This piece by Cord Jefferson in Gawker, “Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children” has sparked plenty of controversy, not just because the topic is contentious but because the piece is really, really badly framed. (I don’t usually do ‘Trigger Warnings’, instead, I try to just make it clear from the beginning that something is going to be potentially upsetting to readers; but let me make it very clear with this one, there is a graphic description of child sexual abuse in that article and it is then riddled with rape apology).
That article by Jefferson is possibly worth reading only because here are two wonderful, wonderful responses to it – this, “Manufacturing Consent” from Ta-Nehsi Coates (one of my favourite contemporary writers) and this, “The Ethics of Writing About Sexual Abuse” from @graceishuman (one of my favourite people on Twitter and a kick-arse writer, too). These people get it. These people understand that you cannot ‘have sex’ with children, it is rape, and to suggest otherwise is rape apology. These people are not reactionary bigots calling for a witch-hunt on paedophiles. These people are not trying to equate pedophilia with homosexuality. These people’s sensible, intelligent words are calming my frazzled nerves. Thank god for these two.