Warily going where angels fear to tread

Book review: The Fear of Child Sexuality: Young People, Sex, and Agency, by Steven Angelides. University of Chicago Press, September 2019.
This is an important new book. Heretic TOC has accordingly decided to give it an in-depth review in two parts. This first part will focus on Angelides’ aims in relation to his earlier track record. The second part will consider the book’s content in more detail with a particular focus on the author’s interestingly “post-Foucauldian” view of power in sexual relationships. 
We might guess that someone called Angelides would be on the side of the angels. This family name is Greek for “son of an angel” or “descended from the angels”. Something like that. The name of the book itself, its title, tells us it is about fear, so we might find ourselves wondering whether the writer will boldly go where angels allegedly fear to tread. Portentously, too, this wordsmith’s given name is Steven, after the first Christian martyr. His more specific subject is child sexuality, a notoriously dangerous theme for any writer these days, so is this perhaps saintly scribe doomed to martyrdom, or even actively courting it?

Child sexuality: obscured, censored, but not entirely erased from public discourse.

Definitely not the latter, on the evidence so far. The good Dr Angelides, a senior academic whose PhD was in history and gender studies, is affiliated with the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society at La Trobe University and an honorary senior research fellow at Macquarie University. This much, and his listed publications, are a matter of public record, but otherwise he has kept a low profile. He isn’t big on the social media, doesn’t appear to give interviews, has no Wikipedia entry, and not much has been written about him.
Having been impressed many years ago by a couple of his papers, especially “Feminism, child sexual abuse, and the erasure of child sexuality” (2004), I was keen to read his new book when word reached me about it a few months ahead of its publication last month. So I wrote to his official university email address offering to write a review, possibly for an academic journal but certainly here at Heretic TOC. I heard nothing back. After a suitable interval I wrote again. Still silence.
I was a bit miffed. This was an unexpected snub. My recollection, admittedly somewhat foggy, was that Angelides had written quite respectfully about paedophile organisations such as PIE, which I chaired for several years. It was as though he at least acknowledged our sincerity and idealism. The impression I had was that he believed children are not only sexual but sometimes want sexual contact with an adult and are capable of consent in fact if not in law.
So why would he shun me and my interest in his book? Perhaps because he thinks I am a crap writer, of no significance? That would be mortifying but there is another explanation. Fear. Fear of guilt by association with a “convicted paedophile” like me.
History professor Joanna Bourke knows about these things. She is an expert on fear, author of a book called Fear: A Cultural History. So it is not surprising to see that Times Higher Education recently carried her review of The Fear of Child Sexuality. She wrote:

Even scholarly analyses of the sexuality of young people risk accusations of championing paedophilia. It is therefore very brave of Steven Angelides, an academic at La Trobe University in Australia, to tackle the topic. He is very clear about his ethical stance: he opposes all attempts to normalise paedophilia.

Except that he doesn’t. I had just finished reading Angelides’ book when I encountered Bourke. It was fresh in my mind and I knew that, mercifully, there was nothing whatever in it that could distinctly be taken as opposing paedophilia. Just as I remembered from his earlier papers, the perspective presented in his book is entirely compatible with children, especially those on the pre-teen cusp of adolescence and beyond, being sexually active and capable of voluntary participation in an intergenerational relationship. Wonderful! Delighted to see it! It could hardly have been otherwise, actually, because it turns out the book is pretty much a “greatest hits” compilation album of this earlier work.
So where was Bourke’s utterly contrary claim coming from? Could this reputable historian have misinterpreted Angelides at some point? Or else be lying?
Well, it turns out that I cannot call her a liar but I do say loud and clear that her words performed a major deception, and it was one in which Angelides colluded. What happened, in effect, was that the pair of them came together to enact a strategy of fear. It was presumably not concocted in a conscious conspiracy between them (they may not have contacted each other or be personally acquainted) but it ends up working in the same way. There is a tactic as well as a strategy in all this that I will come to shortly. But first let’s get into this strategy business. Angelides has plenty to say on this theme, starting in his Preface. He refers to:

… the cultural and political work the mobilization of emotional vocabularies of fear, anxiety, and shame does to endlessly defer an encounter with the agentive sexual child. This, I suggest, is a “strategy” of many child sex panics — although by strategies I am thinking of those aspects of power relations that are, as Michel Foucault famously puts it, “both intentional and non-subjective.” Power relations have aims and objectives, and in this way are intentional; but they are also beyond an individual or group’s will, consciousness, or control — in that no individual or group possesses power and in that power relations have unintended and entangled aims and consequences—and so are nonsubjective. Strategies can thereby also be anonymous and unwitting (pp. xiv).

Unintended consequences. Unwitting strategies.
Precisely!
By a supreme irony, an unwitting strategy of fear has produced a wholly unintended consequence in which Bourke and Angelides accidently collude against the sexual child that both of them (to judge from Bourke’s review as a whole, as well as the book she is reviewing) would wish to support. This unwitting, accidental antagonism expresses itself through a contradiction.
To see how that has happened we must turn now from the strategy to the tactic. As we have seen, Bourke asserts that Angelides “is very clear about his ethical stance: he opposes all attempts to normalise paedophilia”. Where does he make himself “clear”? Not, as I have said, in his book, or not at least in the main text, including the Preface. No, the tactic adopted by Angelides was to hide away his “clear” ethical stance in the Acknowledgements section, positioned near the end of the book, in the most obscure place possible, between the last page of the book proper and the beginning of the Notes. I am very pleased the disclaimer appearing there is indeed obscure because to make it more prominent would be to obstruct his long-held and much more positive message, a message all us heretics will applaud, namely that intergenerational sexual relationships can be ethical. The one thing that really is clear, it seems to me, is that Angelides is so fearful – understandably – of being crucified in the media and elsewhere that he feels the disclaimer, distancing himself from paedophilia, was necessary.
So how did Bourke come to notice this “clear” statement, hidden away among lengthy tributes to the author’s colleagues and friends that would be of little interest to the general reader? My guess is that the publishers, the University of Chicago Press, sent a memo drawing attention to it along with every review copy they sent out. That would have done the trick. So, it looks as though there was probably corporate collusion too.
But we do not need to subscribe to this little bit of conspiracy theory on my part to see that fear is massively at work. Angelides gives us plenty of grounds for seeing why it would be in play. He tells us:

Publishing variously on the historical emergence of the modern pedophile, on child sexual abuse, on queer theory, and on child and adolescent sexuality, has done me no favors in some respects. In a way that gets to the very heart of this book’s fundamental concerns about child sex panics, my work across these areas has sometimes been maliciously misrepresented by people who are opposed to almost any examination of young people’s sexualities and who have a range of political axes to grind… Merely writing on these topics has been enough for some people unwilling to properly read my work to presume falsely that I am an apologist for pedophilia. Nothing could be further from the truth. From my very early involvement in the emergence of queer theory in Australia, I am on the published record denouncing any attempt to normalise pedophilia by way of transgressive queer theories (pp. 179-80).

As someone who knows what it feels like to be maliciously misrepresented of course I sympathise with all writers who find themselves on the wrong end of such abuse. However, I have been able to find only a couple of articles, published online, that attack him and his work – as already indicated, he has managed to maintain quite a low profile, perhaps because queer theory in general tends to hide itself in a fog of dense academic language that few can penetrate – and to my mind these seem to give a reasonably accurate account of his ideas. Hostile, yes, but nothing like as distorted and downright false as many of the allegations levelled at those of us who put our views out there in more straightforward activist terms.
Coming back to the contradiction I mentioned, it is this. Angelides says children may be capable of ethically acceptable participation in an intergenerational sexual relationship; Bourke is less committed but describes his book as well argued and sensible. Yet almost in the same breath, as it were, both of them badmouth paedophilia. So they arrive at the strange position of willing the end but denying the means. For how are children going to find themselves in intergenerational relationships unless they are allowed to have adults who are sexually attracted to them (i.e. paedophiles) as their older partners? Or are they supposed to confine their interest to “normal” adults who might turn to them temporarily as an inferior substitute when a physically mature partner is not available? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Indeed, some might see it as a recipe for encouraging casual exploitation by the older person.
Fortunately, a clear explanation of this contradiction is available, at least as regards Bourke’s thinking, which gives us a good steer when we come to the subtler line taken by Angelides. She writes:

It is unfortunate that Angelides pays insufficient attention to specificities within the category of “childhood”: too often, readers are presented with an abstract “child”, when he is actually referring to an adolescent, middle-class, white male.

She is saying, in other words, that he is mainly talking about teenagers, not little kids; and the ones he highlights as capable of consent are also likely to be relatively confident and empowered, based not just on their personal maturity but thanks to their privileged class, race, and gender as well. So why doesn’t Angelides, who is plainly worried about being misrepresented and unjustly attacked, give himself an easier ride? Why didn’t he call his book The Fear of Teenage Sexuality, which would have been far less controversial?
I find his official explanation utterly unconvincing. He says he uses the word child because that is what the law does, adding that “Retaining a legalistic definition of the child even when referring to those between ages fifteen and seventeen is also a deliberately provocative reminder of the ambiguities and contradictions faced by young people in Western societies” (p. xxvii). But it is a pointless provocation unless you have a further agenda.
What it comes down to, I think, is that he is alert, like Bourke, to a range of socially significant intersecting dimensions (class, race and gender, as well as age), some combinations of which seem to him to make likelier candidates for ethical relationships than others. He makes no positive case, for instance, for men’s sexual involvement with young girls, but focuses at considerable length on sexual relationships between schoolboys in their mid-teens and their female teachers – contacts not only manifestly desired and enjoyed by the boys but also in which they exercised significant power and control. Another combination he apparently sees as viable is that of adolescent boys and men, the type of connection that was so explicitly the focus of that most famous of all paedophile organisations, NAMBLA, an acronym with “man-boy love” embedded into it. The membership of such organisations, including Britain’s PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) and Australia’s PSG (Pedophile Support Group), tended mainly towards an interest in consensual relationships between older pre-teen, or early teen, boys and men. Angelides writes:

…insisting on a distinction between paedophilia and child sexual abuse was precisely the ongoing concern of groups like NAMBLA, PIE and the PSG. At the heart of this distinction were questions of consensual sex and the sexual agency of young people in intergenerational encounters (p. 80).

Quite so. And, to the extent that these consensual relations potentially relate to pre-teen kids, Angelides finds himself cheer-leading for children’s sexual agency, not just that of teenagers. He can still just about viably argue, though, that he is not defending paedophilic contacts but hebephilic ones. As he says in relation to PSG, “many group members did themselves no favor by misnaming their category as pedophile” (p. 84).
Either way, there is no escaping the fact that this truly is scarily controversial terrain that could easily set off a witch-hunt against the author – and not just at Halloween as today happens to be: the witch-hunters never stop!

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Cyril

The fact that “the discourse of victim feminism in recent decades has all but eradicated the idea of child sexuality” is absolutely logical. Believing in child sexuality, in “children’s sexual agency” is “shifting responsibility for male sexual violence from the perpetrators to the victims.” If “Angelides says children may be capable of ethically acceptable participation in an intergenerational sexual relationship”, it means that victims “participate” in sex offences — children are partators, accomplices of sex abuse, they are co-offenders and co-abusers. Victims are blame for being abused — sounds totally inept. That’s why it is easier not to believe in child sexuality.
The problem of deciding between the victim and the partator labels for the child is similar to a trial described by Pierre “Brantome” de Bourdeille when the Paris parliament could not decide whether Sir Legrie should be executed for rape, or Mrs Carruge should be executed for adultery. Mr Carruge called him out for both raping and calumniating his wife. The idea of women’s and children’s sexual agency and active participation in sex has always been considered as slander.

[…] Warily going where angels fear to tread […]

Explorer

There is a philosopher who can tell something of real interest about the better and brighter side of postmodern(ism), including its influence on science – Jason Reza Jorjani:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVZhE8zN6aU
Before Christian or someone else will become politically enraged – yes, I know that Jorjani was one of the founders of, and intellectual leaders of, the Alt-Right. The crucial word here is “was”: he had given up on the Alt-Right long ago, after becoming deeply disappointed with it. He also gave up on his support on Donald Trump; instead of him, he chose Tulsi Gabbard:
https://jasonrezajorjani.com/blog/2019/4/26/goodbye-president-arabian-gulf
Yet, it not his politics – which I neither support nor promote – that we are going to discuss here, but his intriguing view of the postmodern(ism) and its influence on both philosophy and science; a view that is worth analysing, reflecting on, and replying to.
So, what do you think about Jorjani’s thoughts on postmodern(ism)?

Explorer

There is a philosopher who can tell something of real interest about the better and brighter side of postmodern(ism), including its influence on science – Jason Reza Jorjani:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVZhE8zN6aU&list=PL0k-0CJAQ22IxPrVG8eTVO7XPk1r_Nfvq&index=3&t=0s
Before Christian or someone else will become politically enraged – yes, I know that Jorjani was one of the founders of, and intellectual leaders of, the Alt-Right. The crucial word here is “was”: he had given up on the Alt-Right long ago, after becoming deeply disappointed with it. He also gave up on his support on Donald Trump; instead of him, he chose Tulsi Gabbard:
https://jasonrezajorjani.com/blog/2019/4/26/goodbye-president-arabian-gulf
Yet, it not his politics – which I neither support nor promote – that we are going to discuss here, but his intriguing view of the postmodern(ism) and its influence on both philosophy and science; a view that is worth analysing, reflecting on, and replying to.
So, what do you think about Jorjani’s thoughts on postmodern(ism)?

Explorer

The video link above is the wrong one, here is the correct one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVZhE8zN6aU

Nada

Another book review:
>Sexuality & Culture has published some days ago a review of the book „The Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development: Childhood and Adolescence“ by Thomas O’Carroll
https://www.boychat.org/messages/1534413.htm

Dissident

Well done, Tom! I anxiously await Part 2 to this great review of an important new book.
I think the main culprit behind that seemingly inexplicable contradiction you noted about the acknowledgement of the ability of youths to have sufficient agency for intergenerational relationships accompanied by the seemingly contradictory denouncement of pedophilia can be explained this way.
Despite what the data suggests and which Angelides bravely writes down, this does not change the socially indoctrinated feelings that Western society has for MAPs. Our society simply does not like adults with a natural romantic attraction to kids, because the media has obsessively and wrongfully connected that attraction base in adults with low character at best, and outright sociopathic behavioral traits at worst. Hence, they insist we are not capable of treating kids respectfully even if they can readily consent to such interactions with adults.
It doesn’t make sense because it isn’t supposed to. It’s intended to cover their asses to placate the feelings of the readers and the academic bigwigs who graciously agreed to publish their book. They do not want to give the impression that their data is intended to influence or change social policy in any way. Remember when Bruce Rind himself, in a knee-jerk reaction to the initial attacks his meta-analysis received from media and political sources, found himself defensively using the non-sensical but feel-good adage, “Lack of harmfulness does not necessarily mean lack of wrongfulness”? Even good and courageous academics like Rind and Angelides do not want to lose their jobs or become victims of the social media lynch mob, and may even find it difficult to fully rid themselves of these feelings they have been inundated with for their entire lives.
Nevertheless, these contradictory disclaimers do need to be pointed out for what they are, and I’m glad you put a lot of focus on that in the first part of your review. They are fully understandable in today’s political climate (as you acknowledged), but deeply flawed and transparent.

Sugarboy

I am on the published record denouncing any attempt to normalise pedophilia by way of transgressive queer theories
Could be that he welcomes any attempt to normalise pedophilia by other ways?!

Christian

Tom says: “queer theory in general tends to hide itself in a fog of dense academic language that few can penetrate.
Genuine scientists understand very well that real science itself is hard to understand, so they generally try to present their results in a clear way, with a normal language. And if in their submitted papers they don’t make enough efforts in this respect, the journal’s referees will request from them an effort to improve the readability and clarity of the introduction, discussion and conclusion. Thus, you can see that the discussion in Rind et al.’s paper is perfectly understandable by any educated person.
On the other hand, the “post-modernist” discourse, to which belongs “queer theory” and various “gender studies,” voluntarily uses an incomprehensible gibberish, in the same way as music-hall performers use buzzwords like “hocus pocus” and “abracadabra” in order to pose as great wizards and impress little children and gullible persons. Their gobbledygook is just a smokescreen to conceal the hollowness of their “deconstruction” and the arbitrary nature of their “psychoanalysis” of “interpretation.”
Veterans of the radical gay movement, such as John Lauritsen, denounce (in a perfectly clear language) the use of the word “queer” for sexual minorities, as this word comes from the hateful vocabulary of homophobia, see for instance: https://paganpressbooks.com/jpl/QUEER.HTM

Kit Marlowe

The accusation that queer theorists (or ‘theorists’ generally, or ‘postmodernists,’ or ‘deconstructionists,’ all indiscriminately lumped together) are willfully and deliberately obscure is now so hackneyed as to be barely worth responding to. And yet this old cliche does keep getting dragged out by people who – for some reason – want to brow-beat critical theorists for not being enough like “genuine scientists” – as if this were their intention in the first place.
I would recommend against assuming that something is meaningless simply because it is – on first glance – difficult to understand. Contrary to popular belief, the seemingly-impenetrable jargon that is used in cultural theory generally does have meaning – and more than that, it has context. If papers in queer theory or cultural and critical studies are superficially difficult to understand, this is because they are often situated in the middle of a conversation. Those coming into a conversation in mid-stream should not necessarily expect to pick up the thread of the argument (or even the technical language of the argument) right away. Doing so requires a bit of effort and a bit of commitment. Which is no less than you would devote (I imagine) to trying to understand a scientific paper. Of course, not all papers in queer theory are interesting or insightful or even worth reading, but then you won’t know that until you’ve read them.
People who disclaim critical and cultural theory wholesale as meaningless gibberish are generally those who have no intention of according the discipline the courtesy of disinterested curiosity. They have made up their minds already, and everything they see only confirms their existing prejudices.

bjmuirhead

>>>>>> ‘…its “findings” cannot be replicated and reliably confirmed.’
The difficulty I have with this statement is fairly simple. The “findings” of psychology, generally regarded as a “science”. have been found to be not replicable in the vast majority of cases, and also cannot be reliably confirmed. In psychology this is generally referred to as the crisis of replicability, and has resulted in the creation of what is known as experimental philosophy, or X-phi, which has been shown to be more reliably replicated than much psychological research, although that does not necessarily suggest that it is much better in most ways.
There are many possible reasons for this “failure of replicability”, and I won’t go into it here, but there needs to be an healthy skepticism about all “experimental” results because they are most likely quite wrong. This is why there is a massive amount of philosophy performed by psychologists trying to understand their “results”, and much philosophy underpins these results in any case.
Ok, I will now get off my most recent hobby horse now…
For some reason this page will not let me post my comment using my wordpress account… Or maybe it is; I have no idea. Ah, computers and all that!

Kit Marlowe

I don’t think that ‘replicability’ is really an issue for Queer Theory, because it does not claim to order observations systematically in a way that can predict future events with very high levels of precision – it is most definitely not that kind of theory! Queer theory isn’t a science, or even a ‘social science’ (a very problematic concept in itself), but an hermeneutic: like feminism or psychoanalysis or poststructuralism, it is concerned with the interpretation of human experience. It is more like literary criticism or historical analysis than science – and people don’t usually complain that a literary scholar’s interpretation of The Mayor of Casterbridge or an historian’s interpretation of the Wars of the Roses aren’t replicable!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that anything goes and that all interpretations are equally good; one characteristic of a good interpretation in queer theory might be that it is widely applicable to different texts or pieces of evidence. And in fact some of the best and most interesting queer theorists – David Halperin, Judith Butler, Jeffrey Weeks, Eve Kosofsky-Sedgwick – work on a variety of different kinds of texts and across different historical periods.
For what it’s worth, I think psychology too is really an hermeneutic like queer theory, and not truly a science at all – though it does sometimes make use of scientific methods to address non-scientific questions. So for this reason I don’t think psychologists should necessarily be disturbed by the ‘crisis of replicability’ in their discipline that bjmuirhead mentions – but of course, the authority that psychology as a discipline enjoys in our society arises from its pretensions to ‘scientific rigour.’

Kit Marlowe

I don’t doubt the sincerity of psychologists who aspire to ‘scientific rigour’ – not all, of course, do – but I think they are misguided. I think they are wrong because – as I understand the term – true science is very much more than just the use of statistics or empirical observations: it is the *ordering* of observations according to categories that derive from theories that are ultimately tautological. (Admittedly in biology it may take quite some time to sift down to the tautological basis of the categories employed, but they are usually there in the physical laws that underpin the natural sciences. Some categories in biology are purely arbitrary, however – speciation being a case in point.)
Psychology has no such tautological laws and no theoretically-robust categories. Indeed, many of its categories seem to be drawn from popular wisdom or folk-beliefs: intelligence, personality, sexuality. What are these based on if not a (culturally-bounded) account of human experience? Because it lacks a robust theoretical structure, psychology is no science; it is merely systematic empiricism. Or to put it a different way, it’s as scientific as train-spotting. Train-spotters may also use statistics and arrive at mildly-interesting generalisations. But unlike psychologists, a train-spotter is unlikely to claim some sort of universal normative status for things that are observed to hold true as a general rule.
Which is certainly not to say that psychology is useless. As a hermeneutic, it may be very valuable indeed. But not as a science.

Nada

>What are these based on if not a (culturally-bounded) account of human experience?
Biology.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049098/

Jar Jar Binks

>And in fact some of the best and most interesting queer theorists – David Halperin, Judith Butler, Jeffrey Weeks, Eve Kosofsky-Sedgwick – work on a variety of different kinds of texts and across different historical periods.
Halperin’s definition of the word queer interestingly seems to include intergenerational love. His definition is even cited on the Wikipedia article about queer theory (of course without the controversial part). He writes:
“Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers.”
Then, just a few sentences later, on the same page he continues:
“[Queer] could include some married couples without children, for example, or even (who knows?) some married couples *with* children – with, perhaps, *very naughty* children.”
Sedgwick is also interesting. She writes in Epistemology of the Closet on page 35:
“Other dimensions of sexuality, however, distinguish object-choice quite differently (e.g., human/animal, adult/child, singular/plural, autoerotic/alloerotic) […] Some of these other dimensions of sexuality have had high diacritical importance in different historical contexts (e.g., human/animal, autoerotic/alloerotic). Others, like adult/child object choice, visibly do have such importance today, but without being very fully subsumed under the hetero/homosexual binarism.”
Another interesting quote from hers can be found on pages 8/9:
“It is a rather amazing fact that, of the very many dimensions along which the genital activity of one person can be differentiated from that of another (dimensions chat include preference for certain acts, certain\zones or sensations, certain physical types, a certain frequency, certain symbolic investments, certain relations of age or power, a certain species, a certain number of participants, etc. etc. etc.), precisely one, the gender of object choice, emerged from the turn of the century, and has remained, as *the* dimension denoted by the now ubiquitous category of “sexual orientation.” This is not a development that would have been foreseen from the viewpoint of the fin de siecle itself, where a rich stew of male algolagnia, child-love, and autoeroticism, to mention no more of its components, seemed to have as indicative a relation as did homosexuality to the whole, obsessively entertained problematic of sexual “perversion” or, more broadly, “decadence.” Foucault, for instance, mentions the hysterical woman and the masturbating child, along with “entomologized” sexological categories such as zoophiles, zooerasts, auto-monosexualists, and gynecomasts”

Jar Jar Binks

Ah, I completely forgot to mention Jeffrey Weeks in my other comment. Well, like the other three, he also seem to be at least somewhat sympathetic towards intergenerational stuff. In this text from 2007 he reflects:
“More controversially, we also entered the debate on paedophilia and inter-generational sex. The collective statement in GL 7, ‘Happy Families’ aroused a considerable debate in GL 8.”
http://gayleft1970s.org/intro.asp

Dissident

I think the main critique about here is the incessant use of scientific and academic jargon and the often large use of statistical charts & equations that are not readily understood by the layman. That can make a read a rough experience for someone who is not acquainted with that jargon or the use of heavy statistical formulae, and creates the impression (whether justified or not) that the article was written exclusively for academic scholars and researchers.

Nada

>Contrary to popular belief, the seemingly-impenetrable jargon that is used in cultural theory generally does have meaning
The Sokal hoax[1] and Sokal Squared suggests otherwise.
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

bjmuirhead

Master Brown fully lives up to his reputation, and quite possibly exceeds it.

Kit Marlowe

I did wonder how long it would be before the Sokal hoax got a mention. It was quite a good joke, but it’s not a very good argument against anything – least of all against queer theory (which had nothing to do with the ostensible subject of the paper or the journal to which it was submitted).
The Sokal hoax was about the political critique of the physical sciences from the social sciences – which is interesting, but a whole different issue. What I would suggest, though, is that extrapolating from a single case to condemn a whole discipline – or even many disciplines – surely cannot be good practice in either field.

Nada

That hinges on “generally”. Finding a hoax paper is sufficient to show not all jargon have meaning.
Further, if experts can’t tell the difference between a hoax and the real deal – what chance does the non-experts, such as students or laymen, have? I doubt all hoaxers are as nice as Sokal and admits it.
https://www.xkcd.com/451/

Kit Marlowe

“Finding a hoax paper is sufficient to show not all jargon have meaning.”
No. It’s sufficient to show that standards of peer-review in the humanities are not always what they should be.

circle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnmfe6qskRY This video has a, I’d say, balanced view on the Sokal affair, pointing out mistakes Sokal made while also highlighting that his goal wasn’t to criticize postmodernism as a whole, but to specifically look at potential cases of misused scientific terminology within postmodern literature. In short, the media tried to frame Sokal as an “enemy” of postmodernists like Derrida, when in reality they actually agreed on most things. At the end, there’s also an amusing anectode mentioned of several journals of molecular biology publishing a paper on “midichlorians” that included dialogue of the Star Wars movies. Yet, unlike with the Sokal affair, the media didn’t conclude that molecualr biology is a hoax, recognizing that such incidences point towards problems in institutions rather than the subject of study (wether it be biology or postmodernism).

Christian

Sokal has emulators. Peter Boghossian, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsey inundated sociology journals, in particular those in gender studies, with postmodernist hoaxes. Note that several of these journals are distributed by Taylor & Francis. Some of these weird papers were accepted, and then retracted by the editor when the hoax was revealed. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievance_studies_affair
The most famous is the first one: Jamie Lindsay & Peter Boyle, “The conceptual penis as a social construct” in Cogent Social Sciences. 3(1), 2017. The PDF (without the big RETRACTED stamped on pages) can be found in Google Scholar. I quote the first paragraph of the conclusion:
We conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.
I have also a funny one about rape culture, queer performativity and dogs, in Gender, Place & Culture – A Journal of Feminist Geography.

Linca

This theory of the penis as a social construct and the driver of climate change has me laughing out loud. The old guys at my Senior Center Lunch table will be laughing today at noon. They know I am an Extinction Rebellion supporter and will tell me I need to be careful of my penis when I am with these folks. They are right. I exercise caution at demonstrations and gatherings not from the police as much as from my fellows.

Christian

They have a Google Drive folder with the papers, the reviews, etc. Have fun:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/19tBy_fVlYIHTxxjuVMFxh4pqLHM_en18

Linca

Thank you Christian. We are having this kind of problem in another field I am interested and active in: Monetary Reform. Activism combined with corrupted scholarship is leading lots of folks in the wrong direction.

Marthijn Uittenbogaard

His disclaimer/statement “that I am an apologist for pedophilia. Nothing could be further from the truth” and by not responding to you he is in my eyes not much use concerning creating a better world. When the Jews are gassed in the gas chambers he only gives them an extra kick and looks the other way. Yes, I’m a bit harsh on him, but that’s my disclaimer. Is Angelides book useful? Nothing could be further from the truth. If he ever would email me… Why would I respond to a non human being that can be gassed because he does not even exist.
I had expectations of this book but after reading the disclaimer, which I did before I read the book, my hopes were gone. As usual.
Tom O’Carroll can react without the godwins and he can write a review of this book, including about the positive things in it. I can – or will – not. His disclaimer is too important in such a way that it makes the rest of his texts more or less useless.

Kit Marlowe

The whole idea of ‘normalising’ paedophilia strikes me as a rather curious one, The accusation seems, by and large, to have its origins on the homophobic right, who – back in their 1980s heyday – were wont to protest that the social acceptance of homosexuality would lead inevitably to everyone fucking Dalmatians and donkey-punching toddlers. The liberal response to this kind of talk has not been to take it seriously – though some Continental theorists, to their credit, did – but rather blandly to repeat that they are ‘not normalising paedophilia’ – without bothering to think seriously for a moment about just what they are saying.
The problem, of course, is that for a small but non-negligible section of the population, paedophilia is *already normal*. As with homosexuality, it is the default ‘normality’ for some – and for everyone else, it is never likely to be ‘normal.’
Or is it? Because this liberal logic – as impeccable as it seemed when applied to homosexuality in the 1980s – has been breaking down for a long time. In fact, the ‘normalisation’ of homosexuality has not just affected a small minority; it has affected everyone, not least because of the recognition that same-sex attraction is something virtually anyone can experience. The worst fears of the homophobes have come true: *everyone* is a bit gay now! When same-sex activity becomes not the marker of a despised minority but just a regular item on the menu of sex acts that everyone can order off, we can truly say that homosexuality has been ‘normalised’ universally.
And maybe this is what the liberals fear: that talking openly about paedophilia as an orientation will lead to the breakdown of that orientation – that everyone will recognise that they are potentially minor-attracted, and paedophilia will cease to mean anything. That this is would be a consistent outcome of the logic of homophile sexual liberation is something that, it seems, only the right-wing homophobes have ever been prepared to recognise.
In the meantime, the ‘transgressive queer theorists’ that Angelides alludes to should perhaps concern themselves less with ‘normalising paedophilia’ than with denaturalising teliophilia. If queer theory is good for anything at all, it is for challenging the limits of what we may consider to be an acceptable object of desire.

Nada

>If queer theory is good for anything at all, it is for challenging the limits of what we may consider to be an acceptable object of desire.
Where is the challenge to the man/girl limit, set by feminists?
As for denaturalising teliophilia – why is queer theory relevant to a proper understanding of nature?

Kit Marlowe

What exactly makes you think that the “man/girl limit” is “set by feminists”? “Feminists” do seem to get blamed broadly for an awful lot of things around here. But which feminists? To what kind of feminist theory do you attribute this development? And if (as I would suggest) the “man/girl limit” predates second-wave feminism by a century or more, doesn’t that imply that you might need to look a bit more carefully into the history of these prohibitions?
As for “a proper understanding of nature” – “nature” is indeed one of those cultural phantasms that can be illuminated by all manner of critical paradigms (even, perhaps, feminism). Rather than offering a “proper understanding of nature,” I think queer theory is useful for undermining and subverting every concept of nature that we are tempted to regard as “proper.” Let’s say that if we can’t dispense with nature altogether, a thoroughly improper understanding of it ought to be our goal!

Dissident

What exactly makes you think that the “man/girl limit” is “set by feminists”? “Feminists” do seem to get blamed broadly for an awful lot of things around here. But which feminists?
That would be, I believe, the politically organized misandrists who have largely come of age in the “SJW” movement early in the current decade. They often label themselves “feminists,” which has made it easy for anyone to apply that general term to their agenda and worldview. And those latter two things are an intense hatred of men and male sexuality, along with a blatant dislike for white heterosexual men in particular. They most often bill themselves as “radical feminists” or “third wave feminists”, and have chosen to align themselves with that word and that movement due to its ease in allowing them to access and infiltrate mainstream Left movements to put a progressive activist “face” on their hateful agenda.
Their attacks on male heterosexual desires has long relied on the common emotionally manipulative tactic to denounce pedophilia and hebephilia as mainly a male phenomena, with the usual claims that this is horrible because heterosexual men have an allegedly predatory nature, including their sexuality.
To what kind of feminist theory do you attribute this development?
See above.
And if (as I would suggest) the “man/girl limit” predates second-wave feminism by a century or more, doesn’t that imply that you might need to look a bit more carefully into the history of these prohibitions?
Yes, these prohibitions extend back to the Victorian area of sexual purity ascribed to females in general, and later predominantly to younger females once women started to fight for their agency. Unfortunately, modern “third wave feminism” (read: organized misandry and the celebration of the same as something ethical and “progressive”) was quick to jump on that particular bandwagon, sometimes as early as the late 1970s, which is why so many make the attribution.
As for “a proper understanding of nature” – “nature” is indeed one of those cultural phantasms that can be illuminated by all manner of critical paradigms (even, perhaps, feminism). Rather than offering a “proper understanding of nature,” I think queer theory is useful for undermining and subverting every concept of nature that we are tempted to regard as “proper.” Let’s say that if we can’t dispense with nature altogether, a thoroughly improper understanding of it ought to be our goal!
Agreed, but the problem arises due to the fact that (as explained by Christian and others in this thread) contemporary “post-modernist” queer theory has become tainted by politics and popular conceptions of moralism. It has, on the academic and philosophical field, “accept[ed] all clichés about childhood” as inherently inviolable like Christian pointed out, and as gay radical activist Bill Andriette pointed out in the article Christian linked to. This is for the purpose of staying politically relevant and achieving their various goals with little obstruction from mainstream liberal quarters. They have even adopted neoliberal class ideologies for this reason, as Andriette likewise mentions.
These are the reasons that “feminists” are blamed for so much around here, and why that term has been applied to feminism in general rather than simply the “third wave” bastardization of it by regressives posing as progressives.

Nada

>What exactly makes you think that the “man/girl limit” is “set by feminists”?
Documented feminist hostility going back to at least the 19th century (AoC reforms etc), the existence of which is apparently partially known to you.
Is this and relationships between men and girls of no concern to the limit challenging ‘queer theory’? Much like the (alleged) MAPs praising feminism for the rare feminist mildly supportive of older women (or men) (read: teens), involved in predominantly homosexual relationships, ‘queer theory’ seems to play it safe.
South Park, with episodes about Cartman joining NAMBLA and a teacher banging an actual boy, is vastly more radical.

Kit Marlowe

It’s a pretty broad definition of ‘feminism’ you’re working with if you’re going to blame it for the statutory restriction of adult-child sex in the nineteenth century. I can think of many cultural and social factors that produced that, but none of them bears more than a tangential relationship to ‘feminism.’
This is where I think approaches like queer theory can be helpful: if you want to ask an interesting question like ‘why was an age of consent suddenly a thing in the 1880s?’ and you want a more enlightening answer than ‘because sex with kids is bad’, or even ‘because feminism’, then the sort of approaches employed by queer theorists can be really interesting and enlightening. And indeed man-boy relationships are – as Angelides hints – a matter of considerable interest for many queer theorists. Radical or not, I think a lot of writing in queer theory today offers boy-lovers interesting material for the construction of their own (makeshift – if not ramshackle) sexual identities.
And since you will insist on banging on about – bleuch! – gurls (of all things): I see absolutely no reason at all why sexual relationships between men and girls are not susceptible to exactly the same kind of approach: would you deny that girl-love is every bit as ‘queer’ as boy-love?

Nada

>It’s a pretty broad definition of ‘feminism’
The point is to cover feminism, not to construct a limited version, which doesn’t even fit the observations, including the AoC reforms. I mention these repeatably, because of the harm they have done to us, BLs included.
Why is the feminist hostility towards us such a point of contention?
As for GL being ‘queer’, I doubt it’s deviant – there are estimates of pedophilia alone ranging from a few to about 20 percent. Add in hebephilia, and the vast majority of heterosexual men are probably GLs.
Angelides’ explicit hostilty towards pedophiles, and the lack of a positive case for man/girl love suggests severe limits to the approach of ‘queer theory’. Does even BLs, who are pedophiles or nepiophiles, fall inside it?

Kit Marlowe

But the nineteenth-century AOC reforms were ***not the result of feminism!*** Or at least, not unless you’re determined to use the word “feminism” to mean “anything I happen to have decided is feminist,” which it seems you are. And if so, you’re hardly in any position to accuse queer theorists of imprecision in their use of language.
The nineteenth-century age of consent reforms – and other social reforms – resulted from lots of interesting things: Victorian social concern, industrial urbanisation, evangelical Protestantism, temperance, nineteenth-century gender roles and the moral ascendancy of the middle class. Just blaming them on “feminism” is not only misleading, it obscures all these important and interesting factors that queer theorists are likely to be sensitive to.
Feminist hostility towards paedophiles is a point of contention because it is important. Some people here believe that there is an insoluble and irreconcilable conflict between feminism and paedophilia. Some even believe that feminism is the root cause of all legal and social restrictions on paedophilia. I believe they are wrong on both counts, and that this misconception not only leads MAPs to misrecognise feminists as essential enemies, but also to fail to see the factors that actually produce paedo-phobic societies.
“Queerness” is not determined by minority status: indeed, many queer theorists would maintain that *everybody* is basically queer. What matters is not whether or not you belong to a minority, but rather the way desire is interpreted and evaluated culturally. If GL is construed as deviant, dangerous, perverse and criminal, then it is undoubtedly queer, no matter how many people might in fact be latent girl-lovers.
If you read Angelides’ disclaimer more carefully, you will observe that he is actually disassociating himself from other queer theorists: he says “I am on the published record denouncing any attempt to normalise pedophilia by way of transgressive queer theories.” The clear implication is that “transgressive queer theories” are indeed being used – or could potentially be used – to achieve exactly what Angelides wishes to avoid. And I think he’s quite right to be concerned. Inasmuch as queer theory – true to its Nietzschean and Foucaultian roots – exposes the contingency of all social norms and moral standards, Angelides’ disclaimer is a necessary disavowal of the radical potential of his own method.

Nada

In recent years, I have seen feminist alleged GLs argue for pedophile genocide, suggesting the obvious solution to the pedophile problem!
Would you claim that Hitler was no Nazi, the Nuremberg laws of 1935 were independent of Nazism (a mere corollary, perhaps, of the economy and the understandable desire to protect women and girls from rape), that Nazism holds great insights for us and we should, at the very least, listen to Nazis, if not embrace Nazism outright?
With the appropriate substitutions, this seems to be your position on feminism – academic papers, books and statements from feminists be damned!
>Feminist hostility towards paedophiles is a point of contention because it is important.
BLs bring up religion as an important factor. Yet, even religious MAPs can not only accept, but share, in the resulting harsh criticism of religion. Not so, with feminism.
As for Angelides, he not only doesn’t cover all cases (some man/girl love etc), but also denounce a purely hypothetical extension, considering pedophilia. Wishing the ‘theory’ could be extended, or cover more cases, doesn’t make it so.

Yure

I have some books here, that date from the 80s, and they do document how feminism played a role in the demoralization of man/girl relationships, along with the religious right wing. Such demoralization extended to homosexual contacts as well… A more recent book about how feminism (in general, not talking about the rare exceptions) did it and maintain it is Clancy’s “The Trauma Myth”. I think it came out in 2009. It’s saddening and maddening at the same time.

Christian

As writes Bill Andriette, another veteran of the radical gay movement, “queer theory” challenges and “deconstructs” only what is acceptable (to the State and capitalism) to challenge and “deconstruct”. It accepts all clichés about childhood, and does not object to the extreme persecution of sex offenders, in particular paedophiles. “But you can read Judith Butler till you’re blue in the face and there’s never any acknowledgment that California police are rounding up sex-offenders right in her neighborhood and sending them to jail for violating the new apartheidesque pass laws. (…) For Butler, gender is socially constructed but the minor is ontologically absolute. (…) The likes of Butler and Edelman, so far as I can see, are morally empty careerists who would lick the assholes of power no matter where they found themselves.” See the full text here: http://www.williamapercy.com/wiki/index.php?title=Queer_theory_and_the_neoliberal_/_neototalitarian_order

pink

“For Butler, gender is socially constructed but the minor is ontologically absolute.”
This accusation by Bill Andriette (apparently from 2007?) is incorrect. It’s disappointing to see him making assumptions without apparently having engaged with the literature.
This recent boychat post summarizes some quotes from Butler’s writings in which she looks at intergenerational sex, including adult/child incest, in a neutral or positive way: https://www.boychat.org/messages/1533487.htm
As the post mentions, she even held a filmed public lecture in which she discussed critical views on AoC laws, though since it’s from 2011 Andriette of course couldn’t have known that at the time when he wrote this text.

bjmuirhead

Interesting, I just tried to go the the chat linked to, and received a page that advises that the website distributes child sexual abuse material, and that it is blocked by Interpol. Having visited before, I am surprised by this, and have no idea how to get there. Is there any other way of seeing the information about Butler in this chat? And the chat itself?

bjmuirhead

Ah, it must be just in Aus. Problem resolved.

Nada

>It’s disappointing to see him making assumptions without apparently having engaged with the literature.
From the article:
She writes dryly in 1995, “Although the dependency of the child is not political subordination in any usual sense, the formation of primary passion in dependency renders the child vulnerable to subordination and exploitation, a topic that has become a preoccupation of recent political discourse”
Where is Butler’s unambigious defense of adult/child sex, including incest?

pink

“Although the dependency of the child is not political subordination in any usual sense, the formation of primary passion in dependency renders the child vulnerable to subordination and exploitation, a topic that has become a preoccupation of recent political discourse”
Andriette seems to think this sentence somehow shows that Butler is against intergenerational sex. Without knowing the context in which this quote was written, I’m pretty sure that this sentence doesn’t do this. First of all, Butler mentions that “the dependency of the child is not political subordination”. I mean, that’s just a truism (at least without context). All humans are dependent on either other humans or at the very least on food, water, and oxygen. Is a dependency on stuff like that political subordination? I suppose in some places water is indeed privatized, but usually most people would rather see it as a biological instead of a political issue in most contexts. Let’s continue: “the formation of primary passion in dependency renders the child vulnerable to subordination and exploitation” Again a truism, and the same can be said about adults. I don’t know what she means by “primary passion” (I wonder what are secondary and tertiary passions), but even if she explicitly means sexual attractions, there’s no condemnation to be found in the sentence. You can acknowledge that being dependent on someone makes a person (wether it’s e.g. an adult or a child) vulnerable (that’s kind of implied in the definition of “dependent”, isn’t it. or is there a way of being dependent without being vulnerable?), without seeing that as bad. I’m pretty sure as a feminist Butler would be someone who embraces vulnerability rather than seeing it as something to be overcome.
“Where is Butler’s unambigious defense of adult/child sex, including incest?”
The quotes provided are for my standards unambiguous enough. Butler is a mother after all and she wrote most of the quotes above when her son was a child or teenager (and held the lecture when he was 16), which I’d say was a quite bold thing to do. How many other parents are there who write more positively than she did about such issues? And how many professors are there who have held a lecture as critical of AoC laws as the one she held? Of course, just like pretty much any other influential person, she could do more, especially now that her son is an adult. I’d for example appreciate it if she’d write about youth who are pedophiles. That would probably be less controversial than what she has written before while still being important. In any case, she has done more than most people who are as famous as she is. If she’ll still write articles ten or twenty years from now, my guess is there’ll probably be a point where she’ll need to address these topics in her writing again, and I’m quite hopeful that she won’t disappoint.

Nada

When the general case has been proven, there’s no need to consider special cases, as Butler seemingly does with children.
>The quotes provided are for my standards unambiguous enough.
Really? Read what Butler wrote:
>>I do think that there are probably forms of incest that are not necessarily traumatic
>>the sexually endangered child is almost always positioned outside the home, thus veiling the sexual abuse of children within the home
Under what exact conditions is incest “not necessarily traumatic”?

pink

“Under what exact conditions is incest “not necessarily traumatic”?”
Butler elaborates on the following pages that the concept of “incest” can only exist as long as there’s the concept of the white heterosexual middle-class family. After all, without the idea of a “family” what does incest even mean? Therefore, incest is, according to Butler, not inherently traumatic.
Or to give a concrete example that I believe most people would agree upon is not traumatic, let’s think of two siblings who are infertile and who have sex with each other but neither they themselves nor anyone else is aware that they are indeed relatives. This is what Butler means by “not necessarily traumatic”. Or how would you say could the sex be traumatic for the brothers or anyone else?

bjmuirhead

In fact, the ‘normalisation’ of homosexuality has not just affected a small minority; it has affected everyone, not least because of the recognition that same-sex attraction is something virtually anyone can experience. The worst fears of the homophobes have come true: *everyone* is a bit gay now!

I have been researching sex for some time, without really taking the ideas to their logical conclusion, as a part of trying to write a few things about paedophilia. One of my ideas has been that paedophilia doesn’t really exist. I say this for a variety of reasons, beginning with the observation that paedophilia is a psychological diagnosis, and is regarded as “abnormal”. But I now include all other varieties of sex/uality into this claim. What I mean is that the nature of the human body and its sexual responses is such that anyone can, at any time, although perhaps only under some circumstances, become sexually excited by any other human being, irrespective of age, “gender” or apparent sexual preferences. (Hence there is paedosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, and so on, as descriptors of primary sexual interest, but not as indicating some exclusive sexual attraction.)
There is an obviousness in this claim, perhaps due to our unwillingness to accept the “polymorphous sexuality” of all humans at all ages. But this obvious ability to respond sexually to just about anything and anyone suggests to me that people are afraid that they may respond sexually to a child. hence the type of situation described by Kincaid, where children are presented as ultimately sexual, but also as completely asexual. This is to say that the fear of “normalising” paedophilia seems to be the fear of facing that a child may be sexually exciting to them in a real rather than fantasised manner.
This, at least, is the idea that I am playing with at the moment, and which may assist in explaining why so many of the public are willing to say that someone is a paedophile, whether or not the person so identified is a paedophile or sexually interested in the child they are interacting with.
I will not go deeper into what I think about this, rather I will leave it as all humans are capable of being sexually excited and interacting sexually with just about anyone, and most likely anything, as being behind the fear of “normalising” paedophilia. (I keep using the term paedophilia simply because nearly everyone else does so.)

bjmuirhead

Firstly, Tom, I would never patronize you! Nor anyone else, because we all do know our own feelings. Furthermore, I respect you and your writings far too much to think about “talking down” to you. Bluntly, I would not be here if your writing and the comments section did not challenge me, or if I didn’t respect the opinions/research/etc that I read. (But I do sometimes fly off with my ideas without due thought when I am writing them down. The advantage of a notebook is that I don’t appear silly in public, as I sometimes do here and in other places.)
I left out so much of the view I am developing, specifically, I did not talk about those who are purely one way or the other in their sexuality. Just as you are exclusively paedophilic, I am exclusively an adult loving hetero. What I am suggesting is that the human body and its responses are essentially open and polymorphous, as Freud used the term. I did not intend to say that we cannot be exclusive in our sexuality, merely that we are not necessarily exclusive.
Is this an article of faith for me? No, not really, it is something I have been thinking about as I read people like Primoratz, and as I have been studying biological psychology. I think the idea is repugnant to many, but some psychologists I have talked to have thought the idea has some value, with the caveat that we cannot choose to be attracted to someone outside our normal attractions. I, for example, can find some men very attractive (handsome?), but I do not and cannot choose to be sexually attracted to them. The question for me is whether I could be sexually excited over and above the aesthetic, and choose to or be seduced into sexual acts with them. I suspect that in the right situation (desert island anyone?), this may be possible, not because I am attracted to men, but out of sheer propinquity. Would this type of polymorphousness be possible for everyone? In theory, yes, but in “real life? Probably not.
Again, If I look at the way our bodies are, and if I believe some of the stories and research I have read, then the answer is yes. But always with the caveat that there will be some for whom this is not and never will be the case.
As for your repugnance for adults, I also find some adults repugnant, usually those over about 40 When people tell me to have a relationship with someone my own age, (and they do, because they can’t help themselves), I cringe in horror and, bluntly, I expect the women in the age group I favour to cringe in horror at the thought of having sex with me (sadly).
But, to repeat myself, I am developing these ideas, and still leave room to find that they are nonsense and totally resile from them. One of the reasons for this willingness is my own sense of intellectual integrity, another is that the pure personal fact that I cannot, and I mean really and totally cannot, imagine having sex with a man (to be expected, as a hetero) or a woman my own age. This very personal aspect does mean that I am questioning where my reading and thinking is taking me, but I will follow it until it is nonsense, or I find further reasons to believe it.
One of the difficulties I face in this respect is that there always is a caveat to be mentioned and taken into account. My apologies for not mentioning this in my original post.
Mind you, to a large extent, my view depends on what we mean by sex and sexuality and sexual attraction. I suspect I have a broader view than most, as I am elaborating on Primoratz’s “plainer sex” ideas. I always forget to mention that my definition of sex is very open, one could even say “inclusive”.
Ok, I think I’ve got it right this time. But I admit that if I read over my answer one more time, I will add another thousand words of theory and explanation, and probably another apology or two. Shit I hate it when I piss (upset/annoy/etc) someone off without meaning to.

bjmuirhead

Yes, I expressed myself quite badly, and I apologise again.
I certainly did not mean to say that paedophiles do not exist, or to diminish you experience.
I intended, and thought I had said, that I think the terms is mere medicalising jargon, that it does not reflect adult-child attractions or sexuality.
I shall start hand writing end editing my posts again; I think much better when I write it all down, and do not make such mistakes as often.

BJ Freedman

Me too.

Linca

Yes: The Witch Hunters Never Stop. My relationship with a man 19-years older than me was my greatest relationship ever. I must have been 12-years-old or so. His family moved into my neighborhood when I was in the 1st Grade. We became old men together. It is sad that authors like the ones in this post do not stand their ground.

Yure

I also had a relationship with a man 20 years older than me when I was a kid. I don’t really wish it was different.

Cyril

Please, tell your stories to Titus Rivas: ipcetrivas@gmail.com (or at least write them down here, or send them to him through Tom O’Carroll), this may help to stop the witch-hunt.

Yure

I have told. Unfortunately, Rivas said he has no interest in making a 4th Edition of Positive Memories.

Yure

Thank you.

BJ Freedman

Not available at US Amazon…and £20 for the Kindle or paperback. I’ll have to wait for the torrent. I took a screenshot of “More About the Author” and the reviews and comments. Author’s space is blank and there are no comments or reviews. So it’s either a new and very niche product or people are….afraid to post.

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