The Way Forward?

November 11th, 2010 by Stephen James

What exactly is the best way forward for the minor attracted movement in a world whose hostility seems as unrelenting as ever?

In any radical movement there is a division between the ‘purists’ and the ‘pragmatists’. The purists seek the retention of simple undiluted principles and resist compromises aimed at short-time gain. NAMBLA is an example of a pro-minor attraction group that is, or was (when active), largely dominated by purists. Its position statements defended all forms of intergenerational relationships (except some forms of incest) and called for the complete abolition of all age of consent laws. Its leaders asserted the rights of minors to make decisions regarding their own bodies, a statement to which qualifications were rarely attached. As far as I can tell, NAMBLA has not generally shown the sort of interest in strategic goals (such as lowering ages of consent) that arguably ought to accompany their simple rallying-calls, which can only have practical realisation in the long term. (No country in the world is going to abolish age of consent laws in the foreseeable future.) The recommendations of pragmatists, focused on more short-term goals, are in general more likely to result in positive change, which may develop further in the long run. Purists can usually only obtain quick victory if they insist on violent revolution, which I hope is not on the agenda of anyone associated with our movement!

But what I want to suggest here is that there is a good case for an even more radical pragmatism (so to speak) than we find in support for limited reforms such as lowered age of consent laws. Minor attracted individuals have long considered themselves entitled to speak out on behalf of children and youths who enjoy consensual physical relationships with adults. This is not unreasonable. It would be better of course if these young people were able to speak on their own behalf, but, with a few exceptions, this is not possible, for obvious reasons. So why shouldn’t we? But there is a problem here. However reasonable it may be for us to take on this task, the result tends to be disastrous in practice. We are not seen as honest brokers. We have a vested interest in greater sexual freedom for young people and so our pronouncements on these matters are not taken seriously—worse, they are regarded in an outright hostile way as a means for us to promote our own ‘evil’ agenda. However unfair this might be, it is a fact which, for the time being at least, we have to accept, and something to which we must adapt our strategy. But what can we talk about with authority? Our own plight as minor attracted individuals, the stigmatisation and unfairness that we have to put up with on a daily basis. Of course, even here, there is a tendency in the popular mind to treat what we have to say as mere rationalisation. But that comes mainly from hearing about our accounts second-hand, which makes it easy to mock our remarks and treat them as dishonest. If the more articulate amongst us are able to speak about our situation directly to open-minded psychologists and health-care professionals at first, and to the general public in due course, this may help to slowly ‘humanise’ us and bring us some legitimacy.  From this point of view, an initiative like B4U-ACT in the U.S. represents a key development. It would be good see equivalents to this initiative in other countries such as the U.K.

None of this should be taken to suggest that we should stop debating such matters as age of consent laws, the illegality of child erotica and so on amongst ourselves. Nor should we pass up opportunities to quietly influence opinions on these matters outside our own ranks. It is just that this should not be the primary focus of activity at the present time.

Another point that we would do well to remember is that our societies are very primitive with regard to sexuality in general, not just as it relates to young people. One aspect of this is the way that erotic entertainment is looked down on, with the viewing of violence treated as a more legitimate form of activity than the viewing of happy consensual sex. Another is the stigmatisation of sex workers. A third is the fact that an enthusiasm for sex on the part of men is all too easily portrayed as an aspect of women’s oppression. Unless progress is made on these fronts, it is unlikely that we will be seeing acceptance of minor attraction for some considerable time to come.

3 Responses to “The Way Forward?”

  1. elixir Says:

    Hello mr james.
    i am very impressed with your article and i believe your words are absolutely relevant for this issue.
    Despite there being physical evidence of the existence of ‘minor-attracted people’ throughout history and even an active society of such people today it seems this modern society has dug in it’s heels and remains stubbornly opposed to opening it’s eyes to the truth: check out ‘Pashtun paedophiles’ gooogle.
    Please continue to raise awareness of the existence of this site. I only stumbled upon it by chance! It really needs to be spread through ‘the community’ especially as it has the long-term interests of many people at it’s core.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Sick paedophile fucks. You are absolutely disgusting.

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