Killing in the name of paedophilia

February 12, 2012

By Josana

From time to time I get a little mail here at Sharkscage, usually in the form of a comment on my blog. Unlike other blogs, I’m not interested in facilitating discussion from both sides of the issue, and as such I usually don’t authorise the posting of comments that I disagree with. They’ve already had plenty of audience elsewhere, there’s certainly no need for me to provide them with any more.

The posts I haven’t allowed on the blog tend to all follow the same pattern. They start off with a mild threat, often accusing me of ignorance or conspiracy. They will then at length detail a series of opinions which they then try pass off as facts, before lacing in a few more serious threats, culminating with a passive aggressive demand to post their ‘response’ and an accusation that I’m not brave enough to print (their variation of) the truth.

How thick could you get? I mean…really.

The reason I mention this, is because I received a little sulk from an individual who featured in my discussion: Violence for the Masses. The same pattern could be observed in this post, and once again I observed protocol and relegated it to the dustbin.

I’ll hereby name said sook ‘Pugsley’ for future reference.

Pugsley

Say hi to Pugsley

However, some of the content in this post had me thinking about the language that is often used by these serial haters online. It’s not just observed in postings on my blog, but in many other locations on the Internet.

On this occasion, the post was full of references to ‘homosexuals’, ‘paedophiles’ ‘Socialists’ and ‘Muslims’.

There’s one word that really stands out to me amongst those 4. It’s the only word that I would actually be willing to say is something that is evil.

However, I’m certain that the poster was writing from a point of view that all these things were undeniably evil. I’d even go as far as to say that he even regards all of these things as epitomising evil. Support one of these evils, and you support them all.

I think we need to start looking closely at the language that people like ‘Pugsley’ use while exercising their freedom of speech. They may be just re-using patterns and clichés that they have heard elsewhere, but what they are saying is deliberately manipulative and could have serious repercussions on our community

Let’s look closer at the one real evil in that list: Paedophilia.

Paedophilia has become a major fear in our community in the last decade. This has been mostly because of the unprecedented access that these people (both men and women) have had to communicate with children via online means. The evils that are perpetrated by these people are very real, and will continue to be a large problem for our community indefinitely.

A large problem has also been our community’s reaction to paedophiles. As was demonstrated when convicted perpetrator Dennis Ferguson was released into our community, there was an outpouring of people expressing their wish to cause physical violence to Dennis.

This was a very real concern to the police. In reality assault is assault. And the lines are pretty clear that such violence is equally as great an evil under our law.

However, ask yourself this question: If your father murdered a man, would you be proud of him? If your father murdered a paedophile, would you be proud of him?

We humans often justify the violence and the evils we perpetrate. If we feel a need to inflict violence upon someone, we often justify our actions in order to make ourselves feel ‘not evil’.

Concentration camp

The Nazis used many justifications to exterminate 6 million Jews.

This is what I mean by a deliberate manipulation. While we have allowed people to justify extreme violence on others because of their evils, we have given them an out – an excuse to commit these vile acts. The ‘gay panic’ defence which is outlawed in most states of Australia works in this way. It implied that murder was justifiable because the perpetrator committed an act that oddly some people still consider ‘evil’.

But I’m not here to talk about a definition of evil, or even discuss what to do and how to deal with the paedophiles in our community. What I am interested in, is how and why the word ‘paedophile’ so frequently comes into our language these days.

Look around the forums and Facebook, and you will frequently see references to paedophilia; or more importantly, an accusation that someone is a paedophile.

There’s always no evidence for this, but it’s a falsity that is intentionally perpetrated in the hope that someone will take this accusation as fact, without checking the background on it and treat the victim as though they actually were a paedophile.

What they are really doing here, is trying to attach the label of paedophile to a person so that they can justify the extreme and violent actions that they wish, or are intending to do to this person.

The power of this language is so great, that the most vicious and aggressive in our society often speak openly of their wish to perpetuate such violence upon the paedophiles in our community, despite the unlikelihood that they would ever meet one. Mention paedophiles in polite conversation, and you’ll often come across someone who seems to switch personality almost instantly, while they tell you of the vicious actions they wish to perpetuate on a paedophile.

This socially justifiable violence is problematic. In Queensland the issue of ‘gay panic’ has seen a lot of scrutiny lately as a series of grisly murders have come to the attention of the wider community, all of which had attempted to use the ‘gay Panic’ defence in court.

My email correspondence from ‘Pugsley’ was no different. Throughout the text Pugsley speaks of violence that he wishes to perpetuate upon all of these groups, while quietly inferring that he would do suchlike upon myself if I continue to get in his way of his right to attack these people.

I’ve seen Pugsley’s online friends use the same language as well. I’ve also watched his friends and others whom he is acquainted with label quite a broad section of people that have opposed them has ‘paedophiles’, thus diminishing their standing in our community while justifying the kinds of ‘justified’ violence that people like Pugsley wish to inflict upon them.

Another serious side effect of this abuse of the term ‘paedophile’, is that slowly the label will no longer be as powerful as it once was. Slowly the community will become blasé about the label of paedophile, and people making that accusation. Crying wolf, so to speak. This is a dangerous outcome which could quickly put the lives of children at risk.

Where will Pugsley and friends, the great (ineffectual) defenders against paedophilia, be then?

Do you really wish to have a community that can justify all kinds of horrific violence, yet actually make it easier for the real evils in our society to hide?

Source

38 thoughts on “Killing in the name of paedophilia

  1. I wish people wouldn’t conflate paedophilia with child sexual abuse. Paedophilia is a fetish. Child sexual abuse is an action. Child sexual abuse is the thing that is evil (along with all other forms of sexual abuse, and child abuse, and abuse in general).

      • I prefer to avoid making such “is it or isn’t it” choices about difficult edge cases like this. “Is it an illness” is standing in for a much more complex question, representing questions like “is it harmful to the person” and “is it something we should try to eradicate” and “should people with it be treated with sympathy, or antipathy, or neutrality?”

        Whether it’s an illness or not, it’s a tricky edge case, and we’re better off analysing it on its own terms, than trying to decide whether it belongs in the same group as cancer and smallpox.

        This page has more interesting insights about edge cases for illnesses: http://lesswrong.com/lw/2as/diseased_thinking_dissolving_questions_about/

      • I feel that describing paedophilia as an illness limits our understanding, and merely just labels it with something that we wish to ‘cure’. Paedophilia is much more complex than being just a mental illness. It is both symptom and syndrome, part and complex.

  2. The interesting thing about this post is that the fluid nature of language and its evolution, so to speak, is not always for the better. I mean, looking on the internet, or even around public these days, people are using the word “rape” in ta very casual and innocent context.

    Commonly this is a phenomena (I forget the proper linguistic terminology for it) known as ‘rape culture’ where the word gets used so often in situations that don’t call for it that the language itself becomes something far less severe. You can often find examples in online gaming (eg. “you got raped, son!”) or even all over Facebook with this whole pathetic “Facebook rape” thing where someone posts some boring, lame status on some other person’s account in the hope that someone will find it either funny or humiliating for them.

    What this does is trivialises one of the most horrible, physically and psychologically damaging crimes that can be committed: rape. The fact that this word is being used to innocently is stripping the severity away from this atrocity being committed every day around the world. It makes me sick, and I try my best to stop it when I hear people using it inappropriately.

    This is the same kind of thing that the author of this post is trying to get at. Although paedophilia is not the ‘crime’ (paedophilia is technically a fetish, not a crime. The crime is sexual assault on children), the sentiment is still there, and it has, like Josana said, the potential to damage society.

    • You are correct in the definition of the crime verses the mindset. And to that end, you have expanded on what I was talking about.

      Principally, I was dealing with the misuse and abuse of the term, and the social impact that this use of language is. There’s definitely a discussion about paedophilia in our community to be had, but while we abuse the term by using it in such a blasé way, it will be very difficult to have an adult discussion in our community. Particularly when people are using this word as a weapon, in order to allow them to justify violent and aggressive attacks on other people.

  3. Paedophilia and paedophiles aren’t evil, but are extremely and barbarically demonised individuals who’s lives nobody would want. The term “paedophile” IS horrendously miss-used in the media, as most people refer to them as criminals and child abusers, while many refer to them as monsters and evil. Infact, by default, they are none of those things. Those who believe paedophiles are evil, i would suspect have sexual insecurity issues of their own. With the western world twisting laws inorder to *entrap* paedophiles, we are a long way off in dealing with the problem correctly. Today: lies, fear and witch-hunts suit the mood of the people. Society needs a scape-goat, and the paedophile is it. As I saw someone say earlier: The paedophile is the scape-goat, because they are the only minority where it’s socially and politically permitted to openly hate. In the UK, 5 men have been jailed for distributing leaflets calling the death of homosexuals, yet on facebook, it is totally supported to create groups called “kill a paedophile”. However, it’s only when the ignorant study the term more closely, they realise they are morally bankrupt on the subject.

    • However the victims of paedophiles live with a life sentence of despair, depression, confusion and difficulty in maintaining normal relationships. This is amply demonstrated in the literature on the subject and it is irrespective of the culture and background of victims.

      So how do you reconcile that with a defence of paedophiles? What would YOU do to make it right? What should offenders do to make it right? How do you keep them away from potential victims?

      • _No_. That is the victims of _child sexual abuse_. Paedophilia is nothing more than sexual attraction to children. Not all paedophiles commit child sexual abuse, and not all child sexual abusers are paedophiles. It’s probably fair to assume that there are a lot of ‘closet’ paedophiles who suffer shame and self-hatred for how they are portrayed and viewed in society, all for having sexual attractions that they are powerless to change, even if they would never act on them. Much like how homosexuals have in the past, but probably worse.

        Certainly, child sexual abuse can be a terrible thing with long-term serious detrimental effects to the victims, and we must put a stop to it. But this does NOT mean we should be demonising paedophiles.

        • If someone is sexually attracted to children but neither acts on that attraction nor facilitates that attraction then obviously the law will not be concerned with them.

          However it is of concern from a clinical point of view that someone’s sexual attraction is focused on children and young people who cannot possibly be in a position either to give informed consent (the legal benchmark) or to conduct any sort of equal relationship with the instigator (the psycho-medical benchmark) .

          Rape victims do not give consent either even though with the victims we are generally talking about people who are old enough to give informed consent to sexual relationships in other circumstances. So quite rightly the law would be concerned in both instances.

          So doesn’t this therefore mean that a paedophile who is attracted to children is more concerned about control than with establishing a healthy consensual relationship, given that a child or young person cannot possibly enter such a relationship on an equal footing?

  4. “Paedophilia is nothing more than sexual attraction to children”, Nothing More? As if there is nothing wrong with that. There is no justification for either the desire or the act no matter which term you use.

    • When I say ‘nothing more’ I mean ‘nothing else other than’. It is not committing child sex abuse. It is not lurking around playgrounds. It is not looking at child pornography. Those are all separate and distinct from paedophilia. They might be related, they might have correlations, but they are not the same thing.

      You seem to be implying that people need to be able to justify their preferences. People don’t choose their sexual attractions, so they are not things that should need to be justified. This is the same fight that homosexuals have been having for decades. They don’t _choose_ to have that attraction. That’s just how they are.

      I don’t think we should be declaring people immoral purely on the grounds of facts about their brains that they did not choose and cannot alter.

      • Richard, I agree with GAMA’s comment below that your comparison of paedophilia with homosexuality is not a justifiable one with one being based on consensual relationships and the other is not.

        However, I’d be interested to hear if you would differentiate paedophiles (as you define them) and people with a sexual “preference” for rape or beastiality.

        • I’m not comparing homosexuality with paedophilia, I’m using one to illustrate a point about the other.

          And I don’t understand your point about differentiating them. They are different sexual preferences. I’d differentiate between paedophiles and rape fetishists the same way I’d differentiate between people who like pineapples and people who like bananas. They’re different things?

          There’s nothing wrong with having sexual preferences for rape or bestiality, either, if that’s what you were implying. In fact, there exist perfectly happy couples who roleplay rape scenes, because they find it turns them on. Provided they’re not _actually_ engaging in or facilitating rape, there’s no harm. No harm, no foul.

          Morality is determined by the consequences of actions, not by the actions themselves or the desire for the actions. Rape is immoral because its consequences include significant suffering for the victim. But if you perform the same physical “rape” activity with a consenting adult partner, nobody suffers as a result – so roleplaying rape isn’t immoral. If you just _think_ about rape, without actually doing it or facilitating it, nobody suffers as a result of that either. So having a rape fetish isn’t itself immoral. And that’s lucky, because you can’t choose your fetishes. It would be a sad world if people were deemed immoral through no fault of their own.

          Similarly, engaging in/facilitating child sex abuse is immoral because the children suffer. But _thinking_ about it, provided you don’t actually cause it to happen, should not be considered immoral. It might seem icky to the rest of us because we don’t share that same sexual preference, but that’s just tough shit. Icky isn’t the same as immoral. _That’s_ the point that homosexuals have been trying to get everyone else to understand for so long.

        • If the thought of rape and child abuse turns you on then you are sick. No ifs, buts or maybes. If it isn’t immoral, I don’t know what is. Your talk about role playing again is irrelevant as it is between consenting adults. Even thinking about demeaning, degrading or abusing a person sexually, adult or child, against their will is evil. It is definitely not the same as thinking about going home and “play raping” your partner.

        • GAMA, I don’t think you have the intellectual sophistication to understand my argument, and I’d prefer if you stopped commenting on it.

  5. Without the thought and desire there would not be the deed. You can bcan split hairs all like about the difference in meaning but we are talking about having inappropriate desire about someone who is innocent and defenseless. You can compare it to homosexuality all you want but homosexuality is between consenting adults, it is nothing at all like paedophilia.
    Absolutely, it is immoral and those that believe it is ok have serious mental health issues.

  6. You can prefer what you want Richard but it’s a public forum. I am well and truely intelligent enough to understand your arguement however it is flawed and pathetic. The sad thing is that you don’t the moral fibre to see that! You have not made any arguement that would make a sane person think otherwise.

    • “I am well and truely intelligent enough to understand your arguement…”
      Then why do you keep missing the point?

      “You have not made any arguement that would make a sane person think otherwise.”
      Actually, there are lots of sane people who agree that it is the consequences of your actions (or, more precisely, what you should reasonably have expected to be the consequences) that determine whether it is evil or not, rather than the actual actions themselves, or the desire to perform the actions. The position is called consequentialism, you can read about it on Wikipedia, and it is in fact the _only_ sane way to construct a morality.

      “Even thinking about demeaning, degrading or abusing a person sexually, adult or child, against their will is evil.”
      Sure, I guess you can decide that it is evil to even have a desire for some things, if you really want to construct your morality that way. But then you live in a world where people are just born inherently evil, through no choice of their own, and even if they spend their whole lives wishing they weren’t attracted to whatever, and never do anything to encourage actual suffering to occur, _you_ are still going to brand them as evil anyway. If that’s how you want your morality to work, go for it, but your definition of ‘evil’ is fucking stupid.

      • I can live with my thought of evil being “fucking stupid” if that includes even the thought of sexual abuse of any kind being acceptable. Morality goes beyond a person’s actions, especially where children are concerned. A question for you, would you look favourably or accept a person looking or thinking upon your child with sexual desires?
        We are not just judged by the consequences of our actions, this entire blog clearly highlights the importance of Great figures are held in high regard because of the morality of their thoughts and deeds.

        • “A question for you, would you look favourably or accept a person looking or thinking upon your child with sexual desires?”

          Depends. Are they going to act in a way that causes other people discomfort or suffering, or any other negative consequences? Or are they keeping their thoughts entirely to themselves? Because if it’s the latter, I have no problem with it.

      • I can live with my thought of evil being “fucking stupid” if that includes even the thought of sexual abuse of any kind being acceptable. Morality goes beyond a person’s actions, especially where children are concerned. A question for you, would you look favourably or accept a person looking or thinking upon your child with sexual desires?
        We are not just judged by the consequences of our actions, this entire blog clearly highlights the importance of upholding high moral thoughts. Take a look through it, you may learn something.

  7. “And that is the something I find very very sad.”
    Why? Why should I condemn people as evil, just for how they are born? Even if they spend their lives doing noble and virtuous things, even if they work hard to make sure their unfortunate desires _never_ cause anyone else to suffer, even if they themselves are _miserable_ their entire lives because they are cursed with a sexual preference that society thinks is the mark of Satan himself?

    It’s not their _fault_ that they have that sexual preference. It wasn’t their choice. If they never act on it, if they spend their lives trying to do good deeds, how can it be a good moral system if we decide they are just inherently and irredeemably evil anyway?

    • Going to side with Richard on this one.

      * A person who knows their sexual desire is immoral still cannot control their feelings. They can control their actions.
      * A person who is born gay did not choose to be gay. Not so long ago, and to this day, gay people are murdered and persecuted in many countries.
      * Pedophilia is not okay, and never will be. But Richard was not comparing the two. He was comparing the element of choice in the two. And while our society is rightly beginning to embrace homosexuality, it will never embrace pedophilia.
      * While a pedophile longs after children, they only engage in grooming and control relationships if there is an end means – sexual abuse of a child.
      * A pedophile most likely feels self-hatred for their feelings, and will often endeavour to live their lives in a righteous way, never allowing their feelings to solidify into an action that will harm a child.

      So, while we can all agree that sexually lusting after children is unacceptable – do we now polygraph every member of society to see if they are pedophiles and round them up to keep the streets safe?

      You can’t always stop a person from being racist. But blogs like this make racists very aware of what we think of them, and hence make them think twice before doing something racist. Our society has made it clear to pedophiles that their feelings are immoral. Those that sexually abuse children must be locked up. But those that cope with their feelings and never let it affect their physical actions deserve to live in our society.

  8. I have not once labeled the person evil. I have labeled the thought evil and even indicated that a person who thinks that way has mental health issues. They should therefore seek assistance to overcome that, even if it is something the have had to deal with since birth. It is not acceptable or moral to think about children in a sexual manner, get it? One last question Richard, are you in fact defending your own thoughts and morals?

      • I apoligise if it appears as an allegation. Just trying to understand Richard’s vehement defence. If there is nothing wrong with pedophilia, why is my question inappropriate?

        • Richard never said there is anything right about pedophilia. He has agreed that it is a shameful feeling. He is arguing that a person who never acts in a way to hurt a child, or another person, has no right to be labeled as evil – even though they may harbour a secret and immoral fetish.

          Your question is inappropriate because it does nothing to further this discussion and it tries to make it appear as though Richard’s reasoning is based purely in personal defense.

  9. Also, although you can’t stop someone from being racist, do you therefore accept that it is ok to think racist thoughts as long as you don’t act on them?

    • Being racist is a little different but only in the fact that it is more leaned towards choice. You can choose not to be racist but it takes a lot of integrating and meeting and talking with and reading and educating etc to enlighten yourself to the idea of racial harmony. If you hate all Asians because one of them crashed their car into your car then that’s your problem.

      People who are racist internally, but are kind and respectful to all people regardless of their ethnicity are as harmful as the people attracted to children who treat children respectfully and never have an end-point of sexual activity with them.

      I’d throw in a possible estimation that most pedophiles see nothing wrong with loving or being attracted to a child, but their conscience has been shaped by the way society views certain relationships with children.

      • Can it not be argued that it could also take a lot of meeting, professional help, support and personal initiative to not view children in a sexual manner? I am just trying to understand how you are able to accept that the thought of sexualising children is ok however racist thoughts are not? There are many circumstances that can lead people to have thoughts which are unacceptable. The excuse or justification of “but I did not act on them” does not make them any less so.

        • Why would a person go through that if

          a) they didn’t think there was anything wrong with just feeling it?
          b) they didn’t want people knowing?

          Gama:

          For the last time.

          Neither racist thoughts nor pre-pubescant lusting thoughts are ‘ok’. But how can you label a person as evil if they’ve done nothing wrong? Good people FIGHT their sinful desires. In this case, both are considered sinful.

        • For my last time and I will end it here.
          I didn’t label anyone evil, I labeled the thought as evil and suggested that anyone who could get any kind of sexual gratification thinking of children in a sexual manner needs professional help.
          I really hope your friends at the APP or the like to get a hold of this thread. You’ve really given them plenty of ammunition by accepting that a person’s thoughts in no way refect upon their morality when it comes to pedophilia.

        • How does a person’s thoughts reflect on their morality if they don’t translate into action?

          A person can be the most internally racist piece of dogshit on the inside, but if their external actions are always thought-out and respectful – how can you say that person’s morality is shameful?

          Certainly morals come from within. But a person who can fight temptation and desire to act in an illegal way surely has higher morals than a person who cannot restrain themselves from acting illegally.

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