Tag Archives: punishment

Hollywood’s Cover-Ups or Indonesia’s Castration Method: How Should We Deal With Pedophiles?

The sexual assault of a child is the most abhorrent crime in the world. As a society we curse those who commit such crimes and refuse to recognize them as anything but outsiders and deviants. Unfortunately, pedophilia is far more common than we care to admit.

Former child actors Elijah Wood and Corey Feldman recently drew attention to the problem of pedophilia in Hollywood. While Wood only pointed to events he had heard about (and last year’s documentary film, An Open Secret), Feldman referred to his own experience with abuse

Unfortunately for Feldman, even if he would like to call out the men who abused him as a child he is unable to do so for legal reasons:

I would love to name names. I’d love to be the first to do it. But unfortunately California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name I would be the one that would be in legal problems and I’m the one that would be sued.

In a stark juxtaposition to Hollywood, Indonesia is also in the news for their dealings with pedophiles. After a 14-year-old girl was brutally gang raped and then murdered, President Joko Widodo introduced a new law that would mean the death penalty or chemical castration for the sexual assault of a minor.

After reading about the injustice of Hollywood, where survivors are unable to prosecute the predators who took advantage of them, reading about Indonesia can feel like a breath of fresh air. However, it’s worth looking beyond our gut reaction to ask if forced chemical castration, and the possibility of the death penalty, will actually work as a deterrent against the sexual assault of a minor. Continue reading

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Culture War Correspondence: Are Animals People Too?

GORDON: Ladies, gentlemen, and yes, even dolphins and certain species of ape- we’re considering bestowing upon you honorary personhood, despite the poo flinging.

The topic of the day is animal rights- how far is not enough?

EVAN: This topic was brought up by reader/friend Stew, presumably due to recent happenings regarding legal action taken to protect the rights of animals with higher-order cognitive abilities [great apes, certain cetaceans, elephants, African grey parrots].

Not animal rights, though. Actual human rights.

GORDON: Exactly how that’d work with free speech is kinda lost on me, though we’d be able to apply bear arms in a new sense.

And before everyone jumps on me for using that pun, hear me out-

We’re happy to bestow these rights on animals with high reasoning abilities- but would they do the same for us? I don’t want to play devil’s advocate right out of the gate, but there seems to be a fundamental difference in human understanding of rights and the views of dolphins and monkeys, both of whom not only kill without much thought or grief, but have been recorded performing sexual attacks (ok, not dolphins, it turns out) and flippin’ genocide on members of their own species.

Yep, genocide.

Continue reading