Is this man a child molester?



The next tattoo I’m planning is a rather explicit Tom of Finland-style piece on my leg. However, because I have a kid, and do occasionally go out in public, I have to talk to a lawyer about it first… If I show it in public, can I be charged? It’s not like you can walk around in public showing people gay porn. What if my daughter sees it? Could I be charged as a child abuser?

The explicit and I guess blasphemous pinup tattoo on the right was done by Jeff at Permanent Images in Ottawa. The bearer tells me that he’s gotten some grief for it in public, but I was wondering if he could actually be charged as I described above. I don’t see how it’s any different from walking around in public showing people erotica?

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

One thought on “Is this man a child molester?

  1. The following comments were imported from our old comment system:

    Posted on 03-15-2006 23:40:18 by Whitewolf95
    For some people he woudl be a child abuser for letting the be able to see it. For me I cant say he would be. To me this falls under a form of art and so shouldnt be judged by the same rules are erotica. I have a fairy on my calf that orginally was going to be nude but since I get enough grief for being a tattooed woman with children I figured I would provide my fairy with a little cover. She does have a leather band across her breasts and is sitting so you cant see anything else. So far I havent caught any grief for her. I do walk around in shorts quite a bit and even do volunteer things with my son’s school.
    It’s going to be a fine line and it is hard to figure out things like this.

    Posted on 03-16-2006 01:49:19 by Pocketlama
    I once “met” a heavily muscled man, who had *huge* (and beautifully done) Tom of Finland work on both legs, and on his torso. He was wearing short-shorts at the time, and it was quite the show… I never did get a chance to talk to him, or I would have asked the same questions.

    I have waffled back and forth since then, and I have come to the personal conclusion that it’s your choice, but *my* stance is that I don’t want work that will frighten the children, or that would have made it more difficult for me to have friendships with a couple of really awesome “straights” that might have been frightened away initially, if I had been too over the top.

    I guess it’s a matter of not wanting to burn bridges before they need to be burned.

    Posted on 03-16-2006 07:08:39 by mpatshi
    interesting question

    Posted on 03-16-2006 09:53:00 by Sade
    I personally don’t see the problem with the tattoo because it’s not degrading in any way-to me,atleast.But,seeing as I’m not a parent I can’t look at it from a worried parent’s perspective.

    To be honest that tattoo is no worse than something you would see on a regular cable channel.

    Posted on 03-16-2006 11:09:39 by Kenny
    Shannon for the personal question of “what if my daughter sees it?” consider the fact that shes young still and wont understand it and when she gets a bit older just explain that it’s something some adults find interesting and it was a personal decision to oput that there. Also consider she’s growing up with you as an influence and by the time shes old enough to be intruiged enough to push you about it because she may have a vauge understanding (lets say 8-11) she will have learned to be open minded and respectful.I do see your worry though, I have 2 younger sisters and every time I plan to do anything I think of how they may react.

    Posted on 03-16-2006 14:24:09 by
    In court couldnt it be argued it is simply art? Most art museums have works of nudes, some being graphic. Ive never seen a sign forwarning parents that children should not see those pieces.

    Posted on 03-16-2006 15:58:19 by coiffed
    as far as these types of tattoos go, I don’t see a very big difference between the one above, and any “fully clothed” pinup with skintight clothing on (that is to say it looks painted on)… I think that fully clothed, nude, or completely explicit (I seem to remember tattoos of naked women straddling one anothers guns??), a celebration of the female form is just that. I think any mother who would be afraid of someone with a nude woman tattooed on their body, would be just as offended by someone with tattoos, period. And with that being the case, they wouldn’t get close enough to someone with tattoos to notice they chose naked women as their subject matter. I also agree with Kenny, your daughter is YOUR daughted, she will grow up with a much different outlook on tattoos and other modifications than the child of close-minded parents.

    Posted on 03-16-2006 17:41:57 by someone
    arguing as art would be ok except that art stays in a museum. If a person is offended by a particular artist, they just do not go to/through that exhibit.

    I’m not saying I don’t find it offensive or not offensive. Not my tattoo :) But the one pictured could be deemed offensive by parents (nudity) or some religious sects (INRI reference, angel with horns, implied crucifix on her leg as well as implied crucifix behind her).

    I asked a friend the question, cuz I did find it relatively interesting and he said he figured it would be indecent exposure (because of the nudity) and you could only be charged if you were explicitly asked to cover it up.


    Who knows. I’m sure if we wait long enough someone will be sued for their tattoo subject matter being to sexually offensive or slanderous to one religion.

    Posted on 03-17-2006 18:49:54 by ChopperMark
    A tattoo is art. It is a drawing. It is not a photo with the genitals prominently displayed, which is what pornography or obscene material is. Walking down the street with that tattoo displayed is no different than walking down the street with a nude painting on the cover of a book.

    Posted on 03-18-2006 04:29:45 by penski
    Does the US government still class pornography as ‘items with no artistic merit which encourage sexual thought’?

    I’m going back to Hicks here but er…Everything?


    Posted on 04-02-2006 20:33:23 by raven
    i doubt you’d be called a child molester, since generations of men have had naked women/merwomen tattooed on them in pretty visible places and none of them (so far as i know) have been given much more then a dirty look for it.

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