I have hesitated whether to publish the following essay. I started it almost two years ago and all but finished it last March. However, revisiting it I feared that it would interest few of this blog’s readers: it focuses on an abstract philosophical idea touched upon in the preface to an academic book which, under a thin disguise of impartiality, is informed with attitudes entirely unsympathetic to those held by the majority of this blog’s readers. Moreover, being written in French and as yet untranslated, it is inaccessible to all but this blog’s francophone readers.

However, ‘L’Enfant Interdit’ is challenging, informative and well-written. The proposition about the child’s existential status which this essay explores strikes me as valid and powerful, with significant practical, ethical repercussions for paedophiles.

L’Enfant Interdit (the Forbidden Child) nevertheless gets, in my opinion, many things wrong – but even its errors are interesting, not least the theory that the end of the ‘paedophile revolution’ of the 60s and 70s was precipitated by the emergence of AIDS in the gay community. I cautiously recommend the book to this blog’s francophone readers, with the warning that there is nothing positive or sympathetic to be found in it, and Verdrager’s treatment of the French hebephile author, Gabriel Matzneff, in the book’s final chapter is so vindictive and mean-spirited that it reads like an act of personal vengeance. Or maybe after having had to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards paedophilia for the duration of the writing of this book, this chapter is an act of catharsis in which the Verdrager’s hatred of paedophiles finally finds spectacular, unrestrained expression.

So despite my doubts I shall break my recent silence, show signs of life and  ‘publish and be damned‘. What follows may not be to everyone’s taste, but it will not be the first time I published something nobody wants to read, and I certainly hope that it will not be the last (to misquote Count Arthur Strong).


I first came across the idea of the child’s dual status in Francois de Singly’s preface to Pierre Verdrager’s book ‘l’Enfant Interdit‘ (The Forbidden Child). The main body of the book itself analyses why paedophilia went from being, in the 1960s, a legitimate cause advocated by radical thinkers on both the left and the right, to being the scandalous, taboo-ridden thing it is today.

Verdrager aspires to approach the history of militant paedophilia as would an ethnographer: he states that he will not judge paedophilia, or the arguments made by (what he describes as) ‘the apologists for paedophilia’, but will be a disinterested observer, gathering data, from which to elucidate narratives, histories and explanations.

dsc_0049
Pierre Verdrager

He manages enough disinterestedness to probably convince the average reader, a reader aware of no other stance towards paedophilia than that of unreserved condemnation. But to my maybe-oversensitive ears his ‘impartiality’ is squeezed out through teeth so firmly gritted that one can almost hear the crepitation of shattering dentine.

It is not, however, Verdrager’s ideas that concern me in what follows, but rather those of Francois de Singly, the author of the book’s preface, and Verdrager’s colleague at Paris Descartes University’s Sociology department.

In his preface de Singly (a specialist in the sociology of childhood, education, and the family) notes that:

To write a book on paedophilia is to risk being suspected of having a predilection for this kind of behaviour. There are subjects which adhere to you, in the eyes of others, as if to your very skin.”

This gives a clue as to the real purpose of de Singly’s preface: it does what Verdrager’s ethnographic aspirations prevent him from doing in the body of the book, namely: making it clear that all involved condemn paedophilia. The purpose of de Singly’s preface is to cover Verdrager’s ass.

François de Singly
François de Singly

And to do this de Singly does not mobilise the usual objections: that children aren’t sexual, that they can’t consent or find adults attractive, or that children are inevitably harmed by such intimacy. De Singly is no fool and knows all too well that these populist objections won’t do the job. Instead he tries to launch his assault from the idea that children have a ‘dual status’.

I find the proposition that children have a ‘dual status’ sufficiently plausible and powerful to merit closer attention. Whether it fulfils de Singly’s brief of condemning caring, consensual child-adult intimacy is another question.

Dual Status

In nature a young animal’s vulnerability makes it little more than ‘prey’ – something to satisfy a stronger animal’s needs. A lion has few qualms about killing and eating a young antelope, seagulls eat newly hatched turtles before they reach the safety of the sea, humans treat calves cruelly to make their cooked flesh more tasty.

This indifference is not found in the behaviour of nurturing animals (all mammals, all birds, except cuckoos, some fish, amphibians and arthropods) toward their own young.

This restraint is informed by an awareness that their offspring are at the same time like themselves, yet different: the offspring’s life has a value that equals that of the parent, or even exceeds it (some animals will risk, or even sacrifice, their own lives to ensure their offspring’s survival); at the same time the parents do not treat their offspring as they do their coevals. this is especially noticeable in solitary animals that are normally hostile to their own kind – such as the Tasmanian Devil.

Tasmanian Devils

This dual status lasts until the offspring grows strong and resourceful enough to fend for itself. The struggle for survival means that the nurturing parent-offspring relationship cannot be maintained for longer than necessary – though in social animals, traces of this dual status may persist long past the moment when offspring achieves independence.

Humans ascribe this dual status to their offspring: we recognise that babies, by virtue of being vulnerable, nescient and dependent, are profoundly different to adults; yet at the same time we acknowledge them as being fully human. And as with mammals and birds, children become ‘adult’ when they are capable of existing, or rather ‘thriving’, independently of their birth-family.

Effectively, as De Singly states, this means that:

“the child, insofar as it is a child, has the right to be protected; the child, insofar as it is a person, has the right to be treated as a person.”

Or: children are not small adults, but they have equal value to adults.

Different societies express the child’s dual status in different ways. At one end of a continuum one could place the ancient Spartans, who exposed their newborns on hill-sides in order to cull the weak; at the other end one might place western consumer society, in which (arguably) adulthood is never properly achieved.

In simple societies children become adult younger. This is because the knowledge and skills required for a child to assume their adult role can be mastered sooner, and the passage from childhood to adulthood is clearer and generally marked by rites of passage. Also the conditions of survival may be harsher – a prolonged childhood is a luxury born of safety, wealth, and leisure.

In more complex societies, achieving independence requires a more extensive and more abstract knowledge – hence prolonged ‘schooling’. Young people are also faced with several non-synchronised rites of passage: puberty, passing the driving test, graduation, getting one’s first wage, losing one’s virginity, attaining the legal drinking age, the various age of criminal responsibility and the age of sexual consent, the minimum school-leaving age, and the age when one can join the army, … this jumble of rites of passage means that there is no clear point at which a ‘child’ becomes an ‘adult’. Hence the prolonged transitional phase that is embodied in the ‘teenager’.

Ethics and dual status

Dual status makes ‘the child’ into a difficult, complex, contradictory ethical entity. It deprives us of our two simplest ethical algorithms: the denial of ethical status, and the golden rule. The child is not like a stone, or a mosquito, or a battery hen – an entity that makes few or no ethical demands on the world. Nor is the child a mirror of ourselves. This means that the Golden Rule – do to others as you would have them do to you – can’t be relied on for resolving ethical challenges.

Child abuse happens when adults ignore the child’s dual status.

When we ascribe to them our own desires, functions and needs we treat children as small adults. This leads to soul-destroying child labour, child marriage, child soldiers and to sexual interactions inappropriate to the child’s needs, desires or level of development.

On the other hand, considering the child as an entity that makes few or no ethical demands is to prioritise your own interests (or the interests of other interested parties, such as the family, the community or a god) above those of the child. This leads to infanticide, mutilation, indoctrination and emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

The child’s Dual Status, having deprived us of the easy algorithms for resolving ethical dilemmas, obliges us to be empirical, to struggle with observations, experience, data, facts and reason – to weigh things up and reflect. In short the child’s dual status obliges us to focus entirely on the child, rather than on ourselves (or other interested parties).

The Child Forbidden – De Singly’s Objection

In his preface De Singly tries to use the child’s dual status to ethically condemn consensual child-adult intimacy. In what follows I try to summarise his argument, using his own (translated) words as much as possible. De Singly starts off by stating that in the 1970s:

the ‘apologists for paedophilia’ asserted

that children have as much of a capacity to say ‘yes’ as do adults in the context of a sexual relationship”.

and were promoting

a version of unchecked power which entailed an equal diminution of the power of the parents.”

He considers that this failed to

take into account the fact that in all of society there are power imbalances, and therefore ‘liberation’ does not suffice to guarantee the condition of free expression.”

and that

if the parents and adults impose upon the children by privilege of their dominance, how justify the fact that other adults [i.e. paedophiles] can be their liberators, without this also being an imposition?”

De Singly elaborates on this by making a parallel between the war against paedophilia and

the introduction, in 1992 […] of the concept of sexual harassment, defined back then as ‘the fact of harassing someone by using orders, menaces or constraints, with the goal of obtaining sexual favours, by someone abusing the authority conferred by their office”

He goes on to give the example of a business in which a low-status employee (such as a cleaner) and a high-status person (the Managing Director) engage in a sexual relationship. The power imbalance between them means that the low-status person can not be considered as having full power over herself. Any claims she makes that she consented to the relationship can’t be considered as sufficient to exclude the possibility that the MD employed his authority to bring about the relationship. Further evidence of the cleaner’s consent must be furnished to dispel suspicions.

a young girl who has the power to say ‘yes’ to a sexual relationship with a young man, or a young girl, of the same age, loses this capacity if her partner is an adult, and all the more so if this partner is an authority figure.” (would de Singly also argue that her capacity to refuse consent is likewise nullified?)

He makes a further parallel between the pleas of the partisans of paedophilia and

those who advocate economic liberalism, similarly unrestrained i.e. without state intervention. If the state is a central figure of repression it is also an instrument that can serve to regulate freedom in order that those endowed with the most power don’t abuse it in interactions across social class and age.”

Society’s construction of ‘paedophilia’, with all its taboos, stigma and assumptions of criminality is, for de Singly:

a wall within which children today dispose of a little more power. This place of play, of the self-fulfillment, has undoubtedly expanded, but on one condition: that they play among themselves and that adults are there as ‘arbiters’ not as ‘playmates’ […] the history of emancipation in the West rests on the intervention of “separations/” – secularism, with its separation of church and state, is an example. Each wall gives birth to a new freedom.

It is for this reason that partisans of the paedophile cause are wrong: the protection of the child that is written into the limitations of its capacity to consent do not primarily reflect parental oppression, but have as their function the guarantee that personal expression, including sexuality, will not be hijacked to the benefit of adults who could profit from this situation.“

objections to de Singly’s objection

If one accepts that children often need to be protected from bad choices they might make if they were free, then the next step is to determine criteria for a ‘bad choice’.

De Singly singles out child-adult intimacy as the worst of ‘bad choices’. Is his justification for this a logical consequence of dual status, or has he arbitrarily grafted dual status onto the prejudices of the dominant culture?

De Singly’s criterion appears to be ‘a relationship which involves an imbalance of authority’. But this criterion is seriously undermined by the very examples he uses.

Take his example of the managing director and the cleaner.

Is de Singly claiming that a relationship between an MD and a cleaner must necessarily come about through the MD abusing his power? I think it would hardly be credible for him to claim this – after all, many happy relationships and marriages have been known to occur between bosses and their secretaries.

Nothing in what de Singly writes excludes (or even addresses) the possibility that a relationship can come about between adults and children without resort to the use of authority on the adult’s part. In such a case would de Singly be justified in characterising child’s sexuality as having been ‘hijacked to the benefit of the adult’? Surely not.

De Singly’s example also draws attention to the humanising effect of interaction. Individuals who work (or play) together can rapidly pass from being mere embodiments of their roles to becoming known by their self-hood and personality. What might be, on first encounter, just a ‘child’ or an ‘adult’, after hours of interaction, becomes ‘Matilda’ and ‘Uncle John’ – people defined by their quirks, their personalities, their vulnerabilities and, above all, defined by the nature of the relationship evolving between them. In a healthy interaction closeness and intimacy dissolve authority.

De Singly also ignores the fact that every socially approved interaction a child can have with an adult (parent, teacher, social-worker…) involves exactly the kinds of power imbalance he is so wary of.

De Singly’s objection comes on a sliding scale of authority – a teacher, a parent or imam does indeed wield a great deal of authority. But what about a stranger, a neighbour or family friend? Adults in such roles bring little authority or status to an interaction with a child, and indeed these relationships are the only relationships with adults in which the child has the power to end the interaction or relationship if he/she so chooses.

Undoubtedly some adults do use their status or authority to coerce or manipulate a child into ‘consenting’ to sexual activity. But, should a right be withheld because of the danger that the right might be abused?

De Singly might have had more to work with if he’d conceded that child-adult intimate relationships aren’t necessarily the result of abuses of authority, and focused instead on the difficulties of determining whether a relationship has come about with or without an abuse of authority on the adult’s part (see ‘Consent’ Without ‘The Age of Consent’).

A more profound flaw in de Singly’s objection is that he simply gets paedophilia wrong. He assumes that paedophiles want to treat children as small adults – an assumption he could not have maintained if he’d taken the slightest interest in the subjective experience of paedophiles.

His misunderstandings come from treating ‘the paedophile’ as a blank screen onto which he can project the polemics of provocative, radical thinkers of the 1960s – many who were not themselves paedophiles – and his own teleophilic sexuality, with its focus on conquest, penetration and orgasm.

One of his errors is that he writes as if paedophiles were mainly attracted to children’s physique and appearance. We are, of course, but our attraction is essentially to the quiddity of children, to their whole nature – we love ‘children’, not ‘children’s bodies’. To impose adult forms of desire on them is to violate the very thing we love most in a child. A few interviews with paedophiles speaking candidly would have cleared up this basic misunderstanding.

As to the comparison he makes between those advocating paedophilia and “those who advocate economic liberalism”: I can think of few societies where children are less free than in contemporary consumer societies, nor have children ever been less able to construct their own independent culture (think of how much of children’s time, activity and culture is conceived, controlled and supervised by adults).

conclusion

De Singly, in what is akin to a cardsharper’s sleight of hand, gives the impression of having successfully damned all child-adult intimacy.

But what he has done is give grounds for condemning those forms of child-adult intimacy that merit condemnation, whilst, at the same time, diverting attention from the possibility that child-adult relationships could come about and be maintained other than by an abuse of authority.

Indeed, for him to do so would have been to draw onto himself exactly those suspicions which his preface was meant to deflect from his colleague, Pierre Verdrager.

Few contemporary radical paedophile would argue that relationships that came about through abuse of authority should be legitimate. If de Singly’s goal is to condemn all child-adult intimacy he can’t do this by only condemning its worst manifestations. He can only do this if he addresses child-adult intimacy in its best, most ethically conducted manifestations.

But De Singly has condemned the only form of ‘paedophilia’ the popular narrative is aware of – therefore, to  minds formed by the popular narrative, he has successfully condemned all forms of paedophilia.

The only reason he could get away with this stratagem is that he knew that the huge majority of his readers would have no wish to be made aware of the possibility that intimate child-adult relationships could be conducted consensually and honourably; he knew that his readers would be as eager as himself to see all forms of paedophilia summarily condemned and would not subject the reasons for his condemnation to too rigorous an evaluation.

another Tasmanian Devil

 

28 thoughts on “The Forbidden Child – Dual Status & Its Implications

  1. dear LSM.. Once more, I have tried to comment at TO’C, but despite everything being in order and the website indicating “Posting Comment…” nothing will ever appear there for me. My comment was in relation to Tom’s just in fresh ‘un, and I hope you will understand if i plonk that missing comment here? It went something like this:

    I would like to ask Tom, who is obviously exceedingly astute when it comes to matters of bona fide research, how one might go about explaining why the kind of historical detail one comes across so easily in articles like the excerpted Guardian anti-Islamophobe piece pertaining to Mo/Aisha &c – is not to be found when it comes to similarly long-gone lasses such as Saint Augustine’s very own ‘pre-pubertal item’, who(m?), along with his later concubine arrangement, the great man felt unworthy of having so much as her name recorded for posterity?

    Perhaps the greatest (most endlessly inventive) sparring-partner I ever had on social media excommunicated me as of last December, when I insisted that he grind out not one further word about Mo/Aisha until he – as a self-described “Augustinian Libertarian” no less – seek out what facts might be found concerning these, the (then) orthodox comminglings of the Bishop from Hippo..

    Even in a work such as “Grace and Impotence” (seeking to situate the ‘inspiration’ for Augustine’s ultimate doctrines on free will &c guess where), can provide us with zilch by way of names,..

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  2. >>>>>>His misunderstandings come from treating ‘the paedophile’ as a blank screen onto which he can project the polemics of provocative, radical thinkers of the 1960s – many who were not themselves paedophiles – and his own teleophilic sexuality, with its focus on conquest, penetration and orgasm.<<<<<<

    Yes, this, in fact, is just what I have hoped to avoid. As you haven't insulted me as yet, I dare to hope that I have done so, to some extent at least.

    I've not read or heard of the idea that children have a dual status, although it is obvious, especially in western culture. This is going to take some thought, including reading your translation of the article first.

    So off I go..

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  3. hello there everybody… oh boy, have I missed Mister Lensman! AWOL (Absent WITH Official Leave) at the same time as TO’C! How can it possibly be! There are two areas of possible discussion that, for fear of my comment getting lost in ancient threads, I should like to present right here:

    Firstly, the theme of Gary Glitter/Paul Gadd. As one who can say without reservation that his heart goes right out to anyone (at all) who has ever sought a much finer thrill in the possibilities of SE Asia, in the incomparably desire-generating nexus where beauty and the fearful interdiction coincide, compassion is all I know when I read of his dreadful ultimate fate. This was yet another one of Britain’s once most beloved entertainers, for is it not so? And yet whenever I search online, all I can find is heedless, thoroughgoing contempt on every front. Why, even at SpikedOnline, where wo/men seem to have their heads still actually screwed on to this day, he is spoken of in passing as “the odious Gary Glitter’ without one word of explanation, or, for that matter, single objection to same from the commentariat. I wonder very much where this peremptory characterization/condemnation of a man by the ‘alt-intelligentsia’ proceeds from? IS IT purely due to the way his features resemble those of the absolutely stereotypical demon, or what? Can as much really, really have made this person disappear from the ‘public-mind’ the way he has seemingly without.. without moral trace?

    I would very much like to know Lensman’s thoughts on all this!

    Secondly, having now read the terrifying article at Heretic TOC on just what may well swiftly befall a person accused of being a “paedophile” in today’s Russsia/Ukraine/Crimea, something extraordinarily paradoxical occurs to me. For these are the same nations where to all intents and purposes, virtual stars of the CP-world have uniquely arisen in their very own right, and where, upon seeking aesthetic sustenance of such a nature, a person will always turn without fail… am I right so far, gentlewo/men? The TOC article I mention did not explore the paradoxical aspects of these particular phenomena at all, and it was thus my hope that here at ConsentingHumans someone might shed some light? I realize that the ‘CP Stars’ I speak of are for the very most part bygone history already, that is to say, creatures of a decade now past, but how are we best to think (as fantastically curious) MAPs of the present scene inside the Motherland? And is it true that the correspondent ‘A’ at TOC is a native of that country? Does s/he comment here?

    I sincerely hope my somewhat fumbling attempt at fashioning my great curiosity into the above query-forms will yield some discursive fruit!

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    1. Hi Warb

      I’m glad that my popping my head over the parapet has pleased you!

      Re Gary Glitter – yes, I feel the same way as you do. He seems like a decent bloke – not sadistic or uncaring, just someone who went East to find a bit of love, companionship and comfort. Many of us, I’m sure, have had similar adventures.

      And yes, GG was “one of Britain’s once most beloved entertainers” – to a certain extent he was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. And I’ve actually seen him live twice – more at the prompting of a friend than my own enthusiasm, and in a slightly nostalgic/retro frame of mind, since this was some time after the peak of his fame, but before his ‘fall’.

      Your comment makes me wonder whether there is maybe a need for a proper look at the Gary Glitter story, from a neutral, non-hysteric point of view – which is another way of saying a paedo point of view.

      I’m tempted by the idea. Seperating the truth from the fiction etc – I found the research involved in writing the Paul Christiano, putting the story straight by collating first-hand accounts, second-hand accounts, press reports, interviews, Paul’s own writings and his creations profoundly rewarding. Maybe digging into the Gary Glitter story might be similarly fascinating, as well as trying to do justice to someone whom I feel has been terribly mistreated.

      On a different front – I’m tempted to go and buy some of his albums, help him out as best I can, let him know that he’s not completely vilified. I think the BBC banned his music – how petty is that. But it wouldn’t surprise me if any profits from his music goes to some organisation like the PervCatchers or PeadoKillaz or the NSPCC or suchlike…

      On the Russian question – I see where you are coming from. Even legal clips on youtube, with little girls prancing around in underpants and grandmothers sneakily tweaking, through those underpants, the vulvas of their grandaughters (you’ll know the clip if you’ve seen it) seem to suggest a greater acceptance of child sexuality than in the West. I suspect Russia, as so often, presents a paradox to the Western mind.

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      1. pleased as pie to read your words there Sisyphus, I relished ’em right down to your use of “underpants” (rather than the always verging on tacky “panties”), a word that perhaps for you also evokes something more akin to a homely, even rustic rag about a small being’s loins, and the terrific aesthetic charge which so often goes with that… I too would dearly like to to know how messages/gestures of support might be communicated to persons in such unrelievedly dire circumstances without, just as you say, encountering subversion and god knows what else… concerning the idea of research, YouTube as always seems as good or stimulating a place to kick off as any,,, have you ever come across this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPtEWA2BzZQ (“The Execution of Gary Glitter”). Ever so slightly gratifying to note that in the comments beneath, several or more found it “thought-provoking”, if only on the level of things concerning how one thinks of the death penalty … the ‘mentally-provoked’ mostly subsumed though of course in the otherwise mindless satisfaction displayed with the stupefyingly idiotic notion that here have we “a monster”; without one blip of curiosity as to what the man might or might not have ever actually done “to” someone – much more likely WITH – and all the rest of it.

        I shall be reading your Paul Christiano posting as soon as I can. My own ‘activism’ consists mostly it seems of ‘going topical’ with almost every person showing the slightest sign of an intact intelligence that I meet, but oh how I should like to be far more, you know, ‘constructive’ than that! Despite giving it my all with all the ‘ex tempore’ verbal facility I possess, things can an often do go pear- and even pomegranate-shaped pretty fast. I also plan to blend an unswerving consideration of paedophilia into a paper I’m planning to give in Warsaw next June at the Generative Anthropology Summer Conference 2018. This is our website (should you like to have a sniff sometime at the first and only real ‘secular’ hypothesis of humanity’s origin that has ever existed – it’s demanding, yes – most especially the ‘GAblog’, but once you’re inside of heem , well there is no intellectually turning back!): http://anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ )

        I haven’t seen that particular Russian video, no! There is much more I would love to speak of, but think I must feel my way slowly into a better grasp of what elicits broader discussion here?

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  4. I think that the laws concerning the age of consent are obsolete from many points of view. Children are born sexual, and although they are not sexually mature until and after the onset of puberty, this should never be an excuse for them to have to refrain from sexual activity with another person should they wish to. Consent in law is very different to consent in fact, and whilst I concede that the laws protect those children who are used and abused in a negative manner, this does not take into account that many children are denied those experiences as a result of a misguided society that regards any such encounters as abusive and harmful to the child.

    It is a great shame that so many people have been hood winked by the mass media as to the true nature and existence of adult sexual attraction to children, child sexuality and the benefits that can be experienced by both parties of such encounters. The raping and abuse of a child is a terrible thing, whereas the love and guidance that a child can received as a result of a loving relationship with a nepio/paedo/hebe – phile are overlooked by default.

    This is a great article, pointing out various nuances of the issue. Keep up the good work. The truth shall prevail.

    Ed Chambers

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    1. hi Ed Chambers (and welcome to the comments section),

      Thank you for your kind words concerning my article and I, of course, agree with your comment. I’ll be keeping up the good work, but not until I feel ready and recharged. I’m hoping to get a series of articles written before starting back with regular blogging – I hope that not having any pressure and not having a deadline will help me in the writing of this series.

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  5. Yes, this writer (and I find his image singly uncomplimentary) disregards the essential nature of pedophilia.
    Childlovers bypass any power imbalances and interact on a one-to-one basis. They do not impose adult sexual style onto children but interact from what they perceive the child is aware of.
    This book does not seem a worthy addition to the study of pedophilia, or childlove.

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    1. >”Yes, this writer (and I find his image singly uncomplimentary) disregards the essential nature of pedophilia.”

      or should that be ‘I find his image de Singly uncomplimentary’!?

      I agree that child-love at its best neutralises the power imbalances that the age differences would encourage in other child-adult interactions. This is why we need to elaborate both for ourselves, and also for the eyes of the world, what child-love at its best is. I hope, in a few months time, to start a series of essays which explore what an ethics of child-love could be, from first principles. The ‘dual status’ will be a founding principal of this (I think).

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      1. I was, at first, going to say “rather uncomplimentary” but then, I had a stroke of absolute genius, and changed it to “singly”.
        And that Singly guy looks like he’s about to kiss an icon…

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  6. Just to add that you can see the author being interviewed here: youtube.com/watch?v=TBxy3Em6SHo … the title of the clip: On Pedophilia: A conversation with Pierre Verdrager, sociologist.

    I find it intriguing to compare the preface penned by the sociologist François de Singly in L’enfant interdit, with that of Vern L. Bullough, an American historian and sexologist, who wrote the introduction to the book: Loving Boys authored by Edward Brongersma. It seems that Bullough employs a far more objective, intelligent and, dare I say it, honest approach to the subject of paedophilia, but then, can any intelligence and honesty still be found within the Sociology academia of Anglophile countries this side of the millenium?

    “Almost no subject of scholarly investigation arouses more controversy than the subject of paedophilia, i.e. erotic relations between adults and minors. It almost immediately brings to mind an image of a man with a huge penis trying to shove it into a tiny orifice of a mortally terrified child. Inevitably the frightened child is scarred for life, unable to adjust to a normal sex or family life. Undoubtedly there are some men who literally rape small boys (or girls), and there are children involved in sexual relations with adults who are emotionally if not physically wounded for the rest of their lives. But man boy-love, at any rate, is a far more complex subject than a simple horror story. It has a long history, and sometimes, as among the ancient Greeks, it was regarded as the highest form of love.

    More to the point, there are people and organisations today who still regard paedophilia as an ideal form of sexuality, benefiting both the boy and the adult. Obviously such a belief is debatable, but each person has to arrive at his or her own conclusions. Personally I believe a child is not mature enough to make a decision for himself or herself about sex with an adult, and it would be very difficult for many young people to avoid coercion if confronted with such a situation. Still, it is not clear when a young person becomes adult enough to consent to sexual activity. Probably most of us in society feel quite different about two teenagers engaging in sex with each other than we do about an adult involving himself or herself with a teenager ten or twenty years younger. We draw more of a distinction, however, between an adult male having sex or being otherwise involved with a teenage boy than we do with a teenage girl and we are more likely to punish the case of boy-love than girl-love (girls, for example, are commonly allowed sex with other females and can sometimes marry as young as fourteen-boys must wait until 16, 18 or 21 years of age for any legal sex).

    Some people feel that there should be no distinction between sexual activities involving a boy and sexual activities involving a girl, and it is this inequality of outlook – in other words, discrimination against boys which this book seeks to change. From experience I know there is a large audience for such a sex book, since there are many people out there who have felt ostracized and cut off from society and have gone underground rather than confront a hostile society. Few of them regard themselves as the vile, dirty, dishonest adults so often portrayed in the popular media. Yet no one seems willing to defend them. Obviously this book speaks for them and to them, but it would be unfortunate if they are the only readers of this book, since there is a real need for all elements in society to know more about the motivations, the drives and the impulses of those who identify themselves or are identified by others as paedophiles.

    This book attempts to do just this. Its author is a distinguished Dutch lawyer, a retired member of the Dutch Parliament who in 1950 was arrested, tried and convicted for having sex with a 16-year-old boy. He spent 11 months in prison as a result. Unlike many convicted of such activities, he managed to put his life back together on his release, win reinstatement to the bar, re-election to the Dutch Parliament, and in 1975 as a reward for his services, the Queen made him a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. He is, however, still a paedophile and he has spent much of his life in writing about and researching the subject. The final result of his scholarship is this book.

    It is what might be called a lawyer’s brief. It is not a dispassionate look at both sides of the case, but instead the brief of a committed advocate trying to establish his cause. Negatives are recognised, but dealt with. Definitions are closely drawn such as the difference between pseudo paedophiles and true paedophiles the first turning to youth when there is no other alternative, the second truly interested in boys and not necessarily for sexual purposes. He emphasizes that relations between adults and boys can be beneficial to both, that it is not necessarily traumatic, and that genuine love is involved. He is most concerned with teenagers, primarily with those who in America would be in high school or junior high.

    Brongersma builds his case by a thorough search of the social sciences and legal literature, he brings poetry and fiction to support him, and finds justification in the biological and medical sciences. Since he reads all of the Western European languages, his command of the literature and his bibliography are impressive. I would recommend the book to those who want to learn more about the subject: the motivation, the desires, the attitudes of those who could be classed as paedophiles. Hopefully it will throw light on a subject that too often either has been ignored entirely or been subject to hysterical statements. Certainly those of us who deal with paedophilia in therapeutic situations will be well served in reading it if only because to do so will make us more dispassionate counsellors and teachers, better able to serve those with whom we come into contact.”

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    1. Hi feinmann0

      thanks for the link to the youtube clip – I listened to it a while back, but can’t remember that much about it, other than it seemed to cover pretty much the same ground as the book.

      >”I find it intriguing to compare the preface penned by the sociologist François de Singly in L’enfant interdit”

      I’m inclined to publish my translation of the de Singly introduction – and thus let the blog’s readers judge for themselves. There’s a lot more in his introduction than I could cover in my essay – a lot of stuff that needs addressing. It’s always posssible that Verdrager, or de Singly or their publishers will see this translation as a copyright infringement – I’m not knowledgeable enough about these things to judge.

      Thanks for the introduction from ‘Loving Boys’. It’s a more sympathetic introduction than de Singly’s of course. But not quite ‘on board’. Vern L. Bullough seems to have been a sexologist with quite a reputation, maybe he didn’t want to write anything too controversial.

      >”can any intelligence and honesty still be found within the Sociology academia of Anglophile countries this side of the millenium?”

      Well, I remain faithful to Sociology as a discipline despite the errors and dishonesty of some of its practitioners. I’ll go so far as to say that l’Enfant Interdit is not an outrageous travesty – it is scholarly and covers many interesting issues.

      Susan Clancy’s ‘The Trauma Myth’ is not sympathetic to paedophiles, but contains so much good research and so many useful insights and so many valid observations and conclusions that I think every one interested in paedophilia should read it. I wouldn’t go that far with L’Enfant Interdit, but I think it is worth reading. I certainly think that Verdrager’s conclusion that the paedophile revolution of the 60s fizzled out because of AIDS is one that should be explored and discussed more deeply.

      Maybe I’ll do a blog post on this hypothesis when I get back into blogging….

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      1. Personally, Lensman, I think the “pedophile revolution” of the ’60s and ’70s “fizzled out” due to the AIDs scare only to the extent it may have influenced the sex abuse hysteria. However, the AIDs terror failed to stunt the LGBT progression of rights, save maybe just briefly, because they were quick to jump into the assimilation bandwagon soon after the ’80s decade began. The AIDS fear may have been the final catalyst to prompt them into making that desperate move in lockstep with the mainstream liberals, who changed their tactic from opposing the Right to capitulating to it. The assimilation route was, in the collective eyes of the LGBT movement, the more expedient route to weather that storm, despite what a Faustian bargain it was.

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        1. I’ll have to revisit Verdrager’s thesis on how the AIDS crisis brought an end to the respectability of militant paedophilia. I think it would make interesting blog post.

          But, if my memory serves, Verdrager characterises pre-AIDS gay liberation as hedonistic and revolutionary, as rejecting established sexual morality and standing against the family. This stance created a conceptual space in which sex-positive and radical ideas could be explored and advocated, including the acceptance of child sexuality, and therefore paedophilia. Indeed paedophilia was valued as a way of bringing down the nuclear family.

          The AIDS crisis forced a new puritanism on to the gay community. They had to adopt, both for their own survival, but also to harmonise with the public perceptions of the health crisis, more traditional and conservative morals and aspirations, to portray themselves as aligning themselves with the family. There had to be less promiscuity, the promotion of stable relationships, celibacy, safe sex, a more normal ‘identity’, and homosexuality had to become nuclear-family friendly (eventually leading to gay marriage, adoption and parenthood).

          Homosexuals, under this new dispensation, could no longer be seen to ally themselves with such subversive ideas as child liberation and paedophilia, ideas which undermined the traditional family and morality. They had to reject Foucault, whose goal was to destroy the family.

          Verdrager points out that the pre-AIDS paedophile campaigns were very-much led by homosexual paedophiles, and especially hebephiles and ephebophiles (so that there was a convergence between paedophile liberation and gay liberation). Paedophilia went from being a stick by which a revolutionary movment fustigated the nuclear family, to an aunt Sally by which they could demonstrate their new family-friendly conservative morality. Hence, maybe, the virulence with which the newer generations of homosexuals view paedophilia.

          This successful transformation into respectability, in combination with the broad sympathy the AIDS crisis created, has been very effective in (appearing to) win for the gay community many rights and freedoms.

          To me, this seems like a plausible enough narrative. However it has to be triangulated with a broader analysis which is brought into play by the fact that gay liberation was already an outspoken and well-supported movement in the 60s and 70s, well before the AIDS crisis. The zeitgeist had already changed vis a vis sexual morality – and this is where my hypothesis that attitudes towards sexuality change when technology, the economic and kinship structures change – that the acceptance of homosexuality occurred when concepts of masculinity went from being ones attuned to heavy industrial labour to ones attuned to commerce, services and consumption. Likewise, the rise of hyperpaedophobia is a result of the rise of consumerism and the isolation of the nuclear family.

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          1. Thank you for those great insights, Lensman!

            To add a few more of my own, the interesting thing is that as a youth liberationist and a “radical” pro-choice MAP, I am not against the nuclear family unit per se. What I am against, to be more specific, is the societal insistence that it be the standardized form of family unit, without leaving proper opportunity and support for individuals of all ages to live in different family units, including community-based living arrangements, based upon individual needs and preferences. The problem, to me, has always been the general idea of standardization of expectations.

            Also, to be fully clear, I do not support the continuation of the nuclear family unit in its current insular, hegemonic form. I envision those who choose of their own volition to live in that form of familial arrangement in a youth-liberated society to fully democratize the unit, to foster households of mutual respect between the parents and children, and to insure it’s not so insular as to be segregated from the community at large. The kids will have the established right to be “free-range,” meaning having the right and opportunities to engage with the community at large, both online and offline, and to foster relationships of all kinds with people of all ages who live outside the “traditional” (i.e., nuclear) family household. This openness and sense of mutual concern will, I think, greatly reduce the instances of actual sexual abuse and violence between people of all ages and genders.

            As you also know, I support the general move beyond the profit-based, consumerist type of economy and consequent lifestyle we have today, forming an economic system based upon cooperation and widespread material equality rather than competition and chains of hegemonic power, which I do believe will help foster a greater sense of community and trust among people of all ages, with considerably less instances of mental illness, violence, militarism, and standardized gender roles.

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          2. Hey there LSM! I’m just having me a little orgy of re-reading here and was somewhat startled to read the line where you broadly declare that “the goal of Foucault was to destroy the family”. Having also just announced to my older sister – the matriarch of our clan and an insanely busy health professional & academic – that I will be ‘boycotting’ the Christmas gathering this year in protest against she and the other sisters’ permanent reduction and belittlement of my core concerns to a “pathetic hobbyhorse” (I don’t know how else they will learn to take me seriously?), I recalled the fact that her academic education was laced with the Foucaultian, even, as she always reminds me, a reading of his “primary texts” required for her professorship! But here is a person who, when i present her with that rather extraordinary passage I first encountered at ConsentingHumans where the institutions of slavery & modern childhood are analogized quite incontrovertibly, rejects it out of hand with something akin to a shriek. Perhaps Foucault’s ‘ulterior mission’ bypassed her rapidly-ideologized mindstuff altogether? May I ask if you could direct me now to that work of MF where his goal is most explicitly laid forth?

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            1. Hi Warb,

              I hope your orgy was enjoyable, that you cleaned up afterwards and didn’t leave too many sticky surfaces over at my blog.

              I have to confess to having only a vague, and broad, familiarity with Foucault – I’ve never been much tempted by postmodernism, either philosophically or culturally. But I have occasionally encountered Foucault’s name in my reading on paedophilia and child sexuality. My reference to Foucault in the above comment is really a disguised quotation of a passage in de Singly’s preface, I’ll quote my translation of it here:

              “When one reads the texts quoted by Pierre Verdrager, one finds that a version of unchecked power was being promoted by the supporters of the paedophile cause. First of all, they demanded that the age of sexual maturity (i.e.the age of consent) be reduced. Of course, the fact of endowing the child or adolescent with this power entailed an equal diminution of the power of the parents. They sought the elimination of these thresholds: “the idea of a sexual coming-of-age is idiotic”. This stance appears paradoxical, or at least it seems so today: if parents and adults impose upon the children by privilege of their dominance, how then justify the fact that other adults can be their liberators, without this also being an imposition (11)? Secondly, at a more theoretical level, they assert that children have as much of a capacity to say ‘yes’ as do adults in the context of a sexual relationship. In 1978, in a dialogue that was eventually published under the title “the law of modesty” Michel Foucault utters this sentence: “To assume that a child is incapable of explaining what happened and was incapable of giving his consent are two abuses that are intolerable, quite unacceptable.”

              I can’t give you any authoritative references for Foucault’s thinking on the family, but the dialogue mentioned in the above quote can be found here (in French) – but I don’t doubt that it will have been translated into English.

              On a completely different subject, I’d just like to say thank-you for being a lone supportive voice over at HereticTO. Iit’s been a bruising episode (as it is every time I venture to say the least thing touching on the ‘Religion of Peace’ that falls short of praise) and I’m questioning whether I want to be part of a community which preaches children’s rights, consent and agency but which at the same time, for whatever reasons, does not wish to acknowledge the nature, the gravity, and the extent of FGM. It seems ridiculous to separate ‘children’s sexual rights’ from their right to not have their sexuality violently suppressed, physically removed and/or damaged.

              Like

              1. Thankyou for this LSM, your (as always) very finely considered reply.. I am presently consulting what seems to be MF’s primary ‘assault’ on the family, which all takes place it seems within a few early pages of *History of Sexuality; Volume 1*. But am even more distracted than usual by my ‘matriarchal’ kin whose just sent ‘acceptance’ of my Christmas ‘boycott’ (my oh my, am I overflowing with ‘scare-quotes’ today or what?) includes the following line: “Your comments to me about that (about FGM) were highly offensive. But I understand that my utter abhorrence of the notion of grown men having sex with a child is also offensive to you so there we shall leave it.”. (Sadly, like so many she is a collector of offenses). I had, you see, come upon that marvellously to-the-point bit at TOC where you speak of the endless circumlocutions comprising the ‘topic’ of FGM & midwives compared to the INSTANT HYSTERIA surrounding the slightest mention of any genitally-oriented affection – ‘taking a razor to’ instead of tickling – and promptly sent it her way. Exactly what *happened* there to the professional “sensitivity”?, enquired I.

                She also advised (she being a very big cheese in the world of Nursing Studies and Health Policy) that she would be later womansplaining to me something I “do not know about nurses/midwives & FGM”. Golly, I wonder what THAT could be!

                I was very, very surprised to read Tom averring his apparent belief that FGM is the fruit of ‘socio-economical’ woes and so forth, and not religion! I would not hesitate to say such belief is a thoroughly deluded one, and ‘delusion’ is a word i try as hard as i can to avoid (it was ruined by the “New Atheists”!) But I reckon LSM that you should hang in there (at TOC) at all costs, and I think we need above all to avoid these various ‘camps’/communities forming, formed around ‘doctrinal’ differences that simply should not be standing in the way! I remain in considerable awe of your ability to lay forth before interlocutors real stepping-stones of argument, and probably even cornerstones too..

                PS Did you have any idea what BJMuirhead was on about in that response to me where he seemed to be invoking some sort of personal inventory of advanced mind-altering substances, sounding like they came from a Philip K. Dick novel or somesuch?

                Like

                1. I’ll be interested to read your opinion of Foucault. I have to say that I am not against the family as such – it does seem to be the best way of raising children. But I think the problems arise when the family becomes isolated from the community or from its geographical locality – when it becomes too ‘nuclear’.

                  >” I had, you see, come upon that marvellously to-the-point bit at TOC where you speak of the endless circumlocutions comprising the ‘topic’ of FGM & midwives compared to the INSTANT HYSTERIA surrounding the slightest mention of any genitally-oriented affection – ‘taking a razor to’ instead of tickling – and promptly sent it her way.”

                  Hahaha – good to know that my words are spreading light, peace and harmony this Xmas 😉 !

                  >”She also advised (she being a very big cheese in the world of Nursing Studies and Health Policy) that she would be later womansplaining to me something I “do not know about nurses/midwives & FGM”. Golly, I wonder what THAT could be! ”

                  If she ever gets round to womansplaining her ideas to you, I’d be interested to read what she said. I understand that nurses are encouraged to take a pragmatic view – ‘education’ not ‘prosecution’.

                  I think that this is a reasonable approach in countries where FGM is common, legal, or where it is deeply embedded in the culture.

                  But I don’t think it is appropriate in countries where it is absolutely illegal, and where it is an alien importation that goes against the prevailing cultural values. ‘Ignorance’ or ‘lack of education’ is not a valid excuse in such contexts – and, let’s be honest, the best ‘education’ would be a series of highly-publicised prosecutions where those involved serve long sentences and lose the guardianship of their children. This would provide the necessary steep learning-curve for those inclined to take scissors and/or razors to their daughters’ genitals, and save thousands (in the UK) of little girls from this horror. This is not something we should be ‘patient’ about; every hour we spend being ‘patient’ (in the UK at least) means another little girl being mutilated. (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/female-genital-mutilation-fgm-case-per-hour-uk-nhs-circumcision-a7564571.html).

                  >”I was very, very surprised to read Tom averring his apparent belief that FGM is the fruit of ‘socio-economical’ woes and so forth, and not religion”

                  Me too. Surprised and disappointed.

                  >”But I reckon LSM that you should hang in there (at TOC) at all costs, and I think we need above all to avoid these various ‘camps’/communities forming, formed around ‘doctrinal’ differences that simply should not be standing in the way”

                  I think I was expressing my exasperation when I wrote about Radpeds breaking down into two camps. Unfortunately, if there were to be two camps re FGM (one prepared to condemn FGM and its causes, the other more concerned with keeping the sepulcher of islam nicely whited) – I fear that it may be just you and me in the former camp… 😦

                  I’m giving myself a few weeks to recover from the shock of discovering that much of the Radical Paedophile community puts ‘protecting the image of islam’ before ‘protecting children’. At the moment, to be honest, I’m still disturbed, disgusted, and disappointed at what happened, and my gut feeling is that I want nothing to do with any of them. I don’t doubt that those who rounded on me feel the same way towards me – the man who had the impudence to speak truths that should be left unspoken. These feelings will undoubtedly fade with time. The best thing is to give myself time out, to refrain from expressing my thoughts on such matters, and let my own (and others’) feelings cool down.

                  >”I remain in considerable awe of your ability to lay forth before interlocutors real stepping-stones of argument, and probably even cornerstones too.. ”

                  Thanks Warb – your encouragement and appreciation is most welcome.

                  However, it seems that a generalised accusation of being ‘islamophobic’ effectively discredits any amount of reasoning, research, evidence, statistics and quotations. The dice are loaded – I have to work hard, research, think, question, doubt – the dhimmis only have to say ‘#islamophobia’ or ‘#notallmoslems’ and they have won the exchange.

                  Anyway – I’m planning on returning to work today on an essay that I started earlier this year reconstructing the story of mohammed and Aisha. I believe that my sexuality will allow me insights and interpretations that neither a moslem could have nor a non-paedophile non-moslem. I want to transform the emotions generated by the recent exchange – anger, frustration, and disappointment – into an increased energy and commitment by which I can endeavor to promote truth, ethics and children’s rights.

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                  1. I had always thought that FGM existed for socio-religious reasons. I can’t imagine why it would be performed due to economic reasons. However, it is a very bad thing indeed and should be banned, regardless of whether or not it is deeply embedded in the culture of any particular society. I think I am correct in assuming that there could never be any medical reason for this to happen Of course, in the case of some males, the foreskin is too tight, or there are other medical issues, and has to be removed, else male circumcision should also be made illegal. Assaulting children at a young age is a dreadful thing to be doing, particularly when there’re lifelong after effects.

                    >>”But I reckon LSM that you should hang in there (at TOC) at all costs, and I think we need above all to avoid these various ‘camps’/communities forming, formed around ‘doctrinal’ differences that simply should not be standing in the way”

                    >I think I was expressing my exasperation when I wrote about Radpeds breaking down into two camps. Unfortunately, if there were to be two camps re FGM (one prepared to condemn FGM and its causes, the other more concerned with keeping the sepulcher of islam nicely whited) – I fear that it may be just you and me in the former camp… 😦

                    >I’m giving myself a few weeks to recover from the shock of discovering that much of the Radical Paedophile community puts ‘protecting the image of islam’ before ‘protecting children’. At the moment, to be honest, I’m still disturbed, disgusted, and disappointed at what happened, and my gut feeling is that I want nothing to do with any of them. I don’t doubt that those who rounded on me feel the same way towards me – the man who had the impudence to speak truths that should be left unspoken. These feelings will undoubtedly fade with time. The best thing is to give myself time out, to refrain from expressing my thoughts on such matters, and let my own (and others’) feelings cool down.

                    I had not been following whatever thread at TOC sparked the discussion, I shall take a look. As already stated, it is important that issues do not force some sort of separation within the community.

                    >”I remain in considerable awe of your ability to lay forth before interlocutors real stepping-stones of argument, and probably even cornerstones too.. ”

                    This is very true, and I, like many others, appreciate your continued efforts, as I do those of TOC.

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                    1. Perhaps Ed the ‘economical’ excuse-for-explanation is all caught up with the hoary old cliché (but still taught!!!) stemming from the *oikos”, or idea that “the” economy functions most like a household? And, given that the mutilation takes place for the most part right ‘there upon the hearth’, a ‘socio-economical’ account may be most applicable? Plus of course the benefit of being most automatically ‘acceptable’?

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                    2. The economic aspects of FGM could be quite interesting to investigate.

                      I suspect that there may be a correlation between FGM and Dowry cultures.

                      Islamic marriages are based on a dowry system known as ‘mahr’ – in which the groom pays the bride a sum, which (purportedly) is a token of of the husband’s capacity to support the wife. However, a reading of the quran and the relevant hadith makes clear it is actually a payment for use of the woman’s vagina: the ‘mahr’ is paid in ‘temporary marriage’ (‘temporary marriage’ being the islamic euphemism for ‘prostitution’).

                      I am not clear whether the amount of mahr varies with virginity. However it is clear that in the ‘honour’ culture that is strongly associated with islam, a girl’s virginity is her most prized possession, so presumably a higher dowry is paid for virgins (I think the same attitude existed in western cultures when dowries were current). If the virgin is a little girl then the dowry would be given to the parents ‘for safe keeping’. So in effect being a virgin (and virginity correlates with youth) raises a girl’s monetary value, which the parents cash in on ‘delivery of the goods’. This also means that child marriages are advantageous to the parents – since the younger the girl is sold, the less chance there is of her losing her virginity.

                      It is also a factor that child sexual abuse (both with and without scare quotes) is much more common in islamic cultures.

                      This is because the punishments for any intimacy outside of marriage are harsh (death by stoning if you are the girl). Add to this the intense gender apartheid proper to islam, that girls and women, from the age of 9, become invisible, kept indoors or covered in cloth bags when in public – this means that the only ‘femininity’ an adolescent boy will ever see is that of family members. The growing boy’s sexual urges will inevitably be directed towards that which is available, visible and present in his life (much as pubescent boys end up finding their classmates sexually attractive, because that is all that is available)- and the only available outlets for his sexual urges are in the family – resulting in the huge amount of incest and rape that occurs with within traditional moslem families and communities. Given the ‘honour’ culture – it is likely that any misbehaviour discovered within the family is likely to be concealed – thus meaning that incestuous practices don’t get reach the community or the Shariah courts.

                      Given the above, in islamic societies, one of the purposes of infibulation might be preserve the girl’s virginity from being spoilt at the hands (or should that be ‘penises’?) of brothers, cousins, uncles etc. The infibulated vagina can only be penetrated with great violence, pain and blood – a randy elder brother knows that he can not penetrate his little sister without it being evident to his family, the community, doctors and coroners (if, as in the worst cases, the little girl dies from hemorrhaging).

                      So I suspect FGM may have (or ‘have had’) an ecomonic purpose of protecting the financial value of the child’s virginity.

                      On the poverty quesion – anyone arguing that FGM exists today because of poverty or underdevelopment will have to explain why there are extremely poor countries where there is no FGM (e.g. Haiti) and enormously rich countries where it is very common (Saudi Arabia).

                      Like

                    3. Warb, the way you write is, sincerely, a joy, but for a layman like myself, sometimes hard to follow, although I (think I) got the drift of your prose. As we all know capitalism is built on the exploitation of a ‘lower class’, and the ‘classes’ below that etc, from one country to the next. Compare that to the family and we can perhaps see how misogyny is used to subjugate and suppress the female. Slapping a price tag on a person in terms of their sexual worth is indicative of this, and with clitoris removed to boot, obviously this undermines any value said infibulated person may have ever developed in regard to their own enjoyment of sex. Females become a sexual commodity to be traded and enjoyed at their expense.

                      It appears that it’s all a big bowl of FGM porridge, or soup if you prefer. A mix of so many reasons, and to be fair having thought further on it, I can’t see how it could be any other way. Socio, economical, religious. I don’t think it is possible to separate the three? With that being said, this does appear to be a socio-economic-religious issue pertaining only to Islam. I wonder how many females outside of the Islamosphere are infibulated as there are, quite obviously, no medical reasons or health benefits to this at all.

                      I read up on FGM here : http://www.dofeve.org/

                      After reading through, I have to say for around ten mins or so, I literally felt quite ill, and temporarily could not dispose of my beer in the accustomed manner. This is quite unlike me. Sewing someone’s bits up seems perverse in the extreme, and in comparison, anyone who is remotely sexually or romantically interested in children is a (thought) criminal of the worst order. Whilst I was drinking said Three Hop, I felt like the apparition of human insanity had once again insidiously crept upon my good being and materialised in front of me with a salmon of considerable size, whereby I was most viciously assaulted about the face with said, dead animal.

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                  2. “If she ever gets round to womansplaining her ideas to you, I’d be interested to read what she said. I understand that nurses are encouraged to take a pragmatic view – ‘education’ not ‘prosecution’.”

                    Without further ado, here is our womansplanation, fresh from my inbox where it was laid as early as this morning:

                    “I do want to just explain to you why midwives and nurses do not actively voice condemnation of FGM in any country:

                    If they remain silent then they are trusted by families for whom FGM is a feature. If they are trusted then they are able to access the woman and the girls in childbirth and at any other time and to provide treatment and support and sometimes successful avoidance of FGM or calamitous birth outcomes or post mutilation infections which lead to death etc etc

                    If they are visibly opposed then the families close ranks and the men especially block the family’s access to treatment or support in childbirth or illness and they go underground in effect and use untrained family members resulting in death and disability

                    So there is a very good reason for the silence on this topic. In NZ nurse leaders also opposed mandatory reporting of child abuse not because they condone violence against children but because again they would then not be trusted by families and would have no access to intervene”

                    I am in more than a few minds as to how I might go about ‘gently’ attacking this case of what, if I had not read your definitive essaying on same, I just might call a nifty “rationalization”? If you possibly have a moment sometime, LSM, I would also seek to enlist your help in how to go about ‘dissolving’ the resistance of, or better outlining the ethical shortfall of, those who say things like “I do not want to have this conversation”. “Please stop” Etc. As if they could possibly know in what that “conversation” might consist, were they to ever open the gate for reason to show the way…

                    Thankyou very muchly for your reply above, whose noblest content I am in the process of assimilating most firmly to my breast! Onwards now to Foucault’s “Pedagogization of Children’s Sex”…..

                    Like

  7. Thanks for sharing this! I like your counterargumentation and, in fact, the dude probably wrote a book on pedophilia without really taking the time to include current pedophillic discourses and interpretations of what happened back then, in the seventies and eighties. Many of his claims, for example, are addressed in Radical Case (the problem of the “non-sexual” child, what pedophiles really desire, power disparity and how “free” kids really are), but I doubt he actually read that. I made annotations on that book, but I think you saw them already.
    And I didn’t know about that hebephillic writer. Thanks for pointing me to him!

    Like

    1. “Many of his claims, for example, are addressed in Radical Case”

      My memory of the book is a bit hazy now, so I checked my copy of ‘l’Enfant Interdit’ – there is only one mention of Tom’s book. As you say, I doubt that he read it, or if he did, he read it with his mind already made up.

      >”And I didn’t know about that hebephillic writer. Thanks for pointing me to him!”

      I’ve got a volume of Matzneff’s diaries somewhere. I’ve never gotten round to reading them though.

      Liked by 1 person

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