Yeah, it might really be a quote by TJ Kincaid, given some corroborative evidence, but the exact wording of the quote cannot be found anywhere else on the internet presently. Better to damn him by what we can demonstrate he really said, and we can demonstrate he said something very close in 2006.
However, no, you probably shouldn’t damn him for holding a terrible opinion in 2006 that he’s since walked back. Not that there isn’t lots else to damn him about.
Since he’s an antifeminist and has expressed a number of backward views on topics like consent, I’m going to go ahead and treat this as a good place to put a fold and trigger-warning you all.
So, over on Pharyngula — you know, that blog over there? The one that everyone seems to think is the entirety of FtB for some reason? — PZ Myers posted an evisceration of an argument made by someone that the age of consent should be lowered to 11 or 12, the age of onset of puberty. PZ originally attributed it to Terroja Lee Kincaid, the self-styled Amazing Atheist. Since the quote was passed to him with minimal attribution, PZ didn’t do enough to vet that quote, and has since walked back the attribution.
Said Amazing Atheist is extraordinarily popular, and extraordinarily assholish. He’s done a ton of stuff that you could fairly say should exclude him from any polite company. Quotes like this are common enough from him:
I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow.
So it’s not hard to imagine he’d say something like this:
Nature already has an age of consent. That age is approximately 12-13, otherwise known as the onset of puberty. We don’t need Christian morals to set an arbitrary age on when a sexually mature human female can mate legally. We already have clear parameters on sexually maturity as established by the law of evolution, and acting within those parameters does not under any reasonable definition constitute “rape”. Moreover, because this irrational moral imperialism is almostly solely applied against males who pursue relationships with younger females, I do believe the change of age-of-consent laws should be a critical area of focus for Men’s Rights Activists.
Tigtog at Hoyden About Town posted about this, attributing it to Kincaid (though Tigtog since walked it back as well).
So at this point, there’s not a lot of evidence as to who actually said what was in the quote, and the primaries referencing it both recanted.
However, RationalWiki has had documentation of some quotes of TJ’s for quite a while that express similar sentiments. For instance, prior to his becoming internet-famous, he posted on a Marilyn Manson forum the following on 08-14-2006:
Originally posted by Komaschwarz
They can, period. There is no gene present within the human body that forces a human to actively molest children. Anyone who has the mental faculties to understand the law should be held accountable for their actions. It is the foundation of the law.
You don’t have to agree with the law. But if you are willing to break it, at least have the strength to accept your punishment, and not hide behind excuses and rationalization for your behavior.
Sexual predisposition does not justify molesting someone. Ever.
I agree with all that. Having pedophilic attractions doesn’t mean you automatically go out and start molesting kids. From the time I was 14 to the time I was about 19, I used to have extreme pedophilic fantasies, and I somehow managed to never even come close to acting on them. I think with my brain, not my penis.
I do think, however, the pedophilia is unfairly persecuted in today’s society.
I think the difference in punishment between child rapists and child molestors should be more significant, with molestors perhaps simply attending mandatory therapy for their first offense. I also think that the age of sexual consent should be lowered to 12 or 13.
My stance is not designed to be controversial or to offend anyone. I only want human beings to understand that the law must work within the parameters of human nature, not in defiance of it.
First, that post was made under the name Terroja, which he used consistently prior to becoming internet-famous. Second, on his more recent Tumblr, someone had asked him what the deal was about these “rumors”, and he all but confirmed he had actually said this:
Somebody said that you think that age of consent should be 13 and tau you were in a intimate relationship with a 14 year old when you were 23
Asked by Anonymous
Wow. The rumor mill just keeps on churning.
The age of consent thing is based on a post I made on an internet forum when I was like 20. And it was actually a pretty popular sentiment on the boards at that time. Hell, it was a popular sentiment on the internet in general at that time. It was also, I’m sad to say, an opinion that my father held.
After experiencing another decade on planet earth, I realize how horribly misguided that opinion was and is. I think that maybe it’s not so horrible for kids that age to begin sexual exploration with one another, but it’s definitely wrong for an adult to engage is sex with someone that young and inexperienced.
As for this nonsense about me dating a 14-year-old when I was 23, I was actually mocking a friend of mine who was over 30 and was macking on some 16-year-old girl. The sad fact is that when I was 23, I was single and pussyless. And I was too timid and frightened to even approach a girl sexually, let alone one who could wind me up in prison.
The verity of that last paragraph is questionable, though, leaving aside the timbre of the phrase “single and pussyless”. He was in chat on a broadcast by fakesagan in 2011 (time-indexed link to when he made the comments visible in the stream), after he became internet-famous. It’s doubtful fakesagan, another internet-famous atheist vlogger who runs in the same circles as TJ, would have allowed him to say this in TJ’s name if he wasn’t actually TJ.
A screengrab of that moment:
theamazingatheist: When I was 16 I dated a 32 year old. Then, as a 23-year-old I dated a 14-year-old briefly. So that’s about it.
He did, in his defense, say that he didn’t approach a girl “sexually”, leaving open the possibility of platonic, chaste relationships when he claimed to have been dating that 14 year old. But it seems the more recent Tumblr, which definitely belongs to Kincaid, is not telling the whole truth in his claims to have been mocking someone else, rather than opening up about himself.
While the specific quote attributed to him by PZ and others may not actually have been said specifically by Kincaid, he’s expressed a very similar statement in the past. He’s also walked back that statement as being a product of the environment he was in and that his father inculcated in him. It’s not particularly fair to damn him for what he no longer believes, nor is it fair to take something you can’t prove he said more recently and damn him for that.
In fact, it seems likely that Kincaid was thinking of that original Manson forum post when answering the question on Tumblr while the questioner was thinking of the post that hit Tigtog’s and PZ’s blogs, and it seems very likely someone is passing around a post either written by an MRA as having been written by Kincaid, or synthesized something from Kincaid’s older post, in order to write something to damn him with. That is not cool. That’s not good behaviour, it’s not intellectually honest, and it ignores that Kincaid no longer believes that.
But ripping apart and fisking the quote itself, as representative of what some fraction of society actually thinks? Go for it. Kincaid himself confirmed that it’s a common enough sentiment, and it’s certainly a morally reprehensible (and scientifically questionable) one that deserves confronting.