The Amazing Atheist’s not-so-amazing thoughts on the age of consent

The alleged theamazingatheist's allegedly false confession

The alleged theamazingatheist’s allegedly false confession

You may have run across an image macro going around the internet recently featuring a picture of YouTube ranter and sometime Men’s Rights ally The Amazing Atheist – aka Terroja or TJ Kinkaid – and an appalling quote, supposedly from him, arguing that MRAs should campaign to lower the age of consent, because “[n]ature already has an age of consent. That age is approximately 12-13, otherwise known as the onset of puberty.”

I didn’t post about the quote, appalling as it is, because I couldn’t find any proof that Mr. Kincaid actually wrote or said it; I even searched several of Mr. Kincaid’s books and a document entitled “The Somewhat Complete Ravings of TJ Kincaid” to no avail. Apparently no one else has been able to find the quote either.

If this quote was fabricated, I’m a little puzzled as to why, because Kincaid has actually said very similar things before. Given the confusion about the quote, I thought it might be worth noting what we know he has said on the topic.

In a 2006 posting on a Marilyn Manson fan site, linked to in RationalWiki’s profile of him, a self-identified “atheist libertarian” calling himself Terroja argued 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.

In a recent posting on his blog, Kincaid admits that this indeed is something he once believed:

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. 

The “everyone else was a pedophile in 2006” argument is not exactly a convincing one, and it’s worth noting that Kincaid “confessed” his attraction towards underage girls in his self-published 2007 book “Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman” as well, writing that

I think 14-year-old girls are hot. (Yeah, so does everyone else, but I actually admit it)

That’s what pedophiles would like to believe, but it’s not actually true.

Also, in “The Somewhat Complete Ravings of TJ Kincaid,” which seems to be a compilation of writings from several of his books, we find the following passage:

Teenage girls are annoying because they go out into public dressed like sluts and then if you look at their massive titties there is a segment of our society that will happily declare you a pedophile for “oggling those poor children.” Children, my ass. Children don’t have D cups. Children don’t have big, luscious round asses crammed into designer jeans.

For what it’s worth, the word is “ogling,” not “oggling.”

Even more troubling than these quotes is the fact that Kincaid also claimed at one point that he “dated” a 14-year-old when he was 23.

In his recent posting, he insists that he was only joking:

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.

I have no trouble believing that he was lying about having an underage girlfriend, but his explanation doesn’t seem to jibe with what he – or someone claiming to be him – said in the very strange (and not altogether safe for work) video that seems to be the source for what Kincaid calls this “rumor” about him.

Roughly 30 minutes into the video, which shows a live BlogTV session between YouTube personality thefakesagan and some guests in  an internet chatroom, we see someone identified as theamazingatheist declare flatly in the chat session that “as a 23-year-old I dated a 14-year-old briefly.”

When the expletive-spewing thefakesagan asks him what it was that led him to stop “dating” the 14-year-old so quickly, theamazingatheist replies “fear of her dad murdering me,” adding in a followup comment that “he was a Marine, actually.”

When the host, burping and fiddling with a bass guitar, asks theamazingatheist if he actually felt “an emotional bond with this 14-year-old bitch,” themazingatheist replies “I felt an emotional bond with her pussy.”

“Sorry,” he types a few moments later, “I’m a sociopath, useless in the ways of love.”

The host then spends a few moments fumbling with his instrument, trying ineptly to work out the bassline to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” “You better run, you better do what you’re told,” he sings, “TJ’s in the back room fucking a 14-year-old.”

The conversation moves on, and I think I will too.

But now that I’ve gotten hold of some of TJ’s masterworks, I think I’ll have to see what else is hiding within them. I suspect I’ll be posting about that shortly.


About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on July 23, 2014, in atheism, attention seeking, lying liars, misogyny, MRA, pedophiles oh sorry ephebophiles, the amazing atheist and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 242 Comments.

  1. Nthing the notion that the causes of pedophilia are irrelevant to any discussion of child sexual abuse. Pedophiles are not some poor, misunderstood and marginalized group of people. They are supported by society at large because rape culture condones CSA. I am highly skeptical of any claim about pedophilia being an innate psychological trait or a sexual orientation because nearly all of those claims just serve to pathologize child abusers in a way that grants them undue sympathy. I think it’s fair to say that pedophilia is nothing more than a product of a culture that doesn’t value the bodily agency of children and supports a conception of sexuality that is entirely rooted in non-consent. Many rapists like raping other people – if that desire doesn’t originate from orientation or innate pathology, then why consider pedophilia to be similar?

  2. cassandrakitty

    @ pallygirl

    For a moment I thought you intended to eat the candle, and was questioning your life decisions.

  3. Partner is picking up tea on the way home, I have no idea what it will be. There are no cookies in the house. :( There are cat biscuits and cat treats, but these are not suitable for a vegetarian. There may be bonbons, there are no candles, fucking scented or otherwise (but there are torches for civil defence emergencies), and all the chairs are quite comfortable to sit on. I may be failing at this whole feminism thing.

  4. I’ve been busy, and am off to bed. Re books and authors:

    I think the works can stand on their own, but that doesn’t mean one has to divorce the writer from them either.

    There are authors I won’t own. Some of them have written works I enjoyed reading, before I found out what they believed. At that point I saw things in the works which bothered me.

    In some cases it’s semi-personal (I have some direct connections to the Breendoggle, and had a passing acquaintance with Moira, some 30 years ago). There are some of Marion’s books I won’t read again. Some I think would probably be ok.

    But books are visceral, and if they bother you, get rid of them.

  5. I’ve now read a couple of comments on here about Adam Baldwin being a douche. I’m completely in the dark about this. What did he do?

    Whatever it was will not likely deter me from watching Firefly and Angel a bazillion more times but it’s still a shame. Especially since I always pictured him as Victarian Greyjoy if they ever cast him on GoT.

    I’ve successfully stayed away from Woody Allen lately. Somehow, I only found out about the molestation accusations against recently but considering the whole creepy as fuck marriage to Soon-Yi, I believe Dylan all the way. Of course, I only liked Annie Hall so it hasn’t been a challenge.

    I’ve been less successful at staying away from Roman Polanski. I caved and rewatched Rosemary’s Baby again recently. :( I hope to not do that again. I was weak. I’m a horror movie fan and it’s a classic and a great horror movie.

  6. kittehserf MOD

    For a moment I thought you intended to eat the candle, and was questioning your life decisions.

    But it is a vanilla candle. Or would be, if there were candles in the house.

  7. A lot of people talk about having difficulties enjoying problematic art but I’ve always thought it was harder dealing with problematic creators.

  8. I can handle problematic art, with a well intentioned creator. What I hate is wonderful, amazing art that is glorious… with a terrible creator so I feel guilty supporting the amazing art.

    It can also be a problem in science, too. Dawkins, why did you stop doing real and awesome biology to go be a jerk? Why?!

    *goes off to whimper in a corner*

  9. To be fair, he continued doing science while progressing towards jerkdom and I’d support a lot of what he did when he initially deviated from strict ethology and evolutionary biology. What he’s doing these days, I’unno. I could only listen to so much righteous wealthy old white man condescension.

  10. kittehserf MOD

    I suspect Dawkins’ inner jerk was never more than a millimetre from the surface.

  11. I don’t know that Dawkins was terribly honest in his biology. Years ago as an undergrad I had to write a book review for one paper and I picked The Selfish Gene (my original book choice was Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly but I still didn’t understand it after I finished it, so I had to pick another quickly). A few bits of what Dawkins stated in his book didn’t accord with what I had been taught in my psychology papers, so I ended up getting copies of the original references for some of his citations. And behold, for a couple he stated the completely opposite conclusion to what the research showed (from memory, one was on testosterone and aggression). So it wasn’t that more updated research disproved his conclusions – he wasn’t accurately reporting what the cited articles said.

    I haven’t trusted Dawkins since, and that was back in … ?1991. I’m pretty sure the version of The Selfish Gene I read was a revised version too.

  12. I just saw this crop in my my feed:

    Is this the AVfM Dean Esmay that’s mentioned in the paper? I’m assuming there could be more than one in the US.

  13. I don’t really understand how the MRA types can use certain acts as proof of the evilness and horribleness of women when they’re done TO men (sexual assault, domestic violence, paedophilia, etc) yet in the next breath try to minimise and excuse exactly the same actions when they’re done BY men. Like the same acts they consider immoral and unforgiveable when women are the perpetrators somehow become overblown, fraudulent or explicable when men (that they like) are the perpetrators.

    I guess it just goes to show that the important thing is all events prove women are bad and/or men are great.

  14. Is this the AVfM Dean Esmay that’s mentioned in the paper? I’m assuming there could be more than one in the US.

    Looks like it. I didn’t know he had a blog called “Dean’s World.” Somehow that is really funny to me.

  15. A Rose for Emily

    Nthing the notion that the causes of pedophilia are irrelevant to any discussion of child sexual abuse.

    I think it can be useful for establishing ways to spot them and prevent the abuse.

    TW: my own experience of abuse.

    For example, I was abused, between the ages of 5 and 7 or so. I don’t talk about it much because others’ abuse is so much worse; if it weren’t for the age of my abusers, much of what happened might be dismissed as the kind of curiosity-driven play one can find in that age group. But my abusers were teenagers, most of them were girls, and about half were my babysitters or otherwise entrusted with watching or caring for me.

    To me it’s meaningful to distinguish kinds of abusers, because I wasn’t abused by a parent, step-parent, parental boyfriend, older step-sibling, or abductor in a shopping mall. My parents were still married, only slightly negligent, and taught me not to take candy from strangers (which prevented me, more than once, from getting into cars with skeevy old men).

    One of my abusers was a teen girl who sometimes babysat me, from a family that was close to my mother’s family for generations. As best I can figure, interpreting a five-year-old’s memories today, she was unable to find a boyfriend, and for whatever reason taking me aside and making out with me–and teaching me to make “grown-up noises” while it happened–gave her an outlet. I don’t think she had any sexual attraction to me whatsoever, nor took pleasure (nor was even aware of) my discomfort, nor took pleasure in the exercise of power. I was an accessible, convenient outlet, and my feelings, or the possible effects on me, simply didn’t matter. She had to know that making out with a five-year-old is skeevy, but I honestly don’t know to what extent she was aware of the magnitude or consequences of her actions. I was just a live-action doll, that didn’t know enough not to cooperate.

    Other instances of abuse were mostly similar: much older kids engaging in sex play that might even have been age-appropriate for them, but were sure as hell not for me. Games of truth or dare that might have been fine if all the participants were 16 (for all I know), and might also have been fine if all the participants were 6 (again, for all I know), but were absolutely not fine for a mixed group of 6 and 16 year olds, or a group of 6 year olds with one 16 year old.

    At least one lesson learned from this (for me) was, keep an eye on kids who play with kids outside their peer group. These things happened not when she was babysitting me, but when she came over and just “played” with us. A group of 4-6 year olds playing with one (how old was she? I never actually knew exactly) 13-16-year old, especially playing “house” or “doctor,” merits a bit of scrutiny. I’ve seen it happen to others, and I’ve seen parents dismiss it as childish exploration. Maybe, if they were ALL five years old, but come on.

    I don’t know how the law would view what they did. It would probably dismiss it all as “kids playing doctor,” is my guess. The oldest abusers were around 18, and might have actually been charged with something. They would colloquially be called “pedophiles,” but in this case I think it’s UNhelpful to lump them with old men who lure children into vans. Precisely this caused my parents to overlook any warning signs, because a bunch of kids and teens playing games in a treehouse isn’t “pedophilia.” Right? Right?

    Not sure I care whether you phrase is that “pedophiles come in all ages,” etc., or if you use a different word for the kind of abuse I experienced. I tend to see benefit in making these distinctions, because it offers a larger repertoire of dangers to look out for.

    Sorry my post was so long.

  16. I have hated theamazingatheist for ages so that attitude doesn’t surprise me.

    I read Angry Harry’s antifeminist blog a while ago and there was definitely a preoccupation with f’g teen girls. They never talk about gay men being able to f 14yo boys legally, funnily! All they seem to care about is that they can stick their d***s into children and young teens, I doubt very much if the feelings of young people are of interest to them.

    Anti feminists do seem to be disproportionately interested in young teens, I have noticed that paedophiles are often raving about how much they hate women too. I think that the main thrust of their argument is that feminists are old bitter women who are jealous! Yes, of course THAT is what it is! We don’t actually give a toss about child/ teen safety, or for our daughters etc to be able to grow up in peace, without being molested, we just can’t bear the fact that these kids and teens are getting all the attention we so desperately crave!

  17. GrumpyOldNurse

    @ A Rose for Emily – I don’t think your post was too long. Quite the contrary, I’m impressed that you managed to squish that into such a succinct post! I also think your post was important, as it reminds us to not universalise abuse into one or two ‘scripts’ about what abuse is.

    Finally, I hope you are in a safe place now!

  18. A Rose for Emily,

    I feel the same way as you. My only experience of abuse was from two boys who were only a year older than me. I stopped feeling traumatized about it in my late teens. I’m not sure if that was a function of age or if it was because I started having consensual sexual experiences and abuse was no longer my only experience of any sexual activity.

    Maybe the power differential between the abuser and the victim is a big part of the level of trauma experienced? When I listen to/read other’s experiences it seems common for the victims of other kids to be much less traumatized.

    Of course, this is only a generalization based on what I’ve personally observed. I am in no way trying to invalidate anyone’s experience with trauma. Anyone who is more traumatized than I am by a similar experience has every right to be.

  19. @A Rose For Emily

    I’m sorry to hear about your experiences, and I’m also sorry for not being clear enough. Of course it makes sense to make those distinctions you speak of. I’m just saying that classifying pedophilia as a pathology is unimportant. I shouldn’t have made that sweeping statement because obviously not all abusers are alike in every respect.

  20. RE: WWTH

    I’ve now read a couple of comments on here about Adam Baldwin being a douche. I’m completely in the dark about this. What did he do?

    I don’t have any links, but I know he’s pretty vociferous about being anti-abortion and apparently he’s against same-sex marraige too. It is my opinion that any cis dude does NOT get to weigh in about how terrible abortion is. They don’t have to undergo it, they don’t have to ever make that decision, they can shut their damn mouths.

  21. I’m a gold star genocidal dictator. You can start baking me cookies now.

  22. Anti feminists do seem to be disproportionately interested in young teens, I have noticed that paedophiles are often raving about how much they hate women too. I think that the main thrust of their argument is that feminists are old bitter women who are jealous! Yes, of course THAT is what it is! We don’t actually give a toss about child/ teen safety, or for our daughters etc to be able to grow up in peace, without being molested, we just can’t bear the fact that these kids and teens are getting all the attention we so desperately crave!

    That particular mansplanation has always stunk to high heaven for me. Yeah, dudebro, I really want to go back to the good ol’ days when dirty old men were leaping out of the woodwork to leer at barely-budding me! And all those other times as a young inexperienced thing when I was harassed and left feeling somehow slimy, and cursing my own stupidity for not having prevented it. Gawd how I miss that attention! Why oh why did I have to grow up, gain confidence and experience, and so become Sexually Invisible to these punk-asses?

    [/sarcasm, in case anyone needed that]

    Anyhow. Hugs and genuine 24-karat gold stars to all the childhood sex-abuse survivors here. You deserve so much better than you got.

    And big fat boos to Dan Savage for trying to spin inactive pedophiles into some kind of cutesy catchphrase. That’s every bit as creepy as telling women they’re lousy partners for not being “game” about dropping their personal boundaries, and then some. Eurgh…

  23. kittehserf MOD

    Looks like it. I didn’t know he had a blog called “Dean’s World.” Somehow that is really funny to me.

    Does he sing Bohemian Rhapsody on it?

    Jo, LOL! Fresh batch of virtual cookies coming up.

  24. cassandrakitty

    One of the best things about becoming unambiguously an adult woman is that you become so much less visible to the men who you always wanted to avoid, yet become more visible to the men who you actually want to meet.

  25. 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.

    If that’s a sentiment that he saw on a message board, he should have gone to a different board. (And reported people from that board to the police.) From 1996-2008, I frequented a lot of message boards. I never saw anything on any of them where people wanted to lower the age of consent or where they promoted pedophilia.

    Children don’t have D cups.

    OMG, no. I started having to wear an adult bra (not a training bra) when I was 8. I was in third grade. I needed one when I was younger than that. It’s called precocious puberty. It’s the same thing that led to a five year old’s body’s ability to be pregnant. It’s slimeball logic that got her that way, though. Slimeball logic that’s just like his.

  26. WWTH:

    I’ve now read a couple of comments on here about Adam Baldwin being a douche. I’m completely in the dark about this. What did he do?

    Your question should be: what has the douchenugget not done? I have some caps of some stuff he’s said uploaded here. He’s also encouraged his followers to harass two or three friends of mine after they expressed that they were pro-choice. (He went after them after his followers pointed them out to him.) Some of those harassing followers are people who have had old Twitter accounts suspended for varying types of violent threats, specifically rape threats.

    If you try to look for tweets, you probably won’t find them unless he’s making them right as you go to look. He deletes his posts within hours or days of saying it. Then, if it’s brought up, he’ll say he never said it. (Thus caps are important.)

  27. Thanks for the link Janet. That was a whole lot worse than I imagined. Race traitor? Really? That’s just appalling. I hope this doesn’t ruin Jayne for me too much next time I watch Firefly or Serenity :( On the other hand, SPOILER ALERT FOR ANGEL (if anyone still cares all these years later) I’ll really be cheering next time I watch the Angel finale and see his character killed!

  28. Yeah, that was a jaw dropping moment.

  29. I’m not sure if anyone else left this here, but I thought it was relevant? I saw some people discussing some relevant things and thought it might be useful. I think I found it on the Kinsey Institute’s facebook page a few days ago. Sorry not to have more of an opinion or useful input, I’m always afraid of speaking over abuse victims.

  30. I went away and thought about this for a long time; I did change my opinions based on some of the feedback I got, I can see how a lot of what I said was either confusing or upsetting. I’ve been a reader and occasional poster for a long time now, and I feel like I have to say something if I’m going to stay part of the community, or else it will just always be “aren’t you the guy with the creepy pedophile rant?” every time I enter another topic. I’m not sure is thread necromancy is frowned on, but I’m posting here so as not to derail an ongoing conversation and so no one will have to read it who doesn’t want to. If I’m still sufficiently far from our community norms to be offensive, I’ll let it go. Anyway, here;s what I think; about an even blend of things I learned from posters here, things I said or tried to say, and things I didn’t realize I needed to say.

    Here’s my read on the realities:

    1. Some men who abuse or assault minors have a diagnosable paraphilia. Some, even most, don’t.
    2. This makes no difference to their victims. It also makes no difference morally. Regardless of why someone chooses to do evil, it’s still a choice that they made.
    3. Understanding the different kinds of child abusers is important for prevention efforts.
    4. For instance, someone with a diagnosable paraphilia may be able to be treated to remove or suppress their desires. That doesn’t make them good people; if the only reason you aren’t abusing children is that you don’t feel like it, you’re still a moral monster. But if it prevents abuse, it’s worth doing.
    5. Other child abusers target children because of opportunism and cultural license. Preventing them from abusing is a lot more complicated and requires a big culture shift.
    6. I believe most people who abuse prepubsecent children have diagnosable paraphilias
    7. I believe most people who abuse postpubsecent children don’t.
    8. Therefore it makes sense to distinguish between the abuse of young children by diagnosable individuals with little to no social support, and the abuse of older children by misogynists who aren’t targeting children specifically but acting from rape culture generally.

    On Rhetoric
    1. The word “pedophilia” is the name of a diagnosable condition.
    2. The name of a condition in the DSM doesn’t always match the meaning the word has in standard English, and it doesn’t have to. I’m not a linguistic prescriptivist.
    3. However, the word “pedophile” does in fact have a strong connotation of disagnosable disorder.
    4. As a general rule, we should not speculate about the mental health status of people who have done evil.
    5. Calling all child abusers pedophiles obscures the size of the child abuse problem; it reducers the child rapist to a mysterious (and rare) other in the same way that rape culture portrays the rapist as an exotic, threatening stranger rather than a friend or relative.
    6. Most perniciously, calling rapists pedophiles obscures the cultural problems that encourage abuse. It’s true that both a clinical condition and a cultural trope can be in play at once; something convinces diagnosable pedophiles that their victims deserve it or that their actions are justified. But focusing our attention on the minority of diagnosable abusers pulls focus away from rape culture as a whole.
    7. Therefore we should not call a child rapist or child abuser a pedophile unless we know or have strong evidence that they do have a clinical paraphilia. Otherwise, “child abuser” is more useful and more accurate.

    On TAA and MRAs
    1. When TAA and MRAs identify themselves as pedophiles, they have a reason for doing so.
    2. Before we buy into their framing, we should consider what that reason is.
    3. If their self-labeling is undeniably accurate, we have no choice but to follow them.
    4. But, if their labeling is questionable, we have no reason to let them define themselves.
    5. Some of the “new misogynists” label themselves as pedophiles because they think having a clinical condition will evoke sympathy.
    6. Some have labeled themselves “ephebephiles.” Occasionally they do this because they are diagnosable pedophiles and are trying to distance themselves from the term. Most probably don’t have any clinical condition but believe there is something to be gained by pretending to have one.
    7. Other new misogynists claim that feminists or mainstream people are inaccurately calling them pedophiles. They aren’t very coherent speakers, so they frequent adopt the label in some confused attempt at a reductio ad absurdum.
    8. In none of these cases is there anything to be gained by going along with their self-description.
    9. The Amazing Atheist specifically seems to be trying to sow confusion, alternatingly calling himself as pedophile and rejecting the label, using the word in ways that don’t conform to a dictionary definition, and generally doing everything possible to make discussion of child abuse incoherent in order to protect abusers.
    10. His own description makes it sound like he does not actually have a paraphilia.
    11. He describes his attraction to minors as having begun while he was a minor and gone away by itself as he aged. That’s not a clinical condition.
    12. Depending on the age difference and whether any of his stories actually happened, he may well have done something evil, illegal, or both.
    13. Still, being a child abuser doesn’t make him a pedophile, and nothing is gained by calling him one.

    I hope this perspective is in line with community values.

  31. *Sigh* Don’t you hate it when two content producers you like turn out to be on enemies?

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