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A lot of people have been getting their bowels in an uproar about Amazon Books defending it's right to allow a book called 'The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure' written by some dude named Phillip R Greaves ( Amazon has since bowed to public pressure and withdrawn it)to be sold on their site. Amazon insisted on the right to sell written work based on such outre concepts as freedom of speech and information. Silly Amazon.
I carry no brief for paedophiles . This is the one pathology I have never been able to get my head around. I've dealt with both victims and perpetrators and it's still a mystery to me.
I *am* very anti-censorship.
Let's get the fool who wrote the 'guide' out of the way first because I can't see anyone who can't even spell 'lighter' grabbing a Pulitzer any time soon. This whole noise is not about, or should not be about, one illiterate and wrongly wired vanity author.
But let me ask you something - would it have been acceptable if it were published as a work of fiction? Look up the book 'Lolita' and invariably the word 'classic' will pop up. Well, I've read it and it's neither 'classic' nor memorable. It is the self-indulgent maunderings of a an (let it be hoped ) unrealized paedophile who has the license to put cheap and selfish justifications into his protagonist's mouth and willing stupidity into the victim's mouth thus making it all somehow ...O.K.. It's not. What if he had called his book " A guide to kidnapping and sexually abusing 12 year old girls'? Not so 'classic', that.
There are so many examples of how playing the shell-game of making something 'fiction' and thus acceptable has been played out.
Frankly, I see little difference between one person's 'guide to' and another person's ' this is what I imagine and you can imagine it through my words'. It shocks me that people even make this distinction: that it's fine to read fictionalized accounts of horrific things but it's not fine if someone makes the subject non-fiction. It's not as if heinous things don't happen in actuality. It's also deeply hypocritical to watch horror movies about sadistic killers or rapers yet suddenly get all Sunday school teacherish if someone dares to confirm that such things happen in reality.
The movie 'Pretty Baby' anyone? How about the Fashion industry's penchant for barely post-pubescent models?
I don't happen to approve of people being able to buy automatic assault rifles and I am appalled at the number of gun deaths in domestic situations . However, if I wrote that I thought NRA pamphlets should be banned people would think I was nuts. I find 'American Psycho' to be offensive. Maybe if he had called it 'The metrosexual's guide to serial murder' I could have it pulled from circulation. But I wouldn't because that would be censorship. I simply don't have to read this author's works. I was never afraid it turned people into serial killers or glorified that idea.
Censorship is born of the convoluted idea that words *cause* actions . It's the same argument that has been put forward to quash anything that doesn't fit into the current culture of the time's social mores. Just look up all books that have been banned. Banning 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' did not stop extra-marital sex or use of the 'F' word. Civil Rights marched on regardless of whether people liked or did not like 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and banning 'Catcher in the Rye' did not stop teen rebellion as far as I can tell.
Anybody that thinks that simply reading something will turn a person into what is being written about should give this notion some very deep thought. It's the same thinking that leads to such disturbingly ignorant concepts as the so-called 'Homosexual Agenda': the idea that just by being exposed to gay people, thought and ideas can actually alter a person's sexual orientation. This notion that physiological (including mental)make-up can be effected or altered by the printed word is odd.Are humans to be viewed in light of being in perpetual infancy and so must be protected from the nasty things that are out there? I feel this is selling adult humans a little short as well as pushing the idea that the written word has the power to literally change physiolgy .
No written work can alter a human's hard wiring or 'cause' pathology. Yes, ideas might encourage people to think and even to change but only as far as any experience or idea can change people's ideas. The key word here is 'ideas', not temperment or physiological predisposition.
It's taken as a given that there is no 'cure' for paedophilia. Now why is that? I'm not doubting the historical veracity of this but questioning why it so little studied and understood.
All this baying for censorship about it masks the larger problem. Simply tut-tutting about certain subject matters and banning books that deal with them is the equivalent of drawing down a window shade on what is being objected to. Hiding something doesn't make it go away and driving something underground makes it harder to examine. Doesn't anybody find it socially relevant that there is such a HUGE market for kiddie-porn, that whole plane charters are arranged for 'sex tourism' for men to go to countries that do not protect child prostitutes – hell, that there even IS this huge market for child prostitutes? What about those police sting operations where the number of men caught ( it's almost invariably men – no sexism intended) is in the double or sometimes triple digits in just one operation?
Simply banning books on it is not going to make it go away any time soon. Banning books has never worked , indeed, has had the opposite effect of piquing people's curiosity.
And for those that think that allowing such books to be sold somehow gives the act of paedophilia some kind of justifcation or approval – hello. Thousands of paedophiles don't need approval and people who are not paedophiles are not going to approve no matter how many glorification books are published. To think otherwise is to believe that the written word can cause pathology. It can't.
I think it's time we stopped employing cosmetic solutions such as book banning to serious problems and start addressing those problems in the 'real'.
Because real children are being harmed and not by books and not by the idea that people have been 'converted' to paedophilia by reading about it.It's a major distraction from a serious problem.
I'm not asking you to agree with me ,just....think about it.
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