No, Salon.com, I Don't Need to 'Understand' the Plight of Pedophiles
Just when you think you've seen it all, Salon.com posts this on their home page:
"I'm a Pedophile, But I'm Not a Monster" (byline) I'm attracted to children but unwilling to act on it. Before judging me harshly, would you be willing to listen?
Here's the problem with the title and the byline: it's misleading. The article is written by a pedophile who says he's never touched a child and never would. The man, who identifies himself as Todd Nickerson, agrees that it's wrong to both be attracted to children and to act upon that attraction. He then goes on a long diatribe about his past, the abuse he's encountered, why we should be understanding in place of judgmental, blahblahblahblahblah. Finally, At the end of the long article is a call to action for pedophiles to get help, to seek advice and to find a solution to their sexual attraction to children. That's not the argument here. It's good that Nickerson wants other pedophiles to get help for their sexual desires. Not arguing with that. Okay? Okay.
BUT, the call to action of getting help for pedophilia is after Nickerson recounts his childhood disability, the time he was molested, and about being an outsider. Nickerson paints himself a victim in hopes of garnering your sympathy, and if you didn't finish the entire article, the impression your left with is simply this: Salon.com is trying to normalize and de-stigmatize pedophilia.
To confess a sexual attraction to children is to lay claim to the most reviled status on the planet, one that effectively ends any chance you have of living a normal life. Yet, I’m not the monster you think me to be. I’ve never touched a child sexually in my life and never will, nor do I use child pornography...
Because the powerful taboo keeps us in hiding, it’s impossible to know how many non-offending pedophiles are out there, but signs indicate there are a lot of us, and too often we suffer in silence. That’s why I decided to speak up.
I'm sensing the need to add a disclaimer: I read to the end of the article. I do not think Nickerson is wrong in saying that pedophiles need help to prevent them from acting on their desires. Nor do I think it's wrong that he illustrate why and how he came to realize he was a pedophile. It's also not Salon.com's responsibility to make people read to the end of the article. Okay? Okay.
My entire problem with the article isn't with Nickerson so much as it is with Salon.com, for allowing the article to be framed in a misleading way, and titling it "I'm a Pedophile, But I'm not a Monster," with a byline that calls for understanding and admonishes its readers for pre-judging someone who just admitting to being a pedophile. That's one of the problems with this article.
The first half of the piece is a tale of woe, where the reader is made to feel pity for this youngster who would grow up to be a pedophile (which the author accurately defines as someone who's sexually attracted to children, not necessarily someone who acts upon it). Again, not against someone sharing their story here, my issue is how the story was framed.
If the first and only goal was for pedophiles to seek help, the article should've been titled: "I'm a Pedophile, I'm a Monster and I Got Help," with the byline I've never once touched a child and never would. And neither should you. With the first paragraphs of the article beginning with the last paragraphs of the existing piece. Start with the end, let the readers know that Nickerson the pedophile isn't in fact a monster who preys upon children, he's the good guy who wants to help.
But that's not what Salon.com did. Salon.com allowed the story to run as a formula: a poor child who was disabled, quiet, and alone was molested by an adult. He grew up to be a pedophile. He was misunderstood. He cloistered himself away. Takeaway? You should feel sorry for him. Also, active and proven child-molesters should be destroyed, regardless of religion, race, or status in life. If you molest children, you're a monster.
Let's remove the pedophilia aspect from this for a second and replace it with, say, racism. Would Salon.com run this article?
"I'm a Racist, But I'm Not a Monster: I've never discriminated against a black man and I never would. Before judging me harshly, would you be willing to listen?"
Do you also expect to see this article on front page of Salon.com?
"I'm a College Fraternity Brother and I Have Rape Fantasies, But I'm Not a Monster: I've never drugged or bound a girl and I never would. Before judging me harshly, would you be willing to listen?"
Verdict? No. No with seven different consent forms no. I thought about Googling it, but I was worried about the sorts of things that would pop up on my computer. So if this article has been written then I apologize to the rape-fantasizing frat guys out there...and to the writers who write about them. You are not monsters and need to be understood.
So here's the bigger question: Are we living in such a time where Salon.com feels comfortable plastering an article like this on their home page? What does that say about our culture? What does it say about our culture regards sex? Because I don't think I'll see any article from a racist, sexist, or hell, violent felons who just wants to be understood, do you?
Again, not saying that people with sexual desires to children (who have never acted on them) should be strung up and hanged.
... But it's getting close to the line. Sure, they should get help. But you know what? They're sick, twisted people who are a danger to the children around them, and it's not our job to coax them onto the couch so they can talk about their mommy issues...
I still have a steadfast rule: touch a kid sexually and you deserve a bullet.
This shocks you? Well let me ask this? If a pedophile touching a kid doesn't warrant a red-line... what the hell does? The left wants us to be more concerned with inanimate objects like guns than the incredible liability of pedophiles. If I sound harsh, it's deliberate. There's a certain point you cross where I no longer care about your past, the injustices you've experienced or how little daddy hugged you.
Once you start sexualizing children, you've crossed that point. I'm sure some of you pedophiles have had some really tough breaks in life too. That's sad. I don't care. Once you become a threat to our kids (and yes, any sexual attraction to a 10 year old is to be seen as a threat), you are no longer welcome in society. Period. Gone. Done. No talking. No understanding. You're out.
The only counseling session you get is with a cocked hammer and a three second count-down giving you a headstart to flee the village. I hope I've crystalized my position for you.
What do you think? Is Salon.com laying the foundation for something sinister, or have we just misread the intention of this completely? Maybe we're just pedophile-phobic...