14 February, 2009

<3 Valentine's Day Special <3

I try to avoid talking about this issue, because of all the controversy surrounding it, and though I don't have much of a reputation to protect, having a less than conservative approach to this particular issue may be all the evidence the lynch mob needs to single out their next victim, and I'm always overconscious of the possibility of the normies grouping up to attack me just for being different, despite the fact that I have not committed (nor ever plan to) any crimes against humanity. Common decency, perhaps - that's open to debate - but not humanity. Perhaps I'm being paranoid (though most would probably concede 'careful'), considering the freedom I'm supposed to have in this country and this modern world, but that's exactly the point. The masses (whether people themselves or just the media) have stirred up a climate of fear, causing injustice to be done in the name of safety - safety from this lurking terror. Innocent people are being forced into a state of fear and paranoia, and we, as a society, are allowing it because we believe that in trampling the innocents, we can crush the real monsters that hide amongst us. And in the end, that's the thing that matters most. To this, I say:

"He who sacrifices liberty for safety deserves neither."

I suppose you think I'm talking about terrorism, and while I am, it's not the specific form of terrorism that is generally meant these days when you use the term. I'm talking about pedophilophobia (and also, misopedophilism [try pronouncing that one...]).

Now that we have the issue under the spotlight, this would probably be a good time for me to state my own position, rather than leave you to make gross assumptions about my predilections. Obviously, I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't have an interest in the topic. Contrary to what some of you might at this point be suspecting, I am not, and have never considered myself to be a pedophile. The reason I have a vested interest in the topic, however, stems from the unfortunate cultural ambiguation of the term, itself a result of the scare tactics currently being employed.

Ultimately, precise technical definitions mean little in the midst of a heated debate, but it pays to be accurate in using the words that we mean, and thus meaning the words that we use. Regardless of what words we all end up using, it's the intended meaning of those words that is important. When I use the term pedophilia, I am referring to the psychological condition of having a sexual preference for prepubescent children.

As an aside, though my concern is less than personal in this case, I hardly find it fair that the term "preference" in this definition is all too often mistaken for "abuse". The term "pedophile" is not synonymous with "child molester", nor even "sex offender". Granted the temptations that one can imagine would be existant, a person's predilection - especially one not chosen willfully - does not determine that person's actions. To demonize every pedophile as a criminal would be equivalent to reducing every heterosexual adult male to a rapist of women. In fact, we would all be criminals on account of the temptations we experience in life, even though we make efforts to resist them. And that's just ridiculous.

This is where the misopedophilism comes into play. I would agree that protecting children (and all people) from any kind of abuse is a noble and righteous cause. I don't think that all children are as innocent and vulnerable as the paranoid parents and scaremongerers would have us believe, though I might still agree that even certain consensual activities (if you'll agree that such a thing is possible) between an adult and a child might be best left unventured, for consideration of the child's developing faculties. I'm open to arguments on that case. But what isn't helping is this indiscriminate victimization of all "pedo's" (and potential "pedo's") as wolves in sheep's clothing (or wolf's clothing, if you like). As is my view on all victimized minorities, the humanist approach is to work /with/ them, and not against them. I've said it before, victimization begets victimization, and by labelling every person who looks at a kid once the "wrong" way as a scourge on society and humanity, we are gradually driving ever more people into those psychological holes that do cause the kind of egregious behaviors that we'd like to eliminate.

On to a topic of more personal interest, and probably wider consideration. Just as the definition of "pedophilia" is commonly modified to suggest the inherent inclusion of criminal behavior (i.e., actual abuse rather than simply sexual preference), it is also popularly appropriated to include those who have a perceived interest in not just (or necessarily) prepubescent children, but also (or at least) pubescent and/or post-pubescent "children" - basically, anyone under the age of consent (whatever that happens to be where you live); in other words, minors. And not just those with a distinct preference, but those with merely an /interest/, as well!

I have two main objections to the hasty lumping of these people in with the much-maligned group known as pedophiles. Firstly, it is a perfectly natural, and healthy - not perverse or deviant! - reaction to be interested in, even aroused by, young adults and budding adolescents as they approach and reach physical sexual maturity, even when this occurs before the arbitrary "age of consent" - and, for obvious reasons, the process almost exclusively begins before that age. Depending on your own age and maturity level, acting on any related impulses can uncover potential hazards, but if dealt with carefully and respectfully (without trickery or coercion), I don't see how this should be an automatic crime. At any rate, most decent people are not mindless slaves to their base desires, and they should not be victimized simply for having those natural desires. Thus, not everyone who has sexual thoughts/fantasies about teenagers is abducting them in the back of his van (nor would even consider it).

Furthermore, I'd like to approach the subject from an artistic perspective. The masses seem to have a recent history of being unable to distinguish art from pornography. As indefinite as it is, there's something to be said for the "I know it when I see it" argument, yet these authorities clearly don't know art when they see it. Naked photographs of children and adolescents are not inherently pornographic, even when they do broach the subject of sexuality (which is, due to the inevitable controversy, often /not/ the case), nor are they inherently abusive to the subjects being photographed (anecdotal evidence exists to prove this fact). And yet, I hear these depressing stories about indisputably legitimate photographers - artists! - some of whose work I own and greatly admire, being defamed by ridiculous allegations, followed by inconsiderate censorship - which in some cases drives the art underground, forcing its reputation down further, to the level of the trash it's wrongfully accused of being!

Why do we allow this to happen? Because we are being *too* protective! Pedophilophobia and misopedophilism has created a climate of terror, greatly exaggerating the existing dangers of the invisible predators that supposedly lurk around the corners and in the bushes, just waiting to jump out and swallow our children whole, that we no longer allow ourselves to admire the very innocence we're trying to protect! We can't take photos of our children happily playing naked in the bathtub anymore, without fear of someone finding out, reporting it to the authorities, and having our children taken away from us! We can't make innocent comments about cute children we don't know for fear of being mislabeled a predator and losing the privilege of having any contact with children whatsoever! When adolescents get caught experimenting with their sexuality, texting naked pictures to one another, we send them to court for distributing child pornography! We wouldn't dare admit (out loud) that a developed 16 year old is attractive, for fear of being sent to jail, sodomized by disgruntled convicts, and living the rest of life shunned from any sense of community, forever branded with the scarlet letters SO - Sexual Offender!

I say it's enough. I think we should be realistic. There's a lot to admire about youth. And we shouldn't have to be afraid to admire it. As articulated astutely elsewhere, "our culture fetishizes the sexuality of youth, but then seeks to punish us for responding to it." There will always be people who do the wrong thing, and it's society's duty to deal with them, but frightening people out of accepting their natural impulses in a healthy and respectful way, is not a path to a better world.

P.S. I'm not sure what effect this post could possibly have (positive or negative), but I've been trying to verbalize my stance on this issue for quite some time, and I think this was worded particularly well, so it'd be a shame to just ditch it...


  1. On the more personal side, one time I had this dream where I was living on some kind of an apartment complex but it was like a whole community inside the complex, set up like a mall. And I was following this little girl around, like maybe 11. Nothing happened, but the assumption was that I wanted to befriend and date her, and at the end a family berated me and babied her, and I was like "Look at her, man, she can take care of her self." Then, that very same morning at work I was putting plates at the bar and there was this little girl standing there being obnoxious, I flashed a glance at her and realized "Man, that's how a real little girl acts. They're not deep or interesting or anything... they're just terribly obnoxious!" So that was the end of my potential pedophilia.

    As anyone who reads me deeply will know, I have something of a (non-sexual) fetish for youth. Deeply obsessed with it, the idea of being young and innocent, the idea of experiencing the world when it is new and exciting... the idea that I used to be there. It's the most poetic thing imaginable, and very versatile. So naturally my mind strays to the notion of recapturing that depth through intimate interaction with someone who holds that power/circumstance. But it's mere fantasy, because... think of it this way: I find most 20 year old women to be ditzy, superficial sheep. So I can only imagine that most teenaged women would be even ditzier and more crowd-following. I have sincere doubts that I could have a happy relationship with a 20 year old, let alone someone so far removed from me as 13 or 14, but I'm 100% open to the possibilities if the 'right person' came into my life.

    On a less personal note, the end-all defense for post-pubescent attraction is merely the fact that biology does in fact intend for us to procreate with those people. "Right" or "wrong" there have been vast periods of human history in which 13 and 14 were common ages for marriage. "Natural" is the correct word to use for it. But it's not "normal" by society, for the innane reason of it not being particularly practical in today's world, so it is villified as devience.

    Sexuality is, to me, a vast resevoiur of varied meanings. It's a form of art, I mean what are artists most commonly trying to recapture if not some aspect of sex/romance? Porn can cause emotion in us, perhaps to a greater extent than some of our favorite art. And it certainly has things to say.

    And just like with music, I would not be satisfied with only one 'version' or telling of sexuality in my lexicon, it's a medium with much more to *say* than that. There's a whole collection of porn pictures I've saved just because they're too 'good' to just forget about. Pictures that tell me about myself, pictures that make bold intellectual statements. It may never get the respect it deserves, but pornography is a sincere and consequential art form. Just 'cause people like it doesn't make it trash. Some of the stuff I like is the most normal and well-adjusted material in the world, stuff society would shake my hand for. Some of the stuff I like is the definition of degenerate. Some of the stuff I like is far beyond the realm of physical possibility or reality. None of it is real. And I don't particularly intend to engage ANYONE in my romance, so it's quite a pity that I could be persecuted and even prosecuted for enjoying mere art or entertainment.

    The US society needs to comprehend the difference between fantasy and reality. With the way that these retarded children (Congress, adults, etc.) think, they probably expect a guy who plays D&D to go out and hunt dragons in his downtime. When it comes to fantasy, we should be able to create anything we want. For example, is making fake snuff films illegal? It shouldn't be.

    Where are thos pics from, Bonnie & Clyde?

  2. Hounddog. ;-)

    That last paragraph there is relevant to the increasingly heated debate about virtual child pornography, which has come to my attention via the 'ageplay' shitstorm that erupted in Second Life over a year ago (related to the article linked above), as well as Japanese-originated lolicon. The way the argument appears to be going, even virtual children will soon be protected by law from 'abuse'. From there, it's a short step to prosecuting all thought crimes. If we don't stand up for freedom now, they'll strip it away from us little by little before we even realize what we've lost.

  3. I encounter a lot of that stuff and when I heard there was ANY question over it, it blew me effing mind. There's sincerely no argument to be made what-so-ever why that stuff should be illegal. We might as well become a theocracy and call it The United States of Conservative Christ.

    The comfort, of course, is that illegal things aren't necessarily difficult to acquire. So even if we lose our intellectual freedom, that'll just make civil freedom fighters out of all of us.