Can You Normalize Queerness Without Pedophilia? – The American Conservative

can-you-normalize-queerness-without-pedophilia?-–-the-american-conservative

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Gayle S. Rubin, author of the seminal Queer Theory paper, 'Thinking Sex'You know how when you point out that they’re teaching Critical Race Theory in schools, but liberals protest that they’re doing no such thing — but this is deception by technicality? The truth is that they are teaching all kinds of things based on CRT, but not the direct thing itself. It’s like teaching an art class how to paint the light as it strikes the surface of a lake, but denying that you’re teaching anything about the sun.Queer Theory is like that too. Defenders of the groomer status quo — that is, grooming children to embrace genderfluidity and non-standard sexual identities — may protest that they’re not teaching Queer Theory, but this is a dodge. Whenever you teach about, say, the Genderbread Person, you are teaching Queer Theory. This insanity has been quite popular in schools for years, to break down little children: People like me have received a lot of criticism for using the word “groomer,” on the grounds that we are allegedly saying that teachers who instruct their students in this deranged ideology want to have sex with them. That’s not really what we’re saying (well, some might be saying that, but I don’t). Rather, it’s about grooming them in the same sense that an Islamic terrorist recruiter uses the Internet to groom impressionable young people to join the cult. But after reading the 1984 essay “Thinking Sex: Notes For A Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality,” by Gayle S. Rubin, any twinge of doubt I felt about the double entendre with “groomer” evaporated.From the Wikipedia entry on “Thinking Sex”: In her 1984 essay “Thinking Sex”, Rubin interrogated the value system that social groups—whether left- or right-wing, feminist or patriarchal—attribute to sexuality which defines some behaviours as good/natural and others (such as pedophilia) as bad/unnatural. In this essay she introduced the idea of the “Charmed Circle” of sexuality, that sexuality that was privileged by society was inside of it, while all other sexuality was outside of, and in opposition to it. The binaries of this “charmed circle” include couple/alone or in groups, monogamous/promiscuous, same generation/cross-generational, and bodies only/with manufactured objects. The “Charmed Circle” speaks to the idea that there is a hierarchical valuation of sex acts. In this essay, Rubin also discusses a number of ideological formations that permeate sexual views. The most important is sex negativity, in which Western cultures consider sex to be a dangerous, destructive force. If marriage, reproduction, or love are not involved, almost all sexual behavior is considered bad. Related to sex negativity is the fallacy of the misplaced scale. Rubin explains how sex acts are troubled by an excess of significance.Rubin’s discussion of all of these models assumes a domino theory of sexual peril. People feel a need to draw a line between good and bad sex as they see it standing between sexual order and chaos. There is a fear that if certain aspects of “bad” sex are allowed to move across the line, unspeakable acts will move across as well. One of the most prevalent ideas about sex is that there is one proper way to do it. Society lacks a concept of benign sexual variation. People fail to recognize that just because they do not like to do something does not make it repulsive. Rubin points out that we have learned to value other cultures as unique without seeing them as inferior, and we need to adopt a similar understanding of different sexual cultures as well.[citation needed]Legacy of “Thinking Sex”Rubin’s 1984 essay “Thinking Sex” is widely regarded as a founding text of gay and lesbian studies, sexuality studies, and queer theory.A founding text. Okay, what does it say? Well, like I did, you can read it here. Excerpts: Here we go. I think all of us can agree that it’s a good thing that “the more gruesome techniques have been abandoned,” don’t we also believe that it’s a good thing to insulate minors from some forms of sexual knowledge, and certainly from sexual experience? Not Gayle Rubin, one of the founding mothers of Queer Theory. Note in this passage she celebrates that we don’t do bad things to the bodies of children to keep them from being sexual, but laments the persistence of the attitudes that stigmatized child sexuality. Just read on.Rubin lists various forms of persecutions of homosexuals in the postwar period. It’s hard to disagree with her that these were bad things, and we are all better off without them. But note these lines: For over a century, no tactic for stirring up erotic hysteria has been as reliable as the appeal to protect children. The current wave of erotic terror has reached deepest into those areas bordered in some way, if only symbolically, by the sexuality of the young.This can be both true and, in context, sinister. I think it is both. Why? Well, Rubin thinks laws against child pornography are too punitive. She complains: Although the Supreme Court has also ruled that it is a constitutional right to possess obscene material for private use, some child pornography laws prohibit even the private possession of any sexual material involving minors.More: She goes on to lament thatThe experiences of art photographer Jacqueline Livingston exemplify the climate created by the child porn panic. An assistant professor of photography at Cornell University, Livingston was fired in 1978 after exhibiting pictures of male nudes which included photographs of her seven-year-old sonWow, that’s terrible! A mom’s photo of her naked little boy — they call that child porn? What kind of dirty minds to they have?Oh wait, I left off the final word in Rubin’s sentence: … masturbating.That’s right: Rubin takes it as given that her readers will find it outrageous that an art professor mother would face harsh criticism for taking and distributing photos of her seven year old son masturbating.Here Rubin shows pity to pedophiles: Rubin goes on to say that the time has come for “radical” theorizing about sex. Here’s what she means: Rubin begins by saying that we must come to understand that all rules repressing sexual desire are socially constructed. That is, there is nothing essential to any of this. To say that certain behavior of “natural” and other behavior “unnatural” is false, and reflects nothing more than a politicized framework around desire.The most difficult obstacle to overcome, she says, is the “sex negativity” of Western culture. More: Remember, this was first published in 1984. My, how far we have come. The only figure in Rubin’s list that still faces stigma are the pedophiles. For now, anyway.Now we’re getting close to the heart of the Marxist analysis on which Queer Theory depends: The “sexual rabble” must therefore be exalted. Which pretty much describes what has happened in our popular culture over the last thirty years.More: Note again: almost 40 years after the publication of Rubin’s essay, the only perversion on that list that does not now have mainstream approval is pederasty. And yet, we are told that what’s happening in schools, and in society more broadly (via Disney, et al.), is not grooming.More Rubin: “Innocence” in quotation marks. Lamenting the fact that we don’t “provide for” underage sex “in a caring and responsible manner.”Groomers.Rubin writes at length to criticize anti-porn feminists as traitors. She demands that all sexual nonconformists be affirmed.If you are a progressive on these matters, but feel that the line should be drawn somewhere, Gayle Rubin wants you to know that you are a sellout.Rubin concludes thus: They have also been a time of ferment and new possibility. It is up to all of us to try to prevent more barbarism and to encourage erotic creativity. Those who consider themselves progressive need to examine their preconceptions, update their sexual educations, and acquaint themselves with the existence and operation of sexual hierarchy. It is time to recognize the political dimensions of erotic life.Reading her paper — as you can here — is like opening a time capsule. I was in high school when it was published. The world she describes in it seems as far away as the days of powdered wigs. Gayle Rubin and her vision have prevailed. The only thing this founding mother of Queer Theory has not won is legitimation for pedophilia.The treatment of small children as sexual beings by schools is part of the process of breaking them down. According to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner, sexual grooming of children contains these stages.Excerpt: Stage 4: Isolating the childThe grooming sex offender uses the developing special relationship with the child to create situations in which they are alone together. This isolation further reinforces a special connection. Babysitting, tutoring, coaching and special trips all enable this isolation.A special relationship can be even more reinforced when an offender cultivates a sense in the child that he is loved or appreciated in a way that others, not even parents, provide. Parents may unwittingly feed into this through their own appreciation for the unique relationship.Hmm: High school staff member in Eau Claire, WI displays poster that tells students, “I’m Your Mom Now.”https://t.co/SeWL30jrM6pic.twitter.com/xuDAMDtznw— Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) March 7, 2022“If your parents don’t accept you for who you are, fthem. I’m your parents now” – Oklahoma middle school teacherThis teacher was let go last week after complaints of grooming and this tiktok + others containing questionable content were brought to the principal’s attention. pic.twitter.com/eBgAWCW3K7— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 11, 2022Illinois State Board of Education guidelines say staff cannot disclose information about a student’s gender to anyone without the student’s consent. So a 12 year old kid can decide he is trans and the school won’t tell the parents. This is insane pic.twitter.com/yG7SXLHtqS— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 13, 2022More from Dr. Welner: Stage 5: Sexualizing the relationshipAt a stage of sufficient emotional dependence and trust, the offender progressively sexualizes the relationship. Desensitization occurs through talking, pictures, even creating situations (like going swimming) in which both offender and victim are naked. At that point, the adult exploits a child’s natural curiosity, using feelings of stimulation to advance the sexuality of the relationship.When teaching a child, the grooming sex offender has the opportunity to shape the child’s sexual preferences [emphasis mine — RD] and can manipulate what a child finds exciting and extend the relationship in this way. The child comes to see himself as a more sexual being and to define the relationship with the offender in more sexual and special terms.“Diversity is my favorite thing to teach” says non-binary preschool teacher who also makes 4 year olds pick a pronoun pin every day to wear pic.twitter.com/6IRmh4v8Co— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 12, 2022Kindergarten teacher brags about using the game ‘playing with pronouns’ so 4 year old students can practice using they/them which “sparks conversations” pic.twitter.com/kwUgLzzGQe— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 12, 2022According to the nation’s leading expert on school sexual abuse, “red flag grooming behaviors” include “personal disclosure of adult sexual activity and preferences, and questions to students about their sexual lives.”This is what parents want to stop.https://t.co/orFRUEF9Bxpic.twitter.com/6zOQipj7ks— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) April 11, 2022Trans non-binary elementary teacher says 3 year olds are old enough to learn about gender identity, sexual orientation, and pronouns. These are the people teaching your kids. pic.twitter.com/fylE9jCQrF— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 10, 2022Last from Dr. Welner: Stage 6: Maintaining controlOnce the sex abuse is occurring, offenders commonly use secrecy and blame to maintain the child’s continued participation and silence—particularly because the sexual activity may cause the child to withdraw from the relationship.Children in these entangled relationships—and at this point they are entangled—confront threats to blame them, to end the relationship and to end the emotional and material needs they associate with the relationship, whether it be the dirt bikes the child gets to ride, the coaching one receives, special outings or other gifts. The child may feel that the loss of the relationship and the consequences of exposing it will humiliate and render them even more unwanted.Ask yourself: in the current atmosphere these activists and their media allies have created, how likely is it that a kid who feels weird and uncomfortable with all this will speak out? The fear of losing the relationship with their teachers, and with their friends who have all bought into the ideology, could well bind them to it.Did we have to end up here? Does Queer Theory mandate the sexualization of children? I have no doubt at all that most gays and lesbians strongly reject pederasty. I would even suppose that many of them are concerned about the rapid spread of gender ideology in schools, especially in the lower grades (though I suspect they are afraid to say it out loud, for fear of professional and personal consequences). Reading Gayle Rubin’s seminal essay, though, and seeing that most of what she advocated for came to pass in the four decades since she published it, and that there is currently a massive push by activist educators, media allies, and the Democratic Party to sexualize children by introducing this aspect of Queer Theory into schools — I’m wondering exactly how we are supposed to stop the final barrier (that is, the stigmatization of adult-child sex) from falling. Rubin understands the situation as an unjust privileging of certain sexual norms over others, and regards the prohibition of cross-generational sexual activity as wrong. If you accept Rubin’s basic model of how this works — that is, that rules about sexuality express nothing more than a hierarchy of social privilege — and you accept her belief that radical sexual theory ought to “liberate” all forms of consensual sexual expression, then how do you stop the momentum of this freight train at the boundaries of pedophilia?You will say: Consent! But do you really think that is enough? You cannot possibly think that. And in any case, Rubin posits that all sexual rules are constructed to privilege someone, or some class of people. That there is no intrinsic reason why sex between minors and adults is wrong. In her paper, she renders all those who object to her radical position as far-right loonies and fanatics.If queer activists in the schools, media, and Democratic Party have their way, why would we not be seeing a movement in the near future to “empower” young people (the existence of whose sexuality as little children we have already established) to “make choices” about their own sexual expression? After all, if it is the state’s role to protect children’s autonomy, why do they not have sexual autonomy? Why is Rubin wrong to include pederasts in her list of sexual outsiders who, after the Revolution, should be accepted and affirmed? She really does believe that “boylovers” are an unjustly persecuted fringe minority. Most people do not believe that now — but after being indoctrinated with these products of Queer Theory from their first days in school, and in the media (via Disney and other purveyors of kids’ programming), what will this coming generation be prepared to accept?Were they always eventually going to get around to the kids, these activists?Put another way: can you normalize sexual queerness without eventually normalizing pedophilia? Queer activists and their allies had better figure out an answer to this question, because even though it is forbidden to be asked in public, more and more parents are asking it. Let me repeat: I believe that many, and maybe even most, gays and lesbians find this kind of thing repulsive. What I hope they will recognize is that the trans activists and their allies going after children is bringing their entire project into disrepute. They need to jettison these groomers as soon as they can, and as forcefully as they can.UPDATE: Groomers: BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Word of a drag show at Bellingham’s Whatcom Middle School has raised some eyebrows, but the district says it’s not what some have portrayed it as.The Drop Dead Gorgeous Drag Show was conceived by Whatcom’s GSA student organization as part of Bellingham Schools’ Think BIG Challenge.It’s one of seven student clubs that are receiving grants of $1,000 to $2,500 for ideas ranging from science, the environment, student transportation, even crochet.The money is not coming from the district but is a grant from the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation, the district’s non-profit partner.The event hasn’t been scheduled yet but will be extracurricular and will happen outside of school hours.The district says similar events have been held in the past and have included fashion, personal expression, musical performances and more.It stresses that school policies ensure that the drag/talent show will be behaviorally appropriate.GSA – or Gender Sexuality Alliance – clubs have been shown by research to enhance school safety and positive student development.Bullshit. Unadulterated bullshit. Come on, parents, don’t you see what they’re doing?UPDATE.2: Mary Harrington, writing at Unherd, criticising “The Family Sex Show”, a stage presentation of sexuality for little children, scheduled for Bristol: I have no doubt that The Family Sex Show’s erotic evangelism is well-intentioned. But however sincere its objective of helping to educate young people to enjoy modern sexual liberation in a healthily autonomous way, it remains stubbornly true that there is more than one set of reasons why an adult might seek to “educate” pre-pubescent children about “pleasure” and “consent”. Even the best-intentioned “educator” may still be paving the way for someone more predatory.So while the term “groomer” is unfair in the sense that the intent behind most of this infant erotic proselytising really isn’t initiating sexual contact with those kids, it’s also entirely justified. For this is precisely what preschool porn evangelism enables in practice. By normalising the idea that pre-pubescent children should engage with sexual material, The Family Sex Show in practice carries water for genuine paedophiles.If we want to push back against the liberal syllogism that got us to the point where “educators” determinedly ignore the obvious slipperiness of this slope, we need to look again at its premises.Contraceptive technologies are here to stay. But we needn’t accept as self-evident the argument that followed the contraceptive revolution — that all desires are fine provided consent is given. This is simply not true. Not all desires, or expressions of sexual desire, are good. Some need to be repressed, and if necessary oppressed, in the interests of protecting the vulnerable.We can argue about which desires should be repressed, and the nature of the oppression in extremis. But what we can’t do is offer sex education to children on the premise that education and consent can replace this need for limits. For when it comes to children, there is such a thing as too much information. And when it comes to sex, there really is such a thing as too much freedom.
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