First, let me extend my gratitude to the masses who have answered my call and pledged funds to the Clarion Write-a-Thon. It means a lot to me to be able to support the foundation and I will not disappoint my sponsors. You guys rock. Expect many excerpts in the coming weeks.
So, I've been watching Breakout Kings recently and its a pretty decent show. One episode in particular got me thinking. The plot revolved around the team's efforts to catch an escaped child rapist. At one point they interview another child molester who knew the fugitive and I found this character to be particularly interesting for a bit part.
He was deeply troubled and admittedly guilty of his previous crimes but he presented himself as 'on the mend'. That's an old term for 'getting better'. He spoke about the efforts he had to make to avoid succumbing to his compulsions and that got me thinking. First about how horrible it must be to live with a mental disorder that forces you to do something that you know is abhorrent. The lengths you would have to go to justify the behavior each time you succumbed, and people with these problems inevitably falter before they seek out help, would be exhausting. Secondly, I wondered the whole time if it is possible to present a pedophile as a story's protagonist.
Not a statutory rape style sex offender. A genuine pedophile with deep-seeded psychological trauma that manifests in an irrepressible sexual attraction to children. I know that Tim Dorsey has had success portraying a mentally unbalanced murderer as the 'anti-hero' in his books, and the success of Dexter is evidence that people can overlook a lot when connecting with a protagonist, but I am skeptical about whether people would be willing to follow the exploits of someone who abused children even if they were actively working against their disorder. We can accept murderers as the vehicle for a story's progression but not child molesters. On that note, would a murderer of children be less acceptable than a murderer of adults?