Pedophilia is a sickening practice that no doubt has confused American soldiers in Afghanistan — and elsewhere. No wonder they come home with PTSD.
I was sent the above 2015 New York Times article by Reader Rose, who commented, in reference to my recent post, “Childhood’s End”?
Ann, this is not an easy read yet is as important today (if not more so) than when first published as an addendum to on-going discussions related to issues of military recruitment and the ‘mindset’ of today’s young people. I forward the article in nod to your spot-on heading for the subject.
‘Childhood’s End’ (?) . . . imagine being exposed to bacha bazi as a young impressionable US raw recruit with no real frame of reference for mid-eastern culturally accepted practices that in the western world are viewed as totally unacceptable.
I have forwarded this article to friends who are retired military and the response has been complete dismay that US troops are dealing with situations of this type and wonder that the issue is not being more widely reported. All were unaware and are now putting out the word.
The lesson for me in this is reaffirmation that viable reform in all of our country’s severely compromised institutions begins with an informed populace.
Let’s note that while pedophilia may be a “culturally accepted practice” in Afghanistan, it is not universal, even there; witness, in the article, the mothers’ horror at what is being done to their children.
And yet, notice that recently, even the New York Times makes attempts to normalize pedophilia.
What is “normal,” what not? Is normal always relative to what is acceptable within a certain society? If so, then normal is not necessarily virtuous, or ethical. Rather, it’s just an effort to persuade that one or more human beings are sanctioned to take power over other human beings. In other words, The Golden Rule, which IS universal, is thereby violated.
Not that this violation hasn’t been going on for centuries. See:
And child rape, and other forms of sexual violence, is common practice, part of the “spoils” of victory in war.
One might say that the root of the problem of pedophilia and other forms of human on human violence is war, and, deeper: it appears as a structural aspect of patriarchy, taken to extremes. I personally, have traveled to the remains of ancient villages which were not surrounded by walls. In other words, they had no need of defense from the hated “Other.”
See for this ancient way of life, Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade.
And see Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor’s Monumental The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth.
I, and many many others, would suggest that The Golden Rule include not just other humans as ourselves, but the living, breathing, conscious Earth as well. How can we dare to think that we can act as if She doesn’t count? How can we dare to ever “go to war” to destroy others? Or use others as “spoils”? How can we ever assume pederasty, pedophilia, and other forms of I think it was Starhawk who first identified as “power over” (as distinguished from “power from within” and “to empower”) are either normal or ethical?
Note that Patriarchy — and pedophilia? — first reared its ugly head in Ancient Greece.