I hesitated to write this piece for two reasons: I’m not a member of the 2SLGBTQI* community and therefore do not know the experience and most importantly because this whole issue is a terribly divisive issue. Those who would prosper from pain are very good at divide and conquer.
If you ever venture into the vast wasteland of daytime TV or YouTube personal channels you will find so many of the broken people. They may weigh 600 pounds, or they may be lying in the gutter from alcohol addiction, or dancing zombie contortions on city streets or frantic with panic or rage disorders or criminals of many different types.
And if you spend time there you will find an almost I’d say 80% commonality of these humans who have hit rock bottom and beyond. And that would be sexual abuse as children. In almost every single case. There it is.
It has literally come to the point of almost having us believe that sexual abuse of children is the norm and not the exception. Do not spend time there. It is depressing and sad and only occasionally triumphant. So far. There are no medals awarded to those who triumph but there should be. In a victim world, they truly are the victims.
And I just want to ask the community of 2SLGBTQI+ something.
I ask this in understanding that their road has been difficult. They have won some hard-fought battles and have now legislation in law that allows them the same basic rights as all of us. They have fought battles not understood and they battle on. I make no judgment on this as I am not familiar enough with it to know what it is that is being asked of us all now. In my day I have understood that people were people and to each their own.
You do you and I do me and we all live together on a crazy planet doing no harm hopefully.
I understand the over-kill of the pendulum now to normalize things but the danger of course being the pendulum will swing radically to the other side.
And that is not good for anyone. I wish this community some peace. It has a history thousands of years old. It is not new. It has always been with us.
The persecution is not new either. They wore their pink triangles at Auschwitz, were tortured, driven out, murdered, legislated against from time immemorial for simply existing. And in some countries this continues.
It is a history of some significant pain and persecution. We must all remember this backdrop when we see what we think is complete craziness out there.
Why such shenanigans? It is a community likely being taken advantage of as a political weapon of choice to bring division. All cultural revolutions come that way.
And the radicals are pushing the envelope. It is perhaps time for the moderates, the vast majority of the 2SLGBTQI+ community to take charge and in a very vocal way. In the interests of us all. Lest the pendulum swing so far right we all end up in a very bad place. But that is neither here nor there. That is not my question.
If you are a parent there are things that keep you up at night. One of the greatest fears of any parent is their child will be either abducted or sexually abused or both. That’s a visceral fear unlike any other. And in the wasteland of broken adults out there, we can see why that fear is justified. The admonition to children not to take candy from strangers and not allow adults to touch them inappropriately is an ancient teaching. Because it is an ancient fear: the vulnerability of children.
These days in the more modern era of course, that admonition is not because there is a fear their children will become a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community necessarily but to preserve their innocence until such time they can make these decisions rationally and with the benefit of life experience and adult critical thinking.
As children they have some curiosity, some sexual in nature, but at the end of the day, they are not “that into it.” They have a million other things they want to do and learn. This preoccupation with sex is not a child’s world but the pervasive ethos of adults these days it would appear. Selfish adults.
Children really don’t give that much of a damn at least until puberty but adults apparently want to make them give a damn. The usual form of child abuse these days when adults force their own agendas on children. It is heartbreaking to see.
I was watching the skirmish at a Pride event in Ottawa, Canada outside a Board of Education facility over sex-ed curriculum. I was struck by the in-between. That place between two raucous groups where the commonality lies and it was indeed that both sides cared about the children and were in fact fighting for the children. One side to protect children from growing up with prejudice against what may become their 2SLGBTQI+ choice and the other to protect children from being groomed and exposed to what some might consider pornography.
Why could these two sides not recognize their common ground? Why could they not talk?
As a 2SLGBTQI+ parent or not and anyone who may be a parent, such times are frightening. Parents right now are fighting for the right to have a say over their children’s curriculum and the radical left’s opposition to this may seem fully justified however it is a slippery slope. I’m not so certain all parents and particularly teachers understand that slippery slope.
If you relegate the sexual/gender education to school boards that are then backed up by current government regulation and enforcement you end up not just without parental rights but tyranny. The government changes against your wishes and the mechanisms are now in place to prevent you from protesting what is happening with your child. And as a teacher you will be obliged to teach it even if you disagree. It can happen both ways.
In these situations, parents end up afraid of their own children. We have seen this before in history. It was the children who said the wrong thing in front of the wrong person or who actually turned in their parents to authorities. We’ve seen it in Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, Hitler’s Germany. To make such comparisons at this point in the debate may seem over the top but there are parents out there right now who are afraid of their own children. The very best of what we may have achieved in this country prior to the present madness was the ability to find common ground and compromise and negotiate. We must not lose that.
And if there is one red-line it is children. If there is one place where common ground and compromise matters this is it. And it isn’t so much a matter of religion or spiritual beliefs so much as it is children are not able to protect themselves against adults that would do harm. And it “is” harm to teach graphic sexual education to young children, familiarizing them with the idea and possibly leading them right into harms’s way. And harm’s way is not good.
This is not conflating the 2SLGBTQI+ movement with pedophilia except to suggest that age-inappropriate sexual education can lead to some serious predatory opportunities on innocent children who do not understand that all that sex they’re learning about isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. And the continuous focus on this with children is harmful in ways we will not ever really know until the deeds are done and we have a whole slew of new people on daytime talk shows. Are you celebrating sexual freedom or are you leading children to harm?
With pedophilia when you sexualize children for an adult’s desire it takes away their power and their trust. It takes away their sense of autonomy and safety. For a lifetime. It is a hard row to rehabilitate. Judging from some of the material now being taught to children, it normalizes adults discussing graphic sex with children and in some cases that touching children sexually is okay. Not all of it of course, but enough of it.
Those that may do this rationalize it as a loving act and an education. It is not. Pedophilia is an adult’s wish. It is rationalizing the unthinkable. The pain it causes is horrific. And no, it is not because there is a prejudice against it that is causing the harm, it is simply harmful. No child with their small bodies wants to be hurt and dominated and frightened and used like some kind of tool for gratification. And hurt they are. Little boys and little girls. We see the results.
Someone may be a “minor-attracted” individual but it does not give them any right whatsoever to do such harm. The Pope said there was a special place in heaven for pedophiles. The assumption is they ask for forgiveness. Their need to dominate children is a cross they carry but it is not acceptable under any circumstances to act upon it. We have at least learned this. Try watching daytime TV stories if you doubt this. It is not because these broken adults who were sexually abused as children were stigmatized. It is because they were damaged by selfish human beings who knew better.
I want to ask honestly if the 2SLGBTQI+ community that has fought so hard for their own rights can’t see that they are leading children to harm?Normalizing something they are too young to understand.
I honestly am perhaps naive enough to believe that this is not something this community can agree is okay. Sex education is fine. Teaching biology and the basic understanding of accepting different forms of sexual identity is simple enough. Then move on to other things. There is no need for it to be centerstage ALL the time. Anti-bullying laws are in place and are perfectly adequate to handle these situations without all this furor.
The moderates among you need to seriously become more vocal. Lest you end up all being seen as groomers. That’s what happens. And the pendulum swings.
Sylvia Shawcross lives in Canada. Visit her substack.
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