When it comes to consent everyone becomes a champion for it to be acknowledged and promoted throughout modern societies. Everyone becomes an advocate and agrees that each individual should confirm and feel comfortable with whatever situation they are exposed to. Modern democratic systems also endorses that people should be alright with whatever it is getting done in their respective environments and also be allowed to complain if they do not?
How much truth does this when it comes to younger members of our society? Are they partially allowed to some and/or given the illusion that they have some control over their life? In children’s eyes, is democracy actually even applicable to them or are they forced to submit to authority regardless of what their opinion on the matter is? How could this be changed?
According to the Dictionary Merriam-Webster, the definition of “Consent” is to “give assent or approval; to be in concord in opinion or sentiment”. When it comes to consent in the MAP community, many individuals quickly jump to intercourse = sex, which is not always the case, in fact, I would say it is almost never the case to use that word to solely represent just that. In spite of that, many still choose to misinterpret it into exclusively intercourse, when in reality, an ideal adult-child relationship would constitute into so much more than mere contact. There are feelings, teaching, growth, communication, you know, like regular relationships, but not explicitly the same due to the nature of it being promoting growth, mentoring and love.
One thing people like to point out when it comes to these relationships are the “differences in power” as something diabolical and that all pedophiles will use in order to get what they want which, given the nature of such claim, it is entirely false in that context. There is no denying that in current society there would be differences in power and trust implicated in adult-child relationships, but that does not mean that such elements should be exploited in order to take advantage of the child, rather it should be completely the opposite, using your position in order to maximize the growth of the young one, as well as introduce them to other things in life as they grow up.
The complex approach towards these relationships mostly emanate from the thought that these would emulate a regular adult relationship. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth of what most adults, as well as children, want from these relationships. Some people just want company, younger companions who make them feel more comfortable and make their lives perhaps more lively, as well as the same contributions for the child’s life. This means having a stable relationship that doesn’t exactly consists of all the variables that are mostly present in other types of interactions of this nature.
There is also the fact that children are mostly taken for granted and their input never seems to be valued, unless it’s a reply from them confirming to blind obedience to their respective guardians. Why choose to ignore what the child wants and preset the experiences they have to go through their entire youth? Where is their agreement in this? Why do you use your authority to over their will, sometimes not really in the best hopes for them, but to get them to do what you want, but then refuse to give them any freedom to do certain things without proper reason to do so? In fact, why isn’t it immoral to prevent for children’s rights to have their own experiences fully? Just like everyone, they learn from their mistakes, but also acquire from their experiences, and that’s part of them growing up.
I mostly tackle current raising methods as being limiting and selfish when it comes about actually caring about the child. Current methods goes against the child will at times and enables parents to have the absolute power in what children should say, think and what their general approach to life should be, amongst other restrictions, unfortunately. Where is their acknowledgement in all of this? Are children your property or a life that should be taught to grow open to everything that there is to life, rather than keeping them from reality?
I really think a more open and less restrictive approach should be taken when raising a child. One where the main worry is not getting the child to do what you tell them to do all the time, but let them explore what they wish to seek instead. Society itself also needs to change it’s view towards children as the inherent to explicitly the current society that is now. What if they want to go about it differently and create something to replace today’s society? Schooling systems need to drastically be changed from just adapting children to work and obey to something that equips them with analytical thinking, allowing them to actually learn subjects and approach them in a logical/rational manner in order to truly appreciate their observations and perhaps even willingness to learn about more subjects, as well as explore them on their own, not just focusing on their memorizing capabilities, which aren’t certainly a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of modern education.
The link above is an example of what constitutes indoctrination, in this case it would be Islam taken as an example, but it can be the case with any and all religions, including atheism. While people appeal over pedophiles using “grooming” methods to manipulate children, many times against their consent (which I condemn when done so), they disregard religious folks doing the same in their given raising methods. Children are subject to learn traditions and to behave in certain ways, but receive punishments if they drift out of their ways. According to Islam, “Parents would marry their children off at a young age to ensure they did not commit any acts of disobedience.”, meaning that they are to be held to be married against potentially their consent just because they are not allowed to “commit any acts of disobedience”, but what if they want to follow a different path in their life?
It is hypocritical to think that implemented raising methods actually care about children, while thinking that MAPs in general do not care about them. Most believe pedophiles have ulterior motives with them, bending them against their. Same people who are also imposing these kinds of ideologies on kids that are currently growing, instead of valuing the liberty of them to explore different aspects that will eventually constitute their thoughts and general perspective towards life. Children need liberty, not restriction. They need guidance, not submission. These variables will constitute into creating a child who can be more self-dependent, but also kind and open-minded.