You’ve heard the stories. You know the lore. It is said that even in prison, there are good guys and bad guys. Specifically, murderers and rapists, career criminals and other vicious predators aren’t the worst that our criminal justice system has to offer. These same men – and “men” is appropriate, given the disproportionate numbers of males in prison – often have children. They have siblings. They have girlfriends and wives. The idea of anyone taking advantage of their loved ones, particularly children, sickens even these hardened monsters. And so they murder child molesters behind the walls.
Just last month, a white supremacist in California was convicted of attacking and killing a child molester in prison. “A probation report,” reads the news item, “said [the killer] was a member of a supremacist group that required its members to attack anyone with a history of child molestation (emphasis added).”
A decade ago, ABC’s Michael James reported that prison is a “living hell” for pedophiles.
“In prison, fellow inmates derisively call pedophiles ‘chesters,’ ‘tree jumpers’ and ‘short eyes,’” writes James. “At the end of 2001, about 83,000 state prison inmates, or about 6.8 percent, were male sex offenders who had committed a rape or sexual assault against a minor under age 18. … Just 56 state and federal prisoners out of a population of about 1.3 million were actually killed by other inmates during the yearlong period between July 1999 and June 2000, and it was unknown how many were pedophiles. … But unpopular prisoners also can be harassed in other ways.”
That harassment runs the gamut from having their food taken to being beaten or subjected to the bodily wastes of their fellow inmates. James describes one inmate – perhaps not coincidentally, also a neo-Nazi – who hates all homosexuals and who equates homosexuals with pedophiles, making child molesters a natural, even compulsive target for him. Given the volatile natures and varying prejudices of many of those incarcerated, it is almost impossible (according to the corrections officials James interviewed) to put together a prison environment in which none of the inmates are at risk from the others.
In 2011, Slate contended that pedophiles were roughly equal to “snitches” in the prison pecking order. “In the social hierarchy of prison inmates,” writes Brian Palmer, “mob kingpins, accomplished bank robbers, and cop killers tend to get the most respect. Convicts who have committed crimes against children, especially sexual abuse, are hated, harassed, and abused. Many inmates refer to molesters as ‘dirty’ prisoners, and some insist that assaulting or killing them represents a service to society.”
Simply put, prison inmates don’t want to live in close quarters with pedophiles any more than the rest of society does. Palmer points out that the inmates “know that one who suffers intense harassment may be pulled out of the general population and into protective custody,” thus removing the pedophile from their midst.
But what about the pedophiles lurking among you who have never touched a child?
It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it is not. Technology has made it possible for those with these sick desires to indulge in them while never actually acquiring a firsthand victim. Either they illegally download child pornography from the Internet, or they create a quasi-legal form of child pornography by simulating it. Not so long ago, the Supreme Court ruled that cartoons or computer animations simulating kiddie porn were not always illegal. This has since been addressed by subsequent law, but there remain loopholes.
Just last year, a pair of Dutch “sexologists” called for simulated child pornography to be legalized. The idea seems to be that by using drawings or computer images to fake sex with children, one may slake the lust of the legions of filthy pedophiles living and working among us. The “sexologists” claimed that being unable to indulge in one’s fantasies in this way could lead to “frustration,” which would ultimately lead to attacking and victimizing a child.
Such an assertion is absurd, but in a world full of wide-eyed liberals bent on destroying us, it isn’t even the most ridiculous thing you’ll hear this week. Still, it is destructive and moronic, because it denies a fundamental truth about pornography in general and pedophiles – whom even prison inmates hate – in particular: Indulging in one’s sexual fantasies does not decrease one’s desires. As any garden-variety pornography addict will tell you, someone who has unhealthy desires (or an unhealthy degree of desire) is not mollified by indulging in them. This is akin to saying an alcoholic might act out and then drink and drive if he is denied the opportunity to consume booze. The man compelled to view pornography becomes desensitized to and bored with the porn he views, seeking out ever more stimulating forms of “adult” entertainment.
This is the threat of those who consume child pornography, real or virtual. It is only a matter of time before a piece of human filth who enjoys watching underage sex acts decides to bring his fantasies to real-world fruition. While it’s true that many child pornography users never screw up the courage to attack a child, some of them do. This is why any rational person condemns the use, the downloading, the viewing, the possession of kiddie porn. Having child pornography under your roof, be it on your computer or under your bed, whether photographs or video or cartoons or drawings, means that you are a vile child-touching animal. It means you are a threat to society. It means you ought not be anywhere but occupying a prison cell.
What does one call a “man” who possesses child pornography, real or virtual, that he did not create? Such a person is not a child pornographer; that implies creation. He is a kiddie-porn viewer, a person who fantasizes about molesting children, a coward who today uses technology extensively to mask, to indulge in and to spread his evil lust for children. There has to be a term for that.
Wait, there is one. It’s “child molester.”