If you found reason to criticize the way Milo worded some of the things he has said about sex, sexuality, and his experiences, that’s understandable. Even he has acknowledged he was inarticulate, and that’s not really what I’m about to speak to. This is directed at those who jumped on the bandwagon to wholesale, hands-down demonize him on Monday for having the screaming audacity to have given you an example of the damage that is done when a kid is sexually exploited.
Righteous anger in response to terrible things being done to children is more than understandable, but when your response to that anger becomes the obstacle to the abuse victim’s recovery process, you become the abuser.
At that point, I don’t care how you feel about victims, perpetrators, this particular criminal phenomenon itself, or anything related to it… even if you are another victim.
Another person’s experience and how he deals with it are not about you.
His rate and manner of recovery from the psychological damage done by sexual abuse he experienced is not about you.
An angry, bitter, sarcastic joke he makes about what was done to him is not about you.
The tone in which he makes that joke is not about you.
His decision to differentiate between underage sex that cannot and should not be considered consensual, and his own May-December relationship once past the age of consent with a significantly older man is not about you.
His personal journey of seeking answers regarding his own sexuality and how his experience of abuse may have affected his personal sexual development is not about you.
His opinion on himself being an outlier to the normal rate of growing young human beings’ sexual and psychological development is not about you.
It is also not pedo-apology to acknowledge that child abuse alters the child’s development. That is part of why specifically abusing a child is understood to be such a reprehensible act.
Being sexually abused during one’s childhood or early adolescent stage of social/emotional development has an impact on the rate, direction, and nature of one’s social/emotional development. That is part of how we are wounded when we are exploited during a time in our lives when we’re not sexually or emotionally developed enough to handle the degree or nature of intimacy in a sexual interaction with another person.
In fact it’s vital to the recovery of the victim to acknowledge and consider that. If we cannot attest to our wounds without your only response being public shaming for their nature, scope, and messy manifestation, how the hell do you expect us to ever heal?
The kind of hysterical, knee-jerk reaction to the (by the way false) presentation of Milo’s words exemplify a significant part of what keeps victims of childhood sexual abuse from seeking and obtaining therapeutic treatment for the damage done to us by our abusers.
This is not your political or emotional playground. This is our lives, our experiences, our pain, our derailed development… our demons.
What do you think would ever possess us to talk about our experiences and the wounds they’ve left when we know that purportedly well-meaning virtue signalers are going to react to our objection to having been exploited by exploiting any inarticulateness in our discussion of it for good guy points?
What the hell do you think you’re doing when you engage in that behavior?
Do you think you’re protecting victims? Because you’re not.
You’re driving us deeper into the shadows where we can avoid being psychologically eviscerated a second time by the sharp edges of your black & white mentality.
And that really suits the interests those whose fellowship is built around sexually exploiting children and young adolescents, because it keeps us, both the victims and society in general, from engaging in the very much needed discussions which could lead to a productive and efficient approach to preventing future abuse… the thing that should be the ultimate goal of any public discussion on this topic.
We know child abuse of any kind is reprehensible. We know what a violation it is, and we know the harm it does. What we don’t know is why it’s more important to the public to wallow in outrage over that than to discuss prevention!
Which do you care more about? Your own self-righteous, self-indulgent virtue signalling, or protecting kids from sexual predators?
If you have listened to everything I’ve said, yet are still unwilling to consider the possibility that demonizing Milo may be an unproductive approach and an unjust reaction… If you’re too offended at the idea that such narcissistic posturing detours from pathways to prevention, for you to engage in discussion without demonizing a recovering victim for the way he talks about the problem and its effects, then whether you admit it or not, the self-indulgent path IS your answer.
And if so, congratulations. Your mud-flinging is the utmost in underhanded pedo-apology. Your form of exploitation is no more kind to those of us who have been victimized than that which you profess to hate.
I am a recovered victim of childhood sexual abuse.
I was around 5 when the molestation began.
I support Milo’s statement that age of consent laws are right.
I support Milo’s right to his own recovery from the abuse he experienced.
And I support Milo’s right to talk about his experiences and their impact, even inarticulately, without being trampled by stampeding virtue signalers on their way to the virtue points feeding trough.
How dare you, you self-aggrandizing, cannibalistic pigs?
- Making the soup | HBR Talk 156 - October 22, 2020
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- Get in the box! Get out of that box! | HBR Talk 154 - October 8, 2020