Wednesday, October 13, 2004

An Immodest Proposal

[Ok, you're going to see where I'm going with this a mile away, but bear with me, there's a twist: my logic is ironclad, except for one fatal flaw...Can you spot it? Hint: it's a trick question!]

My Immodest Proposal:

I just had a great idea! As a single, 30-something male, I sometimes find myself with spare time on my hands, and feel an, um "urge", you might say, to give something back to the community.

And I just figured out how to do it!

I'd like to be a Girl Scout Leader!

So I'm a man. So what? What does that have to do with anything? Gender is just a social construct anyway, lighten up with your oppressive, outdated, sexist attitudes! The Girl Scouts are proud of their "non-discrimination" policies, so I'm sure they'll have to take me.

I mean, if the NJ Supreme Court could hold that private, off-campus eating clubs that served upperclassmen at Princeton University were "public accomodations" and so had to admit women, well then surely community-supported Girl Scouts would surely be found to be the same.

Why do I not lead the Boy Scouts? I just like being with girls better. Who are you to judge my preference? To judge my choice?

We'd have such fun on overnight campouts! Just me and the girls. Staying up late, roasting marshmallows, telling scary stories...If they got really upset I could comfort them. I have a lot to offer. A lot to "teach". I'm sure some great friendships would form. And perhaps, evolve...

These 17-year olds, you know, well, let's be honest, many of them aren't exactly "innocent", if ya know what I mean, and I think ya do! And they'll be technically "legal" in less than a year -- hey, sure, I'll wait (or at least, I intend to), but why not start forming what could be a beautiful longer-term "friendship" as soon as possible?
Ok, enough of that. Are you queasy yet?

I am, the idea is revolting.

But I imagine some readers may not be, for they see the punchline, and don't want to accept the conclusion, so are maintaining a precarious cognitive dissonance.

Perhaps I can dispell that with a little bit more of a nudge.

Maybe you're imagining me as a fine, upstanding citizen with NO ulterior motives. Many people are. But for the purposes of this argument, all you really know about me is that I have such a raging, uh, "desire" to take your 13 to 17-year old daughters out into the woods alone overnight that I'm willing to make a Federal Case out of it!

How do you feel about that idea? Really?

And how would you feel if celebrities and politicians and organizations started saying you were a terrible, bigoted, narrow-minded evil Nazi for having even had the slightest twinge of doubt that it might not be such a great idea to let a single, predatory, adult man spend unsupervised time alone with your nubile, pulchritudinous daughters?

To the extent of boycotting you and blacklisting you for such doubts?

I mean, is anyone really still thinking that's just fine and dandy? Honestly, if I really meant what I wrote above, I should be going to jail, no?

Now, clearly, what I'm really talking about is the "controversy" (the mere existence of said controversy being a mind-boggling stunner) of the the Boy Scouts having a policy of not allowing gay Scoutmasters.

The analogy is exact. If you didn't like a heterosexual man being with Girl Scouts, you must surely oppose gay Scoutmasters being alone overnight with teen boys for the same reasons, no?

And yet, you reject the notion. Why, it's not the same at all, you protest! That's because of my one little flaw in the ironclad logic I mentioned above. Did you spot it?

The "flaw" in my argument that keeps you from accepting it as obvious on its face is simply that it's not politically correct!

We were all raised on infuriating depictions of discrimination in the 70s and 80s; we all rooted (sorry!) for Kunta Kinte. We were taught to despise the cowboy for oppressing the noble Native American. And all anointed special-interest victim groups found themselves outside the bounds of criticism, and no demand, no matter how extreme or bizarre, could be denied.

The first counterargument I detect rising in your minds is that "gays aren't pedophiles!" and that I'm an awful person for even suggesting a gay man might be in the slightest, teensy-tiniest little bit attracted to a 15-17 year-old teen boy.

They are Professionals, completely and utterly devoid of all temptation, these gay Scoutmasters!

I'm sure many are. I'll stipulate that.

But I'll tell you something else, that you don't want to hear. But numbers don't lie.

First, take the recent "pedophile priest" scandal in the Catholic Church. Surely you've heard of it unless you've been under a rock. The term is actually a misnomer on two counts, as it was not so much an issue of true pedophilia (i.e. attraction to pre-pubescents, though some were) or even something intrinsic to the "celibacy" of the Catholic priesthood.

Instead, almost all of the victims were boys and many were teens. This was thus an issue of gay men who used the priesthood as a convenient cover to prey on teens and younger boys, gay culture fetishizing youth to an even greater extent than in the hetero world. That the seminaries are rife with homosexual behavior is not in doubt; a gay culture has taken control of much of the church hierarchy, which is why these abuses were so shamefully covered up: it was just a matter of what they were all doing, just having the youth envelope pushed "too far".

Because it is undeniable that gay men in particular are even more likely to pursue teen boys than even hetero men are to pursue teen girls! So my analogy above isn't even strong enough to match reality!

What, you scoff at such a notion as the deranged ramblings of the backward and the hateful?

Well then answer me this.

How come, when straight men outnumber gay men by something like 30 or 40 to one (and no, 10% of the population is not gay), that there are STILL enough gay men who want to have sex with young boys that they even have an organization devoted to lobbying for it: NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association (and no, I'm not going to link to it) -- and yet there is no corresponding "NAMGLA" to advocate for relaxing the laws for straight men to have sex with young girls?

Now why is that?

Assuming such an organization springs into existence when a minimum number of men demand it, then we can conclude, mathematically, that it MUST be the case that gay men are, statistically speaking, at least 30-40 times more likely to want to have sex with teen boys than straight men are to with teen girls.

That's more than a factor of ten more likely -- an order of magnitude, as we say in the science world! There's no mistaking factors of ten.

Given such a difference in desires, how is it not patently insane to rightly reject the notion of straight men taking teen girls out in the woods, but yet to militantly defend the "right" of gay men to take teen boys out into the woods?

And no, NAMBLA is not some fringe group, you will see their float proudly included in the Gay Pride Parade, being cheered and supported by all the proud gay-pride supporters.

It's an accepted part of the gay community.

Bad publicity has caused some dissension over the point, but the fact a sizable group defends their participation at all speaks volumes.

So now riddle me this.

Let's say you still stand firmly behind the "right" of a gay man to be a Scoutmaster.

And you let that precedent start. Indeed, you demand it. You celebrate it.

And they're all fine upstanding men, as of course many gay men of course are.

But what do you do when one of them happens to be a member of NAMBLA?

How would mere membership in such an organization disqualify him? Doesn't he have a "right" to private association with whatever groups he wants, as long as he doesn't hurt anyone?

Would you really be comfortable with that?

Ha. Yeah. Right.

See, by the time he might have proven his disqualification by "hurting" someone -- molesting a child -- well, it's already too late, isn't it?

Or is the unfortunate victim just a necessary sacrifice to vain displays of ostentatious tolerance and fair-mindedness?

What if it's your kid?

Are you angry yet with the United Way and other "charities" pulling funding from the Boy Scouts from trying to protect the children in their program? Or with town councils self-righteously denying resources to the Scouts to show their displeasure, which only hurts the youth of the town? Or people like Steven Spielberg who denounce the Scouts for their "intolerance"?

Look, there's a thing called "fiduciary duty" that people in professional positions of trust that deal with your finances and legal affairs have to adhere to. Their governing professional bodies demand a code of ethics that takes great pains to not only avoid actual impropriety, but even the appearance of impropriety.

Are the people who are in charge of our children to be held to a lesser ethical standard than the people who handle our money???


Blogger Bandersnatchi said...

Whew. What a hornet's nest. Interesting comments. One of the things I'm tempted to rebut is your argument about "what if just one" (Gay) Scoutmaster were to transgress seems to imply that we ought to lock out all Gay men from this role because of one (potential) problem. It's easy to say that this logic could result in all men, nay even ending the BSA, because there may be a problem with one Scoutmaster.

Now that this is off my chest, I will readily admit that this isn't the core of your argument as you have backed up your argument with a statistical overview with a spread of - as you said - in the 10% ranges. I'll have to give this some thought.

As a recpient of the Eagle Scout and having spent many years in Scouting and a committed scout and a liberal-leaner, this issue certainly challenges me.

Perhaps its a "pat" answer, but it seems the core argument is the BSA's repsonse to the liberal complaints that they are a private institution and can make their own rules is a valid argument. As long as they aren't being publically subsidized. I remember going to my Cub Scout pack meetings at our local public elemntary school. It is also important to note that as I moved on in the program, our meetings as Boy Scouts took place in a private church.

In light of the critisisms leveled at the BSA, I have to admit that if they want to use the "private organization" argument, that they have to dispense with meeting in (even donatated) public spaces...spaces which are funded by the public. As long as they dip into this pot of public funding, they remain exposed to critisim and, I should think, arguments that they are not, in fact, devoid of public funding.

The BSA, I feel, has every right to make its own rules; however, if it chooses to do so, it must maintain a presence which is not subsidized by the taxpayer. If this has occurred in the past 20 years or if it were to occur, I say "fie" on the liberal critics and let 'em do what they will do.

(For the record, I plan on getting involved once again in the BSA and do not share your concern over whether or not a Scoutmaster is Gay or no, nor would I, as a Scoutmaster, be dismissive of gay or even athiest Scouts. To me, Scouting's loftiest goal is to teach citizenship which is, in turn, living in a diverse and broad America (and World) and that goal is best served with a diversity in membership.)

- MTLChris

11:35 AM, October 15, 2004  
Blogger RDS said...

MTLChris -- thanks for the comments! They raise several important questions that are extensive enough to warrant a whole new post for clarification... See a few posts above...

10:04 PM, October 15, 2004  

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