Tabula Rasa is a Beautiful Baby Name
Dispatches from the Gay Agenda
Prefer to listen rather than read? Check out the podcast version
Hello and welcome to the increasingly-inaccurately named The Weekly, a substack about whatever I want, every Tuesday, except when it isn’t.
I want to tell you that I’ve gotten my shit together and that this will definitely, positively be happening every Tuesday from now on, but I just can’t. The truth is I’m trying to juggle freelancing with grad school and the sheer amount of writing I’ve had to do over the past month or so has me wondering whether you can actually run out of words. The substack will eventually get back on schedule, but it might not happen until after May 9th. It will also, at that time, be a more polished product. Right now I'm going to try to focus on production over perfection. I will try to put something out each week, even if it isn’t polished to a mirror sheen.
Anyway. It's Wednesday. Let's talk about the children.
Why not? No one can shut up about the children lately. I truly did not think I could hate Twitter more than I already did until my timeline became wall-to-wall discourse of pedophelia and child marriage. I'm used to Twitter being profoundly stupid. I'm not used to it being abhorrent.
I pray that some of you remain ignorant of this, somehow, and apologize for what I'm about to explain: it has, in recent weeks, become popular among certain people on the right to accuse anyone who exposes children to obscene literature of “grooming." By obscene literature, they mean anything that acknowledges the existence of sex, gay relationships, or trans people.
Until this horrific trend took hold, the word “grooming” in the context of abuse meant cultivating a trusting, emotionally deep relationship with a child, then using that relationship to manipulate the child into sexual contact.
This is, fascinatingly, not the way the right is using the term. Instead, they believe these groomers work to normalize sexual behaviors and activities so that children are primed to fall victim to any adult who might take advantage of them.
Why, under this construction of reality, does the left want to create an army of children they can easily molest? The right doesn’t usually say. If I had to guess, I’d wager it has something to do with both the deeply homophobic idea that queer people “recruit” children and the 17th letter of the alphabet. This adrenochrome isn’t going to make itself, you know.
I cannot and will not spend an entire article talking about how wretched and horrific it is that we’ve come to this. I will not dump my deep, profound despair and terror onto you at how quickly this line of argument is escalating, or the only possible third statement in the following logical supposition:
Anyone who supports sex ed or children’s literature that acknowledges the existence of queer and trans people is deliberately grooming children for sexual abuse
The sexual abuse of a child is the most abhorrent crime imaginable and deserves the death penalty
I don’t know how much time any of us have before someone decides to fill in that third blank, but happily no one has done so yet and so we still have time for civilized discussion on things like
what even is a child, anyway
“They're all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.”
-Agatha Trunchbull, Matilda
A child is a process by which a baby turns into an adult. If it goes well, you don't really think about it again except to relate funny anecdotes at parties. If it goes poorly, you get to relive it in multiple therapy sessions every week. I'm fine. This is fine.
A baby depends entirely on the adults in its life. It has very few independent thoughts, and the thoughts it has are often terrible, like “I should stick everything into my mouth,” or “my stomach hurts and this means I will soon die,” or “I should poop with reckless abandon whenever the urge takes me.”
Adults might still do some or all of those things, but the consequences are theirs to bear: they have agency and are capable of deciding for themselves. Vitally, they also get to decide what to like and how to live. There are a staggering number of answers to these simple questions. Some adults want to have children of their own. Some don't. Some enjoy classical music, some like hardcore punk. Some like obsessing over politics and some like math. You get the idea.
These preferences don’t develop in a vacuum but they certainly aren’t externally imprinted either. If they were, I’d be a scientist with season tickets to the symphony who abhors the idea of going to a noisy bar, tossing back whiskey all night, and screaming at the TV while ridiculously fit guys punch each other in the face. My parents did their best. Truly.
Which brings us back to our current moment. Because some parents very much assume it works the other way. That they CAN, in fact, ensure their child doesn't grow up to be some bisexual leftist adrenaline junkie if they can keep her away from malign influences. The child is a blank slate. They absorb whatever they are given.
It follows logically that if you child starts showing tendencies towards heterodoxy, *someone* gave them something else. Cultivated a relationship with your precious tabula rasa and left their own initials there.
In other words: groomed them.
This fantasized crime is not pedophilia. It's so much worse than that. The perpetrators assaulted your child’s mind. Violated their soul. Destroyed their purity.
Here's how it really works: Nature, nurture, decisions, and epigenetics. You are some combination of these four things, and when any of them start working at cross-purposes, things get very bad, very quickly.
Your gay child will not be any less gay for not knowing the word gay. Your trans child no less trans. They will simply feel utterly alone. Evil, corrupt, full to bursting with sin. The devil's child.
People kill themselves for all kinds of reasons, but I suspect that many of them feel like they're erasing a mistake.
The argument is that parents ought to decide what to teach their children about sexuality and life generally, but I put it to you that there are certain forms of information deprivation that are forms of child abuse. Denying children the opportunity to understand who they are and the way human bodies work certainly qualifies in my book.
The people screaming “groomer” at everyone who brings up the existence of non-heteronormative people and relationships within shouting distance of children aren’t trying to increase child suicides or make children suffer. They’ve got the causation all wrong: they think these kids are offing themselves because of sexual confusion, not lack of acceptance. If these sickos hadn’t introduced the concept of same-sex attraction and/or gender dysphoria to my kid, the logic goes, my kid wouldn’t be demanding acceptance in the first place. They’d be leading a happy, normal life.
This is what parents are worried about. The people telling the parents to worry, I’m afraid, are worried about something very different.
It brings me no joy to tell you that we are witnessing the best strategy for winning a midterm election since the Tea Party.
To win an election, you do not have to be the most popular candidate: all you have to do is get more of your supporters to the polls than the other guy did. One way to do this is to make it more difficult to vote, which the Republicans are actively checking off their list. Voting restrictions can backfire, however: by making it more difficult to register to vote, limiting mail-in ballots, and eliminating early voting, you run the risk of depressing friendly turnout.
To get around this hurdle, Republicans need to make sure their base is motivated enough to vote that they’ll overcome those difficulties. Ideally, they should be so stoked to vote in this midterm election that they’d crawl through a field of broken glass to cast a ballot.
If you can convince a parent that their child is in danger, they’ll crawl through as many fields of glass as you put in front of them. They’ll probably empty their pocketbooks for you too.
And yes, you are doing irreparable harm to the fabric of the country you purportedly love so much, you are absolutely condoning atrocity and absolutely making civil war inevitable, but you will win in 2022 which means you will probably win in 2024, at which point the game changes entirely and civil war is probably going to happen anyway. Best to start recruiting now, to be honest.
As the midterms draw closer I will be doing that thing I do every two years where I tell leftists I think voting for Democrats makes sense and a lot of leftists get very, VERY angry at me, and I deserve that anger because the Democrats are a steaming pile of hot garbage and not nearly as different from Republicans as one might prefer. Voting for harm reduction over and over and over again when the harm isn’t reduced very much at all is soul-destroying and also not a long-term solution. But if these fuckers win–when these fuckers win, if the economy keeps doing what it’s doing–very bad things are going to happen to very vulnerable people. Worse than would happen otherwise, which is already pretty bad. Worse than that.
Voting is not enough. Voting is not enough. Voting is not enough. Please vote anyway. It takes maybe 2 hours of your time, which leaves you *checks watch* 8758 hours each year to do more productive kinds of activism. You can’t save America by voting, but you might be able to save someone’s life. Hell of an ROI.
I’m sorry I never end these things on a positive note. Maybe I’m wrong and this sick strategy will backfire somehow. Maybe 2022 won’t be as bad as I fear, or maybe the 2022 loss will finally, FINALLY wake the libs up to the existential crisis we’re facing. We will suddenly all understand that all the commissions and investigations in the world cannot and will not save us. That it’s time to go to the mat over this. Time to think outside the box. Time for things I wish it wasn’t time for.
That’s it. That’s what I’ve got for this week. I’ll try to write something cheerful next week and to actually have it out on Tuesday. I promise. Something nice. We’ll have a good time.
See you then.