A really great read in Counterpunch

...accompanied by reminders from our past about the danger of losing perspective and rushing to judgment. I leave this without further comment. Counterpunch pretty much says it for me.

The Great American Sex Panic of 2017
by WILLIAM KAUFMAN

“So yes—prosecute the rapists and pedophiles and let them suffer in jail. But you will excuse me if I stand aside from the stampede of outrage about Al Franken’s wayward tongue or even Donald Trump’s juvenile frat-house boasts while the world teeters on the brink. The scale of values of this country’s liberal elites, and the issues that fuel and exhaust their capacity for outrage, border on moral dementia. Their vaunted “values” lead us not to virtue and to spiritual renewal, but to the nauseating sanctimony of the custodians of a charnel house—to the abyss.”

Day-care sex-abuse hysteria

After this meeting, more children began to disclose stories similar to the first boy's. Parents, even some who had not been present at the controversial meeting, began noticing emotional and physical disturbances and sexualized play among many of the children who had been at Fells Acres. Children started to tell stories of abuse in a "magic room" by a clown or a robot. One girl said Gerald had penetrated her anus with a twelve-inch knife. Other children claimed that they had been raped by a clown, tied to trees while naked, photographed, and forced to watch animals being killed. Eventually, 41 children aged three to six years old made accusations of abuse against the Amiraults. Gerald was charged with molesting 19 children, Violet and Cheryl, his sister, with abusing 10. [link]

Families are still living the nightmare of false memories of sexual abuse
Chris French

One serious problem appears to be that many people mistakenly believe that the false memory controversy is "yesterday's news". They are aware that there was a huge increase in such allegations back in the 1980s and 1990s. They may even be aware that many professionals and academics have reacted against such claims, most notably Elizabeth Loftus, whose pioneering work in this area has done more to increase our understanding of the true nature of false memories than any other scientist. But it is simply not the case that this is a dead issue.

Although the incidence of new cases is much reduced from when the controversy was at its peak, new cases do still come to light with depressing frequency, as the files of the BFMS can attest. Furthermore, the fallout from the peak period is still very much with us. There are still many families throughout the world being torn apart by these accusations, many of whom will sadly never achieve any kind of reconciliation.

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Comments

dkmich's picture

Just saying everything has to have perspective.

As the article in Counterpunch points out, we and our campuses are turning into a body of snowflakes demanding to be kept safe at any cost from words, thoughts, bad feelings, negative experiences, terrorists and dying while all around us the world is being looted, raped, killed, sacked, jailed, and bombed into the ground.

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studentofearth's picture

@dkmich @dkmich There are always individuals who enjoy crossing the line. Lines are often set according to age group, social surrounding and workplace. Some would call it teaching boundaries of acceptable behavior and actions, while learning to judge the reactions of the intended audience (victim in some cases). It is not the type of act but the context when it was performed, who is the intended recipient and power relationship.

As the left blogger Michael J. Smith points out, “Not all acts are equally grave—an off-color joke is not as bad as a grope, and a grope is not as bad as a rape.” Then what interest of sanity or reason is served by this reckless lumping together of flicks of the tongue and forcible rapes into the single broad-brush term “sexual misconduct,” as though there is no important difference between an oafish pat or crude remark at an office party and a gang rape?

The message of Bush's groping women during photo shoots, Mark Halprin's cornering subordinates, Charlie Rose's behavior and Franklin's "funny" photo while the women was resting teach us a significant lesson. Each of them are capable of doing physical acts to another human being that makes the person uncomfortable or frighted. Not sure if Trump has a fully functioning filter to assess if his actions are appropriate or not.

These are the folks that influence, communicate, initiate and continue our government's actions to us and the world.

all around us the world is being looted, raped, killed, sacked, jailed, and bombed into the ground.

Maybe our criteria should be high and tolerance low. Our current method my party vs yours has not been working very well.

(edited spelling error)

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My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@studentofearth I too am deeply disturbed, as a feminist and a rape survivor, by the tendency to take all inappropriate sexual acts, from consensual ones through offensive words through sexual harassment to pedophilia and rape, and push them through a media sieve until they are one homogenized substance. It appears to me to eradicate most, if not all, the work done by second-wave feminists in the 70s and 80s to clarify this issue, and re-focuses attention on the abuser, not the abused, and sex as the problem rather than lack of consent as the problem.

And words, unless they are specific, direct threats, should not be dealt with in the same way as deeds.

Just as an aside, I am horrified that there is a movement in law school not to use the word "rape" because it might upset some student. How in the hell is that feminism?

I put it to you that feminism is being reshaped and tailored to suit other interests than those of ordinary, non-wealthy, not-politically-well-connected women. We are being dispossessed of our inheritance of struggle, and the language of that inheritance is being shaped for the pursuit of other goals. Worse, this brave new feminism not only does violence to the movement we had, it also provides for an excellent backlash, which is already beginning, and I'm beginning to think that was part of the point. You might think one can't blame a cultural phenomenon for the resulting backlash. But when it's being deployed by the corporate media, to quote a phrase, "Yes, we can."

The focus on men's sexual impropriety, rather than on the violated basic human right to choose of the target, has provided for a wonderful boys-must-be-boys backlash, and it's already beginning. It even infects the article dkmich has cited here, making it difficult to use the thing for all its incredibly helpful points--and there are many, for instance the example of what's happening in NYC law schools, which would have left any first- or second-wave feminist filled with horror. It all goes fine till he starts talking about chaining Eros. Before we condemn him for identifying the vital erotic spirit of life with Al Franken's wandering hands, a moment's reflection should make it clear that the firestorm of Me, Too stories have been presented by the corporate media in just such a way to create this precise backlash.

Words cannot describe how disgusting I find it to see the justice movements I grew up actually revering transformed into a corporate puppet show designed, not to make a better society, but to set as many people as possible at each others' throats while making the corporate press look good.

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11 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

studentofearth's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal voices do sometimes lead to the unexpected.

Feminism was not expressed the same in all areas of the country in the 70's and 80's, probably the same problem today. In my part of the world the situations being played out in individual lives and smaller isolated communities was not relevant to the movement. All effort should be at the legislative and legal levels. Activities to support individuals to prevent or recover from abuse were not relevant.

Over time it has become clear to me why my faith in the letter of the law and legislative bodies is not high. The use of statue of limitations and closing court records has been effective of suppress individual voices from public view.

In the 1990's Oregonians did re-elect our serial sexual abuser, Bob Packwood because he was effective at achieving legislative goals.

In 2015, the Senate Finance Committee that he had once chaired called him to Capitol Hill to talk about his role in overhauling the tax code in 1986.

Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, called Packwood a "great former leader" during his introduction that only subtly hinted at the former senator's comeuppance.

"I believe in redemption," Hatch said. "I believe that you don't judge people for mistakes in the past, you judge them for what they are doing today and frankly he did a terrific job of working on tax reform."

Respected by both political parties.

In the middle of a Friday morning speech championing women's issues, Vice President Joe Biden offered warm words for a senator who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.

According to attendees, Biden singled out former Sen. Bob Packwood of Oregon as the sort of Republican who used to be reasonable on issues like expanding voter access. Packwood was reportedly accused by 10 women of unwanted sexual harassment and ultimately resigned in 1995.

The public discussion cracked open the beginning of another story of political and legal suppression in the career of past Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt which fully broke into the public awareness in 2004.

Powerful public figures are often the subject of whispering campaigns, rumors and outright lies. But, during the course of WW's investigation, clear evidence emerged of the alleged sexual relationship, as well as a three-decade-long effort to cover it up.

A number of sources say part of the reason she finally stepped forward was the coverage of the sexual-harassment claims against Oregon Sen. Bob Packwood and the willingness of his accusers to tell their stories.

On May 7, 2004, Portland newspaper the Oregonian, ran a shocking letter written by former Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt in which he admitted to repeatedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Corporate medial is a tool just like law, legislation and public opinion. Just because a tool is currently being used against us doesn't mean it can not occasionally be used by us for our objectives. It is how we respond in the personal conversations with those around us that also shaped the discussion.

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My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@studentofearth In the 90s, maybe. In fact it has become increasingly difficult to use the corporate media in the way you describe over the course of the 21st century. I'm glad there was one case, the one you cite, in which it did some good.

If you want to continue dealing with them, and attempting to use them, of course that's up to you. My view is that they will always use us more than we can use them, given that they are the ones who have almost all the control over what is presented and how.

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Love the way you nail things! Great points, as usual.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

zoebear's picture

@dkmich

Not saying anyone is lying. Just saying everything has to have perspective

But let me just leave it on the table.

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Lookout's picture

My partner suggests it is that women finally feel liberated to accuse predators. I don't know. I suggested all the new allegations are meant to dilute Roy Moore's scandal. Of course I do have an Alabama-centric view.

I think men have abused and used women perhaps since the species began. But suddenly it is news....and all this after we elect a self acclaimed pussy grabber as corporation and chief.

If only it was plastered on the news how corporations abuse and use citizens, and how they use sex and predation in ads to promote their products. Or perhaps how promoting war in Libya has created a sex slave market.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/african-union-calls-libya-slave-market-probe-...

All in all it seems like another distracting ploy.

Thanks for the counterpunch piece...

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22 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
we are shocked by the news that politicians are sexually harassing interns.

It doesn't last long, but it'll be back.

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CS in AZ's picture

@gjohnsit

Such a relief to understand that, as Hillary would say, change will never, ever happen.

We must allow abuse to continue forever. Can't expect anything to improve. It's hopeless. Time to give up.

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@CS in AZ
You should fight crime, but to think that crime will ever be completely eliminated is silly.

And no, I don't compare it to universal health care.

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k9disc's picture

I could see some kind of Black Swan type response. You know, something like the "values voters" who are going to vote for Roy Moore to save their morality.

I'm not sure how I feel about this topic, but I agree it ain't gonna bring about the systemic changes we need.

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12 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

thanatokephaloides's picture

@k9disc

I'm not sure how I feel about this topic, but I agree it ain't gonna bring about the systemic changes we need.

Indeed, the case that this repeated drumbeat of sex scandals exists to draw the attention of the 99% away from demanding the changes we need is a strong one.

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

SnappleBC's picture

@thanatokephaloides

Indeed, the case that this repeated drumbeat of sex scandals exists to draw the attention of the 99% away from demanding the changes we need is a strong one.

That is obvious on the face of it but so what? As much as I fully recognize neoliberalism and the oligarchy as the #1 problem of our times, I see no reason to put this particular bit of barbarity aside. If now is a moment when, for whatever reasons, we can actually make some headway on rape culture then I'm getting in that boat and rowing.

I can walk & chew gum at the same time.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

thanatokephaloides's picture

@SnappleBC

That is obvious on the face of it but so what? As much as I fully recognize neoliberalism and the oligarchy as the #1 problem of our times, I see no reason to put this particular bit of barbarity aside. If now is a moment when, for whatever reasons, we can actually make some headway on rape culture then I'm getting in that boat and rowing.

I can walk & chew gum at the same time.

If you think I disagree with this, you misunderstand me.

My concern is that this nasty barbarity will be manipulated by the MSM and their 0.1% masters to grant it its 15 minutes of fame to yet further divide the 99%, and then will be swept back under the rug as soon as its usefulness for divide et impera has passed. This would constitute a snatching away of the very justice these women seek at the very moment it would appear to be in their grasp. This is yet another atrocity, and it remains to us to make sure it doesn't happen and that our solidarity remains undivided.

Yes, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We need to make the powers that be do likewise.

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16 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides @thanatokephaloides is constructed to create a specific effect on the minds of its viewers and readers. It is perception management, no different from pro wrestling bookers who present certain wrestlers in a certain way to elicit a particular response from the crowd. This tendency has always been present in the press, but used to be mitigated by the presence of professional standards enforced by the competition of other news agencies (you wouldn't want your newspaper revealed as manipulative, deceitful, hypocritical or cruel when there are 49 other corporations any given reader might go to for their news). In the age of the Great Media Cartel, there are no mitigating factors. The press tells us things to manipulate us, full stop. The exceptions are very few, mostly older journalists, survivors from a previous era, like Jane Mayer and Robert Parry. In an era where even Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! have fallen and started gibbering Clinton 2016 talking points, it's as well to keep in one's mind, always, the fact that when you turn on the corporate media, you are listening to manipulative con artists.

A good con artist uses the truth the way an average con artist uses a lie. It's as well to remember that, too. We are meant to be swayed by the truth and tragedy of the raw content, and ignore the fellow harvesting that pain and turning it into a useful tool for himself.

My concern is that this nasty barbarity will be manipulated by the MSM and their 0.1% masters to grant it its 15 minutes of fame to yet further divide the 99%,

The motives of this media circus:

1)To divide the country up in yet another way and get the 99% screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.

2)To take focus off of the ways that the establishment is slowly murdering us all, and to make them, in particular their corporate media tools, look like the good guys, basically surfing the pain of sexual abuse survivors like a wave

3)To turn feminism into one more form of controlled opposition. The idea is for the corporate media to take control of feminist discourse so that any feminism that gets traction in this country, from here on out, will be a feminism controlled by the establishment. (A similar thing is being done to movements for racial justice.)

4)To create the conditions for a backlash. They need two sides screaming at each other, and the perpetrator/predators won't cut it. They need two credible sides screaming at each other, otherwise not enough people will buy into it. This is where redefining the problem of sexual violation comes in: focus on the sexual, not on the violation. If you focus on the violation, you might wander into discursive areas where the idea of basic human rights lives. Focus on the sex, and you can create a backlash of boys-will-be-boys. Boys-will-be-boys is about to get more traction in this culture than it's had since the early 1970s. And when it does, there will be nowhere for women to go to express their opposition to that backlash except into the arms of the corporate press and their politician allies. It's coming. Hold onto your hats.

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12 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

when you said,


The press tells us things to manipulate us, full stop.

Later, you ponder,

The question then becomes: Cui bono?

Could it be anything but the corporatist MSM acting on orders of the One Percent/Deep State to try to deep-six DT in 2020--if not earlier?

IMO, the timeline makes it the only plausible explanation for the MSM's new found 'morality.'

(This comment is not intended in any way to make light of any of the allegations. BTW, I handled EEO cases on the (military) installation level which involved sexual discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

Anyhoo, let's not forget, since DT's election--which was after charges of sexual assault/inappropriate conduct from close to a dozen women were levied against him--there's been a very public, flat-out sexual assault suit/case tried on the national stage, which involved a TeeVee icon, Bill Cosby.

Where were all the MSM talking heads/moralists during Cosby's several-months-long trial?

(Relatively speaking) Nowhere to be found, if I recall!

IMO, the One Percent/DS has begun to panic that maybe DT can't be nailed by the 'Russia' kerfuffle, so when the Weinstein accusations began to pop up, they decided to attempt to create an environment that would be conducive to defeating him in 2020 (on grounds of sexual harassment/assault)--if not leading to impeachment proceedings, sooner.

So, the sad part is--once the MSM/PtB realize their goal(s), I expect most of their (manufactured) outrage to dissipate.

And, I further suspect that we'll gradually see a reversion 'back to the status quo.'

[Edited: Corrections - 'stage' not 'state'; Added sentence.]

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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10 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

janis b's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Often I think whatever the news features is just an orchestrated distraction from reality; the next episode of a Soap or Political tv drama series that has the public addicted. Still, I carry some hope that the underlying value in its attention might be recognised and make a difference in ways that matter; because in some ways I think it does. But it is quite a lot of garbage to sort through. Thankfully, there are many independent voices to consider.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@janis b

Pleasantry

Mollie

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6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Raggedy Ann's picture

Really? We're going to minimize women again? Women speak up and, of course, what's the big deal - STFU, already - it's been going on since time began so why complain now?

I hope it becomes a cacophony of voices until men figure out it's not okay to continually diminish women into mere objects here for their pleasure.

I may be alone in this, but so be it. At 65, I have lived through countless "sexual harassment" scenarios but heaven forbid I point out my uncomfortableness. I am not a "snowflake wanting to be protected from big bad wolves.

When will it end? Will it end?

It's not ok. It's never okay. Get a grip, murika, and knock it off. Let's work at allowing women to be human beings free from harassment.

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32 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Raggedy Ann Thank you.

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20 users have voted.

@TB mare I thought that article was scolding us for not keeping our discussion on things that really matter to that male author.
There have been times in my 65 years of life when homosexuality could not be discussed, or debating whether blacks should be entering in the front door of the cafe', or atheism, and things did get better when issues were brought into the open.
Global warming and war, global economic imperialism are examples of a pecking order of importance, and women who die as a result of those things without ever being sexually harassed will still be dead.
They should have their say right up until the end.

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zoebear's picture

@Raggedy Ann

And I echo Caitlyn Johnstone sentiment when she said STOP FUCKING POLITICIZING SEXUAL PREDATORS.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear We aren't receiving the stories directly from the women abused. Their stories are being delivered as raw materials to the media factory, which is grinding them into a paste and making them into something like political plastique. And while politicians and media figures are among the targets, the more important targets are you and I.

There is nothing, literally nothing, the corporate media could say to me that I would trust, after last year. I reject them as an ally. I don't believe their sympathy, and it would be a cold day in hell before I entrusted them with my story.

If my rapist were a public figure, and I wanted to share my story, it would be right here. Because I know JtC and the others have no interest in manipulating my story for their own purposes.

We either trust the corporate press, or we don't. It's that simple.

If we want to decide to trust them because they are using our words and our stories and a sort of version of our moral beliefs on the air, then we will have lost our focus on acting and thinking independently of them. That would be a shame.

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14 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

However, we don't need the media to tell us we live with sexual predators in our real lives. I am responding to the binary arguments that have shown up here, not the media, where people who have been victims of sexual predators have argued with others here about what constitutes sexual harassment, and who is at fault. Fine. We're adults, we can disagree. But when this essay came out linking a CounterPunch article quoting dubious studies done on a day care center child molestation case, it had nothing to do with what the media hyping. And frankly, it got personal so maybe I better refrain from commenting further because I don't think I'll be able to do that in a detached and "logical" manner.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear I am not OK at all with the discourse around "false memory." I basically just don't go there, or discuss it at all, so I'm with you on that one. In fact, I didn't even read that particular article. The article I'm discussing is the first article dkmich linked, by William Kaufman.

"False memory" is to me as Israel/Palestine is to a lot of other people. It's just not worth entering that particular discursive landscape.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

From stories where the terrain is too rocky, but after reading this thread, I may change my mind and begin researching what is behind the oppo research to subvert pedophilia rings with false media noise and write about it myself.

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divineorder's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Pfffft.

No way I trust the corporate media to be impartial actors with this info.

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@divineorder Thanks, d.o. There's at least two essays I need to write on this stuff, both of which will be highly unpleasant to write.

For now, I'm taking a break and playing a computer game. Because eew, this toxic shit is gross.

You can't imagine--or maybe you can--how it feels to me to watch corporate assholes use the topic of rape--carefully re-jiggered to serve their interests--to manipulate people. The fact that they're using women's true stories actually makes it worse. At least if they made it up, they wouldn't be using real people's pain for their nasty machine.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

SnappleBC's picture

@Raggedy Ann

This may, in fact, be the first thing the Democrats have gotten all enraged about that I'm actually on board with. Note that I really don't care about a few Weinsteins here and there when compared to things like continuous war and class war. But I see this recent spate of #MeToo's as different. For whatever reasons, I think this round has laid bare the foundations of rape culture.

I just think it's too bad that the Democrats don't really care about That. As always, they are more interested in virtue signalling.

I'll tell you what I also think, however. I absolutely want to listen to claims of sex crimes. But it'll be a cold day in hell that I start believing the accusers in the absence of a trial. I do believe the accusers... enough to have a real investigation and THEN go to trial. I'm against anyone "stepping down" unless it's to go to prison.

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13 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Raggedy Ann @Raggedy Ann @Raggedy Ann There's no way I can accept the corporate media frenzy as some kind of genuine concern over rape or sexual abuse. There have been too many instances of them being absolutely on the other side on this issue. Including, actually, the Lewinsky scandal, the media coverage of which managed to both attack Bill Clinton and rip Monica Lewinsky to shreds at the same time.

The corporate media has not been a friend to women, abused women, rape victims, or feminism since I was a little girl in the 70s.

So, as I said, there's no way I can accept the latest corporate media frenzy as some kind of genuine concern over the abuse of women. (In fact, it would be difficult for me to accept anything the corporate media does as genuine concern over anybody who has less than a couple 100 million in accumulated wealth).

I therefore believe that said frenzy is there not because the corporate media have decided they care about ending women's pain and oppression, but for another reason.

The question then becomes: Cui bono?

Given the actions the corporate media have taken in the past, both towards activists against sexism and racism, against Black people, indigenous people, and women of all colors, and, well, just against people generally, I think it's probable that the motive for this corporate media frenzy is not in the interests of anybody I care about. Probably the frenzy is being generated in the interest of people who have been shitting on me all my life--after all, that's who owns the corporate press.

That's the way it goes when the establishment has decided to use its media and political power to take over one's fights.

So what if I don't want to minimize women's pain--but also don't want the establishment's hand up my butt one more time? What if I don't want to be their puppet? Because trust me, I don't. Been there, done that, have no interest in returning.

This is the conundrum that everybody of good will faces now that the establishment has decided to grab our various fights for justice and use them as its personal playtoys. You can criticize the establishment---OR you can join in the fights against racism and sexism. You can't do both because the establishment itself is fighting against racism and sexism. The only way out of this conundrum is to realize that the establishment fights against racism and sexism are, at some fundamental level, fake: tailor-made to benefit the powerful and no one else. The discourse of racial justice has been changed to suit the powerful in several ways, most prominently the fact that it's no longer possible to talk about how racism relates to poverty without being attacked as racist. The discourse of feminism has been altered to suit the powerful in that it's becoming increasingly difficult to make the important social distinction between improper sexual relations between consenting adults and rape. Consent itself seems to be disappearing from the equation, even as the stories of rape and sexual harassment multiply, because even as the rape stories are told, the problem with rape is being redefined as men being improperly sexual, rather than women being denied their basic humanity, which includes a right to choose what to do with one's own body. The improper behavior of rapists is thus redefined as being inappropriately sexual rather than violating the most basic human right, and thus treating the rape victim as less than human. Sexist and racist words and images are being reframed as just as bad or worse than racist or misogynist deeds. For instance, George W. Bush, who violated the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of Black people repeatedly, has become a good guy fighting the good fight against racism because he doesn't like Donald Trump's racist public statements; we have been presented with a similar portrayal of Hillary Clinton, who has had a terrible effect, through war, on women overseas and also a terrible effect, through Clintonian economic policy, on women here at home, to say nothing of the fact that she publicly came out and informed the Republicans on Capitol Hill that, as President, she would be willing to adopt a pro-life position. (Those are not the specific words she said, but that is what "willing to compromise with Republicans on abortion as long as we protect the life of the mother" means).

The brass ring for the establishment appears to be dividing the left up into opposing camps, one of which analyzes and criticizes the establishment, and the various ways it is slowly murdering us, and the other of which fights against racism and sexism. The aim here is to sever the connections between the fight for women's justice and racial justice and the fights against general tyranny, corruption, and abuse: the main connection being severed being, of course, the concept of human rights, which is being retired.

As long as we fight over this, rather than rejecting the frame we are being offered, we play their game.

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22 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

There's no way I can accept the corporate media frenzy as some kind of genuine concern over rape or sexual abuse. There have been too many instances of them being absolutely on the other side on this issue. Including, actually, the Lewinsky scandal, the media coverage of which managed to both attack Bill Clinton and rip Monica Lewinsky to shreds at the same time.

The corporate media has not been a friend to women, abused women, rape victims, or feminism since I was a little girl in the 70s.

As long as we fight over this, rather than rejecting the frame we are being offered, we play their game.

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13 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
The discussion needs to happen ad nauseum. Stopping discussion keeps us in place. I'm not willingly to let that happen.

Edited to add - I'm not playing a game.

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18 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Raggedy Ann Do we need to allow the corporate press to direct and shape our discussion of this issue?

As a survivor myself, I'm not arguing for ceasing to discuss sexual abuse. (In a related matter, I'm horrified that people are now suggesting that the word "rape" shouldn't be used in law schools because it might trigger a student who is a survivor--a development which will result in rape being allowed to retreat back into the shadows.) I'm in favor of discussing it on our own terms.

You may not be playing a game, but the corporate press surely is. They always are. Are we going to let them control what feminism means? Are we going to divide ourselves up into camps, pro and con the latest set of media stories?

Like Frodo, I see what I should do here to disrupt their game, but I'm afraid to do it. As any survivor on here knows, the sharing of one's story publicly is a nasty emotional business for oneself. But perhaps that's what's needed to take back the very idea of sexual harassment from those poisonous bastards spinning it for all they're worth up there. Bringing it back to ground and telling the story through a medium--caucus99--which is operating in good faith.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
I see you don't understand that because you seem wrapped up in it. I'm creating my own narrative about it. My comments are my own original ideas and words. Do you get that?

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8 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Raggedy Ann Yes, I get that your comments are your ideas and words.

But why are we discussing this now?

Because of the corporate media wrangle over it.

Who are we discussing?

Mainly the men who have been accused over the past few weeks.

People get drawn into a discussion begun by the media and promoted by the media, and, since we are not impervious beings with adamantine thoughts, the tenor of our discussion gets influenced by the terms in which the media have presented the issue.

However, I can see that I'm cutting really close to the point where people are going to start telling me I'm interfering with their personal right to tell their stories. Which means that this is the limit of where my analysis can do good. Past this point it will only do harm. Therefore, from here on out, I will need to choose whether to deal with this media phenomenon, which I firmly believe was constructed to create just such arguments and departures as we've already had here, by not speaking, and thus pulling my energy out of the discussion, or by speaking entirely differently, which will to some extent monkey-wrench the cultural engineering at work here. Doing the latter will involve considerable emotional cost to me, which is why I'm debating which way to deal with this.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
it's goddamn time we change the narrative. A tipping point was reached, finally. Instead of focusing on the media, focus on working to MAKE a difference. This is an opportunity. We must drive the narrative and be louder than the media. Fighting about it allows them to win. I'm not fighting, I'm working on driving.

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8 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

...I'm horrified that people are now suggesting that the word "rape" shouldn't be used in law schools because it might trigger a student who is a survivor--a development which will result in rape being allowed to retreat back into the shadows.) ...

Hey, a great way to eliminate the possibility and concept of rape as a crime to be prosecuted; simply eliminate it from law schools, law books, law courts and the law, making rape victims nothing of the kind, merely bitchy utilities.

A prospect guaranteed to trigger an all-out fighting rage in rape victims who know how badly this messes people up.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

SnappleBC's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

This is the conundrum that everybody of good will faces now that the establishment has decided to grab our various fights for justice and use them as its personal playtoys.

Perfect.

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12 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@SnappleBC Thanks. I'm well aware, though, that I'm fighting an extremely asymmetrical battle here.

Short version: they have billions of dollars and a massive media infrastructure; I have my words, whatever respect I've garnered from the community here, and a small, but decent and civic, media infrastructure run by JtC.

Short version of what they're doing: the pink pussy hats march didn't work well enough. They're trying to get more buy-in by using actual stories of actual pain. The stories were always there, if they had wanted to give them air time. Now that they have a use for them, they can just walk out and find them like I'd walk out my front door and pick tangerines off my tree.

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5 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Wink's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

That's the way it goes when the establishment has decided to use its media and political power to take over one's fights.

I want to see the decision before I die.

"venceremos", was a thing people said.

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking I'm afraid I don't understand your comment? You want to see the decision before you die?

Are you saying you don't believe this is co-optation?

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I meant that they are taking the life out of us a bit at a time.

we lose without realizing the battle is on.
we don't know how to engage them.

steady worsening of our position.
dreary.

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7 users have voted.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I meant that they are taking the life out of us a bit at a time.

we lose without realizing the battle is on.
we don't know how to engage them.

steady worsening of our position.
dreary.

"co-opt" was common in sixties- meant to show this stuff has been going on.
standard MO

there was a "venceremos brigade", as I recall.
who believes that now?

just meant this has been around my whole life & we still don't know what to do.
if anything, we have lost ground.

dreary. want to win or lose.
this has been drawn-out losing, imo.

I do not have any idea of how to proceed. all ears. n/sn

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4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking we lose without realizing the battle is on.
we don't know how to engage them.

This is the worst part, for me. We seem to be in a continual state of forgetting what we already know.

For instance, after last year's shenanigans, it should be obvious that truth and civic good will have nothing to do with the corporate media's aims. Therefore, even when they tell the truth, we should be looking for their angle. (Similarly, if I and the CIA both want to bring Donald Trump down, that doesn't mean I believe that the CIA gives a shit about Trump's sexism or racism. They must have another agenda. What is it?)

What is disturbing to me is that anybody would respond to the corporate press as if they were conveying the truth to us, untampered with, when they're more like a person taking an actual piece of luggage with somebody's actual clothes in it, and rigging it to be a bomb. It's not a fake piece of luggage. It really belongs to Mary M. Jones. Those are really her clothes in there, and she never had any intention of her suitcase becoming a weapon. Some shithead picked up her belongings and rigged it to blow.

I have an idea of how to counter this, but it's, shall we say, highly distasteful and will involve a significant sacrifice on my part. I'm gonna go play computer games for a while; afterwards, I will revisit this issue and see whether I'm actually going to put myself through publishing the story of my abuse on here.

The way to take back the reins and disrupt the corporate management of this narrative is to tell our own narratives without using the framework they have supplied.

I wish it were easier. But simply pointing out what they're doing probably won't be enough.

God, I hate the idea of dredging all that stuff up again, though.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Sends hugs. I have a pretty good idea of how you might feel, as likely do many of the women here, and can imagine the fortitude required...

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal And yes, I am late to this, but I believe what you have said is important in more than one way. First this:

...the problem with rape is being redefined as men being improperly sexual, rather than women being denied their basic humanity, which includes a right to choose what to do with one's own body. The improper behavior of rapists is thus redefined as being inappropriately sexual rather than violating the most basic human right, and thus treating the rape victim as less than human.

I would say that not only rape, but any unwanted advance toward a woman is more a statement of power, There seems to be a great need among the very powerful to reinforce their sense of power by using it against someone who is weaker.

The second thing is that this latest focus on "inappropriate sexual behavior" among the rich and powerful is the latest shiny coin to divert our attention away from the bigger picture where the rich and powerful are using their power against us in so many other ways. While an important issue, we cannot allow this to divert our attention away from the much bigger picture out there. Then they win.

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12 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

@gulfgal98

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5 users have voted.

@studentofearth @Raggedy Ann
I'm adopting the Pence rule for my own protection. I realize that I'm being paranoid because women never lie, especially about harassment. The photo of Franken's accuser grabbing a man's ass must have been photoshopped. Sure she was part of the birther movement, but I have no doubt she sincerely believed every word she said. She was just confused when she said Franken wrote the kiss scene in to satisfy his uncontrollable lust for her when it was in the show three years before.

No woman in the world has ever attempted to seduce a man as a career move. No woman has ever made it clear she'd like to have sex with a professor for fun or a better grade. It's all men all the time.

Sexual harassment is a major problem that needs to be addressed. But this "Women never lie." nonsense puts every man who is ever alone with a woman in a completely vulnerable position, apparently for the rest of his life.

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6 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@FuturePassed

But we need to address men's issues too, whatever they are. Men are wounded. Let's heal everyone.

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10 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

dkmich's picture

@mhagle

We need to care about everyone’s rights and interests.

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8 users have voted.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@FuturePassed
We're human. That's not what this is about. This is about treating women like human beings and not objects for anyone's pleasure. Nothing more nothing less.

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15 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

mhagle's picture

@Raggedy Ann

She gets it so right in my mind. https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/rape-culture-four-things-every-woman-...

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10 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Raggedy Ann's picture

@mhagle
I will now! Thanks for the link!

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4 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Raggedy Ann That's what YOU'RE about, Raggedy Ann. It's probably what the women involved are about. But it's not what this, meaning this cultural phenomenon being broadcast through five corporate media companies, is about.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

studentofearth's picture

@FuturePassed That people in power never lie or down play not doing specific activity, other people never lie or exaggerate about a situation they have experienced, or that it is sometimes risky to have one to one meet-ups in certain situations.

Anyone who does not believe a woman can be an abuser, lie or abuse power does not truly believe men and women can be equally reprehensible or capable in their actions. Conflicting opinions of an event do not happen exclusively between a man and woman. Should the Pence Rule be expanded to include all one to one interactions, so there is always a witness. Then does one begin to worry about the loyalty of the witnesses.

If an item was stolen from a thief was it an act of theft? Yes because an item was stolen or no because a thief has no right of ownership of any item. Maybe there are two thieves that need to be dealt with for their own personal actions.

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10 users have voted.

My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

@studentofearth
But at least to be convicted of theft in a court of law evidence has to be presented. I can't announce I know you stole my watch and have you punished. You aren't likely to lose your job either. People can always believe what they want to believe. But in the case of the watch most people will look for a pattern.

I have seen plenty of harassment and other kinds of sexism in academia and government. The harassment that goes on in the financial sector is worse than either. I have spoken out against it when I've seen it including situations where the perpetrator was higher in the hierarchy than I. On other occasions I've approached the victim; told her what I'd seen; and offered support. In each instance so far the woman has declined to make an issue of it.

The difficulty with harassment is that it typically occurs in isolation. It becomes she said/he said. Are you ready to throw out the presumption of innocence?

I want to engage in this fight alongside you. It would help if people would refer to "men who harass" instead of men. In many places it sounds as though commenters believe any man will engage in this behavior if given the opportunity. I don't believe it.

There are ways to move forward. Unless the harasser is an employer or violence is involved a woman can tell a man she doesn't like this behavior. Difficult as it is, women should report it if it doesn't stop. (There is a situation roughly analogous for men. Report a case of bullying to a superior and words like "I'll look into it." will come out. But the clear if unspoken message is "If you weren't a wimp you could take care of this yourself.")

There is a final complication. The range of behavior different people find objectionable in sexually charged situations varies tremendously. I wonder how many women touring with the USO would have seen that photo and asked Franken for an autographed copy.

There are degrees of harassment. And there is a gray area some people consider harassment and some people don't. There are women who consider any sexual humor vulgar and inappropriate.There are other women who have the largest collection of memorized "dirty" jokes in an office. For real fun you need one of each.

I think men have a critical role in the elimination of harassment. I want to be a part of it. I don't want to be found guilty because of a Y chromosome or because I came across one of the small number of women who would use a harassment charge as a weapon.

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7 users have voted.
studentofearth's picture

@FuturePassed of preventing exploitation. It is our history and perspective which allows us to see various potential situations from different angles, assign different levels of risk and and belief in effectiveness of specific corrective actions.

As an example I believe individuals can and do get fired from jobs when accused of unsubstantiated theft. There is no recourse if not protected by a grievance system included in most union contracts or an employer specific policy.

If you are employed at will, your employer does not need good cause to fire you. In every state but Montana (which protects employees who have completed an initial "probationary period" from being fired without cause), employers are free to adopt at-will employment policies, and many of them have. In fact, unless your employer gives some clear indication that it will only fire employees for good cause, the law presumes that you are employed at will.

Thanks for the thoughtful discussion.

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5 users have voted.

My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

@Raggedy Ann excellent

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5 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@Raggedy Ann
As long as women possess those curvy curves there is going to be (at least) one of us Neanderthals thinking, "I've waited long enough to grab me some of that" as she wiggles her way to the water cooler. "oh, was that your ass? pardon me... "
Now, that's Not to say that all Neanderthals will eventually grab her ass. Hardly. It's far more likely that None of them do! But you just know that most of them are thinking it. That's never going away. The question is, will any men step up to "correct" the Neanderthal's behavior. Yes, many if not most of us will "address" the abuser.
But there's no way ass grabbing going to stop. No way, no how. Not as long as Neanderthals breathe among us.

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Wink
The surviving % of "Neanderthal genes" in the present population ranges from 0 to a max of ~5%. One would expect such a small amount should fairly easily be counterbalanced by a dose of common sense that says "Think about it if you must, but don't say it and don't do it".

There is not, yet, such a thing as "thought crime".

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6 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Wink's picture

@TheOtherMaven
us all under the Neanderthal umbrella, saying we All think it, while almost None of us act on those thoughts. But almost none doesn't mean none, and I often wonder as I try to keep my car from driving up a telephone pole as I'm ogling some hottie walking down the avenue in her short shorts and half shirt, "how does she keep her clothes on?" I find it amazing that rape and sexual abuse isn't a Way bigger thing than it is, and amazing still how many of us keep it zipped and keep our hands to ourselves. That said, there's always room for improvement. But until the thought police bust us for our thoughts of sex abuse - "m'am, we have a perp in custody for thinking about raping you every which way... some asshat named Wink... do you wish to press charges? We can lock his ass up for a long time!" "Wait, Wink? Isn't he the janitor always checking out my ass? No, please don't lock him up! And do you have his phone number... ?" - we'll continue to have them. Okay, she's Not asking for my phone number, I'm instead heading off to jail. But we can dream. Thing is, the thought police would be working overtime locking up all of us. Or certainly most of us. Prolly not what women want to hear, and maybe what some men deny, but I believe it goes back to our cave days and hasn't changed all that much except Most of us these days Do keep it zipped, and our hands to ourselves. We can thank centuries of mamas telling their sons to Not act like asshats. But, s-e-x is a HUGE part of who we are - and it's driven home several times a day on teevee ads, tv shows (almost ALL sitcoms are about s-e-x), and movies. We learn very early on just how important it is, and if we don't have a gf by 10th grade, well, there's something wrong with us. Women have made some rules and drawn some lines over the centuries that are not to be crossed, but... some boys still will be boys. They're gonna get some whether they cross some lines or not. And that can't be legislated or womens lib'd out of our genes. It's never going to end or go away. It ain't right, but it ain't going away. But, women don't need to take it. You get groped you beat the crap out of the perp. You get raped or attempted rape leave some nail marks on his face. This "lie back and enjoy it" crap is just that. The only thing that slows sex abuse is to beat on the perp. Two days in the gym: 20 mins on the treadmill, 10 mins with the weight machines. One hour per week. If nuthin' else you'll lose 10-15 pounds in 6 mos. And feel pretty good about being able to kick some perp's ass if he grabs yours. It shouldn't have to be this way but it is this way. And not going to change any time soon.

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1 user has voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

zoebear's picture

@Wink

That you have posted this almost 2 days ago, without ANYONE pushing back on your insistently oversexed view of the world AS YOU SEE IT is part of the problem.

Silence in the face of people like you who speak of women in this disturbingly drooling hyper arousal state OUTLOUD is the reason women are on constant alert.

You're surprised more women aren't raped? I'd be surprised to hear that you did keep "it" zipped in your pants when your "natural" impulses overcame you. Think we'd find an old trench coat in your closet for just that occasion?

Your entire line of "reasoning" is gobsmackingly repulsive.

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1 user has voted.
earthling1's picture

piece to be a fraudulent attempt at excusing behavior unbecoming of a leader, or someone we would hold up to our children as exemplary examples of how to treat women.
Through a barrage of "word salad" I read nothing more than "move along, nothing to see here".
IMHO.

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20 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@earthling1

attempt at conflating the dubious claims of children's "faulty" recollections of abuse at a day care center to that of women coming out against being objectified, harassed, and tongued by grown men.

Edited to add the word dubious to the claims children had faulty recollections.

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17 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@zoebear

The moral of the story lies in the eye of the beholder. It showed a history of good intentions going too far down a path before. We swing like pendulums, and sometimes the arc is huge. We are caring, and sometimes we act too fast, too far. We need to be mindful of nuance and intricacy. We need to be concerned for all the rights of all the people. That is all this essay says to me.

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8 users have voted.

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zoebear's picture

@dkmich

Like a rationalization and void of meaning and clarity. I stand by my characterization of your decision to include a dubiously "disputed" account of serial pedophilia to bolster your point as sensational and fraudulent.

Edited for syntax

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9 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@zoebear
regarding this latest uproar /outrage re. claims of sexual abuse. "... void of meaning and clarity."
Not that women don't have a legitimate case. Just that they can't broadstroke abuse by lumping an untoward stare with actual physical unwanted ass grabbing by labeling both sexual abuse. There appears to be no wiggle room. Every untoward advance is "abuse." I don't know how we made it thru the '60s, '70s. "Abuse!! Abuse! He whispered in my ear about licking my tits! Arrest his ass!" Okay, he's guilty of being a jackass, a juvenile, socially inept. But abuse? There's not a prosecutor in the country taking that to a courtroom. Wiggle room. All about wiggle room.

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

zoebear's picture

@Wink

image_9.jpg

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9 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@zoebear
are stories of public reaction to claims of sexual abuse by people and the media.

I do work with a broad brush. For me, it is where the big truths hide. Individual stories are the punction for the narrative. They support each other.

Obviously rape and sex with children and beasts should be crimes. Sexual harassment that extorts sex should also be criminal. But somewhere along the way to cat calls and no touching, we leave the criminal and come to the boorish and stupid even if lewd. When we get there, that is when I’m done.

I won’t respond to your personal remarks.

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7 users have voted.

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zoebear's picture

@dkmich

Not sure I see the connection of using the details of that particular serial child molestation case to simply say that cat calls are not criminal.

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7 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@dkmich

I prefer not to get my point across that way.

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4 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@dkmich

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

Deja's picture

@zoebear

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2 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

CS in AZ's picture

@earthling1

the idea that some men might have to start keeping their hands, tongues, and dicks to themselves, and stop powering other people around and using them as sex toys against their will.

Too bad, so sad. Talk about special snowflakes! "Look, I'm the man, and you're a nobody. I can make or break you. Now shut up and I'll do whatever I want, because I can. I'm so special, I'm allowed to use you any way I like and you can't do a thing about it. If you say anything, it's your reputation that gets trashed, not mine."

Yeah, fuck that. Putting down the people speaking out is a time-worn tactic. I'm wondering if the men who spoke out against Kevin Spacey are also just mean-spirited special snowflake pretty-boys for complaining, when they should have politely smiled and accepted his behavior? Or is it just women who have to shut up and take it?

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20 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ As I said, his article was tainted with elements of backlash that are going to obscure, for most people, the many good points he actually made. The original story, as broadcast through the press, was tailor-made to encourage such a backlash. We are supposed to join one "side" or the other, both "sides" being designed by the media (probably with the help of various political consulting firms).

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7 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@earthling1 See my comment above. Fighting over this is taking the bait. We need to reject the terms of the debate.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

1. What are the terms of the debate?

2. How do we reject it?

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10 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear @zoebear The terms of the debate we are being asked to accept are:

1)When we read or view these stories in the corporate press, it is just the same as if the women involved were sitting in a room with us telling us their stories personally. The corporate press is either a transparent non-entity, having no effect on the stories through their presentation, or else it is a sympathetic ally to women in trouble, providing a medium to project their voices, their truth, out to the public. In short, we should trust them. They are fighting for us. (This is a particularly ugly form of credibility mining).

2)Too much (male, heterosexual) sexual desire is the problem. Or, as some here have put it "Men should keep it in their pants." This frame takes the focus off of the woman (or, more properly, the victim of rape, since some victims of rape are male) and puts it on the excessive and insufficiently controlled sexuality of the rapist. But the problem with the rapist is not excessive sexuality or his inability to control it. The problem with the rapist is that he is willing to violate another human being's most fundamental right: the right to choose what they will and won't do with their bodies. The further problem with the rapist is that he is impervious to, or perhaps gleeful about, the pain of the person he is violating. He is absolutely capable, with no problem, of taking pleasure while another person experiences anguish in close proximity, and in some cases, actually take pleasure in that anguish itself. A justice-based discussion of the subject would focus on power, violation, and a sociopathic attitude toward another's pain, not present sexual stories to the public in a way that, as the author of the Counterpunch article says, enables the public to relish the salacious details at the same time that they relish the pleasure of safe moral condemnation of a powerful figure. Not all of the public will respond that way, obviously. But that is how it is being presented.

3)There is a circus quality to it Step right up, step right up, who will be revealed next? Stay tuned! That's typical of the media, which wants above all to continue to get eyeballs on their doings, but in this case it is grotesque, given the content.

4) Words, consensual deeds, and non-consensual deeds are being conflated.

4)Above all, this is meant to get the remains of the left fighting amongst itself, while the corporate establishment colonizes our justice movements and uses them as a moral shield against criticism. It works like this: an incessant corporate media focus on these stories (told in ways that benefit them and their masters) obscures stories of establishment greed, corruption, and cruelty. Somebody points out that the ways in which we are all being slowly murdered are being obscured and ignored by the very media that are attempting to gain moral credibility by telling these women's stories. Somebody else accuses the first person of not considering women's issues (or Black people's issues, LGBT issues, whatever) important. Suddenly Black issues, women's issues, LGBT issues are not only severed from the larger discussion of poverty, tyranny, disease, and war itself (as well as war on the planet), but are considered oppositional to them. This is, in my opinion, the brass ring for the establishment: to create a discursive environment where participating in establishment-controlled versions of the old justice movements (against sexism, racism, homophobia) is oppositional to a critique of the tyrants that are murdering us all. This will ensure that there is no substantial critique of the power elites or movement against their establishment from the left. Which appears to be the real point of the exercise.

Even saying any of this would, in most places, elicit character attacks on me as a sexist and misogynist, and as a cruel person who didn't care about rape victims. I guarantee you, most places other than caucus99percent (and perhaps jackpine radicals and a few others), that is exactly how this conversation would go.

The fact that people have already left caucus99 over the discussions of this issue means that the establishment has already scored significant victories in their ongoing war on civic discourse and the capability of ordinary people to form communities that identify and fight injustice.

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19 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Because you give much thought to your comments and they are always well reasoned. I will refrain, however, from replying in this thread (see my comment about that up thread) and will PM you instead. I have to bake a pie right now before I go to my Sisters house so my thoughts about what you wrote might not come until tomorrow.

Have a good Thanksgiving Smile

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11 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear Thanks, zoe; I, too, had to get up and clean the house in preparation for my Mom coming over for Thanksgiving! Hope you had a good one.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal and read it again. Excellent comment. As hot button as this issue is, I really have not read or seen the MSM on it. I won't. You've put it perfectly though. They're taking an extremely important part of our whole predatory rulers and cheapened it down to divide. Savages.

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10 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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5 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

Lets look at the Franken accusers. It appears to me that he is a funny guy who seems to take license to touch a woman's butt through her clothes as part of his jovial, friendly schtick. It also appears to me that he has a problem understanding personal boundaries. Women, everyone really, have a right to expect their boundaries with regard to touching to be respected. Just because a funny man thinks his personal boundary violations are benign is not enough to allow it.

I have never touched a woman's ass whom I didn't know would be receptive to that kind of intimate contact. It's not difficult really. Franken's casual touching even in this tenuous quasi-sexual way is inappropriate and he should have known it. It's the same kind of shit Biden has been pulling for years. Keep your hands to yourself unless the invitation to do otherwise is overt.

It may be just a hug or just a light butt grab - but don't do it! I don't want your hug. Don't assume that I do. Maybe the woman you are addressing doesn't want it either!

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21 users have voted.

If you don't know what you want, you deserve what you get.

zoebear's picture

@Terry Hutchinson

Franken also stuck his tongue down the women's mouth. Given this information, I can't understand why anyone would call anyone else a "snowflake" for saying "No. This behavior is unacceptable"

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14 users have voted.

@zoebear Of course I agree that forced kiss behavior was an outright and outrageous assault. I was trying to illuminate why I believe, at least, that even these ostensibly more benign offenses are no less wrong.

I think there are now three women who have come forward with accusations about Franken's funny man hands and their butts. He may be willing to listen and learn, but it is many, many years to late to receive instruction on personal body space and boundaries. He needs to resign no matter his public politics.

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15 users have voted.

If you don't know what you want, you deserve what you get.

zoebear's picture

@Terry Hutchinson

since puberty, I have been a magnet for every disgusting reaction from men who feel it is their birthright to say whatever fucking thing gets them horny, OUTLOUD. From unwanted comments about my bra size to outright fondling, I've battled it for years. And no, I'm not a "snowflake" for being goddamned tired of having to fight this hard to be treated as a person and not a set of boobs on display.

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22 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@zoebear

Being "curvy" made you a target so totally unjustly. And since your early teens. You have suffered more than most.

I had a shit-load of suffering too, but since I was a flat-chested wall-flower isolated farm kid, I didn't get smacked with it all until I was in my 20s and entered the working world. At least was able to be innocent and naive for a while.

Battered for being beautiful. Dang. Sorry.

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9 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

zoebear's picture

@mhagle

In my teens, but there's only so much you can hide, ya know?

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8 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@zoebear

Anything I said or read here.

Saying no is never a problem to any situation sexual or otherwise. It is called free will. How big a come uppance it deserves is another whole topic.

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6 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook *dump Google

zoebear's picture

@dkmich

How big a come uppance it deserves is another whole topic.

What that means?

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5 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear I suspect what dkmich means--not to answer for dk--is that sexually offensive words are not equivalent to pedophilia or rape. Sexual harassment falls somewhere in between on the continuum.

It would be highly inadvisable for us to take a Drug War attitude toward all this, where all instances of sexually inappropriate behavior (even consensual ones) are lumped into one big bad thing we all must fight, just as, in the early 80s, marijuana, X, cocaine, and heroin were all lumped into one big bad thing we all must fight.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

And I'm not an advocate of lumping everything together either.

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6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear Good, because somebody needs to be saying that from a feminist perspective, and a woman's perspective. Perhaps, also, from a survivor's perspective.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Terry Hutchinson This type of behavior is not acceptable, I don't care who you are or what you do. Franken and the others knew better they just figured they were in a position to get away with it. The fact that all these men have mothers and most have wives, sisters, daughters and I'm sure they wouldn't find it acceptable if someone was doing it to their family members. Also just because our useless msm does not cover other problems in this country like income inequality and the war crimes that this country is participating in does not mean that it is a distraction or any less important.

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13 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@Terry Hutchinson
Americans have a hard time with sex.

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5 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook *dump Google

TheOtherMaven's picture

@dkmich

we seem to be having an increasingly hard time with civilized behavior as well.

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5 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@Terry Hutchinson

Honestly, butt-grabbing by non-boyfriends is gross and the guys who engage in that sort of thing are invariably the sort of guys you'd never date, at least in my estimation. Certainly wouldn't after them doing any such thing. Only acceptable when in bed or headed there with a suitable guy you actually want touching you. Luckily, I haven't encountered many and only one such problem recently. (Almost never going anywhere probably helps.)

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

I have now front paged essays on both sides of this issue, for discussion's sake. I feel it's an issue that needs dissecting, from all angles, as is the way of caucus99percent.

I do not expect anymore essays on this issue to be promoted to the front page in the future. My main concern is, and always has been, the health of c99p. We are losing members and readers due to the contentiousness of this issue.

Thank you for participating.

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25 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@JtC I wish I had known that sooner.

If I'd known we were losing people over this, I would have turned my comments into an essay already.

However distasteful it is to realize it, buying into this fight is allowing ourselves to be played. It is vitally important that we not allow ourselves to be played.

Everyone, ask yourself: do you really believe the corporate press is giving airtime to these women's stories out of sincere motives? The sincerity of the stories is not the issue. The issue is how the stories are being interpreted and used by the press. This is a psy-op. That does not mean the stories are not true. You can use truth in a psy-op just as effectively as lies. People actually died in large numbers on 9/11--that was true. The grief and loss of those affected were real. That doesn't mean it wasn't used to manipulate us into an unjustified war.

Are we really going to let ourselves be played the same way the right-wing people let themselves be played 15 years ago?

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15 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

ovals49's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
it's almost certainly a designed distraction. Yes, we get played. We focus on something other than that which the 1% fears we will take notice of.

This is not to say the subject of the distraction is not worthy of our attention or is not important, but simply to point out that the reason we are flooded with wall to wall coverage of this particular issue, at this particular moment, has more to do with its ability to grab our attention and divide us than it does with exposing the subject.

With the MSM, the first question should always be "Why are we being fed this story, and why now?"

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4 users have voted.

"Humanity is just an evolutionary cul de sac."
George Carlin

TheOtherMaven's picture

@ovals49

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@JtC

We are losing members and readers due to the contentiousness of this issue.

i didn't realize this was a big thing.

I'm old enough to remember several rounds of D.C. sex scandals.
This isn't the first time we've been shocked that politicians are sexually harassing the interns (and anyone else who comes within reach). It won't be the last time we rediscover that power is an aphrodisiac.

Personally the news that some men are assholes is not news to me, nor can it be fixed.
I'd prefer to focus on things that can be fixed and will soon personally effect us all.

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8 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@gjohnsit
that some men are assholes is not news to me, nor can it be fixed."

Agree. Been going on for forever, will continue for forever.
There is no cure.

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

@Wink

(Note: a general 'you' is being used throughout, so please don't take this personally, especially as I doubt that you actually do whatever intrusive act crosses your mind when viewing hotties, lol. And I don't personally see a problem with whistles or non-aggressive/not overly crude compliments on the street.)

There may be no cure for kleptomania or any other uncontrollable urge, but people unable to inhibit 'take-what-I-want-no-matter-who-suffers' actions in response to desires to do so cannot be left running loose in any society with pretensions to democracy/civilization and survivability.

Unfortunately, in America, (and elsewhere) such as these too-often wind up running corporations, governments and society and getting away with literal murder due to purchased power and the ruthlessness that accumulates the insane degree of wealth which permits this. And it's long past time that human, animal and environmental rights were respected and a civilized society promoted as an ideal, in preference to the societal acceptance of predatory behaviours on any level.

How can we fight the use and abuse of those perceived as more vulnerable by those at the top if we fail to deal with the pathology maintained within the society by these, to 'normalize' what's done to us all on a global basis by Those Who Matter?

The sex drive is, admittedly, among our strongest urges and going too long without can 'make you crazy' - but nobody else is obligated to deal with the issues of others, especially regarding the unwanted use of their bodies for any purpose.

It's tough, but something we, as humans, may have to deal with at some point in our lives, or for some, perhaps even throughout them.

Grabbing women's butts or whatever is not any more acceptable than would be walking up to a woman and yanking off her jewelry or her purse because you just wanted to feel it in your hands for a minute. And even if she's been raised not to make a scene and is polite about it or passes it off as a joke, I can practically guarantee that she will not find it sexy or complementary, just gross and unthinkable behaviour and the person doing it as utterly pathetic or, depending on circumstance, as a predatory jerk. Possibly both. Not that those engaging in those behaviours are evidently capable of caring what the object whose body-parts they've just handled thinks of them.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Deja's picture

@gjohnsit
Ffs. You?

Mr. Got it all? WTFE!

Just keep up your 'I'm da man' charade.

You're letting us females, all, know who you really are. The self-haters know themselves too.

Shit list #3. There are approximately 10, now. You showed your true colors way back, and I saw it.

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3 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

detroitmechworks's picture

The individual cases all seem to have merit at this point.

What I worry about is the direction that this stuff tends to get taken. If you look at past moral panics, there were almost always a few nuggets of truth. However, that truth gets exaggerated by the MSM in their pursuit of headlines, until EVERY man is an evil rapist bastard who waits in dark alleys to molest innocent virgins.

But hey, I'm just a dumb man who obviously can never get it. I should feel guilty and blame myself and devalue my own opinion because THIS time it's different! Just like last time, where if I didn't immediately decry all gamers everywhere because of a few assholes, I WAS THE PROBLEM. (And It wasn't just gamergate. Seen this happen with nearly every hobby I enjoy up to and including Folk Metal.)

The immediate politicization of it, with Rethugs and Demorats both claiming that the other side is EVIL and their own is innocent and pure just drives home both the hypocrisy and opportunism of it.

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13 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

@detroitmechworks

However, that truth gets exaggerated by the MSM in their pursuit of headlines, until EVERY man is an evil rapist bastard who waits in dark alleys to molest innocent virgins.

There was a similar scare.
That's when I was told that every man was a "potential rapist". Of course that has the same amount of truth that every woman is a potential murderer.

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5 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@gjohnsit

That's when I was told that every man was a "potential rapist". Of course that has the same amount of truth that every woman is a potential murderer.

That may be true. However, do you go through life in a state of constant vigilance, lest some woman leap out at you, knife or gun in hand?

I don't believe that most men truly understand what women's experience is in this regard. (That's not meant as an insult, just an observation.) The fact of the matter is, women are physically vulnerable, in general as well as sexually. We become aware of that fact at an early age, and are taught to compensate for it.

We learn to be aware of our surroundings. We learn to be constantly on guard, even if it's at a low level not apparent to others. Obviously, most men are not rapists, but in order to ensure our personal safety, we can't assume that a particular man in our environment at any given moment is safe.

This is just a basic fact of life for women. It has nothing to do with you. It is not personal to you.

Women have to be "on guard" constantly in a way that men do not. So within that context (and it is a vital context), "all men are potential rapists" has a very different practical implication for women than "all women are potential murderers" has for men. Or at least as far as I've observed. If I'm wrong about that, let me know.

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12 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

detroitmechworks's picture

@Centaurea Not a good way to think, but I can't help myself. PTSD is a bitch.

So yea, it's horrible that some folks have their defenses up at all times and it takes a great deal of time and effort to get through them to have a meaningful dialogue. I don't think the answer is to constantly reinforce the fear and to demand that we must always be on guard at all time.

Seems to me the media is trying to inflict my disorder on over 50% of the population by their gaslighting. Of course that's my opinion, because I have to treat my disorder constantly, and the default is paranoid fear.

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5 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

Centaurea's picture

@detroitmechworks @detroitmechworks I have PTSD myself, so I understand what is involved. Not only what it's like, but what causes it, the physiological mechanisms, etc.

Seems to me the media is trying to inflict my disorder on over 50% of the population by their gaslighting

I actually think we're there already with the collective PTSD. I have this hypothesis about the American psyche, that it's based on post-traumatic effects, going back for generations, probably to the nation's beginning.

As a recent example, the events of the '60s were very traumatic, and I think the lingering effects (trauma bonding in particular) may explain the passivity of my generation, the Boomers. They're easily gaslighted, and the current goings-on trigger and reinforce the post-traumatic syndrome.

This might make a good subject for an essay, come to think of it.

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9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

Centaurea's picture

@detroitmechworks

I think I need to clarify what I said about women being "on guard". I was not just referring to women who've been sexually assaulted and who are suffering from PTSD with its accompanying hpervigilance.

I was referring to all women, everywhere, as part of the condition of being female.

It's not the kind of hypervigilance bordering on paranoia that can crop up after a traumatic event. What I am referring to is a state of low level awareness that the majority of women always have, as to their physical vulnerability, and it's based on reality, not paranoia.

I can see that a lot of men are having a difficult time grasping this idea. I'm not sure how to get it across.

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8 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

@Centaurea
that a majority of women don't live their lives in fear.
I'm sorry that you do.

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1 user has voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@gjohnsit

more of a state of heightened alertness. Perhaps it would not be so necessary if more families raised their sons not to be assholes - but for the present and foreseeable future, some reasonable caution is still indicated.

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8 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Centaurea's picture

@TheOtherMaven Thank you. As you say (and as I said in my comment), it's not fear. From my experiences over the past 60+ years, as a woman living in the world and interacting on a daily basis with my fellow women, I know that most of them instinctively understand what I am talking about.

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3 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

@Centaurea Wariness. Things can go very wrong, very quickly. It is not fear, and nobody, no man, can say with certainty females in this society do not live with it all day, every day, all their lives.

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4 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@gjohnsit I have read and appreciated your essays here at c99, although I don't always agree with what you say. I know you are capable of thinking deeply about a subject and of communicating it with elegance.

In my comment, I offered you the opportunity to stretch your frame of reference and to consider new information and new ways of seeing.

Instead, you took what I said, fit it into your preconceived mindset, and shot out a flippant remark whose only effect could be to marginalize and discount what I was saying.

To be blunt, it was condescending, and it completely shut the door not only on my attempt to communicate authentically with you, but on whatever benefit in self-awareness an honest consideration of my words could have given you. It lacked intellectual integrity.

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5 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

@detroitmechworks

Looking at the amount of fear/hate programming once predominately inflicted on the 'right-wingers', the intensive corporate media/'political' propaganda campaigns that Americans have been subjected to over decades, PTSD is hardly a surprising result, especially when US TPTB are perpetually involved in a War On The World of which most American citizens may only vaguely aware of and may have little or no idea of to what extent, but with media instilling endless think-tank-planned/doubtless 'poll-approved' scare tactics of PoC/'terrorists/Russian spies!!! under every bed and out to get YOU!!!

Any vestige of sanity remaining under this lunatic barrage speaks of the strength of the human spirit.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

The "False Memory Syndrome" referred to in the essay was fake science invented by dubious "experts" to cover up vast pedophile rings in the 1990's. Any serious review of the evidence in the McMartin and Presidio cases would persuade anyone not suffering from cognitive dissonance that these were not hoaxes.

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12 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@Bring Back Civics

For referencing this. As a survivor, I know there are clear indicators children who have been molested exhibit that cannot be faked. The "smear the victim" oppo research funded by the powerful is not limited to adult rape victims.

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12 users have voted.

@zoebear You are welcome. I may as well post a link: http://educate-yourself.org/cn/pedophocracypart4mcmartinpreschoolaug01.s...

I believe the focus on adult sexual harassment and misconduct is a form of "limited hangout" designed to stop the exposure of the pedo-control mechanism in its tracks.

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7 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Bring Back Civics That, too, could well be part of the mass media construction of this issue. Put the lesser offenses in the spotlight, justifying that gesture by saying that all offenses are created equal (but don't mention the pedophilia).

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

dkmich's picture

@Bring Back Civics

I knew of the controversy, both sides, but I didn’t know one side of the controversy had prevailed. Knowing a family caught up in this, I find it hard to believe there isn’t some truth in the study. The person’s recovered memories were never challenged by the family because it wasn’t anyone’s but the accused’s place to do so. They were the only two people there. The story sounded and felt far fetched, but saying so would have been totally the wrong thing to do. It was an awful place to be. There was so much pain and damage. That it was real to the accuser was never in doubt. So everyone did all they could to be supportive of the person who was most immediate family. I don’t know that it was the right thing to do, but it is what felt like the right thing to do.

Life is complicated. I often wish the right thing was more obvious.

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5 users have voted.

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zoebear's picture

@dkmich

I knew of the controversy, both sides, but I didn’t know one side of the controversy had prevailed.

Why not include that information in an editorial comment so that your readers might enjoy a more informed debate, instead of leaving it out of your essay as a fait accompli?

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dkmich's picture

@zoebear

The child care fiasco was a fiasco. How it got there and the fact that it did get there is why I included it. It was a comma in my larger point that people have a tendency to get carried away.

The rash of false memories regarding childhood sexual abuse was a tragedy. Not every doctor is good even when board certified. Add in all the underpaid social workers and MSWs working with hurt and vulnerable women in programs and shelters, and it was a tragedy of epic proportion for each family it touched. Whether it created the abuse or cast doubt on abuse experienced, it did a lot of damage.

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zoebear's picture

@dkmich

Of the children who reported being molested in that case and had their rectums torn to shreds had "False" memories of their abuse?

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6 users have voted.

@Bring Back Civics
The Presidio case was not just a hoax, it was a spectacular hoax.

It's not even up for debate.

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4 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@gjohnsit

It was also a case that was grotesquely misrepresented by the media, both mainstream and 'alternative' – perhaps nowhere more so than in the appalling writings of Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn, who went so far as to write an op-ed piece entitled “The McMartin Case: Indict the Children, Jail the Parents,” which ran in The Wall Street Journal on February 8, 1990.

In August 1983, the Manhattan Beach Police Department began an investigation regarding allegations of sexual abuse occurring at the McMartin Preschool... Altogether, approximately 400 children were evaluated by therapists at Children's Institute International. All interviews were videotaped and 350 children disclosed sexual behavior...

An astounding 460 children reported being sexually abused at the three closely linked Manhattan Beach schools. Even more astounding, investigative author Michael Newton (among others) has noted that Children’s Institute International determined “a full eighty percent displayed physical symptoms, including vaginal or rectal scarring, anal bleeding, painful bowel movements, and the 'anal wick reflex' associated with violent penetration.” The stories told by the victim/witnesses were remarkably similar as to the nature of the abuse, the locations where the abuse took place, and the perpetrators of the abuse. And these were not, as is commonly believed, only preschool children telling such stories; some of the witnesses were former students in their teens and twenties, and their stories corroborated those of the children.

The older witnesses were not allowed to testify at the McMartin trials, however, as the statute of limitations for the crimes committed against them had expired. Many of the younger witnesses were unable to offer testimony as well, for various reasons – most notably because they were too severely traumatized. Even so, as author Jan Hollingsworth has pointed out, prosecutors had at their disposal “more than a hundred child witnesses as old as eleven and a truckload of medical reports bearing documentation of scarred genitals and anuses.” The stories told by these children, it should be noted, were not fed to them by some diabolical team of therapists and headline-seeking journalists. Many of them were offered spontaneously to hundreds of parents and scores of childcare specialists. And many of the victims of the McMartin Preschool, all adults now, still tell the same stories today.

REFERENCES:
1. Constantine, Alex Virtual Government, Feral House, 1997
2. Hollingsworth, Jan Unspeakable Acts, Congdon & Weed, 1986
3. Kahaner, Larry Cults That Kill, Warner Books, 1989
4. Newton, Michael Raising Hell, Avon Books, 1993
5. Raschke, Carl Painted Black, Harper and Row, 1990
6. Ryder, Daniel Cover-Up of the Century, Ryder Publishing, 1996
7. Stanton, Mike “U-Turn on Memory Lane,” Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 1997
8. Stickel, E. Gary, Ph.D. “Archaeological Investigations of the McMartin Preschool Site, Manhattan Beach, California” (unpublished report of investigation)
9. Summit, Dr. Roland C. “The Dark Tunnels of McMartin,” Journal of Psychohistory, Spring 1994

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12 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@zoebear

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7 users have voted.

"“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Ghandi

zoebear's picture

@mimi

And I didn't want it to be dismissed arbitrarily. Thank you for your comment. It helped.

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8 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@zoebear

Really, devils taking them away in planes for satanic ritual? The link was pretty clear to anyone who read it.

Again, no one ever said that the McMartin story was real beyond the fact that it existed, went to trial, did a lot of damage, and is just another example of the public buying media hype and over reacting. The overreaction is why I included it.

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zoebear's picture

@dkmich

Was a media hit job. If that's your point, so noted. But my reply was to the assertion that the charges the children made were a hoax and that it was not up for debate.

As you noted in TBU's thread, everything should be up for discussion. So I opened up what happened to those children in that case for discussion.

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7 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@zoebear
that the Salem witch trials started with a group of bored teenage girls with overactive imaginations.

The thing about witch hunts is that they always find witches.

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6 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

zoebear's picture

@TheOtherMaven

I had a fabulous professor in my women's history class. We covered the Salem Witch trials, and what I do remember was that the women who were accused of being witches and eventually put to death, were usually older, widowed, outspoken, and with some means. I do not, however, remember the topic of bored teenage girls coming up in our lectures. I somehow recall it differently. Typically it was men who had a problem with older, widowed, outspoken women with means who were the accusers.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@zoebear @zoebear

That got the men's attention (and got the girls everybody's attention), and the whole thing snowballed. It is probable, though it cannot now be proved, that they had spent a bit too much time around the kitchen fire listening to spooky tales told by a West Indian slave named Tituba (who would later embellish on the tales in court, and escape with her life).

Incidentally, the interesting thing about the whole horrorshow is that anyone who "confessed" to being a witch was merely imprisoned. It was the ones who denied being witches - and were convicted by such arrant nonsense as "spectral evidence" - who were hanged.

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zoebear's picture

@TheOtherMaven

But it's also significant to remember that most young women living in the colonies during the 17th century were drowning in housewifery work and childbirth. Milling flour for bread, making cloth on looms, cooking in fireplaces with cast iron pots that weighed more than the babies on their hips. From the moment they woke up to the moment they went to bed their work was strenuous and labor intensive. Sadly they also died young and often during childbirth after their 7th or 8th baby. Life was very, very hard for young women then with very little leisure time.

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7 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@zoebear

The girls who were "acting out" were too young to be married, some of them too young to be put to any difficult tasks (like, 9 years old). Puritans didn't marry them off that young - that was more of a European medieval royalty/nobility thing.

No one knows why the girls started "acting out" (howling and moaning and twitching and carrying on as if, well, bewitched - which was the conclusion their parents were not slow to draw). Why them, why just then, and why they seemed able to control it at times (they were quiet as little mice during Tituba's testimony).

What is known is that the "acting out" started in and near the Parris household, and the Parrises owned Tituba. Could it have been the interaction of half-formed Puritan consciences with Tituba's scary stories plus the hellfire and brimstone preached at them at great length every Sunday?

(That Tituba could tell a spellbinding scary story, we know from her testimony in court. She had the entire audience - judges and all - listening attentively to her every word, bizarre as much of her tale was.)

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zoebear's picture

@TheOtherMaven

When you initially said bored teenagers, I was thinking of girls more in the range of 15 to 18. When I have some time, I will do a little poking around and read more about Tituba's story.

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2 users have voted.

@zoebear Yes, thank you for not allowing the dismissive shut down of this subject.

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6 users have voted.

@gjohnsit Uh, NO. Just as real as the McMartin case: http://educate-yourself.org/cn/The-Pedophocracy-Part-III-Dave-McGowan-au...

I really love your writing on this site, but I am troubled by your closed mind on this one. At least read the article, which is well-cited and linked to other sources.

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6 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@Bring Back Civics

Colloidal Silver
Chemtrails
Sylphs
British Israel
Insights on Aliens
Cell Towers
WiFi/Cell Phone Dangers
Planet X Sequel
Aliens Are Coming!
Prevent Alien/Demon Attacks

Seems like a very eclectic and not particularly discriminating site (anything goes, the more sensational the better). Some of the articles are frank lunacy. (They think Global Warming is a HOAX.)

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6 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven Interesting. I never thought I would see this kind of anti-intellectual, guilt-by-association tactic on this site. I note that you do not address a single substantive aspect of the article, instead choosing to smear the entire aggregation of articles, all written by different authors with varying degrees of evidence and persuasiveness. Disappointing.

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4 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@Bring Back Civics
causes me to view the entire collection with the sort of jaundiced eye also turned on Alex Jones and other fringies. There may be grains of wheat among the chaff, but there's also a lot of chaff. And it's hard to know what a particular article consists of (wheat, chaff, or a random mixture).

I really would prefer links to the original documents and reports, rather than to a collection of citations and quotations of unknown quality. Hearsay is hearsay is hearsay, whether it's ear-to-ear or in print.

"Guilt by association" is very much the tactic used extensively in that article you want us to read. Thanks, but I'm not throwing out the principle of "innocent until proven guilty", no matter how egregious the accusations. That just leads to Salem Redux - or worse.

And for the record, I will not condemn someone out of hand just for belonging to, or even for starting and running, a kooky cult. Kooks is kooks is kooks, too, and most of them are harmless.

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3 users have voted.

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earthling1's picture

Bikinis or burkas?
21 century? Or the Stone Age?
With both, you have to keep your damned hands to yourself.

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8 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@earthling1 I once saw a woman in niqab sitting on a blanket on the grass, and not 5 meters away a German woman was sunbathing buck naked. It would have made a great photograph, but of course taking one would have offended them both.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

mimi's picture

@dervish @zoebear @dkmich
in Germany, that is ... well, I am the little girl around here, who doesn't get it, but I got something, somehow, somewhere, way back there in Berlin and my little hometown near Hamburg, Germany.

I am also old enough to remember the "liberal, anti-authoritarian, progressive" attitudes of my generation (I am 70 years old next year) in Germany at that time (late sixties). So, the question of sun bathing naked ... I remember that lake in Berlin, dervish talks about from back then and the nudists there - btw, and Germany had the nudist culture - "Freikörperkultur" - already in the Weimar Republic - showing off their "progressiveness" (not) ... well, why am I so inclined to get sarcastic here ?

I remember some class mates of my sister and brother (nowadays being 75 - 77 years old) and we grew up in a Northern German Protestant - Lutheran - but rather nonreligious conservative, small, but well to do town environment). One day my sister and I and her class mate couple with their children went to swim in a little lake in my town. The class mate couples insisted to bathe naked. My sister and I didn't want to bathe naked. We were judged "prude" and it made us feel uncomfortable. But then I started to think why. We just had the instinctive gut feeling of not wanting to get all naked in public at a lake. What for? I found this "progressive, liberal nudity" a fake show. But I didn't care enough about it to get into a discussion and thought (and still think) "chaqu'un a son plaisir".

And the same way I feel about women wanting to wear their traditional clothing related to her cultural and religious background these days.

BTW, some twenty years later, I learned how racist those "progressive, anti-authoritarian, liberal Germans" could be, never been able to see their own cop-out denials of their own arguments against some "African attitudes" (oh yeah how different they are, aren't they? they would say and I thought, really are they? WTF). Oh, and more btw, some forty years later I realized nothing had changed and the unconscious denials still going on.

Since I still feel uncomfortable being all naked in public, I guess there must be something in my guts telling me that's ok too. So, let me wear whatever I want, sometimes even a swimsuit (who would have thought) ...

Do you want TOTAL Peace? Be it naked or in a niqab or in a swimsuit?
I do ...

Yahoo

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8 users have voted.

"“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Ghandi

zoebear's picture

@mimi

For Christmas in 2001 visiting my family, my cousins referred to that park as a place with a lot of turkeys. Because my cousins English was still a work in progress, it took me a while to figure out what she meant to say was that a lot of Turkish people like to go to the park. But now every time I think of that park, I like to think of turkeys roaming around it. Smile

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@zoebear
I have to admit that Turkeys look much nicer than most nude folks. So, I think it's a good idea to visualize Turkeys instead. Smile

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5 users have voted.

"“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Ghandi

zoebear's picture

@mimi

Yes, definitely. I agree!!!

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