Reddit's Pedophilia Posse And The Return Of Jailbait

Reddit's "jailbait" section, on which users posted pictures of (clothed) young girls, was shut down last month after a moderator dispute. Pervs can rejoice, though, because now it's back.

r/jailbait, for those lucky folks who haven't heard of it, is "the ephebophile subreddit," a subsection of Reddit where people who like to look at teenage girls can trade non-naked pictures of them. It currently boasts a membership of nearly 21,000 "potential felons." Back in August, the subcategory was shut down — not because it's disgusting, but because of an "internal power struggle" between moderators and site administrators. One user's theory of the struggle reveals the complexity of Reddit politics: "According to lore, VA the creator came back from self-imposed exile through a backdoor ghost mod and banished the six kings he appointed as heirs to install an army of puppet trolls to post illegal material that incited the wrath of the reddit gods." Now r/jailbait is back, perhaps because of a deal between Reddit staff and mods, or perhaps because Reddit, no longer under the direct oversight of Conde Nast, can afford to let its perv flag fly.

Whatever the case, ephebophilia and its distinction from pedophilia are popular topics on some subreddits: one thread on r/mensrights included the comment,

The "popular usage" [of the term pedophilia] is basically the pedo-scare created by feminists to criminalize healthy and normal male sexuality - as many boys who are either in jail or on sex offender lists have now discovered (how many? we don't know since there are no federal stats on who is actually on those lists, but some local studies point to a very significant percentage of "sex offenders" being kids just fooling around..)

Just like the definitions of "rape" or "assault" or "domestic violence" that have been redefined to include pretty much anything a female finds convenient, "pedophile" now effectively means "any guy who is attracted to a woman younger than me".

Another user argues that the terms ephebophilia and pedophilia "only apply if you have a sexual preference for those development ranges. Normal heterosexual males will generally have sexual attraction for pubescent females of child-bearing age, from puberty till they start to get old and gross (late 20s, early 30s usually haha)."

Users of r/jailbait appear keen to prove that they're not pedophiles. While they objected to photos of tattooed girls ("girls have to be of the age of consent to get a tattoo, so if she has a tattoo, she's probably of legal age"), they can also be critical of girls who look too young. A photo of a girl wearing a "Would you do a jailbait" t-shirt prompted this comment:

She's so young! Like still playing with crayons young. Jailbait is one thing but this is just child pornography

Another user replied:

Look at the hair on her arms, and her hands. They indicate a bit of age.

she's probably late teens, just with small boobs

While a number of r/jailbait denizens seem intent on proving that liking teenage girls is totally different from pedophilia, self-identified pedophiles have appeared on Reddit as well. One answered questions about himself on the r/IAmA subreddit. A fellow user asked him, "how old are we talking about here? like prepubescent? cause if you're merely referring to young girls who are sexually mature, i.e. developed breasts, curvy body, etc....I wouldn't really call that pedophilia." He explained, "no im definitely a pedo, im talking 4 years old or more. but anything less than 4 is a baby practically and thats just fucking disgusting to me." Interestingly, the pedophile displayed more responsible opinions than some of his interlocutors. One asked,

What is your opinion on the 'moral panic' over pedophilia that has gripped contemporary society? If, theoretically, society was to change the way it views pedophiles, and those such as yourself weren't considered folk devils, would you act on your desires?

The pedophile replied,

I think most people are justified in their views of pedophiles, I mean after all people who actually do abuse children will most likely be deeply damaging them emotionally so i think the fear of pedophilia is reasonable. I believe people in my situation are for lack of a better word "sick", I certainly never made a conscious decision to be like this. But here I am and I can't do anything about it although i would if I could.

It's worth noting that while a handful of users appeared to hope the pedophile poster would defend sex with young girls, most applauded his commitment never to act on his desires (a commitment he said he had never strayed from, except, troublingly, to watch child porn). Several also urged him to get therapy.

Reddit is huge and decentralized, and those who defend underage sex and imagery on the site are a minority. But they're a vocal one, and they offer a window into a disturbing mindset — one that sees attraction to teens and even younger children as a legitimate and even "natural" orientation unfairly stigmatized by feminists and society at large. With the return of r/jailbait, this mindset will have an online home once again.

Controversy Returns With Reddit's R/Jailbait [Daily Dot]
Again With The 14-Year-Old Girls [Man Boobz]