Child advocate (dictionary)
|BoyWiki Dictionary: Child advocate (dictionary)|
¹ The definition of child advocacy involves standing up for the rights of children who cannot stand up for themselves or who have been mistreated in some way.
² A person who fights for the social and political rights of children.
A child advocate (or CA) is, in its original definition, an individual who promotes the interests of children by helping to provide for their growth and protection. This definition is, however, inadequate to explain the current usage of the expression and its connotations among boylovers.
Part of the difficulty is that the expression "child advocate" is entirely self-adopted -- that is to say, unlike professional terms such as "social worker" or "child psychologist," no certification or documentation of any sort is required for anyone to call themselves a "child advocate". This means that it is very easy for any individuals to call themselves child advocates, even if they have no interest whatsoever in promoting the interest of children or helping to provide for their growth. Thus, any discussion of this term must distinguish between what this expression is purported to mean, and what it seems to indicate in actual practice.
Ostensibly, a child advocate works towards the betterment of children in some specific form. Some may do so by working toward the cause of children's rights. Others may work to protect children from the harm that can arise from abuse. And others may dedicate themselves to arming parents and other important adults in children's lives with information about possible threats to the welfare of their children. In all cases, the goal of these activities is supposedly the best interest of the children. Using the this definition, of course, most boylovers are also child advocates.
Most child advocates, like the rest of society, hold a dim view of boylove and boylovers. The rise of online boylove communities was followed by the rise of a subclass of self-proclaimed "child advocates" who have decided the best interest of children means the eradication of boylovers. These individuals base their actions on sweeping and unfounded generalizations about boylove and the boylove community, such as equating boylovers with child molesters, stating that all boylovers are (or are trying to be) involved in sexual relationships with boys, or otherwise assuming that the concept of boylove is in and of itself harmful to boys.
Instead of helping children directly, this type of child advocate makes it their goal to fight against boylovers online, sometimes to obsessive extremes. People in the online boylove community are generally familiar with child advocates who engage directly with boylovers by participating in the forums as trolls, or are working tirelessly trying to out boylovers who communicate online or in real life. Boylovers are often warned against this, and urged to be careful in maintaining their anonymity. These child advocates, often humorously referred to as "sadvocates" by some boylovers, are ultimately out to harm boylovers (and sometimes their young friends directly or by consequence) in the name of "child advocacy."
In general, it can be assumed that when a boylover uses the term "child advocate," he is most likely referring to the more negative connotation of the term. This usage is so common in the community that when a boylover wishes to refer to the more positive pure definition of the expression, he often has to qualify himself by stating explicitly, "genuine child advocate" or some other affected construct. This should not be taken as a dismissal of the importance of those who are truly advocating the welfare of children, but rather as the unfortunate consequence of the bad name which the trolls and knee-jerk reactionaries have given to all child advocates.
When others (including child advocates themselves) use the term, one cannot assume so readily exactly to whom it refers, and responsible readers will search for other clues from the context (or, often, from the history of the person writing) to make a judgment call as to which connotation we should attach to the term.
In informal usage, especially on the chat forums, this term is often abbreviated "CA" (which should not be confused with El Castillo Azul, a Free Spirits chat forum in Spanish which is also abbreviated "CA").