On December the 19th I posted the following
“Are you a regular reader of Consenting
AdultsHumans? What are your thoughts about the way forward for paedophiles and the children they love?
Do you believe there is any hope for us? or are we doomed to perpetual hate and stigma? What future should we aim for?
Most importantly – how do we achieve that future? What should we not be doing? What have we done right in the past and what have we done wrong?
I invite you, kind (or, indeed, un-‘kind’) reader, to submit between 400 and 600 words sharing your thoughts on the right way forward for our love and our community.”
I have received seven responses so far and, adding my own 600 words, I think that this makes for far too long a post. So I’m going to publish it in two parts.
The second part should go on-line in three or four days. I hope that this will give readers more time to give proper attention to each contributor’s ideas.
Moreover, as I type there’s still the space in part two for another 500 – 600 words – so it’s not too late for you to dispense your wisdom!
And before I let the kind reader loose on the cornucopia of wit and wisdom below, I’d just like to express my gratitude to all who have given their time, effort and insight in writing these contributions.
(I have arranged the contributions in the alphabetical order of their authors’ names. Those received during the last day or two will appear in the second part.)
I was going to write out a carefully constructed piece saying what I think needs to be the case, but then I changed my mind. So, just a couple of random thoughts that will not surprise you, in as much as you have read many of my ideas already.
I think the biggest thing, the most important thing, irrespective of sexual interest or desires, is the expansion of societal acceptance, awareness and knowledge of childhood sexuality, and of the expansive nature of sex in general.
It is common in this heteronormative world to think of sex solely as penile penetration of a vagina (gays and others don’t get a look in because western societies are heteronormative). Childhood sexual experiences are discounted as play, and not really sex at all on the basis of this heteronormative idea, coupled with the notion that sex is all about procreation.
It is to the benefit of everyone, not just paedophiles (as much as I loathe that term) to expand the awareness of childhood sexuality outside of this narrow idea of what sex is, because kids have their own ideas about sex, about cuddles and touching, and these tend to be kept hidden because they have already been taught that they are “wrong”.
I’m still working on my ideas about sex and what it is, so I can’t really say more than this at the moment, but public acknowledgement of childhood sexuality seems to be a worthy goal as long as the idea that they “don’t really know what sex is” can be avoided. This, because I suspect (believe) that children do usually know what sex is, they merely lack a certain degree of experience, and the words to talk about it. (A lack of words is not the same as a lack of knowledge.)
Gonna stop now. Good luck with this project.
I’m typing this from the top of my head, so I apologize in advance if it seems chaotic, or I’ve muddled my facts a little. I’ve been thinking, and reading, and writing, and dreaming about this for a while, and it’s hard to compress everything smoothly, especially considering how few definites exists when determining future action.
It is fortunate that we aren’t the first group of oppressed humans within a WEIRD society to decide to fight back. We are able to look back at previous social revolutions and discover what helped them succeed, what slowed their success, and whether or not these actions can be adapted to both our cause and our current social climate. While the most analogous movement was Gay Rights (indeed, until the late 70’s MAPs were a part of it), I think it’s more important to examine earlier efforts. The Gay Rights movement evolved from the sexual revolution of the 60’s, quite probably supported by a shift in the nature of our economy. The Women’s Rights movement made major headway after WW 1 and 2, when there were fewer men willing or able to work in hard labor jobs. On a side note, higher education rates increased quickly at this time, which is possibly what lead to the technological boom of the late 20th century. The civil rights movement I’m not so sure about, as the last time I read about it was nearly a decade ago. I don’t think it had such a huge boost as a war or economic shift. I think they started from a similar position to MAPs, and it is from them that we should learn our first moves.
I don’t think we’re currently in a position to have our own equivalent to Rosa Parks (though I have ideas of how it could be done). Instead, we should be looking further back in history. For example, we could set up community organisations that deal with harassment of MAPs by citizens or police, or provide aid to those accused of CSA, assuming that it could be reasonably shown to be a false accusation, or not abusive. I’ve been thinking about starting to write letters to convicts who’s only crime was owning pictures and videos, because they probably feel hated and alone, and that just isn’t right. Small legal battles may be beneficial too. For example, if a person was fired for admitting to being a MAP, it would be in our best interest to support his fight for compensation for wrongful termination. We want to unite MAPs and encourage them not to fear the light outside of the toybox.
Not that coming out is a good next step. More that being exposed shouldn’t feel like the end of the world, or like a death sentence. The good thing is, with the help of the internet, we can do this without risking ourselves as much as in the past, which should help maintain a slow but steady building of our presence, until such time as we can push forth the next step (whatever that may be).
I believe the right way forward is to be true to ourselves as Kind people while not being overly hostile to the Non-Kind general public (no pun intended, I assure you!). Personally, I think of the emerging MAP support organizations over the past decade, B4U-ACT does it best, since unlike other such orgs (e.g., Virped and Stop It Now!), it doesn’t put the sensibility-ridden narrative in front of the important fact that the available scientific studies do not support that narrative; while at the same time, it doesn’t shove the pro-choice stance up the proverbial nostrils of a public that is not yet ready to put their emotions aside and accept this. In other words, it’s considerate to both Kind people and the feelings of the general public, while allowing the latter to get to know us as human beings without relying on forensic and clinical samples only. Further, it does this without raising the “hot button” topics that would lead to nothing more than fiery confrontations and little chance of peaceable resolution. So I strongly suggest that all who agree with my assessment, whether part of the Kind community or a supporter, should give this amazing org their support. Note that B4U-ACT has a growing membership of anti-contact MAPs who support its approach since it allows for a unification of MAPs in a manner that other such orgs do not.
Beyond that, I think that those of us whose personal circumstances can allow us to be out of the closet with minimal risk of losing too much, we should consider cautiously coming out to those we feel we can trust the most. But only after much consideration and forethought, of course. I strongly believe that one of the main reasons the hatred got as far as it did is because the Kind community lacks a human face and contemporary role models. We have plenty of historic role models, of course, but since most of them are now gone, it’s just too easy for their Non-MAPs admirers to argue they couldn’t possibly have actually been Kind.
We also need to show our support to the courage and fortitude of the growing number of Non-MAPs who are coming out publicly in defense of us (e.g., thank you, Jenn and Dendrophilian), as well as the growing number of Kind folk who are taking the time to speak out for us in a thoughtful and intelligent manner while asking the hard questions and not taking the easy “virped” route (e.g., thank you, Cart O’Graph). Not to mention the growing number of truly open-minded novels dealing with this difficult topic which are not only written, but actually published (e.g., thank you, Chelsea Rooney and Caitlin Press).
Perhaps most importantly, as always, we need to avoid giving into despair and only focusing on the negatives, no matter how understandable and tempting it can be whenever the latest backlash, new hate law proposal, or libelous article receives publication. These are perfectly normal obstacles for all past minorities seeking emancipation, and nothing peculiar about the present moral panic. If we give up hope, then we risk prolonging the hysteria. Accordingly, we need to soldier on and keep up the blogs, books, activism, and all other productive activity, while recognizing that things are changing for the better in gradual fashion.
For me, there are number of key issues (below, and not in any particular order) that need to be dealt with to bring about human equality for both us, and our heart’s desires. I have probably forgotten the elephant in the room issue, but seeing as it is 2 am here my brain is slipping into an unconscious state, I will bid you all good night!
First and foremost, it is pivotal to overturn the corrosive perception across WEIRD societies that paedophilia constitutes a mental disorder. Fundamental to this is targeting and educating mental health professionals sufficiently to convince them that paedosexuality is just another variety of human sexuality; they were actually told this more than sixty years ago by Dr Alfred Kinsey, but, due to the rise of male-hating feminism and homosexuals achieving respectability, there was just one sexual minority group left out on a limb that was long overdue discrimination, and so Kinsey’s work was conveniently forgotten. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has been instrumental in fomenting hate against sexual minority groups, first gays up to 1973 and then MAPs filled the vacuum that was left. The DSM was updated in 2013 to partly allow paedosexuals who did not act on their desires, as a valid human sexuality, but there is still some way to go.
Second, it is important to implement laws that make it illegal to discriminate against minor-attracted individuals. If one replaced all instances of the word paedophile with the word homosexual or gay across the tabloid press and the media generally today, law suits would blossom as vigorously as flowering cherry trees do during the spring. Pressure needs to be applied to politicians to force changes to the law regarding the discrimination of our very specific minority group.
Third, we should campaign for an overhaul of sex education in schools. The next generation needs to be taught about the diversity of human sexuality and how human beings relate one to another at an intimate level. A related point of course is the emancipation and sexual rights of children, and the removal of age of consent laws. The nanny state needs to be shown the door on interfering with ‘the family’; it should be a matter solely for the family as to what their child or children can and cannot do with their bodies – and the child should be a main stakeholder, as it is their body. The recently discussed topic of ethics is germane here too.
Fourth, we should seriously consider the many interesting points Observer raised in ‘After The Fall: A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying Pedophobia in the 21st Century.’ Doing this, will give us a clearer roadmap of how we get to where we want to get to.
Fifth, we need to create a formal organisation to bring about these changes. This organisation should be pan-European; so often small groups are formed, each with their own particular agenda, and each only accessible within the country in question. This is a selfish, nationalistic silo-mentality, and limits the effectiveness of what otherwise might be achieved. We have a human rights court in Europe, we have a European Union, we have members of the European parliament; all of these are contactable and should be held accountable if they fail to represent and uphold our fundamental human rights.
We need to come out of the closet and raise our heads above the parapet. We need to convene to discuss and agree a practical way forward.
[… I would like to add something to the second of my issues above. It is related to discrimination, and it is something that governments ‘milk’ for all its worth. It is the censorship of child pornography. If there was ever an ideal tool to be placed at the disposal of fascist governments, child pornography law is it.
From Dissident’s article ‘Should CP continue to be illegal’ in cpexplosion.wordpress.com, a fine quote from Robert A Heinlein:
“Whenever any government, or any church, or anyone else for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects: “This book you may not read, this film you may not watch, this image you may not see, this knowledge you may not have,” then the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives.”]