Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The demonization of adolescent sexuality

I originally posted this as a response to the following entry on LaShawn Barber's Blog: http://lashawnbarber.com/archives/2007/05/29/death-to-pedophiles/

"Something that I think I need to address here is the disturbing trend towards labeling consensual sex between two teenagers as abuse and/or pedophilia.

In one particular case in Utah, a 13 year old girl and her 12 year old boyfriend were both found guilty of delinquency (the juvenile equivalent of a felony) and labeled as sex offenders for the "crime" of having consensual sex. This is a perfect example of why hysteria never leads to anything but sorrow. In this case both were simultaneously labeled as "victim" and "perpetrator," a mutually exclusive arrangement whose preposterousness could not have been lost upon officers of the court involved.

I'm 34 years old now. Back when I was a teenager in the late 80's and early 90's, sex between teenagers was seen as an undesirable but ordinary fact of life. If a young couple was found to be sleeping together, they might be in trouble with their families, but they would not be in trouble with the law. Somewhere along the line this changed. Now in many places a young couple who sleep together are risking serious jail time, callous and even malicious misidentification as "victim" or "abuser" by mental health professionals and the judicial system, and the life-long stigma of being painted as a sex offender. All for doing what everyone else has done throughout human history.

I grew up in the south, and I'm just barely old enough to have gotten a sense of how teenaged sexuality was seen and dealt with in years past. My generations that my grandparents and great-grandparents belonged to didn't have any illusions about when sexual desire began to manifest itself in a person's life. In those days the biggest problem with teenaged sex was not that two teenagers were having sex, but whether they were married at the time they were having it. In other words the issue was not sex at a young age, but sex outside of marriage. If the couple was married, which in those days many teenaged couples were, their sexual relationship was not a problem.

In today's world, the idea of two 15 year old's being married is almost absurd, and in many placed would likely land their parents in legal trouble. Today people that age are not seen as young adults, but as children, which is dreadfully unfortunate. They are infantilized and forced into mental and emotional roles that they have either already outgrown, or are quickly in the process of outgrowing. Part of this mischaracterization is the demonization of their sexuality. Children are not supposed to be sexual after all. Those children who are sexual are seen as having something wrong with them. When teenagers are miscast as children, their sexuality is similarly labelled a dysfunctional. Those teenagers who defy this label and express their sexuality are punished and made to feel that their normal sexuality is an emotional and mental disfigurement, a sign that they are mentally diseased and tainted with the indelible stain that comes with being branded a sex offender.

Don't believe me? Watch the news.

The sexual abuse of children is a serious crime, among the worst that society has to deal with. But when society begins gnawing upon itself in trying to deal with this problem and begins persecuting the innocent for the crime of being young, the only thing that is created are more victims. "

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Melanie Phillips: Liberalism vs. Islamism

Once again Melanie Phillips demonstrates the profound insight that made “Londonistan” such an impressive book.


The problem with the west is that we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. What do we stand for? What do we believe? Ask people nowadays and you’ll get many different answers, and many people won't even be able to answer the questions, or understand why these questions are important. Of those who do answer, you'll get some who will describe the principles and ideas that our great republic was founded upon. Others will answer with ideas and notions that are the result of cultural marxism and are in fact the ideas of our enemies. Some of this latter group will actually understand and believe what they are saying. Most however, are victims of leftist propaganda with no actual understanding of what they espouse. They hold to these beliefs, if you can call them that, for their emotional potency rather than for their logical consistency or empirical validity.

Monday, May 14, 2007

From Jefferson's Notes on Virginia

"The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have no authority over such natural rights, only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God... It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself... But is the spirit of the people an infallible, a permanent reliance? Is it government? Is this the kind of protection we receive in return for the rights we give up? Besides, the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."

Hayek gets it right in 1944

I just found a passage from Friedrich Hayek that I think is particularly insightful. He accurately described, in 1944's The Road To Serfdom, a tactic that has since then become one of the Left's most commonly used tools of deception:
    “The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognised before. (…) The most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of words by which the ideals of the new regimes are expressed. (…) Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.”

The best example of this is how the word "liberal" was co-opted by the left and twisted into a grotesque caricature of its genuine and classical meaning. They took a word that once described the quest for freedom and equality, and turned it into a euphemism for the destruction of western civilization. In the 19th century, being a Liberal was a good thing, but by the late 20th century it had become a very bad thing to be indeed.

One aspect of this tactic which Hayek did not go into was the discarding of terms as soon as the emotional associations that they once held have been lost. The term liberal, having lost all of its glimmer, has fallen out of favor with leftists who now often describe themselves as "progressives." Same ideas, same agenda, new feel-good word to pass out to the public. The funny thing is, this is not the first time that they've used this term. It was in vogue many decades ago when they stopped calling themselves communists, but hadn't quite gotten around to calling themselves "liberals" yet.

I was at a party last night where a very bright and lovely young lady had the temerity to tell me that the term "minority" described anyone who wasn't white, male, and at least nominally Christian. At the time this really disturbed me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly why. Now I know. She had fallen victim to this precise form of deception. Sadly enough, she seemed quite eager to defend it. It saddens me that her talents and energies are ensnared by a belief system base on harmful lies. Blessed with a clearer understanding of things, I have no doubt that she could help with the work of bettering this world.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The right choice, but one that still troubles me

The New York Post has an interesting article that tells the story of a young man who did the right thing recently. He works at Circuit City and one of the jobs that he performs there is transferring video tapes to DVDs. Back in January of 2006 a tape was brought to him to be transferred. What he saw on that tape, bearded Islamic men firing guns while screaming "God is Great!," was enough to make him call the police. Thanks to him, the men and women of Fort Dix was saved from a terrorist attack.

What troubles me though is the moral calculus that he used before ultimately making the right decision:
    "Dude, I just saw some really weird s-," he frantically told his co-worker. "I don't know what to do. Should I call someone or is that being racist?"

Actually it isn't being racist. Racism is the belief that human nature is a matter of pedigree, and that individuals of one pedigree are significantly or fundamentally different in important ways from individuals of other pedigrees. In its more noxious form it is the belief that individuals of some pedigrees are more deserving of freedom, civil liberties, or economic opportunity than individuals of other pedigrees. Racists are retards, nuff said.

In this situation race, and therefore racism, were never a factor.

Islam is not a race. Islam is a religion. Being a muslim implies adherence to a belief system. Being a Muslim is a choice, and one that has a profound impact on an individual's character and the choices they are likely to make. Being cognizant of these facts and utilizing them when trying to judge a person's intentions does NOT make one a "racist," it simply means that you are intellectually honest.

So he wasn't a racist, per se, but wasn't he a bigot instead then? Bigotry is the irrational fear, resentment or even hatred of others based upon their ethnic or cultural background. Had this man expressed an irrational fear or distrust of Canadians then I'd have to say he is a bigot because Canadians, as a general rule, aren't looking to rape or kill anyone. They just want to watch hockey and drink "blue."

Prior to 9/11 most Americans had little reason to fear Muslims because there was little reason to assume that they were going to hurt anyone either. Well that illusion collapsed along with the World Trade Center. Today it is a dead certainty that there are muslims in this world who want to hurt us, want to kill us, and who are willing to blow themselves up in the process to achieve that goal. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that they are not a fringe minority but comprise a sizeable portion of the Muslim world. (If the Muslim world is unhappy with this perception then it should take steps to change the reality it is based upon.)

To be alarmed over a video of bearded men in Islamic garb screaming "Allahu Ackbar!" while discharging weapons isn't racism and it isn't bigotry, it's basic common sense.

This is why I am troubled that this man's conscience has been trained to make him pause and fret over whether the entirely legitimate and rational concerns he had, somehow make him a bad person.

This is the world that our children are being taught to create, one where tolerance means the tolerance of evil and where the judgement of someone's behaviour is dependent upon which racial or ethnic group they belong to. If someone belongs to a designated "victim" group, then their choices and behaviour are not subject to investigation or consideration. In the bizarro world of the left, islamic terrorists are designated as "victims." They are so designated because their actual status as perceived allies to the left would not go over very well with the rest of the country. As designated victims their genocidal intentions are transmogrified into noble struggles against a designated evil oppressor, namely us. This is why this man was hesitant to do the right thing. He has fallen victim to the propaganda and institutionalized brainwashing of the left.

This is why I'm troubled.