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To be absolutely shocked at this?

(24 Posts)
Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:12:59

I was reading the Catholic thread so went off for a google as you do and came across this.

It's The Mail quoting Peter Tatchell who was involved with Protest the Pope:

It is reported that he wrote in The Guardian back in 1997 though I cant find it online.

"The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.

‘While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful."

Surely if anyone is writing in a national newspaper that adults having sex with nine year olds gave them great joy they are condoning paedophilia or I have mis read this somehow because right now I find it shocking.

Here is a link

Read more:

fedupofnamechanging Tue 26-Jul-11 08:19:26

He (or his friends) may not feel abused, but they certainly were. And they've been harmed because they have grown up to think this behaviour is okay. That statement kind of proves the opposing argument to the one he was trying to make.

If you've misread that, then I have too.

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:22:12

I think it is completely irresponsible to put that into a national newspaper, it is a paedophile's dream. I've read they tell themselves the child is enjoying it is a way to excuse their vile behaviour.

I knew Tatchell is still campaigning for the age of consentual sex to be lowered to 14 but why would anyone listen to him after he wrote that article, it's beyond me.

Esta3GG Tue 26-Jul-11 08:26:18

Peter Hitchens is a toxic little scrote. The Daily Mail is a despicable rag.
Can't find the original article? No surprise there then.

If a 15 year old has sex with her 18 year old boyfriend that is paedophilia is it? Well it is in Hitchens' bizarro world.

Peter Tatchell was pointing out that he was defending the right to free speech with the publication of a book on the subject - he wasn't condoning paedophilia.

This is diversionary bullshit - let us not take the eye off the real bastards here - the catholic priests who sytematically raped and abused children for decades and their paymasters in Rome who covered it up.

SESthebrave Tue 26-Jul-11 08:33:28

Absolutely, the Daily Mail is despicable and so are paedophiles and anyone involved with covering up paedophilia.

However, OP, YANBU. The article is unbelievable! It is not taking about consensual sex between an 18yo and a 15yo but an adult with children - some as young as 9yo.

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:34:50

Esta if Tatchell didn't write that then why hasn't he sued the Daily Mail? I've just googled and can find it referred to on religious sites too and the date in June 1997 for it's appearance is cited too.

He may have thought he was defending the right to free speech but he was confirming to paedophiles, the sick and twisted belief that they were doing nothing wrong in having sex with nine year olds as his nine year old friend enjoyed it!!!! It's abhorrent in every sense of the word.

There is a thread for the Catholic church so by no means are eyes being taken off that.

However IMO any and all who would send messages to paedophiles that is not abhorrent,(Tatchell in this article) or cover it up (church) are to be both abhorred for their sick and twisted beliefs surely?

Esta3GG Tue 26-Jul-11 08:35:53

Has anyone here actually read the original article by Tatchell?
How is anyone in any position to comment on its content with only Hitchens' predictable hatchet-job to go by?

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:37:16

esta I'll see what else I can find on this.

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:41:08

The sex with nine year olds is repeated in here too. The Guardian wasn't on line I believe in 1997 so it can't be googled back to there. I've found the date again it was the 26 June 1997 that is being cited.

schomberg Tue 26-Jul-11 08:44:09

I typed it in to ProQuest. Here's the letter in full:

PETER TATCHELL. (1997, June 26). Letters to the Editor: Tatchell on sex with children (1959-2003),22. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003). (Document ID: 1176974012).

Esta3GG Tue 26-Jul-11 08:45:34

Without original source material there is no point even discussing it.

Actually some of this rings a bell - that maniac from Christian Voice tried to trigger a campaign based on this.

Interesting how the reportage of this is coming from those with a distinctly right wing christian agenda.

On the issue of why he hasn't sued - Tatchell believes in free speech. He doesn't believe that people should be prevented from saying anything - even when he is on the receiving end of nonsense.

This happened in 1997 - having to scrape the barrel to make a point aren't you?

When any of these critics have the balls to take on Mugabe, Russian neo-fascists and shits like Nick Griffin as Tatchell has, then get back to me.

schomberg Tue 26-Jul-11 08:46:13

I should just add the emphasis is not mine. I searched "Peter Tatchell" + "paedophilia" in news articles from 1997 to find it and I don't know how to removed the ProQuest red boxes.

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:48:47

Esta You are clearly a Tatchell fan but what if he did write this?

If he didn't why hasn't he sued?

Why are so many sites able to cite it?

Esta3GG Tue 26-Jul-11 08:53:54

I am not a fan - of anyone. I just despise witchunting of the kind Hitchens and the Daily Mail engage in.
Especially when it is endorsed by far right christians like Stephen Green.

Thanks Schomberg for the link.
You have to ask why certain groups of people are so quick to pounce on a letter to the Ed from 14 years ago?
Well it may be unpalatable to some - but inciting paedophilia? Do me a favour! Seems to me he is calling for rational informed debate on this subject - a subject so dominated by tabloid hysteria that people go out and attack a paeditrician's.

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:56:28

You don't think writing in a national newspaper that his friends from nine years of age and upwards found sex with adults joyous?

Because I sure as hell do!

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 08:57:37

Missed out "is wrong"

schomberg Tue 26-Jul-11 09:02:28

The letter seemed off so I did a bit more digging and found another letter from Tatchell responding to criticism of his letter. Had to have a bit of a chuckle at the letter next to it. This is the same Victoria Gillick of Gillick competence fame.

Again, sorry for the red boxes.

Peter Tatchell. (1997, July 1). Letters to the Editor: That child-sex row won't go away. The Guardian (1959-2003),16. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003). (Document ID: 1639577842).

Esta3GG Tue 26-Jul-11 09:29:03

"Wrong" Mitmoo? I don't think it is "wrong" because I believe in free speech.
I may dislike it, despise it, ridicule it - but is it "wrong"? No.
What is wrong is rape on an industrial scale within the Catholic church.
Do you honestly think anyone is sitting down reading the Guardian letters page thinking - "ok right that is it I am off to abuse children!"?

Superb Schomberg! Victoria Gillick one is hilarious. All paedophiles are gay men eh Vicky? Twat.
How far we have come in 14 years eh?

I think Tatchell's response makes his position on the whole thing very clear and anyone who cannot understand it is really just seeking out reasons to be shocked and find a whipping boy. I do think he could have phrased his first letter a bit better - but perhaps it read better before the Letter Ed got the nail scissors onto it. Who knows.

There's an awful lot of threads on kids and sex at the moment. Why is that?

lesley33 Tue 26-Jul-11 09:38:47

TBH after reading both the letters I think Peter Tatchell was very naive to write the first letter. He is right that some adults who were sexually abused do say they did enjoy it - I have heard 2 people say this. I don't know if this is a psychological defence, or real though. And I would never defend paedophiles.

VeronicaCake Tue 26-Jul-11 09:41:01

Cheers for putting the links up Schomberg.

So the timeline goes like this...

Jan 1997 An American academic based in Amsterdam publishes a book called 'Dares to Speak' exploring the history of man-boy love. We know these relationships occur, and they are repeatedly explored in literature, so he is hardly exposing a new phenomenon. But the difference with this book is that it is exploring the possibility that some of these relationships are positive rather than automatically abusive because of the age of the participants. I have not read the book in question but you can still order it on Amazon.

June 23rd 1997 Ros Coward writes a short article in the Guardian questioning the decision of the Gay Men's Press to publish this book and pointing out that the focus on boys suggests the authors have made some underlying assumptions about young male sexuality (that they are less vulnerable than girls and better able to protect themselves from exploitation).

June 26th 1997 The Guardian publishes a letter from Peter Tatchell in which he draws a distinction between paedophilia (which he doesn't define but states is impossible to condone) and beneficial sexual relations between older and younger people and cites the experiences of his friends in defence of the latter.

I do not think it is a particularly good letter, but Tatchell is not saying he thinks sex with children should be endorsed in our society, only that it is not automatically and irrevocably harmful. That is uncontroversial - we know that some people below the age of consent in our society are having sex and do not experience this sex as abusive. My difficulty is that I am sure young people as a whole are more vulnerable to abusive and exploitative relationships, which is why we discourage them from engaging in sex until they are more mature.

Anyone in authority who wants to abuse that power to coerce children into sex is unlikely to feel more motivated to do so after buying a subscription to ProQuest, or to the Guardian archives, searching for a letter to the editor written more than 14 years ago and then finding Peter Tatchell making a fairly minor point about whether it is acceptable to publish material which provides only a partial perspective on the harms and benefits of man-boy love. And if you want to make it hard for paedophiles to track down this mildly equivocal piece stop quoting it on Mumsnet!

Hitchens article is just so much blether. He seems to be saying that we are now innured to child sex in our society. But since Tatchell's letter was written we've passed the Sex Offences Act 2003 which actually creates more offences relating to the sexual exploitation of people under 18. We've tried to improve the conviction rates for all forms of sexual abuse including statutory rape. We've reduced (albeit not enough) the teen pregnancy rate. We still have ludicrously high levels of teen sex but that trend was already apparent in 1997. And we've had the Portsmouth riots indicating that many people are frightened and angered by child sexual abuse.

Hitchens seems to be suggesting that Tatchell's view on the sexual revolution is that it should just become a wholly unregulated free-for-all, and that in the future we will no longer be shocked by sex with children. But that is not what he was saying in 1997, and in any event the last 14 years have already demonstrated that Hitchens is spouting nonsense.

Wecanfixit Tue 26-Jul-11 11:44:29

All i can say is that is BANG out of order!

VirtualWitch Tue 26-Jul-11 12:47:01

I used to quite admire Peter Tatchell but now wonder if he is trying to distort reality to suit his own view of the world - which is quite an unusual and not particularly balanced or average view that most people would identify with.

Theres several things wrong with what he says. 9 year old children are far too young to be having sex. Adults know better than children and should not use their experience to influence them sexually. There are plenty of people their own age to have sex with, so why the attraction to children? Naiveity?

I know a huge number of gay men (the sport I do). It does seem quite common for them to have their first time sexual male on male experiences as children. There is at least one man I know of who should have been charged with child molestation but somehow, and mysteriously, charges were dropped. The accuser, who was 14 at the time, is now ostracised. He is gay but claims he would never have become gay had he not been introduced to gay sex as a child and struggles to cope with the fact that he is a gay man and is sexually attracted to men.

Getting some of the other "protoges" of this older man to talk about it is difficult. But of the straight ones, I'm pretty convinced most of them have had gay male sexual experiences and then decided it was not for them.

I'm not homophobic (actually love gay men) but I often wonder whether the outwardly gay scene (of which many gay men have no truck with) works on the basis of indoctrinating children into their lifestyle young.

Mitmoo Tue 26-Jul-11 12:57:42

I really don't think that most people become gay because of indoctrination, I believe for most it's just who they are, same as some people have blue eyes and others green.

Where I believe the line should be drawn is when arguing for a lowering of the age of consent regardless of any sexuality and saying he knew children as young as nine finding having sex with an adult a "joyous" experience.

Who in their right mind would put that vile garbage to print?

An adult have sex with a nine year old is abusing them, who knows what future damage would have been inflicted. If the child did enjoy it - 9 years old ffs, then the paedophile who raped him just was good at grooming.

Nine!!! Just go and stand outside a primary school look at the kids in year 4-5 and tell me that anyone of them should be having sex, and that if that happened no matter how much "joy" to quote Thatchell the child experiences, they should be banged up and not used as an example to argue for the lowering of the age of consent.

I have no idea why anyone has any respect for this man, I find his article vomit inducing.

VirtualWitch Tue 26-Jul-11 13:01:35

To avoid coming across as homophobic, adult men who have sex with girls under the age of 16 quite often claim it is due to the young being sexually prococious, promiscuous, lying about their ages, and so on. As if they had no control in the matter...

I do wonder though with gay men (and it is not universally accepted that being gay is determined from birth in all) that men who would never think of becoming gay can be swayed by early homosexual experience?

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