Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: A Language Ethics Quiz: Regarding ‘Groomer’”

This is complicated. Humble Talent’s Comment of The Day, in addition to being sparked by Mrs. Q’s comment, also responded to the comment on Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day by dekerivers, whose quote begins Humble Talent’s post. All are relevant to the assertions about the term “groomer” made by RL Stroller, which are discussed here.

Got all that? Good…now, as my dad used to say in such situations, explain it to me.


“From my perspective as a gay man, teachers and school programs today are designed to foster a child to see themselves as who they are and allow for the expression of their individualism, which includes sexual orientation and identity.”

From my perspective as a gay man, if that actually all they were doing, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. Oh sure, there are legitimately Americans who still hate the fact that gay people exist, so *a* conversation would be going on, but it wouldn’t be this one.

And that, I think, basically encapsulates my disagreement with you: You ignore too much. you accept to much. You have done what so many people who identify with the acronym have done and taken in some awful people who have done shitty things and wrapped them up in the protection of inclusivity.

Just recently, during the Balenciaga SNAFU… There was a contingent of people saying that the moral panic du jour over pedophilia was an attack on LGBTQ people. Now, I believe that was a poorly designed shock campaign gone bad… But no one mentioned gay people. No one mentioned groomers. This is something the LGBTQ community took upon themselves, and I’m left standing at the outside of that, horrified at the implication. I don’t know how much lifting that + does for you, but it apparently does some heavy lifting elsewhere. I make it simple: Pedophiles don’t get to sit at my table. I don’t see an attack on pedophiles as an attack on me. I don’t know what exactly went on in Balenciaga’s office space, but it was fucking dumb, and no skin off my ass if they get called out.

The groomer narrative is less obvious than that because there are going to be cases, probably a majority of cases, where the teachers are acting appropriately. The problem is that we have some breathtakingly obvious examples of teachers exceeding their authority and mandate, and people like you refuse to separate the wheat from the chaff and that gives your opponents carte blanch to paint you with the same brush.

Because again… There are stupid people out there… There would still be *a* conversation. but it doesn’t need to be this one. We could, as a bonkers example, take a hard stance against teachers who take it upon themselves to decide not to advise parents about things regarding their child’s sexual health. Because that’s just not acceptable. Teachers aren’t trained to make those kinds of decisions. It’s creepy as fuck. If teachers suspect abuse, they report abuse, period. End of sentence. It’s not complicated. It’s not hard.

If progressives, generally, accepted that premise, the conversation would be different. But they don’t. So it is what it is.

4 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: A Language Ethics Quiz: Regarding ‘Groomer’”

  1. HT,
    Congrat’s on the Comment of the Day. This whole discussion, as limited as it’s been, is thought provoking.

    P.S. I also shared this Comment of the Day with dekerivers as an “FYI” just in case he wasn’t following the conversation in the other thread.

  2. Something that’s been on my mind lately is an article by Chri Rufo. It’s worth reading. There’s a certain amount of guilt by association, which may be slightly unfair and maybe Hannah Dyer isn’t a representative sample, but the fact that someone on the board of the “Drag Queen Story Hour” organization wrote the following suggests that he’s not actually wrong.

    “It may be that DQSH is ‘family friendly,’ in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is ‘family friendly’ in the sense of ‘family’ as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street.”

    There seems to be a significant difference between queer theorists (anyone who majors in queer studies and most activists) and the average LGBT person in the general public. I’m not sure transgenders should be lumped in with lesbian, gay, or bisexual in the first place. There’s a difference between who I’m attracted to and what I think I am.

    • I actually thought the passages from Rubin, and the rest of that chapter of her book that he quoted were worse. I’m sure Rufo had to pick and choose what he was going to write (and probably could have done a better job of it… My God, that was a slog), but Rubin used a whole lot of euphemisms I’d never heard before. “Cross-generational relationships” as an example… Is that what it sounds like, or it is a euphemism for pedophilia?

      The answer is that it’s both, further context makes that obvious:

      “The primary mechanism for insuring the separation of sexual generations is age of consent laws.
      These laws make no distinction between the most brutal rape and the most gentle romance. A 20-
      year-old convicted of sexual contact with a 17-year-old will face a severe sentence in virtually every
      state, regardless of the nature of the relationship (Norton, 1981). Nor are minors permitted access
      to ‘adult’ sexuality in other forms. They are forbidden to see books, movies, or television in which sexuality is ‘too’ graphically portrayed. It is legal for young people to see hideous depictions of
      violence, but not to see explicit pictures of genitalia. Sexually active young people are frequently
      incarcerated in juvenile homes, or otherwise punished for their ‘precocity’.”

      I know Rubin’s book was from the 80’s, but do we think the left has gotten more or less permissive around sexuality and children since then?

      Again… These people don’t get to sit at my table. I don’t identify with them. I don’t support them. This isn’t a difficult or even brave stance to take.

      • Honestly, you are one of the reasons, along with a couple of personal friends, that I can continue to believe queer theorists are fringe of a fringe. I can’t honestly imagine you or them writing ANY of the passages he quotes.

        Hannah Dyer stuck in my mind largely because she seems to be opposed to the concept of childhood innocence. I only skimmed the linked source, but it doesn’t seem like Rufo is misconstruing her. Kornstein is just closely linked to DQSH in particular.

        I have to agree that Rufo’s article was a slog, but it was still easier to read than the pseudo-intellectual papers he linked to. How much of the slog of Rufo’s article was really due to the quotes rather than his own writing?

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