“And this idea that we have to respect a diversity of ideas and opinions is just lunacy.”
– Peter Boghossian
The injudiciously liberal and regressive leftist indifference to suffering and threat dressed-up as tolerance, their boundless resistance to intellectual and moral nuance, and the shameless clawing for incestuously awarded medals of understanding and open-mindedness, is, no matter how sincerely well-intentioned, at best damaging and dangerous. With that framing of the regressive best-case in mind, it is frightening that their attention has, probably inevitably, shown some signs of being turned toward a new cause of social justice pertaining to sexuality, personality, and social norms: the softening of attitudes toward paedophiles.
The argument at its core is that paedophilia is an unchosen sexual orientation, and thus a person’s admittance of it coupled with the promise of never-acting upon those desires warrants their acceptance, and a switch from demonisation to accommodation, if not celebration.
In my essay on the topic of the freedom of speech and the death of criticism, I said that dangerous ideas need room in which to live or die – I stand by that, and it applies to this issue. I am not shutting the conversation down. It has been expressed, as is its right; it can be fairly engaged. But that arena of free thought, within which, when it is functioning, bad ideas simply cannot survive, does not function when run by regressive minds, and the only game they play is blindfolded. Hence my intense trepidation, not only due to the profoundly risky and nauseous topic at hand, but to the thought that it is falling into the inept and heavy hands, and thus out of the loud and reckless mouths, of the enablers not of free thought, but of thought free of criticism.
One might, upon researching the topic (some links in the following section), think this piece unnecessary, an over-reaction, unwarranted, etc. I do not care how slight the signs, nor how few the outlets: it has been expressed, and it will not be fair game for strident criticism once the regressives begin to label you a ‘paedophileaphobe’, and swathes of society cave. If that sounds absurd – surely nobody is ever going to be afraid to criticise paedophilic tendencies – just stop and think, for example, about how the many backward and uncivilised tenants and still-active traditions, often as appalling as manifest paedophilia, within Islamism are no longer considered, by regressives and those they succeed in bullying, fair game for valid and strident criticism, and how attempts to criticise them garner the conversation-ending label ‘Islmaophobia’. As with ‘Islamophobe’, this potential new label would be a misnomer: a phobia is an irrational fear. Fear of any potential or realised threat and harm posed by people sexually attracted to babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers toward those groups is supremely rational, as well as understandably emotional, and is not to be driven or inhibited or checked by the concern for the feelings and well-being of paedophilic adults. This isn’t about the hurt feelings of individual grown-ups; this is about society, and children.
As I have said, the idea has a right to be expressed (with no rights regarding acceptance) and I will deal with the particular notions of it. However, this is primarily cautionary and preemptive (and reactionary), as it will be the regressives most loudly expounding on this cause if it does develop any further, and the regressives will fail us.
It is those people with confessed and unrealised, unacted upon peadophilic wants and tendencies to whom some are extending an olive branch, trust, and a platform, and it is this article, from September of 2015, on Salon, and the follow-up, both written by a confessed and thus far self-restraining paedophile that has most recently sparked the conversation. Another Salon piece is successful in being thought-provoking more than anger-inducing, yet is let down by the dreadful title: ‘Meet pedophiles who mean well’. Along with my reaction to all of this, you will find many others of all kinds, particularly direct responses to Salon’s pieces.
In this piece by the Independent on the German approach to the issue, it paints a reasonable picture, until it declares that some male paedophiles seeking therapy “may have already abused children but, under German law, doctors are not allowed to report them to the police.” Isn’t that a significant problem? Does it not raise a serious question on the ethics of doctor-patient confidentiality? It is a blatant example of my key concern, emotional and intellectual: the prioritisation of an adult over a child.
For all the *trigger-warnings* given out and demanded by regressives, here is one of my own: this Salon video shows the writer of the first two articles I mentioned discussing his desires, as well as clips of a young girl, and it may be upsetting to listen to, to varying degrees: “I’m a pedophile, not a monster.”
Regardless of freedom of speech and the exploration of dangerous ideas, that they have accompanied a confessed paedophile relating a real event in which he had to masturbate due to the presence of a five year old girl that he was supposed to be taking care of with dreamy footage of a young girl dancing is indefensible. The video illustrates well my concern. It is not a concern that this idea is being spoken of, or examined, nor am I arguing for the blanket-demonisation of those who sincerely seek to make sure that their desires are never realised along with those who wish society would change so that they could freely act. Rather, it is a concern that those doing the speaking of are so wholly incapable of doing so without bias, drama, and emotional manipulation. Besides near-romanticising paedophilia, I do not know what exactly they intended the dancing clip within the video to elicit in its viewers – it only makes sense to me if this is actually a subtle campaign to make sure paedophiles are never softened toward, making easier the demonisation.
“We love kids, we want to protect them too” – A particularly sickening thing to hear in that context and from that person. While it may well be true, their ultimate want, self-overridden by morality in some cases for now, is freedom to have sexual relationships with children, and thus the causing of great harm.
There are more articles and essays and videos out there, some presenting the argument anew, some in reaction to it, others in reaction to the reaction to it. The conversation appears to revolve around a few main themes, namely: paedophiles are human, not monsters; paedophilia is a sexuality, and as unchosen and unchangeable as hetero- or homo- sexuality, and; they need a platform, should not be silenced or demonised. I do not believe any of those warrant a softening of attitudes.
Not monsters, but humans: Immorality and evil are exclusively human traits, just as are their absolute opposites. All atrocity and all elegance is human; of course paedophiles are human. Expounding on their inherent humanity as an argument for undue or extended pause regarding their inherent corruption is neither rational, relevant, nor reasonable, and, principally, is not safe. Suicide bombers, whether they attack the West on behalf of one god or attack abortion doctors on behalf of another, are human. And if they relate their innate desire to do exactly those things, but also their very real desire and intent to forever restrain themselves, would you argue that they may, in the name of kind and liberal tolerance, be left alone with explosives? In the Salon piece, the author writes about the “reigning paradigm of the pedo as a ticking time bomb.” I am not at all convinced that that paradigm is inapt. Would the regressives accommodate and defend as victims men who confessed but suppressed an ingrained misogyny that wanted to find expression in domestic abuse? If they would, then I would make the same argument: proceed with caution, and do not ever forget or place anywhere but first those at risk from these people.
A sexuality unchosen and born with: It is an insanity that they have had the extreme misfortune of being born with, or developing due to experiencing the kind of abuse they would themselves inflict were they to be unshackled. It is a base, uncivilised impulse, neither objectively nor subjectively stomachable, and not compatible with, redeemable within, nor acceptable to a morally prosperous civilised society of human beings. If a person admits to powerful and entrenched desires to harm, then no amount of heart-wrenching autobiography and sincere promise on their part changes the fact that they must be considered a threat. It bothers me that a person’s life can be so ruined by harbouring without choice these desires. It is undoubtedly a severe and constant conflict, and offering them some sort of assistance, therapy, and engagement is reasonable. But if they are to be indulged and championed without restraint, as is the regressive way, then they will slip into incorrectly thinking that there is not anything wrong with them. There is. They may not be monsters, but their minds are driving them to be monstrous. If society were to acquiesce to the idea that latent paedophilia is not as bad as it is generally considered to be, then their minds will meet with success.
I do not believe paedophiles should be necessarily silenced, nor forced to remain silent about the fact that they are one (I will not use the phrase ‘in the closet/coming out’ as I will not contribute to the notion that this cause is equatable to gaining rights for homosexuals). I do not want to know who they are so that they can be targeted for violent or verbal abuse causing depression and suicide. But equally, I do not want to know who they are for their sake. At least, certainly not primarily. They should never be alone with children of any age, no matter how self -controlling and -aware they might be; society needs to be aware of who harbours these desires.
Playing Robin Hood in the zeitgeist of contemporary Western social justice finds regressives clutching at oppressed straws. Adults who are biologically, and thus deeply, driven to have sex with, and thus cause deep, lasting harm to, children are not unjustly demonised victims to be softened towards. Proving that you are kind, open-minded, and understanding is not victory in a game centred on you, nor is it supposed to be anybody’s actual goal. If those traits are to be seen in you, it will be a side-effect of the kind of life you live and the type of intellect and moral compass you develop. Furthermore, those traits – of being kind, open-minded, and understanding – do not contradict or clash with traits of rational concern, anger and suspicion, conclusions of partial or complete non-acceptance, and the drawing of firm lines. Society has the right to draw its lines. Lines not to be breached or redrawn, particularly in this case, without an impeccably rational and slowly formed mass consensus that nonetheless remains forever under a sustained attack by logic and rational concern.
It says something about the regressive mindset and its expression in the last half decade on other issues that I am afraid that they will manage to contort themselves into a moral standpoint that finds no foothold anywhere in my own mindset – that when faced with children in one hand, and in the other adults who lust after those children, they will be drawn to protect the latter from society. They have so often demonstrated that they are at once absolutely void of moral triage, and concurrently that they are absolutely obsessed with moral triage, to the point of playing constantly these Oppression Olympics, and using it to rationalise chaos.
The bottom-line being that the regressives need to be extremely fucking careful with just exactly how they proceed on this fledgling and alarming idea for a social cause. I believe that the way I have approached it is entirely reasonable: I have been both overtly hostile and overtly accommodating, to the degree that I think is fair, in both cases. Unremitting intellectual hostility, devoid of unwarranted violence or the call for it, toward paedophiles and paedophilia is moral. Cautiously accommodating persons who are self-restraining paedophiles, only once the safety of children is decidedly secured, is moral. Championing and celebrating self-restraining paedophiles and defending latent paedophilia, and chastising those emotionally reviled by it, or who speak out against a regressive campaign for the normalisation and acceptance of it, is immoral. Unlike a gut response of revulsion and disagreement that is then dishonestly defended as reasonable and intellectual to, say, homosexuality, the gut reaction to the issue raised in this essay has a particularly real basis, and an absolute legitimacy. How utterly dangerous this is should not be swept under a rug weaved of an intellectually-crippling fear of losing liberal credentials. It is okay to not be okay with social issues and changes, whether you ultimately reverse or modify your position or not, whether you are made to feel on the wrong side of contention or not, and no matter how many others have accepted them, and I am certainly not okay with the prospect of this one.
I imagine, and hope, that many who currently exhibit symptoms of being regressive leftists will now, upon seeing presentation of this issue, if they haven’t on previous issues, find themselves unable to pretend to be without pause, unable to automatically and unthinkingly take the side of the ostensibly subjugated, the apparently put-upon, and instead will abandon that way of thinking. In this new moral game of theirs, the regressives will put up the frame of heartless society and unfortunate victims; an oppressed and unprotected outcast type against an establishment repeating the treatment of homosexuals; contrarian white knights of virtue confronting the conformist vice of the societal suppression of rights. There is only one frame that this issue needs, one pre-dominant paradigm to occupy minds, regarding victims and sufferers, threat and danger, protection, safety, and human rights, and it is this:
Children > Everybody else
“I think what we are seeing is more and more confrontations that really pronounce this struggle.”
– Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The regressives have been rightly confronted a great deal in the last couple of years, and their way of thinking, of not thinking, is becoming increasingly unpopular and considerably less tolerated. That is in no small part due to their attempts to take on complex and societally important moral issues, and the invariability with which they fail or make things worse. The good-intentions are simply not good enough, are not a defense, or an excuse. It is a bizarrely tyrannical thought-policing coming perversely from (mostly) young, educated, ostensibly socially cognizant liberals and leftists, and the important topics that they hijack need to be reclaimed, confiscated, so that they may be actually solved – such as the issue discussed here. If there were to be any good to come out of the presentation of this issue by the regressives, it is the possibility, the hope, that any burgeoning attempt to carelessly normalise and accept paedophilia, in whatever form, is, as I put it in the title, the regressive endgame. Not due to their imminent victory requiring one final move, but to their utter defeat requiring only one seriously false step.