Wednesday, December 21, 2011


“there are people pushing a conservative religious agenda that would deny minors access to sexual expression”
-Judith Levine

Not so long ago, Texas law banned certain sexual activity usually associated with homosexuals, called "sodomy" in the law. Two gay men deliberately made sure the police caught them in the act just so they could challenge the law, and it got all the way to the supreme court.

The court ruled in Lawrence vs Texas that such laws were not permissible, but did so in such a way that Justice Scalia warned that it would have devastating consequences because of its poor wording. Scalia said in his dissent from the majority decision:
Social perceptions of sexual and other morality change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best. That homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested to by the fact that Texas is one of the few remaining States that criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. But persuading one's fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one's views in absence of democratic majority will is something else. I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts--or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them--than I would forbid it to do so.
Basically, Scalia argued that the law should be up to the individual states and their perception of morality and law, rather than from the supreme court and by arguing the way they did, they've left every activity considered repulsive or disgusting, or even immoral, sexually at least, free to legalization. This is often derided as a "slippery slope" argument, but the truth is, that argument is considered a fallacy not because it is wrong, but because it is insufficient to disprove your opponent's argument. There are absolutely slippery slopes which once started on are difficult to escape and almost inevitably lead in a cascade of unfortunate events and decisions to ever worse consequences.

Which leads us to a book by Judith Levine entitled Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. In this book, Levine argues that minors are unharmed by consensual sex, that sexual innocence is a myth, and that we need to eliminate the laws and social structures intended to protect children from premature sexual activity because there is no harm done.

Levine is a board member of the ACLU and has written on sex, gender, aging, consumerism, and culture for dozens of national magazines and newspapers, including Harper's, The New York Times, Vogue, AARP: The Magazine, and

Some of Levine's argument is based on hypocrisy: parents are trying to stop their kids from doing what they did in the past, such as Getting Your Kids to Say 'No' in the '90s When You Said 'Yes' in the '60s by Victor Strasburger. This isn't hypocrisy, of course, its wisdom where you did something wrong and realize that you'd rather spare your children your mistakes. Hypocrisy is if the parents told the kids to not have sex and yet would still do it themselves knowing what they now know. Telling people to not make the same mistakes you did isn't hypocritical, its wisdom.

Levine considers the ban on the McBride book Show Me in America to be shameful. The book has sexually explicit pictures of pre- and early teens engaging in various sexual activities as a sort of photo book to teach kids about sex. Authorities noticed the book was essentially child pornography and banned it. She goes on to praise sexual relationships between teens and adults:
"Teens often seek out sex with older people, and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown up, protected and special," writes Levine. "Often the sex is better than it would be with a peer who has as little skill as they do. For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."
She then goes on to describe how the Netherlands treats children as adults with full rights protections, free abortions, condom vending machines broadly available, and then says "While protecting children, the Dutch (and other Europeans) do not infantilize them." Which brings a few questions to mind.

How are these children protected, exactly, and what does the term "infantalize" mean to Levin? If she recognizes there is a substantive difference between young and old in terms of development and ability, maturity and wisdom, why does she insist this does not apply to sexual activity?

Many have responded to the book in outrage, calling it a tome dedicated to pedophilia. Lis Highleyman at Alternet claims that this is a false charge, but Levin herself says "Legally designating a class of people categorically unable to consent to sexual relations is not the best way to protect children," which obviously at least includes ... children. As in those under the teen aged years. Which is what pedophilia is about. If you reject making it illegal to have sex with someone who is a child and praise age different sexual relationships, how is that not promoting pedophilia?

Highleyman's argument is a classic leftist one brought about as a natural consequence of their previous agenda.
The idea that young people must never have -- or even hear much about -- sex makes it difficult to teach them about the differences between consensual and nonconsensual sex, between healthy and exploitative sex, between safe and unsafe sex.
She's arguing that because the world has become so overly sexualized and children are bombarded with sexual images, they have to be taught about sex and how to do it to cope with this problem. Except the problem only exists because of the oversexed philosophy of the left.

It wasn't that long ago when people like me were arguing with leftists that pushing for homosexuality being normalized in culture would lead to other sexual perversions being similiarly normalized. Exactly the same arguments and pressure would be brought to bear: this is natural, you are just being religious, you have no substantive argument against this behavior, who are you to tell other people how to behave, and so on. That applies equally to pedophilia, bestality, necrophilia and every other disgusting horror that humans perpetrate sexually as it does to homosexual behavior.

The difference right now is that homosexuality is primarily between consenting adults, but the push to get the age of consent reduced (at the very least) is starting to gather momentum, and to have it eliminated entirely is on its heels. Inevitably, people who grew up sleeping around are going to feel uncomfortable telling others they ought not do so, which happened only because culture was pushed to make that behavior socially acceptable and the penalties (such as pregnancy) eliminated one by one, as much as possible.

As Scalia argued, the Supreme Court's decision applies to far more than homosexuality, such as bigamy, and this is just one more boundary that will be pushed. And it is inevitable, not possible, because for "progressives" there never is a limit to progress. We will never reach a point where progressives say "ok, we've gone far enough, time to rein it in." All boundaries, all morality, all limits must be challenged, pushed, and broken for true "freedom" as they see it.

And that means your 8 year old daughter not only can but must be taught about explicit sex, never judged for her behavior, and prey to older sexual deviants who see her as not a child, but a sexual creature to exploit. Because to argue otherwise is old fashioned, repressive, cruel to children, and based only on extremist religious right wing fervor, not natural progress.

Because childhood its self is a social construct, according to the bleeding edge postmodern thinkers, a structure imposed on young people.
One of the most cited sources for this is the book Male Intergenerational Intimacy: Historical, Socio-Psychological and Legal Perspectives. This collection of writings by scholars, mostly European but some with U.S. university affiliations, provides a powerful argument for what they now call “intergenerational intimacy.” Ken Plummer, one of the contributors, writes that “we can no longer assume that childhood is a time of innocence simply because of the chronological age of the child.” In fact, “a child of seven may have built an elaborate set of sexual understandings and codes which would baffle many adults.”

Claiming to draw upon the theoretical work of the social historians, the socialist-feminists, the Foucauldians, and the constructionist sociologists, Plummer promised to build a “new and fruitful approach to sexuality and children.” Within this perspective there is no assumption of linear sexual development and no real childhood, only an externally imposed definition.

The hideous beast of postmodernism, eager to redefine reality according to the latest progressive theories, is nibbling away at the edges of your child's innocence. Original versions of the Vagina Monologues explored a young girl’s “coming of age,” beginning with a 13-year-old girl enjoying a sexual liaison with a 24-year-old woman. Later versions often update her age to 16... for now.

Remember, just a few decades ago, the idea of homosexual "marriage" was considered laughable among the left and the homosexual community. Now its a human right being cruelly denied by the religious taliban of America. Twenty years before that, homosexuality was a mental disorder. Now its a "harmless variation" we should not just tolerate, but celebrate as diverse activity.

Think I'm being too paranoid, crying wolf? Watch and see.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I think people seeking to normalize pedophilia will have a much harder time with it than the ones who normalized homosexuality, because outside of a religious context it is just much easier to identify the inherent injustice of the act. Even if they could convince people that the desire to sleep with pre-pubescent children is genetic (hence not a choice), it does nothing to address the fact that the power dynamics at play between an adult and a child mean that sex between the two can never be totally consensual and therefore must always be a form of rape. With homosexuality, once people became more accepting of the idea that there was a genetic component driving attraction to the same sex, the fact that it was consensual made it harder to condemn to practice. Normalizing homosexuality is more like normalizing left-handedness, whereas with pedophilia it is more like trying to normalize carjackings.

The thing I worry about as a parent is the push to normalize sex and sexuality at younger post-puberty age. Traditionally it has been much easier to move the 'age of consent' around after puberty, and our current laws push it out as far as it has ever existed in human history, almost unnaturally so (though for admittedly practical reasons). Hence there is a significant push to make sex normal at younger ages. However, that push has been going on for decades and I feel parents have more tools to fight it than in years past. My daughter is 10-years-old and has been exposed to far less sexual imagery than I was at that age. Even though there is more of it out there, technology greatly increases our ability to filter it out. We are also far more aware of it than my parents were... 25 years ago nobody thought anything of letting a kid have a television in their room connected with 100+ channels. Today, any of the parents among my duaghter's peer group would consider that to be neglectful parenting. Likewise, DVR technology means that our daughter almost never watches commercials, and almost never channel surfs. I saw a lot of stuff as a kid channel surfing in my room after midnight!