Give generously to Shag the Children

“Did the earth move for you?” as the aid worker said to the quake victim after sex in the ruins.
Or maybe this particular aftershock was followed by, at best, a less romantic “Thank you, ma’am” plus a few dollars. Or “Thank you, young lady” if she happened to be a marginally underage 17-year-old in Haiti where the age of consent is 18.
Oxfam staff in that country after the 2010 quake, as the world has known since The Times broke the story early this month, had been involved with prostitutes, according to the organisation’s own leaked internal report, which was reportedly “unable to rule out that some of the sex workers were underage” – a sensibly cautious conclusion, but careful caveats were utterly ignored, of course, by opportunist moral panic mongers, who lost no time in deciding there had been rampant child prostitution and a plague of predatory paedophiles.
Personally, I have little doubt that those who risk life and limb in war zones, earthquakes, and other dangerous scenarios, to help desperate, traumatised people, will tend to end up physically exhausted and psychologically shocked themselves; so it seems mean to begrudge them a bit of R&R, at least at the end of their tour of duty. That was certainly what the American military thought during the Vietnam War, when soldiers were billeted in Thailand for a vacation on their way home, where they were expected to enjoy the services of sex workers, including underage ones, notably in the beach resort of Pattaya. Previously just a fishing village, Pattaya grew to accommodate one of the biggest red light districts in the world. R&R was a military term meaning “rest and recuperation” but the soldiers often called it “I&I”, for “intoxication and intercourse”.
As for the “underage” aspect, this may have been officially frowned upon by the US military, but nothing was done about it and a blind eye was turned to soldiers cavorting with even very young girls and boys in Pattaya, Bangkok, and other R&R destinations such as the Philippines.
There is no evidence whatever that Oxfam’s leadership ignored staff involvement with obviously underage sex workers, or younger children, and there has been no more than a hint that anything went on with underage persons at all. Yet the storm in the British media was immediate, sustained, and so relentlessly thunderous one might have supposed this was the most appalling, sickening scandal in the long history of scandals. It was as if “we murdered babies in their cots”, beleaguered Oxfam boss Mark Goldring lamented in a Guardian interview; but, if he thought his bemused bleating would help, he would soon have to think again. Only days later, after coming under heavy fire for daring to complain about being unreasonably attacked, he found himself forced into a grovelling apology for his remarks, in front of a parliamentary committee.
Why? This level of outrage is usually reserved for cases involving children. But there were no children; or at least there were only imagined, slightly underage, teens in the case of Oxfam.
The hue and cry is to some extent easily explained by the view that people in certain occupations, such as the clergy, and teachers, are expected to set an example to others. When they fall from grace, therefore, they disappoint high expectations. Some media commentators have explicitly made this point in relation to Oxfam, although it is by no means obvious to me why those doing this type of work should have to demonstrate saintly celibacy when the task in hand frequently calls upon them to prove their worth in other ways – for instance, like soldiers, they very often need to show courage and endurance. So are we saying, as we sit at home comfortably doing nothing, that these people – many of whom are volunteers, or very modestly paid local staff in poor countries – must be perfect in every way so as not to fall short of our pampered expectations?
The unreasonable requirement of saintliness has definitely contributed to the outrage against Oxfam and other aid organisations dragged into the scandal, notably Shag the Children (sorry, Save the Children), UNICEF, and latterly the Red Cross, but this is not the half of it. There are at least two further factors. The most obvious one for Heretic TOC’s usual concerns is that victim feminist outrage is no longer confined to concern for child victims, so the lack of evidence that Oxfam staff availed themselves of child prostitutes in Haiti does not kill the story. I will come to this factor later.
A much nastier aspect of all this, sadly, is that not only do we punish other people for falling short of standards we would be hard-pressed to match ourselves, we also rush to engage with a narrative that seems to justify our own hard-hearted, lack of compassion and generosity. Well, I say “we”, but really I mean readers of the Daily Mail and similarly minded elements of the mainstream media, which have leapt onto the Oxfam story, following it up with page after page of reports and commentary all designed to play up the idea that the charities are hopelessly corrupt, siphoning off donated money off into huge executive salaries and bloated expense accounts, while conducting wasteful and inefficient operations in the field. Another element in this narrative, in fact an ideologically even more important one, is that government aid also goes to waste, allegedly ending up in the pockets of “corrupt dictators” and the like rather than the people who need it.
Ian Birrell, in the Mail on Sunday, even managed, at least implicitly, to link these two themes – private charity and government aid – when he took the opportunity to hammer Oxfam over their “flawed” (but he did not say what was wrong with it) recent report on global inequality. On their website, Oxfam said in January: “Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. This huge increase could have ended global extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1%, and nothing went to the bottom 50%.”
The Mail and other billionaire-owned media outlets hate any such “socialist” hints that the super-rich are not paying their way, with the implication that they should be taxed more in order to finance not just foreign aid but also health, education, etc., at home. Thus hacks like Birrell are hired to stir up public resentment against outfits like Oxfam for daring to think about important issues of politics and finance instead of (actually, as well as) building tent cities for quake victims, distributing emergency food aid and so forth.
A counterblast to this mean-minded, selfish attitude to the world was to be found, though, by those with the patience to look beyond the headlines and in the right places. The distinguished foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn, for instance, writing in the Independent, said that if we care so much about Haitians we should be asking why Oxfam was there in the first place. It was not as though Oxfam staff were too busy having it off with prostitutes to organise food distribution and so forth in the immediate aftermath of the quake, which was in January 2010. Months passed after that during which UN soldiers, brought in from Nepal to help, inadvertently brought cholera with them, starting an epidemic that killed over 7,500 in two years.
Few recent commentators, said Cockburn, bothered to ask what Oxfam was doing in Haiti at the end of 2010, long after the quake itself, and the beginning of 2011. He wrote:

In fact, Oxfam was trying with some desperation to stem the cholera epidemic, the first outbreak of which was detected in central Haiti in October, from spreading further. By the following month, it had reached Port-au-Prince and Oxfam was trying to provide uncontaminated water to 315,000 people already rendered homeless by the earthquake. An Oxfam statement on 10 November describes how “Oxfam continues to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and activities in the camps/communities where we are working. A cholera strategy is being developed to guide our activities for at least the next three months. At this time, we are reinforcing our water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in camps where we already work in Port-au-Prince, and in Artibonite. We are currently reaching over 400,000 people with water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, and another 100,000 individuals mostly through our emergency food security and vulnerable livelihoods (EFSVL) programmes.”

This work, in Cockburn’s view, “kept a lot of people alive who would otherwise have died”. But foreign journalists and politicians huffing and puffing about the alleged exploitation of Haitian sex-workers did not even appear to notice that there was cholera epidemic raging in Haiti while Oxfam was there, and neither noticed nor apparently cared about the vital work being done by Oxfam.
The clashing worldviews represented by Birrell and Cockburn do not appear to speak directly to our primary concerns here at Heretic TOC and I know that expressing my left-leaning view may serve only to piss off the right-leaning (or toppling over) heretics among us. Nevertheless, the Oxfam aspect of the “predatory paedophiles” narrative is inextricably embedded in a world of politics, economics and human values: to remain mutely agnostic on these big issues would surely be to deprive our discussion of context and depth.
I said I would return to the fact that the absence of child prostitutes in Haiti did not kill the story. Suddenly, this is part of an emerging theme. The entire #MeToo movement in the wake of Harvey Weinstein has been about allegedly exploited and vulnerable women rather than children. As for prostitution, the “social purity” campaigners in the 19th century would dearly have loved to ban it altogether, and this has been an aim of moralistic feminism ever since. The big stumbling block for a hundred years was men’s entrenched political strength; when this came under serious challenge with second-wave feminism in the 1960s and beyond, further headway was prevented by sex workers themselves, who organised and gained a media presence in the UK through the English Collective of Prostitutes and through COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) in the US.
Now, it seems, their voices are being drowned out by the all-conquering victim lobby. A recent BBC report, for instance, did not mention any such organisations or quote anyone in support of sex work when covering a review of a police deployment, Operation Sanctuary, which saw 18 people jailed for the “sexual abuse” of young women “groomed” in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in northern England. The review concluded that “vulnerable women” are probably being “extensively” abused across the UK and that the government should look at tightening up the law.
The most depressing aspect of this, for those of us who value sexual self-determination at all ages (and personal freedom generally) is the mounting pressure against even adults being allowed to make their own sexual choices. This was made clear in the review’s finding that the authorities did not have the powers to intervene with adults to stop them “making bad choices” or forming “inappropriate relationships” – with the implication that such powers ought to be established in law.
As for how far some feminists are prepared to go in stamping out sex work and “exploitation”, it was made almost comically clear in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s World At One, when host Martha Kearney interviewed a BBC colleague, Gemma Cairney, who had helped raise funds for Oxfam until the present crisis. Asked what could be done to prevent such scandals, Cairney replied, apparently in all seriousness, “We need to change human nature”. Even Kearney, a fellow female and no doubt a card-carrying feminist, remarked that this might be a bit ambitious; but I fear all too many women would be up for the challenge – provided that the target was only men’s human nature.
 

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Daniel

hi tom its daniel again hope u r well m8t i have finally got a support worker and havent had any grief for a while which is good not good enough but of course we do live in regressive time thanx to human stupidity but it is nice to at least get some help that i am greatful for and im hoping to do some courses soon, on sexual offending and human sexuality and this is whats motaviting me to go on i have finally stood up to my perants re my veiws they dont like it but thats tough in a way its their own fault for denying it, otherwise things r looking on the up and thanx to u it has given me the courage to tell other ppl about my situation including a friend of mine and he has accepted it and to my suprise he has also told me that he has the attraction himself.

Daniel

thank you sorry i have not post on this blog b4 its just that im having difficultiy with the cyber world (modern technology in general) for some its like a culture shock to me i supose i havent fully adapted my life to it properly unlike the good old days wen we used the postman im getting better at it plus my email last address got stolen by a conman and i was having difficuly understanding how to use the but at least ive craked it

Daniel

no its fine thank you for asking

Explorer

I recommend everyone here to visit IPCE occasionally: some very interesting new materials – a dissertation and some peer-reviewed scholarly papers – are about to be published soon. I can say it for the reason that it was me who found them and sent them to IPCE.
And this is just a beginning, I hope – I possess a large electronic library of scholarly and scientific (as well as activist and polemical) literature concerning a wide range of controversial topics, including intergenrational sexuality. And I decided that it would be a waste of effort if all the numerous publications I gathered through the years of studying controversies would just remain for my own reading.
IPCE is the very best place on the Web I know where I can donate the literature on the intergenerational sexuality-related scientific research and scholarly inquiry. So, I’m looking forward for a rather long productive collaboration!

Explorer

Very sad news: OmniPolitics16 has recently comitted a suicide.
https://nucklearonline.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/remembering-a-lost-soul/

lord

As I just say in Eivind Berge’s blog:
Another pedophile who has taken his own life for a life of torment.
He wasn’t gay or transgendered. No memories, no newspapers complaining about his death, no politicians mourning his death.
They don’t give a shit about us. So we don’t give a shit about them. So be it.

Daniel

i had very strong feelings of mental anguish like omni not so long ago i also felt suicidal my state of mind was so bad i couldnt be on my own and ended up staying at my friends house and living there for 5 months im glad i didnt end it all now im also glad i stayed with my friend cos if i didnt then i wouldnt have had another person to share my attraction with, im sorry to hear about this story, you suggested skype tom and maybe we could do that some day. I didnt know you omni but it sounds to me that you are a very brave man and hopfully me and other people will be brave enough to do what you did and you have my up most respect for comming forward. lots of love daniel

Daniel

it wont be this week comming up i would like to get the bank hols out the way 1st and will need to set up a skype account up beforhand as well i will look at my schedual and find out wat days r best for me and then we should hopfully be able to come to some kind of arrangment.

Christian

Answer to Thorian and Dissident (here to avoid excessive thinning of text):
Feminism does not originate from Marxism, even if sometimes it tries to mimic it.
For the Marxist view on the woman question, one must refer to Clara Zetkin (originator of the March 8 day of struggle for women’s rights) and Alexandra Kollontai (writer on sexual revolution and member of the first Soviet government). Both stressed that women’s liberation requires abolishing social classes and private property, and considered feminism as a movement that attempts to liberate women within the confines of capitalism and stresses the sisterhood of women of all social classes, thus they opposed it openly.
Some bourgeois suffragettes wanted to extend the vote to women, but accepted vote restrictions based on social status. For instance when women voted in Finland in 1907, Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg declared to a 1907 women’s congress in Vienna that the entry of uneducated, plebeian women into Parliament was a “horrible” embarrassment. Most of the socialist MPs, Gripenberg lamented, were “formerly servants, factory hands, or seamstresses. … It was a mistake that so few really able and suitable women for the work in the Diet were elected. … If we had women lawyers, merchants, physicians, scientists, and so on, women’s words would have weighed more.” (see https://johnriddell.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/finland-1906-the-revolutionary-roots-of-womens-suffrage-an-international-womens-day-tribute/).

Nada

Some bourgeois suffragettes wanted to extend the vote to women, but accepted vote restrictions based on social status.
While the “Marxists” accepted restrictions, based on age, yielding at most “equality” and “rights” for some females.
Did these “Marxists” even support bodily self-determination for girls, not to mention equality between girls and women?

Hypersonic

An interview with Amos Yee:
http://www.nylon.com.sg/2018/03/interview-with-amos-yee.html
He was also interviewed on The Fallen State. The video should be posted on Thursday at 9 PM EST.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gak97cPLY_U

Anon

Eivind Berge about this very interview:
“I have trouble deciding exactly how serious Amos Yee is, but mostly I think he is a troll. He says he supports pedophilia, but then he also supports the #MeToo movement, which is as opposite as you can get, especially when he omits everything in between. He doesn’t seem to have a consistent male sexualist ideology like Tom Grauer, and also no one really takes him seriously, so he isn’t helping our movement. Like he says himself, he is an artist, and that is what I think too, a performance artist rather than an ideologue. I think he would advocate anything that gets him attention. Taking a moderate, sensible stance like lowering the age of consent to 13 would be too boring, so instead he advocates sex with babies and makes a clown out of himself.”

Hypersonic

Eivind Berge is not pro-pedophilia, so I am not surprised that he said that. Amos Yee’s support of #MeToo doesn’t necessarily contradict his position on pedophilic relationships because he states in the interview below that consensual relationships are still okay.
http://www.nylon.com.sg/2018/03/interview-with-amos-yee.html

Dissident

Also, saying “lower the age of consent to […]” is a loaded statement. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can suggest simply imposing restrictions only for full intercourse and ultra-kinky activities for someone under pubescence, which may be physically injurious to pre-pubescent children. There is nothing intrinsically harmful about simple sex play, and if children regularly seek this out with each other, it stands to reason they will at times with adults. Arguing against intergenerational sex play quickly becomes a strictly moralistic issue that argues “harm” in very vague and subjective ways.

Hypersonic

No, Eivind seems to be against pedophilia. He thinks that there must be a good reason why pedophilia is universally rejected.
Also, Amos Yee is against intercourse with young children anyway.

Libertine

But its only in recent times that its been seen as bad.

Libertine

I have a question for you diss, As a youth liberationist, where do you stand on youth being free to explore hard drugs (class A shit). I am aware how the anti has used driving, drugs etc as some sort of comparison to intergenerational sex, and I don’t think they can really be compared, just would like your thoughts on the matter.

Christian

I translate: Amos Yee is not a reactionary male chauvinist like Tom Grauer and (to a lesser extent) Eivind Berge; thus he does not share their “male sexualist” (read anti-equality) ideology, and he does not help their “movement”. But Amos is not a “troll” and does not “makes a clown out of himself”; he is rather a worthy fighter for freedom and equal rights for all ages, all genders and all sexual orientations.

Petain France??

Except unborn fetuses who clearly have no right to life or equal rights.
But hey good news guys! Thanks to feminists, France has just decreed the age of sexual consent to 15, all sexual acts with a under 15 will be considered “rape” not even “abuse”.
Any difference in power or age is abuse! yay! Thanks Equality!

Nada

their “male sexualist” (read anti-equality) ideology
Quite an uncharitable reading, at least as far as Berge is concerned.
Since you argue for special treatment of some, be they feminists or certain Jews, at the expense of others, in particular children, the sudden concern about “equality” sounds Orwellian, to say the least.

Christian

Since you argue for special treatment of some, be they feminists or certain Jews, at the expense of others, in particular children
Where do you get that nonsense? I never argue for special treatment for some special categories, like “Jews”… as for the word “feminist”, since anyone can use it with nearly any kind of meaning, to me it is meaningless.
Now for “Pétain France?”: the new age of “non-consent” (not of “consent”) in France is a proposal of the Macron government, a vicious anti-working class one, that is its real nature; the “feminist” garb that some associate with that decision is irrelevant (both “left” and “right” politicians, all of them reactionaries, claim to be “feminists”, I don’t care about that word). And having adults decree that those under 15 cannot consent by principle, means exactly the opposite of equality of rights: adults have the right to decide about the life of youths without taking into account their opinion, thus they are proclaimed fundamentally unequal.
It looks like “male sexualists” have no other argument than amalgams, or insinuating that their opponents must necessarily follow the SJW or “RadFem” caricature.

Thorian

Christian, Feminism is a supremacist movement of Marxist origin that bases its ideology on the ‘dialectic’ struggle between men and women. They start from the false idea that men have unjustly subjected women and that women must seek liberation from the”slavery” that men impose on them. To this end, feminist Marxism or feminism invents data, distorts reality, biases the data and publicizes an image of men and women that does not correspond to reality.
It is financed by the great international powers that are very interested in the disappearance of the traditional family nucleus.

Dissident

Well, Thorian, I’m a Marxist and I can tell you that it has nothing to do with feminism. It’s about economic equality for all, and the end of any system of economic – and therefore social – equality. The fact that it has always supported equality for women is how it got tied into “feminism,” but it argued the same for blacks.
As for trying to destroy the traditional family unit, I think you really mean working for rights that may not be compatible with the non-democratic nature of the nuclear family unit, and thus will eventually result in its dissolution (or so you fear). And if so… then so what? No one is under any moral obligation to support the nuclear family unit, or treat it as inherently good, let alone so good that another family unit which might arise under future, more democratic conditions couldn’t possibly be any better. Maybe there will be no specific “norm” under such a truly enlightened system. If the current system is replaced by a more democratic and egalitarian system in the future, then the nuclear family unit will either modify itself to become a more democratic version of itself, or it will go the way of the dinosaur… as it should, if it cannot adapt to a more democratic framework.

Dissident

Good post, Tom! I’m glad recent events in world politics are prompting you to put any silly notion of hiatus aside! Especially since you, Lensman, and Cartsman taking time off at the same time has been murderous to everyone in the Kind community!
Anyway, you touched on a major point I’ve been arguing about for years: when “good-intentioned” draconian measures are introduced into an ostensibly democratic framework, they never just stop at some point, leaving only a few designated “vulnerable” groups under the control of those who insist they always know whats best. They are always the prelude to spreading further in exponential fashion, starting with the easy targets, then moving “upwards” from there to the next easiest target, etc., et al., until eventually everyone falls under the control. One of the ways they do it within a democratic framework is to convince large segments of the “free” to willingly cede their freedom in favor of some sort of perceived security. This is accomplished by having them adopt the belief that giving up freedom and taking it (or keeping it) away from another group is somehow making a noble sacrifice, akin to giving up a kidney for someone who is on dialysis. This is what the anti-choice folks in our community actually mean when they proudly proclaim, “sometimes people are more important than principles, something the ‘pro-contact’ crowd likes to forget” (Mr. Nickerson was fond of making that very argument in our various disagreements). It’s the wolf that lurks within the sheepskin of good and noble intentions (to whatever extent those good and noble intentions were sincere in the first place).

Explorer

The Daily Antifeminist’s (DAF) WordPress blog is gone. See it for yourself:
https://dailyantifeminist.wordpress.com/
The “leftover page” tells us that “the authors have deleted this site”. I wonder, however, whether it was DAF himself who deleted his blog, as it is said there… or his blog was banned and blocked by the WordPress. Or, possibly, he was forced to delete it, by authorities, by providers or by vigilantes.
Let me be clear: I neither liked nor approved DAF. In my opinion, he was playing a dangerous game, supporting – even if illusively so, and only for the sake of being provocative – the so-called “incel” community, which is characterised by hardcore misogyny reaching the wildest extremes (and oftentimes being conflated with all types of authoritarian and reactionary positions).
Yet, as any (possible) attack on the free speech, it disturbs me. I’d like to hope that WordPress still maintains its pro-free speech position, and it was DAF himself, indeed, who deleted his own blog, for whatever reason…

Christian

Maybe his wife found out what he was secretly doing with the computer, and did not like it. (He said on that blog that he is married).
If WP had removed it, they would say the the blog “has been suspended”.

DJ TRASHporn !

My goodness, is the men’s/boy’s situation fucked beyond repair?

Libertine

I mentioned Dominican Republic in the last post….It seems they’re not really into the ‘victim’ narrative over there!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e06zMALGBFQ

Libertine

Shame the earthquake didn’t happen across the border in the Dominican Republic, Where prostitution is legal (as long as they’re 18+)! would they then still be sending the police…no wonder the police budgets are at breaking point.
I watched the parliament channel, one woman said….’why do they do it’… he didn’t answer of course, how can you without delving into basic human nature.

Libertine

Raging conversations on male circumcision, thought I’d share here because this is a children’s rights issue.
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/stop-this-moral-crusade-against-circumcision/21160#.WphFxWacbVo

gantier99

This may also be of interest, not least for the pleasure of listening to the normally civilised panel practically coming to blows over circumcision:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09rzhxl

sean

I’m disappointed in Furedi in this, as he has some good opinions on other matters.
That said, I am FAR more tolerant of religiously motivated genital cutting of children (of either sex) than I am of the obscenity of medical opinion justifying this kind of assault being perpetrated on boys using a raft of spurious rationalizations. At least religious circumcision is done in the knowledge that the loss has significance, and that the foreskin is an erogenous structure. I also suspect some ‘intactivist’ voices have been infiltrated by (possibly unconscious) antisemitism.
My investment in this is quite visceral. I was circumcised as an infant at a time when this procedure was ‘routine’. I then spent most of my childhood in an institutional setting where almost all the other boys had foreskins. We played sex games, of course, and I understood immediately that what I lacked was not something dirty and superfluous but a pleasure organ. When I came to understand the contemptible ideologies behind the unwanted violation of my infant body, my chagrin turned to anger and disgust.

Jonathan

Maybe it is your personal history that influenced you to state such a view about religious genital mutilation, Sean, but I just don’t see how any logical being could ascribe any positive value to GM.
I am sorry that it was done to you.

sean

==I just don’t see how any logical being could ascribe any positive value to GM==
What I said is that “I am FAR more tolerant of religiously motivated genital cutting of children (of either sex) than I am of the obscenity of medical opinion justifying this kind of assault being perpetrated on boys”
I’m not especially tolerant of religiously motivated mutilation of children’s genitals, but religion does not pretend to be rational or even beneficial, while medicine does.
Also, there IS a positive aspect of genital mutilation in social contexts where it confers some social benefit or status, For example, the ‘brit milah’ or Jewish covenant of circumcision, signifies membership of the Jadaic faith community. That may mean little to you or me, but it might mean a lot if it is the only world you know or trust.
I’m not proposing that religion is an argument in favour of circumcision, I’m saying that circumcision in this context has -some- positive aspects. It remains a violation of a child’s rights, but it has some justification, in tradition if not in reason.
In stark contrast, medical circumcision has no upside. Even more damning is the insufferable arrogance of the clinicians who continue to defend it. Brian Morris would be a good example.
Since medieval times, Jewish philosophy has been quite explicit that circumcision represents a loss or erogenous tissue, a fact that contemporary proponents of circumcision in the west glibly refute. This flies in the face of common sense and clinical evidence.

sean

ps: thanks 🙂
..also, while I’m at it..
I’m hard pressed to find any reason to tolerate the extreme forms of genital mutilation, such as amputation of the tip of the clitoris and parts of the labia minora (in females) or virtual flaying of the penis (in males).
There is a question of degree. Many girls in Indonesia suffer ‘genital mutilation’ (according to WHO) that consists of nothing more permanent than an adult pinching their clitoris with fingernails or rubbing cayenne pepper on it. To me that’s a situation where social good outweighs physical harm. Likewise, I have a friend who swears he is circumcised. His wife swears he isn’t and, having seen him naked many times, I am surprised to him make that claim as well.
That doesn’t reduce the potential trauma of his procedure I suppose, but he still has a functioning foreskin, while I don’t, so (if this were a competition) I rate the damage done to his penis is less than that done to mine.
So, ALL of this cutting of children’s genitals is suspect, but let’s focus on the worst cases first. I think the worst cases are the radical forms of ‘female circumcision’ in the east and the clinical toleration of male circumcision in the west.

Jonathan

Thanks for the clarification, sean.
p.s. In light of what you say about Indonesians, I’m inclined to like them even more than I ever had before!

sean

If I were talking to Furedi directly, I would argue strongly against his article, because he is flat wrong on several important points. However I can’t disagree with his central point.
I think what Furedi is saying here (similar to my own comments) is that calls for a ban on circumcision sail too close to a 2000 year history of antisemitism that has enacted exactly this ban to express something altogether less noble than a concern for children’s rights.
I don’t think religious conviction justifies circumcision, but I do think there are wider considerations. I think circumcision mandated by faith or other established traditions (eg, initiation rites on the African continent) should be tolerated and progressive change devolved to those communities themselves. There are many practicing Jews, for example, who now observe a ‘brit shalom’ or alternative naming ceremony without genital cutting.
Also, perhaps as part of an educational effort, some of the harms of traditional genital mutilation can be ameliorated. Antisepsis would be a good start.
ON THE OTHER HAND, lets call an ultimatum on the casuism that permits doctors to proselytize the ‘benefits’ of inflicting this pointless violence on babies in their ‘care’ and champions parents ‘right’ to inflict it on their own sons.
Enough of all that. It needs to be stopped now.
But the religious dimension is always going to be a complicating factor that will block progress. I think it should be sidestepped and the focus placed on the secular apologists and the mindless conformists.
Hopefully religious practices that unambiguously harm babies will (eventually) be recognized for what they are and discouraged from within the affected communities.
Anybody?

Baldur

Despite strongly favoring free markets to charitable aid (for the simple reason that free markets are a more sustainable means of meeting the needs of the poor), I do recognize times when charitable aid is required and particularly agree that OxFam served a necessary role in Haiti after the earthquake – apparently being far better stewards than the Red Cross and some other famous charities were. Seems a bit silly to ignore all that and focus on what is really a non-issue, especially when the critics, as you say, did nothing themselves to help.

Libertine

After the scandal at The presidents club, GOSH (children’s hospital), they turned down hundreds of thousands of pounds; that is a real scandal. Think of the lifesaving equipment they could’ve bought for that, just so they appear virtuous, the wankers!

Dissident

for the simple reason that free markets are a more sustainable means of meeting the needs of the poor.
Oh, like hell they are, Baldur! I put up with this economic libertarian nonsense of yours for years at GC as long as you do not bring it up first. But after your constant fight-picking with me over it for the past year, along with the intellectual dishonesty you hit me with in the process that is a seeming requirement for libertarians when debating socialists (by misrepresenting our views even when you and many others in the crowd know better), I am not going to hesitate calling you on it when you DO bring it up first here. No, the free market does not help the poor, it causes the existence of the poor in the first place by putting a fiscal price tag on everything, forcing people into a situation where they are denied access to resources no matter how great the need if they cannot pay, and is fully tolerant of homelessness and starvation even in a world where the productive capacity is great enough to produce enough food for everyone in the world, and where over ten empty houses exist for every one homeless person. The market is only “free” for capital itself and the tiny handful who collect the lion’s share by exploiting the vast majority, not for the multitude of the poor in the world or the millions of people who are a mere single paycheck or two away from being poor and homeless.

sean

Oh and Tom, this is great stuff. I think it goes to the core of the issue which, as you point out, transcends issues specific to minor attraction.
Thinking on it just now, it seems that there is a valid narrative relating to human rights, exploitation of the weak by the powerful, personal integrity and a bunch or other stuff, and then over that a kind of invasive, parasitic slime mould representing the compulsive morality and sexual anxieties of a cast of self absorbed but other obsessed automatons.
They act as if sexual activity has a moral valence independent of it’s ultimate motives and consequences. The origin of that illusion is uncertain, but my guess is that its simply a tool deployed by authoritarian structures to manipulate social dynamics. Those who assert compulsory sex morality are as enslaved by it as those who chafe against it.
It’s exactly as Dawkins illustrates in the God Delusion: a fungi that take over an ant’s brain, causing it to climb a blade of grass and distribute the fungi’s spores (you probably have to read the book..).

Geothern1683

By contrast, I don’t think Dawkins was a longtime fan of Tom O’ Carroll.
“Being fondled by the Latin master in the Squash Court was a disagreeable sensation for a nine-year-old, a mixture of embarrassment and skin-crawling revulsion, but it was certainly not in the same league as being led to believe that I, or someone I knew, might go to everlasting fire. As soon as I could wriggle off his knee, I ran to tell my friends and we had a good laugh, our fellowship enhanced by the shared experience of the same sad pedophile. I do not believe that I, or they, suffered lasting, or even temporary damage from this disagreeable physical abuse of power. Given the Latin Master’s eventual suicide, maybe the damage was all on his side.”

sugarboy

Teaching Latin to nine year olds? Was it a kind of an elite school for geniuses?

sean

==Teaching Latin to nine year olds? Was it a kind of an elite school for geniuses?==
Indeed! I had to wait til I was ten before I got to chant ‘amo amas amat’ with 20 other boys.
I also had to wait til that age to meet a kind, empathetic, talented teacher who was fired for having boys pose nude for his life studies.
I longed to be one of his models, but failed to catch his eye.

Matt H.

It’s the white race fault for helping a most useless race called the black race in that pit named Haiti. An 8-year-old Chinese kid is smarter than a adult black. And the white race, creators of civilization are supposed to help the primitive blacks? If they want to starve to death with their overpopulation, their criminal gangs, their corrupt governments, well, then let them die. Sorry but if blacks are not capable of building a single decent country in the world and not die in the process, well, fuck off with them, cursed are the whites and their greatest weak: compassion.

sean

that’s certainly one (stupid) perspective.

edchambers101

> Information, anybody, for Matt H? Something briefly educational might actually help.
Well…In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void….

Jonathan

…and then God created Matt H as an antithesis to all good and wholesome things.

Dissident

I don’t know for certain, Tom, but he sounds like he might simply be a troll. Nevertheless, the SJWs have been provoking white supremacists into coming out of the woodwork in droves ever since they came up with the (not so) brilliant idea of pushing identity politics in the first place. They are getting the exact opposite of the destruction of white supremacy by promoting anti-white (and anti-male) attitudes. So… who knows at this point?

jedson303

Tom –
You raise a large, important, and difficult issue here. Let me try to be brief. The dilemma is fairly clear: the whole P issue clearly fits into a larger political landscape.
(Here are two articles I have written that suggest what certain aspects of this landscape are:
http://www.uryourstory.org/images/Downloads/CF.pdf (Check the article that begins on page 56.)
http://unthinkablethoughts.xyz/index.php/major-heresies/82-the-political-use-and-abuse-of-the-pedophile
These article are not required reading. But there will be a surprise quiz in two days. )
One has to ask whether effective political action can be taken if one simply ignores the larger social, economic and political forces that are at work in the situation. On the other hand to address these larger social, economic and political issues will inevitably tend to fragment our movement. This, of course, is important only if we assume that we have anything that actually can be called a “movement.” But that’s the dilemma. To insist on dealing with all the relevant issues may create divisions between us. It’s fairly simple in its essence, but finding a route between the and the Scylla and the Charybdis is, unfortunately, not simple.
I’m afraid I don’t know what the answer to this dilemma is. The only suggestion I can make is that we take some time to discuss it. We’re talking about what would be called a “meta-communication” issue. It has to do with communicating about how we should go about communicating with each other. It needs to be done from time to time.
With regard to the immediate issue of Haiti, one thing is very clear. The powers-that-be would much rather deal with issues of sexual morality than with the unspeakably disgusting and reprehensible performance of the United States in systematically suppressing the poor people of Haiti over a long period of time. If anybody is not aware of this history, here’s a brief article that will provide some hint of what is involved:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/how-our-governments-snuff_b_720594.html

sean

Two very interesting articles, thanks!

sean

Have you come across the current discussion of the “dark side” of empathy?
Eg: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/09/the-violence-of-empathy/407155/
It ties into your thesis in an interesting way, I think.
There is also some current work on the evolution of religion which figures it as a kind of super-empathy, in which individuals identify very closely with one another through shared rituals and beliefs. It’s been proposed that this stage of developed enabled the scaling of human communities beyond the village level of organization to town and city level (from 10s to 100s and then 1000s of individuals). These are communities where not everybody is connected by a personal relationship in which ‘ordinary’ empathy might function, so rely on a mechanism that performs a similar function.
But, if empathy has a dark side, super-empathy has a darker one, and we know it as religious intolerance, extremism, totalitarianism etc.
Scapegoating fits into this as the need for an ‘other’ by which to define the in-group. If no suitable other (such as a marauding enemy) is on the horizon, one must be manufactured. The need to manufacture a personalised ‘other’ is amplified when the society is confronted with faceless, impersonal threats like disease and famine.

jedson303

Hmm. When it comes to empathy, can there be too much of a good thing? Your note and the article gave me pause. But I don’t really think so. What is described in the article is not too much empathy, but selective empathology. A person committed to what might be called the ethic of empathy would attempt to understand all people – and ultimately all living things at least to some degree – from the inside. If fact, I would suggest that we will not make much progress resolving the problems that fact humanity until we begin to make this effort. In the example given, we would seek to understand what drives a “terrorist” to do what he does? That doesn’t mean condoning it. In our situation it may mean trying to understand those who hate and fear us.

sean

I guess the trick is in universalizing the insights enabled by empathy (which I guess is a combination of theory of mind and emotional mirroring) into a more general sense of compassion for all people, not just the ones you happen to empathize with. I suppose this is the ‘categorical imperative’ behind Kantian ethics, which formalize the ‘golden rule’ (ie, do unto others). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a product of this line of thinking.

Dissident

I guess the trick is in universalizing the insights enabled by empathy (which I guess is a combination of theory of mind and emotional mirroring) into a more general sense of compassion for all people, not just the ones you happen to empathize with.
Thank you, Sean! You said it better in that single sentence than I possibly could have in my usual hundred sentences. This deserves to become one of the world’s official famous quotes.

sean

Wow. No, thank you Dissident. :#)

Dissident

Welcome! And I never saw the pound/hashtag symbol used to simulate a nose on an emoji before! Very interesting! 😀

Dissident

I’ve been arguing for years on the Kind boards that love can have a dark side to it, and that it’s not always “pure.” The same goes for empathy and other “emotions of the heart.” But too many people, including many in our community, seem to think that love and sympathetic feelings can only manifest in positive ways that lead to nurturing behavior, purity of intention, and a happy outcome for all involved. The anti-sex narrative has long contended that once sexual desire enters the equation, love becomes tainted and can no longer be a part of the equation. As if love and sexual desire are mutually exclusive; and as if only sexual desire can have a dark side to it.
The compulsion to control other people and force them into submission “for their own good” is one of many dark ways that love and empathy can manifest. The dark side of empathy can also result in serious misuse of the emotion, by having members of a perceived underdog group always favored in disputes against members of another group even if the former is demonstrated to be wrong. Whenever justice, equality, and freedom of choice are considered obstacles of some sort to love and empathy, you can rest assured that the dark side of these emotions are on display, and no good will come of the end result.

Libertine

It seems the US government is putting up sanctions against Cambodia for human rights issues, err, Philippines anyone!!

Peter Herman

I have often wondered why Emile Zola’s J’Accuse (I accuse) got traction within a fairly short amount of time (though Zola was at the time found guilty of libel). Many of the essays on this blog (including this latest by Tom) should serve the same purpose of eviscerating social hypocrisy as Zola’s accusation did, but somehow they do not. Perhaps amateur historians reading this site can see a parallel we can emulate.

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