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Canada, Sexual Consent

Consent and new refusals to condemn pedophilia

By Anthony Oluwatoyin
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

War is brewing. And not just in Iraq. Culture wars. And, did I say, not just in Iraq? Conservatives are set to fulfill a pre-election pursuit. To raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. And liberals are more determined than ever to expose themselves like something that is the very reason for wanting to raise the age of consent in the first place.

While some in the media pretend that their opposition to the proposed raise is based on concerns such as equality and consistency (they point out, for instance, that the age of consent for anal — gay — sex is 18) more and more left-lib voices are circling the wagons around the whole point of consent itself. They all but argue that younger and younger teens do not need to be protected from older and older adults.

You would think they were trying to squeeze out whatever legitimacy is possible for NAMBLA. That is the odious North American Man/Boy Love Association which explicitly advocates for pedophilia.

Consider Kate Heartfield's, "The ick factor and the age of consent," Ottawa Citizen, Feb.20, in which she contends that it is "illogical" to claim that teenagers can consent to sex with each other but not with adults. Indeed, she seems to think our entire focus on age is a mere fixation.

But this is not merely ignorant. It is dangerous. If Heartfield wants to deal with facts, as opposed to "icky" reactions, as she would put it, she ought to know that pedophiles prefer them younger and younger. This even came out in the Michael Jackson trial. The evidence was that when a preferred boy was just a year older, a pedophile would lose interest, having already started to shop for a younger replacement.

So a consent age of 16 as opposed to 14 would save real lives. In recent, dramatic TV presentations, pedophiles were documented online in an almost fetish hunt for 13, 14 year-olds, not a day older. No psychiatrist has been able to explain it. It is as if any sign of developing adulthood throws the pedophile for a loop. Budding breasts of womanhood; incipient facial or pubic hair; two, three inch increase in height — almost anything that makes a pedophile feel that the child is no longer worthy of being his prey, because, frankly, the child is no longer a child.

So it is deeply disturbing that Heartfield mentions pedophilia not once througout her article. I couldn't even find the word "predator" in the piece. But she certainly seems to share NAMBLA's frustration with attempts to make almost any adult sexual contact with younger teenagers a case of vitiated consent.

Society's concern, on the other hand, is just such a matter of holding the pedophile at bay, making it so that he is never sure if even the attempt at sexual contact with a minor necessarily violates consent.

One of the most sensational cases that sheds light on all this occurred almost 30 years ago when a child, kept as a sex slave for seven years, escaped from lifelong pedophile Ken Parnell. The predator, who had already captured a substitute younger child, was planning to kill the older child for having, well, grown.

To underscore the point savagely, Parnell expressly let it be known that his only regret was that when he routinely, ritually, anal-raped the older child, captured at the age of 7, the child would bleed "messily." But, strangely, as the child grew into the role, making less of a "mess," that didn't make the child salvageable; just "old," apparently.

You see, for the pedophile, age trumps all. This is what society is up against.

So what we are trying to do, simply, is to save our children till they reach an age — to be blunt about it — an age when they are less desirable, if at all, to pedophiles. We are simply trying to delay a day of unspeakable vulnerability. Would Heartfield prefer that we be more accommodating to pedophiles, that we occasion less angst for their pursuits?

Many years ago, in a ranting attack on then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's steadfast sense of right versus wrong, British author Doris Lessing, I believe it was, a darling of the femiNazi left-lib, did not cause even a bit of a stir in the loony-left media when she seemed to wonder just what the harm is in adult sexual contact with children.

Small wonder today, alternative lifestyle activists like Heartfield think that Conservatives inconsistently apply different rules to anal sex, in terms of which the Criminal Code requires an age of consent that stands unchanged at 18. This is viewed as homophobic, of course.

What rubbish. Conservatives understand that conservatism minus bigotry does not equal zero. Conservatives will not be bullied, however, by opportunistic activists trying to pass off the destruction of foundational marriage for a plain human touch. Yes, anal sex restrictions will more likely apply to gay youth. But then think about it. Are gay youth not the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, in every complex way? Whatever we can do to keep the pedophile's paws away is a good thing.

The ugly truth is that we want to make it the case that a NAMBLA man would almost feel as if he should not even bother, that he simply wouldn't get away with it.

We are not naïve. But if any crime is worse than murder, pedophilia is. It is a violation like no other. Pedophile Parnell's sex slave, Steven Stayner, was killed, seven years after securing his freedom, in a horrific motorcycle accident. His brother, Cary Stayner, now sits on death row in California for the serial killings in the Yosemite Park murders.

Finally, in 2004, 72 year-old professional predator Parnell got a life term for attempting to buy an African-American boy.

This is what Conservatives want to protect against. Would Heartfield prefer to protect the pedophile instead?

Anthony Oluwatoyin, a columnist for The Afro News, writes on politics, race and religion. He can be reached at

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