Wednesday, January 06, 2016


I keep revolving through the same intractable issues, hoping to find some kind of new insight or at least a better approach to them.

BAD THINKING:  here’s the usual sequence

limited experience
defining a category that is based on those limits
forgetting that it IS a constructed category
attributing things to this category
acting on the merely attributed, never explored or proven
blaming the category -- stigmatizing
denying all personal relationship with this category or anyone
    in it

These words have been invented in the last century or so: homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism, masochism.  Before the words, the concepts had not formed.  People just did regrettable stuff.  These words, these concepts, even this behavior, are culturally defined and acted out.  In a time of mixed or transitional culture, injustice and misunderstandings abound.

Defining continuums as though they were mutually exclusive categories and believing that they can be clearly separated with a minimum of effort.  Within the category everything is assumed to be the same.  Like, it's a given that everyone desires intense sex all the time: it can hardly be restrained and targets one particular category.  There are only two sexes:  homosexual and heterosexual.  Huh?  (It’s because women and children don’t count.)  Everyone in prison is automatically a homosexual rapist.  That includes the guards.  We all "know" this because we saw it on television.

I get a little crazy impatient with this stuff. 

First, what is considered sex?
Coitus, actual intercourse.  That’s pretty clear.   Making babies.
How far away can the energy and arousal get from coitus and still be sex?
Prom dresses?
Cod pieces?
Is this girl wearing a bra?

But some people, mostly women, think all glances are sexual and all men's glances are lascivious.  Yet they demand the right to go to bed with anyone, even on a school night.

There are all those fetish displacements:  gloves, toes, whips, spanking.  Dildos, sex dolls, bathtub faucets.  Incredibly, men forget that penises inflate.  Ask emergency responders. 

Is it sex if no one gets pregnant?  Is it sex if you’re artificially inseminated?  Are you having sex with a turkey baster?  Is it sex if a baby results?  What if it doesn’t?  And it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Then there’s the sex-based crime of rape which ties into the crimes connected to entwining property ownership with biological descent.  Rape in “our” culture begins with:

Unauthorized use of another man’s property.  (Women and children are property.)
Perverting the line of inheritance (Why doesn’t inheritance count if the mother is a slave ?  Because the point of two parents is to tie two equally powerful and rich families together.  Sex is always political and marriage is doubly, triply, political.)

Thomas Jefferson once worked out the stats:  he was making more money raising slaves than some crops.  Some were his own children. What did they inherit?  And yet they are proud to carry his genes.  This offends the legal "white" children, but why should it?  They didn't suffer.

Marilyn Monroe was a charming girl, though her foster parents didn’t protect her.  We don’t really know why she lost all her babies.  We know that she began to make money by posing nude.  We know her "owners" pushed her into getting plastic surgery, very skillful — nose, chin.  Always on a diet — of pills.  We know she couldn’t accept the cherishing of either Arthur Miller or Joe Dimaggio, who never stopped, even for death.

What if Eleanor Roosevelt’s people had gotten her those same plastic surgeries?  Eleanor was as neglected and put down as Marilyn was, but nobody raped her.  That we know of.   Jimmy Carter’s daughter had no chin, but they fixed that, and she was never abused.  Will she be as strong as Eleanor?  What's wrong with having no chin anyway?  How is it connected to worthiness?

It’s mysterious just what went on in Eleanor’s marriage, but there were children and they appear to have thrived — except for their own marriages — and to have stayed close to their parents, though Eleanor was not warm and fuzzy.  FDR’s mother was happy to fill the territory. The man himself was paralyzed.  

Eleanor Roosevelt as a girl

Eleanor’s arousal was in her character: it was an arousal of compassion that resulted in action.  Wasn’t that closely related to sex work, of a sort, in the sense of parenting one’s children?  It was identified as gender-specifically women’s work.  If a man had been so sensitive to suffering people, he might have seemed gay.  The fact that she developed strong relationships with other women meant to some people that she was homosexual.

It seems to me clear from reading the Teddy Bear shrinks (Winnicott, Piaget, Kohut, et al) that nurturing in childhood — regardless of who provided it — has a lot to do with sexual loving.  And the perversion of learning, like using a cane to whip a child for not understanding the lesson, will lead to arousing, which has more to do with sex than love.  Why isn't it sexual -- even though once considered normal -- for a grown man (teacher) to raise welts on a young boy?  So easy to link cruel pain to sexual arousal. Why does the teacher role appeal to men who want sexual access to boys?  The control, the intimidation, a fantasy of future gratitude?  Or is it really about learning?  Learn or fear death?

The idea seems to have been that it would create a kind of man (not the teacher) who is unflinching, controlling, and takes his sexual pleasure outside the home so that his wife, who is using her body to make his descendants, will not wander and will not get infected.  (Unless her husband brings it home.)  It’s a stupid system and did a lot of damage, but enough individuals survived (crippled) to run the country and give their lesser beings big ideas about how to run a family.  Or a colonized country.  Or a world war.

Isn't this pedophilia?

So many people have suffered so much over sex and the consequences of badly used power or maybe indiscretions of the heart, and have been controlled by the risk of pregnancy.  It was thought that “the pill” would renew the world and make sex a safe and happy event.  I’m sure it helped.   It's a wonderful goal.  And part of what's wonderful is that it's optional, because some gay men want to have babies with women and some gay men would like to adopt and some gay men are great dads and granddads.  I mean, procreation can be optional now -- both ways.  To have or have not.

With our usual disregard for moderation, a lot of people declared sex an unmitigated good under any circumstances, anywhere, all according to inclination and, if one is really fussy, consent.  I was impressed by a story in VICE about sex tourism:  English young men (“lads,” I suppose) indulge in sex tourism in small town America.  This is a variation on going to a country where people are brown and poor.  

The real Brit sex tourists -- not models.

They show up well-dressed, they have nice manners, and those lovely accents, and the girls can’t resist.  The lads fuck as many girls as possible and go home. The Englishmen feel no guilt, no harm done, win/win, great fun.  No violence.  No word about keeping track of infections.  No worries about emotional damage.  I suppose they feel a little like Lewis and Clark among the innocent savages.  Clark was the only one who didn’t suffer the clap.  Maybe Sacajawea didn't.  It killed Lewis and some say most of the others.

I noticed when I entered the ministry that stout little older women with more intelligence than grace, who had entered ministry with dignity, were often courted and married as soon as they had a church.  Not that these suitors were major figures.  Some were women.  Suddenly, in the ministry, I was approached for sex — which hadn’t happened before.  (They didn’t propose marriage.)  The dynamic was pretty clearly a wish to connect to power and a confusion between ministry and prostitution.

What I’m leading up to is the really ugly and emotional stuff.  Rape, pedophilia (which is statutory rape), and stigma.  People get off on their fantasy of what happens, which only occasionally matches the sordid and tiresome reality of what really happens.  Generally, people want to blame identifiable individuals -- both perp and vic -- who are rotten to the core, so they can be punished, punished, punished.  (Isn't punishment connected to sex?  I mean, people get off on it?)   

At least this street boy has one friend to share supper.

Some circumstances are so dehumanizing and demonic that rape is the lesser of two evils.  I’m talking about the great numbers of kids in the street who can eat or take shelter only if they pay with their bodies.  (No big deal -- it's only sex.  Think of English lads.)  I talk about death-by-pencil (defunding life-sustaining programs) but our nations are pencil-pimping our children.  No funds for alternatives.  Lots of money for college grads employed to manage whatever programs are left and to form panels about the dynamics in some nice place where they present papers based on theory.  The next meeting of the Association for the Treatment of Sex Abusers is at Disney, Florida.

* * * * * * * *

Often I write something and regret it later.  This time it was carelessly referring to the two feral boy-cats who are devoted to each other.  I guess they're not feral anymore since they sleep on my feet.  (Is that sexual?  I think not.)  

I referred to the Dust Bunny as the Boy Toy of the Striped Terror.  It’s innocent in their case, but in the last few days a big black (sorry, but that’s what color he is and it probably means a Siamese mix rather than African) tom cat has shown up.  I think it is the sweet and gentle little Smudge who is in season.  But maybe the first time for the Goldfish.  The man across the street has been trying to catch that big tomcat for quite a while.  This is trivial, not stuff for National Geographic to romanticize.  The cat intends to impregnate all the females and attack — kill if he can — all the young males.  

I think I should not talk about Boy Cats as though they were Toys.  These two immature cats do not have sex.  They have not yet shed their interest in sucking, but cats don't do fellatio because fangs.

Using a human boy for a toy is quite parallel to the famous story about the wealthy island owner who felt free to stock his land with the best game prey ever: man, the most dangerous animal.  He stocked them, tracked and shot them, until one of his victims was skillful enough to turn on him.  Wealthy men, we hear, order up boys for their parties, toy with them, and get rid of them. The story about the man-killer is addressing the puzzle of whether humans should be privileged or whether some of them can be treated as animals.  If they’re only animals, there’s no need to rescue them.  They’re not charismatic megamammals.  They don’t even have proper names like Cecil.

When I was an animal control officer in the Seventies, which meant being a specialized deputy sheriff, a co-worker told me about the Portland "chicken hawks" at the side of a parking garage downtown and took me to watch them for an hour one summer evening.  I don’t know why, except that in the Seventies I was trying to understand wickedness.  There it was.  Everyone knew.  There was no publicity, no demand for reform, and I don’t even know if there was a law against it.  Recognizable politicians stopped and rolled down their windows.  

At the time the police had a complaint about a stripper who used a Great Dane in her act, but there was no law on the books about bestiality.  They asked us whether we thought it was cruelty.  At that point in time, people might have defended it.  The whole population was exploring wickedness.  We've learned a lot.  Then we went out to try it.  

Calling someone a "boy toy" is taking away his decision-making, his power, his feelings, his humanness.  A toy isn't even an animal.      But if people can get accustomed to assembly-lines in factories, can’t they get used to a series of body invasions, even those accompanied by beatings?  Isn’t it just a more sexy version of extreme fighting?  Ordinary people pay good money for the tickets to watch and admire those cage-fighting contestants.  Of course, they're roughly matched, not a man beating a boy. 

Isn’t this all made possible by the endless supply of unwanted boys, in spite of the pill?  After all, it’s so good for sales of those other newly invented pills: pain killers, anxiety calmers, trauma aftermath.

About that genes thing. . . here's a link to something to read.

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