Here’s an article that is absolutely necessary reading on the topic of paedophilia: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2012/09/stop_childhood_sexual_abuse_how_to_treat_pedophilia_.html
It strikes me at the conflicted core of my experience: are the bad guys sick? Evil? Helpless? Does our communal vilification of them actually serve any purpose? Is pederasty even inherently bad? I am a moral relativist – if boy-buggery was accepted and encouraged in ancient Athens, why shouldn’t it be accepted now? Is there anything actually wrong with sexualizing children at such a young age, or is our desperate protection of childhood innocence just a hangover from the preciousness of Victorian morality and moralizing that created the notion (nay – the cult) of ‘childhood’ in the first place?
I have said before, and I’ll say it again: the acid burn of victimhood is the belief that something about you yourself brought this abuse on – that if you were involved in this most hideous, foul, and unspeakably offensive act, you are somehow to blame. And if, blackest of black, you actually had the physical sensations that occur when someone – say – fellates you, and those physical sensations, isolated from the situation, are pleasant – why then, you yourself are hideous, foul, and unspeakably offensive.
We have a reflexive response to the idea of paedophilia that is, perhaps, therefore detrimental to the victims. Perhaps a more nuanced view, a less repulsed, less revolted societal view of the problem of buggery would actually help those children who have been sexually assaulted deal with and accept their experiences in a more integrated, less damaging way. And hey – if we look deeper, is our revulsion real, or created? If we were truly revolted, why would stories of abuse sell so well? Why do the lurid stories of Michael Jackson, Roseanne Barr, Rosie O’Donnell and their like SELL SO MUCH FUCKING AIRTIME? We’re not revolted. We’re fascinated… oh, but that is another topic…
Anyway – these are questions. The hallmark of wisdom is an open mind. And I ain’t wise, but I know what it looks like, so I’ll strive… So – read that article above. It talks about men who are “minor-attracted” – who look at and desire kids – but who also don’t want to be pedos. Or who want to no longer be pedos. And it is eye-opening, and mind-blowing, and challenging. The take-away is that if we want to save kids, if we want to stand by our words and beliefs that paedophilia is the scourge we all act like it is, we should help men like that with all the support and aid we can give them.
I know it’s really hard to believe, but once upon a time, before Will and Grace, homosexuality was considered sick, and vile, and evil. But we have come to accept it… To celebrate it. Apart from the occasional Pray The Gay Away missionary bigots, we actually don’t really give a fuck about it. The thing is: the gays tend to shag other grown gays. Just like the straights, the gays seem to prefer getting their bang on with other consenting adults (it’s the straights that perform most of the prison rapes). Our society has, in the space of a generation, realised in regard to homosexuality that sexual desire isn’t a choice. Why should that be different for those who are attracted to children? Surely the thing that makes pedos nasty is that they tend to diddle individuals who have no power to consent, or more specifically, no power to decline the diddling. So if they don’t do the diddling, are they really still bad?
Put it this way: Let’s say I admire the tattooed, shaven-haired waitress at the local coffeeshop. If she populates my sexual fantasies, the only person to take exception would be my wife (and I know there will be an entertaining conversation about this when she reads that last sentence). Liking her is fine. Lusting after her is fine. However, if I follow her home one night and rape her – that is bad. And understanding and accepting that distinction – between those who desire, and those who act on their desires, is perhaps a key to the future of our preventing the “minor-attracted” from becoming the “minor-rapers”.
I have written an email to the organisation that works with these men, and asked if I can do anything to help. Because a man who battles to be good is more saintly than a man who just is good. A man who wants to fuck children but doesn’t isn’t sick, or bad, or evil. He’s brave. Friend – I salute you.