Is Gender Off The Table for New Zealand When It Comes To Sex Crimes With The Young?

 Stacey Reriti. Photo / Mark Mitchell (NZ Herald)

Stacey Reriti. Photo / Mark Mitchell (NZ Herald)

This item wants to draw the reader’s attention to a court decision in New Zealand. The NZ Herald recently offered a story of a female teacher being found guilty of sex with a boy from the age of 10 years of age – Female Teacher Jailed for 10 Years For Sexually Violating Boy. He is now a teenager and it would be safe to say he feels differently about his relationship with the teacher now than he did when aged 10.

Stacey Reriti used to teach at Natone Park School in Porirua – her role in the school was that of both teacher and deputy principal. She was judged to have exploited the boy. Prosecutor Dale LaHood offered the view Reriti’s conduct was especially bad because of the “vulnerability” of the victim. That claim is not unusual in cases involving adults having sexual relations with underage boys; what was untypical was how this statement was being made about a woman.

Reriti’s lawyer Stephen Iorns said his client suffered from a psychiatric illness and that prison would not be good for her. It is not unusual that the prosecution would stress how bad the case was; and the defense would point to how the legal process and what follows a guilty verdict is likely to do more harm to the adult than a reasonable person would want anyone to go through.

What is worth paying special attention to are the comments by the Judge. Justice Mark Woolford equated some of Reriti’s offending with rape. He also said the charge of unlawful sexual connection carried a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. The Judge’s third comment catches one’s attention: “Because a woman cannot be charged with rape” the actions Reriti and the boy engaged in all resulted in charges of unlawful sexual connection; rape could not legally be on the table.

A great deal can be, and perhaps should be said with news of this court finding. To unpack three things is all we will do here.

First, it is possibly a good thing that in this case gender was seen as having no role to play in finding this adult guilty; usually it does and women gain much less punitive legal outcomes than males for similar criminal acts. I say possibly because objectively speaking I would argue we should be putting less people inside prisons for sex with the young than we currently do. It is my reading of some people’s views that women have been getting off light – men being hit hard for sex with those underage; and women not. But does that call to “level things up” really mean things get better? I am not that sure this is true – time will tell.

Second it shows our laws on rape need to be changed/overhauled – currently a woman can’t be charged with rape (this point of women being excluded as able to be charged with rape was made in the article). The teacher in this case was charged with sexual violation and that charge brings with it similar legal punishments as a charge for rape. However, I am going to argue there is a language game going on here that matters. The term rape has been crafted as a male crime – something men do to women and other males. I think there is an ideological bias here that I want challenged. It isn’t valid to argue men bad; women good. So I want rape to stay as a term denoting bad and unethical conduct, I just want the person who acts as a rapist viewed as potentially male or female.

Third, and this point is complex, the case clearly involves a process of change that has been commented on elsewhere – that 95% of sexual contacts between adults and children aged under 12 are situations where trauma does not happen at the time sexual contact occurs; trauma is experienced when the young person comes to appreciate society’s views and punishment directed at a person involved in such exchanges. This third point suggests we, as a society, can reduce that trauma by changing the way we act. There is a lot that can be discussed following the outcome of this court case.

If this statistic of 95% interests you, then read Susan Clancy’s book The Trauma Myth. It is from this text that this statistic is pulled.

Update: article in the Dominion Post,  “Teacher’s sex abuse convictions upheld,” section A4, Friday 24 March, 2017.

The decision was as upheld, and the sentence reduced from 10 years six months jail to nine years nine months. The reduction was intended to reflect factors presented at the appeal.

Details

Clancy, S. A. (2009). The trauma myth and the truth about the sexual abuse of children – and its aftermath. New York: Basic Books.
Weekes, J. (2015, 27/11). Female teacher jailed for 10 years for sexually violating boy [Online News Item]. New Zealand Herald (New Zealand).

What are we running from?

stifled - peanuts 02

Cartoon taken from a site on Peanuts. (click image to access)

My last post on this blog was dated August 2014.  It is now the first week of December, so why the long gap?  There have been a number of drafts on various topics, none of which made it to the Internet.  Was it just that life got busy?  Two things shaped my activities: first an effort to read material that takes time to process, and second the current sociopolitical climate − characterised by hegemonic ideology − affords little opportunity for contributions from writers on issues relating to the minor attracted person.

A mood can develop that tells the author this process is blocked − social, cultural and political spaces become increasingly rigid and a single view of things dominates.  In such a climate the writing process is gradually stifled.  An earlier post dealt with the topic of hegemony; here, the concept informs this idea of closed spaces.

The question, Why write? can be answered a number of ways; here are two possible responses.  One can write for oneself, quietly putting the assembled text away in one’s desk drawer with no intention to share it − ‘private writing’, a form of art for art’s sake.  Another answer to the question − another style of writing, and it is this one that shapes this blog − is a belief in the value of ongoing public exchange.  There is no attempt here to argue any way of writing is more important; what is rejected is any suggestion of a hierarchy inside writing.  George Orwell’s Winston Smith, hiding in the corner of his room, writing in his notebook, is every bit as powerful as the ubiquitous Stephen Fry.

We can use terms like author, reader, content, narrative about all kinds of writing.  We can even talk of multiple authors and multiple readers − Roland Barthes’ essay on the death of the author vigorously argues that texts are more than mere record-keeping.

So what is Take a Risk NZ seeking to achieve?

When working as a family therapist a method that was both intelligent and helpful was known as the Milan School approach.  Its strength is a commitment to what would be labelled today as a postmodern understanding of how things are.  The kind of question you ended up asking a client might be, Did you say that because you should, because you must, or because you could?  The dialogue this blog engages in links with all three possible responses to that question.  There should be, must be, and can be an exchange of ideas and views in order for the world we live inside of, and create, to have the chance of getting better and, in fact, being better. This view is bold and it does have risks.

The perspective this blog site promotes is being stifled right now. This site is a voice that wants to say a minor attracted person is genuinely an equal member inside his or her society, that sexual orientation for this individual, indeed for the social group such a social profile establishes, requires they be part of how a life is made.

Considering this experience of low oxygen levels there have been some reflections. First there is this idea of what defines one’s understanding of the notion, ‘future’. Inside public discussions about minor attracted persons this idea often involves a discussion of safety, desire that must be resisted, and is framed as dangerous – at the core of child sexual abuse.  It might involve the accusing voice of the probation officer when an inmate is negotiating life after release from prison. Here, ‘future’ is about tomorrow, what may happen; threat and blame are in the air; the focus is on the programmed, the scheduled, the foreseeable.

In an earlier post that discussed a seminar on inmates who are re-entering the community two kinds of approaches surfaced. One management style was to put all the emphasis on warning the individual that they must keep the rules, any mistakes will be met with punishment, and a return to the prison was an ever-present threat.  Another style was to stress human connection, support from others, a need to build bonds between the inmate − now outside the prison − and the wider community.  It was this second view that gained my support and now, again, a non-punitive and less violent approach is favoured.

Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida offers a view of future that is ‘l’avenir (to come)’, the arrival of a person or an event which is totally unexpected, unforeseen.  For Derrida that is the real future.  So it is the unpredictable which needs to be our focus; when that thing or that person you did not foresee comes into your life, the issue becomes our response. This is a process guided by openness and tolerance, not fear and danger. In my previous post the topic was resilience.  Traditions like those of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and critical theory may have more to offer the minor attracted person than the voices coming out of such fields as behavioural psychology and criminology.

Cool at 13

Image used in the media piece by Jan Hofffman.

A different issue surfaced inside my abandoned attempt to respond to a media piece by Jan Hofffman, a New York Times blog writer.  Her piece titled “Cool at 13, Adrift at 23” positioned the young who find themselves befriending those who are older than themselves as pseudomature.  Hofffman took work done by a group of psychologists and repositioned their message to suit her target audiences. First she wanted to encourage those who remember admiring that cool youth with dark sunglasses and gelled hair to drop any feelings of admiration and see this youth as flawed.  Second, she wanted to congratulate the parents who observed how their kids were a bit dull and stayed home watching DVDs on doing a great job and tell them they shouldn’t worry.  I read Hoffman’s piece as further evidence of just how conservative our society and culture was becoming.

Among recent items to grab my attention are two television documentaries. One is about a child sex abuser treatment unit in New Zealand, and the second a documentary, ‘The Paedophile Next Door’, aired on Channel 4.

Kia Marama Unit 02

Kia Marama Rehabilitation Unit

The New Zealand documentary (a repeat screening) focused on the Kia Marama Rehabilitation Unit, in which actor Colin Moynihan took on the task of performing a role – to live inside the psyche of a child sex offender.  The viewer was offered clips of interviews with staff at the unit – trainers and administrators guided by a behavioural psychology model; various men who were clients of the unit – men with convictions for sex abuse of children; Colin’s wife, who expressed concern about what taking on such a task might do to him;  and finally clips where Colin spoke about his experience of the role.

A number of years ago I spend an entire year attending each new show at Wellington’s Circa Theatre.  After one particular performance a group of us were invited to interview the actors.  One of my questions seems relevant to what Colin Moynihan had elected to do: Does adopting a character in a play change you; are you shaped by what the character offers such that when the play ends you are not the same?  The group explained that was not how it was for them.  Circa offers world class theatre; what they deliver is of a very high standard.  For an actor there is nothing particularly unusual about playing a strong character.  Colin, his wife, and the staff at the Kia Marama Rehabilitation Unit all believed Colin faced a risk which the Circa actors would not have considered real.  It might be interesting to ask Colin Moynihan to sit down with other actors and discuss my question.

As one might have expected the words the ‘clients’ are made to speak are highly scripted, and a viewer could easily ask, Is what these men are saying here really how things are for them?  I have worked as a Family Therapist; my assessment is this was not therapy.  Issues relating to personal integrity and damage to the clients remain unanswered.  The real clients here were clearly not the men who had been in prison; the clients here are the wider society.  It was their problems and anxieties which were being dealt with in the Kia Marama Rehabilitation Unit.

Eddie, a minor attracted person with no sexual contacts with any child, is committed to keeping this profile. (Interviewed inside The Paedophile Next Door.)

The second television documentary went to air on Channel 4 and was titled “The Paedophile Next Door”.  Tom O’Carroll discusses the item in his latest blog post, titled “Inadmissible Testimony”.  The item’s makers interviewed O’Carroll but did not use any of the resulting material.  What the group was looking for was a voice that is not Tom O’Carroll.  This Channel 4 piece is more complex than the New Zealand documentary.  Viewers discussing the programme – in social media spaces like Twitter and in the more select group who visit Tom O’Carroll’s blog – match that complexity with large numbers of responses.  The comments on Tom’s post extend into the hundreds.

The documentary-makers’ decision not to include any material from their interview with Tom O’Carroll may be seen as a shift in how the discourse on paedophilia is moving in Britain.  The preoccupation with the 1970s and 1980s persists – people like Tom O’Carroll (or, more to the point, PIE) working for social change are still referenced inside media discussion – however, the next step involves a turn where that past is the past and things have moved on.  The discourse now revolves around two topics that often appear as a pair: brain architecture and the ‘virtuous paedophile’.

What is really at stake here is neither a call to virtue nor an absence of transgression – rather, it is a quest for a way the minor attracted person can minimize the risk of violence and death at the hands of others.  Of course this all hinges on the person acquiescing to society’s requirement that they be open to ‘treatment’.

I am not here making any attempt to look into a crystal ball and make predictions; the issue here is the persistence of a refusal to allow the sexuality of the minor attracted person to be explored.  The position being argued here is that treatment is not sexual understanding.

Hand in hand with this, the violence and hatred people are capable of directing towards others go unacknowledged as problematic in their own right.  Gays may well have successfully introduced the notion of ‘homophobia’ as a way of reframing an issue of moral righteousness.

For a moment we glimpsed how we are: we tell ourselves lies, claiming all that is dark and dangerous lives within those we, the righteous, seek to punish. All too often what gives us permission to do unspeakable harm to others involves various phobias and fears.  No sooner had this insight surfaced than violent behaviour and dangerous rage morphed into hatred of the paedophile, and societies (particularly in the West) found themselves back on track.  We may need to augment what we have learned with a new word – ‘paedophobia’.

So two aspects of what it means to be human are going unexplored – the sexuality of the minor attracted person and the self-righteous violent rage that can be performed in public.  The beheadings by Islamic extremists can’t be viewed as radically different from what the rest of us are capable of once this kind of insight is acknowledged.

Both the TV documentaries – the New Zealand piece on Kia Marama and Channel 4’s presentation on paedophilia in England – show a heavily scripted and tightly controlled public voice.  The social construction of ‘the paedophile/sex offender’ has found a place in modern discourse … and it appears the virtuous paedophile has been invited to the table.  The talk grows in volume month by month.  But there are other voices – some of them feeling stifled – who, rejecting those limited options, are determined to create their own speech and not merely mouth the scripts handed to them.

That paedophile profile offered to us in the media, those probation reports drafted by behavioural psychologists setting the conditions for ongoing supervision of released prison inmates, and the criminological discourse treating incarcerated sex offenders as if they represent all who are attracted to the young … none of these dominant and highly influential voices really resemble the varied and genuinely diverse voices of minor attracted people who live within our societies and cultures.

In the current environment, this blog has two interests: first, a concern about what is generated and what circulates inside our societies and cultures that links with the experience of the minor attracted person; second, an attentiveness to those voices that are original and that disrupt the socially constructed discourse.  In recent times, all the talk is about sex abuse and the dangerous person.  The emergent profile offered to us in media discussions – labelled paedophile or sex offender, and often a man – is sad, remorseful, guilt-ridden and contrite (even if he hasn’t done anything), pathetic and pitiable, but needing treatment.  This virtuous paedophile may well mark a new moment in the discourse but this is not really a marker of significant change – it does not ask, and nor will it be, a step towards an emergent sexuality for the minor attracted person in the way things happened for homosexual men in the 1960s and the 1970s.

So, with this post, has the block to dialogue been cleared?  The reader can decide that question.  But Jacques Derrida is right: we can best understand the term ‘future’ as pointing to the thing or person whose arrival is unexpected – in a real sense experienced as ‘other’.  Such a future is well worth valuing, and inside that unplanned-for and unexpected set of events, perhaps we will from time to time catch another glimpse of ourselves as we really are.

 

References:

 

 

 

 

What you start as may matter to you; what you become matters more.

resilienceWhat does it mean to be a good person? Or more to the point, what does it take to be seen as a good person? Here in New Zealand in 2014, these are vital questions and they relate to so many current issues – politics, the economy, inequality, child abuse. The list goes on.

The behaviours of our social and political leaders are at times ethically bankrupt. There is growing inequality between rich and poor, and between the diverse cultures that make us up as a nation. Child poverty and child abuse are crucial problems, and they justify the attention they receive in the media and in public forums. At the same time as all this is happening for us as a wider society, the minor attracted person is being sent the very clear message that nothing they do can be viewed as constructive or worthwhile, ethical or good.

In modern Western culture and society the pedophile (minor attracted person) is dehumanised. The message to such a person is he/she may as well as give up. (See Dunham’s media piece, details below.) In a conversation I had with a man who is minor attracted – he is not living in New Zealand – he made the following point: “This is the message some send the pedophile – Why do anything to help others, as a pedophile society sends the pedophile the message, you can do no good. If there is a burning building with people in danger, don’t bother saving anyone, if you do anything good, the credit you gain will be short-lived. When people know what you are, that good you did will evaporate.” The people you help in that burning house may be lucky because you helped them but you will gain no thanks. This chap does not see himself this way – he is certainly not going to harm anyone – but his words are a wake-up call. He was telling me how things are; this is the thinking of so many about the pedophile, and in saying this I am challenged to include those nice educated types.

You might think things are different in an academic context. After all, these people are educated; they don’t consume media pieces in an unthinking way. The language people use in academic settings may well be different, and the arrogant and hostile attitudes are less likely to be expressed there, but these spaces are no more optimistic. It is this lesson that I think was handed to me recently at a talk I attended here in Wellington. On an internal level I have taken this on board. I find myself changing, not because things are better – more humane; no I am changing because I find myself more able to acknowledge the way things are.

The talk was part of a sociology conference – titled Competing Responsibilities: The politics and ethics of responsibility in contemporary life. I want to be very honest and careful in what I offer here. No one was nasty, no words spoken were like those of some blogger or media person slagging off at “those pedophile bastards”. However beneath the text of what was said and done the mood really was ‘just give up’. Leaving the conference venue, I realized how disappointed I am with the academic community here in New Zealand.

In his keynote address (Making us resilient: responsible citizens for uncertain times) Prof. Nikolas Rose discussed what I considered to be a good idea – he said that notions of risk management can be more positively reframed inside the idea of resilience. Modern life is full of talk of risk management – and this blogsite is named with that in mind – but the problem is that such ideas imply anxiety. With the social construct ‘pedophile’ anxiety blossoms into moral panic. Professor Rose’s words seemed very wise indeed.

Resilience is a term used when talking about helping victims of sexual abuse. Prof. Rose’s talk offered an archeology of the term resilience, together with a critical analysis. He even went on to ask, Where to next? It was in the spirit of this approach that I asked my question: When looking for a less anxiety driven and more positive view of our world can we use resilience in relation to the minor attracted person? After all, that person is required to manage a life in a very hostile society.

Prof. Rose’s response to my question was disappointing. To express an optimism where a minor attracted person can be invited to become more resilient to what is currently happening both for them and for those they are connected to – friends, family – is a non-starter, even in the academic world.

Prof. Rose’s response to my question had three steps. First he wanted to set aside the reference to pedophilia – ‘after all it is a bit of a bombshell topic’. He commented next that it would be problematic to take a soldier about to go into battle and kill people – to become the cause of considerable suffering to others – and attempt to use the term ‘resilient’ when talking about that soldier. Of course I and those in the lecture hall understood what he was saying: This is how people fear a pedophile would behave. So for Prof. Rose, and others, the pedophile is primarily a dangerous person. Rose spoke of the concern he had the pedophile might develop a suit of body armour that made them less likely to see or acknowledge the harm they do. Clearly my proposition that a pedophile be even considered to be involved in a life where being an ethical subject is central is out of the question.

The third step in Prof. Rose’s answer was to speak of his concern – and I would join him here – that some British celebrities have been made into demons and monsters, and how unfair this is. But notice what is central here is the idea that the wrong people are being made demons. It is really about the sights on your gun being out of whack; it is not about putting the gun down and nor is it an acknowledgement that dehumanizing people is a problem in its own right.

A sociologist is always going to resist being turned into a psychologist. In his talk Prof. Rose explained that resilience is more than a reference to an individual’s character or internal disposition. Resilience also involves a set of social relations that surround the individual and that this wider dimension, often a concern for a sociologist, was frequently underestimated in academic critiques of modern life. I found myself taking on board what he was arguing for.

When talk occurs in public spaces about pedophilia and sexual abuse of the young, one sometimes hears references to the need to promote resilience in the child. Listening to Prof. Rose I began to see how one could apply the concept of resilience to discuss the other party in such situations – How can the term resilience be used when talking of the adult who is minor attracted and is seeking to construct for themselves an ethic of conduct that wishes to act responsibly and also strives to own their self-making?

A second aspect is precisely what Prof. Rose was arguing for – how the social relations that surround the individual are as important as that person’s character. As things stand now the minor attracted person finds themselves stigmatised and excluded from society. How does the individual grappling with this process remain socially connected, a part of society? Resilience is sometimes referred to as a capacity to bounce back; it is here one can say the minor attracted person needs to push back against their social exclusion, to see it less as risk management and more as resilience.

My perspective and that of Prof. Rose were clearly very different. I see the minor attracted person experiencing suffering and isolation in modern life; the language of resilience might offer a more positive way to formulate a path forward. For Prof. Rose the minor attracted person simply has no permission to use ‘resilience’ in this way.

There is a set of rules at play here – including a rule about how to break the rules. (For further discussion of this point see Foucault’s text “Fearless Speech”, details offered below.) When it comes to talking about the minor attracted person, a speaker can find themselves saying something that draws a strong negative reaction. That response may well be an indicator a discursive rule has been broken. In theory my asking the question in the context of an academic conference was legitimate but the flaw in my thinking was soon apparent – in relation to the minor attracted person, talk in an academic forum is very similar to talk in a non-academic setting.

Prof. Rose did show a humanitarian feeling for certain individuals: he expressed concern about the allegations and media talk that surrounded Rolf Harris and others. Rose’s message clearly pointed to the poor use of the term ‘pedophile’ in the media coverage, but he seemed not to be showing any real insight or even interest in the life situation of the minor attracted person. He is one of many who I suspect see that beating up on old men (see Guardian article) is not the thing to do, but one would be unwise to see this humanitarian concern for the older person signals the arrival of that compassion I keep waiting for.

I have changed. My attendance at the lecture was not a mistake. I can see how things are, but I am not giving up.

As things stand, a valid question would be: Where can we source other perspectives that present as more open to what is at stake in these relationships and situations.

In this blog post the academic setting references have largely been those of sociology, psychology, linguistics and media studies. If we look at the disciplines of psychotherapy, literature, and critical theory, they include reference to the management of desire as part of managing a life. It is my view now that such ideas as these, alongisde those of Prof. Rose and his ideas of resilience, the minor attracted person, the young, and the rest of us can find a way forward.

Details:

  • Dunham A. ‘Paedophiles should commit suicide’: expert. The Local: Spains News in English. 2014, 18 August. Spain. Online Newspaper.
  • Foucault M. Fearless Speech. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), Distributed by MIT Press; 2001.
  • Harris gets jail sentence of five years nine months. The New Zealand Heald. 2014, 4 July. New Zealand. Online Newspaper. Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11287931
  • Lawyer says age of consent should be lowered to end ‘persecution of old men’. (2013, Thursday 9 May 2013 12.22 BST). The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/09/lawyer-age-consent-persecution-men
  • Rose N. Making us resilient: responsible citizens for uncertain times. In: Keynote Talk. Rutherford House, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. 15th to 17th August; 2014. Competing Responsibilities Conference.

Do Sally and James have your support?

 

Sally and James are asking for social and community support (Parents Forever logo).

Sally and James are asking for social and community support (Parents Forever logo).

Recently a media item on NZTV2 20/20 caught my attention – The Silent Victim. The programme’s focus was on the families and partners of child sex offenders. In the media piece two women were interviewed: first a woman who, after her male partner was convicted of sexually abusing a girl, made the decision to remain with him and speak about what that process and situation were like for her; the second person interviewed was Shelly Lomas, a psychologist with Wellstop.

The first woman and her husband were given fictitious names – Sally and James. The way the media piece was put together Sally was presented as a brave woman – a person deserving not only a listening ear, but also admiration. That message of respect for Sally is strongly positive and gains my whole hearted support.

There were two occasions during the interview when this position of admiration for her was put in question. The first was in how Sally’s situation was framed. Her story was offered as a very unusual love story, one where if it were us the love would have stopped long ago. The second occasion was when Sally stated unequivocally that she loved James, he was in her words “an intelligent and genuinely nice guy”. The interviewer repositioned what Sally was saying by adding, “Yes, but do you trust him?”

Sally and James had been married about a decade prior to his sexual offending. She viewed her husband positively, and when asked, judged the sex life for them as a couple, before the offending, as average. The offending happened when a young female guest came into the family home.

Sally offered a number of personal insights that came out of her experience. Two of these were really significant. First the girl who was involved with James – and we know nothing about details – was experienced by Sally as a competitor for James’ affections, and in the competition Sally believed she had lost. She offered what is typical for a woman lensing news of a sexual affair through the model of sexual monogamy – the belief that for a second person to be loved by their current partner, and for that person to become sexually involved with one’s partner, is to have failed as a lover. With this as her belief Sally was drawn into entertaining self-destructive behaviours, although it seems from what is offered inside the 20/20 program, she never acted on those feelings. One could again blame James for all this, but I don’t think Sally did. The ‘monogamy model’ positions a woman, or any person in a relationship who finds out their sexual partner has sexual links to someone else, in a potentially harmful way. It is a particular way of interpreting sexual desire and its place inside a life that can be very unhelpful. Sally appears to have seen past this limitation. Her talk about herself and how she felt suggests she decided that fidelity, faithfulness amid change, is the better aspect to stress inside a committed relationship that sees itself as shaped by love.

Sally did more than offer self-reflections, she challenged the viewer. She offered an outsider a riddle inside a question – what if someone you admire deeply sexually offends, what would you do, how would you feel? It is easy to see why this woman was viewed inside the 20/20 programme as brave.

Sally also talked of the issue of shame. Unsurprisingly Sally experienced shame when news of her husband’s offending became public. Out of that sprang a question, would it change for her if she left him? Her answer was no, the shame would remain. It was her view the message “leave him” is the message of society and the wider community. At the same time she understood that message can be resisted, her personal experience told her that the wider community may be wrong.

This idea the community and wider society can get things wrong about how to manage the sex offender came through the interview with the second woman as well. Shelly Lomas of Wellstop saw the modern response to sex offender as blocking the possibility of things getting better. It is her view all the mechanisms and strategies for helping the sex offender deal better with life are dismantled by punitive attitudes and social isolation; the sex offender is denied the capacity or even the possibility of hope. Shelly expressed strongly the belief this approach was for her counterintuitive – “How do people expect to make change when you shut down all the processes that you and I would ordinarily use to evolve and move to a better place?”

The final insight Sally referenced was the role of human doubt inside what it means to be in love with a person. She was asked, as one might expect, “What if James sexually abused a second time, would you leave him then?” Her answer was “I don’t know.” In 2008 John Patrick Shanley directed a movie in which Meryl Streep played the part of a religious woman in the employ of the Catholic Church – Sister Aloysius Beauvier. Eventually it became clear Beauvier was on the war path to push a priest out of the parish where she worked. The character of the priest – Father Brendan Flynn, was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie was called Doubt and it was about sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church. At the end of the movie Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the character Streep gave life to, cupped her face in her hands following her success at getting the man moved on and said, loudly crying, “But I have such doubts.”

Father Flynn early in the movie gave a well thought through homily to the local Catholic community, pointing out that doubt is a position from inside which interpersonal and even political relationships can grow and deepen – he was referencing the period following the assassination of President JF Kennedy. He was, of course, arguing how certitude can be a deeply problematic model on which to forge a life, or the path for whole communities as well. The various versions of fundamentalist worldviews that surround us today, ranging from fundamentalist Islam to strident statements by Richard Dawkins, serve to reinforce the view offered in Father Flynn’s homily.

Voices of people who are not frequently offered the chance to speak are situations that grab my attention, plus there is a theme in this 20/20 media piece that seeks from wider society an extended hand of human compassion. In what is written here there is a separation between what is said by the women interviewed and how the item has been managed by those who put together this media item. To the two women who are interviewed I deliberately extend a message of respect, they deserve that in my view; the makers of the media piece are judged less positively.

You have heard the saying, “How did a nice woman like you get to be in a bad place like this?” The media piece gave an answer to this by stressing how all the women in the group being referenced in this story experience suffering because of their partners’ offending. The sub-text being offered in this media piece is negative in how men are referenced.

The 20/20 item gained a place on my Facebook wall and I chose to support the process where these voices are given space inside our public discussions. ‘The Silent Victim’ opened with the idea that people have experiences that need to be considered, but these people daren’t speak out for fear of persecution. Because ‘The Silent Victim’ showed it understood how some voices are blocked and suffer because of this, I was looking for more: just where will this compassion take us? Will we be asked to extend that empathetic skill set to the sexual offender? The answer seems to be a clear no.

That clear no for me was sad, but the programme’s shortcomings did not end there. Again I stress, a critical eye is focused on how the media item was assembled, not the women who were interviewed, or the views they offered. The profile of the sex offender was male; I saw no acknowledgement that sexual offending against children could be attached to the profile of a woman. And this piece was written as if same sex couples did not exist. Allowing for an untruth to be believed – that all sex offenders are men – the partner of the offender could also be male. Two important pieces of New Zealand legislation are crucial: the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 legalising consentual sex between men aged 16 and over, and the very recent law allowing same sex couples to marry – Marriage (Definition of Marraige) Amendment Act 2013. The media item’s ‘heterosexual normalism’ seems seriously out of step with what is happening in the real world.

It could be asked was this feature I am calling heterosexual normalism merely an oversight by those who put together this media item, a forgetfulness? Perhaps, but another explanation, one that is much more problematic, could be at play. The program is clearly wanting to show compassion and empathy towards the families and partners of sex offenders. It may also be inspired by a strongly feminist ideology that is zoological, by that I mean a form of feminism that is deterministic and is really only about women as opposed to a different kind of feminism where men are included in that better world one is working to create. If same sex male couples had been included then the empathy the program wants to push for would be directed to men as well as women, a position a zoological version of feminism would not want to engage.

The last element of one-sidedness and distortion that I found regrettable in this piece rests with the West’s newest social and cultural blind spot. There was no space offered to the idea that sexual contacts across generations could be positioned inside friendship, or how such encounters could be framed positively. I would not be at all surprised if a reader felt I had just taken a step too far, but take it I will.

In my view The Silent Victim is in fact the same old same old. I am disappointed because I view these moments as opportunities, chances to do some good. I am glad that Sally’s narrative has been given some public space, and the move to get New Zealand society to consider the situations of those impacted by sex abuse, NZ prisons, and what comes after the person is released. All this matters a great deal. But still the negative attitudes to the sex offender, the profiling of men as the real source of women’s personal suffering, these messages are not simply tedious – they’re dangerous.

________

Late post: This item in Salon was offered to me by a British friend after the above article was put on my blog site. On the page it had this publication information: .

Married to a Pedophile – Salon.com

Being liberal is no easy life-choice.

Apparently we are all being watched.

Apparently we are all being watched.

The focus of this blog Take-A-Risk-NZ is on crime, sexuality, social change, and in particular, the situation minor-attracted people find themselves dealing with. The views offered here may seem to many to be off to one side and remote – if a reader goes to the pub or some social gathering the ideas I offer are probably not going to pop up in conversation.  Other issues it could be argued are more worthy of public concern.

I don’t see it quite that way, although there are some really big issues out there. The canary in the coal mine comes to mind. As things change and new problems replace old ones the signs a problem is present can be found in what at the time is not focused on and not judged to be important. In earlier days inside a coal mine those who went down into the mine would take with them a small bird in a cage. While down inside the mine the bird, perhaps a canary, might begin to struggle and fall ill, indicating a gas leak or the presence of a threat, a danger the miners may fail to register. To fail to see the bird having problems was to leave open the possibility a person might be the next animal to die. How minority groups experience problems can be for the rest of us a warning regarding our fate as a society.

Yesterday two plain clothes police officers came to my apartment complex. They had taken an interest in an image that was distributed inside Tumblr, a social media network much like Facebook. The picture these officers were interested in was of a boy pointing a handgun at his head. That image was used in a post put up on this blog that discussed the use of the term sexual orientation when referring to a person who is minor attracted. The American Psychological Association had just pulled the use of this term in favour of the phrase sexual interest when referring to the desire felt by a minor attracted person. (For a background to this see this Washington Times piece.)

What this blog piece offers was referenced by Tom O’Carroll in an item titled “Should we publish and be damned?” A commenter on that article, Peter Loudon, shared details about the person who took the image of the boy in the picture. The image eventually found its way to Tumblr. Peter stated as part of his comment, “The photograph was taken by Jan H Andersen using a model. Andersen lives in Denmark. His blog is here http://www.jhandersen.com/ and his stock photography collection is here http://www.expozero.com/. The photograph in question can be found in the collection ‘Death and Suicide’.”

When my blog item, along with image of the boy and the gun, was put up on Take-A-Risk-NZ a link to it appeared on my Facebook page.  It was this link the NZ Police took an interest in. The two women were in front of me to give me a polite message – we are watching you. I don’t have any criminal convictions, but apparently I am a person of interest. The police are, I am sure, convinced such interest is what their job requires – under that banner of “child protection”.

There are times when to understand an event one needs to locate it inside a context. Digital communications like those used by a lot of us – Facebook, Tumblr, emails – are of interest of the State and its agents, Mr. Snowden has helped us see this very clearly. Also 2014 seems to be part of what has been unfolding for some time now – over the last thirty years there has been a turning process unfolding.

The 1960s and 70s are now very much under attack and a part of the liberal commentary that filled those decades is now viewed as suspect, even dangerous. (See Tim Stanley’s views of both Camille Paglia and Allen Ginsberg, and a podcast on The Telegraph titled “Why did the 1970s become a haven for evil?”.) Men and women my age find themselves in the gaze of others as agents of dangerous views, and some bashing is going on, especially for the males in that cohort (see Barbara Hewson’s comments on the persecution of old men).

When responding to the two police officers I mentioned Mr Snowden and the watching process they referred to. I stressed this activity is well known to many of us. I also asked them to tell me if any image, like that of the boy with the gun, is linked to criminal activity, links I may be unaware of, please tell me of such things, I want to know if I have been pulled into something unawares.

If asked, my politics is liberal; perhaps the term “left” might be a fit as well. Whatever the label, the views I hold and the commitment I have to them is no easy road to walk. Over that period of thirty years I refer to above, it could be said the liberal and the left have not had the upper hand politically. It has been the neoliberals and the Christian right who seem to have been the movers and the shakers. One choice I have made is to back the liberal view because I think it deserves my support. Like the opinion voices of Alain Badiou and Michel Foucault I think an event is something that one should link to truth and truth telling. The 1960s and 70s can be seen as an event and a truth, something that broke through into our lives that needs to be allowed to touch us now in 2014.

Further Reading:

The ethics of ‘pixie sex’

Looney_Toons_23637Last week our local media in New Zealand published an item under the banner, “Man sent to jail for watching ‘pixie sex’.” Friends made jokes about how this story might impact our local pixies, and yes, some stated quite simply, “Have the New Zealand police and our court system gone crazy?” Even Roger Bowden, the man’s lawyer, said the conviction for possessing objectionable material was “the law gone mad.”

If this wasn’t about real people, I too would laugh. But it is not the pixies who are at the centre of this story. Very serious events have unfolded for “an Auckland man“ – and it’s not over yet. Having been convicted of a crime, he has served his time in a New Zealand prison and has now been released, under the supervision of the Probation Service. Usually after such a supervision period ends the ex-inmate is expected to fit back into society – find a job, get himself a place to live. It is my expectation that this man’s future prospects look nothing like that.

What assumptions can we make regarding the man? On a personal level his psychological state/mood would be moving ever closer to snapping point. The public media tell him who and what he is – social messages that are reinforced in his interactions with others. Inside these images, narratives and exchanges, the social identity of the ‘pedophile’/sex abuser is constructed.

Not only do these imposed narratives make it virtually impossible for an individual to maintain an integrated sense of self, but they block all attempts at resistance, be it political struggle or romantic heroism. The very idea of ‘legitimate’ resistance for a sex offender is a no-no.

One form of resistance is available for the sex offender –  it has two modalities, and both involve lies and deceit. First, the sex offender is expected to tell lies: he’s a liar before he opens his mouth. But there is also the potential for such a person to tell themselves it is in their best interests to avoid telling the truth. Prisoners will often disclose, after their release, how crucial telling lies was to their survival. Sadly, this is likely to include the inmate failing to take responsibility for what they have done.

There is something profoundly ironic happening here. Sex abuse narratives have truth telling as a central issue, but that process is a bit more complex than may at first appear. It is my belief the stigma of the sex offender and the pedophile is so powerful it feeds invitations to tell lies and do whatever it takes to keep out of harm’s way.

Telling the truth seems almost foreign for modern-day narratives of the sex offender – most see the offender as the one who misleads; I would argue speaking the truth is indeed a great need inside this situation, but lying is endemic, and the act of truth telling far from straightforward.

What sex offenders tell others, and what they tell themselves, constitutes a very deep problem. My decision to write seems infected by this problem of speaking the truth – how will my writing impact others?

In a fundamental sense, each of us owns our own story. That ‘truth’ is as valid for members of sexual minorities as it is for the rest of us. When writing any piece for this blog the author is challenged to take into account how the person or group being discussed might be impacted by what is offered. Anyone who has studied in the area of the social sciences will be aware that ethics and methodology are crucial aspects of how serious research ought to be undertaken these days.

Recent posts on this site can be lensed through such questions. The piece about prisons, for example: How might that piece impact on inmates, their friends and families, the victims of the crimes linked to why a person is in prison?

The more recent post –  which discussed children in art –  considered how those children would be impacted by public discussion of Graham Ovenden’s work? At first, British society viewed his works as positive, placing them in such prestigious art spaces as The Tate Gallery. When those images were recently taken down, and this move written about in the public media, how were the children in those art works impacted?

A number of items on this website have discussed the social profile of the pedophile. The intent of these texts was to urge the reader to consider the profile of ‘the pedophile’ and ‘the sex offender’ in terms of how they are currently positioned in New Zealand society and culture. How would minor attracted people (a term I use in place of pedophile and sex abuser) view my text? How does the talk I invite impact on them?

A pattern is emerging in New Zealand: men socially profiled as sex abusers and pedophiles are increasingly placed under extended supervision for periods of up to ten years, with a range of special conditions imposed. I know of a person who has been through this situation; his experience gave me a window into how this works. In such a situation as this the probation service will make specific recommendations. The person will often be blocked from owning or having access to any device that links to the internet. Ask people these days to do without such items as our computers, tablet devices or smart-phones for a week and watch panic set in.

I argue that when a person is ‘managed’ by the state it is difficult for them to be open about how that process happens. What choices do they have when telling the story? The biblical account of David and Goliath is not usually applied to the situation of a pedophile facing a courtroom. Perhaps that is the point: culture restricts the narratives we can choose when creating our personal stories – and not every story is offered to every person.

The David and Goliath image is something I have used; I argue the sex offender is prevented from doing so – his every attempt to characterise himself as another David battling Goliath is blocked and discounted.

There is the issue of power here – how can the story be told, and by whom? We are not him; what questions are we free to ask? Is it okay for us to focus on the process unfolding for the man in Auckland, and not limit our questions to issues of guilt or innocence?

Is the Probation Service being over-zealous? Is the state exercising ‘prosecutorial overreach’? Returning to our earlier question, how do our comments impact on this man? If we inquire into what the authorities are doing, the man is likely to become concerned about how they are going to react, and more to the point, what they will do to him.

There is a lobby group in New Zealand that seeks ever increased punishment of those who come before our courts. One can also speculate government staff who see themselves as ‘doing a job’ can become nervous – they fear being viewed as sloppy or lax. Another group in play here are professionals called on by courts to offer opinions – psychologists for example. They are not exempt from these power dynamics. If a psych report is asked for, and I dare say it already has been, how will it be written? It will take up a position, and it will be very likely ideologically driven.

My prediction: an escalation of this case is likely.

As things currently stand this man’s life is in public space, albeit a highly stigmatized version of his life. Media items that point to the pixie story extend beyond New Zealand. Having been to court and spent time in prison, he is already a person deeply affected by what has unfolded. I argue he continues to be at risk.

For some, this pixie story seems like a joke. It is far from funny. In addition to having served a prison term, the man may well have to endure extended supervision for as many as ten years.

Early on, this post pointed out each person owns the narrative that is their life story. Again I feel compelled to stress not only that this matters, but also for some, it is very difficult and complex.

Some are arguing this is a reasoned accusation and a punitive response with a feel-good factor. The view being put forward is this man’s sexual orientation – that of being a pedophile – means that having viewed this pixie material he may then go on to carry out acts that harm children.

It is an argument that turns on the notion of child protection. What it fails to show is any in-depth understanding of what having a sexual orientation means. Even if we have an adult who is not a pedophile, sexual assault of a child, I argue, demonstrates the sexuality of the person acting requires analysis. It is my intention to write on both sexual orientation and the presence of adults inside that group who sexually abuse children and are not pedophiles.

Related articles

  •  Cohen, S. (1972). Folk Devils and Moral Panics (Third Edition). London and New York: Routledge.
  • Farrar, D. (2013, 21/04). A yucky but interesting issue [Blogsite]. In Kiwiblog (Blogrole). Retrieved 28 April, 2013, from http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/04/a_yucky_but_interesting_issue.html
  • Foucault, M. (2001). Fearless Speech. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), Distributed by MIT Press.
  • Goffman, E. (1986). Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity.
  • Steward, I. (2013, 21/04). Man sent to jail for watching ‘pixie sex’ [Newspaper] [Electronic version]. In Stuff.co.nz (National). Stuff.co.nz(Online Story).

Children in art, have they become one of today’s problems?

ovenden paintingThree pieces from the Guardian caught my eye this week. All were about Graham Ovenden.  Jonathan Jones fronts the Guardian’s view with theory, we are then offered an update by Charlotte Higgins letting us know the Tate Gallery was removing some of Ovenden’s work from public view and adding that his conviction involving  underage girls cast his work in a new light. A couple of days later the Guardian asked us to vote.

On the 2nd of April Jonathan Jones (writes on art for the Guardian) discussed how the Ovenden case related to art – “Graham Ovenden: artist thrived among 1970s self-conscious decadence.” A day later Charlotte Higgins (chief arts writer for the Guardian) notified readers that the Tate had removed a number of Ovenden’s pieces from public view – “Tate removes Graham Ovenden prints after indecency conviction offering as an explanation.” Higgins’ text offered up the following comment: Ovenden’s conviction  “‘shone a new light’ on his work.” On the 5th of April the Guardian invited readers to vote  – “Should the Tate have removed Graham Ovenden’s prints?” At the time this page was viewed the vote had just closed (11.00am, Monday 8 April, 2013). Reader opinion had the spread, 55% (yes) and 45% (no). This outcome offers up the view the Tate’s decision to remove Ovenden’s work is a highly contested move.

As a New Zealander, reading these pieces has been to experience déjà vu. In July 2012 a local artist, Brendan Nolan, with a profile considerably smaller than that of Ovenden, had his work treated the same way by the authorities – three artworks ‘taken down’. One was a set of gates he made for Paekakariki School; the second was a tui sculpture at Paraparaumu Beach (a tui is a species of bird native to New Zealand); the third was a painting on public display at the local library. It is unclear whether the painting was removed by the council, or by the library. The  New Zealand Herald did not make this clear. The news story does state the school gates and the scupture were removed by the Kapiti Coast District Council.

Both in the Ovenden case and the Nolan case, explanations were given why their art was taken out of public spaces. In New Zealand Councilor Tony Lester said, “The decision to take the sculpture down was not a hard one to make.” Since the art items Nolan had created were not of children I read Lester’s message as ‘this action to remove this man’s art from a position of social prominence is because he is a sex offender/pedophile. That point of view deserves critical thought.

There is a point of difference between the New Zealand case and Ovenden’s. Higgins’ Guardian piece refers of images of children – artworks removed from public view included “a screen-print that features an image of a young naked child.” She argues Ovenden is positioned differently because of how he exploited the girls whom he had made of his work. I am not blocking the idea that Ovenden will move to the position Nolan finds himself in, that his social stigma as a pedophile will finally be the explanation offered for why his art is no longer of value.  At this point in time The Guardian pieces seem to offer a message slightly different from the one that lives inside media reports of the New Zealand case of Brendan Nolan.

Jonathan Jones’ Guardian story was the first comment on the Ovenden case that caught my eye. It appeared to be talking about art, but my view is this is illusory. What is offered is a view that attempts to say we are modern and new in our views; older views are suspect. What Jones does in how he writes is to allow morality to be central to his view without acknowledging that this is the case.

Jonathan Jones is attempting to do something very much in step with our time – he wants to stand just outside the modern, that period in our recent past that is in his words “dead”. Philosophical commentary refers to that earlier way of thinking as a ‘grand narrative’ style. An important issue here is how modernism offers up its notion of authority. Its narrative was more than just any old story, it offered up an account that was used as a benchmark. The school of thought next to emerge in Western thought takes issue precisely with this point of authority. This ‘post-modern’ view is not a single view, it is more a collection of views which together question issues like those of authority and explain why we are comfortable with changes in opinion and fashion. Ideas now can come and go, be different from each other, and that mix is not necessarily a problem for us.

Jones further points to this past dead item as the artistic perspective of the Victorian era. He links the term ‘Victorian’ to the notion of decadence (a term he no doubt sees as negative for both him and his reader). He makes these moves in his opening sentences  – “Tastes change. In art as in clothes, the cool new thing of today may look repellent and absurd in the future.” Right from the start Jones positions us, with himself, as inside the post-modern. Our cultures and our views (including those of art) are fluid and changeable; they are not the grand narrative of the past, which saw itself as stable and unchanging.

It is here that I suggest caution – there is a twist.  Jones is saying, to be us is to have a ‘more advanced sensibility’. But here is his twist: our ability to see the dark side. Jones suggests, but does not state openly, for him there is a moral absolute. It is hinted at, its existence disclosed, via child nudity and the pedophile (the term pedophile is not stated, none the lesss it is an identity offered up as Ovenden’s real self that Jones’ text depends on). It is this philosophical position that images are not dark in and of themselves. It is in  the linkage between an image and its viewer that this darkness becomes palpable. I do not see Jones arguing here that Ovenden alone is his concern. For Jones the concern is that linkage of Ovenden to his images of girls. Jonathan Jones’ article is not, in my view, merely about Ovenden’s identity and profile. No it’s about a perspective, a way of seeing.

In addition to how Jones wants to position Ovenden’s art, he also offers an unacknowledged blending of the post-modern and the modern. He wants a dollar each way. Why, you might ask. My guess is he wants to lay claim to that quality of authority – this view is more than mere opinion, this is the view, this is how it is, this is how it is for all of us, this is how it is for all time. It is this situation where an argument appears to offer up openness, an acknowledgement that past claims of authority are now invalid, to suggest we are more open, and less controlled by others … And yet  that new argument shuts the door to future debate.

Notice, I am not swayed by the inclusion of a simple yes/no vote that has been offered by the Guardian.  If anything that kind of vote is more an invitation for prejudice and emotion to control debate, rather than some idea of democracy. What I look for is the exposure of the structure of people’s thinking, to lay it bare and then reflect.

The structure of Jones’ thinking can also be read in his links to other texts. He does not say why Charles Dodgson, author of Alice in Wonderland; Nabokov, author of the novel Lolita; and select characters in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, are scary and dark. No, he anticipates the reader will nod in agreement that these figures are scary and dark. And leaves it there – they are for him his fixed points – they are not free to be moved or viewed differently by some future age or from within the diversity of a post-modern universe. It is significant he argues simply that they are dark and scary. It is just an act of pointing, and a seeking support from the reader.

Ovenden, we learn from Higgins’ piece in the Guardian, will be treated in the same way as his images. Both will not to be before our eyes and amongst us – Ovenden’s art has been taken down; he will disappear into prison spaces. One notes the images taken down by the Tate played no role in Ovenden’s conviction.

No doubt other people too are uneasy about the Tate’s decision to take down some of Ovenden’s work. Some, like me, will have questions both about what is art and what is just. Jones rather cleverly acknowledges this by using the term hero when referring to Ovenden. Inside the art community, Jones tells us Ovenden is “a star of the dawning post-modern age”, but  he immediately knocks this down because he tells his readers Ovenden is also a person who takes pictures of naked girls, a man whose internal life is “deeply worrying and bizarre”.

I am not convinced by the contributions of Jones or Higgins, nor do I trust the Guardian’s yes/no vote will put my sceptical soul to sleep. I live in New Zealand. The morality of our culture and the stigma of pedophilia are in some sense closer to the surface. Councilor Tony Lester’s words can be paraphrased this way, “The decision to take down artwork of a sex offender/pedophile is not a hard one to make.” That is most definitely a cultural perspective – a deeply felt one for some – but remember we have come to see the post-modern perspective may indeed be right – nothing is absolute, authority is more complex than the words “I told you so, therefore it must be true.”

References:

Blundell, K. (2012, 27/06). School gates created by sex offender removed [Newspaper]. In Stuff.co.nz (News/Kapiti). The Dominion Post(Online Story). Retrieved 7 April, 2013, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/kapiti/7181199/School-gates-created-by-sex-offender-removed

Higgins, C. (2013, 03/04). Tate removes Graham Ovenden prints after indecency conviction. In http://www.guardian.co.uk (Tate Britain). The Guardian(Online Story). Retrieved 3 April, 2013, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2013/apr/03/tate-removes-graham-ovenden-prints

Jones, J. (2013, 2/04). Graham Ovenden: Artist thrived among 1970s self-conscious decadence [Newspaper]. In http://www.guardian.co.uk (Crime). The Guardian(Online Story). Retrieved 2 April, 2013, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/02/graham-ovenden-artist-1970s-decadence

Communities tear down sex offender’s artwork [Newspaper]. (2012, 02/07). In http://www.nzherald.co.nz (National). The New Zealand Herald(Online Story). Retrieved 05/04, from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10816808

Should the Tate have removed Graham Ovenden’s prints? [Online Newspaper]. (2013, 05/04). In http://www.guardian.co.uk (Comment is free). The Guardian(Online Story). Retrieved 7 April, 2013, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2013/apr/05/tate-removed-graham-ovenden-prints-conviction