Let us get this straight. So this month’s Rolling Stone cover can show two barely legal Gossip Girls suggestively licking the same phallic ice cream cone and that’s cool, but when teen girls take pictures of themselves in their bras it’s a felony? Something about that just doesn’t seem right.
The criminalization of female sexual experimentation and the questioning of what constitutes infringement on civil liberties have just reached a whole new low now that Philadelphia District Attorney George P. Skumanick is butting heads with the ACLU after threatening to charge three teenage girls with violating felony child pornography laws for taking partially nude photographs of themselves. Now we’re not saying this issue isn’t fraught with complication — for one, the photos were discovered because their male classmates were trading them like baseball cards on their cell phones while at school — but should we really be charging teenage girls with committing sex crimes against themselves?
The penalty for child pornography production, distribution, and possession in Philadelphia is spending up to seven years in prison, as well as a ten-year mandatory registration in the state’s sex offender registry. And these girls can kiss their hopes of federal student loans to pay for college goodbye; the government doesn’t give tuition money to convicted felons. A slumber party mistake may just cost them the fulfillment of their future hopes and dreams, but we guess Skumanick thinks that’s just the price they’ll have to pay for trying to emulate the way their favorite stars are shown in magazines.
This isn’t the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode in the future. In the meantime, tell us what you think.