Trans-gressions – How Far Is Too Far for the Activist?

The current cultural conversation that involves children, their potential harm, and their needed protection is one that promises to outrage the most moderate thinkers. Our outrage over the harm to children angers us and of course, it should anger us, to such an extent that dispassionate conversations cannot take place in real-time, especially when and where they are needed the most. I say this as a bit of a throat clearing before approaching the most serious of current affairs- the treatment of children by adults, a topic I covered from a broader angle in my piece Nose Ring Politico.

The term grooming, as far as this generation is concerned, came into (or back into) popular discourse as the events surrounding Jeffrey Epstein and his notorious “Pedo-Island” parties became fodder for dark legend, infinite newspaper headlines, and even a Netflix documentary special. With all the uproar, details from the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell (Epstein’s former grooming partner) went rather quietly into the void. One has to wonder what happened there?

Long before the world was aware of Jeffrey Epstein, there were the allegations against Michael Jackson and R. Kelly’s notorious recording. And long before them, there were Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. And long, long ago, it was Hades who raped the young Persephone and held her captive in the underworld. It seems every generation is likely to have its own notorious characters that personify the pedophilic instinct.

For this generation, however, there seems to be a suspicion that this time the conversation and its rhetoric are vying for the mainstreaming, the de-stigmatizing, the normalization of what many consider to be the highest crime of any land, the sexual abuse of a child. 

Perhaps there is a movement of normalization at the fringes; there is some evidence for it. The term “MAP” (Minor Attracted Person) is slightly euphemistic in its ring when compared to the phrase “pedo” or “pedophile”, and perhaps the furthest logical conclusion of the new left’s sexual liberation agenda. The term MAP has been trending only very recently but because the new left has been so sloppy with its rhetoric about the normalization of just about everything (and an ironic disdain for all things that are normal), it is not easy to see where the line is drawn on anything; it’s all a rainbow-tinted blur. Man or woman, gay or straight - sexual liberation, or sexual deviancy? 

As the answers to those simple questions become more consequential, the less it should be left up to the people who display a reckless disregard for definition-making in the first place. Sure, they can define to a surgical nuance the philosophies of gender theory, queer theory and tell you all about Trans Exclusive Radical Feminism, but when asked to simply define a “woman” the answers are backward engineered to a vague default of “not my job”.

We have seen university professors argue in the spirit of the devil’s advocate that, perhaps, “adult-child love” is not as harmful as society suggests but, for many, this is simply par for the course for the “loony left”. After all, if children can provide consent to sex-change, how could they not provide consent to sex? The sensible answer is they can consent to neither. 

It is a damning question to those who not only accept transitioning children but actively urge children into transition years far proceeding their growth into a sexually-active human being. This rightfully expands the word “groomer” from a strict sexual connotation to other forms, like political and ideological grooming. This means   we see not only the acceptance of such positions but a recruitment type phenomenon among children. The new left, rhetorically and technically, has painted themselves in a rainbow-colored corner,  seemingly just one degree away from unintentionally making an argument for a child’s implicit consent to sex . In fact, this exact argument has been made for years, albeit mostly hyperbolically.

Truly, I am no alarmist. Those shouting “groomer” and “pedophile” at everyone do sound a bit off. The good Adam B. Coleman wrote a piece on this recently, echoing a similar sentiment  here.

In fact, Adam is not the only one who has publicly made the observation that slamming all on the left as pedophiles may be retribution for the left’s claim that all on the right are racists. Of course, neither is true, but here we are at the vertex of clunky call and response political rhetoric  and as per usual, as the mess of our mudslinging sullies our noisy atmosphere, there is much to clean up . Definitions, phrases, and contexts are either constantly challenged or, at the very least, require clarification. 

Now one distinction to be made that must be done timely, clearly, and carefully

The term pedophilia is a medical diagnosis describing a condition of sexual attraction to prepubescent children with a fairly strict set of parameters. It is not a legal term and does not describe an action, but rather an attraction. The pedophile is guilty when they act on this sexual attraction, not for simply having the attraction. We often conflate pedophilia (condition of attraction) with the sexual abuse of a child (child rape or sexual assault of a child). Pedophiles have been diagnosed by a doctor as having the condition  and have not necessarily committed a crime of any kind.

On the other hand, child rapists and child molesters have been found guilty of the act itself and are not necessarily diagnosed with pedophilia for having done so. Pedophiles are by definition considered to be sick but abstaining from their urges and living a predatory-free life is possible. And while I can acknowledge their humanity, I would not show up at their parade.

One could use a simple analogy that has less of a stigma: kleptomaniacs (those with a compulsion to steal) are not all bank robbers, just as all bank robbers are not necessarily kleptomaniacs.

This distinction, no matter how well explained, will not be taken kindly by some readers. Like a bull that is hot with anger, making small distinctions is not seen as the most relevant task at hand. 

Because the term pedophile is used so often as a slur (for obvious reasons) and a byname for the act of sexually harming a child, it was only a matter of time that the word would be reconfigured, re-contextualized, and re-entered into the fray as something else. MAP’s is exactly that - an attempt to de-stigmatize the pedophile by centering their attraction to children, not necessarily the acting out on it. What we ultimately mean when we say “pedophile” is “one who harms children, particularly in a sexual way” - fair enough. For many purposes, the semantic distinction may not be necessary and will only inspire the ire of the enraged.

For all the fractionating going on in the new left’s alphabet soup of grievances, you wonder if the timing is ever considered in any of these initiatives. Gay marriage was legalized across the United States only relatively recently. Not long after that, trans rights became the topic of the day, followed by peripheral subjects like queer theory, pronoun preferences, feminism 2.0, and the like.

The original LGBT acronym has added on so many new letters that there is very little unification on the front of its true spelling (some just add a “+” at the end, out of kindness, I suppose). And one has to ask, how many layers can a movement take on? How many fronts can it fight on and maintain cohesive leadership? How many people can it piss off before the organization itself needs rebranding? 

Some may say that time was long ago. One may consider this;  the LGBTQPPIA2S+ has thrown such a popular party for itself that it can no longer control the crowd, all it can do is hope the crowd is well behaved and that nobody does anything stupid. 

There is evidence of a movement to destigmatize pedophilia and usher it into the LGBT+ framework. However, plenty from within the LGBT+ community has made it clear that MAP’s would make an unwanted addition to its already more than a full caucus. And before the community can accept new members at its cringe fringe, it has some housekeeping to do on the trans front, as many Americans are still wary of lending their support to the movement. In my mind, so many trans folks we hear from are so radical that they invite the rational skeptic.

Broadly speaking, Americans have learned to accept homosexuals as their equals. Broadly speaking, sensible Americans can understand the necessity of a coalition based on shared goals. But as a coalition expands, its links become weakened, its resolve is less determined, and its goals are that much more unclear and the broad takeaway may be this: identity politics eventually destroys systems. 

Systems can hold ideas, whether they be educational systems, coalitions, government institutions, or what have you. Systems can hold many, many ideas but not an infinite number of ideas. At some point, ideas begin to compete, contradict, and ultimately will render themselves incompatible. It was only a matter of time before LGBT+ had added more layers than its system could maintain, and when it does this, it unwittingly maximizes the differences of the groups inside the system, instead of minimizing the differences between those groups, all but assuring that those same grievances that resolutely pointed outwards are now pointed inwards and contributes to the fractioning off of those in-groups as they fight one another, all while having to combat the original fight. We see that over the past year or so with the TERF wars.

What is clear is that words of warning cannot come from the exterior. The LGBT+ community, as well as the political party that houses them, have long sealed themselves off from sensible or moderate voices, so ultimately, they alone must be responsible for their own rhetoric. Any type of good-faith political pushback towards the new left’s agenda will be met with damnation and maligned as a far-right talking point. 

And it is with this maligning of American adults (perhaps most notably Trump voters) as dumb, racist, backward, regressive, deplorable that we find a type of audacity, entitlement, and radicalism found in the rhetoric and strategy of some members of the LGBT+ community, particularly as it is linked to children in the school and at home. This archetype (brought to light in large part by trending Twitter account LibsofTikTok) is none too bashful about their code of ethics, their strict adherence to the more “loony” pronoun wars, multiple identities, etc., and their dedication to making sure children (sometimes as young as 3!) know all the gritty details about all things sex.

As I said before, sensible Americans understand coalitions founded on the idea of liberation but if the LGBT+ community, as well as the Democratic party, wishes to maintain any good standing with the American public, it will have to do some very uncomfortable inventory taking and perhaps some long zooming out.  Then and only then will the current movement be seen not as a time of liberation, of awareness, and justice, but for what it really is: a decapitated movement, that when looked back upon from the future could only be seen as a belligerent, debauched party, held hostage by its wildest proposals, its most radical members, its most fervent foaming advertisers.

If the LGBT+ community does not shed the stink of coercing children, its legacy will be exactly that.  A movement so mad and intolerant and sloppy in its rhetoric, so failing in its ability to make the most basic distinctions, and so disastrous in its verbiage, that it could not help but consume itself, its values, and its honors when it pitted itself against the parents, pointed its goals towards children and proceeded to record all the madness on videotape.

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