Author of 'Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children' responds
Gawker editor Cord Jefferson responded to critics today on his tumblr page about his pedophile advocacy piece from Friday, entitled, “Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex With Children.”
While Jefferson says he stands behind his piece, he says if he had to do it all over, he would have likely changed the headline and the lede which gives a pedophile named Terry the platform to explain in graphic detail how he raped his 7-year-old niece, but paints the offenders account as consensual sex instead of rape.
What’s missing from Jefferson’s apology however isn’t his wishes that he could do it over again to do right by the victims, but do it all over again to do right by pedophiles.
Here is what he says about failing to honor Terry, the pedophile:
“That sucks, because not only did I traumatize some people, I also feel like I didn’t do right by Terry [the pedophile], who told me he was only willing to tell his story because he wanted to provide some guidance and support he never had. Clearly his story probably wasn’t able to do that. Worse still, it looks to have turned people who might otherwise have been interested in the piece away. For what it’s worth, for all his faults, Terry really appears to be a man who is actively attempting to turn his life around and be a better person in this world. I wish I would have been better to him.”
While Jefferson previously tried to reach out to victims in his apology with his version of a Mea Culpa, he also prefaced it by validating his reasons for using Terry’s account of raping his niece by saying that it could have been worse:
“And while I didn’t approach those paragraphs gingerly—the interview from which those sections came is far, far more upsetting than what I included—I’ll admit that I wrote and read them the way a guy who was never molested would write and read them.”
But Jefferson still stands behind Terry, saying, “Did I defend pedophiles—and child molesters—in that I said I believe they have a right to exist in a world that sees them as human beings deserving of life and support? Absolutely.”
Jefferson goes on in the same paragraph to deny that he was defending child rape.
Jefferson said he expected people to be angry by his compassion towards pedophiles but says, “What I didn’t expect was being branded a “rape apologist.”
Contrary to his surprise however, two days prior, Jefferson suggested he didn’t mind be branded as a “rape apologist”. In his response to Ta-Nehisi Coates, from The Atlantic criticism, he said, “Call me lazy or dumb or a rape apologist or whatever, but don’t try to paint me as some jerk out to recklessly and intentionally hurt molestation victims for pageviews.”
Today, Ta-Nehisi Coates from The Atlantic responded again to Jefferson’s most recent apology, suggesting that Jefferson misses the whole point in his apology:
“I am sorry that Cord thinks I am doing this because I want “to misread and then mischaracterize and malign” him. I am doing no such thing. I see in his response that he wishes he had been “better” to Terry. I wish he had been better to that little girl (now a woman), too.”