The Brother and I participated in KCRW's first annual 24-Hour Radio Race (as described here) a couple months back and it was truly an adventure. We didn't win anything, but had a great time writing it. The actual recording of it was a bit more of a struggle.
The topic was released Saturday morning at 10am and the finished product had to be up on Soundcloud by 10am the following morning. The topic was great: "The Last Thing You'd Expect". We loved it and after kicking around a few ideas I remembered this. Even though that article from two years ago tried to blow off the idea of legitimizing "minor-attracted persons" (you know, pedophiles), it's recently come up in the news that recent pro-gay marriage rulings by the Supreme Court have emboldened these people to start coming out of the shadows and demand the same type of rights and acceptance that gays have won over the past couple of decades. And having seen the success of gay mainstreaming, pedos have decided to basically follow the same playbook. Legitimizing and eventually demanding acceptance of child molestation? We thought it was a subject that screamed The Last Thing You'd Expect.
We spent most of the afternoon researching, editing and refining our project until we were satisfied with it. Here's the written version:
This is Team Work in Progress for KCRW wondering…Where Do You Draw The Line?
He was my seventh-grade math teacher. He was probably in his thirties and mentioned a wife and baby at home. It didn’t matter. In my twelve year-old mind, he was the love of my life. When he called on me, it made my day. Any attention paid to me only encouraged my childish fantasies.
Luckily, my story doesn’t have a sordid, inappropriate ending. I mooned over him, he was oblivious (and probably would have been horrified at the thought of a relationship with one of his students), then the semester ended and we both went our separate ways. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I don’t even remember his name now.
But will a schoolgirl crush be more than just a crush in the near future? It might in the next twenty or thirty years, if a certain group has its way.
Did you ever imagine you would see the day when a NAMBLA-type organization would be emboldened to not only reveal themselves to the mainstream, but would feel brash enough to publicly demand acceptance of pedophilia in the same way the homosexual community has mainstreamed in the past several decades?
You have now.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision favoring gay marriage, activists in the pedophile community have decided they know a successful playbook when they see one. And with the dust barely settled from the Supreme Court decision, they’re already hard at work putting it into play.
The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official list of disorders in 1973. B4U-Act is an organization devoted to making this happen for pedophiles, including referring to them as “minor-attracted persons” rather than pedophiles in an attempt to remove the stigma of their practice, much as “homosexuals” became “gay”. B4U-Act’s website and press releases are riddled with language intended to re-educate the masses: “fear”, “misunderstanding”, “stereotyping”, “stigma”.
B4U-Act and other supporters of pedophile rights are using the same arguments used to break down traditional barriers of societal acceptance of homosexual relationships:
· They argue that they can’t help their “orientation” (who they’re attracted to) any more than heterosexual and homosexual adults can.
· They make assurances that they are only interested in “consensual” sex with minors they deem to be mentally and emotionally mature enough to embark on such a relationship.
· They point out that age of consent can vary from state to state, from country to country, and society to society.
And that’s the problem: However much society may find the idea of pedophilia – and the idea of associating it with homosexuality – offensive, you do have to give them credit for ingenuity in adopting a proven method of sexual acceptance. Distasteful? Sure. But it’s also actually kind of brilliant.
If gay people really, genuinely can’t help who they are attracted to and can use it as an argument for equal rights, then why can’t pedophiles, or minor-attracted persons, or whatever you want to call them, do the same? Where do you draw the line?
The potentially terrifying aspect of this argument is that, like it or not, they have a point. If modern society agrees that straights and gays can’t help whom they’re attracted to, can you not make the same argument for pedophiles? And if it’s no longer acceptable to stigmatize non-heterosexual relationships, then why shouldn’t this consideration be extended to “minor-attracted persons” as well as gays? Where do you draw the line?
The one obvious argument is whether or not a minor is mentally and emotionally mature enough to make the decision to be involved sexually with a much older adult. They may think they are, but are they really? Shouldn’t an adult in this situation be mature enough to say no? There are reasons age of consent laws exists. But the argument could also be made that one person could be more mature at 17 than another person is at 21. One size does not fit all. But still, a line has to be drawn somewhere. So where do you draw it?
Factor in the loosening of morals in modern American society and you have to wonder if, in a few decades, pedophile relationships will in fact achieve acceptance on the level that gay marriage enjoys today.
Imagine a world in which your twelve year-old daughter embarks on a sexual relationship with her math teacher and if you object, you are an intolerant, closed-minded, bigoted hater.
With that in mind, will “minor-attracted persons” become the new gay? Should they? Only time will tell where we draw the line.
"This piece was produced by Thomas Prochnow and Melinda Loomis as part of The 24-Hour Radio Race from KCRW's Independent Producer Project."
Then came the adventure of actually recording it.
We started at around 5pm. We don't have any recording equipment, but The Brother felt that the recording app on his iPhone would do the job. It doesn't have any editing capabilities, so we had to nail it or start over.
The original plan was for me to read the first three paragraphs (true story, BTW) and then he would come in to do the reading honors, but he had trouble with points of emphasis and inflection. After a couple of tries he had me read it out loud, since I did the writing, hoping it would help him to hear how it sounded in my head. It helped a little, but not enough, so the decision was made for me to read the whole thing, which kind of sucked because I don't have a great voice. He would read the opening and closing to give it some variety.
Did I mention that we couldn't edit it, so it had to be read clear through without a hitch?
I actually got through my first recording pretty much flawlessly, but when we played it back I was talking way too fast. The second time I made a point of speaking slowly and deliberately, but on playback it proved to be positively snooze-inducing. It droned on and we went to Take 3 without even letting it finish.
We recorded it several more times, but although I got the pacing figured out, there was at least one point in each of them where I stumbled over words. By this time it was around 10pm. We were determined to persevere until we got a clean take, but then the recording app decided to quit. Brother kept tapping on the icon, but it simply wouldn't respond. He fussed with it for almost an hour, but it had had enough of us. Around 11pm he was frustrated and we were both exhausted, so we finally decided we would go with what we had.
Here's the recorded version: Where Do You Draw The Line?
Yeah, I'm a lot better at writing than performing. I actually got more comfortable with it after a few tries and would like to have kept going, but stupid iPhone app. It's pretty rough, but considering we had never done anything like this before, we were proud of ourselves for at least getting it done. We learned a lot in the process and enjoyed it immensely.
There were 101 entries. Here are the winners.