It’s only words….
Posted on August 29, 2009
***Strong Trigger Warning***
…and yet it’s amazing sometimes the capacity they can have to floor a person completely.
Take today for example. There I was, debating away on Comment is Free as I’m wont to do when I’ve got some time on my hands, when I decided to click over to this post that was showing then as the most commented (and by implication the most popular) piece on CiF.
CiF’s regular feature “What do you want to talk about?” doesn’t make it to the top of the list very often, mainly because usually when it gets to a certain point one of the CiF editors will simply remove the current thread and start the discussion again. This time however, it’s been allowed to run on, so now there are over 800 comments.
As a CiF contributor I make a point of reading the What do you want to talk about? thread pretty regularly. Sometimes there are some really good ideas posted there for articles people would like to see and discussions they’d like to have. Indeed, I have been known on a couple of occasions to email the editor, Matt Seaton, and bagsy one of the suggestions, to get in there with my request to be the one to write the piece before he gives the commission to someone else.
Today, however, was not one of those days. Today was a day when I read the comments and instead of being inspired to write something for CiF on the proposed subject, I found myself unexpectedly triggered, and crying and shaking in front of my computer screen.
The offending comment’s after the fold
This is what a new poster, who calls himself thagrote, has decided he wants to see discussed on Comment is Free:
Please let CIF be a forum in which we can have a serious discussion about the issue of adults who find themselves sexually attracted to minors. If you do a bit of research, you’ll find that such people are a substantial sexual minority. They do not necessarily abuse children or even go near them, they do not necessarily look at child pornography, and they do not necessarily display any symptoms of mental disorder apart from the fact that they find children or young teenagers sexually attractive (which you may or may not think is a symptom of mental disorder).
How do I know all this? Well, I am a law-abiding minor-attracted adult, who sees doctors on a regular basis due to physical health problems, and has never been declared insane. The only thing about me that would cause alarm is the fact that I find children sexually attractive. I’m not violent, I’m not crazy, I don’t break the law, and I’ve never been sexually abused myself, before you ask. Clearly, for some reason, my brain has developed differently to the way most men’s brains develop, and this has led me to find young girls arousing.
Anyway, enough about me. I have spoken to many many people online who are in a similar position to myself. On behalf of them, I would like to suggest any of the following topics for discussion at CIF:
– Should cartoon child pornography be criminalised? Does it encourage child sexual abuse, or does it offer paedophiles a harmless alternative to looking at real child pornography, or abusing real children?
– Is it actually true that viewing child pornography without paying for it “creates a demand” for more child pornography, and therefore more child abuse? Or will the abuse happen anyway, regardless of whether paedophiles look at the pictures of it?
– What is so harmful about sex? Rape is obviously harmful, bad sex can be painful, but is there any real evidence that a minor who consents to a safe, enjoyable sex act with an adult will actually go on to suffer any harm, apart from that inflicted by people who condemn the child for having sex, and describe the act as “dirty”?
– Why is it up to adults, and not children, whether certain sexual behaviours involving children are considered inappropriate? If an adult or a child makes sexual advances on a child, why do adults tell that child that he/she has been abused, rather than the other way around?
I could probably go on for ever.
Just please, please acknowledge the existence of people like myself. Please allow there to be a sensible, public discussion about the sexual rights of children and minor-attracted adults.
I’m not asking anybody to agree with the views implicit in the questions I have listed. I just want these issues to be taken seriously, because they are serious. The social rejection that people like myself have to deal with can be enough to drive us to suicide.
Now obviously there’s enough in just this one post to enable anyone who knows anything about paedophiles to recognise instantly some of the classic self-serving self-justifying paedophile tactics. There’s a reference (repeated in later posts) to minor-attracted adults, a deliberate changing of the identifying language that enables the paedophile to distance himself from the criminality he advocates. There’s his assertion that some children do in fact consent to safe enjoyable sex with adults. And in his final question there’s an attempt to shift the blame onto some of the victims of paedophilia, an implicit accusation that some children are in fact the abusers rather than the abused. And then of course there’s the emotional blackmail at the end, the plea to listen sympathetically to this person and to let him state his case and to take him seriously, because if we don’t he and others like him may well be driven to suicide by our rejection.
Yeah I know, boo fucking hoo.
Unfortunately, other CiF commenters weren’t so quick to pick up on what was happening, so alongside my barely suppressed rage: “I’m not sure at the moment that I’m even capable of articulating just how nauseating and offensive I find those questions. I think I’d better leave the thread now before I say something I might regret,” and “Take the hint ffs. This is not the appropriate forum for these discussions. Fantasize away if that’s what your counsellor recommends, just don’t be under any illusion that the rest of us want to hear about your sick fucking fantasies, or indeed to read your profoundly disturbing attempts to rationalise your desire to have sex with kids” there were some (albeit very few) posters who tried to be understanding, and who expressed sympathy with the situation thagrote found himself in.
And as you can guess, that sympathy simply served to encourage thagrote to expound on his sick philosophy some more. Here are just a few of his gems:
“It’s true that children don’t always know what’s best for them, but it doesn’t follow that children always don’t know what’s best for them.”
“I’m happy to be completely open and honest with you, and say (as I have already implied) that if I wanted to arouse myself I’d be watching videos of 12 year old gymnasts on youtube. I haven’t come to the guardian website to arouse myself, I have come to try to take a step towards dismantling a harmful taboo.”
“You have no reason to suspect this, apart from your prejudiced assumption that all paedophiles look at pictures of child abuse. There are plenty of clothed children in home movies posted on youtube. They’re good enough for me.”
“You’re also ignoring the issue of child sexual desire. It’s debatable to what extent children feel sexual desire, but I am not in favour of legalising sex with children for the sake of adult desire only. If sex is something that only adults enjoy, then I am in favour of the current laws. But I doubt that sex is something that only adults enjoy.”
“I’m probably over-ambitious, but my primary aim is to make it possible for minor-attracted adults to come out of the closet. This is in everybody’s interests. Either paedophilia is a dangerous pathology, or it isn’t. If it is, then paedophiles need to be willing to come forward and seek psychiatric help. If it isn’t… well, I won’t go into that because you probably don’t believe it. But either way, it is in everybody’s interests for paedophiles to be open about their sexuality. Current social attitudes prevent this from being possible.”
“I know most people don’t believe that children can consent to sex. But I do. I am in favour of consensual sex between children and adults. I am against rape in all its forms. I post on message boards devoted to issues of adult attraction to minors.”
“From the amateur research that I have personally done (reading science papers, books etc.), it simply isn’t clear that there is any harm caused by actions at the milder end of the spectrum, or even further towards what I would consider the middle of the spectrum (e.g. intercourse with a toung [sic] teen, or oral sex with a child).”
Not as young as five. I think I usually like girls who are about 12. The lowest I’ve found someone attrictive is probably 10ish.
And on and on and on. For over six hours.
Understandably, once other posters had twigged what was really going on things started to get a bit heated:
“…if you think you can start a discussion here or get a piece written so that the likes of you can try to convince us that it’s OK to have sex with kids, then you are gravely mistaken. The thread will be modded to death because what you have said has set off a ball of anger in my gut and it will in others too. Other people might wish to engage with you on an intellectual level. I and many others do/ will not.
I only wish to engage you on a physical level.
Now fuck off you nonce.
But that didn’t put thagrote off, because in typical paedophile fashion, thagrote thinks he’s the victim in all this:
“I’m not going to give up until I fail. You might think this laughable, but I see myself as in the same position as homosexuals or black people in the first half of the 20th century. The situation is not fair, and it can be changed. It may even be worth dying for.”
It’s a bank holiday weekend so I’m guessing there aren’t many moderators covering CiF at the moment: it’s either that or they don’t realise the seriousness of allowing a paedophile free reign on one of their threads for so long. As others have pointed out in the discussion, there are potential legal issues involved here, especially if, contrary to thagrote’s claims that he’s never acted on his desires or been arrested for paedophilia, it turns out that he is in fact a convicted paedophile (in which case simply by posting such comments on the Net he could be in breach of his licence and subject to recall to custody). But whatever the reason is for the delay in moderation, I know I and others have tried to alert CiF to the debate taking place on that thread, and I honestly don’t expect the comments to stay up for much longer, or for thagrote to keep his posting rights beyond this weekend.
And after all that detailed and convoluted explanation, what I actually want to say is this. To anyone who argues that free speech should mean that anyone should have the right to say whatever they want wherever they want; to anyone who advocates unfettered free speech on the grounds that no one has a right not to be offended, and to anyone who, like one of the posters on that thread, wants to accuse me and others of needing to think more carefully about how we respond to other people, or who wants to accuse me of engaging in a witch hunt when I refuse to debate nicely with rapists and paedophiles: there are and always have been limits, and those limits must continue. Not because some of us are delicate flowers and need protecting, not because sometimes we might read stuff like the crap I’ve been reading on CiF today and we might become upset by it. But because some things are just fucking wrong. End of.
And right on cue I’m pleased to say CiF have now deleted the comments
Good article, and good points. I am as “no platform” about paedophile apologists as I am about Nazis.
There is a point at which freedom of speech is no longer an absolute, and that is the point where it can cause actual harm to someone. Anyone who has been a victim of a paedophile is more than likely to find this kind of thing distressing, in the same way a woman who has been raped would find it distressing to read a post from a man justifying and rationalising his behaviour; playing the victim card and, in one of his posts, comparing his “struggle” to that of gays and blacks just sickened me to my stomach.
The ball of anger in my stomach isn’t soft — it’s very hard and it’s going to take a long time for it to go away. I don’t care if he was real or just a wind-up merchant. No effing excuse for the Graun to have left his sick crap up there for so long.
As someone who was a victim of sex abuse by the time I was four years old, it took everything I had not to launch into a torrent of obscenity. I don’t like violence. I don’t think it’s ever a solution to anything. But I have a hard time not feeling like suicide would be too good for someone like him.
I can only hope the Graun reported him and it’s always possible that other posters may have alerted the police to his presence on cif. There’s a chance they could track him and I hope they did. Judging from what you have shown here he needs to be identified/investigated. The sooner the better.
(((hugs))) to you – it must have been a shock – not what you expect on cif. Take care of yourself
I observed this guy’s posts for the 6 hours that CiF allowed them to stand. My request to CiF was vaporised:
Where were the mods?
Why did it take the mods so long?
I have previously expressed concerns that the Graun publishes articles on sensitive subjects without so much as a helpline number for people who might affected by the topic. This is a case in point.
You might think this laughable, but I see myself as in the same position as homosexuals or black people in the first half of the 20th century.
Oh no it’s the BIG FAT GAY HERRING!
No you are not in the same position as homosexuals were. We’re talking about consenting adults. (and being black isn’t a sexual orientation WTF?)
Now fuck off you nonce.
I can only hope that the posts remained for so long because the police had been alerted and tracking was being attempted. There have been types like this on Cif before, in my opinion they are incredibly dangerous. I will never allow myself to get caught up in a debate with this sort again. They get off on your reaction I’m sure. They are best reported and ignored, engaging is NOT advised (as I learnt to my own cost).
Next time Cath, just report and walk away.
I have only just seen this over on your blog montana. So I came over here – and kind of wish I hadn’t. I didn’t read the original thread so was pretty shocked just now. My God I cannot believe this piece of scum was writing this stuff on the Guardian.
And when he said him and others like him may be driven to suicide – well hey to be honest the world would be a better place.
Reading what he wrote genuinely upset me.
Montana big hugs – you must have been shocked and upset by this.
MsChin – it just goes to further highlight what you have been saying. I cannot believe those posts were allowed to stand.
Cath can you keep us posted of the Guardians response?
Wholly agree with everyone here.
I just want to say that we should all complain about this – to the Graun, to our MPs, to Harriet Harman, our local Chief Constable, local councillor, whoever.
I want answers as to why this crap was allowed to stand at all, let alone for 6 hours.
Thagrote’s claim that ‘ I am in favour of consensual sex between children and adults’ together with the claim that some children supposedly ‘seduce’ adult males is a common one made by males who rape prepubertal girls and then claim ‘but she seduced me.’ Sadly when such rapists are tried by the courts, juries commonly accept the rapist’s claims and believe the female child did in fact ‘seduce’ an adult male.
Thagrote is not an anomaly because a large number of males do commit rape and other forms of sexual assault against female children but they are not paedophiles – they are men who believe it is their inalienable right to have sexual contact with female children who they know. Paedophile is a ‘construction’ used by the media to promote claims ‘only deviant men rape female or male children.’ Most cases of child sexual assault are committed by males who are related to the child.
However, the Guardian’s moderators were obviously ‘sleeping’ and allowed this male to indulge in propaganda wherein he made scurrilous claims concerning childhood sexuality. More importantly Thagrote is male and it is still overwhelmingly males who are the ones committing sexual violence against women and children. Note – for those who think I have written ‘all men are rapists’ – I said overwhelmingly it is males who are the ones committing sexual violence against women and children.
Why does Thagrote believe it is his inalienable male right to have sexual access to female children? Could it be perhaps because our society routinely sexualises female children and promotes female children as ‘men’s sexualised commodities?’ There is no direct linkage but certainly given our society believes depicting all females as ‘male sexualised commodities’ sends a very strong message that such perspectives are ‘natural and normal.’
So it should not be surprising Thagrote is acting on these messages and promoting the misogynistic belief a male is entitled to have sexual access to any female, irrespective of the female’s age.
Radical Profeminist in his article entitled ‘What Men “using Porn” actually is and does’ makes the same connection as I do in connection with the normalisation and widespread acceptance of popular culture and mainstream pornography depicting female children as ‘men’s sexualised disposable commodities.’ Go read the article.
Shocked at the Gran , perhaps the comments only stayed up as long as they did , is BECAUSE he played the victim , and The Gran doesnt quite know how to handle that.
It’s worth pointing out though that there’s a long and dishonourable tradition of the posh papers doing this sort of thing in the interests of balance, free speech etc. Witness the “poor, poor Chris Langham all he did was look at child porn” articles in a lot of the broadsheets after his conviction. This in the independent (by his father!) sticks in my mind….
And this one from the observer…
Henry Porter makes no direct reference to the Chris Langham case in his piece on sex and individual rights (Comment, last week). The Langham case requires us to think deeply about whether the users, as opposed to the producers, of child pornography should be criminalised. This material stems from an appalling activity. But it is not clear that those who view it should be liable to prosecution. While they are to be pitied, and their predilections abhorred, one questions if it harms anyone but themselves.
From one of my now deleted comments:
Trust me Biskie, I did try and walk away, but in the end I found myself going back and watching in horrified fascination as the guy became more and more confident and more and more willing to talk explicitly about his ’cause’.
Although I spotted instantly what he was up to, as I said in the piece it took some of the others a while to twig. I think the turning point for some came when it was revealed that he’d been posting stuff on paedophile forums encouraging others to come over to CiF and join in the debate.
MsChin – I agree with you that helpline numbers would be a good idea on some of the threads, but in this instance the Guardian can’t possibly have anticipated that this guy would suddenly show up on the WDYWTTA thread and start posting his sick shit. But yes, definitely something they should think about when posting articles on rape and dv.
I have no idea why the Guardian left the posts up for such a long time (perhaps for the reason Biskieboo suggests). It’s worth emailing and asking them. Perhaps there was some logic behind it, but clearly it was damaging to people who read it with a history of child abuse. Poor form by the Graun.
I do find it amazing that someone has tried to pin this on the idea that the Graun ‘likes victims’. I doubt very much that anyone in the Graun yesterday fell for that arsehole’s pathological victimhood narrative.
The only people I have ever heard relativise child porn etc are narcissistic libertarians who do not understand the world outside their self-referential discourses on absolute freedom without any agency.
In any case, these people are highly dangerous, and I really hope the Guardian follow this one up.
I’m interested to read your thoughts and those of others here.
I was one of those who responded vaguely sympathetically to thagrot on WDY..? yesterday. I took him at face value at first, and was fairly quickly proved wrong (many of those posting here already know my current ID on Cif).
I am however slightly disturbed at some of the responses I’ve seen to this incident.
Firstly, we all know that the moderation on Cif is, shall we say, not always of the highest quality. I’m inclined to believe that the reason the posts were allowed to remain for so long is all cock-up and no conspiracy. They’re quick to deal with attacks on ATL writers, but slow to deal with other stuff, as we saw a few weeks ago…
Secondly, I think too many people have been quick to jump to burn-the-witch conclusions (the fact that some of these conclusions may have turned out to be correct doesn’t totally negate this suggestion).
None of you have any proof that this person has engaged in child abuse or looked at child pornography. I’m not saying he hasn’t, merely that you can’t prove it.
I think, and I’m sure I’m in a minority here, that suggesting that The Guardian searches out his IP and notifies the authorities is well over the top.
The only way that The Guardian could prevent this is by having all comments on Cif pre-modded. Does anyone here want that? because I certainly don’t.
And I think you’re still misrepresenting him now, Cath.
The only other place I’ve been able to find thagrot encouraging others to come to his aid on Cif is a place called anontalk (I found it by googling thagrot. It’s the fourth suggestion, under this thread which is now the third).
Is anontalk a paedophile forum? because it honestly doesn’t look like one to me. Or has he been making this request in other places I haven’t found?
I don’t expect many (any) of you to agree with me, but that’s my opinion. Thanks for providing me with the space to express it, Cath.
No I don’t want pre-modding on CiF either andy, so I’m prepared to accept that unfortunate discussions like yesterday’s are one of the prices we have to pay for that. And I’m with you in thinking that the delay in moderation was nothing more than staff shortages on a bank holiday weekend rather than anything more sinister.
As for me misrepresenting him, not sure how that can be the case when all I’ve done is quoted from his actual posts.
And no, none of us have proof that he has engaged in paedophilia or looked at child porn, but the only way of checking that out, of ensuring that he’s not a very real danger to children, and that this weekend’s posts weren’t an escalation of his aberrant behaviour, is to pass his IP or any other details the Gruniad might on him have over to the authorities and let them do their job.
As for whether the other forums he posted on are paedophile ones, I’ve got no idea. One of the CiF posters informed us that he was posting invites on paedo forums, another new poster suddenly arrived and posted a long and supportive comment to him, so I’m assuming that’s what he was doing. Personally though, there are some places on the Internet I’m not prepared to go, so I can’t confirm it for sure.
On the burn-the-witch thing. I’m not into that, not at all. I’m not into chasing paedophiles out of town or burning down their houses or any of the rest of that tabloid inspired nonsense. I think where the confusion/mix-up lay yesterday was in some people’s inability to distinguish the clear difference between what would have been (had it happened) a perfectly reasonable request for a discussion about paedophiles, the treatments and whatever that are available to them, or as David Wilson has discussed on CiF before how we as a society opt to deal with them, and the completely unacceptable discussion thagrote wanted to see happen about whether or not it’s ever okay to have sex with children.
I don’t think any of us would have a problem with the first debate, and as I’ve said, we’ve actually had it several times already on CiF and managed to remain pretty civilised about it. The second discussion? No way. That’s not burn-the-witch, that’s simply letting people know that their fantasies of abusing and raping 10 year old girls are not and never will acceptable discussions to have on a mainstream forum, especially one where in all likelihood survivors of childhood sexual abuse will be reading and contributing.
None of you have any proof that this person has engaged in child abuse or looked at child pornography. I’m not saying he hasn’t, merely that you can’t prove it.
Ok Andy, but if you had to bet £50 where would you rather risk it – that he has or he hasn’t? I very much doubt the Guardian did trace him or informed the police though for that very reason. Because (unless he’s on parole and breaking his conditions as Cath said) there’s no evidence he’s committed a crime.
However he was arguing, in all seriousness, that we shouldn’t stop adults having sex with children because you know that’s stopping children CHOOSING to have sex with adults. Which is the usual stuff that paedophiles come out with in my experience of them. So if I had to bet £50, I’d happily make it £500 and I think it would be fairly safe.
The fact that he doesn’t think there’s anything WRONG with adults sexually abusing children is enough for me. And he was talking about ten year olds. We’re not discussing someone who’s eighteen having consensual sex with someone who’s fifteen. Which I admit can be a valid debate.
…forgot to italicise the first bit……
I don’t think you’re treating the situation with the necessary seriousness that it deserves.
As I’ve been trying to explain, when it comes to paedophilia and making corresponding views public, there are always victims.
In his case, it is *likely* that there have been victims in the past (e.g. viewing child porn or worse), were victims at the time (as we know, at least one former abuse victim had to read his bile and feel cut up about it), and again will be victims in the future.
If someone comes on a public forum and talks about his fantasies of having sex and raping young girls, then he doesn’t need to be too surprised if the authorities go checking up on him.
It’s far more important to defend the real victims here.
Thanks for your replies. I’m relieved that I’ve met with such a reasonable response, because after some of the things I read yesterday I wasn’t sure how my comments would go down.
Cath, the one site I’ve seen thagrote try to drum up support on, which I mention above, is simply one where anyone can set up a thread and then post completely anonymously. It’s not a forum for any particular group, certainly not paedophiles. I didn’t examine it in enough detail to find out if you need to give an e-mail address to do this, but we all know that doesn’t mean a great deal.
Obviously it’s up to you what you publish on your blog, but suggesting that someone is posting on a paedo site on the strength of what some other poster on Cif has said and without checking it out yourself seems rather like misrepresentation to me, or at least carelessness.
grimoopnorth, I’m not a gambler, and if I was I wouldn’t take your bet, because I agree (having read the whole thread before it was deleted) that there’s a strong chance you’re right.
But he didn’t come in straight away with the suggestions you mention, which I too find deeply disturbing, he originally suggested a thread talking about issues around adults who were sexually attracted to children, which is a very different proposition, and one that Cath appears to be saying she would be happy to see go ahead.
Some of the reaction he got even at that stage seemed over the top to me, but as it’s all gone now, I obviously can’t cite any examples.
Anyway, I’ve said my piece and that’s enough from me.
One last point though, Cath.
This thread is now the third most popular link on google when you enter the word thagrote. Maybe this has occurred to you already, but it’s quite possible he’ll spot this and come visiting.
Be on your guard if he does.
See you on Cif sometime.
We’ll just have agree (or not) to disagree, I’m afraid.
Despite your newly revealed expertise in paedophilia, I suggest your comments about how likely it is he’s done this or that before are nothing more than your opinion.
Obviously you’re entitled to express it, but I’m entitled to disagree.
Thanks for allowing me to discuss this here.
And now I really have said all I want to say on the matter.
Yes, Andy, for sure, but my point was rather that this is not merely another debate with opinions for and against, but rather it’s an issue that affects people deeply, tangibly, and damagingly so.
OK, I’ve just discovered I was wrong.
That site is not exclusively paedophile related, but it is heavily dominated by them. Some of the stuff there will shock any right minded person. I advise you not to go there.
The fact that thagrote is posting stuff there suggests that he is far more involved in organised paedophilia than he pretended.
I was obviously very naive and trusting, and now feel like I owe everyone here some sort of apology.
“I was obviously very naive and trusting,”
Like a lot of us have been at one point or another, until we learnt better. Don’t beat yourself up about it, you’ve learnt a valuable lesson.
“childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage”.
A spokesman for Miss Harman was good enough to brazenly lie just to compound the felony.
The paedophile web-sites such as IPCE, have accurate accounts of her activities.
Well no the site isn’t specifically for paeodophiles, but such a site obviously attracts a fair few looking at the content of the thread.
You’re not alone in being naive and trusting though Andy.
In the 80’s quite a lot of the liberal left swallowed hook line and sinker the idea that paeophiles had “rights”. Which led among other things to the Islington children homes scandal. I remember hearing a lot of people argue in all seriousness at the time that 10 year olds were having their “rights” infringed by not being able to have “consensual” sex with adults. And since a lot of the abusers in Islington were men abusing boys it was also presented as a gay rights issue. It was forbidden to conduct background checks on any gay men in Islington as it was seen as “homophobic” hence the place became an abusers paradise.
And Harriet Harman is notorious for her advocacy when working for the National council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty) of the Paedophile information exchange.
In the past liberals (or people who just didn’t give a shit) have allowed child abusers to just get away with horrendous abuse. Still of course, the vast majority of child abuse is unreported, and paedophiles still get away with it most of the time. So we can never be too vigilant IMHO.
So we can never be too vigilant IMHO.
I think the man used the classic opener of advocating debate around a contentious area of sexual practice, so it’s entirely to be expected that commenters like andysays, who are willing to engage in serious debate on this kind of issue, became hooked. This was characteristic of the sort of manipulative strategies & tactics deployed by sex abusers. As andysays says, the real intention and modus operandi unfolded later.
The lesson for us all – never underestimate the intelligence demonstrated by abusers in getting others to believe them in pursuit of their desires, nor believe that you are not susceptible to their manipulation.
And Cath – on helpline numbers on CiF, do you not think that they could have put something up there adjacent to the Waddya thread once they realised what was going on? The Graun wll change things if you highlight them enough. I was one of those who complained a couple of years ago that a new site search engine, when used for the term ‘domestic violence’, came up with ads like ‘Looking for domestic violence on ebay?’ and worse. They changed it.
“I think where the confusion/mix-up lay yesterday was in some people’s inability to distinguish the clear difference between what would have been (had it happened) a perfectly reasonable request for a discussion about paedophiles, the treatments and whatever that are available to them, or as David Wilson has discussed on CiF before how we as a society opt to deal with them, and the completely unacceptable discussion thagrote wanted to see happen about whether or not it’s ever okay to have sex with children. ”
which is exactly my feeling on the matter
Whew, heavy thread. That thagrote sounds lovely (not).
Indeed, there is legitimate discussion to be had about what to *do* with paedophiles, they are not (all) necessarily evil – I am not into PEDO HANG THEM!!11!! – but that doesn’t mean having sex with kids is OK.
Sure, kids have sexuality of a kind, but they just simply lack the physical and emotional maturity to have sexual relationships. Not talking about 2 teenagers or even a teenager and 20-something, but yeah, 10 or 12 years old – no. Just no.
Ew, what a sicko. I wish they would stop with that tired old line about children consenting. It’s all bullshit, anyway. They don’t want a consenting partner, they want someone they can manipulate and control.
“and the completely unacceptable discussion thagrote wanted to see happen about whether or not it’s ever okay to have sex with children. ”
The official Brit govt. line is?
The U16 had their debate, and in front of the NSPCC, IWF and etc.
What do you think a ‘cultural exception’ is when it is at a conference hosted by Paul Goggins MP?
‘Hungary may legalize porn involving 14- to 17-year-olds for home … 19 Feb 2007 … A bill modifying Hungary’s penal code could allow pornographic material involving 14- to 17-year-olds to be made and kept for personal ‘
That’s a cultural exception.
Crime is a social construct, and I think we should appreciate that it was only a couple of hundred years or so ago that UK law was changed to prevent sex being perfectly legal amongst post-pubescents. Girls could marry at 12 and boys 13. If the grass was growing, you could play on it.
Society only intervened in the case of sex with pre-pebescents. To an extent, this is still reflected in our law, in that the offence and penalties rightly increase the lower the age below 16.
In practice, prosecutions of those in their late teens for this offence are rare (in fact, I can’t remember one). I don’t think many of us would brand a 17-year-old boy in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old a paedophile. If they did, I fear my old lower 6th form consisted mainly of paedophiles.
One country I read about recently has a law of not prosecuting people who were born within three years above the age of the minor party, which seems sensible.
A line, of course, has to be drawn, but I do find it difficult to generate the kind of hatred so beloved of some about “paedophiles” against someone having sex with a person aged 15 and 364 days, and to just feel ‘ain’t love grand’ if it were to happen 24 hours later.
How old were Romeo and Juliet? I’ve forgotten.
The age of consent is 13 in Spain and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent_Europe#Italy“>Italy where there is no significant age difference.
The setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is in Verona, Italy. Juliet is just under 14 – “She hath not seen the change of fourteen years”.
[Act 1 scene 2 line 9]
Romeo is only ever described as “young”.
[Act 2 scene 3 line 111]
Hope that helps.
12 to 13 in 1875, and then to 16 in 1885.
The driving force being male sexuality, child prostitution & the sale of children.
The Brits are a nightmare, nobody is ever appointed to anything unless they are soft on pedophilia.
For e.g that idiot at the ACPO.
What was Grange eventually ‘resigned’ for’, was it turning off the porn filters on his constabulary’s networks so he could communicate with a mistress?
‘The IPCC report told how Mr Grange – a copper for more than 30 years – even visited his force’s IT department to make sure Ms A’s email responses got through their security firewall. ‘
He added that the term “child pornography” should apply only to images of children aged below 13, for the same reason. “Child porn is 12 and under,” said Grange, who is chief constable of Dyfed-Powys police. “For me, that sort of thing, paedophilia, is [with] prepubescent children.”
Gulfstream5 – thanks for that. Juliet was 13, then. And they keep trying to tell us the standard of English in schools is rising!
Gregory – I know little of the John Davies who wrote My Name is Not Natasha except that he is at Cambridge University. Here is Wales I would not be surprised to have half a dozen John Davies’ in my street.
We all no that if you had your way, Gregory, the age of consent would be set at at least 90. This would give us all (or very nearly all) something to look forward to.
In our current economic situation, you may find your time has come! Think of the fortune the state could save on education and maternity.
You can download a pdf of My Name is Not Natasha here:
“in the same way a woman who has been raped would find it distressing to read a post from a man justifying and rationalising his behaviour;”
On the contrary, I would be very interested to know how rapists justify what they do – I would like to know why the men who raped me did it, but after 21 years I doubt they even remember it.
“Gregory – I know little of the John Davies who wrote My Name is Not Natasha except that he is at Cambridge University. Here is Wales I would not be surprised to have half a dozen John Davies’ in my street.”
Are you sure he wasn’t at Sussex?
The John Davies I know is at the very far end of the continuum.
Who is the author?