Monday, September 29, 2014

How far apart the sides can be...

Some pedophiles hold what I will call here the "pro-contact" position: they believe that sexual activity between adults and willing children should be legalized and would not harm children if society didn't convince them they had been harmed. The name that is most prominent in the public's mind is NAMBLA, but there are other groups. People with this view congregate online in forums. The ones I'm most aware of are BoyChat and GirlChat. I participate on GirlChat, which is dedicated to the appreciation of the wonder of girls -- a wonder I share. Most posters there seem to be pro-contact, and when the subject comes up I will sometimes give my own anti-contact views. Lively discussions result.

Many posters there and on other similar boards regard me and Virtuous Pedophiles with hatred. They feel we are traitors to the cause. The pro-contact pedophile Tom O'Carroll titled a post about us in his blog "<Virtuous Turkeys Vote For Christmas>".  . Some feel we are pushing them under the bus in our effort to please public opinion, distinguishing our virtue from their viciousness. (Our name is actually intended to distinguish us from those pedophiles who abuse children, not from those who obey the law but would like to see it changed.) Some doubt that we are pedophiles at all, but instead think we are pedophile haters out to sow dissension in the ranks of the pedophile community.

The overall impression is that they see us as very little different from the most virulent of pedophile haters.

From the other pole, society's anti-pedophile zealots see no difference between us and NAMBLA. If they notice that we are opposed to making adult-child sexual activity legal, they dismiss it as a ploy to achieve that same end by way of an intermediate step. A pedophile can never be up to any good.

So here we Virtuous Pedophiles sit in the middle, viewed as devious and dangerous bedfellows of their opponents by both ends of the spectrum.

There are also major differences in opinion among those who have more conservative views than ours.

From where I sit, criminal penalties for virtual child pornography possession are a grave injustice. So is civil commitment of sex offenders who have served their prison terms. But I try to keep in mind that there is a large block of liberal opinion that would view the legalization of virtual child pornography as a radical pro-pedophile step but also views civil commitment as the same grave injustice that I do. They may think it is outrageous to claim that pedophilia might not be inherently a mental illness (a change in the new DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association), but be equally outraged at residency restrictions on sex offenders when released from prison or opposed to long mandatory sentences.

People who guide their opinions by careful thought can undoubtedly see all the distinctions. Even among those whose opinions are guided more by gut reactions, the differences might be discernible. Some pro-contact pedophiles understand Virtuous Pedophiles and our goals and wish us well, even as they disagree. Some parts of mainstream society -- and I will hypothesize they are primarily among the liberals -- understand very well how we are different from NAMBLA and consider us a very interesting new development among pedophiles.

But still, the range of opinion on various aspects of the subject of pedophilia is vast.

1 comment:

  1. "the range of opinion on various aspects of the subject of pedophilia is vast."

    That it is, Ethan.

    Under a different alias I was regularly derided on GirlChat and other sites for militating against sexual contact with children. I've never even claimed it is necessarily harmful, simply that it is risky for the children involved under present conditions. (I think children are exposed to far greater nett harms by sanctimonious bigots that they are by paedophiles.)

    But again we come to this conclusion that people are complicated. Life is complicated. The common denominator among all evils meted on the planet by zealots (the Magdalene Laundries, the Islamic State, McCarthyism, the Holocaust) is moral certainty. An attitude we paedophiles know well.

    I've been impressed by the arguments of many pro-contact paedophiles, Tom O'Carroll included, but I remain, personally, committed to a non-contact position. This is my private ethical decision, and not one I seek to impose on others. Perhaps the hostile reaction to self declared virtue on sites like GirlChat is down to an ingrained suspicion of those who seek the moral high ground.

    So often do they prove to have feet of clay.