On the Limits of Anti-Bigotry,
As seen through the speed with which the transgender liberation movement has broken into the mainstream, the newest axiom of the progressive movement is set in stone. This axiom is best represented through the aphoristic catchcry “born this way”. The idea that a person cannot be blamed for their accidents of birth is approaching a hurdle that the left may be unable not to clear.
That hurdle is moving beyond demanding the cultural acceptance of queer peoples and communities – the harmless minorities who have no place as honest members of traditional normalism – to demanding a revolution in our attitudes towards those who are of genuine concern to us, but are no more to blame for their predicament than I am for the colour of my skin. Although my arguments can be applied to the broader category of riskful perverts, I am here thinking first and foremost of paedophiles.1
It is obvious that paedophilia will never be declassified as a mental illness, as homosexuality was.2 However, it is equally obvious that our medieval attitudes towards these unimaginable unfortunates are some of the last of their kind in the Western mainstream. It is here that I must make a short and sharp distinction between paedophiles and paederasts. The former being, as yet, innocent, while the latter are counted amongst our most depraved criminals.
I propose that we must move beyond, as always, a politics of fear and hatred, towards a genuine solution. One that doesn’t, as always, deal with outbursts but mitigates the cause itself. Beyond a status quo of shame and secrecy and towards institutional assistance to what may be our most fearful and dangerous neighbours.3 The desire for this exists, at least on the part of paedophiles. Criminal perverts dominate the hovels of the deep web, but there also exist oases in this underworld. Some of these individuals frequent paedophile support sites where those who wish never to harm others encourage each other to maintain self-control. This alone demonstrates the relief that would be felt by some if the state were to establish a policy of prevention regarding child sex crimes, based on the psychological and emotional assistance of those who ask for it.
Were a policy of this nature supported, it would open up room for a discussion on the nature of anti-bigotry. It is, of course, fine to reject intolerance. The conditions of support from progressives being grounded in choice. Wherever it is that we draw the line between what is and isn’t an intolerable choice, it should be non-controversial at this point – not merely logically but culturally – to say that we must, at a bare minimum, tolerate those who can’t be blamed for their predicament. That is, we must in all places and at all times accept the innocent. This is a necessary component of the success of any government’s prevention program. Those wishing to receive help must not fear the very act of pursuing it.
Without this, success in first offence prevention may never move beyond the margins. This must also be pursued with unconditional openness and an unprecedented degree of sophistication. The harm caused by mistakes here will open the left up to a degree of demagoguery that it has never risked. Perceived failures here will make the left a target for hatred and contempt like it has never experienced. This may deter some from supporting such a move, but this would be a serious moral failing. The impact of which lands not only on the mentally ill but the victims whose victimhood could have been avoided altogether. This discussion cannot open itself up to the standards of political correctness. The significance of respect and tact when dealing with lives cannot be understated, but all parties must be able to express their genuinely held beliefs until experts from all relevant fields overwhelmingly accept this policy. And even then, false ideas will be buried with the spades of expertise and evidence. It is a slow but indispensable process.
1 Here I must stress the distinction between paedophiles, hebephiles and ephebophiles whose ages of sexual attraction range from 10 and under, 11 to 14, and 15 to 19. Although, my arguments apply non-controversially to hebephiles and, with some variation, to ephebophiles. Additionally, I maintain the significance of this distinction. There is a chasm of difference between the evil of sleeping with a fourteen-year-old and molesting a four-year-old, just as there is a chasm of difference between how loathsome an individual who does one and an individual who does the other is.
2 The concept of mental illness is underpinned by the standard of maladaptiveness. The difference between transvestism the past time and transvestism the illness – as currently classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – is that one has a negative impact on the individual’s life while the other does not. This can lead into a worthwhile discussion on maladaptiveness and malreceptiveness and the obverse notions of mental illness and intellectual illness. However, it is sufficient for this piece to say that paedophilia is maladaptive and, as such, can be robustly defined as a mental illness.
3 Simply put, it is unimaginable to me that most paedophiles ever act on their urges. As such, the number of people helped by genuine efforts here is currently incalculable. Additionally, we are approaching a future where we actively debate genetically modifying our children. Understanding any peculiarities in the genomes of paedophiles who most resemble the mentally healthy could result in the greatest prevention technique against child molestation ever seen. Although, it would be limited by the rate of non-paedophilic child molesters.