Newt Gingrich's bogus "support" of Al Franken gets reaction on Twitter


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/07/newt-gingrichs-bogus-suppo.html


#2

Gingrich, the original bitter HS debate club nerd turned Libertarian concern troll. I wonder if he thinks he’s fooling anyone beyond the mouth-breathing conservative base.


#3

Christ, what an asshole!


#4

This guy is even worse than Trump. Trump is a product of this guy’s shenanigans that he’s been pulling for decades.

Maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll end up tangled with Russia and do some time?


#5

As objectionable and outright disgusting as Roy Moore is, one thing he does not appear to be is a pedophile.


#6

Correct. His alleged behavior is that of an ephebophile.


#7

definition 1definition 2

If you are going to try to treat natural language as if it had a technically correct meaning, at least check what the commonly accepted “correct meaning” is before you nitpick it.


#8

It’s not nitpicking - naming something correctly is the only way of dealing with things that has a hope of working. The generally accepted definition of pedophilia that I am aware of is “pre-pubescent children.” Since there are no known allegations of Moore being interested in pre-pubescent children, the correct term is ephebophile. “Pedophile” is more shocking and sensationalist, but that doesn’t make it the correct term to use.


#9

I’m not even sure if this is about Moore; I think Newt could be trying to normalize Franken’s behavior because he knows it’s only a matter of time before more of his own shenanigans come to light.


#10

Except that this site is using it to mean someone who is preying on 14-year-olds. Late night comedians are using it to mean someone who is preying on 14-year-olds. Newscasters are using it describe a person who is preying on 14-year-olds. The first definition you google would apply to 14-year-olds. Merriam-Webster gives a definition that would include 14-year-olds (though it notes it is especially used to refer to people who are attracted to younger children). A Psychology Today says it’s used to describe people who are attracted to children generally 13 years of age an younger (but doesn’t say it is used exclusively that way). If the host of Family Feud asked you what you call 30-year-old who sexually preys on 14-year-olds, “Pedophile” would be the number one answer (and the rest would be things like “pervert” and “scum”, mostly from people who agree that the person is a pedophile).

The place I find a definition that doesn’t fit this is in the DSM. However, as far as I know @Carla_Sinclair is not a psychiatrist so they should refer to anyone as a pedophile is that sense. Even if they were a psychiatrist they shouldn’t refer to anyone as a pedophile in that sense unless that person was their patient and they were doing so for the purpose of treatment. That definition doesn’t at all align with common or criminal ideas of pedophilia. By the DSM definition many people who sexually abuse young children might not be pedophiles. Using that definition colloquially is absurd.

I take it your complaint is that using this term is trying to pull at heartstrings to get people to believe that Moore did something worse than what they did. The allegations against Moore are well known. I’d be surprised if a single person here read the word “pedophile” and didn’t understand it to refer to the time(s) Moore used their authority as DA to force a 14-year-old into sexual contact. You yourself were not confused or mislead. You knew the word was talking about 14-year-olds, otherwise you would have said, “Is Moore a pedophile as well? I thought his victims were 14-year-olds and up.”

So the “generally accepted definition” you are aware of is not the generally accepted definition of the word. It’s what you think the rest of us ought to be using the word to mean, even though you understand it perfectly well.

Sexual abuse of children (including those past puberty) is a very emotional subject that makes people extremely angry and hurt. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to use that as a place to try to artificially insert a word like “ephebophile” into everyday language. It’s like taking abuse of children as an opportunity to talk about how we really ought to be speaking Esperanto.


#11

He grope a 14 year old. A 14 year old is a child.


#12

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