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Stop Being Nasty to Predators and Perverts

by Robert Jameson 2 months ago in fact or fiction

It shouldn’t be acceptable to be abusive to someone just because they’re different.

Adapted from image by fgmsp on Pixabay

Here's an interesting little thought-exercise to get your brain woken up:

Predators

Why is the term, 'sexual predator' used, pretty much exclusively, as an accusatory and derogatory term? What, when you really bother to think about it, is actually wrong with being a sexual predator? Since the dawn of mankind, people have gone on the hunt for a sexual partner. They've had to. The survival of the species depends on such activities. Aren't nearly all of us sexual predators at some time in our lives? Don't nearly all of us, in our own ways, try to hunt down and ensnare a sexual partner?

Isn't it reasonable for a male, for example, to hunt for a fertile young woman to act as an incubator and mother to his offspring - and thus enable them both to continue their genetic lines? Is he taking advantage of the natural attraction the young female feels for him? In a sense, yes, but what's wrong with that? That's how the species is continued. That's how the reproductive urge works. So long as they're both above the age of consent, and the courtship and ensuing relationship are conducted on a consensual basis, that's fine, isn't it?

In truth, when people use the term, 'sexual predator' in a derogatory way, it isn't because they think there is anything fundamentally wrong, as such, with the idea of someone seeking out a mate. They just disapprove of certain people or certain match-ups and they want to be able to claim that their objection to a particular relationship is something to do with an overarching principle, rather than a symptom of their base prejudices.

When someone approves of a man's quest for a mate and the way he goes about it, that's fine, but when they disapprove, they want to call him a sexual predator, even if there is nothing remotely illegal or clearly unethical about his behaviour at all. They're just trying to put a sinister spin on something they don't approve of.

Very often, the term, 'sexual predator' is just a tool for excusing ageism. People don't usually use the term for two similarly-aged people, but when a middle-aged man has a relationship with a much younger woman, they call him a sexual predator. They like to assume, without any evidence, that the older man must in some way be 'preying on' and being abusive towards the younger woman. But that's just straightforward prejudice that is no better than outright racism or sexism.

Perverts

Similarly, the term 'pervert' is used almost exclusively in a derogatory way. In particular, older men who enter relationships with much younger women are often derided as 'perverts' - but what's wrong with being a pervert?

What is a pervert? A pervert is someone with unusual or abnormal sexual tastes. They deviate from the norm. But there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that.

Consider homosexuals for example. Strictly according to the dictionary definition, they're perverts, because their sexual tastes deviate from the norm. But that doesn't necessarily mean they've done anything wrong. They're just different.

Someone with a shoe-fetish is a pervert. They have unusual tastes - but that doesn't make them evil. They're just different. And if a middle-aged man's sexual preference happens to be for much younger women, then he may be deviating from accepted norms, but that doesn't mean he's done anything wrong - so he shouldn't be treated as if he has.

Throughout history, there have always been deplorable examples of people being discriminated against simply because they are different. We've fought against racism, sexism and homophobia. So, on the same principle, why don't we campaign against prejudice towards perverts? A pervert is just someone whose sexual tastes deviate from the norm. Using the term 'pervert' as a form of abuse suggests that there's something fundamentally wrong with being different and having unusual tastes - but there isn't, so why do we do it?

So the next time you hear someone using 'sexual predator' or 'pervert' as a term of abuse, please try to discourage them from indulging their prejudices. Ask them what's wrong with being a sexual predator or a pervert. We've all got a moral responsibility to do our bit to challenge prejudice and discrimination.

I hope you found this exercise thought-provoking.

fact or fiction

Robert Jameson

Writer, Economist, Philosopher, Basic Income Advocate and Tech Fan.

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