April 1, 2017 by John Bruce Leonard
Be as little children…
TRULY, ours is an age of wonders. Even here in so unlikely a place as the Huffington Post I come across sign of it, in an article discussing a nice little shop in Chicago called Tykables. This shop dedicates itself, as the article itself informs us, to
those ABDL who have a fetish or sexual interest in dressing like or pretending to be a baby; people who have a medical need for adult diapers and enjoy the brand’s options; and individuals, some of whom are on the autism spectrum, who find the diapers and child-style clothing provide a sense of comfort and stress relief.
The Huffington Post somewhat circumstantially praises this business, first by placing the relevant article in a series quaintly called “Sex Heroes,” and second by noting that Tykables is “breaking down the stigma” attached in particular to “the world of adult baby diaper lovers.”
I leave aside the medical needs adumbrated, which are hardly the pith and point of Tykables, and hardly suffer from any sort of “stigma”; I restrict myself to the fetish to which it panders. I will happily go on record, then, as saying that no healthy society would ever promote such activities, that the sexuality in question is nothing more than a peculiar and rightly disreputable psychological disorder, and that it is sure sign of just how low we have sunk as a “culture,” that such a business as this might be permitted to see the light of day—to say nothing of its receiving free publicity from an online news journal of such notoriety!
Ah, but already I hear the voice of wounded indignation arising. “What business of yours, what these people do behind closed doors!” Enough, this rhetoric has grown stale. Few are those moralists who really wish to go about bursting into private bedrooms while individuals are discreetly about their deviancies, and one can well suppose that those who would do so, have a special set of deviancies all their own. We are not speaking here of what happens “behind closed doors;” we are speaking of a public shop, a physical location which has its physical being in this or that neighborhood, and is endorsed by an article in a public blog which enjoys a vast readership. We are speaking, in short, of a storefront, mere existence of which can be taken as our society’s acceptance of the “lifestyles” in question.
I say, I would not have such a shop in my neighborhood, nor would I have my children pass it each day on their way to school, and I won’t be called a bigot for it. Or what would you say, my dear and most indulgent reader, if someone were to open a boutique just a few doors down, vending Nazi souvenirs and KKK paraphernalia? Or a parlor offering female genital mutilation for the newborn daughters of that special segment of your community’s African population? Or a restaurant specializing in recipes of human flesh, for the benefit of our cannibals? Or perchance a store dedicated to the fantasies of serial killers and psychopaths—not recommending murder, you understand, certainly not that! Just giving these people a safe place to go, where they can be about their hobbies in peace, and wherein they need not fear an unkind word from their fellow homo sapiens?
What now? You think I am suggesting unfair parallels? The line must be drawn somewhere or other, friends. It is part and parcel of our human existence that we cannot permit everything to everyone. I lay the line straiter than you do, and I claim I am more consistent in this, than you are in your wider and considerably vaguer scrawling. For I do not have to take my pick of perversity, defending this or that repulsive behavior and throwing this other out the window thanks to who can say what invisible criteria. I propose a clear standard of wholesomeness, even virtue, even nobility, and sadly it does not include grown men who feel vulnerable when they are not wearing their diaper, nor individuals who are aroused by being treated like infants.
You may tell me that I am closed for this, that I am a wellspring of unpleasant prejudices, that I am discriminating unfairly against real human needs, and that I am wounding feelings right and left. Hey, ho! I will let you guess what I might care for these “feelings.” As for the rest—argue me the point on moral grounds, and let us see what issues of the conversation. But if you are simply suggesting that everyone should be granted the right to do as they please, willy-nilly—why, then surely you must include me and my unfortunate discrimination in your equation; and in such a case, hardly does it flatter your consistency, when you berate me for “expressing my feelings” on this or any other matter.