Fierce Invalids Question #13 - Cutting to the Chase

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Fierce Invalids Question #13 - Cutting to the Chase

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 am

OK. No more beating around the bush. Do you view Switters as a pedophile? :shocked:
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Unread postby Larkwoodgirl » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:38 am

NO! I saw him with massive contradictions and conflicting desires, but never as a pedophile.
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Unread postby deppdreamer » Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:11 pm

I vote no. A man who enjoys entertaining his fantasies, to be sure. But Suzy is not 8 or 9 years old, not technically a child. And, again, in the end Switters does not act on his desire (at least by the end of the story.)

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:12 pm

I wouldn't have thought of him as a pedophile--just a normal male who tends to be attracted to younger, less experienced women. However, I’m going to be devil’s advocate here. A friend of mine (who hasn't read the book BTW) said that she thinks what classifies him as a pedophile is his reason for liking young girls. Switters shares with us that his attraction to Suzy began when she was trying on training bras—so at a young age. He also shares that he likes young girls in Bangkok. And finally, he lets us in on his obsession with purity and innocence. It’s this focus that leads my friend to believe he is a pedophile.
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Unread postby Gypsylee » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:34 pm

I vote no. He was attracted, but did not act and never did act on his desires. Who knows whats in the minds of men, unless it is verbalized or written on the page. It just so happens that we have access to his thoughts.
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Re: Fierce Invalids Question #13 - Cutting to the Chase

Unread postby luvdepp » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:38 pm

Liz wrote:OK. No more beating around the bush. Do you view Switters as a pedophile? :shocked:

When I think of pedophile, I think of a person who abuses children regardless of the harm that it will inflect on them. I think Switters had desires and urges, but also knew about the consequences and therefore, didn't act on them with Suzy. I think he probably felt that the young girls in Thailand were a different matter entirely, at least in his mind.

I'm sure you didn't phrase that as a double-entendre on purpose, did you Liz??? LOL :eyebrow:
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Re: Fierce Invalids Question #13 - Cutting to the Chase

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:36 pm

luvdepp wrote:
Liz wrote:OK. No more beating around the bush. Do you view Switters as a pedophile? :shocked:

When I think of pedophile, I think of a person who abuses children regardless of the harm that it will inflect on them. I think Switters had desires and urges, but also knew about the consequences and therefore, didn't act on them with Suzy. I think he probably felt that the young girls in Thailand were a different matter entirely, at least in his mind.

I'm sure you didn't phrase that as a double-entendre on purpose, did you Liz??? LOL :eyebrow:


Moi? :blush:
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Unread postby axelsgirl » Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:07 pm

I don't think Switters is a pedophile, Suzy is a teen and did her share of flirting with him if i remember correctly. I know that sounds terrible and no means no and all that, but I believe Suzy knew what effect she was having on him. Teens have sex , it's a fact of life. As for the Thailand girls maybe they don't have a choice, maybe this is how they survive, how sad. I have expereienced child abuse at the hands of a pedophile and it was nothing like Switters and Suzy.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:33 pm

axelsgirl wrote:I don't think Switters is a pedophile, Suzy is a teen and did her share of flirting with him if i remember correctly. I know that sounds terrible and no means no and all that, but I believe Suzy knew what effect she was having on him. Teens have sex , it's a fact of life. As for the Thailand girls maybe they don't have a choice, maybe this is how they survive, how sad. I have expereienced child abuse at the hands of a pedophile and it was nothing like Switters and Suzy.


Axelsgirl, that is a horrible thing! I apologize if we have opened old wounds for you. Your input has added a dimension to this discussion that was not anticipated, and I appreciate your candor. :-/
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Unread postby axelsgirl » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:05 am

Liz, I didn't mean to put a damper on the discussion! This happened like over 40 years ago , you work through it and get over it eventually. I just wanted to make the point that Suzy was a teen and knew what effect she had on Switters and he didn't act on his urges.
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:08 am

axelsgirl wrote:Liz, I didn't mean to put a damper on the discussion! This happened like over 40 years ago , you work through it and get over it eventually. I just wanted to make the point that Suzy was a teen and knew what effect she had on Switters and he didn't act on his urges.
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You didn't. I'm just concerned about you. I'm glad you are OK with it.
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:45 am

I have already posted some of my thoughts about Switters and Suzy in another thread.

I vote no, too, maybe because I have the stereotypical picture of the guy in the trenchcoat lurking outside the schoolyard. I am sure that is too simplistic, given that many cases are actually incest. Icky! I escaped the one attempt on me as a child, I cannot imagine being trapped in such an experience! I think of a pedophile as someone who is into sex with very young children with absolutley no regard for the child involved, certainly no interest in them as people. Much as Switters thought of himself as some sort of sexual dynamo, I think when he was with a woman he saw her as more than an object.

Getting sexual release from fingering Suzy's training bra was preferable to using her body, if we are considering her to be a child and untouchable. Some may find that kind of behavior a little "sick", but it didn't involve anyone but himself.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:40 am

I have been going back and forth with this question since yesterday. It's kind of like being a little bit pregnant :-? Switters was attracted to Suzy and she certainly led him on. He cared enough about her and the customs of society to at least feel guilty about his attraction to her. On the other hand, when he was in a culture like Thailand, where that sort of behavior is more common, he did give in to his desires. So was he or wasn't he? I'm still not sure. :eyebrow:
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Unread postby suec » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:21 pm

Yes, I think it is rather close to call. On the one hand, at the time of his being sent on his errand to the Amazon, Suzy is 16: not a child and at the legal age of consent - in the UK. I don't know about America? However, when he first sees her, she is 12. But the context of it vindicates him somewhat. She is half-naked and he is immediately informed of her puberty at the meeting, which has got be the demarkation line, really... but still, only 12. On the other hand, she responds to him as a woman, on the whole.

I've been dithering over this one. But I'll come off the fence and vote no.
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:10 pm

Well, I'm never sure about anything, it seems. I spend a lot of time on that fence. But I vote NO, which I think I've explained in other posts in other threads. Even though he has a thing for purity and innocence, I agree with Nebraska and Axelsgirl that he is not technically a pedophile in the classic sense--that is, a molester of young children.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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