*Content warning: descriptions of sexual abuse of children, grooming, sexually offensive behaviour and rape are in this article.
Child grooming is, obviously, gross and unacceptable. I feel like that’s not a controversial statement to make. You know what is controversial? Saying that a grown man in a position of power who grooms a child is just merely hitting on them, which apparently isn’t as horrible if there is no sex involved.
In case you thought Andrew Bolt couldn’t say anything more vile, here he is defending another paedophile.
I’ve head many awful things in my time as a journalist but this made me gag. I have two teenage sons – and Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson appear to be defending a teacher’s right to “hit on” them. They should not be on the air. https://t.co/t8NjHb7dEM
— Christine Jackman (@ChristineJackmn) February 19, 2020
What it is with this man and his need to defend people accused of sexually abusing children?
Andrew Bolt Reaffirms Position As The Sussest Cunt In Australian Media: https://t.co/rq8V0FrVBB
— The Betoota Advocate (@BetootaAdvocate) February 20, 2020
In case you missed it, Andrew Bolt is of course talking about the St Kevin’s College controversy in which athletics coach Peter Kehoe groomed year 9 student Paris Street, saying nauseatingly offensive things to him.
ABC’s Four Corners report described the abuse and grooming inflicted on Paris, with the boy saying that Kehoe sent him many sexually suggestive messages on Facebook.
“‘Then he asked me if I know what pre-cum is, and then I said, ‘no’. Then he said, ‘it’s the premature stages of ejaculation’. Then he said, ‘you can lick it off whenever you like’,” Paris said in the Four Corners interview.
Obviously, this is enough to make anyone feel sick. Well you’d think so, anyway, because this is the kind of behaviour Andrew Bolt has referred to as just hitting on a child.
Defending an adult’s right to ‘hit on’ a child. Is Andrew Bolt admitting something here? 😳 https://t.co/wjiXvjHyz0
— 💧Queen Victoria (@Vic_Rollison) February 18, 2020
There’s No Such Thing As Just “Hitting On” A Child, Andrew Bolt
Part of the literal definition of grooming a child is creating a relationship or a situation in which the sexual abuse can occur. There’s no such thing as just “hitting on” a child. If an adult is making sexually suggestive advances on a child, they are grooming them, and it is a crime.
It’s really that simple, and there’s no room for sympathetic justifications of grooming.
It’s precisely this shitty down-playing of sex abuse that leaves so many young people feeling isolated, alone and suicidal after experiencing abuse – how can they feel able to report their abuse if people like Andrew Bolt in the media dismiss it as “just being hit on.” How many kids will brush off abusive grooming because “there was no sex”?
There are certain basic principles in life, where there is no space for grey zones. Sexual abuse of children by adults is one of them. It is too abhorrent to contemplate!
Excusers, sympathisers and defenders probably have a very good reason why they are taking this stance.
— CS (@ChrissiSOZ) February 19, 2020
Andrew Bolt’s comments also make me feel the need to state that there’s never sex between an adult and a child – there’s only rape. Children can’t consent.
These comments by prominent men in the media just further endanger all children, abused or not, because if they ever find themselves in situations like Paris Street, this is the kind of attitude they will have to endure in their pursuit for justice.
And it’s fucking dangerous.
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Image Sources: Twitter, SkyNews