SO MUCH SLIME, SO LITTLE TIME
The media is the new
church; the television its altar; the image its sacrament; the
First Amendment its
bible; and any critique its blasphemy. Libertarians are the
new evangelists, among them the various nudist, naturist
and pedophile magazines
pumped-up with select images of nude, white, young, able,
bonsaied, objectified women and children -- preaching, not "transgression" as
they claim, but age-old patriarchal privilege and rightfulness. And
now, we even find "pro-feminist" men's magazines helping
pedophiles recruit new assaulters.
reprinted from the ICONoclast & (Changing
Men Issue #25)
The following article was provoked by an extreme violation
of anti-sexist principles exhibited by the pro-feminist men's magazine, Changing
Men (C-Men) in its treatment of oppressive sex, specifically in
its latest, "Sex & Sexuality" issue (#24). The
issue even included an ad for NAMBLA, the incest-and-pedophilia-advocating
North American Man-Boy Love Association. This wasn't the first inroad
of pedophiles into the pro-feminist movement either.
Published in Madison,
Wisconsin for fifteen years C-Men Magazine is affiliated with the National
Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS). It is a major voice for the pro-feminist
men's movement focusing on "sex, politics, and gender" issues. After
months of struggling with the editors, the article printed here will almost surely
be published in issue #25 of their magazine. This article has also been published
in Off Our Backs, a Washington D.C. based feminist newspaper.
Besides the story
told here there is another whole separate one that will be told eventually about C-Men's
and the NOMAS leadership council's reaction when faced with and challenged about
these issues. At this point the magazine has expressed deep regret at running
two pedophile ads. But, at this point, the position that NOMAS will take is not
NOMAS has thus far
released a statement saying they were shocked to see one of the ads appear. However,
one of the main points of contention in the same issue with the NAMBLA ad is
a feature article written by one of the founders of their organization. At this
time it seems that the NOMAS debate is beginning to center around whether a 17-year-old
having sex with a 12-year-old (and a 40 year old therapist writing about it for
the enjoyment of adult pro-feminist men in an unexamined, enthusiastic narrative)
is inappropriate or not. A significant number of the NOMAS leadership collective
have voiced strong opinions that the age difference does not necessarily denote
an imbalance in power and therefor abuse. There are many who disagree.
Since many feminists
and pro-feminists are no longer willing to align with anyone who refuses to incorporate
a critical analysis about power relationships-including when it comes to sex
-- there are crucial lines to be drawn here by the pro-feminist and feminist
am pissed off I have to write this article in the first place,
deeply disappointed in Changing Men's editors, and more
than worried about their general readership, too. I mean, do you
guys get off on this stuff, or what? If you do, a lot of
women who are considering you and NOMAS allies want to know, and
we want to know now. It's too late for a simple apology
from the editors to suffice. Unless Changing Men radically
changes itself, its editorial and advertising guidelines,
and becomes more accountable for what it chooses to publish, I'm
going to join with others to organize a major boycott.
This critique will
step outside the usual liberal platitudes where so many presently stand navel-deep
in the quicksand of traditional, unaccountable libertarianism. It will document
how the pedophile movement is a contradiction and a threat to the pro-feminist,
and indeed to any progressive, egalitarian, agenda. It will offer concrete steps
that pro-feminist men can take to counter the pedophile agenda. It is a call
for male editors, writers and readers, even the more "sensitized" ones,
to become more accountable to victims of sexual abuse. Expect it to be confrontive
and dead serious about ending sexism - an "in-your-face," challenge
of the sanctity of male sexual self-interest.
There are numerous
things besides the pedophile ad for NAMBLA that have my hackles up about the
latest issue of this magazine. There's Jeff Bean's hot article about "First
Loves," about when the author was "looking into [the child's] pink-lipped
boyish face . . . smelling his youthful skin. . . and being afraid to crush him" (and
wanting to possess him, and all) back when he was 17 and had sex with a 12-year-old.
The first-person narrative, all about sex and the joy of trying to pressure several
boys into it, was written by a "therapist . . . leader and organizer in
the feminist men's movement . . . " and a big wheel in NOMAS. And what about
the accompanying petite mort artsy-fartsy cheesecake shot? (p. 29 ) Was
all that goop smeared over the unconscious or sleeping models meant to suggest
blood? Only the editors know for sure.
It's too bad that C-Men chose
to publish an article so true to the canon of child pornography. It isn't just
the age differential, either. Throughout, Beane just revels in power imbalance;
and his wet dream nostalgia is written for adult men about children. Beane's
sexual objectification of youths is ominously consistent with C-Men running
an ad for NAMBLA in the same issue. And what are we to think about the editors'
placement of the "Beloved Brothers" t-shirt ad right smack-dab next
to Beane's fond memories of what many are interpreting to be child sexual abuse?
It reads: "Always remember our LOVE is GOOD our MANHOOD is COMPLETE and
without LIMITS". Without limits?! Hmmm.
of operating without limits: What about the ad for Libido magazine with
that dehumanized woman in her upper-classy basic-black cocktail dress,
her head cropped so that only her fetishized, lipsticked mouth is showing, as
her breasts are groped by her own and anonymous hands, one of them gloved (What's
so fucking erotic about that?!)? But hey, she's smiling so I guess she's supposed to
like being manhandled, as in any pornography. The ad even quotes a rave review
of Libido from Playboy. (Playboy being, of course, that
other pro-feminist men's magazine; yup, these days even Hef can get away with
calling himself a feminist.)
will never support any publication that defends their entitlement to publish
such a problematic picture unless it were being used to challenge exploitation.
Besides, what's that dehumanizing, exploitative, image doing perched just above
an ad for the video series entitled, "Counseling the Sexual Abuse Survivor"?
Insensitive as hell, I'd say. Seeing the names of Florence Rush, Diana Russell,
Louise Armstrong, Sandra Butler, Lucy Berliner and David Finkelhor (all researchers
and/or activists against sexual abuse) juxtaposed with the Libido ad made
me want to vomit. Wonder how they feel knowing a magazine committed to "non-oppressive
masculinity" does this to them and their work? (The two images reproduced
here are reproduced from Libido around the same period.)
theme for the whole issue was Duane Allen's "Invitation to Transgressive
Sex" (p. 4), an appeal to "violate playfully the current genres of
sexuality" in which Allen also endorses advocates of sado-masochistic pornography.
Allen expresses such confusion about oppression that he actually summons visions
of orgies as a valid form of opposition to our war on Iraq: "i.e. using
sexual energy/pleasure to counterbalance violence, hatred, repression." As
if Amerikans pleasuring each other counterbalanced the death and devastation
we visit on non-Amerikans! Well, suck my Patriot . . . No wonder. If whips, chains
and Nazi/Jew scenarios can engender such swell(ing) hard-ons in those exploring
sado-masochistic (more precisely sado-fascist) scenarios, then sexualizing war
might get them to just explode . . . with pleasure, that is. Still, many
of us, when we want to quench our anti-oppression passions, will be too busy
fucking up deserving political targets to be lolling around in bed too much with
anybody. But won't the next 200,000 Iraqis feel great knowing that at least someone
in the U.S.A. does give a flying fuck about their massacre?
NAMBLA is an organization dedicated to the total elimination
of sexual age-of-consent statutes. Its members believe that
children any age, even under 10 years old, should have "free
choice" regarding sexual involvements with adults. It's
hard to imagine how NAMBLA keeps children from flocking to
their meetings since, according to them and their allies, so
many children experience wonderful, positive sexual experiences
with grown-ups. But, as I and other researchers have ascertained,
NAMBLA's meetings are made up nearly exclusively of adult,
The classified ad
in the last issue of C-Men for NAMBLA (#24, p. 61) reads: "NAMBLA
seeks justice for men and boys interested in consensual relationships. Our monthly
Bulletin features news, fiction, letters, pictures. Mailed discreetly. Subscribe!"
What was this ad
doing in C-Men? It didn't "just happen". Somebody took NAMBLA's
money, typed the ad, layed it out, and proofed it. Shit didn't just happen. Decisions
were made. Who made them?
But there is more.
Back in the winter of 1987 one of the editors of C-Men (while we were
visiting at the house of a mutual friend) handed me the premiere issue (Autumn
1987) of Uncommon Desires (UD), a pedophile magazine, catering
to "man-girl sex" enthusiasts. He asked me what I thought of it.
The moment I read
the table of contents I knew I had my hands on an important document. I nonchalantly
browsed through it, but my mind was racing. I had to figure out, quick, what
needed to be done about this obviously (if I may borrow from Duane Allen the
term) "transgressive" journal. I asked him if I could keep it overnight,
saying to him that I wanted more time to look at it before formulating any opinion.
He said OK. I was up all night reading it and making
phone calls. The next day I made about 50 copies, and mailed it to every cop
and postal inspector I could find an address for.
Then, in the next
issue of Changing Men (#19, p. 44) I noticed the following ad: "Uncommon
Desires. Non-fiction journal about girl love. Power, equality, consent, social/sexual
oppression of girls in patriarchy, ethical intergenerational relationships. Does
not contain or advertise any photographs or written erotica."
When I saw that pedophile
ad I was very upset because I knew C-Men was aware of the publication
before the UD ad appeared in their magazine. But I didn't say anything
at the time. Instead, partly as a result of that ad, I began an undercover correspondence
with the editor of Uncommon Desires. I pretended I was a pro-feminist
man in North Carolina who'd seen the ad in C-Men. In his second letter
to me, the editor, N.S. Aristoff (an alias), wrote: "By the way, Changing
Men was very positive (or at least non-judgmental) about UD - [the
editor] in particular, with whom I spoke on the telephone on two occasions."
What?! My policy,
when I'm talking to men who promote having sex with children, is that I am either
lying through my teeth to them and pumping them for all the information I can
get to be used against them, or I'm confronting them in ways they will never
be able to forget. Same as any conversation I would have with a racist, a pedophile
would never mistake my position to be condoning abusive behavior - unless
I decided I wanted him to for my own purposes.
In a recent conversation
the editor told me he didn't remember seeing the magazine, showing it to me,
talking to the editor of UD on the phone twice, or having run the UD or
NAMBLA ads. The other managing editor also denies knowingly having run this ad.
All of them claim they would not have run these ads had they been aware
of them. Too bad these appear to have been truly unimportant and unremarkable
incidents to them all. What are editors for, anyway?
When they say this
I tend to believe them. They have even agreed that my turning over UD to
law enforcement was the "appropriate action to take". Still they have
some explaining to do. Until they show some accountability for their actions
I am uncomfortable with them being let off the hook. To do so would be, perhaps,
dangerously naive - particularly in light of Jeff Beane's ode to man-boy love
article in the same issue with the NAMBLA ad.
It's easy to see
that liberalism, wishy-washy analysis, and complicitous silence may all be interpreted,
as it was in this situation, as approval for the pedophile's all too common "desires." And
it's a task to figure out whether mistakes like these, made out of stupidity
and sloppiness, are better or worse than the choices based on intentional complicity
Two facts remain,
regardless of the actual intentions of the editors of C-Men: 1. They have
been irresponsible in running these ads; 2. their behavior was sufficiently vague
as to be misconstrued as supportive and/or non-judgmental by the editor of UD (and,
I might add, one activist against sexual violence). Don't these pro-feminist
activists need to be a lot more responsible in their general editorial practices
and, specifically, in challenging and confronting known pedophiles?
HOW TO HAVE SEX WITH KIDS
Discovering the existence of Uncommon Desires was
important enough to me that I was unable to forget it. From
the moment I found out about it, I began to ferret out all
the information I could about this magazine and the extensive pedophile
network related to it.
Uncommon Desires (Passion
Press) purports to be a "feminist" organization espousing "the
voice of a politically-conscious girl-love underground." It works to establish
cultural and legal justifications for adult men having sex with female children.
Its editor alleges that UD is not "an active network of individuals
creating and exchanging erotica and exploiting children . . . Our underground
does none of this. We only raise political consciousness and prick the conscience
of those who would bring harm to others." From what I gather, the harm they
are speaking of would come from overzealous child protectors, and not from men
who use children sexually. The membership is described as: "drawn together
because of deep concern for the girls [they] love."
of the UD writers (many using aliases) have been arrested on child pornography
charges. One name I recognized in the table of contents of that first issue was
the "sex researcher" David Sonenschein (a.k.a. David Gordon). Sonenschein
is founder of the Austin Pedophile Study Group, an articulate proponent for sado-fascism,
and the author of a self-published pamphlet called How To Have Sex With Kids.
This man is just one of the many sexual predators working closely with the editor
of UD. So much slime, So little time.
and functions as the lesser known brother publication to the NAMBLA Bulletin,
and seeks the same acceptance and success by promoting "girl-love" and
the "attraction to pre-pubescent or pubescent girls" through legal
channels. UD defines this "attraction" (in the publication at
least) as a "loving and nurturing erotic/affectional (though not necessarily sexualized)
Yet, despite any
disclaimers, every page of UD - including its statistical information
on sexual attraction to children and its sophisticated philosophical justifications
for pedophilia - is all about adults' sex with young girls. Both UD and
the NAMBLA Bulletin promote incest and child sexual abuse.
are men's organizations and they do a lot of 'male bonding' - constantly exchanging
subscribers, information, photographs and sometimes even children. In a mailing
to the general readership in December, 1990, the editor of UD states: "Without
NAMBLA, UD would not even exist!" He admits that he gets most of
his subscriptions from ads run in the NAMBLA Bulletin. The editor says that he
thinks that girl "lovers" are reading the NAMBLA Bulletin because there's
nothing else available that advocates sex with girls; thus these men make alliances
with organizations that advocate sex with boys. But I have another opinion. I
believe these men crave the power imbalance, the transgression, and the child's
naiveté that is intrinsic to adult-on-child sex, regardless of the child's
gender. On the otherhand there are a lot of men who will stick it in anything
that's walking (or crawling) and about its gender (or humanity for that matter)
they couldn't care less.
rationales and verbal subterfuge, pedophiles are waging a widespread disinformation
campaign to gain public acceptance. But once one pushes past their liberal-chic
front men and women to the average male abusers on trial in courtrooms, it becomes
all too clear that what these men really want and do is to take, trade, publish
and possess nude photographs of children - and fuck them, too, whenever possible.
Since many of their
favorite activities are illegal in this country. the men who run these pedophile
groups have a daunting public relations and damage control task. For example,
the lawyer for UD, Lawrence Stanley, who is also a board member of NAMBLA
and a European pedophile publication called Padika was arrested last year
and charged with receiving and conspiring to import child pornography. (He was
never convicted.) This occurred after he requested that a "lost" suitcase
belonging to one of his "clients," Don Marcus, be delivered to his
office at Tommy Boy Music in New York City. The suitcase, according to New
York Newsday (12/10/91) contained at least 84 pictures of pre-teenage French
children exposing their genitalia. Marcus, a family counselor and naturist (as
is Stanley who is listed as an American Sunbathing Association attorney), had
fled prosecution in 1989 and is currently wanted for importation of child pornography.