The myth of equality distorts our thinking at every level. In the area of crime, we remain divided between a desire to destroy those whose actions contradict our Utopian notions, and wanting to “rehabilitate” them because they are equal blank slate people.
A recent comment on nerd enclave Slashdot brought this contradiction to the fore:
It is near the top of a very short list of big affronts, because the implementation does not live up to the spirit of the law. Registries increase the risk of recidivism because they ruin the life of the person.
A criminal who is ready to change his ways finds out that nobody will hire him, nobody will lease to him, and because of this he cannot make ends meet. Even if the frustration alone wasn’t enough to push him right back into a life of crime (which it understandably is), the inability to afford food and heat force the issue.
There is also the issue of vigilantism, which is itself illegal, but registries enable it. These self-appointed judge/jury/executioners decide to dish out a little more punishment whenever they feel like it, and people who are trying to put their lives back together are made vulnerable to injury/death because if the registries.
I realize the intent if registries is noble. But the application is far from it. Since they don’t work out in practice as they are envisioned in theory, they should be eliminated.
Justice isn’t just about protecting the innocent, but also about correct treatment of the reformed.
Here we see the typical iconoclastic liberal mindset: reality must be inverted so that we can prove that the individual is indeed good. Instead of looking at the obvious facts, we look at human emotions, and project ourselves into the situation at hand. Thus we find ourselves worrying more about the convicted felon than the victim, society, tradition, principle or social standards.
The grim fact is that our society is schizophrenic in its treatment of sex crimes. We cannot admit, for example, that honest-to-goodness pedophiles are something we simply do not want around us, ever. A century ago, we called them perverts and locked them up in mental institutions or executed them. The reasoning was simple: no one will ever trust them again.
But in our modern schizophrenic view, they are not Bad Animals but Equal Citizens. And so, having paid their dues — a moralistic phrase taking place of logical, practical analysis — they should be turned loose to be equal again. Never mind that the cause of their recidivism has nothing to do with socioeconomic status, and everything to do with an inner compulsion to destroy others for their own sexual gratification. No, we must think of the victims… and now, the victim is the poor misunderstood sex offender.
Older societies knew the realistic use of signaling: some crimes were made so bad that everyone knew in advance that to attempt these was death. Rape, for example, back when it was recognized that chastity and family-orientation was the one path to happiness. Pedophilia is another. Someone who engaged in that was too broken to save, so the signal went out loud and clear: if you do this, we destroy you.
But in our neurosis we have eroded these signals. Maybe this pedophile is the one in ten thousand who can be rehabilitated by anything other than getting too old to be sexually active. Just maybe… and on that slight chance, we will let his victim face him in the streets and alter our civilizational principle that pedophilia is wrong. The ripple effects of this are shocking.
In the same way, rape has become confused by casual sex. When things were saner, we recognized the taking of a woman’s virtue as a serious crime because it destroyed her hopes of marital bliss not so much externally as internally. Sex will never be an innocent pleasure for her again but always haunted by a dark spirit, and that may be passed on through her family, spreading neurosis like a wave of infection. And so we told our sons: if you do this, we throw you away, so make very sure to never go close to that line.
But the line has blurred with casual sex. As I wrote in two controversial articles, rape is no longer the intrusion of a penis where it should not go. It is the intrusion of the wrong penis. When women have casual sex at the drop of the hat, especially while spuriously intoxicated, there is no virtue to be taken. Thus rape should be a lesser crime in those situations, more like a property crime or someone parking in the wrong parking space.
If instead of going through months of trials and lawsuits and recriminations, we simply awarded the woman $500 for mistaken consent, we would escape the misery and destructiveness of false accusations, and also recognize that in a casual sex world, there is no virtue. There is only choice. This means that barring a masked intruder in the bushes who leaps out with blackjack in hand, “rape” means mostly confused consent, especially when the young ladies are already having casual sex with abandon and/or having sex with the alleged rapist on a regular basis, as was the case with Emma Sulkowicz and seems a common denominator to many of these cases.
We cannot say the same thing about a pedophile. He has taken virtue from a child. This is more like the original crime of rape as was punished by the rope. If we want to be consistent, and thus escape our schizoid neurosis, we will acknowledge that these two are now radically different crimes. The pedophile is a bad animal with a broken mental state and cannot be rehabilitated convincingly enough that any of us want him in the neighborhood; the casual sex “rapist,” on the other hand, is too drunk and too frivolous to understand consent, much like his partner. We can either have casual sex be good, or extreme punishment for rape be good, but not both.
However, like this Slashdot commenter, the vast majority of our people are too busy preening and fluffing up their feathers, trying to look generous to others so they get mistaken for natural leaders. They do not care about the victim or the damage to society, but see this event as an opportunity to make themselves look good. With that as the basis of our policy, it cannot fail to be schizophrenic, with the honest victims being the real sufferers.