So my arguing with conservatives over the Duggars made me do research on the topic of pedophiles and if they can be “reformed”. Ironically, I ended up on a Dan Savage page which led me to an article by Gawker, all of which describe what is known as “Gold Star Pedophiles” or pedophiles who allegedly are not doinking kids but really, really want to.
The title of the article was: Born This Way, Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children. Yep.
Now, nothing you could have said to me in 2005 would have convinced me that the day would come when we as a society write articles with “Sympathy” in the title in reference to people who want to have sex with children. I would have called you a right wing nut job and told you to fuck off. I might have even called you a homophobic bigot because the homophobes usually try to equate them with pedos.
The article goes into the science of why pedophilia is an orientation (something I already suspected) like heterosexuality and homosexuality, but that because it’s an orientation it’s just a “feeling” and they don’t have to act on it. It talks about “gold star” pedophiles who want to have sex with kids but allegedly don’t.
Okay–break for a minute–who doesn’t act on sexual impulse in their lifetime? Who? Name one person?
Nope, them too.
Back to the article…
I personally found the article’s begging for sympathy to be vile and inhuman as someone who was once molested by a creepy piece of shit weirdo. I find it interesting that the party of “the greater good” is fine with accepting the death of human fetuses for the betterment of society, but squirms at accepting the idea that putting some adult humans away is somehow wrong. When your orientation leads you to desire something nonconsensual and ultimately violent, you are not, sad to say, a useful biological being. You’ve become Old Yeller with rabies, something that despite the danger you poise being through no fault of your own, need to go.
From the article:
It’s not easy to listen to Terry talk about the time he had sex with a seven-year-old girl. But after his psychotherapist put us in touch, he agreed to lay it all out for me during a phone call and email, and I was enthralled the way one might stare at a man falling from a bridge. Terry is 38, a small-business owner, and deeply religious—he ends all our correspondence by saying, “Blessings to you, Cord”—but back then when it happened Terry was 20 and a meth head. He was living with his then-wife, his marriage to whom had made him the co-guardian of her two nieces and a nephew. The one niece was a baby, but the other was seven, and it wasn’t long before Terry, addicted and in a marriage he calls “abusive,” fell for his niece and began a sexual relationship with her.
It started with him walking around the house naked with an erection, making sure to amble past the little girl and inspire her curiosity. After doing that a couple times, Terry began to masturbate with the door open. When his niece would come to watch, Terry would tell her that what they were doing was a secret that she couldn’t tell anyone. “In my mind, I had the thought that I would never hurt her and that she would grow up trusting me,” Terry said. He says he wanted her to look up to him.
The third time Terry masturbated in front of his niece, he did it while she was in the room, and he played a pornographic movie on the TV. “Do you want to try what they’re doing?” he asked her, motioning to the woman riding the man onscreen. His niece said yes, and she took off her shorts before straddling him. To avoid getting too graphic, Terry said he knew almost immediately that he was going to injure the girl if he went any further—”she was so small,” is how he puts it. “That’s when the reality clicked in and I grabbed her and lifted her off of me and sat her next to me on the couch,” he says. “I got up and walked out of the room saying, ‘Lord, what am I doing! Lord, forgive me for what I have done!'”
Now, even having read that, the writer Cord Jefferson (who has probably far more sympathy for him than for the Duggars) still manages to write later:
Others have reason to believe that pedophiles are born that way, and that some of them will suffer through entire lives without hurting a single child. If this research proves to be correct, it should help shape both our public policy and our public attitude, so that we’re protecting kids while also protecting pedophiles from angry mobs, cellmates, and themselves.
In other words, if you can’t beat pedophiles, it’s best to try and help them help themselves.
Imagine a world in which admitting your attraction to busty women or tall men led to alienation, jail time, or your murder. Older gay men can probably remember such an era, but nowadays most sexual appetites have been mainstreamed to the point of banality. Pedophiles, for obvious reasons, don’t enjoy the same kind of tolerance, and thus it seems as if they may be locked forever in a sexual prison from the moment they’re born.
and then ending with
The old adage is that the true mark of a society is how it treats the weakest in its ranks. Blacks, women, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and others are still in no way on wholly equal footing in America. But they’re also not nearly as lowly and cursed as men attracted to children. One imagines that if Jesus ever came to Earth, he’d embrace the poor, the blind, the lepers, and, yes, the pedophiles. As a self-professed “progressive,” when I think of the world I’d like to live in, I like to imagine that one day I’d be OK with a man like Terry moving next door to me and my children.
He goes on to say he probably won’t be, but whatever. He wants to be sympathetic. My question is: why? Why must we be sympathetic to people who are ticking time bombs?
Jon Snow could probably have had a lot of sympathy for the White Walkers, but sometimes it does society no good to do so. As an adult you are immune to being molested or raped by a pedophile. Your “sympathy” is coming from a place of safety. It’s like trying to judge what a war is like from across the globe. As an adult sometimes you have to make hard decisions and defend the actual weakest people, which is children.
Call me hard, but sometimes you have to kill the boy and become the man.
One of the posters, a progressive summed up my feelings exactly. Redscare37 said:
Prison should be for rehabilitation, but only for those that can be rehabilitated. If you can’t be rehabilitated, its off to the mines. I’m not, and neither is most of society, about to show anything remotely resembling compassion for child molesters and this better not be the latest addition to the progressive “tent” since it would prove the ridiculous right wing slippery slope argument when it comes to gay rights somewhat true.
If this continues then the right wingers with their slippery slope were right, and if they’re right–what are we doing to do?