How arguing over whether Epstein abused ‘girls’ or ‘young women’ hurts all victims of injustice

In this July 30, 2008, file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. Mr. Epstein pled guilty in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution and now faces new charges in New York of sex trafficking. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)In this July 30, 2008, file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. Mr. Epstein pled guilty in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution and now faces new charges in New York of sex trafficking. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

“I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender,’” Jeffrey Epstein said in 2011. “It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.” Mr. Epstein had just completed his outrageously light jail sentence for the outrageously soft-pedaled crime of soliciting prostitution with a minor. The many credible accusations of his long, well-documented history of buying, selling and raping underage girls were somehow whittled down to a manageable offense, and his heinous behavior went largely unpunished.

Happily, plea deals are not irrevocable, and on Monday, Mr. Epstein was arrested again. He may actually face justice this time. The legal system may be ready to charge him for victimizing girls, but the public is less clear that’s who his victims truly were. A few years ago, a Rutgers biologist told Reuters with respect to the Epstein case, “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous.” Reporters for The Palm Beach Post and The New York Times have repeatedly referred to his victims as “young women,” CBS News has weirdly called them “underage females,” and The Washington Post originally referred to them as “underage women” before quickly changing the term to “girls.”

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More than one prominent Twitter commenter thought it was important to hash out whether his crime was pedophilia or ephebophilia (though The Stranger’s Katie Herzog added, “not that this makes it okay”), and, in a now-deleted tweet, whether we can call a girl a “child” if she reaches the ripe old age of 14 before she is bought, bound and raped by a man four times her age. (Full disclosure: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, who wrote the deleted tweet, has previously written for America).

Legally, and morally, and by any sane measure, she is a child, no matter how much makeup she wears, how sassy she talks, what crowd she runs with.

The answer is, of course: Yes, she is a child. Legally, and morally, and by any sane measure, she is a child, no matter how much makeup she wears, how sassy she talks, what crowd she runs with, or what she does next after her predator lets her go. No matter how much taller she is than, say, a 5-year-old. Those were children Mr. Epstein is accused of trafficking; and people who want to argue that a teenager is not a child, per se—well, it is fair to wonder why they care so much.

Some of them will say it is just that accuracy matters, and they like to be precise in their speech. And that is fine. I know people like this: They will go to their grave insisting that they are emitting “terminal respiratory secretions” and not a “death rattle.” Some people just like precision, and they like it all the time. These people are rare.

Use technically accurate terms that sanitize the truth and you can often plea bargain your way down to a lesser charge in the public eye.

Most people are comfortable with imprecision when it suits them. They deal in a variegated mishmash of facts and hyperbole, poetry and science, precision and allusion; and this is normal. That is why the assertion that precision is of the utmost importance, especially if it implies that a lesser evil has been done, may be a red flag. We need to ask, at those moments, if these careful distinctions serve to ignore, oppress or denigrate someone who is vulnerable.

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When Mr. Epstein made his ghastly joke about being a mere “offender,” like someone who steals a bagel, he was onto something powerful. Use technically accurate terms that sanitize the truth and you can often plea bargain your way down to a lesser charge in the public eye. We saw this when indignant voices were appalled that anyone would accuse our own countrymen of something as barbaric as torture in Abu Ghraib. No, what they were engaged in was something very specific and clinical-sounding, a precise kind of technique they called “enhanced interrogation.” (Which is torture.) We saw this when pro-choicers suddenly went to the wall for the notion that “fetal pole cardiac activity” was the proper nomenclature to describe the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in a four-chambered organ (which is what medical experts and we pro-life bumpkins alike call “a heartbeat”).

Cui bono? Who benefits from squeezing language until it bleeds jargon? The guilty, of course.

But another important question is: Cui plagalis? Who stands to lose? Whose suffering is likely to be minimized if normally careless people suddenly become very careful about their word choice?

Whose suffering is likely to be minimized if normally careless people suddenly become very careful about their word choice?

I do not believe that we can assume anyone who argues for a bright moral line between teenagers and children is a pedophile (or ephebophile, or oh dear lord please stop making me know about such things). It is tempting, but probably unfair to assume that anyone who soft-pedals abuse is an abuser himself.

Then why do it? To sound smart. To sound edgy. Or because they want to believe the victim is partially guilty. This is what we saw after news of systematically abused seminarians came out. Young men were pressured or forced into homosexual acts with their superiors. It was dreadful news, but less dreadful for Catholics who imagine you could only find yourself in such a fix if you were partially willing, or even part of a deliberate campaign. Why didn’t they fight back, or at least report the abuse? After all, they were men, not children. Can we call it assault, precisely, or did they let it happen? And the question remains the same: With this thirst for precision, cui plagalis?

Social media convulsed over whether we could justly call an ICE detention center a “concentration camp,” or whether that name demonstrated disrespect to Holocaust survivors and victims of the internment of Japanese Americans. And as the tweets flew back and forth and hashtags multiplied, all the while a 14-year-old child paced up and down, up and down her concrete cell, trying to quiet the sobs of a urine-soaked baby she had just met. That baby doesn’t care what name you call his cell. Neither does the girl. They just want to be released.

Games over semantics, no matter who is playing them, are just games; and when we play, that means we are not working. That means we are not fighting for justice for the very people whose status we are wrangling over.

As soon as we create a hierarchy of victimhood, we are asking victims to compete with each other, shoving them into an amphitheater of suffering, goading them into fighting it out to earn our precious compassion. One portion of the crowd roars, “Save death row inmates!” while another one answers, “No, save unborn babies!” “Help starving Africans!” hollers one throng. “No, help homeless vets!” another screams back. And meanwhile, inmates and babies and the starving and the homeless wait, and wait, and wait for help.

You do not have to play this game. You do not have to choose sides with one victim against another. You do not have to enter into some excruciating examination of the details of a crime before you can call it evil, before you can say the victim needs justice. Just call it evil, and leave a more precise diagnosis to the experts who are trying to rectify it.

So take note, whenever a new word or phrase is “trending.” It’s trending for a reason. Almost certainly, someone has deliberately introduced a carefully chosen bit of semantics into the environment for the purpose of altering public opinion.

Cui bono, and cui plagalis? Ask yourself.

You do not have to play this game. Look instead to the victim, and look for justice.

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A Fielder
2 months 1 week ago

Simcha, I think you fail to make an important distinction between the word-smithing of sophistic rhetoricians advancing their own self centered ideology (what ever it happens to be on any given day of the week) with something that may appear similar, but in truth is much different. Some of the examples you cite above are actually well intentioned attempts to participate in a community of moral discernment. We do live in a complicated world with many competing interests, and if the human community can not create, use and benefit from language that does justice, we will all be poorer for it. Sometimes language does need to be precise enough to be able to make important distinctions, and sometimes language needs to be able to pull at the heart strings, in order to influence others and do justice. If someone is abusing the power of speech for impure motives, than it is up to the rest of us to call them out. I am left to wonder if some of your criticism is not projection, after all you also spill a fair amount of ink. Is your rhetoric here any more important that the elected representatives who are trying to end the condition of children in cages at the border? Can you claim any more success? I do not believe that semantics are games, I believe that language is serious business with important moral consequences. And despite your rant, I am willing to bet that you do too.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

A, you articulated this beautifully.

Simcha fails to acknowledge that it is through these exchanges and language-refining conflicts that a society and its members learn how to talk to and about each other and, thus, how to respect and dignify and encounter the Other with the outcome that the Other is experienced as fully human.

Simcha notes that her America colleague deleted his own tweet and she then links to the exchange. She fails to acknowledge that the deletion of that tweet (and the deletion of hundreds of tweets by others in other conflicts) is reflective of the successful co-education process most of us call dialogue, even highly conflicted dialogue in which we learn that our language needs to change. She doesn't acknowledge that most of us - and likely her America colleague and others who took a drubbing on this - develop in our relationships with each other through the frequent and often painful, life-changing evolution of our language in those relationships. The most obvious are evolutions in the language of racial and ethnic identities. In Washington DC, near Howard University, there is an entire building bearing a single photograph of hundreds of Black men holding signs that read "I AM A MAN". https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/i-am-a-man
In fighting to demand a refinement the language most of society used, they were fighting for justice (specifically in the Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike and, generally, in their status as American citizens). Shouting "Evil!" every time they were called "boy" or one of many other degrading terms and then deferring to the "experts" would not have accomplished their goal, which was acknowledgement of and just response to their equality and humanity. In that case, Simcha's "experts" - federal, state and local governments - were the ones treating them unjustly.

Simcha also fails to acknowledge that the tweets and comments she references were each soundly rejected in dozens and dozens of responses. In fact, many - if not the majority - of the responding tweets to her America colleague (and Katie Hyslop in The Stranger) read like drafts of the first half of Simcha's article , some so close to her words and arguments as to be almost verbatim first drafts deserving of their own links in her piece. A writer at Jezebel, a feminist prochoice online site, used many of the same references and citations and made exactly the same argument minus the Latin. Many commenters to Simcha's colleague and the writer at The Stranger even made the same ugly insinuation Simcha did when she floated, then pretended to withdraw her insinuation that those engaged in the debate have a personal interest in distinguishing in fact and in morality sex with teens from sex with children.

In all honesty, up until THAT ugly and slick moment, I agreed with her general point with Epstein's sociopathic conduct, language and minimizers at its core.

After she allowed herself to make that insinuation and then slickly excused herself for crossing that line, she then got carried away. (Maybe Simcha's better self was aware that she had been irresponsible in her slickly and thus inadequately disavowed insinuation about other writers: a true disavowal would have resulted in editing it out prior to publication. Maybe Simcha will grow in the way her America colleague did: maybe she will ask the editors to delete her ugly insinuation and her disingenuous disavowal. I know that violating my own conscience in interactions tends to cause me to lose my thread. Maybe that happened to Simcha after she made that ugly and, frankly, dangerous insinuation.)

We are all safer when the populace is educated. We are all safer when expertise is held by and disseminated by the populace. We are all safer when each and every person has the intellectual, moral and communicative capacity to engage others when language is used in obscuring ways.

That is, very often, the most foundational work.

Simcha proposes we just shout "evil" and "leave the specific diagnosis to the experts trying to rectify it".

What could go wrong there?

Human history is filled with answers, Simcha.

Sheila Kelly
2 months 1 week ago

Thank you Simcha. This article was so needed. So often we do pit victims against each other, determining who is more "worthy". You have it right, just say it's evil.

Katherine Nielsen
2 months 1 week ago

"Games over semantics, no matter who is playing them, are just games; and when we play, that means we are not working. That means we are not fighting for justice for the very people whose status we are wrangling over." Amen! You put into words something I have been thinking. About those who wax pedantic over what a heartbeat is. About those who insist that "assault rifles" are not an accurate term. And of course most lately that the places where they put children taken from their parents are not "internment camps". Cui bono, indeed.

James M.
2 months 1 week ago

Semantics matter. To blur the necessary distinctions between concepts, is irresponsible, because it leads to confusion of thought, and to many bad consequences.

Lisa Weber
2 months 1 week ago

Words are important because they are how we discuss realities. And there is such a reality as a hierarchy of victims. Children are usually at the top of the hierarchy because they are vulnerable and defenseless. What I find disgusting is our current president’s penchant for calling himself and other sexual assailants “victims” when they are called out for their crimes. Also disgusting is the labeling of such a man “pro-life” when nothing about his actions would suggest that he ever cared about anyone but himself. He paid lip service to being anti-abortion in order to get elected. His administration is now separating children from their parents and jailing them in squalid conditions. This is entirely consistent with his previous history of sexual predation against girls under the age of consent. Actions speak louder than words - nothing about his actions says “pro-life.” In weighing someone’s words, don’t forget to give a greater weight to their history of actions.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

Epstein's victims were girls. There's a reason minors legally can't make contracts - they lack the capacity to make informed decisions. That's not a moral opinion it's a biological fact. Teen brains are not fully developed and work differently than adult brains. PS - the reason pro-choicers say embryos at 6 weeks ("heartbeat" laws) don't have hearts is because 6wk embryos don't yet have hearts.

Lisa M
2 months 1 week ago

Thank you Simcha for a great article. The battle is not whether these young girls are children or not. They are children, as we were at that age. The battle is how do we on the one hand call them children, too young to enter into a contract, yet call them women when at 14 or 16 we want them to have the 'choice' to abortion. We can't. So we refer to them as women in all circumstances to protect the pro choice cause, despite what biology, and the development of the brain tell us.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Lisa, I see how you got there AND I disagree. I believe this language is a reflection of a much larger and ongoing evolution, a sea-change in human history and our collective understanding of the relative humanity of those who are female, people of color, very old and very young, non-Christian, non-Western, not heterosexual, not affluent, etc. Specific to this issue, I believe that in an effort to end the infantilizing and commodifying of women as "girls in need of the strong and rational guiding hand of men" or women as "girls who can played with sexually", the word "girl" was strictly relegated to describing chronological girls with a just insistence that chronological women be described as adults aka women. A simultaneous effort to demand that society treat black males with respect resulted in a change in language demanding that black men be called men, not boys and that young black males be called "young black men". Attention to the modern and ever-lengthening developmental period we call "adolescense" and "youth" required that we begin to focus on how to help young people mature healthily into adults during this long period of dependence that was non-existent before the 20th century in most socioeconomic classes. Hence, we began to speak of mid-to-late teens as "young men" and "young women" as signposts to help them (and us) stat focused on their developmental goal.

Only recently has society as a whole begun to see the flaws in that essential correction. Only recently are we beginning to see the damage we have done to the black community and its boys in particular by losing sight of the fact of that a 16 year old black male is a child and we must begin to not only CALL him a child but we must begin to INTERACT with him as a child in need of our affection and protection and care. Only recently have we understood that a 16 year old female is a child and, as you and Simcha and I almost every other respondent to the tweets she cites has said, we must begin to CALL her a child and INTERACT with her as a child and offer her our affection and protection and care.

The issue of legal age of consent for abortion is intertwined with the legal age of consent for medical care in general. In most states in the US, if not all, parents wouldn't be able to sit in on or obtain the records of even a *camp physical* or counseling appointment unless their teenagers consent (ages differ from state to state).

Again, I get how you got to your argument AND I think you blew past a worldwide sea-change in which abortions rights are one wave.

Lisa M
2 months 1 week ago

J Jones- Thank you for your insight, it makes a lot of sense. The only thing I disagree with you about is the consent for medical care, which where I live was dropped to the age of 14. It certainly appears to have been to done to allow for abortion without parental consent.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Lisa, i was wrong about the age of consent for medical treatment in most States. https://www.schoolhouseconnection.org/state-laws-on-minor-consent-for-routine-medical-care/. It *is* my understanding that the motivation for lowered age limits where it IS lowered is about ensuring teens have access to the full range of healthcare services: think homeless youth; think kids thrown out of the house because they are gay or trans; think kids who emancipate: think teen parents; think kids whose parents' religious beliefs deny or force treatment; think kids whose parents are afraid of authorities.
It is intended to ensure access to reproductive healthcare (contraceptives, STI prevention treatment, abortion, prenatal care) as well as access to and/or freedom to decline mental health and substance abuse care.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

DUPLICATE Lisa, I see how you got there AND I disagree. I believe this language is a reflection of a much larger and ongoing evolution, a sea-change in human history and our collective understanding of the relative humanity of those who are female, people of color, very old and very young, non-Christian, non-Western, not heterosexual, not affluent, etc. Specific to this issue, I believe that in an effort to end the infantilizing and commodifying of women as "girls in need of the strong and rational guiding hand of men" or women as "girls who can played with sexually", the word "girl" was strictly relegated to describing chronological girls with a just insistence that chronological women be described as adults aka women. A simultaneous effort to demand that society treat black males with respect resulted in a change in language demanding that black men be called men, not boys and that young black males be called "young black men". Attention to the modern and ever-lengthening developmental period we call "adolescense" and "youth" required that we begin to focus on how to help young people mature healthily into adults during this long period of dependence that was non-existent before the 20th century in most socioeconomic classes. Hence, we began to speak of mid-to-late teens as "young men" and "young women" as signposts to help them (and us) stat focused on their developmental goal.

Only recently has society as a whole begun to see the flaws in that essential correction. Only recently are we beginning to see the damage we have done to the black community and its boys in particular by losing sight of the fact of that a 16 year old black male is a child and we must begin to not only CALL him a child but we must begin to INTERACT with him as a child in need of our affection and protection and care. Only recently have we understood that a 16 year old female is a child and, as you and Simcha and I almost every other respondent to the tweets she cites has said, we must begin to CALL her a child and INTERACT with her as a child and offer her our affection and protection and care.

The issue of legal age of consent for abortion is intertwined with the legal age of consent for medical care in general. In most states in the US, if not all, parents wouldn't be able to sit in on or obtain the records of even a *camp physical* or counseling appointment unless their teenagers consent (ages differ from state to state).

Again, I get how you got to your argument AND I think you blew past a worldwide sea-change in which abortions rights are one wave.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

DUPLICATE Lisa, I see how you got there AND I disagree. I believe this language is a reflection of a much larger and ongoing evolution, a sea-change in human history and our collective understanding of the relative humanity of those who are female, people of color, very old and very young, non-Christian, non-Western, not heterosexual, not affluent, etc. Specific to this issue, I believe that in an effort to end the infantilizing and commodifying of women as "girls in need of the strong and rational guiding hand of men" or women as "girls who can played with sexually", the word "girl" was strictly relegated to describing chronological girls with a just insistence that chronological women be described as adults aka women. A simultaneous effort to demand that society treat black males with respect resulted in a change in language demanding that black men be called men, not boys and that young black males be called "young black men". Attention to the modern and ever-lengthening developmental period we call "adolescense" and "youth" required that we begin to focus on how to help young people mature healthily into adults during this long period of dependence that was non-existent before the 20th century in most socioeconomic classes. Hence, we began to speak of mid-to-late teens as "young men" and "young women" as signposts to help them (and us) stat focused on their developmental goal.

Only recently has society as a whole begun to see the flaws in that essential correction. Only recently are we beginning to see the damage we have done to the black community and its boys in particular by losing sight of the fact of that a 16 year old black male is a child and we must begin to not only CALL him a child but we must begin to INTERACT with him as a child in need of our affection and protection and care. Only recently have we understood that a 16 year old female is a child and, as you and Simcha and I almost every other respondent to the tweets she cites has said, we must begin to CALL her a child and INTERACT with her as a child and offer her our affection and protection and care.

The issue of legal age of consent for abortion is intertwined with the legal age of consent for medical care in general. In most states in the US, if not all, parents wouldn't be able to sit in on or obtain the records of even a *camp physical* or counseling appointment unless their teenagers consent (ages differ from state to state).

Again, I get how you got to your argument AND I think you blew past a worldwide sea-change in which abortions rights are one wave.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

I do get what you are saying Simcha. Regarding the use of words like "torture" vs. "enhanced" interrogation, and regarding words used to deny the reality of abortion being the deliberate killing of [often sentient capable of suffering] human beings in the womb.When it comes to teenagers having sex, including with adults, there IS a categorical difference, morally and biologically between a person who has reached puberty and one who has not. Call a teen an older child or a young woman[or man] ;tale your pick ,the words mean the same. are the same. A teen is not biologically/emotionally, the same as a pre pubescent person.A teen can have a sex drive, and know that adults have a sex drive.,including lusting for them.

Consensual sex between a teen and an adult can be exploitative of the teen but is not always and inherently exploitative, and therefore sex with a teen is not necessarily a grave evil.[IMO].If the teen is agreeing to sex because they are in a desperate situation obviously that is a grave evil of exploitation. If the teen is looking to an older person to "open up doors for her"[ as that song goes; city girls just seem to find out early how to open doors with just a smile, a rich old man and she won't have to worry, she's dress in lace and go in style] ,then that is more of a rational quid pro quo.[leaving aside when two people do fall in love even with the age differences between them].The teen in fact may be the one who is actually using the adult as a means to an end; a career move , a foot in the door of power and influence, money, some material future benefit. While the adult may be the one who is not using the teen as a means to an end; the end and means being the same; sexual pleasure and delight in the other person which the adult is not pretending otherwise.If the adult is not tricking the teen, promising love ,marriage, or denying that it is sex they are after[ like Dr. Nasar the gymnasts doctor telling them it was some medical procedure]then they are being honest in their dealing with the teen.The adult is the authentic one,while the teen is the calculating one.So unless one believes that sex is inherently degrading, and projects that belief on to the adult[he's bad for degrading her] and on the teen[she is being degraded] which is a mere bias; as both the adult and the teen may not share that belief regarding their sexual encounter] the adult may be the innocent one in these teen/adult sexual encounters . One is using the other as a stepping stone[teen], one is delighting in the other's very being; sexual delight which is a realty[ a biological existential norm] which the teen is aware of[having reached puberty] and can rationally consent or not consent to for whatever reason.

One does not need years of adult experience or "maturity" to agree to a quid pro quo with an adult.I have empathy with the adults when they are faced with spending the rest of their lives in prison for having had consensual sex with teens. I do not believe it is a grave evil, if consensual.I think sending an adult to prison for years over consensual sex with a teen IS a grave evil.

Lisa Weber
2 months 1 week ago

An adult who has sex with a teen under the age of consent is guilty of statutory rape, in other words, rape because of legal definition. You seem to be willing to deny underage teens protection from sexual exploitation by adults. Perhaps your thinking is why morally unfit men like Donald Trump and Roy Moore see no reason why they should not be elected to political office to represent a state or the nation. I wonder if you see any age at which a person is too young to consent to sex.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

I know what statutory rape is. What constitutes statutory rape differs across states because a pre pubescent child is not the same . biologically,emotionally sexually as a [pubescent] teen, and the line therefore between teen and adult is not definitive, And also unlike puberty[teen] and prepubescent [child], the line between [teen]child and adult is not the same for every individual[ or the same in every state].
I want to see anyone; teen or adult or child, protected from any form of exploitation. The response to you musings are already stated in my above comment.
Perhaps that is what Moore believes. I have not heard of adult Trump being accused of lusting for teens ,have you? If not why are you putting it out there by lumping him with Moore who went after teens?That is dishonest.As dishonest as your "wonderings" which my expressed beliefs preclude any such wonderings!
Considering Trump has not been removed from office[yet] apparently there are just enough people in positions of power who believe he IS fit for office, or not SO unfit that it is their ethical duty to impeach him out, pronto!

Lisa Weber
2 months 1 week ago

rose-ellen, Trump did an interview with Howard Stern in which he talked about how troubled teenage girls, the ones without fathers, were the best sexually because they were so eager to please. If you can look at a statement like that and see something other than a sexual predator, you are being stone blind. The physical development of the girl is irrelevant because some girls reach menarche at age ten or less. A ten year-old is not an “adult” simply because she has breasts and menstruates.

Some states have laws that take into account the age difference between the “adult” and the younger partner. These make sense because a 16 year-old in an intimate relationship with an 18 year-old is probably in an equal relationship whereas a 16 year-old in a relationship with a 35 year-old is probably being abused. A 35 year-old seeking relationships with teenagers has developmental problems.

The failure to impeach Trump is not for lack of evidence of his unfitness for office. The decision not to impeach him yet is a political decision based on the fact that an insufficient number of people are in favor of impeachment. People still support him because they get their news from sources that spread lies.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

What Trump said on the Howard Stern show is considered misogynistic by today' norms, but at the time, on that edgy sex infused show, it was a pop psychology cliche.He did not say that he himself was going after teens, did he?
I reject the term "sexual predator" when used about adult men who are promiscuous and are attracted to teens.I reserve it for those who rape people and those who go after [pre pubescent] children[pedophiles]A predator to me is someone who, like an animal, takes someone against their will.A Moore cruising the mall, looking at teens he was attracted to, and then courting them honestly and openly is not a perversion and is not abuse. Many[ or at least some] a teen may want to be involved with an adult man of that renown , prestige, wealth. Some may even find such a person attractive.Did he not marry such a person?
One need not be an adult to be a sexual being.[ adolescent,puberty is sufficient].Though I doubt that physically a ten year old today,unlike a 14 year old, is able to have gratifying, sex. As it is still an anomaly to have reached puberty so young.The emotional, mental changes of adolescence [becoming sexual; having sexual thoughts desires, attraction etc.] tied to hormones may not be kicking in mentally/emotionally , in ten year old's with such an anomaly. [Hence perhaps they are the ones prone to identifying with another gender to reject their changed bodies they can't deal with yet?]If this keeps up in humans, though ,it may.
I do not buy that a relationship between a 35 year old and 16 year old is inherently going to be abusive while one between two 15yr olds is not.That is a gross generalization.These are individuals and age is not really correlated to being an abusive person or not.An older person may be more solicitous, kind, gentle,understanding,insightful, with the young teen then a partner of equal age who may be competitive,ignorant, self centered. Competing egos may not be there with the age differences as with closely aged couples.To assert categorically that a 35 year old being attracted to a 16 year old must have developmental problems is narrow minded. Many a loving relationship has stemmed from two people with age difference between them,starting when one of them was a teen and the other already an adult.People well respected in many professions

Right;the political decision tracks with not enough people clamoring for his impeachment on the grounds that he is unfit.I agree with your about the lying media.

Lisa Weber
2 months 1 week ago

rose-ellen, The average age of menarche in the USA is 12.5 years. Menarche at age ten is not that unusual. Your comments about older men pursuing teenage girls are bizarre. I certainly would not be pleased to see you chaperone children of any age because of those views.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Lisa, I agree with your final statement. I cannot think of any environment in the United States in which a person with these views on this topic would not be disqualified from employment or volunteering with any minor of any gender, age or sexual orientation. Were a person holding these views a member of my family, social group or spiritual community, I would not allow any child for whom I was responsible to spend any unsupervised time with this person because I would not trust this person to provide appropriate supervision, protection and guidance to a minor of any age, gender or sexual orientation. I also would alert others that this person had expressed these views at length and with conviction; my goal would be to encourage others to decline to leave minors of any age, gender and sexual orientation in the care and supervision of a person holding these views.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

For someone whose favorite rant is talking about empathy , respect,compassion, not otherizing , you are quite selective in its application as your nasty comments to Ms. Simcha shows, Jones.[ hateful and misogyny].Its easy to have those virtues when you apply them to marginalized people as you probably never get into actual discussions on contentous issues with them.It's easy to practice such virtue in a downward trancendence; like towards marginalized, disaffected, discriminated people].I think Jesus says something about the virtue of being nice only towards those you like![lol]

As it turns out, when my daughter was a minor, and going with a man in his late twenties, or was it early thirties?, my husband took her, himself to a gynecologist for birth control. We did not tell her that having sex with this adult young man boyfriend was wrong[ a senseless thing to say, for neither of us believe it is wrong, we allowed him to sleep with her in her room, as a matter of fact, and even if we had believed and told her it was wrong, it is doubtful she would have refrained from sex with him on our say so; she was a TEEN!]. Yet when many months later, we kept noticing that money was missing in our home, we did not know for sure who was taking money out of my husbands wallet.So when he got a security camera and lo and behold, it showed my daughter stealing from my husband's wallet and giving the money to this adult boyfriend, and when he absconded with our credit card AND my minor daughter to a hotel room, we had him arrested in that hotel room. Months later he called us from prison, to thank us for not having pressed statutory rape charges against him,He was profoundly grateful for that, and he was sorry for what he had done, and he told us he was turning over anew leaf. I believe him and believe that he was able to have this attitude of authentic remorse in large part because of the fact that we had not pressed statutory rape charged against him![ which would have resulted in perhaps many more years of prison as well as being registered as some perverse pedophile, which he was not]!Both my husband and I feel very good, about what we did and did not do, towards this young adult man. In not resorting to hysteria or dehumanization of him because he had consensual sex with our 16 year old. Oh and we do have 2 minor children living with us!put that in your pipes and smoke it Jones and Lisa.

Lisa M
2 months 1 week ago

Rose-Ellen- I am truly shocked, truly, truly shocked, but it explains your earlier posts. Your understanding of consensual sex is clearly different from many of us. Any person in their late twenties, thirties, etc who is interested in a girl under 18 years old has serious problems, that's right, serious problems. Conversely, any young girl interested in a man 25 plus years old, rather than boys her age has problems that need to be addressed. Stealing is just your first clue.

Lisa Weber
2 months ago

rose-ellen, I am sorry you feel judged, but this is a stunning statement. You have publicly posted that you and your husband were complicit in the crime of statutory rape committed against your 16 year-old daughter. Did you conceal from the police the fact that he was having sex with your daughter when you called to report the theft? You have minor children in your home. I would say you are at risk of having someone call Child Protective Services to report your conduct.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months ago

It was the police who found my teen daughter in bed in a hotel room with the guy.After we went to the police station to report that she and her boyfriend [age 16 her, and her boyfriend; age unknown but in his late twenties or early thirties] had taken off with our credit card.They gave her parents the OPTION of pressing statutory rape charges. [in addition to theft,which we had him arrested for].We said no,[ and she certainly had nothing against him] and we continued to have custody over her.

You must be gleeful of the recent sentencing of the Arizona 27 yr old female teacher who had sex with her 6th grade student who was 13 yr old, and was sentenced to 20 yrs with no possibility of early release.Second degree murder in that state is 11 yr sentence with possibility of early release. Though I don't approve of sex between an adult person in a position of power and authority, over a teen. Or even an adult in a position of power and authority over another adult.THAT is exploitation. Generally.But destroying another human being with a 20 year sentence over consensual sex; is atrocious.

To you and the rest of you sexual prudes with pitch forks, who judge that two consenting sexual human beings who are capable of having a baby, and over the course of history have been in unions like that in happy marriages, go grab your match and straw and light a fire under the next witch that you see violating your personal moral sexual codes.

Lisa Weber
2 months ago

rose-ellen, I stand by what I said. What you consider acceptable is considered a crime by enough people that there are laws against it.

Lisa M
2 months ago

Rose-Ellen: How do you define consent if you consider a 13 year old with a 27 year old consensual? It appears to me you seem to think once the body parts are there, we are good to go. Do you not see a sexual encounter as more than a lustful exchange, as you previously mentioned? Where is your desire for your daughter's innate need to be loved and respected and feel secure? Do you not remember those feelings yourself? The criticism towards you is for your response to what happened to your daughter. What has she learned from all of this? Did you teach her through your actions that you love her no matter what, you want what is best for her and she deserves to be with someone who loves and adores her for who she is, and that person would never put her in a position to steal from her parents, hide in hotel rooms or engage in activities that may lead to other problems. Your daughter's emotional needs matter. Sorry Rose-Ellen, but the message I get is you have reduced your daughter to little more than a sexual being. All the beauty of love that properly goes with a healthy loving relationship seems secondary in all of this, and that makes me sad. She deserves to know she is worthy of all that love can bring to her.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months ago

What do you mean good to go? I believe that if two sexual people want sex together they are entitled to have sex together.The laws may prohibit it, [like laws once prohibited gay consensual sex because most people thought that was criminal] but the police who caught the adult man with her in bed together, left it up to us to press charges for the crime of statutory rape or not. So we exercised our ethical beliefs which the law did not impede.Laws prohibiting sex between adults and minors are prudent laws, but[ ethically] they should not be enforced across the board of every violation.
I believe once both persons are sexual beings; then yes it is their right and their business whether they have sex together.[Excluding people in position of authority and influence having sex with people in their charge; that is taking advantage of people, but there are exceptions to that too] .She was educated enough to know about std, and the like.A sexual encounter can be many things; including a lustful encounter. In the case of a person with a brain disorder like schizophrenia , it can be a way to connect with the "real' world, the "normal" world, with other people.As I believe that is the case with her.[Though I don't know for sure]. Its the most normal thing about her and about her life,; that she has [now] a boy friend, who shows her affection, tenderness, kindness, and they have sex. When she talks crazy or sounds crazy he accepts her and sometimes calms her down.Sometimes he's erratic and talks crazy too, and we tell him to leave.He has parents. and a home . Then he will come back all calm and almost normal.

Signs of her schizophrenia started in her teens[ became full blown after the birth of her first child when she first got diagnosed; at first we thought it was post partum psychosis, but if it was she never recovered,] The father of her child had to leave her as he could not deal with her, but he is still a good father to their child; as best he can be ,as he is a rather marginalized person on the fringes of mental.emotional health too.He works in a tattoo parlor , though I asked my granddaughter, to promise me she would never ,ever get a tattoo, and I explained why I think they are so bad; they detract from a person,they are a blight on ones body, a desecration of the made in God's image body and she has promised me that. she won't.Though those temp tattoos she can have, I told her.]

Whether it was caused or exacerbated by her smoking marijuana or any other drug, neither of which I actually witnessed, with this guy, and before that with some girl friends and other guy friends ,her own age, I don't know. I do not believe having sex causes schizophrenia. That she was involved with the older man when a teen , is not some "thing" with her.The father of her first child was a few months younger then her, I believe. Don't take one incident and run with it. And so too the adult man who she was involved with , is not necessarily still going after teens. That too may have been a one time relationship for him! Of course this adult was manipulating her; and when it became evident, from her stealing for him, he got arrested and is out of her life. Until we became aware of the stealing we were not going to tell her she can't have him as a boyfriend.

To this day , she, being a schizophrenic who smokes marijuana, regularly gets tested for drug use by her shrink , will steal from us if possible. Though she will then tell us, that she took some money.She does not lie about it.Though she will lie and say she wants money for some fast food, when it is to buy marijuana, often. She like, a typical schizophrenic uses money to buy slutty clothes, cigarettes and or marijuana. AND SODA![lol].We prohibit her from smoking in our home but she sneaks off and does it anyway.We have to hide our money from her or walk around with it at all times, including at night. We HAVE tried to have her arrested, when she was having full fledged psychotic episodes[ in spite of being on anti psychotic medication]but all the police do is take her to the hospital[ as it is obvious to them she is mentally ill] where she again is 'stabilized' and after a week or two or three is sent back to us.A revolving door.We tried not accepting her, and they sent her to a homeless shelter, in the middle of nowhere, literally,with nothing but empty ware houses around. Where she was in obvious danger from people who could harm her.As she has no judgement in regards to who she can trust for getting marijuana or anything. And so she is a magnet for any real psychopath.She refused to sleep there[ her sense of self preservation kicked in], and rode the subways all day [ she's met these people on the subway I believe or on the street, guys just go up to her and engage with her,] and knocked on our door when it was pouring rain outside. Of course we took her back. She is not responsible for her actions but we do not want her out there for anyone to harm her physically. We cannot commit her involuntarily to some group home[ which is what we ideally want for her] because she is not a danger to herself or others.Her shrink says she has to volunteer to be eligible. if she could volunteer , for such a thing, if she could see that it was for her own good, she would not be mentally ill[imo].She thinks everything is fine![Catch 22]. Even though our neighbors complain about her all the time, telling us we should throw her out. DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHE IS DOING?,they scream at us!We have told them that if they see her committing a crime,THEY should call the police.WHY SHOULD I GET INVOLVED , they then say;she's YOUR daughter,they say! We tell them;BECAUSE YOU SAW IT[idiot].We can't report a crime, [prostitution, getting high,which they they claim they saw and no doubt did] if we have not seen it.They can AND SHOULD if they have seen her engaged in a crime.That response seems to upset them more then my daughters behavior [lol[ its funny but not really.
She cannot be forced against her will to go to some group facility for the mentally ill.So we deal with her insanity. We recognize that though she is impaired in judgement she has rights,including the right to have consensual sex with other adults.
The most loving relationship she will likely ever have [besides us] ,is the ones she has now; with another schizophrenic druggie, like her. The other person; the father of her child she just gave birth to[ and is adopted] I know nothing about; he is some Latin American shaman looking type person. I've only seen him a few times in her bed in the morning.He's never said a word to us but I believe he's into mystic type stuff as I see my books on such topics around the bed. He also may be on the nutty side as whenever he is there, they cover the tv with a cloth, like a paranoid conspirator, Soon after the birth of her child by him , she was gone all night with him, and the next day she told us that they went to "celebrate the birth of their child"[lol],[considering the child is adopted].That's how crazy the people in her life are!These two people in her life are accepting her as she is, as we are. That is not reducing her, but being real about her emotional mental capacities.

Lisa M
2 months ago

Rose Ellen- Clearly you are facing challenges with your daughter, very difficult ones. I'm not sure how old she is now, but the fact that she has already had two children that she placed for adoption is troublesome if she is still young and unsettled , possibly with additional issues concerning mental illness. I hope you have spoken with a priest to see if he can offer you some guidance. Often they have knowledge of what assistance is available, and perhaps have counselled people in similar situations. As well, not every psychiatrist is best suited to every patient, and it may be worth your while to find someone who is bringing positive changes in her life. As difficult as it must be for you, somewhere, someone will be able to put a plan in place that can help your daughter better manage whatever is causing her to respond as she does, Never give up and please try to speak with your priest. If he is not able to help you at all, at least you know you tried.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months ago

Thank you Lisa.

J Jones
2 months ago

Rose-Ellen, my brother lived with schizophrenia and it is indeed a devastating illness for the person living with it and for those who love that person. It sounds as if life is pretty painful for all of you at times. I agree with you 100% that sex (at any age) doesn't cause schizophrenia. Nothing you, your husband or your daughter did caused her schizophrenia. I also agree with you that people with mental illnesses have the right to engage in sexual relationships and that their illnesses, especially when combined with addiction and poverty, can make it difficult for them to find and develop healthy sexual relationships. Most still want and need human affection, touch and intimacy and it is their human and civil right to pursue those relationships. Co-occuring disorders (mental illness and addiction) are profoundly challenging. We know now that unusually heavy and prolonged marijuana use can cause schizophrenia-like organic brain changes AND we know that many people start self-medicating with drugs to mask symptoms before a first psychotic break AND we know that people with serious and persistent mental illnesses sometimes just need a damn break from their symptoms and grief and loneliness and the concrete impacts of illness on their lives AND substances are one of the distraction techniques used at least once by almost every single adult I have ever met AND people with mental illnesses tend to do better when they are clean and sober and don't have the destabilizing stress of living with a destabilizing addiction AND people need creature comforts and friends and drugs and alcohol provide a version of both. So so so painful.

It sounds like everyone in your family is doing their best today. People with major brain diseases like schizophrenia are especially vulnerable without the loving support of family, and it sounds like you and your husband are deeply committed to your daughter and her daughter too. I agree it is very painful when our wishes for our family members clash with their legal autonomy in the absence of imminent threat of harm to self or others. I wish you all peace in the midst of an arduous life journey, Rose Ellen.

I disagree wholeheartedly with you about adults having sex with minors (except when there is a small age difference with result that they share a developmental age, no power differential and no exploitation), and I pray you are not in a position to supervise or guide any minors.

Lisa Weber
2 months 1 week ago

rose-ellen, The average age of menarche in the USA is 12.5 years. Menarche at age ten is not that unusual. Your comments about older men pursuing teenage girls are bizarre. I certainly would not be pleased to see you chaperone children of any age because of those views.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

Pro-life people are very misleading in their language, giving the impression that all abortions are of 9 month old 'children' on the point of delivery, instead of almost 99% of them being of small bits of DNA without spines, hearts, or brains.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

99%or less, that still leaves at least one sentient capable of suffering human being, being legally killed while inducing horrific suffering.That is unethical and I believe it is alot more then just one such defenseless innocent human this has happened to. since R vs w.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

Late term abortions are usually restricted to when a women's health or life is endangered or when the fetus is non-viable. Innocent people die all the time. One way that happens is when the wrong person is executed via capital punishment. Where's all the outrage over that?

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

There is plenty of outrage over capital punishment .Hence it is outlawed in western democracies. Much IS being made of it here by criminal justice reformers.
"Health and life of the mother", means a lot of innocent people being killed. Any claim can be legally made that a mothers health is jeopardized .That only by killing a capable of suffering fetus can a woman be saved, is a catch all to legitimize the killing of a lot of people, and has now [inevitably] expanded to abortion on demand. [ Any reason will do].Killing a "non viable" person in the womb, is as senseless and as cruel and as unethical as killing a "viable" person in the womb.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

First, embryos and fetuses are not persons. Second, I am baffled by the disregard pro-life people have for actual persons ... women and girls. How did a blob of protoplasm become more important than women and girls? And how did abortion, something not even mentioned in the bible, become a conservative Christian religious fetish?

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 1 week ago

Zygotes , early very early stage embryos I can see not calling persons.[ but both are biologica[early stage]l humans and hence have a right to keep on living].But saying a fetus is not a person is like saying a minority is not a person. SCOTUS has a history of making political claims which go against evidence. Anyway; I was not talking about zygotes and early embryos but about capable of suffering fetuses. That is not conjecture, or religious fetish,but basic science and basic ethics.
That you will always support the horrific inflicting of suffering and death on such defenseless humans, for any reason[abortion on demand, is a woman's right you claim] and that I will always oppose the legalized deliberate killing of capable of suffering humans in the womb and out of the womb, viable or not, will always be the case. You keep promoting your ethos of supporting the legalized slaughter of innocents, and I'll keep denouncing as unethical the legalized atrocities against defenseless suffering existing PEOPLE!

arthur mccaffrey
2 months 1 week ago

Hey Caminer, you must be a theologian, right? you sound like an expert on how many perverts can dance on the head of a pin-is-- would hate to have to ask you a straight question about whether your daughter was raped or not, then have to book a room in a local hotel while waiting for you to finish your answer. Society has laws and norms to govern what is "acceptable" behavior between adults and youth, and your fictional analysis of consent may look good in "Lolita" but does not cut it in the real world. Your skill in prevarication and semantic gymnastics actually scares the hell out of me, and makes me wonder if you are one of Epstein's defence lawyers.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months ago

It is not me who engages in semantic gymnastics; He could have been tried for statutory rape, and unless she claimed he had forced himself on her, not with rape. The law in her wisdom distinguishes between the two.He did not rape her and unless she alleged he did, he could not be charged with rape.Statutory rape was the only possibility. A little wiggle room societies' laws have, recognizing that hey, maybe sex with an adult and a consenting teen is NOT necessarily perverse or unacceptable.Teens are NOT inherently unknowing unable to consent truly to sex, children, but sexual human beings at that stage. Therefore adult attraction to them is not inherently a perversion!Therefore we recognize rape as separate from statutory rape;there's your perv on a head of a tip, situation; rape and statutory rape as distinct crimes.You are the one living in a fictional analysis [black or white].fueled either by being a sexual prude or gullible to the loudest clamor out there.

I don't know Epstein's situation; were the girls lied to, threatened, in dire needy circumstances, or were they looking for a sugar daddy and a career move?That does make a difference., ethically.That he was attracted to young girls; if they had reached puberty then to me it is not a true perversion.Though it might be exploitation.Depends on the circumstances[ if he tricked them ,held them hostage, if they were in dire needy circumstances. Flying them to a party is not necesarrily trafikking them; did he force them to get on the plane, did he lie to them about the party, did he tell them they would get paid for having sex,at the parties?Did he know their ages. Where were the parents in all this?
Remember when rock stars had groupies; young girls throwing themselves at them;.The media treated it all like it was all so amusing.Were they [media and rock stars]also all a bunch of perverse pedophile sex trafficker or enablers . .Should they all decades later now all be tried for rape or sexual assault, promotion of pedophilia, and if convicted sent to prison for the rest of their lives?
I would not want to defend him only because the prudish hysteria around an adult having sex with a teen is off the charts and the pitchforks are out fully pointed like yours. That's scary. I feel sorry for him and unless all these other horrible circumstances were occurring, and it was not just a bunch of teens taking advantage [yes I said that] of the super rich old dude whose weakness was wanting sex with teens, [which I suspect is the situation but could be wrong]I hopes he gets off.
Even if guilty of the most unethical of conduct[exploitation,]I still would want him acquitted IF all this occurred years ago,when there were still statutes of limitations. That they have done away with such statutes is a dismantling of a sound and just principle of justice; that people change and except for murder, or severe bodily harm one should not have to pay for a crime committed enough in the past as the presumption should be that one has changed and is no longer such a criminal. This applies to sex crimes more then to other crimes. Generally.As peoples sex drives and behaviors change over time.Whether this is true of a true pedophile , pedophilia being also sociopathic if not psychopathic I don't know. If sex with teens were truly sociopathic, those rock stars would all have been arrested decades ago too for inticing their teen groupies.,Societal norms have changed on this obviously, but this new norm ; it is perverted to have sex with a teen if you are not a teen,is what is unnatural and unhealthy as it fails to conform to human sexuality. The way people react to allegations of such crimes is more vitriolic then to how people react to murderers.THAT tells you right there that this is a form of witch hunt sexual mass hysteria.
Kavanaugh at some party decades ago whatever he may or may not have done with other teens, is not the same person sexually today in his married fully adult state. That the fallout from all this new found indignation that a teen and an adult ever had sex together, is that statutes of limitations no longer apply or are extended by years, is a real set back in criminal justice and for humanity.

Many a person who was not really traumatized by such consensual sexual encounters now feels obliged and has been manipulated to believe that they were traumatized and are angry. The power of mass hysteria propaganda.If not opportunistic; this hysteria is a cash cow.,[imo]'

evil, evil pure evil, they all shout in unison;the educated, the ignoramuses, the dopes, the duped, the sophisticated, the innocent. When it comes to a hysterical totalizing mantra of pure evil, the society at large gets caught up ! it is hard to resist.I resist.if I'm wrong I guess God 'll get me for that.

rose-ellen caminer
2 months ago

dup

James Mullin
2 months 1 week ago

As a society, how far are we from mainstreaming sex with children? Think it impossible? I often ponder what my grandparents would think of 2019 America. Read up on NAMBLA and then tell me that the mainstreaming is impossible.

MJ Painter
2 months 1 week ago

Huh? I don't know anyone who thinks NAMBLA is even anywhere CLOSE to being mainstream. Most people don't even know what it is. Your fear is totaly unjustified, I think.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Simcha, where are your links to Roman Catholic Kellyanne Conway and her verbal games in justification and defense of the detention centers (and sexual assault and all facts in general)? Where are your links to Roman Catholic Ken Cucinelli, the US Immigration chief, and his verbal games in justification and defense of the detention centers, ICE raids and separations of families?

They are currently two of themost powerful Roman Catholics in the United States, and each is personally and passionately and officially and voluntarily and continuously and THIS MOMENT engaged in masking the reality of the detention centers.

They both love Catholic women who have dozens of kids AND they are both engaged in the very opposite of what you recommend to your Catholic audience here: rather than denouncing the detention centers as "evil", Roman Catholic Kellyanne Conway insists on the high quality of these centers and dismisses any and all moral objections to the detention centers. See the video https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/chris-wallace-grills-conway-over-pence-detention-center-claims

Roman Catholic Ken Cuccinelli, on ABC news this morning and pressed about the conditions at the detention centers, said "they are being fed". See the video
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/07/14/cuccinelli_on_detained_migrants_they_can_also_go_home.html.

Perhaps those are the Catholics whose wordsmithing you should be calling out by name rather than - or, at the very least, alongside - a colleague here at America Magazine who wrote a tweet and, after being soundly chastised by dozens and dozens of commenters, deleted the tweet. (Again, the replies to your colleague's tweets read, collectively, like a first draft of the first half of your piece here.)

Funded by our tax dollars, Conway and Cuccinelli are out there, as I write this, promoting and defending the detention centers, each batting away moral critiques of the detention centers as if those critiques are no more important than a few flies trying to land tiny filthy feet on their midday snacks of fresh fruit. But, no worries, Simcha. "Faithful Roman Catholic" Kellyanne Conway and "faithful Roman Catholic" Ken Cuccinelli agree with you on abortion. And, branded as you are as a Catholic who practices, teaches and promotes NFP, has ten children and disdains wordsmiths, I understand why you wouldn't want to use your words and brand platform to alienate these [powerful Roman Catholic] wordsmiths who care about migrant pregnancies, just not the migrant babies that result. Much better for your brand that you should go after a comparatively powerless colleague you can smear with dangerous insinuations and then slickly pretend to disavow your smear.

For the record, I had no idea who this guy is until your piece in which you lifted the language and ideas of his readers for a piece in which you discourage the critical and world-changing and everyday justice co-educational process of citizens talking to citizens about how we understand and see and hear and describe and, thus, treat each other and our shared world. You suggest instead that we shout "evil" and leave it to experts to fix it without noticing that some Americans think all undocumented immigrants are evil while other Americans think most undocumented immigrants are human beings escaping evil conditions and the reigning "experts" think those cages are suitable rectifying responses.

You go, girl.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

The list of conservative Catholics who are or have been in Trump's orbit is quite large ... Steve Bannon, Rob Porter, Sean Spicer, William Barr, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, John Kelly, Brett Kavanaugh, etc.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Add General Mattis, Mick Mulvaney, Melania Trump, Don McGahn, Pat Cipillone, Ken Cuccinelli, Bill Shine, Larry Kudlow, Scott Lloyd, honorary members Chris Christie, Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, Mary Ann McLendon. John Bolton and Mike Pence come from Catholic backgrounds.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

Eeeek.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Devin Nunes and Paul Ryan are Catholic. Catholic Thom Tillis said the children and mothers he saw in the detention centers were smiling and happy. Steve King the xenophobic racist from Iowa is Catholic. Catholic congressman Steve Scalise votes with the Trump Admin more than 99% of the time; Rubio 91%, Nunes 98%

Simcha recommends we bleat "Evil!" and leave the solutions to the "experts seeking to rectify it" without a
single word for the Catholic "experts" who are responsible for and able to put an immediate end to what is happening at the detention centers and who are the chief sellers of the inhumanity in the detention centers Simcha rightly decries.

Lisa M
2 months 1 week ago

Where has the author even discussed this? Maybe I missed it, but I see no reference to politics as far as left/right. Is she supposed to discuss it every time she writes an article? Has she expressed pro Republican views before, or is it just that she may be pro life and therefore you pigeonhole her? I'm genuinely asking because I'm missing the point in all this (which wouldn't be the first time :) )

J Jones
2 months ago

Simcha's thesis is that language is used to obscure evil; evil should be called evil; we should let those empowered as "experts working to rectify" the evil refine our understandings, thus implicitly instructing us that the solutions of "the experts" will reflect the correct understanding of the evil.

Again, history - past and present - is filled with lessons on why that is a dangerous instruction.

Simcha posits that the language used to discuss sexual assault is dangerous. Glaringly absent from her litany of those responsible for that language is the most powerful man in the world and his deeply Catholic, very vocal, very passionate, very powerful circle of enablers and co-obscurers of that man's language (and conduct) about sexual assault.

Simcha moves on to the detention centers. She slams, through her links, those who object to Holocaust appropriation at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise and Holocaust deniers are in the US news. Glaringly absent is any mention of the influence of the most powerful man in the world and the resounding silence (which is a powerful language tool) of his deeply Catholic and enabling inner circle, deputies, advisers, collaborators and marketers.

She moves on to the language and politics of pregnancy and abortion and slams those with whom she disagrees. Glaringly absent from that section is attention to the filthy, sick, thirsty and hungry brown babies abandoned to brown child-caretakers in cages built, filled, defended and lied about by the most powerful man in the world and his deeply Catholic "pro-life" circle of deputies, enablers, advisers, collaborators and marketers who love "unborn babies" just not the born brown ones those Catholic deputies helped Trump crammed into cages like animals and now defend it.

Ditto on torture.

Simcha blames journalists, fellow writers, Jews, allies of the Jewish community, the everyday citizens who exposed US state torture by educating the populace about the details and language of "enhanced interrogation" methods developed by experts, a category of persons to whom she then goes on to suggest we defer.

In a Catholic publication, the author blames pretty much everyone by name or link without ever mentioning the language of and realities obscured (ON EACH OF THE EXACT ISSUES SHE ADDRESSES) by the most powerful man in the world and by his deeply Catholic circle of deputies, advisors, enablers, collaborators and marketers who are also the functional "experts" rectifying evil as they define it. Again, Simcha recommends the populace (her stylistic "you") disengage from the civilizing and democratizing and liberating human project of collectively developing and refining our language. She recommends we shout "Evil!" and leave the refinement and solutions to the experts. It's an instruction soaked in the stench and degradation and inhumanity of the detention centers filled and defended and lied about by a cadre of Catholic "pro-life" experts.
And Simcha doesn't have a word or link or smidgeon of responsibility or anger to spare for them. Simcha holds responsible almost anyone BUT the most powerful Catholics in the country who are the chief collaborators of the man responsible for that caging.

In short, Epstein is a profoundly dangerous sociopath AND Simcha obscures the reality of a profoundly dangerous administration with her wordsmithing AND she has given advice that is antithetical to democratic processes, institutions, nations and societies.

Lisa M
2 months ago

Why can someone not say that some people object to the comparison of the holocaust to what is happening at the border without being accused of
blaming jews? As someone who is pro life, I totally understand how you see hypocrisy when Catholics support policies that allow the inhumanity of what is taking place in the detention centres. I share your views on this and I simply don't understand it either, as it is so counter to anything resembling decency. I still think however it's not always about the them or us, as that's where the problem lies. Both 'sides' are missing the message.

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His face painted red with urucum, a man participates in a march by indigenous people through the streets of Atalaia do Norte in Brazil's Amazon region on March 27, 2019. Indigenous were protesting a central government plan to turn control of health care over to municipalities, in effect destroying a federal program of indigenous health care. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey)
But the Pan-Amazon Synod’s organizers say much of the unhappiness with the its working document simply reflects Eurocentricism. Many critics “have little knowledge of the Amazon and in some cases have no commitment to its people.”
Eduardo Campos LimaSeptember 20, 2019
Migrants from Central America seeking asylum in the United States cross the Rio Grande near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on June 11. (CNS photo/Jose Luis Gonzalez, Reuters)
The U.S.C.C.B. and Jesuit leaders have renewed their criticism of the Trump administration's treatment of migrants.
Kevin ClarkeSeptember 20, 2019
The first Latino pope and Hispanic Heritage Month
J.D. Long-GarcíaSeptember 20, 2019
Tania Tetlow, president of Loyola University New Orleans, remembers her friend and mentor Cokie Roberts, who passed away on Sept. 17.
Tania TetlowSeptember 20, 2019