So I’m reading CNN.com, just looking if anything interesting has popped up, and I hit this article: “Phillips’ incest claim draws attention to taboo“.
And a few incredulous moments later, I’m pissed, pissed because of the way my mind works because of an excess of mathematical rigor. The whole article spoke about incest all the time, but meant “sexual abuse of one’s children”. Those just are not the same thing.
Child abuse is a bad, evil thing; sexual abuse and abuse of one’s children especially; but here the important detail is that for these crimes “child” means mainly “underage”, not “immediate descendant”.
Incest means “sex with relatives”, which in and of itself is nothing wrong and shouldn’t be a crime. (Hear me out.) There are only two objections to incest that I know — the first being a combination of “It’s icky” and “People don’t tend to do that”, which is an irrelevant appeal to majority aesthetics and nature, neither of which are of much importance in matters of individual choice; and the second being inbreeding, which is also irrelevant unless you want to say people with hereditary diseases shouldn’t be allowed to have sex either, or they might bring more defective ones into being, which is just a dick of a thing to say and assume.
The confusion rises, naturally, from the fact that sexual abuse of one’s children is incest; but the reprehensible part of it is not the incest, but the child abuse; not the family relationship, but the age of one party, which makes it into rape. Once all parties involved are over the age of consent and willing, I can’t see how their bedchamber should be any less inviolate than that of anyone else. (Heck, let them marry each other if they want to.)
Then again, as far as I know, incest (as above defined) is widely illegal; but that just shows that idiot prude laws linger because, people not generally being as anal about the meaning of words as I am, the public atmosphere might not be exactly conductive to attempts of such reform. (And what politician would ever take such a thankless job, pissing off the easily inflamed millions to help people that for sure are never going to form a special interest group?)
Faugh; you just try to read the news, and you get lost on an abstract and distasteful tangent like this. This is what mathematics does to your mind, folks.