lifeguard at the cement pond
The rise of the liberal groomer
Not every desire deserves to be empowered
Does progress have to mean the sexual liberation of children? Michel Foucault thought so, as did many of the now high-ranking Labour Party members who once supported the Paedophile Information Exchange. Sexual interest in children is hardly unique to the modern world, of course, or indeed the West. Child sex slaves were socially acceptable in ancient Rome, and the longstanding practice of bacha bazi in Afghanistan still sees young boys feminised and abused by adult men.
Nor is paedophilia unique to the progressive Left. Just this week, Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, prompting fellow Tory MP and LGBTQ advocate Crispin Blunt to declare angrily that Khan’s conviction was a “dreadful miscarriage of justice” and “nothing short of an international scandal”.
But it’s also true that since the sexual revolution, there has been a knocking on the door of progressive respectability by individuals with an intense interest in assisting the sexual development of children, and sometimes — as in the case of Foucault — questionable motives for doing so. Such activists invariably come armed with the logic of liberalism: using phrases such as “agency”, “consent” and “education”. The resulting queasy blend of pleasure, freedom, education and adolescence burst into flames this week, with news of a theatre production, The Family Sex Show, coming to Bristol that offers “relationships and sex education” supposedly suitable for ages five and up.