Tag Archives: date rape

Raising Sons

Portrait by Joshua Reynolds of Elizabeth Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, with her son (c. 1765), Source https://hoocher.com (PD-Art, Age-100)

Raising children is an enormously challenging endeavor, under the best of circumstances.  Human beings are complicated creatures.  Abuse adds dark forces to the mix.  It shapes us as children and impacts the parents we become.

Modeling Behavior

Parents attempt to model the behavior they want their children to adopt; strive to give their children the things they, themselves, never had.

If we are to raise sons who do not abuse the women in their lives, we must – first and foremost – protect them against exposure to abusive men [1].  By this I mean not only men who might molest them, but men who treat us (and them) badly.

Consciously and unconsciously, boys take their cues from the men in the lives.  This is only natural.  It is not to say, however, that we as their mothers have no influence.  We have tremendous influence, not only through what we say but what we do.

Children are observant.  They watch us closely.  They see how we react under pressure, see the choices we make in our own lives.  And they seek to imitate us.

Teaching Abuse

The example we set is important.  When we submit to abuse, we teach our sons – however inadvertently – that abuse is acceptable.  When we tolerate abuse by men in the public eye, we teach our sons that women are not worthy of respect.

Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches…who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp…who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!” (Amos 6: 4-6).

The politicians involved in tawdry sex scandals; the men in power who harass and assault women as a matter of course; the athletes who treat women as playthings; the men who commit date rape, who view quaaludes and rohypnol as expedient means to an end; the college students who consider themselves entitled to sex with blindly intoxicated coeds; the men who cheat regularly on their wives (not to mention those who batter the women in their lives to death) were all once boys.

All sons. Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, bullying, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Politics, Rape, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

Cosby

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered Bill Cosby to proceed to trial on the sexual assault charges by Andrea Constand [1].  Like some 50 other women, Constand maintains that she was drugged against her will by Cosby, and unable to protest when he had sex with her.

The civil case by Constand was settled years ago.  Cosby subsequently sued Constand for return of the settlement moneys she received, alleging that she violated a Confidentiality Agreement.

The statute of limitations has run on the numerous other claims against the 78 y.o. comedian, who has been free on $1 million bail since his arrest in December.

What Cosby Lost

Without an adjudication, it is impossible to say with certainty whether the claims being made against Bill Cosby are true.  Under the American system of justice, of course, defendants are innocent till proven guilty.

That so many women have come forward (albeit belatedly) tends to suggest that at least some of the claims are likely to be true.

Either way, Cosby’s reputation is in tatters.  He has though led a long and illustrious life, while the women making claims against him have wrestled with their demons for decades.

What Fans Lost

Bill Cosby’s reputation will be forever clouded by these accusations.  The many fans who looked up to Cosby have lost a role model.  That is not insignificant.

“The Cosby Show” ran for nearly 10 years.  Cosby as Dr. Cliff Huxtable presented Americans with the image of an intelligent, urbane, and successful black man.  That was in sharp contrast with earlier media images of African American men as ignorant shiftless clowns and violent thugs.

Why Victims Waited

It is difficult for the average person to understand why seemingly intelligent, articulate, and capable women would not have pursued their claims of rape in a timely manner.  Some did make an attempt to report the crime, but were discouraged or ignored outright. Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Justice, Law, Violence Against Women

Overcoming the World, Part 1 – Fame and Systemic Abuse

What a world it has become.  Headlines scream off the page at us:

Parents Arrested After Allegedly Forcing Girl, 5, to OD on Soda [1].

Doctor convicted of endangering stepdaughter in “waterboarding” Trial[2].

Couple Arrested for Enslaving Teen Girl[3].

FAME

Certainly, fame and affluence do not assure the safety of children.  Melvin Morse – the doctor mentioned above – had appeared on “Oprah” and “Good Morning America”. Fame may, in fact, foster a sense of entitlement on the part of some predators. They come to believe the prohibition against abuse is for lesser mortals.

And fame seems to provide an exemption of sorts from basic standards of morality.

Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, continues to maintain that the filmmaker sexually assaulted her, some two decades ago [4]. Allen was never prosecuted [5A] [5B].

Woody Allen, you may remember, was, also, involved sexually with Soon-Yi Previn, 35 years his junior. Soon-Yi (whom Allen later married) was another adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, a woman with whom Allen had a longterm relationship. Allen has been quoted as saying, “What was the scandal?…There was no scandal…” [6].

Overseas, BBC star Jimmy Savile was repeatedly investigated, but never prosecuted either. Only after his death was it revealed that Savile had abused a staggering 400 children or more, often while they were hospital patients [7].  The possibility of a wider British pedophile ring with influential members protected from prosecution is still being explored.

The California trial of ex-football player Darren Sharper for rape should be instructive. Sharper is under investigation for a total of seven rapes in four states [8]. Assuming the allegations against him to be true, Sharper felt no compunction about drugging women in order to have sex with them.

SYSTEMIC ABUSE

Systemic abuse may be even more appalling. The public is by now familiar with the Catholic Church sex scandal. In “Secrets of the Vatican,” the investigative program, Frontline, recently exposed the culture of corruption which allowed sexual perversion to flourish [9]. But the Catholic Church is not alone in this.

Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women