Thursday, May 29, 2014


Some assumptions simply are not true.  But I can find confirmation in media reports and formal “papers” of at least the following:

Not all homeless kids are impossible to handle or mentally ill.  Some are.

Not every kid who has been sexually abused becomes a sexual abuser.  A few do.  It’s the ones who sing “I’m depraved on account a’ I’m deprived” who produce the illusion.  But there IS truth to it -- just not universal.

Not every family is destructive, neglectful, violent, or chaotic.  Too many are.  And it has a lot to do with poverty.

Not every single-parent family with only a mom is dysfunctional -- they just are a lot harder and take more energy.  Same for military families, 2 career families, single-parent families with only a dad, and so on.

Not every baby is born out of wedlock.  Last year 42% were.  In the US.  All social categories.

Not every male is sexually harassed/abused/raped/violently raped to the point of death.  At least one in six is somewhere on that continuum.

Not every girl on a campus is sexually harassed, abused, raped while drunk and unconscious, killed in an act of sexual violence.  At least one in eight is.  Many more than that just clam up and take it.  

So how do we know?  Sometimes there are pretty reliable studies but you could probably challenge everything above if you were looking for exact figures.  Those of us who live near or on Indian Reservations, whether or not we are Indian, realize that there is a LOT of violence and much of it is against women and most of it is mixed with drug and alcohol abuse, esp. the latter.  Ask any Tribal Cop.  Try to get figures?  Impossible.  The victims suck it up.  They hide.  They scatter.  They trust no one.  Today a cashier in my bank, female with a brother who is a deputy sheriff, told me that there were deputy sheriffs she knew of who stalked young women enough to creep the girls out, including her daughter.  She said now those rats had been pushed out, moved on.  I wonder.

Plenty of deprived kids -- hated, beaten, raped, starved, tethered and caged -- still manage to become decent human beings.  Some have help and some don’t.  They have to think of it, know what it is they’re trying for, have some examples (“modeling”).

How many people keep in mind that the whole LBGTQX thing has so many letters because they are so assorted?  It’s a rainbow -- not a checkerboard.  A recently arrived minister in Montana declared there was no race problem in the prisons here -- because all she knew in the big city was black and white -- to her, red was invisible.

So, the varieties of “gay” include  (I sorta clumped ‘em):

1.  People who sexually desire other people of the same gender who are also gay.
2.  People who sexually desire other people of their own gender who are straight.
3.  People who are vanilla in all ways except sexual desire.

4.  People who don’t feel as though they are the right gender: their bodies don’t match their psyches.  They may want surgery to be consistent.
5.  People who are fine with being their gender but don’t fit the way their culture assigns gender traits and roles.  (Girls who want to be scientists, boys who want to dance ballet; tough tomboys, quiet library gents.)
6.  People who like to dress up as the opposite gender.

7.  People who just like sex and don’t particularly care which gender the hole might be.
8.  People who were forced into same sex performance (prison, isolation) and got used to it.

9.  People who would just as soon take care of matters themselves.
10.  Paraphilias: displaced preferences, fetishes.

11.  People who conflate sex with violence, control, mastery, domination, pain with them only dishing it out, never being hurt themselves.
12.  People who long to be hurt, controlled, dominated.
13.  People who just want to watch.

Sex is a force, not an object.  A verb, a tide, a wind, a process.  NOT a “thing” that stays the same.  In fact, the human race only persists because sex is a force that adapts, that sneaks through the cracks, an opportunistic irresistibility.  It cannot be managed by force without snuffing out people.  It is often cleverly disguised as something else.  That's called sublimation.

Not all gays are pedophiles.
Not all gays who are pedophiles want sex with little children or babies.  There are KINDS of pedophilia.  It means “love of children” and doesn’t necessarily have to be twisted or inappropriate or damaging.

Adolescents of any gender may be okay with relationships with their preferred gender with age differences.  Much older people might be okay or not.  (Older means access to “adult” things like booze and big money.)

Adolescents want to be responsible for their own sex lives but may be unable to protect themselves from predators.  Sometimes they don’t survive.

Criminal laws are decided by cultures.  They have the power to imprison and thus impose their standards.  Like any other difference across boundaries, those who identify and enforce laws can use that to their profit.  Power means the ability to break laws and to use exemptions for bribes.  Every culture pretends their way is the only way to go, because they figure if people know there are other ways, they won’t conform.  They’re right.

This North American culture expects sex to define identity, success, wealth, worthiness -- why else would a college student, son of a movie director, shoot girls dead for not “putting out.”  Boys can be shot for the same reason -- not usually by girls.  

In our culture sex is attached to appearance, not to capacity for intimacy.
Violence is worse when it’s intimate.  
Intimacy is worse if there’s no consent.
Violence is worst if it’s intimate, there is no consent, and it’s a family member.

Being blood related is not the same as being attached, bonded, protective and protected.  Genetics means nothing if the emotional relationship is missing.  The Western fascination with “blood” (really meaning genetics) is because ownership, entitlement, and governance are linked to genetically-based inheritance.  It's a way of keeping order.

Economic and/or political forces push people into certain roles and behaviors.  If there are a number of people in a category, it is possible to speak of them as a group and give them a name, particularly if the category is based on power, sex or religion.  So people who were attracted to a life of strict self-discipline, celibacy, simplicity, and devotion which they expressed ecstatically in a communal context, became “Quakers” because they quaked.  It was a pejorative name, meant to be mocking, which they claimed for themselves.  Now it is a name that has lost its negative overtones and is a rather large complex of people who have developed variations and subgroups from the original root.  In some ways, assuming that a “name” means a real entity is totally misleading.  Names “create” entities that are fantasies.

The term “gay” seems to be something like that.  At first a term about a carefree attitude, then prostitutes, then an endorsement of hedonism, then slipping into a euphemism -- first used evidently by Gertrude Stein in regard to female pursuits -- then to wildly carefree males, with a scornful sub-category by kids that means stupid or weak.  But in recent decades it was politicized in something like the way “black is beautiful” became a rallying statement.  (But how black do you have to be to be beautiful?)  

Gay was a cry of freedom and letters kept being added until there was a “rainbow.”  It was a defense, and a demand.  The connection to human hard-wired desire preference or body identity was subsumed by the demand to set one's own terms  in the face of culturally imposed rules and expectations.

So far, no one has really analyzed the relationship of gay to heterosexual “Pick Up Culture” as has been shockingly claimed and illustrated by media dealing with the recent shooting of women who scorned a Pick Up Artist with a pretty face and an ugly attitude.  Pick Up Culture asserts that all women should go to bed with any man who asks, an amazing reversal of the old “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” male psychologist’s claim that he would go to bed with any woman who wanted sex from him because he had counseled so many neglected and ignored women.  (And that was BEFORE Viagra!)  PUC claims the idea from men-on-men sex -- that could be musical chairs because no one could get pregnant -- but then came AIDS and death.

Recently I watched a film that was supposed to be about recreating a section cut out of a movie called “Cruising.”  Then I watched “Cruising” -- they’re both on Netflix.  And I watched the voice-over version by the writer/director, who claimed he had the brilliant idea of attaching an ordinary murder mystery to the leather bar scene in Manhattan and exploiting the whole connection until it became a public conviction.  He named it, he said -- not “leather bars” but “leather bar murders,” as an inevitable entailment of cruising.   He claimed that he filmed extensively in real leather bars (imagine that!) but that the footage was mysteriously lost, but they re-enacted it, but then that disappeared, too.  His assertion was that most of the men in the leather bars, so costumed and menacing, were in fact bored young professionals who never went much farther than a little pinch and tickle, letting their butts hang out, etc.  Maybe so.  Any statistics?  Standard deviation?

High class homosexuals, thanks to so many witty playwrights and novelists, have had an image of being Oscar Wilde if not Ambrose Bierce -- insightful, elite and acid.  They are a genre.  The leather stuff came in via the bikers, Marlon Brando and the Wild Ones.  The two attitudes -- when rightly-blended -- were fire and gasoline.  Nevertheless, they were as much a sales platform as a lifestyle, and as always the buyer should beware.


Darrell Reimer said...

Good morning, Mary. I read this piece yesterday, and you came to mind. Kismet, eh? Cheers - D.

Mary Strachan Scriver said...

Thanks, Darrell. IMHO marriage is NOT about sex at all. It's about economics, mostly paying for kids and establishing who owns property. The rest derives from those two factors and those are the ones that involve the State. I'll come back to the subject.

Prairie Mary