C4’s Andy show: Nailed it? Or failed it?

Heretics will be pleased to learn that today’s guest blog makes not a single mention of Prince Harry. We have heard quite enough about his frost-bitten todger, thank you very much, and his presumably much hotter teenage (but legal) sexual debut with “an older woman”, to say nothing of all his entitled whinging. But this will not be a royalty-free zone because there is the important matter of Harry’s even more controversial Uncle Andrew to discuss. “Prue”, well known as an erudite commentator here and creator of superb Newgon pages, takes up the challenge below in their second guest blog. Billed as a review of a Channel 4 TV show, they have actually given us something much more, by anchoring thoughts about the programme itself in a much deeper and broader cultural setting – and by questioning the entire satirical premise that “Randy Andy” should be seen as a figure of fun.  

 

PRINCE ANDREW: THE MUSICAL – A REVIEW

Our ears have been bent inescapably in recent years by media monsterings of Jeffrey Epstein as a depraved sex offender. Previously lauded as a major philanthropist who donated millions towards the advancement of education and cutting-edge science, even this good work has been trashed. Worst of all, we are led to believe, Epstein was just the tip of the iceberg of an imagined paedophilic elite. See here, here, and here, among countless stories.

Epstein was a high school maths teacher turned wealthy financier, who would become known for alleged sexual experiences during his time living as a socialite with his friend and likely occasional sexual/romantic partner Ghislaine Maxwell, with the pair amassing an extensive list of influential connections. Epstein and Maxwell were eventually indicted (and Maxwell convicted) for conspiring to bring young women, some of them post-pubescent minors “as young as 14”, to Jeffrey for sexual purposes. This allegedly involved crossing borders (i.e. sex trafficking), including flying to at least one of two private islands Epstein owned in the Caribbean (the U.S. virgin islands). In 2008, Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and procuring a minor for prostitution, and like most people accused of sexual offences in the U.S. (Taylor, 2018) he did not stand trial but accepted a plea bargain, serving 13 months in custody with work release.

Better days… Jeffrey Epstein with Ghislaine Maxwell together in a log cabin. The New York Post said the cabin “appears to be” one that is located on the late Queen’s Balmoral estate.

In 2019, Epstein was again arrested but died in custody, leaving the online world endlessly speculating on whether his suicide by hanging was in fact a cover-up killing to silence him from exposing the true extent of the “paedophilic elite”. Speculative and lending itself to conspiracy theory, “Epstein didn’t kill himself” became a popular joke online.

However, as Lady Colin Campbell explained to the horror of self-identified left-wing Novara Media reporters, Epstein has been incorrectly dubbed a paedophile in media. If anything, Epstein’s alleged behaviour indicates he was an “ephebophile”, predominantly attracted to teenagers around the typical legal age of consent in the United States (18 years) and not to people before puberty (i.e. a paedophile). Or, as ex-president Donald Trump, who had been among Epstein’s friends, put it: Jeffrey “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side”.

Epstein remains big news, but so are his friends, including the subject of Prince Andrew: The Musical, broadcast on Channel 4 late last month and billed as a “hilarious, all-singing, all-dancing reimagining of the Duke of York’s very public fall from grace”. Andrew was accused of having sex with Virginia Giuffre when she was 17, after being brought (“trafficked”) to Andrew by Jeffrey Epstein. The ensuing media firestorm saw Andrew denying any wrongdoing and withdrawing from public roles in May 2020, with many of his military/royal titles being removed by the late Queen Elizabeth II in January 2022. Giuffre had filed a civil lawsuit over sexual assault in the State of New York, which was settled out of court in February 2022 for what is speculated to be a very large sum.

After seeing the trailer for this musical – a trailer which made sure to make explicit mention that Andrew was “friends with a paedophile!” – I expected that the show would have at least one relevant scene of interest. I was naive. Rather than one, it had many. It had so many that it became clear the whole musical was just an excuse to attack the prince as a lech – “Randy Andy” as he is repeatedly called. The very first scene of the musical begins by re-enacting and splicing clips from the infamous BBC Newsnight interview, where Andrew stated that he didn’t regret his friendship with the dreaded “paedophile” Jeffrey Epstein.

The spectre of this interview and Andrew’s friendship with Epstein remains constant in the musical. Their association makes up the cornerstone of three scenes, placed deliberately at the start, middle, and end. Towards the end we even see Prince Charles watching the BBC interview when Andrew is asked if he regrets his friendship. Charles implores the screen in frustration, “You have one fucking job… just say yes!” When Andrew does not, we the audience are treated to the final musical number “You’ll Always Need an Andrew”, conveying an up-beat, cynical message that the only reason someone like him is kept around is to make the other royals look good by comparison.

To me, this interview of Andrew was not the “car crash” it has since been dubbed. Although, I will admit the humour in Andrew defending his continued relationship with Epstein after his prison sentence via his “tendency to be too honourable”, something the musical picks up on by framing Andrew as conceited: “the favourite son of the sovereign queen in whose radiance we are all basking”. It is, however, easy for me to imagine that if you had visited and stayed with a good friend multiple times over multiple years, then no matter if someone is arrested, scandalised and/or unpopular, you wouldn’t regret your entire friendship. To me, Andrew answered the explicit question, missing the subtext: Do you regret being friends with a paedophile? The expected answer, unfortunately for the lonely, afraid, suicidal MAPs, the distressed, confused MAP children growing up who may see this programme and others like it, is “yes”.

No sweat… Andrew coolly nailing it (or not) in that notorious Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis

Here, the British general public are seeing what historian Rachel Hope Cleves called the 21st century figure of the “monstrous paedophile” (Cleves, Unspeakable 2020, p. 278; reviewed here). The public hears this question and wonders why Andrew doesn’t distance himself from the “monster figure” that Epstein has become. The need for the interview itself, the fact that “paedophile” was even uttered, and the negative response to the interview – all this reflects both a lack of basic education on MAP issues, and suggests that much of the public have never met an “out” paedophile (see reactions to MAPs coming out in Walker 2021, reviewed here). The general public have no human face/stakes to prompt the realisation that, as Cleves herself bravely stated in response to commentaries on her work (10 May, 2022), “paedophiles are not monsters”. Here, Andrew was living in reality: he was thinking of his friend.

Overall, the show does indeed manage to be hilarious, as claimed. It makes fun of the big moments of Andrew’s life: his military service, his marriage and divorce, his service as a trade envoy and his fall from grace over his association with Epstein. Andrew and Charles are mocked for their suspect monetary deals, associations with dictators, and in Andrew’s case, his use of taxpayer money to fly on private jets, going from “Randy Andy” to “Air-miles Andy” and back again. There’s an interesting presentation of Andrew asserting his desire to fight the Virginia Giuffre case against him in court, before being undercut by Prince Charles who settles the case out of court against Andrew’s will.

Kieran Hodgson (centre) wrote and stars in Prince Andrew: The Musical. Photograph: Rob Parfitt/Channel 4/PA

While I like the musical overall, I dislike how alleged minor-attraction is framed as morally bankrupt, and how the show draws its cultural force from repeated exploits of the interconnected Epstein and Andrew scandals, with the rest of Andrew’s life far less prominent. These scandals easily fulfil academically accepted criteria for “moral panic,” and one line in the musical subtly suggests this view, saying to Andrew that “no one wants to lower the tone…no one wants to hear what you say”. To me, the worst problem is how the show, likely unintentionally, plays into the largely politically/culturally right-wing elite “paedophile”/“gay groomer” hysteria/conspiracy theory which has spread with massive popularity online in recent years. There is a long history of accusations of child abuse within anti-Semitic propaganda (see, for example, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and The Poisonous Mushroom), and Epstein’s popularity comes off the back of anti-MAP and veiled anti-Semitic conspiracy theories which have arguably resurrected the satanic panic of the 1980s (see Victor, 1998; Breland, 2019) in a new guise. Epstein’s case provided a perception of legitimacy to “elite pedophile” conspiracy theories, especially QAnon, which had gained popularity by piggybacking on the otherwise innocuous (now banned) Twitter hashtag #SaveTheChildren. On how the Right use dog whistles and slight-of-hand, belief and conspiratorial thinking to radicalise its followers, I highly recommend Innuendo Studio’s YouTube series “The Alt-Right Playbook”, and, for this discussion, the dissection of QAnon by youtuber Folding Ideas, who compares flat-earth theorists to QAnon believers. Starting from Part 2, Folding Ideas explains QAnon as follows:

QAnon is a fascist Biblical esoteric apocalypse cult that believes an anonymous agent known only as Q is leaking sensitive, “above top secret” information to “patriots”, revealing that the supposed political and cultural opponents of Donald J. Trump – the so-called “Deep State” and “Hollywood elite” – are the minions of “the Cabal”; literal Satan-worshipping paedophiles who kidnap, traffic, molest and terrorise children in order to produce and harvest Adrenochrome, a by-product of the body producing Adrenaline, which they use to get high during the ritual worship of their lord who is, again, Satan. A constructed enemy so cartoonishly evil that it justifies discarding basically all human rights in order to turn basically any opposition to Trump into a crime, in a sweeping authoritarian purge of undesirables and political opponents called “The Storm”.

The Storm is sometimes referred to as “draining the swamp”, with “Hollywood elites” representing a dog whistle for the Jewish elite via the most infamous scandals of Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, and of course, Jeffrey Epstein, who all coincidentally have Jewish-sounding names. Anti-Semitism is a bannable offence online, so it must be hidden on most popular platforms through coded messaging which can appear innocuous to people who merely think they want to #SaveTheChildren. Because the hysteria around Epstein and the Jewish cabal thrives, the hysteria around “elites” like Prince Andrew thrives. Interconnected, Epstein and Andrew have become part of a seemingly endless feedback loop which radicalises otherwise apolitical “ordinary” people to believe they are enacting morally just violence against some component of the “paedophilic elite”. Transgender individuals are particularly scapegoated in connection with MAPs online (see libsoftiktok), as recently seen in the “Club Q” shooting which saw five deaths in response to an advertisement for an “all ages” drag event. Other significant events are the Pizzagate conspiracy (and shooting), and the storming of the U.S. Capitol building by Trump-QAnon supporters on 6 January, 2021. The latter, in which five people died, saw protestors who expressed their intent to publicly execute Trump’s political opponents (“hang Mike Pence”).

The musical addresses serious issues – economic and social class, divorce, and taboo sex. I have no sympathy for monarchy or royalty, and in a just world, either everyone would have a standard of living equivalent to royalty, or the royals would have their large estates used as social/council housing. Nevertheless, the musical successfully makes comedy out of Andrew’s privileged life, with one of the funniest things being the sense of drama and exaggeration throughout what is likely Andrew’s very mundane, conventional life. Appealing to “consensus morality” (Rind, 2002) indicative of moral panic, Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey is played-up, and not his alleged sex with Virginia Giuffre. Why is that? The answer is simple: because no one in their right mind cares if you have mutually willing sex with a 17-year-old. In England, their alleged sex would not be illegal, and I can comfortably assert that there is a gap on this issue between the silent majority in this country – at least a generational gap – versus the bourgeois media.

In February last year, I happened to be at an event frequented by my former college teachers, who I could now speak freely with as equals without the censorious pressure to maintain a rigid teacher-student gap. Prince Andrew was the hot topic. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the general consensus was “Well he probably did do it, but I can’t see why it’s such a big issue.” The obvious points about Giuffre having ulterior (financial) motives, along with the offshoot of celebrity and clout to be gained, both goals which have now been fulfilled, were raised and agreed with. What was the commonality here? These people were all middle-class, well-educated and over the age of 40. They were people who did not have a large social media presence or jobs like online streaming, which rely on survival in hotly contested online spaces prone to in-fighting. However, many of them were teachers or professional artists. They had a lot to lose, and they wouldn’t take the risk of arguing in the comments section, writing articles or otherwise drawing attention to themselves just to point out what everyone else is thinking. Experiences like these are common in my life, and confirm to me that the queer desires of adolescents and teenagers are a rapidly changing silent majority issue. Prince Andrew: The Musical doesn’t give us the details, especially not the details of Giuffre’s alleged sexual experience with Andrew, because the details make it harder to not feel conflicted. To have any cultural weight, to appeal to dominant sentiment, the musical has to frame Andrew as a suspect and sex obsessed “Randy Andy” friend to paedophiles from the start; someone who brought a “sexual predator” and a “vile sexual abuser” into the Palace.

The recently deceased sociologist Ken Plummer (1946-2022), in his earliest published piece on paedophilia, concluded in 1979 that “Paedophilia is a sensitive issue, especially at present. It is capable of evoking the most extreme and violent reactions amongst ‘ordinary’ and sincere people.” In researching this piece, I discovered a relevant video, “Lawrence Krauss, Jeffrey Epstein, and Firing Your Heroes into the Sun”, by the science youtuber Rebecca Watson who self-describes as “founder of the Skepchick Network, a collection of sites focused on science and critical thinking”. The video discusses the popular scientist and public intellectual Lawrence Krauss, who runs his own YouTube channel and who was a personal friend to Epstein.

In an email exchange between Watson and Krauss, he is quoted as saying:

Based on my direct experience with Jeffrey, which is all I can base my assessment on, he is a thoughtful, kind, considerate man who is generous to his friends, and all of the women I have known who have been associated with Jeffrey speak glowingly in the same words..
…Jeffrey apparently paid for massages with sex… I believe him when he told me he had no idea the girls were underage, and I doubt that people normally are asked for or present a driver’s licence under such circumstances… Moreover, I also believe that Jeffrey is an easy target for those who want to take advantage of him… Moreover, I can say with great honesty that Jeffrey’s time in prison led him to seriously examine his life in very positive ways and I don’t believe in blanket condemnations of people. He served time for something that was determined was inappropriate. I honestly don’t know who was the victim in this case. Probably everyone was a victim, with no happy resolution or consequences of these activities. I fully expect that these masseuses knew what they were doing, and were not swayed to do anything with Jeffrey that they were not already doing. That is not to approve of the whole behaviour, but lots of people I know and like have behaviour I don’t entirely approve of. I know it is not politically correct to say that, because in general this is a very sensitive issue and all other things being equal one should take the side of the young women. But all things are not equal in this case, from my point of view. It is a judgement call, and I will not turn my back on a good friend so easily.

Watson, despite claiming to be a sceptical science buff, loses all scepticism in her video. She condemns Krauss in incendiary, moralistic language, and seems unable to see past the emotive labels of “rape”, “paedophile”, and “sex offender” assigned to Krauss’s now deceased friend, declaring that “no paedophile has ever, or will ever, be my hero”. If, as Plummer stated in the 1970s, “paedophilia” could make ordinary people ally with the politically right-wing National Front thugs of his day, its spectre evidently has the power to do the same if not more today.

The show left me feeling that MAPs have an uphill struggle if they seek social acceptance. Arguably, last year has seen many watershed moments for the highly marginalised minor-attracted (MAP) community, with MAP-discourse becoming increasingly mainstream in the Allyn Walker controversy among other scandals. Newgon identifies 13 examples in 2022 alone. There is a widespread culture of risk and fear around children and their expansive “childhoods”, which now extend to age 18, with teenagers reportedly less rebellious than in the past (Fisher, 2022), education lasting longer and longer, and financial autonomy/independence being attained later in life, if ever. The pendulum appears to me, for the moment, to be swinging towards increased tension around age and gender non-conformity, especially around children’s queer desires and their earlier access to technology.

Liberals and leftists will one-day have to confront age as an axis of oppression with the same understanding and dedication given to gender non-conformity, lest they wind up associated with MAPs as “trans groomers” versus MAPs as human beings (Vaerwaeter, 2022), as the cultural right-wing has been very successfully attempting to do via popular social media accounts such as libsoftiktok. For now, the violence we have seen will likely continue. While Prince Andrew: The Musical is amusing and perhaps uncontroversial for some, for those “in-the-know” who believe in some shade of the “paedophilic elite”, the show will only enable their radicalisation and justify their beliefs. Just as censorship always has effects beyond its stated aims (Mader and Hekma, 2013), a TV satire such as this can have effects beyond making us all laugh. It perpetuates the dehumanisation of alleged MAPs as “predators”, something MAPs themselves may see as normal and ordinary as they, like other sexual minority groups, internalise society’s negative stereotypes (termed “internalised paedonegativity” in Elchuck et al. 2021). It is, to me, a bad sign that “paedophile” is used as a term of abuse and dehumanisation on a national television programme, enabling the ridicule of a royal family member’s entire life, now filtered through a MAP-phobic lens.

If you want to see social acceptance, to express yourself openly, to build a world where young people have far greater autonomy and freedom along with a freer economic and sexual climate for everyone, then hate-speech media will need to be challenged, counterbalanced and overcome by positive media representation. In the ongoing war of adjacency, you can be part of that change.

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Prue

In lighter news to my below comment:

Made the pages for:

https://www.newgon.net/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki
https://www.newgon.net/wiki/Nobuhiro_Watsuki
https://www.newgon.net/wiki/Kenya_Suzuki
https://www.newgon.net/wiki/Bill_Nash

And further updated https://www.newgon.net/wiki/Roger_Moody by summarizing his ‘How to Make Pedophilia Acceptable‘ (1986) chapter

The Nobu Watsuki page is a bit personal bc I’ve always like his famous series Rurouni Kenshin, before and after he was arrested for CP. Doesn’t change my view of his work nor the merit of it, and it’s great to see other famous artists, indeed probably the most famous manga artist alive right now – Eichiro Oda – sticking by their friends. Readers will have noticed that sticking by your friends, refusing to disavow them, is one of the themes subtly carried throughout this blog post, with both Prince Andrew and Lawrence Krauss refusing to disavow their friend Epstein. If you ask me, there’s something quite beautiful and moral about that, especially in the age of cancel culture…

Note also how America dropped Watsuki but Japan didn’t, and the now continuing series remains popular there, and a great money maker 🙂

Prue

According to Boychat, Ad Van de Berg has died https://boychat.org/messages/1605355.htm

Not sure if this is true. If so, it’s very sudden. I can recall seeing him in Newgon’s pmca chat last week.

Prue

Well it almost certainly must be true then. RIP to Ad. I didn’t know him in the slightest or have even a single extented interaction, but whatever one’s impression of him might be, he certainly was a motivated fighter till the end…

Prue

Made the Newgon pages for:

Not overtly related to the blog post but may be of interest. Will be doing Hayao Miyazaki next; yes, *that* Miyazaki, of Spirited Away fame. It turns out all your heroes have some relevance to minor-attraction; certainly, I’ve discovered that many of mine have. Amazing and terrifying, how utterly transformative reading and researching can be…

Leonerd

Great. I also suggest adding pages about danish sexologists Preben Hertoft and his book “Crimes without victims”. And also about “Childhood Sensuality Circle” and its founder Valida Davila.

Strat

All of this will be in the pipeline:

https://www.newgon.net/wiki/NewgonWiki:To-do_list

In fact, we allow trusted editors on board just to make suggestions and links to relevant research on individuals, publications, events and organizations.

Building an article can involve considerable research, or it can be as simple as assimilating or distilling material from a Wikipedia article and doing the finishing touches.

hikari

I was just thinking that since everyone is getting caught up in “groomer” accusations these days, the term is starting to lose its bite. That is, if you call someone a groomer, I think certain groups of people (that are growing in number) are going to dismiss it as overblown or look at it skeptically. I feel like this is our chance to talk about why the term “grooming” is dumb in the first place. Often, all it really means is that you’re influencing someone to do something that *you* don’t agree with. We need to find language that is more precise and accurate to describe exactly how someone is being abusive. I also think more people are noticing that “exposing children to sexuality” is also an overused term, and doesn’t cut it to describe abuse.

Last edited 5 days ago by hikari
Leonerd

Wikipedia article about Bonobo chimpanzees, who are known for engaging in intergenerational relationships, has a caption under the photo “Grooming: reinforcement of social links”. In fact, it’s right. A caring, friendship, mentoring, erotic experience strengthens social bonds and harmonize society. But woke-newspeak perverts any humane concepts. Now the flirting is Harassment and friendliness is Grooming.

Christian

For domesticated animals, the word ‘grooming’ means care of their body by the owner; for apes, it means the social practice of removing lice on the body of another ape, which represents an expression of politeness and good will. The recent anti-sex victimology has perverted the meaning of the word. Other words have been perverted. My 1910 dictionary defines ‘to fondle’ as ‘to treat with tenderness; to caress;’ my 1984 dictionary defines it as ‘to touch or stroke lovingly,’ with the example ‘fondling a kitten.’ Now victimologists mean by it sexual touch, and generally interpret it as sexual assault.

Perplexed

Biologically speaking, we are equidistant relatives to bonobos and chimpanzees. We just discovered and projected onto chimps first. Chimps are violent, aggressive, domineering, and patriarchal. Bonobos substitute sex for violence, more pacific, more egalitarian, and matriarchal. Read what you will from that.

Perplexed

It’s because, unless you’re talking about someone pretending to be friendly, kind, intimate, and loving- basically that someone isn’t actually affectionate but in fact purposefully being a specially kind of torturously cruel for whatever reason (which indeed would be an outstanding kind of cruelty and a kind of cruelty far rarer than the known frequency of supposed and real abuse and rape at that), grooming is nothing more than being affectionate and trying to be close to someone and truly be loving with and to them, regardless of whatever mistakes someone makes or hurt they inadvertently cause. There is no difference between “grooming” and being fatherly, motherly, parental, sisterly, brotherly, familial, friendly, cromradly, romantic, loverly, or relational. It is how all relationships work, how all relationships are built- whether romantic, platonic, friendly, familial, or sexual.

All we’re doing is scaring the piss and shit out of children anytime they feel any kind of affection for someone, or someone expresses any kind of affection for them- making them feel predatory for trying to express that affection, or making them feel averse to receiving affection. It makes them touch starved, self hating, ashamed, and making people insane and suicidal. It is fueling the general sense of isolation that everyone is increasingly feeling, especially youth, and winds up making people actually, truly abusive- it how coldness, psychopathy, and acting out and up are actually brought to fruition- how we get the misogynist, the misoped, the mass shooter, the sexual abuser, the rapist, the torturer, the power grabber, etc.

Last edited 4 days ago by Perplexed
Perplexed

I have long now realized the bullshit that is “grooming” and our conflating it with exploiting (which is real, and does happen, and is common- Jeffrey Epstein is an example of exploitation- but exploitation has many faces that are not related to sexual exploitation). I have wracked my brain endlessly and searched tirelessly to figure out what “grooming” is- and I cannot find anything different about it than any other healthy, normal, desireable relationship dynamic other than sex might happen as a result or as part of it- an expression of that love, whether mutually wanting sex, wanting to sex another, or accepting sex from another even if one isn’t big on sex, but doesn’t find it disagreeable to have it for the other person.

But if that’s true- then adults cannot consent to sex either, and all “adult” relationships are the result of grooming. Dating is grooming. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is grooming. Seeking out a relationship for the eventual purpose of marriage and family is grooming. Having friends is grooming. Having sleepovers is grooming. Feeling and expressing any liking or affection whatsoever is grooming. Being more than just passing, mere acquaintances is grooming. Which leaves us with what? Mutual uncaring and exploitative, transactional relationships. Which is truly more exploitative and abusive? Little wonder everyone is depressed, anxious, and suicidal. Little wonder we’re going absolutely insane in our loneliness.

And make no mistake, this trend is coming for all adult relationships. Even the straight ones will eventually succumb to it, not just queer relationships and age-gap adult relationships (which are already being attacked outside queer spaces and even inside queer spaces). The puritanism we find ourselves enthralled by is either going to burn itself out, or purge humanity of all love and affection, and eventually purge humanity itself. One need look no further than Japan and Korea and the neurotic divergence it is experiencing. Hypersexuality and puritanism are two sides of the same coin. It leads to mandatory, obligatory hypersexuality on one hand and total sexual isolation and coerced, tortured sexlessness on the other.

heyyouyeahyou42

One thing I never hear about is heterosexual grooming in childrens entertainment. When the cartoon Prince and Princess touch lips in a physical expression of love, alarmists do not freak out about such sexualized media. If anything these moments are lauded as wonderful examples of healthy, non-woke, family values displayed onscreen. But if there are two mommies or two daddies featuree, this is obviously twisted brainwashing on the part of degenerates who seek to influence the impressionable with their nefarious alphabetical ideology!!

That said, I agree there is usually ‘agenda’ at play, but given that the agenda is one of promoting acceptance and tolerance, I can’t be bothered to care. Certain issues involving gender identity, sure, but like, a gay kiss? Oh nooooooo!

When it’s Good the words used are “childrearing”, “raising”, “preparing”, “teaching”, etc… When it’s Bad it’s “indoctrinating”, “brainwashing”, and worst of all “grooming”.

Perplexed

It really is the height of hypocrisy. Couldn’t agree more.

Zen Thinker

It’s already too late for them. Child sexuality is too far advanced. We passed the tipping point and now events will naturally take their course.

When schools and government become “groomers” the term is made a nonsense.

They lost and we won. But it may take a generation to feed through.

Zen Thinker

Tom, I wasn’t thinking especially of “parents” as losers in this significant cultural shift towards more sexualised children. Indeed, my experience of Instagram shows a strong bond between mothers and their daughters, for example, where the young girl seems very liberated and often poses knowingly under the adult male gaze. Men have learned to be polite and respectful or they get a block, but young girls can be beautiful, risqué, provocative and precocious, mostly in alliance with their parents.

The real “losers” in this rapidly developing cultural change are the staunch and hubristically intransigent “conservative” or “trad” parents, the type that believe in homeschooling their kids and are a diminishing minority.

They have always been loud in the cultural fight, and Ron DeSantis is their cheerleader (eg. he wants the death penalty for child rape – not sure if that includes statutory rape).

If DeSantis was conceivably a future president (even though he has socially “hard right” niche views) that could set back children’s freedoms and the, by now, slightly growing acceptance of adults fancying children. We’ll see.

Perplexed

Are you American? He does not hold “niche views”. His views are very much part of the mainstream of American society, and certainly are common among Republican voters. And either he or Trump will be president come 2025.

As for parents winning and losing- the 2020s and 2030s will see the last burst of fighting over parents vs the state, only to end, I believe, in the diminishing authority of both, long term. It is the autonomy of the child that is coming. Not parental authority or curating, not state warding and in loco parentis or parens patriae.

Conservatives and Republicans will fight it tooth and nail, and will succeed for a time for this decade. Many progressives will aid them too (in ways witting and unwitting), before they finally get shaken so bad by conservative rollbacks of LGBTQ and women’s rights, that feminists and queer people will be shaken out of their current puritanical stupor and rediscover their own post-war era roots. As of right now, the overturn of Roe and various other court rulings and legislation passed in numerous Republican states apparently hasn’t been enough of a thorough slap across the face. They all got so focus on girl-bossing and marriage equality that they forgot that those were compromise positions to appease the right. Well, the right is not appeased. They’ll never be appeased until we reach some nonexistent better past.

Last edited 3 days ago by Perplexed
Zen Thinker

DeSantis seems extreme to a mild-mannered Brit who is used to Sunak and Starmer.

I think children will be granted a greater societal role too – especially through the dramatic ongoing development of social technologies.

heyyouyeahyou42

Indeed, my experience of Instagram shows a strong bond between mothers and their daughters, for example, where the young girl seems very liberated and often poses knowingly under the adult male gaze. Men have learned to be polite and respectful or they get a block, but young girls can be beautiful, risqué, provocative and precocious, mostly in alliance with their parents.

Ah yes, Instagram. The great “Pedo Playground” as it has been termed by the anti’s. They’re not wrong though! It’s an environment where grown men, sometimes posing under a false age, sometimes not, can come to be part of the smiling, dancing, fun-loving energy exuded by happy-go-lucky LG’s. The parents running these “Mom Monitored” accounts are obviously aware that a sizable portion of their audience includes adults with a sexual interest in their daughters. While explicit messages are blocked and reported, it is hardly a mystery what a cluster of flame emojis is getting at.

For MAPs who are regularly despised and verbally assaulted on other major social media platforms, Instagram is a breath of fresh air. It’s like the inverse of Reddit (post- r/jailbait era of course) and Youtube. Certainly there are haters and vigilantes out to out, but they are often ratioed and drowned out in a sea of positivity and compliments put forth by girl lovers. Plus one can’t help but wonder what these white knights are doing on these profiles *themselves*, ya know?

While some behaviour, especially from the very young, seems more monkey-see-monkey-do #trending content, there is an overwhelming amount of thousands upon thousands of accounts showcasing girls who willingly and without adult assistance show off their bodies (midriff and rumps especially) and are obviously enjoying themselves. They are providing reams of visual proof. It doesn’t take a self interested ‘perv’ to arrive at such conclusions – the beaming smiles, knowing winks, and laughter all serve as evidence that children are sexual beings with a desire to express themselves. “Self generated abuse material” – Ha!

Valid criticisms are to be made about the young and dangers of social media with the pursuit of Likes based primarily upon how one looks, but in my experience there seems to be far more instances of encouragement and positive reinforcement than there is cyberbullying. I have difficulty seeing this as a drastic social ill.

For MAPs I truly believe that Instagram will do more for increased acceptance of our kind than many, if not most, of the pro-pedo political efforts of the past few decades. Really! Campaigns of “Stranger Danger” are ongoing, but never before in human history have kids been so directly exposed to the ‘monsters in our midst’ as they are today. I think, even with as much fearmongering as there is out there, it will become more and more difficult to convince the up and coming generations that the huge swaths of people online who flood their comments with hearts and the occasional remark on body parts they find attractive (which the kids themselves probably share in thinking are cute bits about themselves) are the Big Bad Wolves intent on destroying their lives. Us ‘abnormals’ are a normal part of their daily experience and partially responsible for dopamine boosts. We become associated with feeling good. The revolution will come from the youth themselves whose lived experience directly contradicts the dominant narrative.

Zen Thinker

Instagram is a great confidence booster for kids. I’ve seen young girls with very ropey looks get a thousand likes, simply because they’re children.

Totally agree, Instagram is a great, positive advert for intergenerational attraction. As a safe ersatz social space combining MAPs and children, mediated by parents, it’s the perfect formula.

It shows such a future is possible.

I don’t follow any independent child run accounts, only “mum” accounts. Much safer to have that mediation, trust me. Say the wrong thing to a child and you can get three years in jail just like that. Not that I ever would, but there’s plenty of professional fake “entrapment” accounts too. Mum accounts are the way forward.

I’ve only ever commented twice, said a six year old was “wonderful” and an eight year old had a “beautiful smile”. Parents are cool, they let both comments stand. No negative experiences.

Instagram is a societal blueprint for the successful coexistence and (mediated) interaction between MAPs and children. It works.

heyyouyeahyou42

Instagram is a great confidence booster for kids. I’ve seen young girls with very ropey looks get a thousand likes, simply because they’re children.

Exactly. For those who bemoan the dominance of a singular beauty ideal, just hop on the Gram and you will see that all ages, shapes, colors, etc… have their admirers. The amputees are praised for their TikTok dance challenge vids and get to be included. People with down syndrome will receive compliments. Chubby girls get to know that they too have admirers. Almost always social media is framed as a confidence *destroyer*, what with always comparing to others, but I really don’t think it’s as simple as that.

Totally agree, Instagram is a great, positive advert for intergenerational attraction. As a safe ersatz social space combining MAPs and children, mediated by parents, it’s the perfect formula. It shows such a future is possible.

Thus the fearmongering by anti’s desperate to prevent such evolution. But whereas it’s easy to drum up support for taking down ‘Dark Web’ boogeymen, Instagram is such a mainstream platform that the scare tactics are failing to land. I know it’s common to laugh off the idea of a Pedo Elite, but I legitimately wonder if there is a contingency of executive MAPs at Meta who are well aware of what they’re doing. The algorithms practically scream “We know what you reeeeally want.” and it is allowed to stay. Big Tech sometimes gets hit with campaigns like #PedoTube or whatever the hell it was, but beyond some changes to the TOS, no really radical crackdowns are enforced. FWIW I think the ‘Elsagate’ content is despicable and I wouldn’t fight for its right to exist (I’m also not going to spend time trying to scrub it from existence), but Insta isn’t pushing violence and death and injections and kidnapping and all that on a kid audience, it’s just showcasing the natural beauty of youth, sometimes sexualized sometimes not, for all to enjoy. I’ll never understand why people insist on treating sex and violence as they’re both equally objectionable. Zero sense.

I don’t follow any independent child run accounts, only “mum” accounts. Much safer to have that mediation, trust me. Say the wrong thing to a child and you can get three years in jail just like that. Not that I ever would, but there’s plenty of professional fake “entrapment” accounts too. Mum accounts are the way forward. I’ve only ever commented twice, said a six year old was “wonderful” and an eight year old had a “beautiful smile”. Parents are cool, they let both comments stand. No negative experiences.

Best to behave as though anything you say will be screenshotted and used against you. Don’t slide into DMs. That said even mild comments like “cutie” or calling a 16 year old “babe” can bring out the Chris Hansen wannabes, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about that. At least as far as I know such activity wouldn’t be classified as grooming, but then again we live in clown world, so who knows. I like making comments like that because it lets other MAPs know they’re not alone. If really concerned you can always refrain from making comments yourself, but heart those made by others which essentially signal boosts the girl love. No downvotes, so even if most people think you’re a ‘sicko’ for telling a tween she has ‘nice moves’, the presence of a few upvotes can draw attention to the fact that this sentiment is shared. Sometimes these “i’d go to jail over her”-esque remarks are some of the most liked comments!

Zen Thinker

I’m very careful with language; I’d only use neutral terms like “beautiful” or “wonderful”. But I have a cautious nature.

Yes the “Meta executive paedo elite” are driving forward significant cultural change, haha.

heyyouyeahyou42

To those who bemoan the changing culture surrounding children and sexuality, I say “ok, fumers“!

Sayaka Fermi

The deficiency of Watson’s skepticism comes as no surprise. She’s the one who started the ridiculous dispute with Richard Dawkins a few years ago.

Cyril

First, I haven’t found anything about child abuse in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Second, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Jeffrey Epstein are Jews indeed, according to the Wikipedia. Epstein is buried in a Jewish mausoleum.

[MODERATOR: Part of this comment has been deleted. The issue is one that I will discuss with Cyril privately. He raises a personal point that I think is best resolved that way.]

Christian

And Roman Polanski is also a Jew. Some have said that the campaign against him is motivated by antisemitism. Others have pointed out that caricatures of Weinstein published in the media are antisemitic.

Prue

This just in! Reported a whole 20 minutes ago from one outlet https://www.ok.co.uk/royal/royal-news/prince-andrew-plans-apology-after-29018574.

Multiple news / media outlets are posting stoies about Andrew allegedly consulting with lawyers to re-vamp his defence against Virginia Giuffre and secure an apology.

I think I will refrain from commenting more on this and instead see other people’s thoughts on the blog post itself first. However, I will say this is important information that reinforces the implication behind the scene in the musical where Prince Charles settles Andrew’s case against his will. I.e. Andrew wanted to fight the case and recieve recognition of his innocence.

According to news reports, he still does…

The Daily Mail reported on this yesterday: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11661933/Prince-Andrew-consults-lawyers-hope-ending-royal-exile.html

Last edited 11 days ago by Prue
Prue

I did watch these interviews btw, the day after they aired, as they can be found on YouTube easily 🙂 I was pretty disappointed by the Ghislaine “interview”, which I expected would be a straight, uncut, unedited grilling between Piers and Ghislaine. Instead it appeared edited with lots of ad breaks, so I wonder what could’ve been left out.

I agree though, she did not seem well at all. Whoever looked at her and thought she’s doing well is clearly a sadist of the kind routinely hired in prisons.

Yes piers Morgan uncensored was more interesting; some righteous feminist fury indeed. What we’d call an NPC in gamer language nowadays; essentially a stock character who’s sole purpose is to run through a selection of common talking points and rhetorical flourishes. I bet she reminded you of Esther Rantzen?

Someone commented “catfight!” below the video, and that’s what I thought too. It was almost embarrassing, and if Lady Hervey’s claims are true, and if she ever gets to publish the evidence for her case or bring it to court should Andrew decide to defend himself, the impact could be sensational. Imagine if Guiffre was exposed as a “fucking liar” – the case of the century so far – endless media spectacle and condemnation: it would be a nail in the coffin of Western feminist victimology. What the Johnny Depp / Amber Herdt trial was to the men’s rights movement: a vindication of a man torn down by money hungry women exploiting contemporary sensitivities.

Hervey’s claims do make the whole saga that bit more interesting; timely too, with both herself and Ghislaine claiming that the photo showing Andrew and Guiffre together is fake. I.e. that no original has ever been produced in court because there is none.

As for Esptein being murdered as Ghislaine put it, I suspect she’s got a point. From everything I’ve seen of Espstein he seems to have been a very cheerful, nice guy who’s well likes by his friends and spoken of in the highest terms. He didn’t seem to believe he’d done anything seriously wrong, and his surviving friends who’ve, *ahem*, spoken out, say that after he came out of the prison the 1st time hed reflected on his life and decided he wanted to make a change: in his case, through funding scientific research.

He doesn’t *seem* like someone who’d kill himself, though he was at a particularly low point in his life. It’s possible, and if his name was well-known and any case against him deeply prejudiced by the point of his 2nd arrest and imprisonment, then perhaps he was killed by your garden variety “nonce basher” thug… I am somewhat skeptical bc I can believe easily that Epstein died by hanging, but remain on-the-fence about who dunnit. I lean towards the suicide via coroners report, and doubt we’ll ever know the capital T “truth”. Dare we say the prison staff themselves might have played a role in deliberately facilitating his death? The case sure does lend itself to speculation, and I’d rather not speculate lest i get grapped by conspiratorial thinking…

Anyway, the piers Morgan uncensored was amusing. Here’s the link if others want to watch https://www.youtube.com/live/Gw6Ig07lT4k

hikari

Great article Prue.
>Imagine if Guiffre was exposed as a “fucking liar” – the case of the century so far – endless media spectacle and condemnation
Now that would be interesting. To be fair, there are still a fair amount of people on Amber Heard’s side.

Stephen James

I watched the Ghislaine interview and the subsequent comments by Jeremy Kyle’s guests. One guest in particular – described as a ‘TV psychologist’ – made claims about the interview which just didn’t seem justified to me. She said that Ghislaine showed herself to be a narcissist. I didn’t see that at all.

Stephen James

Yes, if she had just been a member of the public who had been asked her opinion, that would have been bad enough. But the fact that she was described as a ‘psychologist’ made it doubly objectionable. What a fraud!

Perplexed

Imma gonna leave the royal family stuff alone, and say only about it that I have always been an ardent civic republican, and leave it at that.

As for Epstein- he didn’t kill himself, and the people who run this world absolutely engage in human trafficking and sexual abuse on the regular. That’s all I’ll say about that.

To the more important issue at hand- that of oppression, liberation, and autonomy:

It is going to be most important to establish youthful autonomy in two areas, if things in this world are to improve. They must have economic independence, and they must have the franchise. Everything else will follow. The moment they are no longer dependent on another person for their physical and economic well being, and are given a political say, then everything else should follow, whereby they will be able to assert themselves however they wish to. Instead of children being dependent on a parent’s income, or, frankly, even on employment, but instead have some sort of secured allowance which they have at least half access to, which they are free to use however they want- is the most important. Economic reality always dictates what future political and legal reality will be. Wherever the money goes, so society goes.

[MODERATOR: This was retrieved from Spam. No idea why it went there, but sorry about the delay.]

Stephen James

Yes, I agree with the point about economic independence. In fact, I favour a universal basic income, including for adolescents. At what age should it be payable? I would suggest no specific age, but rather that the young person should take a competency test to determine their eligibility.

Perplexed

It should apply from the womb. Until age 7, mostly spent by parents (but only for the kids, not as part of a family pooling), age 7-13 give them partial access, and 14+ they should have full co-access. From a simplistic standpoint. But the funds should be only spent on the person whom it is disbursed for. It is in no way to be allowed to be a supplemental income for the parents or family.

Stephen James

Two points.

(a) If you allow parents to access the funds, it is hard to enforce their use only for the child. The present system of child benefit payments (in the U.K. – I guess other developed countries have similar schemes) seems better for children not yet mature enough to handle their own funds.
(b) Having an age-based system is unfair for the child able to handle funds sensibly at a precociously young age.

Perplexed

It’s not hard to monitor accounts at all. The funds should be disbursed to a specific account which belongs to the child, and which is monitored until the child has full autonomy over it, after which, it wouldn’t be monitored. And the child should be able to petition for total autonomy any time after 14.

I have an entire peerage system in mind, which allows for a child to advance to the next group a year or two early, or be held back a year longer. Then of course there is the matter of what we might call permanent dependents- those incapable of caring for themselves mentally and/or physically, which would have to be accounted for. Really, it’s all part of a larger constitution for a better society I have in mind.

Stephen James

Regarding your first paragraph, how would you prevent a parent making a cash withdrawal and then using it for booze and fags?

But maybe you’d say we’re moving so fast towards a cashless society that you could prohibit cash withdrawals or severely restrict them?

Perplexed

Cashless society. No cash withdrawals. Only verifiable purchases. Parents should never be given autonomy over the money. The child can slowly gain autonomy over portions of the funds, but never the parents.

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