Thursday, October 05, 2006

Innocence Lost and Found

The problem with a scandal is that there is nothing that can be learned from it unless it reflects a wider principle that makes the scandal itself pale in significance. If we could only identify the principle, then perhaps we could shift gears and stop talking about the scandal in such a breathlessly immature way. But the hysterical MSM specializes in lack of context and breathless immaturity, so what are the chances? If only they could be as ahysterical as they are ahistorical.

So, what is the wider principle here? Clearly, one of the principles is protecting the innocence of children. Why? Why do we care about that? Because all sane men know that children come into the world in a state of sexual innocence. And although they are sexual, they are not conscious of it, and their sexuality is not integrated into any wider concept of self.

This is why I am so creeped out when I see parents who allow their children--especially girls--to dress in provocative ways. Especially in California, I have seen many prepubescent girls who, if you just squint your eyes a little, could pass for beautiful woman. This was not the case when I was in grade school or even junior hi. Then there was a sharp divide between adults and children, in manner of dress, behavior, and general appearance. Of course, many of the girls were cute--I had many painful crushes--but they weren’t sexy or intentionally sexually provocative. And if they were, they would be sent home and told to wear something apppropriate. Today, this would generate an ACLU lawsuit.

I am quite sure that I would have been adversely affected by today’s sexual climate, in which the girls are like little adult women. Before my wife and I had a child, we would baby-sit a couple of twin girls who lived down the street. We did this at least once a week from the time they were around three years of age, and we grew quite close. It was a wonderful experience. Their mother was a very responsible stay-at-home mom, and their innocence was protected throughout their childhood.

But once they entered their teenage years, one could detect a disturbing transformation. Scanty clothes, too much make up, push-up bras, cleavage. Why on earth does a 12 or 13 year old need make-up, let alone a push up bra? It’s not as if, as a man, you cannot notice it. Naturally, I want to avert my eyes, because these are like daughters. And the problem is, no uncorrupted girl at that age has any insight into the primitive nature of male (especially teen) sexuality. It is absolutely free-floating, obsessive, intrusive, and easily attachable to any part of a woman’s body. If these girls actually knew what kinds of thoughts they provoking in the boys (and some men) around them, I am sure they would be creeped out. Unless they themsleves are acting out some kind of sexual trauma that was perpetrated on them, and have become prematurely sexualized as a way to “control” the opposite sex.

With regard to the present scandal, you can instantly see through the phoniness of the left in its so-called concern about Foley the “predator” and “pedophile.” Because if we’re going to have a discussion on the preservation of child innocence, how far is the left actually willing to go along in joining forces with the sane?

For example, is the left willing to stop their disgusting attempt to destroy the Boy Scouts--one of the few institutions in this nation that helps to transform boys to men--and agree that it is a horrible idea to punsish the Boy Scouts just because they do not want to be forced at gunpoint to have openly gay scout leaders? Do you not see the problem? Knowledge that a man in your midst is attracted to your sex introduces an unavoidable element of sexual tension. Even if suppressed, everyone will be unconsciously aware of it, no different whatsoever than if an attractive young female were the scout leader.

Because of their surging hormones and the fluid nature of their sexuality, young boys desperately need activities where they can get together in an environment free of sexual tension. For example, team sports must be preserved with no girls allowed. Is what I just said against the law? I can’t wait until my son is old enough for little league, but if it's true that leftist activists have made it against the law to exclude girls, I’ll start my own league.

How about school uniforms? In my opinion, this would be one of the healthiest policies we could possibly adopt. But with the ACLU and all the activists of the left, what are the chances? When I drive to work in the morning, I can’t help noticing the way girls are dressed at the bus stop. First of all, I find it impossible to believe that these girls have a proper man in the home, because no man would allow their daughter to dress that way. Furthermore, a girl who is not loved by a noble man will search for lower substitutes through the vehicle of her sexual allure, which is extremely unhealthy psychologically. A 13 or 14 year old should not know that she has this extraordinary power, or at least not know how to abuse it. But many girls never outgrow it, and become addicted to the power they have over men. It hardly leads to sexual liberation, but to cynicism and jadedness.

The left has been at the leading edge of the mainstreaming of every deviancy and perversion into society over the past 40 years, to such an extent that they would be offended at the idea of calling someone a deviant or a pervert, because it implies a standard of sexual maturity. Yesterday, for example, I heard Bill Maher sneer something to the effect that Foley would not be chasing after young men if only we would allow him to marry. How then to explain 50 year-old Maher’s preference for dating porn stars, hookers, and Playboy bunnies, and substituting dogs for children?

Maher clearly regards himself not as pathetic or immature, but “sophisticated” and far beyond the narrow minds of cultural conservatives. He has even made the idiotic statement that Republicans are only concerned with sexual propriety “because they’re bad at it.” Here is the actual quote: “This is always what happens with that Republican party. They are somehow able to conflate real morals and values with sex. Because they're Republicans, Larry. They're bad at sex. They're pasty, unattractive white people, and if you had to have sex with them it would be over in an excruciating three minutes. So what they always like to do is conflate sex with morals.”

That is typical of the “sophisticated” attitude of the left. Only those who are moral relativists and who have no standards at all, are fit to pronounce on those who do.

Ultimately it comes down to whether man is merely an animal or whether he is a spiritual being suspended between animality and divinity. Of course, you all know what I believe. But I am the unsophisticated one. A liberated person understands that sex is simply a biological function. It would be abusive and even unconstitutional to teach adolescents that there is moral and immoral sex. No. For the radical secularists who have taken over the educational establishment, there is only healthy and unhealthy sex. In other words, so long as both people or animals consent, and nobody catches a bad disease, that’s the only standard. Marital sex, homosexual sex, teenage sex, masturbation, it’s all the same.

Talk about a lack of sophistication!

It is amazing how the left has managed to overturn the order of the cosmos in the matter of a mere generation or two. When I was in high school (I graduated in 1973), I still had the remnant of the idea that sexuality had a spiritual telos, that its proper end state was marriage, and that anything short of that was just sort of “pretending” to be an adult. Of course, you can kid yourself and convince yourself that there is no difference, but you are living a lie. Committing yourself to another human being transforms you--it is a big part of what changes a boy into a man.

Knowing nothing else at all about the two candidates, would you vote for a married man or an unmarried man? We’ve never had an unmarried president, and I doubt we ever will. Here is a fine example of a truth that is so deep that it is beyond words. It is simply in our being, being that we are human. But it is precisely this deeper sort of translinguistic truth that is inaccessible to the leftist sophisticate. The history of intellectuals over the past 200 years teaches that is probably the norm for the intellectually intelligent to believe stupid things, partly because, in their vanity, they do not want to be perceived as ”unsophisticated,” itself a reflection of our fallen state and the hubris that goes along with it.

Regarding the question of innocence vs. sophistication, Schuon has pointed out the truism that those who mock the stupidly credulous are very likely among the ranks of the stupidly incredulous, such as Bill Maher and most of our anti-religious cultural elites. Furthermore, as hinted at above, “the self-styled destroyers of illusion live on illusions that exemplify credulity second to none; for a simple credulity can be replaced by a complicated one... complication does not make error less false, nor stupidity less stupid."

But most philosophy is merely error on a grandiose scale, and there is no error as grandiose as that of secularism--even if we restict ourselves to a bland mathematical body count of the 100 million deaths attributed to various secular and atheistic ideologies in the 20th century.

I feel very lucky. I had a very innocent childhood, an innocence that I never lost entirely. Although we naturally fall away from it during our rebellious years, it is possible to regain it as we mature, so long as it was there to begin with (and with God, all things are possible, so do not despair if you feel your own innocence was shattered and cannot be regained.)

Being innocent also makes you simple. It makes you transparent. It makes you harmless toward the good. But many people do not like to look into the face of innocence. It repels them. Being that it was stolen from them, they enviously wish to steal it from others--there is a perverse thrill involved in telling a child Santa Claus doesn’t exist, that all sex is the same, that God is dead, that all texts are arbitrary narratives concealing blind power, that truth doesn’t exist. It is the thrill of of rebellion and destruction, the illicit joy in being one's own god.

When one's entitlement of innocence has been damaged or stolen, one way of dealing with the loss is to mercilessly attack it when it appears in others. Child abuse is theft of innocence, and vice versa. No grade school child should be forced to learn about homosexuality, or any kind of sexuality, for that matter. Innocence is an existential category, no different than beauty, or the holy, or the sacred.

But job one of the secular rebellion is to finish the job that a certain serpent started once upin a timeless veridical, just a moment ago. For the compulsive demystification of this wonderful cosmos by sophisticated barbarians yields a kind of pseudo-intelligence at no apparent cost.

But there is a cost in aggressively unveiling the intrinsic mysteries that make us human. Our humanness.

What looks like an ascent is really a descent: ignorance and lack of intelligence are at ease in a wholly superficial refinement, and the result is a climate in which wisdom takes on the appearance of naiveté, uncouthness, and reverie.

64 Comments:

Anonymous NB said...

Who is Bill Maher? Is he someone who is listened to? He clearly is denigrating that which he envies -- mature heterosexual sex.

I must take exception to one point. "First of all, I find it impossible to believe that these girls have a proper man in the home, because no man would allow their daughter to dress that way."

Perhaps I don't know what you mean by "proper." In my experience, there are real live functioning fathers in these families! Who somehow completely deny what is staring them in the face -- that their daughters are crying out for a boundary to be set, for sexuality to be given rules and structures by a trusted moral authority. Yes, there will always be rebellion, but in part rebellion always reveals the deeper longing: to be mature, to be that which one is rebelling against.

What are these father so afraid of? It cannot escape anyone's attention that pornography caters to adult men who desire younger women. And father-daughter incest fantasies are very prevalent as well. Why can't men master their primitive sexual desires and lay down the law for their daughters (and, by extension, sons)? This is a pressing quesiton today.

The problem with the left is its denial of the unconscious. You bring up a brilliant point: judging by their "pride" parades, gays value nothing more than a wanton, vorcaious sexuality that admits to no rules, limits, or boundaries; and yet they argue that gay men who wish to traipse off into the woods with beautiful young boys have no sexual designs whatsoever! This is propaganda, pure and simple. Either you believe in unfettered sexuality, or you believe in ethics and rules. Having both is not possible.

Young heterosexual boys are confused and sexually out of control enough that the last men they should be hanging around are homosexual men. But then homosexual men know that -- which is why they gravitate towards these positions where they have access to pubescent males.

10/05/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. If the left has its way, the Boy Scouts will simply be a place to scout for boys.

10/05/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

What a wonderful essay and I completely agree. The world is turned upside down now and I wonder if it can ever be righted.

I graduated from High School in 1965. A time that now seems to have been the epitome of innocence. Sex was referred to as "love making" since it was basically considered to be a by product of real, adult love and was also considered to be an act of importance. Not just an itch to be scratched but the ultimate way to express oneness.

I cannot imagine ever dressing the way young girls now do with the apparent approval of their parents. I wonder how prostitutes must dress since what used to be their way of advertising is now everyday dress amongst young and older women.

It's sad and frightening and I don't know what can be done to cram the genie back into the bottle.

10/05/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I heard someone say that in the past, even the sluts wanted to give the appearance of being innocent, itself a tribute to innocence. Now the innocent want to appear like sluts, itslelf a certain loss of innocence.

10/05/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous NB said...

Someone told me of a new movie, getting raves in the mainstream press, called "Shortbus." According to the New York Times, the first half of the movie shows polymorphous sexual activity (including a gay threesome singing the Star Spangled Banner into each other's anuses), while the second half of the movie grows serious and somber, showing how sexual freedom has not solved anyone's problems.

Someone called this a mature vision, but I disagree. This is a movie about having your cake and eating it too. These actors want to wag their privates in our face and brag about their "unconventional" sexuality, and then they want our pity and concern.

Unsurprisingly, according to the New York Times review, the filmmaker made the movie as an "antidote" to the "repressive" climate brought forth by the "Bush administration."

10/05/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"Yesterday, for example, I heard Bill Maher sneer something to the effect that Foley would not be chasing after young men if only we would allow him to marry. "

The same shallow argument "sophisticates" use for pedophile priests. So when gay marriage doesn't work what do we do, let him marry 15 year old boys? And then what if this proves not to work, marriage of multiple 15 year old boys?

I was relatively innocent sexually until my late teen years. When discussing the progression of our physical sexuality several years back with a group of guys, they were amazed at how late certain "benchmark" sexual activities occurred in my life, as if I were some sort of freak. You might say that I made up for lost time, but looking back, I'm glad of being such a late blooming freak.
As an adult, allegiance to awakened innocence and its sacred value and the defense of the innocence of children is job one in this life.

10/05/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We’ve never had an unmarried president, and I doubt we ever will."

Actually, there was one - James Buchanan. (Sorry to be a nitpicker.)

10/05/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Eeevil Right Wing Nut said...

In a moral vacuum the sacred is made profane and the profane is made sacred.

Thank you Bob for another excellent post!

10/05/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should have added that Buchanan is generally regarded as one of our worst Presidents ever, if not the very worst... which maybe illustrates Bob's point.

10/05/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghhh! said...

The Song of Solomon adjures to, "not awaken love until it so desires."

A volume of wisdom about sexuality is to be found there, not just between beloved and lover, with a frank view the sensual attractions of loveliness and purity, and even youth... but also brings in the context of "elder brothers" protecting a younger sister who has not attained sexual maturity; and the friends of the beloved, whom she calls upon as witnesses to her desires. A very safe environment surrounds this very sensual song.

God was not born yesterday, y'know.

10/05/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Let us also remember there was a day, not that long ago, in which those who chose not to be married for reasons of a higher "calling" or destiny were respected for their choice. Most people may not have fully understood the call to a life of chastity, but intuitively they grasped the spiritual rightness of it.

The truth is the world desperately needs such souls, always has.

10/05/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Uncle Mikey said...

Just amazing. Another masterpiece; this blog is fast becoming one of the only things I can stand reading on a regular basis.

And speaking of pasty, unattractive, and sexually unsatisfying, here's Bill Maher!

10/05/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Reading your comments about childhood innocence brought back a memory from a trip to the Rye Playland amusement park a few years ago.

The park attracts mostly folks from the NYC area, including a lot of very religious Jews. I saw two little Orthodox Jewish girls, probably sisters, who were dressed very modestly and prettily in navy blue linen skirts and demure canary yellow shirts. Their hair was tied back in ribbons. They looked to be around nine and ten, and it was a joy to see children who looked like children. Sadly, secular girls that age would probably have already been trying to dress like miniature versions of pop tart Britney Spears.

Such is the power of innocence, when it is guarded, that I can still vividly recall the image of those girls all these years later.

10/05/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

In reference to the fathers who mysteriously fail to set boundaries, it reminds me of what I have seen in the world of religion over the decades. I believe many clergymen were swayed by some kind of persona-fashion, and could not tolerate being grouped with the boring, conventional Mr. and Mrs. Grundy. Could not bear to agree with the Church Ladies. Sort of like librarians don't keep the place quiet any more for fear of being made fun of.

It would require elusive psychological asceticism in this era of the pervasive image, being willing to be grouped in other people's minds with "the prudes," the non-hip, the seriously unfashionable, with Mom and Dad at their most embarrassing. Thus it is easy to be ruled by forces that are essentially adolescent and to be shamed for violating the image requirements.

I believe something similar confines the thought range of the modern-and-liberal, too, exemplified the woman in the NYTimes who explained aborting two of her triplets because otherwise she might have to shop at CostCo.

In terms of the overarching thread of this blog, I suspect that is also a heavy weight for many of us who see the value of traditions of spirituality, yet hesitate to in any way cast our lot with our stereotypes of some of the people who have already engaged them.

It's a difficult question. If the Southern Baptists, or the Pentecostals, or the nuns in Parochial school, turned out to be right, could the embarrassment of "taking their side" in the culture be borne?

Michael Medved engages in tangentially related considerations, fisking Sam Harris.

10/05/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous julieC said...

When I was a teenager, in the late 80's and early 90's, I experienced first hand the unwelcome attentions of older men. The first time it happened, I was eleven, awkward and still very childish. I didn't dress provocatively - my mother did all of my shopping - and when I realized what was happening I was stunned and horrified. This man, my best friend's grandfather, actually thought I wanted his attentions. I tell this story only to illuminate the fact that sick/ disturbed/ predatory men require very little encouragement to approach young women, and in my experience will interpret even innocent signals and modes of dress as a sign that a young women wants to be aproached. Allowing girls to dress as sexualized adults is horrifying to me, because so many men will and do see that as an invitation. I can't understand why so many parents, not just fathers but mothers as well, allow their daughters to dress that way.

10/05/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Andreyakovich said...

Pity we've stopped, for the time being, talking directly about God. Maybe once we start that up again, we can ponder why Pajamas Media felt it necessary to link this on their front page.

10/05/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben USN (Ret) said...

Michael A.:
I checked out the link to Amy Alkon.
Disgusting doesn't even begin to describe the shit this hedonarcislut is serving as "advice".
Checking out the books she recommends reminded me of the Screwtape Letters.
Who, at Pajamas Media, decided to give this animal another venue to voice her destructive, hate-filled, castor oil bitter psychopoison?
I want to let that person(s) know what I think about their idiotic, and very damaging choice to bring this sabateur onboard.

10/05/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thank you Bob, for bringing insight and clarity about "taboo".
It is a rare thing indeed to find anyone willing to bring up "taboo", let alone talk about it honestly.
I have (and continue to) learned much information and wisdom from your humble blog. :^)
I have great respect for you, and many of you fellow bobbleheads!
A respectful and solomn bow to you, Sensei Bob.

10/05/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger R. Sherman said...

Allow a comment by a father of a 15 year old girl. It is so difficult to instruct teenage girls on the dangers of which you speak because society will not allow any deviation from the prescribed course of behavior or dress. From the get-go it is designed to sexualize children as soon as possible.

I am appalled that so many parents have fallen into this trap. It takes a firm parental hand and a child who is not easily led to resist it.

Cheers.

10/05/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Alear said...

Born 1959. Catholic schools all the way. Around 4th grade, the nuns made a big deal about some girls who were rolling their skirts up (the rule was around the knees).

In my innocence, I still recall wondering, "What's all the fuss about?"

10/05/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul B. said...

"This is why I am so creeped out when I see parents who allow their children--especially girls--to dress in provocative ways. Especially in California, I have seen many prepubescent girls who, if you just squint your eyes a little, could pass for beautiful woman."

Witness Jonbenet Ramsey! Creepy is a mild description.

10/05/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Connecticut Yankee said...

I was going to bring up James Buchanan also-- I grew up in his home town and a trip to "Wheatland" (his house) was a regular part of elementary school field trips (so were Valley Forge and Gettysburg, so it wasn't all about mediocre presidents).

More to the point-- about sports teams-- I think girls should have their own teams (without boys) too. Frankly I think one benefit of sports for girls is to teach them to value their bodies as something other than visual objects. There is nothing wrong with girls learning that they can develop physical strength, speed, and endurance. And it's easier for them to do that if they don't have to worry about boys (or men) gawking at them.

Apropos of school uniforms, all the Catholic schools around here have uniforms for their students, and all the private schools have dress codes. And the teachers in both types of school are supposed to dress like adult professionals rather than overgrown teenagers. It's not hard to tell who goes to (or teaches in) a public school and who doesn't.

Incidentally, there were dress codes for graduate and professional students in my university when I first entered. Now I'm not sure that even the medical students have to dress professionally when they aren't on the wards.

10/05/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Connecticut Yankee said...

Apropos of unmarried vs. married presidents: I'd rather have Condi Rice in the White House than Hillary Clinton (aka Mrs. Bubba).

10/05/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,
Looks like you may be spot on concerning your call that the
Page may have been "goofing" on Foley. Check out the Drudge Report. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

10/05/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Petey told me that as soon as he read those IMs, he knew it was a hoax--just some sadistic kids goofing on a poor old chicken hawk. Now Hastert is going to have to resign for not investigating these homophobic pages.

10/05/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Chip said...

"For the compulsive demystification of this wonderful cosmos by sophisticated barbarians yields a kind of pseudo-intelligence at no apparent cost."

Great observation, Bob. That's one of the biggest problems in the world today. I believe it's tied into an epidemic of hubris.

10/05/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Connecticut Yankee said...

Bob said, " . . . many people do not like to look into the face of innocence. It repels them. Being that it was stolen from them, they enviously wish to steal it from others--there is a perverse thrill involved . . . . It is the thrill of of rebellion and destruction, the illicit joy in being one's own god."

I'm thinking--to refer to my home county again--that one thing that repelled so many people this week about the man who killed the Amish schoolgirls was not just the violence but the discovery that he evidently planned to molest the girls. Talk about the violation of innocence--the Old Order Amish are one of the few subcultures left that do a pretty good job of protecting the innocence of their young people. At the same time they are not like Muslims in distrusting and fearing women. I just saw a photo of two Amish teenage girls--almost women, really-- chatting with a Pennsylvania state trooper at the funeral of their classmates. They are dressed completely in black, as is the Amish custom at funerals. But their faces are completely uncovered, they are clearly wearing dresses rather than shapeless burkas, and they are standing tall, with no sign of fear or distress. They appear to be talking with the trooper in a friendly rather than a wary manner.

The face of innocence has its own radiance and beauty. Maybe that's why so many classical paintings of the infant Jesus show his face as radiant with light.

10/05/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Anonymous NB said...

Has anyone seen ET lately? Here's a movie we need more than ever. Elliott, the boy, is suffering because his father has abandoned his family. We learn he is with "Sally in Mexico." I.e., avoiding his paternal role, regressing to irresponsible/rebellious adolescence.

The rest of the movie is wish fulfillment, where ET becomes the paternal metaphor and Elliott father to the man. By raising ET, teaching him, Elliott comes to find a role in the family. But ET also gets sick and almost dies, revealing Elliott's impotence, the failure of his manic scheme. Only when ET dies and Elliott assumes a truly mature stance in mourning ET's loss does ET return to life. At this point Elliott is strong enough to let go, and delivers ET to his "mother ship." A painful separation is endured, and a boy becomes a man.

Today I don't believe this film would have been made. Scenes of the single mother herself regressing, and lamenting the loss of her husband, would be seen as un-PC. She should be thriving without a man, as should her children! And the idea that a young boy would need a paternal figure would also be scoffed at.

You would have a movie about a boy who meets an alien who teaches him that adults are stupid and that one should remain forever a child, and that if adults were smart they too would become children again.

10/05/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

"This is why I am so creeped out when I see parents who allow their children--especially girls--to dress in provocative ways. Especially in California, I have seen many prepubescent girls who, if you just squint your eyes a little, could pass for beautiful woman."


Bob, as you probably have experienced in SoCal, when you see the girls dressed this way you can almost 100% guarantee that the mother is only a few feet away and dressed at least as provacatively and still dressing like a teenager. Anyone can go to Fashion Island in Newport Beach for a study on this matter every weekend.

My wife had the great idea of inoculating my two pre-teen sons early by pointing out these girls/women as counterexamples and it is working so far.

I couldn't agree more with maintaining childhood innocence as long as possible (it is pretty hard to overdo it in this world!)

10/05/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous DK said...

Bob, great post as always.

This makes me think of some signs I've seen on (my university's) campus lately. Now, I'm about 10 years older than my fellow students, so I see things in a different light than most of them. The signs on campus say:

"Did you know? Women in college are 4 times more likely to be sexually assualted."

This is part of a campus-wide program to promote sexual assualt awareness. However, I wonder, if the average woman in college is 4 times more likely to be falling down drunk around frat boys full of beer. Is she also 4 times as likely to bare and flaunt that which makes her a woman rather than cherish it? For that matter, is she 4 times as likely to flagrantly, openly, and frequently engage in casual sex without such bothersome ideas like commitment?

I do not intend to excuse sexually abusive behavior for any reason. A former martial arts instructor of mine taught that best way to survive a fight is to avoid it. Are parents teaching concepts like this today? I say no, instead daughters are being taught that safety is a cellphone, a DD and a condom. Once you have those three things, nothing in college can hurt you.

Again, I make no excuses for any abusive behavior. But how many women add fuel to their would-be attacker's fire because they were taught to value freedom above prudence.

10/05/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Michael A -

I made the mistake of entering that Goddess site you linked to. The place reeks of evil, period. I unwisely got into an exchange with the blogging "goddess" herself, a fruitless exercise, of course. All it did was remind me that direct confrontation with evil - and yes, I mean the real thing - is unproductive, leaving only a sensation of having been dipped in a septic tank.

We win by transcending. No other way.

Now I'm going to shower for about 6 straight hours.

10/06/2006 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gaude said...

Bob,
Great post as always.

Dilys - actually, librarians don't keep the libraries quiet b/c parents, asked to remove their screaming, rampaging offspring, react with such defensive belligerence about their lack of responsibility that it's almost not worth the time or effort of the staff.

They try, but it's practically unenforceable.

Just a little more pyschic littering of the landscape.

10/06/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

DK--

There is abundant evidence--suppressed or ignored, of course--that women who are raped and abused as adults are much more likely to have been abused as children or to be fatherless. The early abuse leads to a sort of dissociation that causes them to enter dangerous and risky situations, and the absence of a father leads them to confuse sexual attention with love.

10/06/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

I always find it interesting to read this Blog and the posts. The comment on Amish culture and women and children is fascinating, especially in the context of this blog.

I worked a number of years in construction with the Amish. Certainly, the women were treated far better than in the Islamic world, but I dare say they are not "modern". They don't vote, no Amish do, and they have no voice in Church. Other than their faces and hands, they are covered, not unlike Muslim women (in the Middle East, that is, most Muslim women I know here in the Midwest simply wear regular clothes), from head to toe, often in black (its not just funeral wear) or blue, no matter how hot--and they don't have air conditioning. It is typical for Amish women to bear more than 10 children, often as many as 18 (I worked for a man who was one of 18). It is not uncommon for them to marry second cousins. These are not "American Values". I personally am not at all opposed to these things, but, it seems to me, many of the readers here, on reflection, would be. The Amish are also pacifist, believing Jesus was a pacifist, and calls his disciples to be so, quite literally, turning the other cheek.

10/06/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I have been trying to hold my tongue and be mature about this situation but I can no longer sit by quietly...

After being forced to listen and see Nancy Pelosi, I can hardly blame Foley for being attracted to teenage boys. It really is all her fault. She would turn me gay, too, if I were a man!!!;0)

10/06/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Lisa, it's a good thing you're too young to remember Bella Abzug.

10/06/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger geckofeeder said...

Particularly when Bella went on her last trip to Saigon as a member of the charming congress which cut off beans and bullets to South VietNam under major conventional attack by the North Vietnamese army with Soviet tanks, rockets and little sign of the barefoot romantizized Viet Cong.

10/06/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Bob, awesome, awesome post! Your take on the innocence of childhood is right on the money. I am seriously thinking of printing out all of your posts and putting them into a binder - it would occupy a nice spot in my bookcase next to George Will and C.S. Lewis.



On some of your fine points:



"Unless they themselves are acting out some kind of sexual trauma that was perpetrated on them, and have become prematurely sexualized as a way to “control” the opposite sex."



I dated, and even became engaged to, a girl who unfortunately had gone through just what you describe. She had been molested as a young girl, and had been pimped out by her crazy mother to earn survival money. As a result, her later years were filled with promiscuity. She then joined a conservative Mennonite church and wore a head covering, which she told me later was an attempt to cover her shame of how she saw herself. Her stories, when she confided them to me, almost made me cry. I remember when I told ber point blank that I did not see her that way, but I saw her as God sees her, innocent and blameless (by Christ's sacrifice, of course)that she lit up like a candle and expressed me that no one had ever told her that before. Unfortunately, her issues were still unresolved to the point that we had to break up some months later. Nevertheless, I know that my treating her as a proper lady rather than an object made a permanent change in her (she is now married and living in Florida).

Dressing like a slut at age 13 can be a sign either of something lacking in the girl's life (discipline, father figure) or something truly awful happening in the home (stage mom, molestation). Apart from the normal initial male response this elicits, deeper down I feel sorry for these "girls at the bus stop", having seen the damage firsthand. This reality deprived me of the lifelong company of someone who was pretty, fun to be with, and whom I loved deeply.



"Because of their surging hormones and the fluid nature of their sexuality, young boys desperately need activities where they can get together in an environment free of sexual tension. For example, team sports must be preserved with no girls allowed."



Ah, but to radical feminists, the very idea of being male is a sin; males cause wars, rape women, and behave badly in school (Ritalin is one nice cure to being too boyish). The fantasy of many radical feminists and lesbian activists is an androgynous society; hence their resistance to study after study confirming the differences between the sexes. Men must be feminized, and women masculinized, so we can meet in the middle and be a bunch of bald, sexless androids.



"The left has been at the leading edge of the mainstreaming of every deviancy and perversion into society over the past 40 years, to such an extent that they would be offended at the idea of calling someone a deviant or a pervert, because it implies a standard of sexual maturity"



This is an example of the leftist philosophy of Deconstructionism, which one columnist (it may have been David Horowitz) called as great a threat to the West, if not greater, than Islamofascism. Deconstructionism seeks to eliminate all institutions that it deems primitive and anachronistic, such as religion, marriage, and even the nation-state. Different versions of it advocate either anarchy or a one-world state. The attacks against Christianity, marriage, school choice, border security (and borders themselves), and America, and are all part and parcel of this larger philosophical bent.

Granted, it is only the real loony fringe of the left that actually openly espouses this train of thought; nonetheless, as we see today, the loonier leftists are gradually gaining an increasing influence over the liberal parties in general. If Deconstructionism is not an openly held belief for most leftists, it most certainly is a tendency, and a growing one.



"It would be abusive and even unconstitutional to teach adolescents that there is moral and immoral sex. No. For the radical secularists who have taken over the educational establishment, there is only healthy and unhealthy sex."



More Deconstructionism. This is the consequence of all that "free love" in the 60's and 70's; those fornicating, drug-addled hippies and dropouts are now in our government, school boards, universities, and courts.



"Many people do not like to look into the face of innocence. It repels them. Being that it was stolen from them, they enviously wish to steal it from others--there is a perverse thrill involved in telling a child Santa Claus doesn’t exist, that all sex is the same, that God is dead, that all texts are arbitrary narratives concealing blind power, that truth doesn’t exist. It is the thrill of of rebellion and destruction, the illicit joy in being one's own god."



What an excellent observation! This same idea extends to the Marxist ideas of redistribution of wealth; because you have, and I don't have, I have a right to what you have, even if I have not worked for it, simply because it's not right that you have more than me. Consequently, Communism and Socialism have the unique distinction of being the only philosophies based entirely on envy. That may partially explain the brutality with which they butcher those who embrace free enterprise; a government founded upon emotion always leads to violent tyranny. Imagine a state based on any other deadly sin (murder, adultery, theft, etc

10/06/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

Just wanted to make the quick observation that Newport Beach, and Orange County in general, is an area where you will see many of these pre-teens or teens dressing scantily (or not dressing at all, depending on how you look at things). It also happens to be a very conservative county as well. Whether those girls' fathers are liberal or conservative, I can't say for sure. But I just thought I should point out that fact.

10/06/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

... and about the opposition to gay Boy Scout leaders, is this rooted in the idea that all gay men are attracted to young boys or the idea that there may be a few gay men who are and can't control such urges?

Should there also not be gay teachers (there are many opportunities for one-on-one interaction)?

And finally, gagdad bob, I just wanted to know whether or not you have ever come across the statistic that over 90% of child molestors (in this case, those who target boys) are heterosexual, and what your thoughts were on that (if I can find the link, I will post it).

10/06/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Surafel--

Yes, of course. I linked to the stats the other day. This means that the remaining 10% of abusers come from less than 1% of the population, meaning that child abusers are vastly over-represented among gay men. This is well understood.

No, I do not believe there should be openly gay teachers. If they wish to be gay in their private life, that's their choice, but it is wrong to foist their homosexuality upon innocent children.

Remember, the issue for the Boy Scouts is openly gay leaders. There have always been gay Scout leaders, but now leftists are tryimg to force the Scouts to have openly gay leaders, a very bad idea.

10/06/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

Hi gagdad bob.

Thanks for responding again. What exactly do you mean by openly gay? Someone who is flamboyant? Someone who does not deny their sexuality when asked? Someone who openly kisses men in public?

Oh and I found the link. I was mistaken. It was 98% of molested boys and 99.6% of molested girls (this is what I get for not completely checking all the facts). And some numbers I have found about % of the male population that is homosexual is between 5-10% (although much of what I found suggested it is closer to 5%).

10/06/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Surafel--

If you actually think that 5-10% of the population is homosexual, you are just an activist loon, so no further purpose can be served by responding to you. Believe whatever fantasies you wish.

10/06/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

I'm surprised by your response, gagdad bob. I thought the number of 1% seemed a bit too low, and I agree that 10% may be too high. I was simply looking at what I had found via googling, and suggesting your number might not be the definitive number. (And I was not suggesting that 5-10% of the entire population was homosexual... in case that's what you think I was suggesting).

And I'm a little taken aback by you labeling me an "activist loon." I hope you aren't dodging the question I posed to you about what an "openly gay man" means. I expected a little more out of you. Maybe I phrased my question poorly, and if you think I did, I apologize. I was just trying to understand your logic.

I still hope to hear a response about the initial question (Even Bill Clinton responded to Chris Wallace).

P.S. Don't be quick to assume that I disagree with you on this issue.

10/06/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Surafel--

I might be able to respond to your point if I knew what it was. If you think it is a good idea for grade school children to be taught about homosexuality, or to be taught by male teachers who kiss their boyfriends in front of them, we just disagree. This is why I am for vouchers. If that is what you want for your child, you should be free to choose it.

10/06/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bob, Thank you so much for your excellent post. Your blog has become must reading for me and I have introduced many friends to your site. This essay was profound on so many levels and addressed an issue I have been thinking about for some time. Watching the news footage of the students running out of Columbine High School, what struck me the most was how the girls were dressed (or not). The other day I pointed out to my husband how a 10-year-old girl was hobbling into church in heels. He thought it "cute" until I reminded him that at that age I would have been wearing anklets and mary-janes--and I grew up in the 60s! Thanks for putting it all in context and for your insights. I will continue to look forward to your posts.

10/07/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Surafel said...

Thanks for responding again Gagdad Bob.

The purpose of my question was to first understand what you considered being "openly gay" meant. Because if we have different definitions of what it means, then obviously we can't have a legitimate discussion on this issue.

Taking this a step further, does everyone simply have a different definition of what being "openly gay" means? Were those fighting the case in the Supreme Court suggesting that kids should be explicitly taught about homosexuality? Were they fighting to kiss their partners in front of the kids? Besides, when does the topic of sexuality come up in Boy Scout meetings anyways?

...As I've been writing this post, I have been doing some research on the topic. It seems as if the Boy Scouts already have a designated plan to handle questions regarding sexuality (do nothing-- pass the children onto family, schools, churches, or professionals to deal with the situation).

So now, I don’t get what all the fuss is about. I don’t think the Boy Scouts should be handling topics of sexuality in a group of young boys (some may not be ready for it, etc etc). But I don’t exactly see what’s wrong if a Boy Scout leader happens to be gay, esp. if there is a system in place to handle topics regarding sexuality. Those gay leaders who oppose that system can leave the organization.

If you, gagdad bob, oppose these gay leaders for moral reasons, that is a legitimate argument (esp. given the fact that the organization deals with morality on some level, however simple that may be). I just don’t understand the argument that you’re scared these young boys will be taught about homosexuality.

...I'd like to hear your thoughts on what I said. Thanks again.

10/07/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Surafel--

You just disagree with American principles, which is fine. In my opinion, the federal government has no business legally forcing a group that is rooted in traditional morality to accept openly gay leaders, any more than the federal government has the constitutional right to force you to engage in racial disrimination under the name of "affirmative action." You are on one side of that cultural battle, I am on the other. I am a liberal in favor of liberty, you are aparently a leftist in favor of heavy-handed state intervention to enforce leftist ideals.

10/07/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Surafel said...

You have again avoided my point about what being openly gay means and what that has to do with being a Boy Scout leader.

I never said that I think the government should force the Boy Scouts to allow openly gay leaders. It is a private organization and has the right to reject whoever it wants. Please do not put words in my mouth or assume that you know the opinions that I have.

If you are arguing with respect to morality, then that is a valid argument, as I have previously mentioned.

I expected more of a discussion from you, especially given your intelligent posts. Labeling me a "leftist who supports heavy-handed state intervention," insinuating that I oppose liberty, and implying (if not outright saying) that I am un-American goes nowhere.

You said that teachers can be gay in their private life. But if they were asked about their sexuality, and they said they were homosexuals, would mean that they are openly gay, even if their actions do not change? With respect to this Supreme Court decision, the student was "outed" in a newspaper photograph. If that photo was not printed, could that student still lead a group?

You have danced around the issue at hand. You have failed to offer a definition of what you think being openly gay means. You have assumed what the opposition believes, but have no proof to back it up. Your silence will speak volumes.

10/07/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I do not understand what part of my response you don't understand. People should be free to choose or not choose gay or sraight teachers or scout leaders for their children as they see fit. Period. To me, liberty is a much more important value than equality, let alone the agenda of civil rights extremists. I believe that all anti-discrimination laws should be abolished, with the possible exception of race (but even those probably do more harm than good, both to society and to the intended beneficiaries).

10/07/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

"I never said that I think the government should force the Boy Scouts to allow openly gay leaders. It is a private organization and has the right to reject whoever it wants."

"People should be free to choose or not choose gay or straight teachers or scout leaders for their children as they see fit."

For the most part, we actually agree on something!

Although now, I think I understand your logic. You simply do not want a gay scout leader or teacher. Period. Not just an openly gay scout leader or teacher, but any kind of gay scout leader or teacher.

You avoided the question that I asked: "You said that teachers can be gay in their private life. But if they were asked about their sexuality, and they said they were homosexuals, would that mean that they are openly gay, even if their actions do not change? With respect to this Supreme Court decision, the student was "outed" in a newspaper photograph. If that photo was not printed, could that student still lead a group?"

You must believe that even if the students don't know that their leader/teacher is a homosexual, the administration knowing is tantamount to foisting their sexuality on innocent children. Even if the topic of sexuality doesn't come up in front of the children, or leaders/teachers are instructed not to discuss issues regarding sexuality, the fact that the administration knows the person is gay is, again, tantamount to foisting their sexuality on innocent children. You don't want your children around that person simply because he is gay. Don't try to hide behind the argument that "if they are openly gay, they shouldn't teach." You think that being gay means throwing your sexuality in people’s faces, that a gay person doesn’t know how to act in front of children or how to have proper etiquette or respect for other opinions in the workplace. You think that being openly gay simply means teaching kids that homosexuality is okay, or kissing one’s partner in the classroom or on school grounds or at a school function. You may have taken the issue a bit too far, and ignored the fact that for many, simply being openly gay in the workplace means not denying that you are a homosexual. Even if that person gave no hint of being gay (whatever you may think that hint is), to you, the administration knowing means they are openly gay. [And seeing as how you just said, “People should be free to choose or not choose gay or sraight teachers or scout leaders for their children as they see fit,” I think I’m right] This is the only way that I can justify your argument to this point.

And lets get one thing straight: I have never advocated forcing you or the Boy Scouts to accept openly gay leaders (however you wish to define that), nor have I advocated encroaching upon your liberties (as you continue to claim for some odd reason).

You tried to justify your argument, and I have suggested repeatedly that your justification is simply a non sequitur, and more importantly, along the lines of delusional thinking.

If my assessment is incorrect, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to say that I would’ve been somewhat satisfied with the discussion.

10/07/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Al Fulchino said...

Brilliant Bob. A friend shared your essay with me. I even posted it at my site, of which you are welcome to at any time.

Be Still and Know Discussion Board http://www.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=12195&p=1

- Al Fulchino

10/07/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Surafel--

We'll just have to stipulate that one of us is delusional, and let the readers decide who it is.

10/07/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

...And I guess you'll avoid my question.

10/07/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

P.S. All I was asking for was an explicit definition of what you thought being openly gay meant. I didn't actually think that question was confusing or not relevant to the discussion at hand. I was simply trying to better understand your position. I'll put my life on hold until I get the response you asked.

10/07/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Surafel--

Since you agree with me that people should be free to choose or not choose gay or straight teachers or scout leaders for their children as they see fit--even if we personally disagree with the choices people will make--why don't you explain where we differ?

10/07/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

I'm not even trying to explain where we differ. I'm asking you what I think is a simple question. You made a statement regarding an issue, and I asked you to elaborate. Most of my posts have been asking you to elaborate on your position. Is there something wrong with simple curiosity?

Why won't you answer that question?! I mean seriously, this is getting ridiculous. I've asked this question 3 or 4 times. I'm an idiot... beat me over the head with a stick. Give me an explicit definition. For the love of God, do it!

10/07/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Your question is irrelevant if you agree with me on the larger principle. For example, conservatives are obviously discriminated against in universities and newsrooms, where they are outnumbered 10 or 20 or sometimes 25 to one.

But once you agree with me that the federal government has no business forcing universities to hire more conservative professors, what difference does it make how one defines the term "openly conservative?" It's entirely moot once you agree with me that it is not the job of the federal government to force people to hire gays or conservatives or anyone else.

10/07/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

By the way, Politico, you may want to mention to your fellow loons at dailykos that you agree with "the opposition" that the federal government should not force the Boy Scouts to accept openly gay leaders, that these kinds of choices should be left to individuals, and that believing these things in no way makes one a "homophobe." Class act that you are, I'm sure you'll immediately correct the slanderous comments your mouth-breathing cohorts have made about me.

10/07/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

You caught me!

1. I still don’t understand why you simply won’t answer this question. A big part of me thinks this is some sort of game you’re playing, and to that I say touché.
2. I still don’t think my question is irrelevant because the issue at hand was never what we thought the federal government can and cannot do. The issue was why you believe what you believe, that openly gay people should not be boy scout leaders or teachers. A few posts back, you questioned why Democrats are opposing the Mark Foley scandal. You agreed with Democrats that Mark Foley is a pervert, but you were curious as to why they opposed it. And now I am doing the same thing. ….But of course, before I could even get to that, it’s important to understand that we are on the same page with respect to the definition of what being openly gay means, as I have said ad nauseum. If we have different definitions of what being openly gay means, then we obviously can’t have a discussion as to whether or not there should be openly gay scout leaders or teachers. Look back at our previous posts, and notice that I first asked you what you meant by “openly gay.” My intentions were never to get into the validity of the Supreme Court ruling. Again, I ask that you not put words into my mouth or make baseless assumptions. I have been rather straightforward in my purpose.
3. If you look back at our conversation, I mentioned explicitly that I agreed that the government should not force the Boy Scouts to accept openly gay leaders. I’m sure the “loons” caught that as well.
4. You should also take the time to read all the comments posted (or even use the always convenient “Find” option on your browser). Not a single person called anyone a homophobe. People certainly called you or others “anti-gay.” If the BSA is morally opposed to homosexuals, I think that makes them anti-gay (on some level, to say the least). And, as you have yet to disprove my earlier arguments, your opinions also put you in the anti-gay camp. How far this label extends is certainly debatable.

Please quit with the personal attacks and answer a straightforward question.

I look forward to hearing your response.

10/07/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Surafel said...

P.S. I couldn't edit other people's comments even if I wanted to. Nice try though.

10/07/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Golem14 said...

I checked the Aiken blog as well-- Arrgh! The malice is so thick you could cut it with a knife. One reason I've cut back on reading blogs is that I'm sick of running across stuff like that. I don't remember ever having run across that sort of mindset until I went online, except for a few run-ins with people who might have qualified for Dr. Peck's term "People of the Lie". Is it getting more prevalent, or is it just that such people are now able to link up more easily?

10/09/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been following the back and forth with surafel. I would define "openly gay" as someone who identifies themselves publicly as such. How do those on the left identify/recognize gays, especially those bent on outing closeted gays, which many seem intent on doing? Surafel seems intent on arguing a point which is irrelevent as Bob says, and avoiding the larger point.

10/09/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the "sophisticated left", you should be aware of this article:

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments

by Justin Kruger and David Dunning
Department of Psychology
Cornell University

Abstract
People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.

9/01/2007 11:17:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home