28 July 2006

Advise and Dissent

Folks, your humble party host is looking for some help and guidance. I'm in the midst of drafting what will be a fairly short (by my standards) little paper to the Minister of Justice regarding strengthening laws involving sexual assault, violent pornography, and prostitution. Happy subjects, I know, and issues which are always controversial because someone will inevitably say that the Government of Canada has no business legislating morality.
A cursory examination of the Criminal Code reveals that the punishment on the books for some of the most awful crimes people commit against each other are depressingly weak and ineffectual. A lot of offences involving child pornography--the mere existence of which is deemed by the Supreme Court of Canada to be a danger to all children, not just the ones directly involved--and child exploitation (molestation, coercion, etc.) have penalties as low as a summary conviction (max. 6 months in jail and/or a $2000 fine). A rapist can be out of jail in as little as 18 months after conviction. A pimp that exploits children for sex has a minimum penalty of only 2 years--two years for destroying a child's life.
What I'm asking from you all is advice as to what you think should be recommended to the Government of Canada to strengthen the punishments against those who prey largely on those considered to be society's most vulnerable. Should we be going after longer prison terms? Mandatory minimums? How can we protect people from others who will use, abuse, exploit, and degrade them?
I'm of the mind to go with the mandatory minimums because they do establish a clear baseline deterrence. Hopefully a pervert or pornographer will have enough rationality to come to the conclusion that their repugnant practices are not worth spending a guaranteed X number of years in jail where they'll be severely dealt with by the "prisoner's code." It would be nice if they didn't have such dark thoughts in the first place, but given that they are already beyond that point, the best we can hope for is to deter and contain them from engaging in behaviour that puts women and children at risk.
I'm also thinking of putting together a petition that supplement my own voice and demonstrate that there is a modicum of acceptance of the idea that the government can and should do more to keep people away from engaging in deleterious behaviour that relegates other people to second-class citizenship and in some cases even denies their humanity. I've never done something like that before, and I wouldn't really know where to start. I'm sure that I could go visit the Nova Scotia Council on the Status of Women and they'd be happy to help me out, so that seems like Point A. But are there legitimate ways to get these going over the internet that are recognized by the Government? Any help that you fine folks can provide would be greatly appreciated.

This is something that I strongly believe in. We are at a point where 1 in 2 women will be subjected to some form of physical and/or emotional abuse during the course of their lives. This number is far, far too high. I find that governments take action when they are compelled by large numbers of their population to redress a wrong. The extent of violence against women and children is exceedingly wrong. This is where you and I come into the picture. We can do this, we have the power to make the violence and the exploitation stop. Let's make it happen.

I'm hoping to have my initial draft letter/paper done in the next day or so. When I do I'll find a way to upload it as a .pdf for further discussion.

25 comments:

Jason Bo Green said...

Ugh, way to pick a loser topic, Richard... well, here's my random thoughts.

First off, your timing is all wrong. But I see you've made up your mind, so go with the higher minimum jail sentences.

They won't work, though.

Richard, I like b/c you're an IR guy, and I like to know people who know more than me. Me, I'm a fictional narrative guy, and let me tell you - fiction is all based in truth, and one of the most powerful truths in all of fiction is that there IS no deterrent to sex. None.

That's what every single film noir ever made tells us. It's what Samson and Delilah tells us. It's what Superman II says. Or, actually, Superman I. Psycho, The Birds, the average James Bond movie. Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm, Walt Disney - Shakespeare, Stephen King, you name it. Nothing, but nothing, can deter sex.

Sure, you can deter it in public, or with cousins, or with men (well, if you're a man), or with animals. But get a bestialitist alone with an animal, and there you are.

Now, I'm talking about child rapists and johns who go to child-pimpers, when I say that. And, I guess, guys who want to masturbate to child pornography, probably. It's tough - maybe impossible - to deter them.

Pornography rings, on the other hand - tougher jail sentences could probably, I guess, lower incidences of copying and passing along videos or pictures.

For people who actually have intercourse with kids on a repeat basis, probably some form of castration or forced androgen suppression (I'm not a doctor and can't say for sure if castration would do it) would probably be the best option. But there's no way the government is going to pursue that strategy (hence, my "timing's way off" comment).

People may disagree - I respect that.

One of the things I've learned from human nature is that sexual impulse is an almost unbeatable thing. People risk jail for it, they risk their marriages and families for it, they risk their jobs for it - they risk ANYthing.

I don't know your type, Richard, if it's Ginger or Maryanne, or Betty or Veronica (or Jughead or the Professor), but most men, given the once in a lifetime opportunity to get it on with Ginger, won't, in the "heat of the moment", consider the consequences. At that moment, there ARE no consequences.

Certainly, you could argue that greater consequences could prevent someone from getting INTO that "heat of the moment" - there might be something there, I'm not sure.

Okay, in other words: I don't know.

RGM said...

One of the things I've learned from human nature is that sexual impulse is an almost unbeatable thing.

I have a problem with this comment because it reduces us to base animals that are essentially slaves to our penises. I reject this notion out of hand. I do not believe that we simply lack the ability to restrain ourselves. We are not ducks, we are not dogs, we are people, and people have the ability to think, rationalize, and introspect.
In many ways, it is not a nature argument, it is a nurture/cultural argument. When sex is everywhere on television, movies, and the other forms of media that you have cited as some measure of credible evidence and people willingly turn off their brains because they've got it drilled into their heads that they're supposed to drool slavishly to the latest Jessica Simpson video, I can see how people would make the argument that, gosh darnit, we're just men and we can't help ourselves. Bullshit. It's all bullshit.
People don't think, they just see what they're programmed to see and respond according to how they think they're supposed to be respond. There's no critical thinking, no stepping back and pondering why it is that everybody under the sun thinks that [insert star of the month] is the hottest thing to come around since the sun was born.
What you see on television is not sex. Pornography is not sex. Prostitution is not sex. Sex is nothing something that is to be deterred, the manipulation and exploitation of sex and sexuality is a serious problem. The most profound disservice done to both women and men by pornography is the blurring of the line between what is sex and what is degradation, humiliation, and a demonstration of power. Because of this, people truly believe that women enjoy all the things that men consume voraciously in their pornography. It just isn't true.
If you don't believe me, talk to the thousands upon thousands of women who are increasingly raising alarms and saying, 'what the hell is going on here?' Go check out Pamela Paul's Pornified or Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs for two excellent voices that are fed up with the sexualization of everything.
I was coming home this morning, and after I got off the bus the bench had a fitness centre ad that said "We've Got Blue Balls." I can't make this stuff up. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Dude I shit you not one little bit that I hate watching television and seeing women being prostituted so that the record company or whoever can sell a few extra CDs and make a few more bucks. I hate seeing someone like Nelly Furtado, whose music I've never liked but have at least respected because she hadn't gone the Christina Aguilera route, singing about what a promiscuous girl she is. This is the type of crap that feeds the mentality of people that *all* women behave this way and just want to have sex with everybody in sight. That simply is not true, despite what the television tells you.
I realize that I am in a rather significant minority here: men who are railing against a system that is organized and perpetuated for their pleasure and gratification. It is not a popular position; your initial comment that this is a "loser topic" is one that will have an echo among the great majority of men who read this post. However, I think that it is better to be right than to be popular. I would rather be on the side in which people are demanding an end to hurting women and children and using them for one's own sexual pleasure at the expense of women and children's lives than the side that features people who believe and say things like this:


To any younger readers or women viewers who may be triggered by violent descriptions of the pornographer's view of women's purpose, I recommend you to avoid going further...






"Women were born with three holes for one purpose: To cram a cock deep inside every cuddly cavity! Like true cock sockets, our whores subject their beautiful bodies to the nastiest 4-way debauchery ever lensed."
- From description of Zero Tolerance: No Holes Barred DVD


If you had a choice of these two sides, which would you take?

Devin said...

Richard:

I am not sure what can be done about the prevalence of crime against women and children. I will think on it and let you know if I come up with anything. I will say this though: mandatory minimum sentences serve no purpose as a deterrent.

Devin said...

Richard:

Also, your comments with respect to the sexual impulses demonstrates a lack of education on the topic. While not every man is a slave to his penis, those who commit sexual abuses, especially against children, are deviants. Science will tell you that, in the vast majority of cases, these deviants are literally unable to control their impulses.

Then again, that opens a whole new can of worms in the discussion on what the appropriate punishment for sex crimes should be.

RGM said...

Devin, thanks for your input and I look forward to any further comments you may have on the topic. I take umbrage to your statement that I have "a lack of education" on this topic; I've been alive for 25 years, and I've been surrounded by people all my life. I've heard people say some truly awful things about women, I've seen enough newsreports about child porn ring busts, heard enough tales of people raped to say that I'm educated on the subject. Do we really need a science report to see that men are not exercising good judgment and restraint?

I do not disagree with you that the people who are committing sexual crimes are deviants, but I do take issue with the implication that while they exhibit behaviour that is repugnant they are not in control of their impulses. They choose to abuse, they choose to molest, they choose to rape. Do the people these deviants are targeting care one whit about whether the guy is imbalanced and just doing what his perverted brain is telling him to do? I'll give you a hint about the answer: it's not yes.

Devin said...

Richard:

The comment about "lack of education" was not meant to insult. I am simply suggesting you do some reading about the proclivities of sexual deviants. The scientific evidence is that many of them (especially the worst cases) do NOT make a conscious choice to abuse, molest or assault -- their brains do not work like the rest of ours.

RGM said...

Devin, thanks for clarifying the previous comment. It's something that is among my list of things to do, juggled in there with thesis stuff, general reading interests, and research on this subject. If you know of a couple good resources or books that would make for great starters, please pass it along and I'll mark it down on the list of things to do.
It is true that these people do not think like a normal person. I'm not a psychologist or a neurospecialist and that's readily obvious. I am someone that is gravely concerned about the direction that society seems to be barrelling down, and what I see scares the heck out of me. I'm of the mind that if we do more to raise awareness on these issues and educate and inform people on the prevalence of these abuses, they'll start speaking out against it and we can get something done. My primary concern is not with helping lunatics, it's with protecting our society's people.

Jason Bo Green said...

Damnit, I see my comment this morning didn't actually save - okay, here goes.

Richard, we see now why YOU are at Dalhousie doing a PHD, and I'm mixing martinis... I wasn't very articulate.

Apologies.

When I said "loser" topic, I meant not that it's for losers - maybe I should have said, it's a losing topic: I'm not sure there exists a winnable solution for the problem.

I agree, I think, with Devin. You are fantastically educated - that's why I like you. (Well, being generaly a cool guy and good conversationalist helps, too, of course - I'm just saying: I couldn't really respect your knowledge more.) On this one, I think you have a bit to learn, but don't get me wrong - you still all in all know more in the world than I do.

You are right - because I wasn't clear. All men are NOT base animals.

However, MANY of them are.

Most of them like normal sex - adult women.

I know LOTS of them - I'm sure you do, too. These are the guys that can't hold back from Veronica or Ginger - if the moment occurs in the photocopy room, they'll take it -- even if it risks being caught and being fired. If it means their marriage -- they'll risk it. If it means being heavy in the moment and there's no condoms around -- they'll risk it anyway. The consequences are not present in their mind. And if they are, theyre thinking, "What the hell, you only live once." I know people like this. I have a friend who has herpes now because of it; I know several guys who've gotten girls pregnant and had to cancel their future plans as a result. I vaguely knew a guy who lost his job that way. I know lots of guys who've ruined relationships that way.

Many men ARE ruled by their penises. And because they like adult women, they risk kids, std's, broken homes, lost jobs. But that's it. (or, that's "it", those are all big things, of course)

Child sex offenders - there's different types. They're like homosexuals back in another era, perhaps you could say. There's the kind who think about it but won't do it, ever - they know it ruins a child's development, and are NOT interested in being shivved in jail to boot. There are the kind who do it once and think, "What did I just do? I'm never doing that again." There's the kind who say, "Never again," over and over and over, the way you or I might say, "That's it, no more tv," or Burger King, or sugar, or wasted summers - they fall back into it. And there are others who just don't care about the consequences.

These latter types are the ones to worry about the most. And Richard, I don't think jail sentences are the answer. I think that, perhaps, a forced androgen suppression regime of some sort might be the best answer. Hard to imagine society going for it, though, at this time, which is why I think your timing is off.


I was even less clear, I think, on the culture bit -- I wasn't suggesting that we are surrounded by images of sex (though granted, we are, and far too much).

Rather, I was suggesting that the inability to resist sexual impulses is the oldest story in the human experience, and so is a very old story in cultures, too - the art is imitating the life. David and Bathsheba up to Closer. One thing that fictional narrative tells us is that men are weak to the lure of sex, Sir Lancelot and 007 both.

Some artists are extreme people, and other artists are more "normal" and find that extreme people make the best stories, so that a) people like Frida Kahlo's husband, Balzac, Hitchcock, etc., live extreme realities or fictions, and b) people like Shakespeare or Stephen King know people like I know - guys who are ruled by their sexual impulses - and while not that way themselves, are able to observe it in people.

It's an ancient story found all through our fictions.

Well, this was long again.

That dvd excerpt: gross. But worthwhile for the discussion, glad you clipped it in.

I'm acutally very late now and have to dash, so sorry can't respond more directly to the subsequent posts of yourself and Devin, will try later.

RGM said...

First point: just an M.A. right now. The Ph.D. thing is a long way off in the future, mostly because I'd like to do something more than just be a professional student for a while. I enjoy academia, it's engaging and all that, but there's so much more to life.

Second point, and this one I think is more important because it gets to the heart of what I'm getting at with the original post and the paper I'll be sending off to Ottawa: I don't hate sex. I have nothing against people having consensual sex with one another. If Jughead and Ginger want to do their thing in the mail room or whatever, go for it. It's not my concern.

What is my concern is when Jughead rapes Ginger. And that is why what you said here: The consequences are not present in their mind. And if they are, they're thinking, "What the hell, you only live once." honestly and truly scares me. I've read reports on stuff pertaining to this, indicating young men's dispositions to rape if they feel they can get away with it. One of the best books I've found on the subject is Diana Russell's Against Pornography, in which the following is noted:

In one of his early experiments, Malamuth, along with his colleagues, Haber and Feshach (1980), reported that after reading the account of a violent rape by a stranger, 17% of their male student subjects admitted that there was some likelihood that they might behave in a similar fashion in the same circumstances. However, 53% of the same male students said there was some likelihood that they might act as the rapist did if they could be sure of getting away with it.

This is the thing that really worries me because this is people in my peer age group, and I've got family that are university age. It shows that some people are taking into consideration the consequences and thus does act as something of a deterrent. But when they truly start to think that "hey, maybe I can get away with it," then yeah, the deterrence fails and there's not much we can do. I guess lobotomizing people is about as socially acceptable as drugging them eh? I'm not even gonna say the C-word.

I wish that there was an easy answer to it and a solution. What I'm looking for is a step in the right direction. We're way too far behind the curve to just make it stop, and by it I mean stuff like the child porn and the rape and the prostitution, especially with the Internet. It's gone global, and you don't even have to leave your house to get it. This big bust that involved a hundred kids, 100 little children, reflects that. It wasn't until it got too big that the ring was found out, and in the meantime, there's 100 kids who will never ever be able to trust another being again.

Like you said earlier, I am an IR guy, it's what I've been doing for a very long time. Social policy and stuff like this is new to me, it's not my #1 savoir faire. But it's something I care deeply about, I want to create a plan, or at least some ideas so that others can form a plan, so that when guys like you or I are having kids we don't need to worry about them as badly as I worry about kids today. I think that's ultimately the goal for all of us: to make a better world. We just need to find a way to get there.

On a related note, can we get some female opinion going in here? It's great that we've got a bunch of guys talking about this, but I'd really appreciate hearing some female voices.

Jason Bo Green said...

Meh, in my book Richard, you're a PHD. ;) I know guys with phd's that can't hold a candle to you.

I don't for a second think you hate sex - or would fire Jughead for the photocopier incident, or anything. And I'd poke anyone in the eye if they said you would!

But when they truly start to think that "hey, maybe I can get away with it," then yeah, the deterrence fails and there's not much we can do.

Now that is, succinctly, just what I was trying to say. Good work - that took me about 10x the words.

I'm baffled for a solution. What are the sentences now? I'm not sure. But let's just say it's two years. If the knowledge that you've preyed on a child, ruined their odds of normal trusting relationships, total disenfranchisement with your friends and community, ruining your familie's reputation, and two years in jail aren't going to stop you - is five years going to make you think harder? Is ten?

I'm not being rhetorical - I really don't know. I don't think so.

Perhaps we're looking at this the wrong way, maybe??? Is the answer not punishing the crime, but somehow - god knows I don't know how - stopping the crime?? Maybe??? I hear rough details that many of these kids were coaxed into sexual acts on a webcam while still safe and secure in their own bedrooms - is that the bigger problem??? I know this sounds really draconian and Big Brother, but I'll just throw it out there for the sake of discussion - you can't leave your kid alone in a hot car. Maybe you shouldn't be able to let your kid socialize on the internet. Maybe <18's should be able to access dictionary.com and nytimes and wsjournal and encycl. britannica only.

Not a great idea, but...

Well, but - why do kids NEED a webcam anyway???? maybe they shouldn't be allowed for kids. Well, forget it, how could you possibly hope to enforce that.

Unless it wasn't enforced, just taught... if Nancy Reagan or Princess Di went on tour telling parents to take away the webcams, and that kids should only use mom-approved still face-pictures on MSN, maybe that would help?

I mean, don't get me wrong - that won't help the problem of kidnapped children being assaulted.

Can't recall - does Canada currently have a law that you are under Canadian law at all times?? Doesn't the UK or Netherlands have that??? So if you have sex with a minor in, say, Thailand (or Jack Nicholson's house, for that matter), and you're caught, you're still, as a Canadian, able to be charged?

IR or social policy, it's all about a better world, and that's what you care about.

Anna Lou said...

"Perhaps we're looking at this the wrong way, maybe??? Is the answer not punishing the crime, but somehow - god knows I don't know how - stopping the crime?? Maybe???"

That's similar to what I was thinking. It's difficult to go about doing that, though. A lot of the people who are out there doing things to little kids are only doing that because they truly think that's right. They violate children because they were violated as children. How do you break that cycle in every case there is?

Of course as far as webcams go, the obvious thing to do would be to monitor what your children do on the internet, and to never allow them to be alone in a room with a webcam. If a kid wants to see the friend he's chatting to, get his ass of that chair and invite his friend over to play.

With existence of the internet, no one will ever be able to control the amount of porn out there. This is why we need more websites like oneangrygirl.net, and more people creating awareness about how bad this shit really is. Being a pimp isn't actually a good thing. Words like "bitch" or "whore" shouldn't be thrown around and accepted as compliments. The only way I see out of this is educating people so they can make a conscious decision NOT to use porn, and not to accept all the degrading things most of us have grown to accept on television. It may be available to everyone, but what we type into google, or which album/magazine/movie we purchase is up to us. Porn destroys women, porn destroys children, porn destroys relationships, porn destroys lives. And just so I don't sound like a lesbian-feminist-sex-hating-prude, I think this quote from my love needs to be brought up again:

"What you see on television is not sex. Pornography is not sex. Prostitution is not sex. Sex is nothing something that is to be deterred, the manipulation and exploitation of sex and sexuality is a serious problem."

No one is asking anyone to stop having sex, we're demanding that people don't violate and rape.

RGM said...

The current laws involving child pornography and exploiting kids are as follows:
Making and distributing child pornography - 1-10 years OR summary conviction w/a 90 day minimum (a summary conviction is a six-month term and/or a $2000 fine)
Possessing and accessing child pornography: 45 days-5 years OR summary conviction
Molesting, coercing, and exploiting children: 45 days-10 years OR summary conviction

As you can see, there's both strong and weak punishments available. What I think should go is the summary conviction part of the relevant laws in the Criminal Code, and the maximums on the stronger punishments. I'm not sure how it works in the case law regarding those that have made a lot of child pornography, whether they get multiple counts of making/distribution brought against them, but the idea that the folks who just got busted in that child porn ring can be out in 10 years is no doubt scary for a lot of people.

It's a good question you raise too about deterrence; if it doesn't work at the current levels, will it work if we double or triple the punishment? Maybe so, maybe no. We do know that it will keep them off the streets and prevent them from re-offending for a longer time period, which is definitely a good thing. But it still doesn't necessarily solve the dilemma of how to prevent people from doing it the first time. And on that one, like you, I just don't know.

Anna Lou makes a great point on the webcam thing: get off your ass and go outside to play if you want to see your friends. It's a much better way to socialize, and people will realize that their friends aren't actually pixelated and don't lock in place for a few seconds at a time.

This issue is something that we need to get parents aware of because they're still allowing their kids to have a computer with a webcam in their room, door closed, no supervision. If you've got a teenager, keep the computer in the living room and monitor his/her internet access. There's ways to block out sites and keep track of where they're going. Yeah it sounds a little Orwellian, but it really is for their own good. And communication is a big thing too, parents just need to talk to their kids more about what's happening out there in cyberspace. It's tough for the generation generation because the whole internet thing is really new to them, and kids have a one-up on them. It'll be easier for the current 20-somethings to take precautions against their kids' getting into trouble, but as it is right now, the 13-year olds know more about the computer than ma & pa.

Education is the key to all of this. If people know the facts about porn and all the other garbage, they'll be a lot less inclined to use it. They won't have this false edifice in their minds that it's all glitz and glamour, as has been constructed by those for whom porn is their key to the bank. The testimonies of many former stars reveals a truly contrary picture, and that message isn't getting out.

Jason Bo Green said...

Tough issue here indeed, and great comments all around.

Anna Lou, I think you missed a very important bullet on your list: porn destroys men, too. You see more and more all the time on pornographic addictions and inability to form relations - heck, some Canadian just made a movie about it - I think it was called Love Sex and Eating The Bones, I believe? It was about a man and his girlfriend dealing with his addiction to porn. (I didn't see it, I can't account for how good it may be)

They won't have this false edifice in their minds that it's all glitz and glamour, as has been constructed by those for whom porn is their key to the bank

I think this is true to an extent - there are people out there who are really into porn and believe this, you're right - I know some of them. I think in the end, they're a minority. Most people I know who are really into porn tell me it's a bad industry that pays little and exploits a lot, and that - i'm repeating here, I'm not affirming, I don't know this for certain - girls do it mostly not to cash in (because it's not a lot of cash) but rather to make much more money stripping in clubs. You can go from "that girl at Zanzibar" to, I don't know, "Trixie Goodstuff from Wild Girls IV!!" and make an extraordinarily higher sum from private dances - or more. (As I understand, it's mostly the "or more" category)

Most people I know who talk about porn and the porn industry are aware that the annual porn star awards and etc. are all just a facade. They like porn because they're lonely. It's like, I guess, alcoholics know bars are lousy places but they like dives for the cheap price - being drunk takes away the loneliness of life.

Not a great analogy... I know. What I mean is, emptiness in life, unhappiness with yourself, general solitude -- these are conducive to a lot of addictive behaviours. Some are good - working out, for example - and some are bad - alcoholism, chronic marijuana usage, telephone psychics, etc. Porn is one of these.

A lot of people like to watch porn now and then (adult normal porn) are no different than people who drink now and then - I don't think it's a big huge deal. But there's such a thing as sexual addiciton and porn addiction, and those are bigger worries.

There maybe should be an AA-type sort of grouping set up for this. Wait - no, I think there actually IS, I'm positive I've seen mentions of it. Maybe the feds could help them out with some advertising - everyone knows AA.

Jason Bo Green said...

PS

I don't think you sound Orwellian, just sensible.

Anna Lou said...

I didn't really "forget" to include that porn destroys men. I put "porn destroys relationships" in there, because that's about as much sympathy for men that you're going to get from me. The effect porn can have on men can ruin things with their partners as well as with their children, and for that fact I am sympathetic. As far as not being able to control the fact that you get off on seeing women being raped/degraded/assaulted/whatever the hell else, I feel no pain whatsoever. If you can't get or maintain an erection because your girlfriend does not resemble Jenna Jameson, or because she's not being plowed by three men in every orifice, or because her two best friends are neither nude or even in the room, I feel no pain.

Yes, men become addicted (whether they're lonely, weak, whatever) and that's too bad for them. They get carried away because they're stuck living in a fantasy land that fulfils their every sexual desire, and more! But for every fantasy he (or the man who watches it occasionally when he can't get laid) has, a REAL woman is being hurt, a real woman's life is at risk. And not only does that woman have to live with that REAL pain to act out a male FANTASY, every other woman who walks this earth is now at risk because now these guys are out there living among them. When you value women only for their body parts (like in porn) instead of as people, your outlook on them becomes distorted and you view everyone woman you interact with differently. I'm not saying that every man who looks at porn is going to become a rapist, but not every person who smokes cigarettes dies from lung cancer either - yet they still put the warnings on the cartons.

Good luck to all the pervs in rehab, though. Learning how not to be an asshole sure must be tough!

Jason Bo Green said...

Oookay......

There's one major problem with your sentiment.

I have a low tolerance for alcoholics in my life, but I support whole-heartedly their efforts to get off the bottle. One of best friends hasn't had a drink in 27 years - not a drop. A fairly good friend of mine died 3 years ago after a lifelong battle with alcohol -- he drove me insane and got no sympathy from me when drunk, but when he wanted to join AA, I took him and I waited across the street for him. I refused to speak or associate with him when he was drunk, and supported him all the way when he was on the wagon. Before he could really straighten himself out, he was killed while in a drunken stupor. I didn't know how to feel about that.

I have one friend my age who is fighting a good fight against alcoholism, and hasn't drank since he was 18. He's doing great and is a normal person today, except that he never drinks.

I would like to support anyone who wants to get over an addiction. I've had alcoholism on both sides of my family and I know it is a Herculean feat to get over it. One of the things I respect most in GW Bush is his decision to give up drinking -- I know that it's tough.

I don't feel your comments are in any remote way constructive towards trying to fix a major problem that is growing monthly, nearly undetected, in society. Before we know it, it will be too late, and many more lives will be ruined. I frankly think your attitude is questionable and not objective.

RGM said...

She did say: "Good luck to all the pervs in rehab."

That's about all the sentiment that is required when it comes to "protecting" men vis-a-vis pornstitution. When men are being sexually annihilated to the same extent that women are, women may have some more sympathy for them. Until that time happens (which, btw, will be never), claiming a lack of "objectivity" is a really lame thing to fall back upon. Why should a woman be "objective" or impartial when large segments of their gender are being oppressed, silenced, and killed by what apologists claim is nothing more than a "dangerous industry?" Come on, you're better than that.

Anna Lou said...

It's incredible that you changed the subject and made this all about alcoholism. It's a subject that hits close to home for me as well, so I can empathize with you greatly there. And as far as addiction goes, I applaud ANYONE who decides to face their demons and go get themselves treated. Whether it's for alcohol, pornography, drugs; they're all going out to better themselves as people, and that's a-ok in my book. Much better than the alternative. It shows courage and bravery and all that other good stuff.

It's really all a great story here, but this is not what we're talking about. We're talking about prostitution and pornography, not alcohol and the poor people addicted to it. It's funny (not in the haha way) that men such as yourself will go and make anything out there about themselves and why it hurts them. If you find it "very important" that the only reason porn is bad for men is because they can get addicted to it, I am absolutely appalled. The fact that there are people out there who feel that they have to drink rum everyday are not putting that rum at risk. No bottles of budweiser are being beat up. Vodka does not have a voice that is silenced when people drink it. Jack Daniels' life is not being destroyed because you decided to consume him. The consumption of a woman is a different story.

The parallels you draw between porn addicts and alcoholics are similar, but that's where it ends. Women (people with lives) cannot to be compared to alcohol (a substance). If you can pull your head down from the male privilege clouds and try, just for a second, to put yourself in the shoes of a woman, MAYBE you can see where I am coming from.

Nicole said...

Richard...some of the stuff you have written here, SCARED me. I find it shocking and disgusting that these criminals serve such very low sentences.
This may sound very right-wingnutish of me, but if someone touched MY kid, I couldn't live with myself until that person paid dearly, my husband would probably serve more time, then the actual criminal. If men like this keep offending, destroying countless children and families, give them a labotomy to take out any sexual feelings. Crimes against children should not be tolerated. Period.

RGM said...

It is some very scary stuff, I fully agree Nicole. You'd probably hate to read the paper that I sent off to the Minister of Justice this morning that discusses all of this in much greater detail. It's a 12-page position paper that discusses how things are and my own ideas and to where they should be heading. If I can figure out how to make .pdf files and upload them here, I'll be sure to do so.

Nicole said...

Bravo for you Richard, and if you can somehow post it, I'll definitely read it.
If only more men tried to make a difference for the better of women and children's lives.
I think you might be a sweetheart Richard!!!

{ But be careful. because according to jdave from Joanne's, I might be a stalker!! LOL...he wishes!}

RGM said...

A sweetheart? Nah, just a guy that believes in doing what's right, which is what all of us should be doing. That shouldn't be enough to qualify for sweetheart status, just a "guy that does what he should be doing" status. This sums up my view perfectly, and I echo that sentiment wholeheartedly:
If only more men tried to make a difference for the better of women and children's lives. What a great world that would be.

On an only-tangently related note, it's great that you can still send things to Parliament Hill through the post office free of charge. A 12-page paper and cover letter to any other destination in Canada would probably cost a few bucks. And I love snail mail, so much more emotionally profound to hold something in your hands that someone took the time to write/type and go to the mailbox with than just a quick "send" button-pushing.

Anonymous said...

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Sam said...

Thank you for bringing this up and doing what you're doing, Richard.

I'm starting on my masters in political science in a few weeks specifically to help prostituted women and to begin the process where tricking men are held accountable for sexually preying on poverty-stricken women and children. My dream is to go to Sweden and examine the elements of great political will generated to end prostitution in Sweden and export the Swedish model to the rest of the world. It's very nice to see you're looking out for sexually abused people in your part of the world.

RGM said...

Sam,
All the best to you in your endeavours. I wish you well and I hope that you get to fulfill that dream of a trip to Sweden to learn more about their model and hopefully export it back over to our side of the Atlantic.