A Modern History of “Groomer” Politics

Source: Reason
by Jesse Walker

“There was a time when a groomer was a predatory grown-up preparing to molest a kid. Then Christopher Rufo, the activist who did more than anyone else to inject the term into today’s politics, redefined it as a ‘spectrum of behavior.’ Children, he tweeted in 2022, ‘can be groomed into a sexual identity, groomed into an ideological system, and, in some cases, yes, groomed for abuse.’ The rhetorical aim was clear: It was a way to raise the specter of the child molester without having to demonstrate that any specific person is a child molester. That specter has long haunted our culture wars. Whenever a sexual minority’s legal rights or social status seems to be increasing, someone is certain to raise the alarm that Pedo Power will surely be next.” (for publication 02/23)