Saturday, March 24, 2018

Pedophiles working with kids -- shocking?

One recent criticism of Virtuous Pedophiles online was that we don't object to our members working with children without telling the responsible adults. Surely no organization that truly valued children's welfare would allow such a thing!

First, I get the feeling. "What? Some pedophile is working with kids and they don't tell the parents? Eeek!" I was raised to believe all the same things as you, and in my gut it makes me nervous. The only pedophiles I'd ever heard of growing up were molesters, and it is alarming for a molester to be working with children.

I now do think it's often OK for a celibate pedophile, but it's a conclusion I've reached from thinking, not just feeling. I've heard the stories of hundreds of pedophiles online and I know that volunteering with kids often works out just fine. It's true that we at VP don't condemn such volunteer work (or paid work). That doesn't mean we give it blanket approval either. We urge the pedophiles in question to pay close attention to their reactions. Is there temptation? Is it getting worse? If so, then it's time to take decisive action to make sure the kids stay safe. If that means no longer working with the kids, then they should no longer work with kids.

That aside, you may argue, surely it would be wise to confess to being a pedophile so the responsible adults can make their own decision. It might be, except for the matter of prejudice -- the huge matter of extreme prejudice.

Perhaps you think that some Russian in the 1930s Soviet Union was an enabler of Communists because he did not stand up proudly and say he was an anti-Communist and opposed to Joseph Stalin. If you know any history, you know that would have been suicide. The circumstances made it morally permissible to keep silent and participate in Stalinist society. Pedophiles today have every reason to stay silent and let no one know they are a pedophile. We face loss of jobs, family, friends, housing, social support networks -- and risk physical violence as well, even if we know that we pose no risk to children.

So perhaps you would argue that if the pedophile can't consult with the responsible adult, then he should just be sure not to work with children. It's best to be safe. But how far would you go? If a family with young children moves in next door, must a pedophile move out? If he has an extended family including nieces and nephews, should he disrupt family routines and never socialize when they are present? What if there's a good deal on an apartment that happens to be across from a playground. Is he obligated to pass on it? (An awful lot of housing is pretty close to some playground or other). All these things might seem reasonable if you think of a pedophile as nothing but a potential molester. But pedophiles are people too. Our lives are as important to us as yours are to you. How far should we go to honor that "Eeek!" gut feeling?

Consider other people who pose risks. If you're a man who is attracted to 16-year-old girls (which is most men), should you never consider teaching high school? Society doesn't think so, because it recognizes that ordinary men are perfectly capable of teaching 16 year old girls without molesting them. Many pedophiles are similarly capable of interacting with children without posing a risk to them.


2 comments:

  1. I believe I recall your analogy in speaking out against Stalinism from when you where explaining why certain MAPs should seek recusal for their beliefs, and not rock the boat too much.

    The argument that teleiophiles make is one anchored on perceived risk versus the probability that risk will come to pass. For them, simply being a pedophile is enough to disqualify one from working with children, either professionally or on a volunteer basis.

    Moreover, while your reasoning here is sound, for some reason I don't think teleiophiles will care. Nor do I think any argument you could make will sway them in large numbers. Like you've seen me mention before, pedophobia is rooted in the conviction that all, if not most, sexual contact with minors is deleterious to their mental and physical health, and since we pedophiles have a natural predilection to sexually interact with children (although not a compulsion, as is sometimes wantonly assumed), we have become the object of much bigotry.

    Their fear of us is based on their fear of what we want, and I'm not at all sold on the idea that such a phobia will ever truly recede from sight until we tackle the root of that mistrust, which would mandate that we not recuse ourselves from stating our beliefs, even if it is risky to do so.

    When it comes to working with children, the very fact that our sexuality can only exist in some lobotomized form in an effort to please an actively apathetic (if not hostile) public, is a sign to me that we're not doing so well. What's more, the fact we have to constantly remind the teleiophiles that we aren't nymphomaniacs, hellbent on having sexually inappropriate relationships with their children at school or at the day care center, is just downright depressing.

    In any case, I appreciate that you've stated a sensible viewpoint, although I won't hold my breath in assuming it will reach too many teleiophiles.

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  2. Thanks for your thoughts.

    I and most of the VP members do not promise to not do sexual things with kids as a tactic. We genuinely don't think such sexual activity is good for kids, as much as we (at some level) desire it. For those of you who are pro-legalization, even you might have different opinions about 14-year-old boys and 3-year-old girls.

    I'm also well aware that changing people's minds is hard, and no given post of mine is going to change many minds.

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