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Activism idea: printable pamphlets

Posted by Silence Dogood on Thursday, December 13 2007 at 10:31:03AM

Okay, so I've been wanting to do something for a while now that might help a bit in promoting a more sympathetic view of us out there, and now that I'm going to have some free time in the next few weeks, I thought I'd move ahead with an idea I've been thinking about for some time now, with a little help from you guys, if anyone's interested.

Various groups have distributed pamphlets as a way to communicate controversial viewpoints for hundreds of years now, so why not us? I figure I can design something that conveys a message we can all agree on, find somewhere to post it on the web, and people can print off copies and leave them in various places for people to find and read.

I realize there’s a little booklet at the site for people to print and distribute, by the way, but I’m thinking of designing something that might be a little bit easier for people to spread around. I’m thinking something fairly basic, just a simple tri-fold design that anyone should be able to print and prepare. People could leave them in various public locations, or, for those who're a bit more paranoid, they could be left behind in different places while traveling, for those who might be doing so in the upcoming weeks.

There’s only so much information that can be briefly conveyed in a pamphlet, so I’m thinking we would need to focus on a specific topic (and maybe touch on other topics in later pamphlets, if it’s decided this is something that's worth pursuing further). The title I have in mind is “Pedophilia: Myths and Facts.” The pamphlet would discuss several popular misconceptions about pedophilia as an orientation and pedophiles as people, and then explain, with references to academic sources, the actual truth behind these ideas. So, for example, the myth that “most instances of child sexual abuse are committed by pedophiles,” for instance, would be countered by research showing that ≈90% of these crimes are committed by those without a sexual preference for children, and that most abuse takes place in the home. The myth that pedophilia is rare would be countered by studies indicating that a substantial percentage of the population is at least occasionally attracted to children. Etc., etc. I think we could convey these ideas in a way that is concise and easily understandable, yet still provide scientific citations so the arguments withstand scrutiny.

I’m thinking we should avoid the topic of consensual adult/child sexual activity (and studies like Rind, etc.), at least in this pamphlet, not because I don’t think it’s something worth arguing for, but simply because, again, I feel it’s best to tackle a narrow scope of issues in a single pamphlet. That should make the pamphlet less controversial and less open to criticism, as well. I mean, we’re arguing that pedophiles should be acknowledged and respected on a basic level as human beings. Who could really offer an intelligent rebuttal to such a reasonable idea?

I also feel this subject, the idea that pedophiles are not uncommon, are not dangerous, deserve respect, etc., is something we all basically agree on, and I think this project would lend itself well to collaboration from this community, and perhaps other online communities. There are people on this forum who are far better at writing than I am, and I hope that, as we decide on the basic ideas we want to address through this pamphlet, if this is something others agree would be worthwhile, people here can read and revise the text we come up with, until we arrive at something we decide would work well. We'd also need people who are well-versed in the scientific studies related to this topic; I'm aware of quite a few, and I know MHAMIC and other sites also have some good resources, but I know there are people out there who have a lot better knowledge of the scientific end of all this than I do.

I’d also ask people here for their expertise in assisting with this project in other areas, if they feel it is something worth pursuing. Are there any special security/privacy concerns to keep in mind while attempting something like this? What are the practical concerns involved with spreading something like this across the web, then having people print and distribute it? Is there anyone who would be willing to volunteer to create a small website, perhaps on the ANU or Newgon webspace, that people who discover this pamphlet could be directed to to offer feedback and discover other pro-ped resources?

I have a bit of experience in graphic design, and I’m currently playing around with a few design ideas that I could post here, if anyone's interested in seeing what the pamphlet may physically look like if this project takes off. So I can handle things from the design end.

I guess I don’t really have too much more to say at this point, other than that I welcome peoples’ feedback on this idea and hope it’s something others would be interested in. In particular, one thing we could do now is to start discussing which particular myths might be good to address in such a pamphlet. There are clearly some obvious ones we’ll want to tackle, and I kinda have a list in my head of some ideas we’d want to address. But if we could work on forming a definite list of the myths we’d want to include in the pamphlet, I think that would be a good first step.


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