Posted on | October 21, 2013 | 52 Comments
James Kincaid is a University of Southern California professor emeritus who is the author of Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture (1992) and Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting (1998). When it was announced he would speak in Toronto at an academic conference with the creepy title “Bodies at Play: Sexuality, Childhood and Classroom Life,” an understandable outrage erupted:
Dr. Charles McVety of the Institute for Canadian Values has written an open letter to Chris Alexander, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, asking that Kincaid be denied entry into the country. . . .
“On behalf of the 125,000 members of the Institute for Canadian Values and Canada Family Action, we request that the Minister refuse admission of Dr. James Kincaid to Canada for a lecture on October 19th, 2013 in Toronto,” Dr. McVety wrote.
“Dr. Kincaid is a well-known advocate for pedophilia, a criminal activity in Canada,” the letter states.
Is that description — “a well-known advocate for pedophilia” – perhaps just a wee bit over-the-top? Does it fail to capture the complexity and sophistication of Kincaid’s nuanced arguments? Let’s read the publisher’s description of one of Kincaid’s books:
In Erotic Innocence James R. Kincaid explores contemporary America’s preoccupation with stories about the sexual abuse of children. Claiming that our culture has yet to come to terms with the bungled legacy of Victorian sexuality, Kincaid examines how children and images of youth are idealized, fetishized, and eroticized in everyday culture. Evoking the cyclic elements of Gothic narrative, he thoughtfully and convincingly concludes that the only way to break this cycle is to acknowledge—and confront—not only the sensuality of children but the eroticism loaded onto them.
Uh, really, Doc? Your beef with “contemporary America” is that we are too worried about “sexual abuse,” and so we need “to acknowledge . . . the sensuality of children” and their “eroticism”? And while we’re at it, why don’t we take a look at the cover of your book?
Nothing weird there. Nothing out of the ordinary. Move along.
Despite the protests, Professor Kincaid spoke Saturday in Toronto:
A controversial U.S. professor who writes about children and sexuality shot down his critics Saturday by declaring that he is not an advocate for pedophilia.
Dr. James Kincaid, standing with his wife, Nita, at the University of Toronto, defended himself following his keynote address about children and sexuality.
“I’ve already said I’m not in favour of pedophilia. Period. Isn’t that enough?” he firmly told Linda Beaudoin, a sexual abuse survivor and advocate for children’s rights after she challenged him following his address. . . .
Kincaid told the Star he doesn’t think it’s a matter of rounding up “a few freaks and a few pedophiles and horrible monsters who regard young people as attractive.”
He said the real problem is that in the United States there is enormous attention paid to stranger kidnappings of children that draws the focus away from a higher incidence of children who are physically or emotionally abused.
Earlier, he told his audience that Canada is more enlightened than the U.S., where the public requires a steady diet of “predator kidnappers, Internet stalkers of youth, kiddie porn rings and such fantasies to maintain national identity.”
Of Internet predators, he added, “we are given to believe that they are legion, but the hard evidence is small.”
So, “the hard evidence is small,” Professor Kincaid?
Former youth minister in St. Charles County
charged with possessing child porn
– St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Former Arlington Man Faces Child Porn,
Abuse Charges in Oklahoma
– KXAS-TV, Dallas
Prosecutors: Youth baseball coach caught
with 450 sexual photos of players
– Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Child pornography convict from
New Castle now charged with molestation
– WFMJ-TV/Associated Press
That’s just a brief sample of headlines today. Do your own Google News search. There is certainly no shortage of evidence to contradict Professor Kincaid’s claim that the danger is insignificant.
But perhaps Professor Kincaid doesn’t Google . . . for news.
Is there any reason to believe that Professor Kincaid’s writings about “erotic” children are less than objective?
Would it be a mistake to suspect that Professor Kincaid’s interest in child sexuality is not entirely academic?
Far be it from me to insinuate any such thing.
However, when somebody writes books telling parents not to worry about perverts and predators, insisting that the danger is exaggerated, while every day’s headlines show the danger is very real . . .
Well, two lawsuits at a time, I guess.