Sunday, June 20, 2010

Laura Jane Musser Fund grant for Intercultural Harmony

Laura Jane Musser, 1916-1989

Intercultural Harmony

Application packages must be postmarked on or before October 13, 2010.

Funding decisions will be announced by February 2011.

Download RFP

The LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND would like to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between groups and citizens of different cultural backgrounds within defined geographical areas through collaborative, cross-cultural projects. Projects must be intercultural, rather than focused on just one culture.


Include members of various cultural communities working together on projects with common goals
Build positive relationships across cultural lines
Engender intercultural harmony, tolerance, understanding, and respect
Enhance intercultural communication, rather than cultural isolation, while at the same time celebrating and honoring the unique qualities of each culture


Need in the community for the intercultural project
Grassroots endorsement by participants across cultural lines, as well as their active participation in planning and implementation of the project
The ability of the organization to address the challenges of working across the cultural barriers identified by the project
Work towards a tangible benefit in the larger community

LIMITS OF GEOGRAPHY: Only programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wyoming may apply.

PROJECTS ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT: Intercultural Harmony projects can be carried out in a number of areas, including (but not limited to):

The arts
Community service
Youth activities


Increased comfort in interaction between the groups and individual citizens addressed by the project
Harmonious shared use of public space and community facilities
Continued cooperation by the participants or communities addressed by the project


New programs or projects within their first three years
Either the planning or implementation phase of a project


Capital Expenses
General Operating Expenses
Ongoing Program Support


Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
Organizations that are forming if they have a documented fiscal agent relationship
Organizations located within one of the eligible states listed above

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Power of DIY: Do It Yourself Alternative Exhibitions & Performances

Yanira Castro, Dark Horse/Black Forrest (2008)

The Power of DIY: Do It Yourself
Alternative Exhibitions & Performances

Thursday, June 24, 6:30-8pm - FREE Taller Boricua
Multicultural Space, 1st Floor
at the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center

1680 Lexington Avenue, between 105 & 106 Streets MAP
Please RSVP

Join this panel of visual and performing artists who are creating unique projects for super alternative spaces: from homes to the Internet to hotel bathrooms. By using untraditional venues, artists can do a lot with fewer resources and take more control of their artistic destinies. The resulting art is often accelerated by this DIY philosophy. It’s propelled forward by the artists’ commitment to their aesthetic, and supported by their professional savvy.

Panelists: Yanira Castro, Kibibi Dillion, Jorge Rojas, and Cassie Thornton
Panel Facilitator: Charles Rice-Gonzales of BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance)
The panel will be in English, but the audience may ask questions in Spanish.

Co-presented by The Field & Taller Boricua, with support from Senator José Serrano, as part of The Field’s program Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists.

Taller Boricua/The Puerto Rican Workshop is a 40-year old artist-run nonprofit art gallery and multidisciplinary cultural space in El Barrio. Its mission is to be a proactive institution for the community in East Harlem by offering programs that stimulate its social, cultural, and economic development through promotion of the arts.


Director/choreographer Yanira Castro collaborates with performers and designers on individual projects under the name a canary torsi. They work in a multiplicity of spaces: from warehouses and tiny restrooms to the stage, embedding dances within installations that directly address the audience’s experience of the live event. Castro’s work has been presented by DTW, PS122, and The Chocolate Factory, among others, and has toured internationally. She has received several fellowships and awards for her work including: The Jerome Foundation, MAP Fund, ArtistNe(s)t and Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. Her newest work, Wilderness, will premiere at The Invisible Dog, presented by DTW, Oct 27-Nov 7.

Through her producing artistry Kibibi T. Dillon is on a steadfast mission to re-build, uplift, and support her community. In 2006 The Neo Harlem Renaissance Party became the back drop and the beginning of theater company Launch World Wide and over the following 12 months produced four phenomenal shows with four of New York’s Most Talented Artist. Frayed by Cornelius Smith (All My Children), Birth of Power U by Queen GodIs, The Super Star Artist Show by Sherry Boone and Kick N 2 The Beat by Lee Anet Noble. Kibibi Dillon is also a Director, actor and comedian who performs who works all over NYC.

Charles Rice-González is a writer, long-time community and LGBT activist and Executive Director of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance which he founded in 1998 with Bessie Award-winning dancer/choreographer Arthur Aviles. BAAD! is a workshop and performance space in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx that showcases challenging and cutting-edge works by women, people of color and the LGBT community. He received a BA in Communications from Adelphi University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and his debut novel, Chulito will be published by Alyson Books in the fall.

Jorge Rojas is a multidisciplinary artist whose work centers on the creation and processes involved in artistic production. Rojas has exhibited across Mexico, the United States and India including Queens Museum of Art (New York), New World Museum (Houston), Ex Convento del Carmen (Guadalajara), White Box (New York), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (Los Angeles) and West Chicago City Museum (West Chicago). His work is included in numerous private and public collections including The Mexican Museum (San Francisco) and Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach). Rojas currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in Morelos, Mexico.

Cassie Thornton is an artist educator living in Brooklyn, NY. Her projects are systems for investigation and interaction with psycho-governmental and corporate footprints on people. She has founded a School of the Future, a Teaching Artist Union, a Consulting Company in a Forest, and a Barter System Beauty Salon. A recent project imbues our definition of debt with beauty and value: Cassie will be studying Social Practice at California College of the Arts this fall.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Progressive Clichés

Okay, here goes.

This summer I had an exchange with another blogger who'd tweeted something along the lines of "enough already, we all agree, America is NOT post-racial... can we move on now?" I love a cranky, self-aware tweet and I told him so. (For me this is the genius of Twitter: for every meaningless kernel of trivia that floats along the data-stream there is a shiny pearl, excellent for its brevity. The 140 character limit makes good writers better by forcing them to be brief and it keeps bad writers from going on for too long. In my book this is a win-win.) His point was that the "we are not post-racial" drumbeat had become meaningless through constant use and was perhaps taking the place of more substantive discussions about race. I'd thought the same thing but hadn't known how to articulate the thought... It is less a meme than a punchline. It stops conversations rather than opening them. In other words, "America is not post-racial" is a progressive cliché .

This brief conversation really made me think and I realized that there are a lot of tropes like this clogging up the discourse, making us ("us" = folks who write critically about various systems of oppression like racism, orientalism, sexism, etc. etc.) lazy. I considered writing a series of essays on these progressive cliches, but I hesitated. The self-imposed pressure to "keep it in the family " and not give the Right, who have become simultaneously more vicious and media-savvy in the last decade, more ammunition is strong. And kyriarchy--the ways in which we oppress each other--worries me. I don't want to inadvertently contribute to the systems of oppression I am trying to critique vertically or horizontally. And of course, while "America is Not Post-Racial" is a cliché, it is also true. So, does it make sense to criticize people for saying something that is true, especially when they/we are under constant attack from the Right? It seems to make more sense to just leave it alone, grit my teeth and complain to my friends who will understand where I'm coming from.

And yet... I can't seem to let go of this idea.

I returned to Twitter and asked my feed: What do yo think? And the response was overwhelmingly positive. What's more, suggestions for other progressive clichés started pouring in... ("Privilege Gotcha", "Whatever-Industrial Complex", "How To Be A true Ally" etc. etc. ... special thanks to @monshiprose). Self-selecting Twitter hive-mind notwithstanding, it seems I am not the only one frustrated with these intellectual non-starters. Huh. Okay then.

I suppose it comes down to this: I don't believe that the right way to deal with overwhelming opposition from the Right is to prevent ourselves from holding each other accountable to do better. But I do believe that if we have any chance at all to contribute (for lack of a better term) progressive ideals to a larger social conversation we can't let the contempt of the Right turn us into a self-silencing monolith in response.

Agreeing in principle doesn't mean we can't disagree--productively--about the whys and wherefores. And/or even about the hows. Right? There must be a way to critique the usefulness of certain arguments without attacking the people who articulate them, as a way of lifting the level of the discourse for all of us. Right?

So. All of that is the long way around to say that I am inaugurating a series of posts on "progressive clichés." I don't expect everyone to support the idea or agree with the way I present it, but I think one of the strengths of this format is its immediacy. So if you question what I propose with these posts then speak up. I'll happily hear you out. And if you have cliches of your own to propose, let me know.



Paloma Faith, Beatrice Brown and a wooden "dance machine"
in a still from the experimental dance film Tingel Tangel (2007) by Kathryn Ferguson

MOVIES, MOVES AND MUSIC: The Sonic World of Dance Films
Edited by Dr Pauline Manley and Dr Mark Evans
Published by Equinox, London

About the Volume

Over the last 40 years, while the musical film has faded from its historical high-point to a more isolated and quirky phenomenon, the dance film has displayed refulgent growth and surprising resilience. A phenomena of modern movie-making, the dance film has spawned profitable global enterprises (Billy Elliot), has fashioned youthful angst as sociological voice (Saturday Night Fever, Footloose and Dirty Dancing) and acted as a marker of post-modern ironic camp (Strictly Ballroom). This modern genre has influenced cinema as a whole in the ways bodies are made dimensional, in the way rhythm and energy are communicated, and in the filmic capacity to create narrative worlds without words.
Emerging as a distinct (sub) genre in the 1970s, dance film has been crafting its own meta-narrative and aesthetic paradigms that, nonetheless, display extraordinary variety. Ranging from the experimental, ‘you are there’ sonic explorations of Robert Altman’s The Company and the brutal energy of David La Chappelle’s Rize to the lighter ‘backstage musical’ form displayed in Centre Stage and Save the Last Dance, this genre has garnered both commercial and artistic success.

Meanwhile, Bollywood has become a juggernaut, creating transportable memory for diasporic Indian communities across the world. This is an entire industry based on the ‘dance number’, where films are pitched around the choreography, where the actors are not expected to sing, but they must dance.

This series of essays will investigate the relationship between movement and sound as it is revealed, manipulated and crafted in the dance film genre. It will consider the role of all aspects of sound in the dance film, including the dancer generated sounds inherent in Tap, Flamenco, Irish Dance and Krumping. Drawing on significant post-War dance films from around world, this volume will finally address this mainstream genre, where image and sound meet in a crucial symbiosis.


Please send a 250 word abstract to the e-mail address listed below. Final articles would be due mid January 2011.

This volume will focus on the feature dance film rather music video or musicals. We are especially interested in avant-garde, hip hop, Bollywood and commercial ‘backstage’ dance films, but articles which fall outside these categories are also encouraged.
Finalised articles should be between 6000-8000 words.

Please note that acceptance of the proposal does not guarantee publication and all chapters will be subject to normal processes of peer review. Please send proposals and further enquiries to

Dr Pauline Manley

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reading Group and Discussion: Art, Criticism, and Its Markets

Wednesday 06.16.10 -- Art, Criticism, and Its Markets


1. About this Wednesday

2. More on Isabelle Graw

3. Readings

4. Upcoming Readings

1. About this Wednesday

What: Reading Discussion
Where: 16Beaver Street, 4th Floor
When: Wednesday 06.16.10 at 7:15 pm
Who: Free and open to all

Over the last 20 or 30 years, there has been an increasing amount of criticism written which is directed at the economy or market of art. This growing interest on the part of critics has mirrored the burgeoning market around art. And even today, in the midst of a financial depression in many parts of the world, art is increasingly seen as an integral part of 'investment portfolios' and considered a 'safe haven' for nervous investors. Even 'well intentioned' efforts which attempt to protect the interests of artists, through funds or pension trusts, only seem to
reinforce the ever increasing pace of the financialization or securitization of art.

This Wednesday, we would like to invite those who might be interested in exploring the interrelations between art, money, and criticism to attend what will be the first meeting of a focused reading group on the subject.

The reading group is being organized by Anastasiya Osipova and Zac Dempster and they will use Isabelle Graw's book "High Price: Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture" as a point of reference and departure.

The book investigates what an art market does in relation to the artists who strategize within it. Graw begins by narrating through Gustave Courbert's exploits in prison and his heroic exclusion from Salon de Paris into collectors homes. Could this serve as precedent for contemporary
artist in their criticisms of the institution while fortifying their cultural value? Some contemporary cases are those of the New York American Fine Arts, Co gallery, Andrea Fraser and Merlin Carpenter, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Julien Schnabel, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Yves Klein…

Among key questions that will be addressed through these discussions is a position of criticism vis-à-vis art, which is already seen as both an epistemological object and an indexical expression of market value (not unlike money). Does this status of art reify critical texts as well?

If the so-called art-market is not to be described as a reservoir of phantasms, if the story we could tell of it is not to be a ghost mystery story, what genre would be appropriate?

It is our hope to meet the limitations of this self-reflexive text by an exegesis that will include artist press releases, gallery websites, Facebook pages, photographs, blog posts, art magazine and journal reviews, art auction details, etc. As though following on Twitter the question "to
what degree can contemporary writers profit off the vocabulary this text offers? In what fields and by the use of what empty signifiers?"

Anastasiya and Zac will begin the evening by introducing how they arrived at the idea for this reading group, and then we will begin what will be the first of several sessions of readings and discussions.

2. More on Isabelle Graw

Isabelle Graw is Professor for Art Theory and Art History at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Städelschule) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where she co-founded the Institute of Art Criticism. She is an art critic and co-founder of Texte zur Kunst in Berlin -- Sternberg Press's website. Graw now lives in Berlin, but was associated with a Cologne group of artists that circled around Martin Kippenberger.

3. Readings

For the introductory meeting we will look at the following texts:
Isabelle Graw, foreword to High Price

Michel Foucault “What is Critique?”

Dietrich Dietrichson “On (Surplus) Value in Art”

Barbara Rose "The Auction is the Action"

and view a promotional video from Artprice, a French company that
serves as the largest database of the art sales records.

4. Upcoming Readings

2nd meeting reading list:
Isabelle Graw, Chapter One of High Price

Jean-Joseph Goux “Figurative Standards: Gold and the Phallus” from
Symbolic Economies

Georges Bataille & numismatics (abstracts from Denis Hollier Against
Architecture: Writings of Georges Bataille)

“Art and its markets: a roundtable discussion” , Artforum, April 2008

Seth Price “Dispersion”

Pierre Bourdieu, abstracts from The Rules of Art.

“The History of Money” videos:

(possibly: Georg Simmel The Philosophy of Money)

16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:

4,5 Bowling Green
R,W Whitehall
2,3 Wall Street
J,M Broad Street
1,9 South Ferry

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Music: Kelis and State of the Blog

It's an uncertain world. The last time I felt this unsure about well, everything, I was a teenager: That's both exciting and terrifying. Like any good post-postmodernist I'm not usually willing to put money on absolute truth. But. There are a couple of things that are true often enough to count on. To reassure myself in the midst of so much violent change I've listed them below, in no particular order:

1) If you want someone to like you, bake them a pie.

2) If a woman uses the characters from Sex and the City to describe herself and/or any of her friends she is an asshole.

3) If a man wears a "Live Strong" bracelet, drives a Hummer, has a collection of hats and/or ironic facial hair (i.e. the Frat-Boy to Hipster ratio), he is an asshole.

4) When you are invited to someone's house, you should bring food (see No. 1).

5) You have to wear an undershirt under a white dress shirt. Yeah, you do. No one wants to see your nipples, man. Cover up.

6) Crystal rock natural deodorant does not work.

7) No matter how charming and well-intentioned they are, unless they are in recovery addicts make bad friends/lovers/spouses.

8) Nurses are angels.

9) Rape jokes are not funny.

10) Zionism is racism.

11) The Israeli Defense Forces murdered Rachel Corrie, the #Freedomflotilla peace activists and countless Palestinian men, women and children (see No. 10).

12) Ralph Nader is right, Helen Thomas should get her job back (see No. 10).

The video above, Young Fresh N New by Kelis* is dedicated to the 89-year old Thomas.

When the world feels like it's closing' in

And you don't know what you know

And you think about what's holding you

It's relatives and clothes

Just leave it all behind, you gotta get away

You gotta get away


(Got to get away...)

Gotta get away

Hey, hey...

(I've got to get away...)

I've got to get away, yeah


But I've gotta be young, fresh, and new

* I always forget how much I love Kelis. I have a long-standing weakness for weird girls and Kelis is the mayor of that town (See: also, Bjork). She don't get enough credit, just sayin. (Sorry, Lady who now? Never heard of her.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Time To Tell: The Church and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Pope Benedict XVI

USA Today reports, "Pope Benedict XVI has apologized -- again -- for clergy sexual abuse of minors as the global scandal continues to scorch his papacy. This time, the apology came at a Mass celebrating the conclusion of the Year of the Priest. Bemoaning these sins, he said, the Church will devote itself to choosing and supporting priests. (The Pope said), 'We will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey, so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid life's dangers.'"

The victim's rights group BishopAccountability.Org responded to the Pope's most recent statement writing, " The Pope's response has been platitudes, metaphor, and rhetoric. What's worse, with the appalled Catholic laity waiting for solutions, the Pope prescribed merely an internal, inadequate next step -- better seminary screening and formation. But we all have learned in recent years that the most effective solutions lie outside the Church. To solve this massive crisis, the Pope must take specific actions himself and also endorse and facilitate certain external measures that would advance transparency and justice."

I don't usually write about religion, although now that I think of it religion lives at the intersection between culture and politics, which is my interest. But there's a difference in writing about the interactions between the faithful and the cultures in which they reside (which I have written about) and debating matters of faith themselves. (For example I write about Islamophobia because the close relationship between the irrational hatred of Muslims and Arabs, whether they are Muslim or not, makes it a necessity--despite the fact that I am not a Muslim myself. But I don't write about matters of faithfulness within Islam because there are so many others better positioned to explore those issues from within that community.) Of course it's easier for me to keep a separation between faith, politics and culture when I am not among the faithful. But when the subject turns to the religious tradition of my family--Maronite Catholicism-- it's more difficult...

The last time I went to mass was a few Christmases ago at the behest of my aunts. I was sitting there thinking, 'This isn't so bad... the music is beautiful and I am here with my family, maybe I have been too harsh in staying away..." And then the priest seized the opportunity of the celebration of the birth of Our Lord to sermonize against the encroaching Muslim horde... Right. So, fair to say I have an ambivalent relationship with my church on a lot of counts. While elements of the Catholic faith are still compelling to me in many ways, the bureaucracy employed to deliver them is full of fail in my eyes. And hands down the issue that crystallizes my disdain for Church hierarchy is the growing global child sex abuse scandal.

During Holy Week I got into an argument on Facebook (I know, I know) with a fellow Catholic who defended the--in my view--indefensible positions of the Church. The inciting incident was my reaction to comments made by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York who called on Catholics to pray for the Pope, who was beset by accusations he'd been instrumental in protecting a pedophile priest.* In doing so, Dolan compared the storm of critique directed at the Pope with the torments endured by Christ. (A grotesque comparison to my heathen ear...) He rehearsed all the arguments of Church apologists and I've quoted our exchange below.

Him: Yes, in honor of Holy Week, let me help you. As the Passion states, Jesus was wrongly accused and did not speak up to defend himself. In the current attack on the Church, it is left to us to defend the Church, with facts. The Pope is currently under a storm of false accusations, at least 4 articles in the NY Times this past week alone, all about the same priest. I get delivery 7 days a week and amazed how in their own story, they conclude that the Pope had no involvement, but people do not read and then others, hoping against hope that the moral authority of the Church will be dissolved so they can go on and to do what they want, simply parrot it.

Lets take the case of the WI Priest who is cited as abusing some 200 deaf children. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee reported the accusations to police in 1973. The Priest, just on the allegations was removed from his post. The police investigated this back in 1974 and no charges were filed. The entire matter, both legal and civil was past tense as of 1976.

Some 20 years later the Vatican was made aware of this priest and regardless of the legal outcomes in the US, needed to apply Canon Law to what this priest may have done. Which was Crimen Sollicitationis, which deals with clergy who are accused of using the sacrament of confession to make sexual advances toward penitents. The priest in question died of natural causes on 8/21/98, 2 years after the Vatican was notified.

No party of the Church covered this up, local authorities were notified and the Vatican knew nothing about it for over 2 decades and when they did, they sought to bring the priest in line with canon law.

So, yes, Pope Benedict XVI is unjustly accused, and so is the Christ's Church.

Me: Anyone who defends this Pope against the legitimate grievances of Catholic survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of priests or supports the ongoing efforts of the church to obfuscate its role in protecting pedophiles is at best foolish and at worst dangerous to children.

This is a black mark on the global Church and no amount of puffed up sputtering from conservative Catholic windbags will make it go away. "Canon law" is meaningless when a crime has been committed-- Catholic priests are not above secular law. If a pedophile makes confession his slate is wiped clean with the Church but not with the State.

The role of the Pope in this scandal is sickening but not entirely surprising, given Church policy on shielding pedophiles and shaming their victims into silence... But it is a new day for pedophile priests, the Church and this Pope: Adult (and increasingly child) survivors of sexual abuse are no longer ashamed to identify themselves and demand justice....

I'm not.

Him: I defend this Pope and all Pope's before him, including Christ's first pick, Peter. I defend Christ's Church.

I do not defend the crimes of man.

Facts are facts. You don't have them correct and are completely wrong. But that is the way you want it, as opposed to the way it is.

It is also humorous when critics apply contemporaneous societal norms to past events expressing selective outrage. Catholicism is an easy target. How about teachers, police, musicians, movie directors, etc?

Furthermore, this is not simply a Roman Catholic issue, this is a world wide issue with regards to preying on the most innocent as well as other crimes against humanity.

Me: Outrage over the sexual molestation of children at the hands of priests is the selective application of "contemporaneous societal norms"? Your unquestioning defense of the Church in re: to its policy of defending and protecting pedophile Priests and shaming, silencing and paying off victimized children is profoundly disturbing. That is the attitude that makes the victimization of children by the clergy possible in the first place. The charges against this Pope and the Church do not come from outside it, but from Catholic survivors themselves. Are you suggesting they are lying? If so, that is a sickening supplement to their original abuse. (And, not for nothing, you should probably take a long. hard look at that if you are.)

I am a Catholic too and you are right that the sexual exploitation of children is not limited to the Catholic clergy. But no other institution has worked as hard to prevent the prosecution of pedophiles as the Catholic Church-- that is the shameful fact. A culture of secrecy and sexual repression coupled with easy access to children and unquestioned authority make the Catholic clergy the perfect environment for pedophiles. If the Church continues to "manage" this problem instead of addressing it survivors will keep the pressure on. So, "defend" away: You will lose. You have already lost.

Him: I defend the Church. Always have and always will.

Where is it noted that Vatican, The Pope attempted to hide anything? Where? Is there questions about certain Bishops? Yes.

Another baseless claim, as the Church has not attempted to hide anything. Can you point to me any other organization that has paid so dearly? Nope. And let us also not confuse homosexuality with pedophilia. 97% of all accusations against the clergy are not pedophilia in nature, but homosexual.

Me: If you are unfamiliar with the--sadly-- multiple cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy and the organized attempts by the Church to shelter the offenders while demonizing their victims... who are/were CHILDREN, then l suggest you do a little research before commenting about this issue publicly again. The facts of these cases are a matter of public record, and originate from within the Church itself.

That you unthinkingly (and proudly?) identity with the perpetrators in this conflict is telling. Given the opportunity to defend children against their systematic rape and torture over generations you--and the Pope--have chosen to align yourselves with the rapists. That alone should give you pause. Your response is not about faith, so don't kid yourself.

Oh and: "97% of all accusations against the clergy are not pedophilia in nature, but homosexual" is a complete lie. If you are trying to count same-gender abuse cases as "homosexuality" you are mistaken: Homosexuality is--by definition--the sexual desire for someone like yourself while Pedophilia is about the sexualization of children, an asymetrical dynamic that is more about power than gender. Some pedophiles have gender preferences but if the child is young enough gender is absolutely secondary in the eyes of the offender. And the sexual abuse of --comparatively--older children and/or teens is not less-rape-y because, presumably they might enter into consensual relationships with each other. There is no such thing as "Rape-lite". A sexual relationship between an older authority figure and an underage person is rape. Period.

... Nice try blaming the gays though.

*The New York Daily News reports, "The future Pope Benedict XVI resisted pleas to defrock a California priest with a record of sexually molesting children, citing concerns including "the good of the universal church," according to a 1985 letter bearing his signature. The correspondence, obtained by The Associated Press, is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican's insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office. The letter, signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was typed in Latin and is part of years of correspondence between the Diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about the proposed defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle. The Vatican refused to comment on the contents of the letter Friday, but a spokesman confirmed it bore Ratzinger's signature."