I didn't want to throw junk into the kinks or childhood abuse topics, so I decided to make a new topic for this...
I think, in a way, the pedophile stuff is sorta like a witch hunt, in some ways. People get so paranoid about it that non-pedophiles probably end up being accused of things they didn't do.
Sometimes I'm afraid to look in the direction of a little kid because someone might think "oh no, he's looking this way! that must mean he's a pedophile!" Even though I'm not one, I just wouldn't want to be accused of such a thing. That can ruin lives. I mean, if you're looking at a car pass by and there just happens to be a kid there, then you're not even looking at the kid really, but a very protective parent might think so. Anyway, it's sorta just if the parents are obviously protective to the extreme.
I used to think a thought such as "aww... that little kid is cute." (at least they can be when they're not being annoying or breaking stuff) made someone a pedophile. I almost wondered how so many people got away with it and why it was suddenly a big deal. (I don't know why, but I never noticed pedophiles in the news before that.) I was only 11... so I just didn't get it.
Also when I was 11....
I sorta had crushes on girls that were as much as 3-4 years younger than me. (As well as my age and sometimes girls a year or two older. though I thought of sexual intercourse as weird and gross, actually. I kinda hoped that I'd find a girlfriend, but never have sex in my whole life, I guess. When I was about 10, anyway. Before that I still thought girls were weird. I was very naive about sexuality for a while, I suppose.) So at some point, I was afraid I was a pedophile because I liked some girls that were younger than me.... just cause I heard all this stuff on the news about "pedophiles" and didn't quite understand it.
Now, about some things pedophile-related....
Sex offender databases
Once someone ends up on one, people get suspicious of them. What they did could have had nothing to do with pedophilia at all. There are actually some really unfair ways to end up branded a sex offender too. I think people have a right to know who is dangerous and who isn't, but something is wrong with the system.
Cartoon/drawn porn with children. Erotic stories with children.
This is a gray area. It doesn't harm any kids at all, so it shouldn't be illegal. They say it can lead to that for some pedophiles though. However, I think that's entering the dangerous area of "thought crime"..... which is definitely something that should not exist. Also, just because someone likes a murder mystery doesn't mean they want to kill people. Pedophilia could be a good attribute for a villain/antagonist in a story. Likewise, what about a character that looks like a kid, but is much older? Someone could create a fictional character of a fictional race and say "oh he looks like a kid, but he's actually much older." Balok from Star Trek's Corbomite Maneuver... Shippo from Inuyasha (debatable, since he's very child-like).... Who knows how many other such characters exist?
I know pedophilia is DEFINITELY a BIG problem though. It just seems that people are too quick to point fingers in this world. Not only that, but then they'll not notice danger when it's really there. The same goes for lots of other issues too. And sometimes bad things still happen when you're careful. I'm sure it all confuses the kids too... because I was pretty confused.
Personally, I don't hate pedophiles unless they act on their urges. I agree that purchasing child porn should be illegal, but I won't necessarily hate a person for being a pedophile unless he/she actually does something terrible to a kid (that's where the anger really kicks in... hard to forgive things like that). I might not want to hang around with them too much though... and that makes me feel kinda hypocritical after defending them in this topic.
There is a difference between a pedophile and an abuser. An abuser has actually done something horrible. A pedophile may have thoughts and never act on them. It's kinda like how a square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle doesn't have to be a square... sorta.