Was it Ever Really About the Children?

With Conservative States Opening up Child Labor Restrictions, how are we to Believe in Their Moral Crusade?

Hello Socratically Readers; today’s post is going to be a bit less “funny” than my past posts. I think it was appropriate to approach this topic with a little less humor considering the implications at hand. And put simply; they just make me mad, so it’s hard to meme about, but I slipped a couple in towards the end. As a treat.

If you pay attention to the news or are online in any meaningful capacity, you have likely heard the Klaxon call from Conservatives about “protecting the children.” This call that’s being shouted at you from every angle of the spectrum. But at the same time, passing laws and reducing protections that directly increase the danger to a child.

Conservatives are hiding behind this excuse of “Protecting the children” while they enact transphobic laws. Perpetuating this dangerous lie that anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community is, in one way or another, a “groomer”, another new insult they picked up in their moral panic with the aim of drumming up supporters. Enacting laws at the State level to restrict public schools from teaching or discussing gender or sexual identity. Waging wars on social media over the inclusion of “pushing an agenda” in movies and tv for the crime of being anything other than straight and white while being an actor. Or the more recent Bi-Partisan bill making its way through Congress, the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), “a bill that would increase surveillance and restrict access to information in the name of protecting children online.” A subject that was recently covered in The Present Age:

Even in their calls to revoke access to abortion, it is using the same excuse of “protecting children.” So let’s break this down piece by piece since it seems there is no end in sight for this moral shield they use to push their agenda.

Trans People Are People

Genuinely, I wish I didn’t have to repeat this as often as I do. There seems to be this utter disregard for humanity in these absolutely cruel and morally bankrupt attempts to dehumanize and “other” people. This inhumane and near-constant onslaught of attacks on the Trans community, a community might I add, contributes less than 2% of the total adult population of the USA. From reducing their rights to medical care even as adults or outright fabricating scenarios where children are undergoing gender confirmation surgery. Threatening families who even dare to acknowledge that their child experiences gender dysphoria with state laws that remove children from their parents. Using this false belief that parents and doctors are forcing “confused” children to undergo body modifications. Claiming doing so is child abuse.

By the way, they are NOT investing in funding foster programs to support those children once removing them from their parent’s care.

It’s fucked up beyond belief.

Here are the facts; Children aren’t undergoing gender-affirming surgery. It isn’t happening. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58.3% of children in the United States are circumcised at birth. Regardless of your support for Circumcision for the various health benefits it may provide, it’s still a surgery, albeit minor and done overwhelmingly to children at birth, at the behest of the parent’s desires, be it religious or just personal comfort. I am not implying that Circumcision is bad by the way. I think it’s ultimately a decision best left to the parents and doctors to make together. Just like gender-affirming care should be left to children, their parents, and doctors. And that’s not even a surgery.

So there goes the confusion argument. These kids aren’t confused; they have to jump through so many medical hoops before they are even allowed their first dose of puberty blockers. Which, by the way, are mostly reversible.

Pubertal blockade with a GnRHa “buys time” for a child or adolescent, pausing puberty and allowing for the exploration of gender identify. Initiated early in puberty, the GnRHa delays the development of irreversible pubertal changes and in some cases, avoids the need for subsequent surgery. GnRHa therapy is reversable; discontinuation leads to prompt resumption of the pituitary-gonadal axis.

When we deny gender-affirming care to children, child suicide rates go up. So is it really about protecting kids? Or is it about enforcing your hatred onto children?

Being Anything Other Than Straight Doesn’t Make You a Groomer.

This is another facet of the moral crusade to “protect children”. This baseless claim that allowing the proliferation of “gay” identity to flourish in our society is somehow “grooming” our children. The false ideology that, by teaching children about the concept of gender and identity as a spectrum, we are teaching them about gay sex and will be using this to allow the queer community opportunities to assault children.I am going to let this article from the Anti-Defamation League handle this one because they lay out the first part of this argument pretty clearly;

What is “grooming”?

Anti-LGBTQ+ extremists have misappropriated a legitimate term related to sexual abuse in order to demonize LGBTQ+ people. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization, defines grooming as “manipulative behaviors” used by sexual abusers “to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of being caught.”

True grooming can occur online or in-person. Abusers may attempt to gain a young person’s trust by giving them gifts and attention, and by taking them on special trips. Groomers may also attempt to form a relationship with a young person’s family or friends to make themselves seem more trustworthy.

How has the term "grooming” been co-opted and exploited by anti-LGBTQ+ bigots?

Anti-LGBTQ+ figures do not use terms such as “grooming” and “groomer” legitimately. Instead, they imply or explicitly claim that LGBTQ+ people are pedophiles who are preying on children by discussing issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. They claim that teaching young people about these topics is somehow really intended to encourage them to question their gender identity and sexual orientation – in other words, LGBTQ+ people are trying to “sexualize children” and “recruit” them into the LGBTQ+ community.

Such accusations have a long history in the U.S. For decades, anti-LGBTQ+ figures have falsely accused LGBTQ+ people of molesting children and being sympathetic to child predators in order to demonize the community and resist advances in LGBTQ+ rights. Research has repeatedly shown that LGBTQ+ people do not molest children at higher rates than non-LGBTQ+ people.

Most child sexual assaults are happening within the home or by people related to your children far more often than by some random stranger, even less so by someone who isn’t straight.

The younger the victim, the more likely it is that the abuser is a family member. Of those molesting a child under six, 50 percent were family members. Family members also accounted for 23 percent of those abusing children ages 12 to 17.

So let’s not pretend that it has anything to do with sexuality.

Calling Anti-Abortion Advocates Pro-Life is Hypocritical

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the floodgates of abortion restriction legislation have been made wide open. Dozens of states had been poised for such an occasion with so-called “trigger laws.” Laws that, as soon as the supreme court removed the ruling in favor of abortion, those states would immediately restrict access to abortion without a need for a new state law. Expanding to today with 26 states with some level of abortion restriction. Without going too in-depth about the necessity of access to abortion between choice, health concerns, or assault. Instead, we can discuss how in the face of this restriction, those same groups are also removing access to care for those forced birth children. But if you do want to read further about the necessity of abortion access, you can read this entry by the America Academy of Pediatrics.You would think, with the insistence of forcing all pregnancies to be brought to term, that those same groups would also be ensuring access to a wide swath of services to assist in the care and raising of those children. But the contrary seems to be the case with states advocating for the reduction or outright elimination of child welfare programs. Children who experience poverty are more likely to experience health complications later in life. Considering More than 10 million children in the USA did not have enough food on a daily basis, it would seem rather disturbing to find that Republicans made it a platform for 2024 to end free school lunch programs. So it’s really hard to take this claim that they ever cared about the life of the child seriously at all. It was clear it was always about reducing the rights of Women and controlling their bodies.

I Should Have Known MAGA Also Meant Bringing Back Child Labor.

I think the antithesis of the entire proposal for “protecting the children” is exposing them to undo harm by permitting them into dangerous workplaces. I desperately cannot fathom the mental gymnastics you have to go through in order to defend putting children in the workforce again.

Reporting from NPR:

In states like Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas, newly passed or pending laws allow companies to hire children without work permits and allow children to work longer hours under more dangerous conditions in places like construction sites, meat packing plants, and automobile factories.

This is a result of Republicans calling for reducing child labor laws to make way for children ages 14-15 to enter the workforce is an attempt to bridge the gap of employers not willing to meet labor demands for higher wages.

Even without burgeoning legislation to open up the legality of child labor, some businesses are doing it in secret as well. Here are some headlines you have likely seen lately:

Do you see what I mean? How is this protecting children? How is anything they are doing even remotely in the best interest of children? Please stop using children to push your agenda of hate and bigotry.

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