cholmondeley wrote:On June 12 I wrote this to the Design Museum, but got no reply or acknowledgement although I wrote a follow-up:
"In your mostly excellent shop you are displaying a book called 'Hell Babies' cf http://tinyurl.com/yswlfh .
In my view this book obviously crosses the line into pedophilia. I don't want to get into a boring discussion about artistic freedom. Protecting our children trumps that. Personally I would have doubts about another book you are displaying called Gothic Lolita.
I ask you both to remove the book and reply to this email.
The books continued to be displayed for some time.
Jonathan K wrote:Disagree. I've seen plenty of manga and am broader-minded than many, but I draw the line at the melding of adult sexual characteristics with depictions of children. In 'Hell Babies' the paedophilic implication is blatant as hell. The Design Museum was wrong to stock it, wrong to ignore my letter. The argument that something "documents a youth culture" carries no weight.the well-known, stylised drawings, by Junko Mizuno (a woman by the way) have never made me think of paedophilia whatsoever. They are not to my taste, but that's a different matter. The pictures are of all obviously meant to be of women - they all have breasts for start! Japanese manga-style drawing do often use big eyes, innocent looks and what western people may think of as 'child-like' hair-styles but in no way is Mizuno's work paedophilic.
'Gothic Lolita' is a youth-cult in Japan made from combining two other youth groups (guess which ones...). Not seen the book yo0u describe but if it documents a youth culture then why have 'doubts' about it?
Jerry wrote:1.It's always wrong to 'cry wolf too much.'I suppose it's lucky that we are able to discuss these subjects in such an open forum. Or is it because the fight against summary censorship continues and there are many people out there who would like to decide what you or I can or cannot read. It is pretty clear that if "Hell Babies" was deemed obscene then Amazon wouldn't stock it, nor could you buy stationary featuring her drawings of weird babies (not to my taste either!)! As much as we all deplore pedophiles, it seems wrong to cry "wolf" too much and devalue genuine concerns.