- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Who's the deviant?

It is easy to ridicule or dismiss the writings of fringe groups like [the North American Man/Boy Love Association]. But these stigmatized groups have been given powerful support by some within the academic mainstream. A study released by the American Psychological Association [in 1998] concludes that sexual abuse of children does not actually cause harm.

"NAMBLA quickly posted the 'good news' on its Internet site, asserting that 'the current war on boy-lovers has no basis in science.'

"Those who criticize the conclusions of the [APA] study have found themselves stigmatized as the deviants. Conservative talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger was among the first to bring national attention to the study, when she referred to it on her program as 'junk science.'

"Schlessinger was immediately vilified not only for her criticism of the study's methodology and conclusions, but also for her unfortunate coupling of pedophilia and homosexuality. Gay rights organizations accused her of having committed 'hate speech' against gays. Fearful of gay reprisals and boycotts, several sponsors withdrew their support."

Anne Hendershott, from her new book, "The Politics of Deviance"

Unfeminist feminists

"When you ask young women today if they think of themselves as feminists, more often than not they will pause for a moment. Then they will answer something like: 'Well, I believe in equal pay for equal work,' or 'Yes, I do believe women should have choices,' or 'Of course, I believe women should have equal rights.'

"If these are the principles that define feminism, then we are all feminists now.

"But how do we explain that pause that comes when you ask women if they consider themselves part of the movement? Polls show that only about a quarter of women are willing to accept the label.

"Activists who try to make sense of these young feminists who are not feminists conclude that the movement has an image problem. The reason so many people believe in feminist goals yet reject the label, they say, is that the media have given us a cartoon picture of liberationists as humorless, Birkenstock-wearing man-haters.

"But this explanation falls far short. Feminism is not simply suffering from a P.R. problem. It's just over. As in finished.

"[F]eminism appears not so much dead as obsolete. Yes, it has bred a generation of empowered young women. But rooted in a utopian politics that longs to transcend both biology and ordinary bourgeois longings, it cannot address the realities of the lives that it has helped to change."

Kay S. Hymowitz, writing on "The End of Herstory," in the summer issue of City Journal

Clinton vs. the cardinal

"The summoning of Boston's Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law to give deposition in a massive civil suit brought by 85 plaintiffs claiming to have been sexually abused by a priest under his authority over a period of several years places him, and indeed the entire Roman Catholic Church in the United States, in a terrible predicament. If the Boston archbishop has been as lax as is being charged, this is indeed a terrible moral fault and perhaps criminal as well.

"But a generation that is willing to overlook sexually degenerate conduct on the part of the president in his Oval Office and will entertain serious psychological and other authorities who argue that sexual encounters with an adult may actually be beneficial for a child, may sound a bit insincere when it bursts into choruses of outrage at the Boston archdiocese and its head.

"The media and the non-Catholic public, as well as a large segment of the Catholic laity, are attempting to pressure the cardinal into resigning. Perhaps he should, but is it the business of the secular media to decide? Both the New York Times and the Boston Globe have been far more zealous in their pursuit of Cardinal Law for his failure to act with appropriate dispatch and severity toward offenses committed in his jurisdiction than they were toward President Clinton, when his personal corruption damaged him and the office he held."

From "The Sins of the Fathers" in the June Religion and Society Report

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