Pedophilia is an individual perversion spread over countries; pedophobia is a social perversion, concentrated in countries like Brazil. Pedophilia is, actually, a form of pedophobia: the hatred of, and aversion to, children. It is not, however, the only form. Tolerance of the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a social form of pedophobia.
For decades, nonetheless, it has been accepted, as if prostituting a child or a teenager were less serious than their use in practices of pedophilia.
Abandoning children to the streets is also a form of pedophobia. In Brazil, however, this practice is accepted as normal. As if it were something normal to leave millions of boys and girls subjected to the brutality of abandonment. The parents abandon their children due to the impossibility of supporting them, but the various governments, who do not create child-protection mechanisms, are pedophobes.
They love the economy and the public works but not the children. Those who, throughout the democratic history, have elected and tolerated politicians more for their works than for the care they have for the children, are also pedophobes.
Leaving children without toys, condemning them to work, leaving them to be killed, battered, forgotten and abandoned when they should be playing are forms of pedophobia. The society lives with this without becoming horrified.
Condemning children to a future of exclusion from the advantages of society, cutting their talents off at the root through lack of schools or of thorough, quality schooling is also pedophobia. Another form of pedophobia is paying the teachers poorly and, in exchange, tolerating their lack of preparation and dedication and their strikes that cause the children to lose irrecoverable time.
Brazilian society, nonetheless, does this through the action of some and the omission of many. We all practice this pedophobia when we discover that each minute 60 children are dropping out of school, and that those who remain to the end of secondary school receive a poor education.
Questioning the cost of changing this reality, while accepting that there is money for all the rest, except for the children and their schools, is a form of pedophobia well disseminated throughout Brazilian society. The same society that is horrified by the evil of pedophilia.
Closing off the good schools, leaving millions of students outside; closing off the quality hospitals, leaving sick children outside; closing off the supermarkets, leaving hungry children outside – these are all practices of pedophobia that go unperceived by many of us.
The pedophile steals the future of children, marking them forever with sexual violence. The pedophobes, nevertheless, also steal this future when they leave children condemned to illiteracy and through the lack of schooling, marking them definitely.
The violence of omission and of tolerating the crimes committed against the children is pedophobic behavior. Yet, we are relieved when some pedophiles are imprisoned. The guilt of the monsters of pedophilia must not hide the responsibility of the pedophobes through omission, though electing leaders without sensitivity, leaders with a pedophobe spirit.
These are leaders who find money for everything except to do what Senator Heloísa Helena proposed: “To adopt a generation of little Brazilians, giving it all that these children need.”
If we would do this, they would do the rest as adults, without the traumas left by pedophiles or pedophobes who, through different means, produce the same results: tortured children, anguished adults.
Pedophilia is a brutal perversity that occurs in many countries all over the world. But, sadly, we must recognize that few countries present the grade of pedophobia perceivable in Brazil.
Cristovam Buarque is a professor at the University of Brasília and a PDT senator for the Federal District. You can visit his website – www.cristovam.org.br – and write to him at email@example.com.
Translated from the Portuguese by Linda Jerome LinJerome@cs.com.