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50 years of seducing children

In the Sept. 25 Books and Art section of the Mail Tribune, an Associated Press article entitled &

&

145;Lolita&

turns 50&

announced the release of a special edition of the 1950s &

classic&

tale of kidnapping, pedophilia and murder that sold 50 million copies after its release in the United Sates in 1958.

According to the AP article, written by Kim Curtis, the rationale behind so much fanatic attention to a book that celebrated and glorified the illicit affair of an older man with his wife&

s adolescent daughter is exemplified in the opening lines of the book &

which I will not dignify by repeating here.

The book is considered a literary classic, although Curtis is quick to denounce the principle character of the book as &

despicable.&

Neither the character, nor his despicable actions of manipulating and controlling the life of a child for his own desires could deter 50 million people from engaging in an artistic endorsement of such behavior and creating an iconic level of fame for the act of pedophilia itself.

Of course, we are supposed to believe that every reader must have been lured by the poetic artistry that characterizes the manner in which the book was written, and smitten by the author&

s manipulation of the language. After all, art trumps morality in this society-gone-wrong-upside-down-wrong-is-right culture.

According to Curtis, readers loved &

Lolita&

because of its literary artistic genius.

Sure, and everyone who reads Playboy gets lost in its glossy pages reading it just for the articles.

On the heels of the success of the book, a movie was released in 1962. Another was offered to a wanton public in 1997.

I&

m sure millions of moviegoers flocked to theaters just to see the magic of poetic lines, which supposedly enraptured readers of the book, brought to life on the screen.

Yep, that must&

ve been it.

It is evident that men and boys find it alluring when a grown woman exposes her upper thighs in short mini-skirts and tight short shorts. And surely there is some deliberate forethought to attract attention when a woman exposes her cleavage or allows a taut tummy to peek out from beneath a size-too-small shirt worn atop low-cut pants or skirts.

But in the style of "Lolita," today's adolescent girls and teens have adopted grownup fashions that are sexually suggestive. The alarming notion that such clothing is promoted by adults and purchased by parents seems to have such a common acceptance that only those who appear to notice that the little emperors and empresses have no clothes are branded as some sort of prude.

The fashion industry has no qualms about sending the message of sex in promoting its attire to young American women. From very high heels to very low necklines, showing your skin, and flaunting figures through fashion sells merchandise. Magazines, television and big screen films provide the imagery.

And in case you didn&

t notice that woman&

s thong underwear showing when she casually bent over, that tattoo on her lower back should be enough to alert any male&

s cerebral senses (or even female&

s for that matter) that something sensual is taking place.

Hollywood, in its complicit role, nevertheless jokes about the reality of it all in the comedy movie Wedding Crashers, where the lead actors blatantly regard any woman with a tattoo on her lower back as wearing a "bullseye" target. It is apparent that art is imitating real life in this example. Yet, high school and college-aged young women who adorn themselves in this way seem oblivious to the notion that they are being perceived in such a manner.

But in society today, sex is sold as a commodity and is so commonplace as a fact of teen and young adult life that virtually no one blinks an eye anymore when adolescent girls are seen dressed in the same attire as the common street hookers of the 70s.

&

Lolita,&

no matter how despicable, didn&

t repulse this nation; it lured us into a world where adult-child relationships are excused, if not completely condoned. And we see the results of it today, with adults leading the promotion of sex to children through the various industries of influence.

The porn industry, which knows no boundaries, has understood the growing fascination of adults engaging in sex with teens and children. The idea that adults would seek out children and manipulate, encourage, coerce or force them into sexual acts does not surprise me. Adults do the most despicable things.

But it does surprise me to discover that parents of children and those who hold leadership positions in our society are the target market, which has responded in literally billions of dollars of support. That kind of support fuels an industry in constant search of new young nubile flesh to exploit. And despite the efforts of law enforcement to curtail child pornography and deter online child predators, a steady stream of news articles expose the popularity of such activities even among the supposed elite of society, some of whom find themselves being led away in handcuffs from professional offices and even judge's chambers, much to the chagrin of so-called high society.

Knowing the dangers lurking around unsuspecting corners in every community, it surprises me to see parents allowing their adolescent girls and teenagers to dress in a &

come hither&

manner, pretending that the innocent attraction to sensual imagery and fashion is a phase that children and teens will grow out of.

I am surprised to see girls walking with their mothers, dressed in a way even their mothers would not dress. Yet, parents, and likely those same parents who read Lolita or watched the Hollywood version, have no compunction about their young daughters turning the heads of young and older men alike while walking down a street or through a mall exhibiting their wares as though they were for sale in a sexual marketplace.

Lolita turned 50 this year.

And despite her advanced age, she remains young and alluring in the mind of society. In less than 30 days, 50,000 copies of the supposed artistic treasure was sold to a new audience of voyeurs that desire to peek into the dark underworld of the sadistic sexual manipulation of children.

And who can blame them?

After all, Hollywood has become an industry that thrusts billions of dollars into feature films and television programs offering scene after scene of young people &

getting it on.&

And even Hollywood offers its own lure of adult-child sexual affairs couched in television programs and movies where young actors perform sensual scenes for the entertainment of the viewing audience, millions of whom are adults.

The moral barriers instilled in us through a variety of religious faiths are bombarded with constant attacks from a society that shrieks continually about the benevolence of consensual sex and the importance of leading children into an early mindset of acceptance of a wide variety of sexual relationships.

The fashion industry follows in line with clothing made for children that is basically nothing more than an exact replica of clothing that prostitutes would wear &

133; or that of the average club-hopping female in search of a smooth tongue to appeal to her ego and a warm body to temporarily satisfy her natural urges.

The marketing and magazine industry offers us more sexual imagery, using early teenage girls to market their sexual ideas through the product of a magazine, hair care products, jewelry, shoes, and clothing items and accessories.

The bottom line is that adults are running the sexualized show.

Adults are targeting the kids. Adults are exploiting the innocence of children for money. Adults run all the industries that provide pervasive sexual imagery in one form or another. Although children and teens are often targeted by marketing and advertising, it is adults who purchase the products or provide the means by which children and teenagers might purchase them.

Lolita isn&

t just a book about one man manipulating and controlling his own stepdaughter for his own immoral desires. It is a book about our society preying upon our own children. It is a mirror that reflects the widespread devastation of families in our society and the suffering of children at the hands of those they trust.

Children are being preyed upon throughout this society, whether it be by family members, trusted church clergy, or strangers in Internet chat rooms. The notion that someone could write a book about it and paint an eloquent verbal portrait that would appeal to millions in America must make some sort of statement, if we care to listen.

The predatory symbols are so pervasive throughout our society it makes me wonder if those who still care about protecting our children are part of a dwindling minority of marginalized people.

Oprah Winfrey used her program on one occasion to openly discuss the suffering she endured at the hands of family members she trusted. Millions of women cried right along with her. These women were once innocent children who expected their mothers to act responsibly in choosing their fathers and stepfathers. They expected male family members to protect them, rather than prey upon them.

Instead, they were the little &

Lolitas&

who were abused.

For these women, the horrible tales of exploitation didn't read like a classic American novel. And for these now-grown children, the success of "Lolita" is an ominous omen that provides a sense of the direction we are headed as a society ... and the increasingly dangerous paths down which their children are forced to walk.

On the 50th anniversary of a book that offers insight into this miserable cycle of abuse, are we as a society going to continue a sultry sashay down the avenue of seduction and push our children ahead of us?

Mike Green is an award-winning columnist and author of the soon-to-be-released book, "The WHOLE truth about the U.S. War on Terror: answers to every question you never knew to ask." () is a web-only column published by the Daily Tidings. To respond to this column send email to mgreen@dailytidings.com. Only those responses containing the writer's name, city and phone number (for verification purposes only) will appear on our site.

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