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Oct 06 2013

Magic Trick: Chris Brown and the disappearing child sex abuse

Less than a week after Victoria Coren-Mitchell was calling for nuance in how we discuss and describe difficult issues like the sexual abuse and rape of children, Decca Aitkenhead in the Guardian has adopted a novel approach – simply ignore it.

Aitkenhead was interviewing R&B star and convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown. She began the piece with a journalist’s conceit: promising her interviewee the benefit of a blank slate to tell his story. One senses how it is going early on.

His parents divorced when he was seven, and before long he and his sister and mother were living with her new husband in a trailer park, where in the past he has described lying in bed listening to his stepfather beat his mother.

A couple of paragraphs later, my stomach turned over.

He lost his virginity when he was eight years old, to a local girl who was 14 or 15. Seriously? “Yeah, really. Uh-huh.” He grins and chuckles. “It’s different in the country.” Brown grew up with a great gang of boy cousins, and they watched so much porn that he was raring to go. “By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.” (Now 24, he doesn’t want to say how many women he’s slept with: “But you know how Prince had a lot of girls back in the day? Prince was, like, the guy. I’m just that, today. But most women won’t have any complaints if they’ve been with me. They can’t really complain. It’s all good.”)

I spent many years writing feature interviews, albeit at a rather lower level then Decca Aitkenhead’s prime weekly national column. Nonetheless I know a scoop when I see one. Chris Brown is here disclosing that he was seriously sexually abused at eight years old, by a girl in her mid-teens. By that age he had already been exposed to so much pornography that he considered himself ready to be sexually active. You might think it warrants a follow up question or two, a few lines of journalistic commentary, anything to draw the reader’s attention to a dramatic and important revelation. In fact Aitkenhead does the journalistic equivalent of changing the subject after an awkward fart has slipped out.

The quoted paragraph is grimly fascinating. There is not the slightest suggestion that Brown considers himself a victim, not for a moment does he suggest he was anything but in control of the situation. First he makes a joke about it. Then he flaunts it as a badge of masculine achievement and slides quickly – far too quickly – into boasting of his sexual prowess. This is precisely how many abused boys rationalise and cope with their experiences in a culture where men can never admit to weakness, and particularly never admit to having been used and abused by a girl. By the end of the paragraph, the reader could easily forget that he was eight years old. Eight.

I can quite understand why Brown would think of the experience in these terms, and would not doubt for a moment that the way he described it to the Guardian is exactly how he describes it to himself. For this he should neither be chided nor condemned. However for Decca Aitkenhead to describe it simply as ‘losing his virginity’ is repugnant. Worse is the casual indifference with which the interview simply moves on from there to the next question. At no point is the term ‘abuse’ mentioned, far less ‘raped.’

Regular readers will know I am loath to play the rhetorical trick of reversing genders, but in this case it is surely appropriate. I repeat, he was eight years old. If a female interviewee described a sexual encounter at that age with a 14 or 15 year old boy, would Aitkenhead be so coy with her language, so casual with the reveal? It is inconceivable. Chris Brown is quite entitled to rationalise the incident in whichever way works for him, but the rest of us should not simply accept it without acknowledging that it is a profoundly unhealthy interpretation.

Of course we do not know what additional quotes ended up on the cutting room floor, but it is important to consider why this section of the interview was published as it was. The first factor is that our culture still has a real problem in acknowledging and recognising male sexual victimisation by women, even when it is verbalised vividly in front of us. There may also be a race element at play here too, the stereotype of the hypersexualised black man  – part demonization, part assumed status, part fungible objectification – may amplify damaging assumptions about insatiable masculine sexuality. I’m reminded of a 2009 interview with a different R&B star, when Lil’ Wayne made a similar disclosure to TV presenter Jimmy Kimmel. That interviewer persisted with a level of ‘wayhey’ banter about being “seduced” by a grown woman at age 11, even when it became clear that the star was deeply uncomfortable with the tone.

My strongest suspicion, however, is that Aitkenhead quickly moved on from the topic for another reason. Chris Brown sits on a very specific pony on the pop media carousel. He is the bad boy; the woman beater; the villain of the story. He is the abuser so shameless that he commissioned a tattoo on his neck looking remarkably like the bruised face of his battered girlfriend, Rihanna. To suddenly portray him as a victim of child sex abuse would upset the narrative, invite sympathy in place of scorn. It would be a brave journalist who would risk that barrel-ride. It is so much easier to present him as a porn-crazed sex beast from an early age. Unsurprisingly, it took the Daily Mail only a couple of hours to turn the Guardian interview into that precise story.

It is a mistake, of course. It does the victims of child rape no favours to assert a linear path from abused to abuser, and whatever light the new revelations might shine on Chris Brown’s personality, they do absolutely nothing to excuse or explain his own violence. He continues to choose his own path and must take absolute responsibility for his own behaviour.

Meanwhile it does no one any favours to hide the sexual abuse of children behind euphemism or journalistic sleight of hand.

69 comments

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  1. 1
    scimaths

    Chris Brown is here disclosing that he was seriously sexually abused at eight years old, by a girl in her mid-teens

    That girl did not abuse him. What he is actually diclosing is the abuse by the older boys and men and a culture that fed him the porn. He is disclosing the abuse *of the girl* by older boys and men who procured her for his premature porn-fueled fantasties about what women and girls are for, and how men are supposed to behave.

    As usual though Ally your clueless rush to the “women do it too” schtick entirely misses the point. The girl in this story is a victim – most likely a repeat victim and from a younger age too – of men and their macho porn fantasies. The young Chris Brown, also a victim of those men and older boys. Ask yourself why that is not the story that we’re hearing ?

  2. 2
    Mr Supertypo

    “That girl did not abuse him”

    Yes she did. She sexually abused him and toke his virginity. That girls is a abuser with no shade of doubt.

  3. 3
    carnation

    You know, I don’t agree that she is an abuser but I do think that he is a victim. And, I imagine, she might well have experienced a similar “rite of passage” at a similar age.

    Richard Pryor and Mike Tyson both described growing up in hypersexualised environments, both, to different degrees, have been convicted if, or admitted to, abusing women. I doubt this is coincidence.

    I’m going to get a few quotes for a more substantive quote later, but want to mention one final thing. Chris Brown is 24. 24 is a very young age, his crimes occured when he was younger. I believe people can and do change. I have a feeling Brown, like Tyson, will most probably dramatically change his outlook and actions.

  4. 4
    KRS

    The girl definitely abused him. Having sex with a child is immoral even if the child has already been exposed to sex through other sources (and I do agree that the cousins exposing an 8-year-old to porn is abusive). It’s also a crime. No state in the US has an age of consent as low as eight.

    And what’s with this bit?

    What he is actually diclosing is the abuse by the older boys and men and a culture that fed him the porn. He is disclosing the abuse *of the girl* by older boys and men who procured her for his premature porn-fueled fantasties about what women and girls are for, and how men are supposed to behave.

    While it’s certainly possible, and even plausible, that something like that happened in the girl’s life, the quoted paragraph says nothing about what brought the girl into the situation.

  5. 5
    Ally Fogg

    Scimaths [1]

    Given what we know about this incident (literally nothing more than the paragraph quoted above) it is highly likely that all the children involved could be described as victims to some extent or another.

    However from what we know, only one person (older child) had sex with an eight year old child. Being a victim oneself does not exempt one from responsibility for abusing others. Nor does being female.

  6. 6
    AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo

    @ Ally #5

    If people are raised in an environment where such things as Chris Brown describes is considered normative, how much responsibility can we attribute to the abusers?

    Can we also take the victims at their word when they do not consider themselves abused?

  7. 7
    shivar

    Scimaths @1:

    “That girl did not abuse him.”
    Oh yes, she most certainly did. If the genders had been reversed would you feel the same way?

    “What he is actually disclosing is the abuse by the older boys and men and a culture that fed him the porn.”
    Carries a grain of truth to it, although the ages of the “boy cousins” aren’t made clear. However I’ll agree with you that culture plays a large role in it.

    “He is disclosing the abuse *of the girl* by older boys and men who procured her for his premature porn-fueled fantasties about what women and girls are for, and how men are supposed to behave.”
    This is completely and utterly evidence-free rubbish, fueled by nothing but speculation. The story gives no indication at all of the girl’s motivations or past experiences. Nothing was said in the quoted material that states the girl was abused in any way. Nothing said she was “procured”. Fact is we simply don’t know, so your manufacturing a personal history out of whole cloth in an anything-goes desperate attempt to always portray the female as the innocent helpless abused victim is taken for what it is – unevidenced propaganda.

    “The girl in this story is a victim – most likely a repeat victim and from a younger age too – of men and their macho porn fantasies.”
    More unevidenced rubbish. You simply do not know any of these things to be true, yet your white-knighting impulses and emotion-based beliefs override any consideration for whatever the actual facts may be. Spewing narratives like an automaton is no substitute for fair and rational thinking.

    The fact is, there’s nowhere near enough information given to make any of the presumptuous judgments you have made. And before you start shrieking “rape apologist” and “hyperskeptic” at me, simply because I believe in knowing more facts than what were provided before making judgments, I’ll just say that this story is sad for both Brown and the teenage girl. The incident never should have happened and it’s a shame that it did. And what is also sad is your eager latching on to this story in order to push your narratives, going as far as making up your own facts to make the story “fit”.

    ********************

    Carnation @3:

    “You know, I don’t agree that she is an abuser but I do think that he is a victim. And, I imagine, she might well have experienced a similar “rite of passage” at a similar age.”

    If a 15 year old boy had been through a “similar rite of passage at a similar age” and had sex with an 8 year old girl, would he be an abuser? Would you portray him as a victim the way you do the teenage girl in this story?

  8. 8
    protonproton

    Chris Brown is here disclosing that he was seriously sexually abused at eight years old, by a girl in her mid-teens

    Can what he mentioned really be considered abuse by the girl? Both of them were quite young (it wasn’t an adult at the other end; probably both were under the age of consent too, from a legal perspective) so even though one was pre-pubescent and the other one wasn’t, I dunno…

    What’s your exact reasoning? Just the 6-year (8-14) difference? Perhaps they just both appear “really young” from my perspective so it’s hard to call one an ‘abuser’ and there’s a case to be made that the age difference matters here, though I don’t think you’ve made it in your post (maybe you consider that it should be “common knowledge” but a number of people are disagreeing so it might not actually be).

    (I don’t particularly care about the genders being reversed btw. I would have wondered the same in that case too.)

  9. 9
    tuibguy

    @carnation – No. No I don’t think he will ever just change his view as long as people just ‘let it slide,” because he is, y’know, famous and stuff.

    If he gets a revelation that beating sexual partners is bad, that sex as a minor is bad, it would be from some epiphany brought about by facing consequences.

  10. 10
    Ally Fogg

    Andrew V69

    If people are raised in an environment where such things as Chris Brown describes is considered normative, how much responsibility can we attribute to the abusers?

    As I talked about in my previous blog, we have to attribute total responsibility. I think there are philosophical reasons for that (relating to what we mean by free will etc) but more importantly there are practical reasons for it. It is simply not possible to imagine a society where people are absolved of responsibility for acts due to their conditioning.

    Can we also take the victims at their word when they do not consider themselves abused?

    We can certainly take them at their words that they do not consider themselves abused. However we can certainly disagree with them that they had not been abused. The individual does not have a monopoly on defining their experiences.

    Interestingly, someone on Twitter just sent me a link to a quote from Ike Turner, who “lost his virginity” (same phrase again) at age 6. “Today they call it child molesting. To me, I was just having fun.”

    Of course he’s another one who grew up to be a fine upstanding character :-|

  11. 11
    TMK

    Is 8 year old encountering porn a bad thing in itself? Someone above said it is abusive, how is seeing naked people do stuff abusive? (non-violent stuff, to boot)

  12. 12
    Michael Brew

    Had a similar experience at the same age with the same age girl. It didn’t get so far that I’d consider it losing my virginity, but it definitely involved some inappropriate nudity and touching, and even though I went along with it I was rather uncomfortable. In my case, she was my babysitter, so she had some authority over me, and I can remember at the time that I viewed her and kids her age in the same way I viewed an adult. The difference between an 8 year old and 14 year old is developmentally vast, so I would definitely say that even if both kids are legally minors, the adolescent definitely has a greater culpability than the child, morally speaking. I can’t say anything about the specific circumstances in Brown’s case, but I know in mine there was no one forcing my babysitter to do it and I had no idea what was going on at first myself so she had to explain to me what she wanted in simple terms. Regardless of whether or not she was abused or influenced by the culture to act the way she did, she was still the one to ultimately choose of her own free will to do that stuff so I would say that, yes, she was an abuser. Not as morally culpable as a full adult, perhaps, but still culpable the same as minors who steal or assault are still held responsible. Again, this girl Brown allegedly lost his virginity to could, for all we know, have been forced into his bedroom and coerced into having sex with him, but based on the information so far And my own experience, I don’t see considering the girl to be the abuser as a far-fetched assumption.

  13. 13
    freja

    There’s no doubt that Chris Brown is a victim, in the sense that something potentially damaging was done to him at an age where he couldn’t give informed consent. Whether or not he feels like a victim and whether or not it damaged him doesn’t change that it was wrong. I personally think it probably did harm him and contributed to making him the man he is today (which not positive), but even if I was wrong, it would still be abuse.

    The girl wasn’t an adult and might have been under the age of consent too, but a teenager definitely has more a responsibility than an 8 year old, no matter whether she herself had been abused in the past. However, we don’t know the circumstances enough to say whether she was or wasn’t a victim too. If he grew up in an environment where male dominance and violence against women was the norm, she might have been procured for him by other guys. Or she could have tried to seduce or force him in order to achieve a sense of power and control she was being deprived of by the culture around her. One makes her a victim, the other a perpetrator.

    That’s just one of the reasons it’s such a shame the interviewer didn’t have the courage and integrity to pursue the issue. Another reason is that there aren’t many studies on male victims of sexual abuse, so it’s hard to know what to think. It’s so routine for men to claim that they enjoyed it and felt in control even when they really didn’t that just asking them isn’t going to produce much useful information. We need more data on what happens to male victims of child sexual abuse afterwards in order get an idea of how they’re affected. And it’s a shame that the most obvious candidates for advocating a change in this area are also among the least likely to do so.

  14. 14
    Lucy

    Complete speculation from Ally on the circumstances of this (alleged) incident. Were they alone, was she mentally competent, was she giving or able to give informed consent? Can a 14 year old ever give informed consent to be an abuser?

    The picture I’m getting from 8 year olds watching porn is not one that is conducive to respect for 14 year old girls, an assumption which has been born out by the sexist lyrics, violence and artistic taste of his adolescence.

  15. 15
    Lucy

    “If a female interviewee described a sexual encounter at that age with a 14 or 15 year old boy, would Aitkenhead be so coy with her language, so casual with the reveal? It is inconceivable.”

    Is it?

    Maybe in this scenario she would also use the language her interviewee uses.

  16. 16
    carnation

    @ 6

    Very interesting point. The late Pim Fortyun definitely didn’t think so, for example. But I think that the law most definitely should NOT take into account whether or not a child feels they have been abused. The law exists for a reason.

    Link about Fortuyn’s views:

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/fortuyn-favoured-depraved-1-1373183

    No others who have asked if I’d consider a 15 year old boy having sex with an 8 year old girl abuse… Morally, they are the same, but there are physical differences. I’ll admit that it is with a considerable amount of discomfort that I draw moral equivalence. My position could be best summarised thus: abuse too place, whether criminal abuse took place (making one an “abuser”), depends on other factors.

    I will qualify this by sayi g I remain very open to opposing arguments and could be considered “undecided” in this discussion.

    Ike Turner, Tyson, Pryor and Brown were all raised in highly sexual environments. It’s fairly clear the dysfunction this caused.

    From memory, the literary pimp Iceberg Slim also “lost his virginity” to an older woman, I have a hazy recollection of reading about a woman pushing his face into her “maw”.

    In the interests of class and race diversity, I tried but failed to find an article about nannies performing oral sex on crying babies, popular in the Victorian era. Couldn’t find it though.

    This is a challenging film on the subject of child abuse:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0370986/

  17. 17
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I’m with you, Ally, unquestionably abuse, and the immediate shift into masculine boasting sounds a lot like a lot of victims/survivors I’ve known who are men, a form of denial that can mimic a socially justifiable desirability: “it’s just that I was so much a man’s man, even at eight…”

    I’m not as sure that it would be ignored were the interviewee a woman, as that aspect of rape culture is pretty solidly settled. Note the semi-focus, for instance, on the boys who have been victimized by priests and pastors: the words to describe the victims there tend to be either “kids” or “boys”, but rarely “girls” unless the particular situation is specifically and only girls (the Magdalene Laundries, for instance). Semi-focus because even there, the victims of all genders are too often disappeared by a tight shot on the perpetrators.

    But no question, there is a very uncomfortable sidestep right there in this interview, and a noticeable avoidance of using any words that characterize it properly as sexual assault. I think it’s good to draw attention to it, and it’s one of the reasons I’m glad you’re blogging at FtB. You often post things that give me a defensive reflex, and I’ve long since learned to recognize that as some form of privilege talking, so I mostly just read and think and try and get to why I am having that reaction, what’s my assumption that’s taking me to a bad place, that sort of thing. Doesn’t mean I always agree in the end, but I’ve certainly shifted a few assumptions to the bin. :)

  18. 18
    Ally Fogg

    That’s a very kind comment CaitieCat, thank you.

  19. 19
    maudell

    @scimath

    I find it strange that you seem to have a hierarchy of victims, and portray grown men as the only perpetrators and makers of culture. Whatever you think causes cultural tropes and beliefs, we are all a part of it at different degrees. Women do participate in a culture that assumes men always want sex, and raping a man isn’t ‘real rape’. Now, you may think that women also act this way as a cultural influence. I’m just not sure why men should be exempt of this influence.

    Culture doesn’t exempt responsibility. Since we barely know anything about what happened, my point only refers to the information Brown told the journalist.

    I was sexually active of my own volition at 14-15. Many teens are. The hormones have kicked in by then. It isn’t the case of an 8 year old. I think it is fair to say that had the woman been 35 years old, she would have been more responsible, more despicable, more abusive. But a 14 or 15 year old bears responsibility for abuse.

    I think benevolent sexism or racism is harmful. Obviously, the topic here is sexual abuse on men, so I don’t want to derail too much. But I want to point this out, because it seems to me that you believe your benevolent sexism towards women is not really sexism. Removing agency and responsibility from women because of cultural influence is not helpful. Women are not perpetual fragile flowers who can’t help themselves. (this applies regardless of your gender)

    Chris Brown is an abuser, and now, if this information is correct, he was likely sexually abused as a child. The perpetrator took advantage of him, and it is possible that she was also abused before that. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  20. 20
    guest

    Jezebel’s Doug Barry being even worse:

    http://jezebel.com/chris-brown-brags-about-losing-his-virginity-when-he-wa-1441538846

    Chris Brown Brags About Losing His Virginity When He Was Eight

    Turns out Chris Brown is the abuser here.

  21. 21
    guest

    Post disappeared? WP bug? Chrome bug? Strange moderation without a notice?

    Anyway, you can find Jezebel doing the same but worse, turning Brown into the villain of the story. No url because of possible moderation but google chris brown brags about losing his virginity

  22. 22
    carnation

    Veering ever so slightly offtopic, but did anyone ever see Mike Tyson being interviewed about his upbringing and exposure to sex and sexuality from a young age? He talked about adult promiscuity, sexualised language and the effects it had on him. Interestingly, I’ve also talked about being picked on for being effeminate (voice) and how he reacted (extremely violently).

    Tyson remains an extremely fascinating character. Similar to Brown, though Brown doesn’t have the almost maniacal drive and work ethic that Tyson had.

    I’m a firm believer that abusive personalities develop and can be challenged and reversed.

    Back to the OP though, the journalist should apologise for her crassly insensitive reportage.

    And respect is due to Ally for publicly criticising a colleague, surely not an easy thing to do.

  23. 23
    carnation

    (I’ve should read he. In case anyone is wondering, that wasn’t a Freudian slip!)

  24. 24
    H. E. Pennypacker

    Very good article Ally. I’d like to second all those describing this girl as an abuser. Whether she’s been abused or not isn’t really all that relevant to whether she should be given this label, just as Chris Brown’s experiences don’t stop us labeling him an abuser. I’m sorry, but I find it very hard to believe those claiming that they would not consider a 14/15 year old boy who had sex with an 8 year old girl to be an abuser.

    I’d say that this reluctance to view an abuser as responsible for their actions because they’re female is sexist against both men and women. The denial of female criminals agency has been a topic of feminist research for quite a long time, often focusing on media representations that portray them as either “mad” or “bad” – that is, to deny their free will by portraying their crimes as being caused by some mental incapacity or some deep rooted evil.

    The one issue I take with the article is this sentence:

    I agree with the first half of the sentence. I also agree it doesn’t excuse his actions in any way but I think it does go some way to explaining. Obviously, as the first half suggests, we shouldn’t assume that those abused as children will go on to become abusers themselves, but we most certainly should take the fact that abusers are disproportionately likely to have been abused themselves and see this as an explanation. This explanation shouldn’t lead us to assume that all abused will become abusers but lead us to strive harder to help victims of abuse and perhaps inform the way in which we try to rehabilitate abusers who have been abused themselves.

  25. 25
    H. E. Pennypacker

    Had trouble with the quoting. The sentence quoted should be:

    ” It does the victims of child rape no favours to assert a linear path from abused to abuser, and whatever light the new revelations might shine on Chris Brown’s personality, they do absolutely nothing to excuse or explain his own violence.”

  26. 26
    carnation

    @ H E Pennybacker

    I think the term abuser would need a degree of clarity, I was thinking in terms of criminal abuse. Brown was abused, indeed, and it follows that that abuse was perpetrated by a person who could reasonably be described as an abuser.

    Dare I risk controversy by saying that his was a culture that could perhaps be described as sexual abuse culture?

  27. 27
    Ally Fogg

    H.E. Pennypacker [24]

    I completely hear what you say, but I’m very, very wary of endorsing the word “explain” in this kind of context. I think it is essential that abusers of all sorts (or potential abusers) are aware of their responsibility for their own actions.

    There is also a terrible, terrible danger of stigmatising victims as abusers waiting to happen. The truth is that most victims of abuse will not go on to harm others, and not all those who harm others have themselves been abused.

    I think the closest I’ve ever got to a working analogy for this is that what childhood abuse (not just sexual, but physical, emotional, neglect etc) can be the psychological equivalent of putting a loaded weapon in someone’s hands. It is still a conscious choice as to whether or not to pull the trigger and if someone does pull the trigger, they should still be held responsible.

    That analogy is far from perfect, but at least it leaves us in a situation where we can unequivocally condemn abuse, without being complacent about society’s role in ensuring that the situation doesn’t arise in the first place.

  28. 28
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @Ally

    I think this disagreement then is probably more semantic than anything. I think there’s quite a big contrast between explaining something and excusing it. Explaining something can be merely describing the factors that led to it happening.

    If a drug dealer shot a rival the explanation would be that they were in direct competition, the other guy was selling drugs on his turf etc. This is in no way an excuse for the actions.

    I agree with the idea that we can’t start assuming that everyone who was abused as a child is going to become an abuser themselves. To do so would obviously have lots of extremely harmful consequences as well as being empirically false. However, I think the fact that they are statistically more likely should strengthen our resolve to identify and provide support for those who are abused. Obviously are compassion for helping those who have experienced horrible things is a great motivation in itself but I think it’s worth realising that supporting victims of abuse also has a potentially preventative effect (in some cases).

    @Carnation

    That makes a lot more sense now.

  29. 29
    Paul

    Interesting article Ally .Double-standards affect both sexes and both sexes can either benefit from them or feel discriminated against by them. However double-standards which discriminate against men and boys are often seen as being less problematic than those which discriminate against women and girls.And this was clearly a factor in Decca Aitkenhead’s interview with Chris Brown.As indeed it may well have been if Brown had been interviewed by a male journalist.

  30. 30
    Tamen

    guest @20:

    That isn’t the first time Doug Barry and Jezebel have made light of male victims of rape and sexual violence – case in point: http://jezebel.com/5901998/german-woman-tries-to-hold-sexhausted-man-prisoner-in-her-apartment

    sexual assault is a bad, bad thing, not made any more innocuous by the fact that a woman was the aggressor in this instance. By all accounts, however, the initial hook-up was consensual* and, even after being stopped from leaving, the man had sex** “several more times” with the woman who detained him.

    It’d be interesting to see what becomes of these charges, and whether a German defense attorney chronicles this man’s entire sexual history in an effort to discredit his accusations and make him seem way too promiscuous* in an effort to prove that it was his own fault in the first place for sleeping with a complete stranger. Can you picture a bunch of German talk radio hosts calling this guy a “slut” or suggesting that he was just asking to be held as a prisoner in this woman’s apartment?** Now that would be quite the gender reversal.

    Talk about myopic.

  31. 31
    guest

    I admit to some curiosity about ‘Doug Barry’, one of Jezebel’s most reliably misandrist writers.

    Is Doug male?
    WTF is Doug’s problem?
    Is Doug a paid troll, that is does Doug believe have the shit Doug writes?

    What I find interesting is that unlike Hugo Schwyzer and John Scalzi and David Futrelle or PZ Myers, reading Doug, I don’t pick up essences or whiffs of vagina. When I read Doug, Doug writes with a male’s voice.

    He certainly hates man and mankind. He definitely excuses feminine error and feminist bullshit.

  32. 32
    guest

    Tamen @30, what is often present with many Doug Barry misandry posts is actual Jezebel commenters taking issue with him.

    That Jezebel lets Doug continue for so long in making so many rapey, abusive, misandric posts tells me Jezebel, Gawker, Nick Denton, and all the head c*nts at Jezebel know exactly who or what Doug is and encourage what he is doing.

  33. 33
    guest

    Tamen @30, what is often present with many Doug Barry misandry posts is actual Jezebel commenters taking issue with him.

    That Jezebel lets Doug continue for so long in making so many rapey, abusive, misandric posts tells me Jezebel, Gawker, Nick Denton, and all the head c -words at Jezebel know exactly who or what Doug is and encourage what he is doing.

  34. 34
    KRS

    TMK @ 11:

    Exposing an eight-year-old to porn is abusive because a child that age isn’t mature enough to process sex, the exact same reason that it’s abusive to have sex with a child that age (even if the child consents and thinks it’s fun).

  35. 35
    freja

    @33, guest

    That Jezebel lets Doug continue for so long in making so many rapey, abusive, misandric posts tells me Jezebel, Gawker, Nick Denton, and all the head c -words at Jezebel know exactly who or what Doug is and encourage what he is doing.

    Or maybe they just value free speech and a variety of opinions?

  36. 36
    Lucy

    “in a culture where men can never admit to weakness, and particularly never admit to having been used and abused by a girl”

    If a girl under 16 cannot consent to sex, how can she consent to being a rapist?

  37. 37
    freja

    @34, KRS

    Exposing an eight-year-old to porn is abusive because a child that age isn’t mature enough to process sex, the exact same reason that it’s abusive to have sex with a child that age (even if the child consents and thinks it’s fun).

    Not to mention that porn often has less to do with sex than cowboy movies have to do with life in the real wild west. There are sex educators out there who say it’s almost a bigger job countering porn myths than it is to teach about the actual sex. Not only do the actions of porn actors have little to do with how most humans would act in similar situations, but many of the actual sex acts are not something that would be possible, let alone pleasurable (at least for the women), in real life.

    Letting children see naked bodies isn’t child abuse in itself. Even letting them see sex might not be. But porn isn’t sex, it’s a performance that happens to (mostly) include penises going into bodily orifices. It can be painful for the performers and require a degree of athleticism not usually found among the audience, it’s often cut in ways that hide what’s really going on, and the actors play out scripts that are often highly improbable and bear little resemblance to how actual social interaction works. It can be scary and unsettling for children, and the ideas about sex and gender they take from it are more often harmful than not.

  38. 38
    Gjenganger

    @Lucy 36

    If a girl under 16 cannot consent to sex, how can she consent to being a rapist?

    That difference is well established. The rules about consent put a limit on other people. Children are not competent to say yes to sex, to sign a hire purchase contract, etc., so even if they say yes, other people are not allowed to act on that yes. Criminal responsibility is a matter of your own actions, nd you can still be responsible for those even if you are not capable of gigvingt valid consent. The killers of James Bulger were still responsile for their murder, even if under age. A drunk man is still responsible for raping his equally drunk bedmate, if she is too drunk to consent. Etc.

  39. 39
    WhineyMalone

    Really thought-provoking piece, as always Ally. Mind you, I think it’s a bit of an Anglo-Saxon approach, in a way, to automatically assume the incident is best described as ‘abuse’ (The English/American justice system always placing more emphasis on blame, than arguably more subtle concepts such as understanding & rehabilitation). I mean, surely in a situation like this with two minors, who cannot grasp the full moral implications of what they are doing, the main question arising should perhaps be more about why the guardians/parents failed to prevent such harm, and what aspects of their upbringings and cultural formations led to such unusual & unfortunate activities. (Letting minors view internet pornography unaccompanied is surely akin to giving them the keys to the drinking cabinet and inviting them just to help themselves.)

  40. 40
    Tamen

    Lucy @36:

    Since Chris Brown stated that he grew up in Virginia the pertaining law is:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-61

    § 18.2-61. Rape.

    A. If any person has sexual intercourse with a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, or causes a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, to engage in sexual intercourse with any other person and such act is accomplished (i) against the complaining witness’s will, by force, threat or intimidation of or against the complaining witness or another person; or (ii) through the use of the complaining witness’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness; or (iii) with a child under age 13 as the victim, he or she shall be guilty of rape.


    1. For a violation of clause (iii) of subsection A where the offender is more than three years older than the victim, if done in the commission of, or as part of the same course of conduct as, or as part of a common scheme or plan as a violation of (i) subsection A of § 18.2-47 or § 18.2-48, (ii) § 18.2-89, 18.2-90, or 18.2-91, or (iii) § 18.2-51.2, the punishment shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 25 years; or


    There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a juvenile over the age of 10 but less than 12, does not possess the physical capacity to commit a violation of this section.

    This seems to pretty clearly legally label it rape if the offender is older than 12 and more than 3 years older than the victim. Rape, not statutory rape.

    In addition Virgina opens for juveniles 14 years old or above to be tried as adults: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+16.1-269.1

    If you argue against 15 year-old people consenting to being a rapist I have to wonder if I will I see you protest these:

    http://www.neurope.eu/article/echr-upholds-rape-conviction-15-year-old
    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/front-range/aurora/teenager-omar-ricardo-godinez-convicted-as-an-adult-for-gang-rapes-in-aurora
    http://kfor.com/2012/07/17/15-year-old-arrested-for-raping-his-grandma/
    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/18679108/teen-sentenced-for-attempted-rape-of-great-grandmother/

    I guess none of them either consented to being a rapist?

  41. 41
    WhineyMalone

    The killers of James Bulger were still responsible for their murder, even if under age

    Interesting point, Gjenganger, but I think there’s an important qualitative difference between that incident and the situation outlined here. Obviously if you kidnap another human-being and proceed to bludgeon them to death, the intent to cause harm is very apparent, even to children of that age. However, I don’t think the element of harm would necessarily be clear to a child, when it comes to initiating sexual activities such as intercourse. So perhaps there’s a case to put greater emphasis on care and re-education, rather than punishment, unless there’s other evidence that the actions involved were wilfully malicious.

  42. 42
    guest

    Gjenganger @38, is that a “well established” difference in law? I thought the decision to try the Bulger killers as adults was somewhat controversial, even within the UK, and certainly their age would have precluded their being tried as adults in a number of other European countries.

    Of course, even if it was a well established difference in law that need not make it right – a strong asymmetry between capability for consent and capability for responsibility seems likely to be problematic regardless.

  43. 43
    TMK

    (is there a way to blockquote things?)

    @KRS 34 wrote
    >>>Exposing an eight-year-old to porn is abusive because a child that age isn’t mature enough to process sex, the exact same reason that it’s abusive to have sex with a child that age (even if the child consents and thinks it’s fun).<<<

    What is that processing? Is that supposed to mean understanding what sex is? If yes, i would say 8 years old should be quite able to understand what sex is, as it is rather simple phenomen.

    Or does that process thing means something else? Come to think of it, what would happen if 8yo would see sex and not process it?

    I certainly dont think sexual abuse of children is abusive because they cant process it. I think it is abusive for the same reason it is abusive for adults, with added insult of being physically more dangerous and often involving more deceit and violaton of trust and abuse of authority. Certainly not because of anything i would call unability to process sex.

  44. 44
    Gjenganger

    @WhineyMalone 40
    Fair enough, it is worth discussing just how heavy condemnation we should put on e.g. the girl in this case.

    However, I don’t think the element of harm would necessarily be clear to a child, when it comes to initiating sexual activities such as intercourse. .

    Not sure that is the right distinction, though. Surely any child of school age would know that sex is forbidden by mummy, just like biting, or stealing sweets in the corner shop. But there are several potential escape clauses:

    - If both are equally consenting and equally incapable of legal consent it is impossible to determine who is the guilty party, and it becomes a mere child rearing problem. That would apply to two consenting childen of similar age – but not to an 8-year-old and a 14-year-old. Something similar might happen with sex while too drunk to consent once you accept that women too can commit sexual asault (or if both participants are of the same sex).

    - You could classify it as wrong but not a matter for the law – like bullying, shouting in class, or smashing other children’s toys. Something children cannot be held fully responsible for. A bit of a stretch for a 14-year old, though.

    - Or you could just say that it is illegal but we deal very gently with children. Here, unlike the previous cases, it gets the full moral condemnation.

    Not sure which is the best approach, but I do think we need to be explicit about which bin we put things in.

  45. 45
    TMK

    @Freja 37 wrote

    >>>Not to mention that porn often has less to do with sex than cowboy movies have to do with life in the real wild west. There are sex educators out there who say it’s almost a bigger job countering porn myths than it is to teach about the actual sex. Not only do the actions of porn actors have little to do with how most humans would act in similar situations, but many of the actual sex acts are not something that would be possible, let alone pleasurable (at least for the women), in real life.<<>>Letting children see naked bodies isn’t child abuse in itself. Even letting them see sex might not be. But porn isn’t sex, it’s a performance that happens to (mostly) include penises going into bodily orifices. It can be painful for the performers and require a degree of athleticism not usually found among the audience, it’s often cut in ways that hide what’s really going on, and the actors play out scripts that are often highly improbable and bear little resemblance to how actual social interaction works. It can be scary and unsettling for children, and the ideas about sex and gender they take from it are more often harmful than not.<<<

    We seem to consume vastly different kinds of porn, but i digress again. I certainly agree that letting/making 8yo kid watch Facefuck Sluts IX would not be that far from setting up a movie session with The Cabin in the Woods.

    So the problem is with realism and (near)violence? Do you think it would be okay to show realistic and non-violent, say, My Sexy Hubby VI, porn movie to 8yo kid?

  46. 46
    summerblues

    Did we read the same article? I have more understanding and even sympathy for him now, when before it was no opinion to “bad boy”. He’s a survivor. He states it himself. That’s the culture: small town, backwoods (ohio, kentucky, virginia) and holy cricket…trailer park. You’ve not set foot one is these areas, have you. The girl is not an abuser, she is a victim of that culture as well.

    You are allowed your opinion (what sounds like from your lofty ivory tower) but you are not allowed to define a person’s experiences for them. They are his, he defines them.

    Just because other victims say these very same words does not mean that Chris Brown isn’t telling the truth. What happened to him, the girl, his cousins and every other kid raised in a trailer park or backwoods area, is wrong. No question. But he took it and became stronger from it. Someday, if he hasn’t already, he may admit that this was wrong (certainly not what he wants for his own children) but you are insulting him by painting him as a victim instead of a survivor.

  47. 47
    TMK

    Oh yes, ditch the previous comment, i forgot to paste my part.

    @Freja 37 wrote

    #>>>Not to mention that porn often has less to do with sex than cowboy movies have to do with life in the real wild west. There are sex educators out there who say it’s almost a bigger job countering porn myths than it is to teach about the actual sex. Not only do the actions of porn actors have little to do with how most humans would act in similar situations, but many of the actual sex acts are not something that would be possible, let alone pleasurable (at least for the women), in real life.<<>>Letting children see naked bodies isn’t child abuse in itself. Even letting them see sex might not be. But porn isn’t sex, it’s a performance that happens to (mostly) include penises going into bodily orifices. It can be painful for the performers and require a degree of athleticism not usually found among the audience, it’s often cut in ways that hide what’s really going on, and the actors play out scripts that are often highly improbable and bear little resemblance to how actual social interaction works. It can be scary and unsettling for children, and the ideas about sex and gender they take from it are more often harmful than not.<<<#

    We seem to consume vastly different kinds of porn, but i digress again. I certainly agree that letting/making 8yo kid watch Facefuck Sluts IX would not be that far from setting up a movie session with The Cabin in the Woods.

    So the problem is with realism and (near)violence? Do you think it would be okay to show realistic and non-violent, say, My Sexy Hubby VI, porn movie to 8yo kid?

  48. 48
    TMK

    Grrr. So angry. The software hates me. Sorry for messing up the comments thread, Ally :(

    The following thing should come in between the two Freja paragraphs:

    Well, actually I would say porn is way more realistic that cowboy moves or other things kids (or adults) watch, but i digress. Whats the problem with it? That they would get wrong idea how sex looks like? I doubt it, kids (or adults, actually, if mythbusters are to be believed) get all sort of wrong ideas about real world at the time, but not to an extent to think sex is about getting flogged or to keep trying to act painful anal sex without knowledge how to do it. (yes, i know sometimes you get a kid who thinks he is a spiderman and dies trying. we also have darwin awards for adults)

    Even then, the answer would be more sexual education. I am old enough to know that the varous myths arent there because of porn, but because the generational transfer of knowledge about sex is basically non-existent. Myths were doing just fine before porn was available in my country in any significant quantity.

    In the end, even if it results in unrealistic views on sex, that is not abuse.

  49. 49
    Gjenganger

    @41 Guest
    I cannot speak for the law – I am not a lawyer. Nor can I say what the age limits should be. But consent and responsibility are different things and can support different age limits. The point is that consent rules are a burden put on third parties, who are fully capable and can work around the problems. Telling adults to avoid sex with 14-year-olds is not a big problem. Letting 14-year-olds do what they like without being held responsible is more problematical.

  50. 50
    Tamen

    guest @41:

    When the UK convict a 15 year old boy for having (“consensual”*) sex with a 12 year old girl (“who told him she was 15″*) and the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upholds his rape conviction (a 12-month detention and training order and detained for five months before being granted bail) I’d say that it’s indicative that the principle that underaged people can and do get convicted for crimes they commit is well established.

    * those claims (true or not) were the basis of his plea deal, that means that the plea deal and subsequent sentencing were based on these as if they were established facts.

    -Source: http://www.neurope.eu/article/echr-upholds-rape-conviction-15-year-old

  51. 51
    JT

    @ #10

    As I talked about in my previous blog, we have to attribute total responsibility. I think there are philosophical reasons for that (relating to what we mean by free will etc) but more importantly there are practical reasons for it. It is simply not possible to imagine a society where people are absolved of responsibility for acts due to their conditioning.(Ally)

    You dont need to imagine it, we are already there. Adult women with children many times return to their abusive partners with kids in tow. They should not be held accountable for the ensuing abusive behaviour to themselves by the husband or life partner but they should be held accountable for putting their children at risk and exposing them to violent and abusive actions. Alas, that never happens and just coming out and saying that in this culture will make me a “victim” blamer.

  52. 52
    JT

    @16

    I do remember some lyrics from Freddie Mercury…………..

    Hey I was just a skinny lad
    Never knew no good from bad
    But I knew life before I left my nursery – huh
    Left alone with big fat Fanny
    She was such a naughty nanny
    Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me
    Hey hey!
    Wooh

  53. 53
    left0ver1under

    This reads a lot like stories about school teachers who become sexually involved with students (whether statutory rape or of consenting age). If an adult man has sex with a teenage girl, everyone says, “Ewwww…” and “Arrest him”, but if an adult woman has sex with teenage boy, some will actually cheer and talk as if it were a good thing.

    If you call them on it, most will respond with, “It’s different when it’s a woman and a boy.” How is it different? Because the speaker finds one scenario appalling, and the other is their personal sexual fantasy? (That clearly applies in Brown’s case.)

    It often seems the more attractive the woman involved, the more “positively” such people will talk about it. I was looking for other links about such cases, not one that glorifies abuse like the link I found, but it proves the point: the person who wrote it picked out the attractive women (leaving out all the “less photogenic” women), and a fair number of comments below amount to saying the teenage boys “got lucky”, not that they were abused.

    http://acidcow.com/pics/50229-female-teachers-caught-sleeping-with-students-41.html

  54. 54
    Thil

    @Tamen 49

    poor kid

  55. 55
    Guest

    Tamen@49: 15 is above the age of consent in quite a few European countries, and also above the age of criminal responsibility. Consent and criminal responsibility both tend to kick in before majority, in any case.

    What I was a bit taken aback by was Gjenganger’s view, also at @48, that capacity for consent and capacity for responsibility could be strongly separate, since they seem to be attributed based on much the same kind of considerations about expected levels of understanding, self-control, capacity for autonomous action, etc.

    All that’s kind of tangential to Chris Brown’s case, though, so apologies for any derailing.

  56. 56
    Gjenganger

    @Guest 55
    You are right that many of the same considerations come in for both cases. But the trade-offs are different. Say for arguments sake that most people become mature enough to handle their own sex life when they are 14. It might still make sense to set the age of consent at 15, to protect the less mature minority from exploitation by older people. But you might prefer to set the age of responsibility at 13, to protect younger children from exploitation by the 14-year-olds.

  57. 57
    freja

    @46, TMK

    We seem to consume vastly different kinds of porn, but i digress again. I certainly agree that letting/making 8yo kid watch Facefuck Sluts IX would not be that far from setting up a movie session with The Cabin in the Woods.

    So the problem is with realism and (near)violence? Do you think it would be okay to show realistic and non-violent, say, My Sexy Hubby VI, porn movie to 8yo kid?

    I watched movies with sex scenes in them before I’d reached puberty, but those sex scenes were in the context of an overall story and they weren’t that explicit. I have yet to see a porn movie which gave a credible portrayal of how the performers got to have sex in the first place, and while I think it’s possible to find porn that isn’t violent, degrading, or painful for the performers, I don’t think anyone who thinks an 8 year old needs to be exposed to it will be able to tell the difference

    Furthermore, even children have a sense of modesty. Maybe it would be different if we all went around naked and had sex in public, but most kids pick up the social norm that sex is supposed to be private. The few children I’ve heard of who had an adult man masturbate in front of them were profoundly uncomfortable with it. We give adults the choice whether they want to see porn or not, because be recognise that it could make them uncomfortable. Young children who are exposed to it by adults don’t have that choice, and are likely to go along with it if older kids and adults tell them to, regardless of how it makes them feel.

    Well, actually I would say porn is way more realistic that cowboy moves or other things kids (or adults) watch, but i digress. Whats the problem with it? That they would get wrong idea how sex looks like? I doubt it, kids (or adults, actually, if mythbusters are to be believed) get all sort of wrong ideas about real world at the time, but not to an extent to think sex is about getting flogged or to keep trying to act painful anal sex without knowledge how to do it. (yes, i know sometimes you get a kid who thinks he is a spiderman and dies trying. we also have darwin awards for adults)

    I disagree on the realism thing. And kids know how climbing and gravity is supposed to work, and they know spiderman have special powers that normal people don’t. In contrast, it actually seems to be fairly common that sexually inexperienced consumers of porn thinks anal sex works like every other form of sex (that is, the man thrusts into the chosen orifice with about 3 seconds warning), and get hurt when they try it. Or keep trying despite the pain because they figure the girl just needs to be better at taking it.

    Porn also has to be put into the context of the real world. Unfortunately, in the real world, women who have a lot of sex with a lot of different partners and who willingly agree to take off their clothes and have sex with men almost immediately are labeled sluts, with all the cultural baggage that entails (filthy, worthless, deserving of rape). If you want to show your children the kind of porn which portrays women as uncritically promiscuous (i.e. most of it), you have to make them understand that slut-shaming is wrong, or you’re just teaching them to have less regard for women. The same goes for women who initially resist but then comes around after being forced. I doubt Brown’s surroundings did anything to counter that.

    Even then, the answer would be more sexual education. I am old enough to know that the varous myths arent there because of porn, but because the generational transfer of knowledge about sex is basically non-existent. Myths were doing just fine before porn was available in my country in any significant quantity.

    You just “know” that? With no documentation or concrete examples? Funny, because the studies I’ve heard of and the sex experts asked often disagree with you. And I agree we need more and better sexual education, but that doesn’t free parents of responsibility for letting their children be exposed to fictional sex performances that make no attempt at mimicking anything realistic or healthy at an age where they have huge difficulties discerning fiction from reality.

  58. 58
    guest

    @freja 36, what does freeze peach have to do with it?

    Doug Barry is one of their prime featured authors. He is erasing rape. He does this repeatedly even though many readers point this out and call him on it.

    This repeated transgression from a featured writer turns it from “Jezebel encouraging free speech” to JEZEBEL RAPE APOLOGY.

    I see you too are a rape apologist.

    In the past Jezebel has encouraged domestic violence against men, it is not surprising to see Jezebel erase rape of boys.

    http://jezebel.com/294383/have-you-ever-beat-up-a-boyfriend-cause-uh-we-have

    Freda, would you have a problem with any other gawker site encouraging beating the shit out of women, or raping them? Would you defend that site’s repeated publication of such as “encouraging free speech”?

  59. 59
    mildlymagnificent

    freja

    There are sex educators out there who say it’s almost a bigger job countering porn myths than it is to teach about the actual sex. Not only do the actions of porn actors have little to do with how most humans would act in similar situations, but many of the actual sex acts are not something that would be possible, let alone pleasurable (at least for the women), in real life.

    ….. t can be scary and unsettling for children, and the ideas about sex and gender they take from it are more often harmful than not.

    I’ve seen discussions on teachers forums from people in despair about adolescents’ totally unrealistic views about sex and sexuality. All derived from porn. Particularly distressing are the questions from girls about whether they should agree to go without or misuse contraceptives or anal or other activities because their boyfriends insist that it’s normal and “if they really loved them” they’d go along with it. The girls don’t want to but have no language or concepts, let alone the self-confidence, to support them in talking about it.

    And then. They have 14 year olds asking about how to organise breast implants because a boyfriend insists that a really sexy woman should have breasts like all those women he’s seen in his preferred porn videos. If porn movies showed honestly what happens between people agreeing/ negotiating consent, for sex, for contraception and for specific sexual activities as the occasion arises – and not doing something one party isn’t up for today but having a lot of fun anyway – the world would be a better place.
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    As for Chris Brown’s interviewer. Ally’s right. There’s no need to tell him that he’s wrong to feel as he does about his childhood and this experience in particular. There’s a strong need to point out that if any schoolteacher had a student disclose these events, then that’d be a pretty good basis for a Mandatory Report – or for at least starting a file in relation to that child. As for the age difference. One of the things that teachers take a lot of notice of is age-inappropriate sexual knowledge, language and/or behaviour even when the children concerned are in the same age group.

    Whether it arises from children being allowed or encouraged to watch porn or from direct abuse by someone of any age is a matter that concerns social workers or police officers. But dismissing it entirely just because this particular child has grown up feeling OK about it is completely wrong.

  60. 60
    Copyleft

    Ally is also right to point out that, if the genders had been reversed, no excuses would have been made by ANY commentator: obviously the sexual experience of an eight-year old GIRL would have been promptly decried as molestation, period, regardless of the age of the older boy.

    And how many people would be making an effort to say the teenage BOY was ‘probably just as much of a victim too’? Certainly nobody on Jezebel would have gotten such a statement past editing.

  61. 61
    Thil

    @Copyleft

    I think it’s possible in both cases. However I think that makes Brown no less of a victim himself (god that feels weird to say) even if true, and I’m not going to just assume it in the absence of evidence

  62. 62
    inappropriate

    Ok so it’s pretty clear at this point that the Jezzies don’t find a 15 year old girl having sex with an 8 year old boy any way near as “icky” as they would if the genders were reversed.

    If they’re serious about reducing domestic/sexual abuse of women by men though, they should care, because this is how male abusers are made.

    On the other hand, milquetoast liberal men are easier targets than BPD ratchets, and they look more like The Patriarchy as well….

  63. 63
    Mr Supertypo

    I think its just a manifestation of what they call ‘ benevolent sexism ‘ in other words misogyny, (and misandrism. Misogyny and misandry goes hand in hand. If you are misogynist then you are also misandrist. You cannot be one without the other [from ozy]) in their mind, maybe subconsciously they believe women are weak and fragile and they need protection from men most of the time. And if the defender of the “purity” of the woman, shows to be a female, its also a manifestation of internalized patriarchy.

    Everyone who advocate for double standard (like this) and or minimize male abuse by females, are defacto a bigot . Honestly whats the difference from past century gentleman who challenged duel another man because he dishonored a woman? or a medieval knight? women are brainless idiot who are unable to take responsibility for their actions? If the 15y old girl abused the 8y old boy. Then its sexual abuse, there is no going around this. And it is exactly the same if it was the other way around.

    The reality is, if its destructive to women so is it for men. Men are only trained to suppress their emotion (something thats slowly changing) thus giving the illusion of them being akin to a Terminator. But in reality a man is jst as vulnerable as women. You cant reach equality or the elimination of gender roles acting like a 1814 gentleman from the empire.

    PS

    sorry for the typos but right now im at home with the flu, and I dont have the strength and energy to correct them.

  64. 64
    Ginkgo

    Mr Supertypo @ -”I think its just a manifestation of what they call ‘ benevolent sexism ‘ in other words misogyny, (and misandrism. Misogyny and misandry goes hand in hand. If you are misogynist then you are also misandrist. You cannot be one without the other [from ozy]) ”

    Ozy’s Law! I am so glad to see it quoted.

    I was talking with a feminist on Reddit and came to a realization – what she was calling benevolent sexism was almost exactly what MRAs call femlae privilege. Typhonblue calls this stuff “poisoned benfits” because of the dehumanizing and infantilizing efect on women.

    They persist in the culture because benefits, poisoned or not, are really hard to give up.

  65. 65
    picklefactory

    Coward @ 31:

    What I find interesting is that unlike Hugo Schwyzer and John Scalzi and David Futrelle or PZ Myers, reading Doug, I don’t pick up essences or whiffs of vagina.

    I noticed that no one else mentioned that you are scum. But, however, you are.

  66. 66
    mya

    Quite a lot of opinions on the Chris Brown claim to have lost his virginity at 8 years old.

    Remember this is Chris Brown talking.

    Do you actually believe he lost his virginity at 8 or was even capable of doing so?

  67. 67
    Tamen

    mya @66:

    I have no trouble believing that it could have happened. I find it telling and troubling that you do not. I find no compelling reason to not assume that Chris Brown is telling the truth about this.

    You seem to be under the disillusion that erections only happens to boys after puberty when in fact erections are pretty common in infants, todlers and boys – it’s even been documented in uterus (http://www.livestrong.com/article/267344-erections-in-babies/).

  68. 68
    summerblues

    Who on earth actually thinks that babies and toddlers don’t get erections. Erections are involuntary. I’ve tucked more than one in a diaper. They also touch themselves. It feels good. Geez, folks, babies are human after all.

  69. 69
    Nick Gotts

    picklefactory@65,

    I couldn’t agree more. I seldom visit this page because although the OPs are sometimes interesting, the vileness of many commentators, often going unanswered, makes it hard to stomach.

    On the question of whether the girl in question was an abuser – if that indicates full moral responsiiblity, as Ally Fogg insists it always does, how does Ally or anyone else think they know whether or not that is the case? We have no idea at all whether she was coerced or manipulated by an adult or adults. Doing this is sometimes part of child abusers’ modus operandi, and those coerced or manipulated in this way often suffer an additional helping of lifelong guilt. And yes, I would say the same if the genders were reversed, given the absolutely minimal information we have – that we don’t know. This “Everyone is fully responsible for everything they do because FREE WILL” is simplistic crap. There are cases of people who committed serious criminal acts – including, in one well-documented case, “child molestation”, after a lifetime without doing so, because of a brain tumour. Do we “attribute total responsiblity” to this man? Only if we’re idiots.

  1. 70
    HYPOAGENCY – “Women are wonderful” | GendErratic

    […] example of this kind of rape apology here is the first comment that appeared after Ally Fogg posted this very good blog post on Chris Brown being child-raped when he was eight by a teenaged girl, and later bragging about […]

  2. 71
    Links 10 – 10/10/13 | Alastair's Adversaria

    […] Magic Trick: Chris Brown and the Disappearing Child Sex Abuse – I posted a comment on this related […]

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    International mens day, it’s not all about the menz. | Sometimes, it's just a cigar

    […] boys who are the victims of sexual predators are treated. There is an excellent piece by Ally Fogg here. If a male teacher has sex with a pupil it is seen as an abuse of power, if a female teacher has sex […]

  4. 73
    Male victims ignored again: Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault by The National Research Council | Tamen's writings

    […] happened to them to be a crime and/or perhaps not even consider themselves a victim (for instance Chris Brown). As the authors themselves […]

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