Speaking the Unspeakable
Efforts to discuss adult/child sexuality in positive terms are now becoming common place. In part it's because much of the research that's coming out supports the view that some forms of adult/child sexual inter-action can be positive.It's also because our government is becoming more fascist and restricting of free speech. While many people are falling prey to this censorship others are beginning to examine the dynamics of censorship, and better understand how it's used, and who it's used against.
Speaking the Unspeakable
by Dennis Bejin
Efforts to discuss adult/child sexuality in positive terms are now becoming common place. In part it's because much of the research that's coming out supports the view that some forms of adult/child sexual inter-action can be positive.
It's also because our government is becoming more fascist and restricting of free speech. While many people are falling prey to this censorship others are beginning to examine the dynamics of censorship, and better understand how it's used, and who it's used against.
I was recently struck by a article by Robert Fisk of the, "Independent," just published on Z Net called, "A Strange Kind of Freedom." He begin his article with the following story:
"Inside the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, the Californian audience had been struck silent. Dennis Bernstein, the Jewish host of KPFA Radio's Flashpoint current affairs programme, was reading some recent e-mails that he had received from Israel's supporters in America. Each one left the people in the church - Muslims, Jews, Christians - in a state of shock. "You mother-fucking-asshole-self-hating Jewish piece of shit. Hitler killed the wrong Jews. He should have killed your parents, so a piece of Jewish shit like you would not have been born. God willing, Arab terrorists will cut you to pieces Daniel Pearl-style, AMEN!!!"
As the author states:
"Bernstein's sin was to have covered the story of Israel's invasion of Jenin in April and to have interviewed journalists who investigated the killings that took place there - including Phil Reeves and Justin Huggler of The Independent - for his Flashpoint programme... .Indeed, you have to come to America to realise just how brave this small but vocal Jewish community is. Bernstein is the first to acknowledge that a combination of Israeli lobbyists and conservative Christian fundamentalists have in effect censored all free discussion of Israel and the Middle East out of the public domain in the US." In other words, censorship is used to protect the power of the powerful.
Another recent book about censorship is called, "Journalists Thrown 'Into the Buzzsaw," by David Winkler. An article is published on the Common Dreams web site and states the following about the book:
"Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press" is one of those unsettling books that will challenge one's basic assumptions about the news business." Winkler goes on to say:
"The buzzsaw is a powerful system of censorship in this country that is revealed to those reporting on extremely sensitive stories, usually having to do with high-level government and/or corporate malfeasance," Borjesson writes. "It often has a fatal effect on one's career."
Censorship is increasingly becoming an issue in America as students are forbidden to turn their backs during Presidential speeches, and John Ashcroft promotes the belief that any dissent regarding our government and its "war on terrorism" is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
When it comes to discussion of adult/child sexuality the dominant culture has always promoted a view the subject is beyond debate and discussion. This notion is clearly articulated in the article, "Controversial Studies Push Change in Society's View of Pedophilia," by Mark O'Keefe. He states the following:
"Sex between adults and children has been a societal taboo so strong that it's considered one of our few unquestioned moral principles. But arguments have emerged in academic journals, books and online that at least some such sex should be acceptable, especially when children consent to it."
Many responsible social scientists are speaking out on behalf of certain forms of adult/child sexual contact. Still, many religious zealots would like to see the discussion stifled completely. This would keep the issue in the first stage of ideological struggle. During this stage no debate is allowed and those who attempt to seriously discuss the subject in question are as Professor Harris Mirkin would say, "dismissed as ``radical,'' ``crazy,'' ``evil,'' or ``cult'' figures."
The article "X cusing Child Abuse," by Matt Kaufman states the following which reinforces the belief when it comes to adult/child sexual expression there should be no debate.
"On one level, I'm glad to see researchers fighting back against pedophilia. But it's troublesome to see there's a debate at all."
Perhaps the best article dealing with the process of censorship that has surrounded the discussion of adult/child sexual expression is written by Professor Harris Mirkin, chairman of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's political science department. His article was written for the Journal of Homosexuality in 1999. The article is titled "The Pattern of Sexual Politics: Feminism, Homosexuality and Pedophilia."
Mirkin makes many controversial statements in his article but backs them up with examples. For example, he says:
"This article will argue that, like homosexuality, the concept of child molestation is a culture and class specific modern creation. Though Americans consider intergenerational sex to be evil, it has been permissible or obligatory in many cultures and periods of history"
One of his more powerful statements is as follows:
"Ideologies are at their strongest when their correctness is simply accepted, and treating existing ideological categories and divisions as though they are objectively right serves the interests of groups that are considered legitimate. When a core of deviant group members begin to identify with each other and reject the dominant culture's assessment of their worth, as some women did in the first and second waves of feminism, as blacks did in the 1950's and 60's, and as gays and lesbians did in the late 60's and 70's, and as some pedophiles are doing now, the claim is made that the dominant categories are incorrect and changeable social creations. At this point there is a pre-debate. Dominant groups deny that there is anything to discuss, asserting that existing arrangements are self-evident and intuitively good, usually claiming that they reflect nature and a natural order. Dissenters are dismissed as ``radical,'' ``crazy,'' ``evil,'' or ``cult'' figures."
His article is well worth reading. It's not just for those who want to understand the current debate over pedophilia. It's also for those who want to understand the process which groups go through in order to gain recognition and acceptance in the dominant culture.
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