Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oprah's Conversation with Child Molesters: the extended interviews


 
[image of white heterosexual male rapers and molesters of girls is from *here*]

***TRIGGER WARNING***: THIS MATERIAL MAY DEEPLY TRIGGER ANY SURVIVORS OF RAPE OR CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT OR OTHER FORMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY ADULTS OR RELATIVES.

Oprah's Conversation with Child Molesters: beyond what you saw on television today, if you watched. What follows is from www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Oprahs-Conversation-with-Child-Molesters*.
The Oprah Winfrey Show  | 
February 08, 2010

She calls it the most honest conversation she's ever had with sex offenders. Oprah sits down with four admitted child molesters for a frank, graphic discussion of their crimes. Watch the two-hour conversation in its entirety—an Oprah.com exclusive.

RELATED RESOURCES
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE
Find out more from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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Did anyone else watch Oprah today? It featured interviews with four white het male abusers of children. All the victims were girls. Most were family members, including daughter and granddaughter.


These are normal men speaking out about something normal het white men do every day somewhere. Every day. Somewhere. Other men, and a few women, also do this--molest, assault, violate children, sometimes their own. With men, the victims are most often their own daughters or nieces or granddaughters or younger sisters or female cousins. Most often.

What this program demonstrates is how patriarchal atrocities happen because men are dishonest with one another, and do not stop each other from harming children. We do not prevent harmful access to children, and increasingly, laws are put in place that make perpetrating father's access "a right", that is not in the best interest of the child. The child's right to not be violated is violated by laws men work to get passed to have access to children, partly in order to violate them.

This means that it is not the stranger in the car offering candy we have to worry about MOST. We MOST have to worry about and stop the father, grandfather, uncle, male cousin, or brother. That's who must be stopped from having access to girls. Less access is needed. So who are the groups fighting for MORE ACCESS? And I have to wonder: who will benefit from this expansion of "rights of access to violate one's children"?

Here at A.R.P., comments about this show are welcome from anyone who reads and abides by the comments policy (see top right of main page).

7 comments:

JENNIFER DREW said...

I haven't as yet viewed Oprah's conversation with these men who have been convicted of committing sexual violence against girl children, but even without viewing this programme I've know it is not the 'mythical deranged stranger' who presents the most danger to children - especially girls - but male family members; males known to the child and/or her family.

But this fact has to be kept hidden and constantly denied because accepting the fact it is disproportionately heterosexual males who commit sexual violence against their biological children and/or other child relatives would indeed debunk what passes for 'common sense concerning male sexual predators.'

Abyss2hope.com also has an article concerning this programme and Ms. Chester focuses on the common tactics male sexual predators use when denying their crimes committed against female children and young women. Commonly such male predators claim it is the victim's fault for not preventing them from committing said sexual violence, or the child/woman supposedly seduced them.

Conveniently omitted is the fact these male sexual predators are cunning and manipulative. They use whatever means they can to gain the trust of the child in order to facilitate their sexual violence against the child.

Our society too collaborates with these male sexual predators because all too commonly the child/children are blamed or held responsible for not preventing such sexual violence being committed against them.

Abuse of adult male power wherein the adult heterosexual male knows he is committing sexual violence against the child must not be mentioned. Instead the focus always has to be on the child victim and her actions/behaviour minutely examined for any evidence that she supposedly collaborated/seduced the adult male sexual predator.

Note: the mythical Lolita was created by a man and is one of many heterosexual male fantasies used to justify male sexual violence against children - particularly girl children.

Yes indeed Julian which group is fighting for the right of increasing unlimited access to children? Not forgetting of course dominant views are that fathers who have a history of committing sexual/physical violence against the mother is supposedly a totally separate issue because 'common sense' informs us the man has only committed violence against the female partner and will not therefore subject the child to similar violence. Therefore violent fathers must have the right of unlimited and/or any access to their children, irrespective of how the child/children feels about their abusive father.

Children's rights? No the issue is violent fathers must have unlimited sexual/physical access to their children and this supercedes the child/children's right to be protected from sexually predatory father.

Julian Real said...

I'm eager to discuss this with you. And wish the one hour show was available to be linked to. This two plus hour thing... it's tiresome.

And vile in places: the most vile thing--well, I can't rank them: there were so many vile moments--but one was that the daughter who was raped by her father TOLD on him, that he molested her, and he LIED and told the girl's mom that she was just saying that to retaliate, re: custody, or something super fucked up like that.

So even when kids push through the fear and manipulation and shame... the father-fuckers get believed. And lie through their fucking teeth to maintain access to their children, for more rape.

It's so disgusting and horrid.

I'll write more about it, but will go check out Marcella's post on this. I'll bet it's excellent.

angel-mischa said...

I am going to watch this shortly (I'm outside the US, so reading your blog is in fact the first notice I've had of this program!) and will let you know of my thoughts if they seem meaningful or productive. I think the demolition of myths about rape and abuse are absolutely necessary to a greater social awareness to the endangerment of children, and that such heightened awareness will give mothers or neighbours or teachers or, indeed, any other concerned citizens the strength to take action in protecting children. I think I will need to watch the program before I can have any more cogent thoughts on how to infiltrate and alter the minds of the perpetrators themselves, however.

One thing I will say in response to Jennifer's comment re: Nabokov is that I have always understood that text to be a deep-seated criticism of the type of men who are inclined toward a sexual fascination with 'Lolitas', although I confess that I read it a long time ago. Nonetheless, I agree, in popular culture's redacting of the story, it's become an excuse, not a critique. I suppose that speaks to the distortive powers of social (typically male) functions through which 'art' and 'culture' are parsed.

Julian Real said...

Excellent point, angel-mischa,

No matter the intentions of the male author, the material will serve whatever purposes the male supremacist society needs it to serve.

I am reminded of an spot on essay by MacKinnon in her book, Only Words, in which she describes how, once a woman has spoken out about something sexually harassing happening to her, that speech becomes "pornography" to men to hear it, and then they use the fact of it being pornography to discredit and dismiss what she said. Case in point: the Anita Hill hearings against Clarence Thomas, who did, after all her truth-telling, go on to become a SUPREME court "justice".

Julian Real said...

And I look forward to hearing any responses you have to viewing the video footage from Oprah's interview.

angel-mischa said...

You make an excellent point as to the sensational and titillating spin put on all horrible crimes, from murders through to child abuse. Such morbid fascination seems impossible to get away from.

My real impression from listening to the full two hours was that, in fact, such behaviour as those four men exhibited didn't appear to differ very substantially from the sort of abusive tactics that some men use against vulnerable adult women who are soft targets. The issues don't really seem wholly isolatable to me, as both could be solved with more or less the same culture shift.

It seemed evident that availability was a strong motivation for at least three of the men in their choosing of their victims, and I suppose that that is really what the education component of the program was all about: be aware of who your children might seem 'available' to, although it feels horrible just applying that word.

The cycle of abuse wasn't pushed on very hard either, although Oprah did touch on that question toward the end. I think that's an extraordinarily important point when it comes to adding another reason WHY we should be so concerned about preventing abuse in the first place, but I find it very difficult to understand, either emotionally or intellectually, quite how we're supposed to feel for the child who becomes a victim/perpetrator in adulthood...

Julian Real said...

Hi again angel-mischa,

[...]
My real impression from listening to the full two hours was that, in fact, such behaviour as those four men exhibited didn't appear to differ very substantially from the sort of abusive tactics that some men use against vulnerable adult women who are soft targets. The issues don't really seem wholly isolatable to me, as both could be solved with more or less the same culture shift.

I agree, and the big question is what will it take for that shift to happen, in a way that is fully accountable to the most oppressed, the most economically, socially, and politically vulnerable and unstatused among us?

It seemed evident that availability was a strong motivation for at least three of the men in their choosing of their victims, and I suppose that that is really what the education component of the program was all about: be aware of who your children might seem 'available' to, although it feels horrible just applying that word.

It's all horrible, and I realise that for fathers who don't abuse their kids to think about this issue is, well, horrifying. As of course it is for all parents and others who respect and love children... not in predatory and selfish ways.

The cycle of abuse wasn't pushed on very hard either, although Oprah did touch on that question toward the end. I think that's an extraordinarily important point when it comes to adding another reason WHY we should be so concerned about preventing abuse in the first place, but I find it very difficult to understand, either emotionally or intellectually, quite how we're supposed to feel for the child who becomes a victim/perpetrator in adulthood...

I struggle with this as well. When I hear about anyone perpetrating at, say, age ten or twelve, I feel such sadness that the person didn't have an intervention at that point. Because to me it seems like their life could be set on a healthier, less awfully destructive (to others and to oneself) course, if intervention happened right away, as soon as any sexually violent or violating boundaries were crossed by a young perpetrator.

And my heart does go out to all victims of child sexual abuse.