This is meant to be a discussion point, honest!
The actual definition of the word is simply someone that "likes" children. Well, we all like children, I have 5 and I have 2 grandchildren. I like children... If you are a francophile you like the French. It does not mean you want to have sex with all French people! Pedophile, as a word, has become more refined, not only someone sexually attracted to children but someone that actually commits illegal acts and abuses children. The word has become quite specific.
I have children (grown up) and grandchildren - I would be horrified if any of them, at any time in their life, were at any risk from someone even thinking of abusing them in any way, sexual or otherwise.
I personally have no sexual desire for children, and I feel that I have to make that clear when making such a blog post. I find the whole idea repulsive and wrong. The issue is that even someone wanting to debate such issues is at risk of being branded a pervert!
However, I also have no sexual desire for sex with men, and this is where the whole issue gets complicated.
We now, in society, accept that there are homosexuals. I know several, and I have nothing against them. That sounds condescending somehow, sorry - the fact that a person is gay or not really does not matter to me, and why should it? Yes, if I were not married, and I found a woman sexually attractive, it would matter that she was a lesbian, as I would not pursue sexual relations with her, but in general such things do not matter... We do not need to know or care of such things normally.
We accept that homosexuals, even as a statistical minority, are just as they are, it is the "way they are", and not a choice, and the same goes for a whole spectrum of people that "identify" as a different sex to their organs, etc.
These days the whole notion that we just know another people's gender is rather odd. It is locked in to our language and culture, but why? It probably stems from 500,000 years of that mattering and basically identifying if you can fuck someone or not. But in modern society it is not quite the same.
I support this view. I have my, somewhat conventional, feelings and desires, but I completely respect that other people may have very different feelings and desires.
Except, when people are "cursed" with a sexual desire for children - that is different somehow, and for a very good reason. Children cannot consent to such things, and should not be abused. They are inherently vulnerable and absolutely need protection. The "desire" is not the problem, the "act" is the problem.
The issue is where people are "cursed" with that being "the way they are", and sexually attracted to children. Now, they can never legally, or morally, pursue that desire. Children are out of bounds, and rightfully so! But do we accept that is "the way they are" or do we assume they are "ill"?
If we accept that is "the way they are" then things like "dolls", and "cartoons", and even videos with young looking actors and actresses that are actually of legal age, should not be an issue - surely?
What you do in the privacy of your own home should surely never be an issue if nobody is abused. Right now, legally, it is an issue. Right now, cartoons of child abuse are illegal, and even some dolls are illegal to import, even a video if the person "looks" too young is illegal! The idea that a judge is trying to asses the age that a cartoon looks is crazy, in my view. Imagine if you have videos like Avatar - if that is sex with an alien that is depicted as under 18 Earth years old, as that is how they are depicted as being mature on their world - that matters in law now!? How crazy is that?!?
The idea is that such things are a "gateway" to abusing children. I am no psychologist, but is that true? or is it only true because such things are already the wrong side of the law? If they were all allowed, but actual abuse of children was clearly where the line is drawn, would allowing such things, in the privacy of your own home, help such people live out their lives without actually abusing children? I really do not know!
Maybe this is where I do not know enough? Maybe this is simple and such things lead to actual abuse? If so, then maybe the law is right as now.
It only makes sense to stop them if we consider them "ill" rather than "the way they were born". So that is the question... How is it that a man attracted to a man is "the way you are", but a man attracted to a child is "perverted and ill"? What is the actual difference?
I will now be very non PC, and say that not only do I feel the whole idea of sex with a child is inconceivably repulsive to me, but so is sex with a man. That is "the way I am", somewhat "regular heterosexual". I am not meaning to be offensive, that is just the way I was born.
I imagine some gay men I know would find the idea of sex with a woman repulsive too. At least they may find it unappealing. That is the way they were born. That is life...
That does not mean I do not respect the rights of homosexuals to their life and desires and consensual activities, I do. But apparently sexual desire for a child is placed in a different category - why?
I post this actually to spark debate. I say this as someone promoting privacy, the very privacy that people in the whole transgender, homosexual, whatever, communities now, want and need. Privacy we all want, to be honest! Why is what you do alone or with consenting adults without physical harm in your own home not always legal? If you are one of those wanking over a cartoon or a doll of a child, does that actually harm anyone? Can we have some clear lines of actual harm, and harmless private fantasies here?
I always find it strange that we endorse fantasies over killing and carnage in films with no problem - serious issues, but nobody bats an eyelid over watching Die Hard or some cowboy western. Why are films over sex so much more taboo?
Or, is sexual attraction to a child actually "special" and "a mental illness" and not "the way you are", and if so, why? Really, why is that not just the way those people were born?
Comments welcome, and once again, I have to stress so much that I don't know any pedophiles, and I would not want anyone going near any of my children or grandchildren with such thoughts, sorry. I am rather prejudice myself on this - what I am trying to do is see past any wish to regulate people's private desires and fantasies in their own home. Really, what you do in your mind, your dreams, and your own home with no actual abuse, I really feel is not my concern.
I have a strong view that criminalising one's thoughts is an issue. If we are not careful, one day, we will have "dream police". And whilst I consider myself pretty "normal" in many ways, I would never ever want to be judged on my dreams and desires!
P.S. Why that picture? Well, Carry-On films were made in a day when the idea of someone dressing up in a school uniform for fun in the bedroom was not seen as being wrong in any way - I am sure that featured in some of them, but could not find the relevant picture. Maybe I am misremembering. These days, a cartoon can be deemed to be depicting someone under age because it shows someone in school uniform, from what I understand of cases I have seen reported.