Monday, April 18, 2011

Pedophilia vs. Child Rape

So how on earth did I decide to write a post on pedophilia? It's not exactly a comfortable topic for me, as a child molestation survivor, but I don't imagine it's an easy topic for anybody.

There is a self-described Christian on Twitter called @MissRaissa who sees it as her mission to spout hateful, ignorant, homophobic, anti-choice nonsense on the #atheist and #prochoice hashtags. She and I had a bit of a phone "debate" awhile back on my friend Synthaetica's podcast show. You can listen here or you can see where fellow-atheist GodsDontExist put the entire podcast into 3 YouTube videos on his channel.

In this conversation, in regards to her desire to force all pregnant rape victims to carry to term, she claimed she "understands" how a rape victim feels. So, I asked her if she was a rape victim herself. Answer? No. MissRaissa imagines she possesses a great deal of empathy I just don't see the evidence for.

Then on the afternoon of April 3rd, she tweeted something that made me sick to my stomach.

Head-spinning, isn't it? But it goes on. See, MissRaissa doesn't think this was an awful thing to say, because she thinks pedophilia is wrong - just like homosexuality, adultery and fornication. Ah yes, because adults having consensual sex with each other is just *exactly* like an adult abusing and violating a child, incapable of giving consent.

But I think I can see where (some) of her confusion stems from. Pedophilia - the adult sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children - is a sexual orientation. That statement from scientists may have her genuinely worried (after watching far too many Gathering Storm videos and not nearly enough parodies) that there will soon be a movement for "pedophile rights" in western society. This is because to @MissRaissa all sex is sin, and all sin is equal, but relax: The rest of us aren't as delusional. We can tell the difference between consensual sex with mature parties and child abuse.

A pedophile is not necessarily a child rapist. If a pedophile never acts on their defective desires, no child is harmed. If they do, the harm is permanent and will stay with that child (or children) for their entire lives. I think it's better for society, and safer for our children, to talk about this.

People with the sexual orientation of pedophilia need help. There is no consensual sex in store for them, because children are not capable of giving true informed consent to sex. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, responsible for long-term goal planning and decision making, doesn't finish forming until we hit our early 20s. The sexual features and organs of children are not fully developed, and are often seriously harmed by sexual activity as a result. (I myself have extensive scarring leftover from my childhood.)

I'm not sure what retrogenic therapies or prenatal preventions scientists will develop over the next several years to prevent pedophiles from becoming child rapists. But I know they will have more success and more funding for research if there is public support for these studies.

I was molested by a man in his 70s, a twice divorced father of 5 and grandfather of 2. I do not forgive him for what he did, but I do not hate him either. I think he was a very sick man, who had absolutely no one to turn to. Perhaps if he'd had a support group, a sexual therapist, or some as yet un-thought of solution, he might not have harmed me the way that he did. For both our sakes, but mostly for mine, I wish he could have gotten some kind of help.

Until then, I'm waiting for MissRaissa to apologize, and to admit that children under the age of 10 CANNOT give consent to sex, and therefore all sexual activity done to a child of that age is necessarily rape. She refuses. The conversation on Twitter has been scathing and at times downright juvenile. If that sounds entertaining, I invite you to join the conversation!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sponsors or Members?

I am out of money. I'm out of money in a way I'd never contemplated before. (Fortunately, I'm not in credit card debt - those little plastic cards of 16 digits absolutely terrify me and I haven't owned one for 6 years.) It's been a year now since my unemployment benefits ended. It's been nearly as long since anyone's even returned my phone calls in regards to my disability case.

So, I'll be making videos and writing blog posts again, but I need them to generate me an income. YouTube STILL won't tell me why they suddenly and with no warning (or apparent reason) yanked my Partner status and haven't paid me the 2 grand in advertising revenue they owe me. I have to do this directly, with my fans and friends.

I can see at least two possible solutions to both my writer's block and my financial troubles (which are really one and the same.) The first solution would be to make my blog a pay site. I don't like that for a lot of reasons, including my Open Internet ideals. I'd also like people to be able to share what they read on my blog, and that's limited when people have to pay to view.

The other solution I can think of immediately (other proposals in the comments or to my Twitter @antitheistangie are welcome) would be to have a few committed monthly donors. If fifty readers can donate $10 a month each, that will meet almost the entire gap between my boyfriend's part-time job, his student loans, and the free food we get from the local pantry, so that I can pay my bills and stop freaking out. Instead, I can write!

So what do we think - can a few people commit to being sponsors, or should I require site membership for all?

I've got a few video ideas brewing in my head and I plan on actually recording at least one of those tomorrow (probably the one on Privilege and how it's invisible if you have it.) I miss writing. I miss being here with all of you. I want to be back, but my head's been full of nothing but worry and stress for so long, it's been hard to get my thoughts out of my head and into a coherent form on paper.

Oh, and before someone comes up with the idea: I'd love a part-time at-home job. If you can find me one that isn't a phishing scam or sex work, I'd love to know. (I have no moral or ethical issue with phone sex or other sex work, but I wouldn't be good at it.)

If you'd like to make a one-time donation now, please feel heartily encouraged to do so. You can also track the donations I receive (I'm not a televangelist after all) through my ChipIn page.

p.s. I swear tax returns were invented to lower springtime suicides among the lower classes. If I'd earned ten times what I did in 2010, I'd still be below the poverty limit.

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