, she sought counseling.

The publisher said the man entered a contest with Out Traveler magazine and ended up on the mailing list. I think if she really needed counseling after looking at that mailer then her issues would have eventually been triggered by, say, the average ad in Vanity Fair.


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Oh. What. The. Fuck.

Seriously?

That poor baby - to be so traumatized. I wonder what'll happen the first time she goes to a museum and sees ancient Greek art or a nude statue?

Someone fetch me the smelling salts!

Wait a minute. So how did his daughter even get to the point of thinking she would be kidnapped just from seeing a picture of a naked gay man? It seems like the parental thing to do would be for him to discuss with his daughter what was going on, and especially to explain that gay men aren't coming to get her. Did she even have sex ed yet (or even know that there are more than just heterosexual people in the world)?

I can tell you one big lesson his daughter learned: Don't read other people's mail! Also, pay attention to what you're reading. I don't imagine that warning labels for "explicit sexual content" are ever hidden.

My guess is that word got out that he got this mail from his daughter getting counseling, and in his embarrassment he decided to then sue.

The quote above says counseling happened after he filed suit. A lawyer probably explained what "damages" are to him.

Oops, my bad on the timeline of the counseling.

I do wonder why she went to counseling so long after the incident.

gregorybrown | December 17, 2010 8:45 AM

The Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art is a fine institution. It has a classical gallery with mummies, Greek vases, all the usual stuff--including a 2/3 life size Roman bronze sculpture of a naked young man. I always made a point of getting round it to marvel at the wonder buns. Following the Greek tradition, the penis is small and not emphasized as much as the graceful pecs.

One of the saddest things I ever saw in the Toledo BLADE (which is chock-full of sad things) was a photo of a junior high class visiting the gallery. The center of the photo was a young girl walking past the statue with eyes averted and a hand at the side of her face, obviously embarrassed. The article identified her by name and school. I remember feeling empathy for the child, anger that the photographer and editor had chosen to display her discomfort, and consternation that she was unable to look at the male nude without feeling guilty or that there was something wrong with it.

Personally, I think the farther should be brought up on charges of abuse and neglect. To not educate your child about the real world enough that a picture of a gay man would send her into a panic should really be considered abuse.