Another piece by Mary Eberstadt in the Weekly Standard taking a stand against child-abuse. I won’t begin to tackle all of its ugliness. But in my own defense: She claims at one point that because I made one small reference in a New York Times column to a study that found that boys were less traumatized than girls by sexual abuse that I am somehow belittling the crime of pedophilia. She claims I am less concerned with pedophilia than with those who ‘declare themselves against it.’ Piffle. I can think of no words adequate to express my horror at the unfathomable evil of sexual abuse of children and if I don’t condemn it on a daily basis it is simply because I take it as a given. Don’t you? All I was saying is that the study’s findings, if true, were a small piece of good news, indicating that the boys didn’t experience the more enduring psychological trauma we previously feared. (The broader point of the column was to single out various nuggets of good news in the culture we don’t want to discuss). The point of Eberstadt’s piece, however, is not to condemn pedophilia as such. It is a pretty obvious attempt, in classic fashion, simply to conflate the gay rights movement with a pedophile movement, and to accuse homosexuals of being child-abusers or complicit in child abuse. This is simply disgusting and beneath contempt. There is barely a mention anywhere in the piece of heterosexual pedophilia, which represents the overwhelming bulk of the phenomenon – both in terms of crime and cultural portrayal. Has Eberstadt even begun to list the representation of heterosexual sex with teenage or barely legal girls in the popular culture? Why not? Well, it would take years to catalog it, and then ‘pedophilia chic’ couldn’t be used to smear gays, could it? Yes, she has some caveats – mainly phony exhortations to gay rights leaders to condemn child-abuse, as if we haven’t already done so until we are blue in the face. But the mere demand that we do so repeatedly, and the sinister way in which she twists our writing on the subject (her other target is the unimpeachable gay writer Jonathan Rauch), is classic McCarthyism. It seems clear to me at this point that the Weekly Standard has all but abandoned even the slightest pretense of considering gay men and women as people worthy of respect or dialogue, and is now devoted at least in part to smearing, demonizing and dehumanizing them. And what better way than to accuse us of being child-abusers? There is only one word for this: despicable.