A few months ago we considered Derrick Jensen’s interview of feminist Susan Cox about Queer Theory and discovered the core problem with the social justice advocacy of transgender issues – “It’s not good enough to be tolerant of transgender people nor is it good enough to refrain from mistreating them. One must actively participate in the act of queering by agreeing the transgender women are really women.”
And if we are all socially obligated to participate in someone else’s metaphysics (in this case, extreme subjectivism), then I have one simple, unanswered question for those who are sympathetic to this social justice activism – where does it stop? I know that you know what I know – you can’t answer it.
Let’s now consider more of Derrick Jensen’s interview with Susan Cox:
DJ: Let’s talk about pedophilia. It seems to me one of the arguments that’s made by queer theory; which you mentioned once, but you haven’t really hit, and you can hit it if you want; is the importance of transgressing social norms. And I think you and I would agree that there are certainly certain social norms that it is important to transgress. But it seems to me that queer theory, with denying that truth exists, is arguing that transgressing of social – that since some norms are… I’ve seen the argument made that because this culture has asserted that homosexuality is wrong, and that obviously is an unfair stricture, an unjust stricture, they then argue – I’ve seen a lot of queer theorists make this argument – that all restrictions against all forms of sexuality are restrictive and bad.
DJ: So can you talk about that and include in this a discussion of the role of pedophilia in the formation of queer theory?
SC: Yes. Queer theorists certainly do make exactly that argument you just made. Actually, I recently saw that argument be made in a legal brief by the ACLU. It was a legal brief petitioning the State of California to legalize prostitution and their argument was that since there were once laws against sodomy, restricting adults’ sexual expression, that they should abolish any restrictions on prostitution, which restrict adults’ sexual activities. And this is a real thing. I can’t believe that’s the argument they made. It is ridiculous, but this is our ridiculous world.
And queer theorists do make the argument that all social norms need to be transgressed and that is a progressive force of queering. For example, BDSM is seen as a “queer” identity. And queer theory argues that there is not material harm done by, for example, someone beating someone with a whip and getting sexual pleasure from it, but that the social harm comes from the marginalization of certain groups who are seen as deviant, such as BDSM practitioners or pedophiles.
For example, Michel Foucault, in a 1978 radio interview, was advocating for France to abolish the age of sexual consent –
DJ: As in down to infants, as in down to any age?
SC: As in down to infants, yes. Make it so there was no restriction on sexual consent.
DJ: He’s not unique. Pat Califia also said that any child old enough to be able to choose whether he or she wants to wear shoes is old enough to participate in sex, by which she doesn’t mean playing “doctor,” but instead Pat Califia has written child torture porn.
SC: Oh my god.
DJ: Anyway, so go ahead.
SC: So yeah, this is quite a common argument amongst queer theorists, and Foucault himself made the argument in a radio interview. He said that there is not actually harm done by adult males raping children, but rather that children are merely constructed, socially constructed as a vulnerable population through various psychological, medical and legislative discourses, and that the pedophile is merely socially constructed as a figure, as a phantom. They’re nothing more than a phantom, and that the creation of this phantom through the law on sexual consent would actually cause the social harm and be carried out on the bodies of men, and women and children throughout society.
So this is what queer theory does. There are no material relations of power or exploitation or harm. There are merely these phantoms of social norms that are causing the harm, these categorizations of people, the categorization of pedophile, or the BDSM or the sadist, even.
DJ: So to be clear – this is all pretty complex material – the problem, according to queer theory, is not what happens, the problem is not the actual rape of a child by an adult – or they would not say “rape,” they would say “consensual sexual activity between a 4 year old and a 37 year old” – but the problem is not the sex act itself, or what you and I would say the act of rape itself, but the problem is how society responds to that act? And the problem is our discourse surrounding it, which is that’s where the harm comes to the child? Is this the argument, essentially?
SC: Yes. The argument is that it’s how society responds to it and it’s also the naming of it. So what queer theory advocates for is basically to render language meaningless, so that this action of naming harm cannot actually occur. You know, when we cannot actually name the class of males as the oppressors of females –
DJ: Or adults as adult pedophiles raping children.
SC: Exactly. When we cannot even name them –
It would seem to me that the queer theory logic behind the acceptance of transgenderism entails the acceptance of pedophilia. Is there any rational person who can dispute this?