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May 11 2006

No Time Toulouse

That’s right. I’m so swamped with this rigorous schedule of daily barbecues at Cancerland (see that thin plume of smoke emanating from Austin on the Google World map? That’s me!), lounging at coffee-shops with Stingray, physical therapy for my assorted Bert-inflicted limps, and, as of today, a visiting mother, I’m reduced to posting teasers for the essays I’d write if I actually had the time.

For example, today I would really like to let loose on the St. Louis Schoolboy Sex Assault, which, you have heard by now, involved a dozen little boys “poking” an 8-year-old girl “who struggled to keep on her underwear.”

I just can’t imagine how these junior patriarchs learned how to gang-rape a girl.

Well, gotta run. See ya in the funny papers.

56 comments

3 pings

  1. Kwillz

    I remember a horrible game played in my elementry school where all the boys would run after the girls and forcibly kissing them. As much as I would like to say it was my morals that kept me from getting involved, it was pretty much the fact that I the loner kid; seems it was all for the better, not fitting in.

  2. stekatz

    Ugh. That story reminded me of a time when I was about age 5. I was playing on the bars watching a group of boys plan a game. I vividly remember overhearing one of the bigger boys instruct the other boys, “You grab her arms, and you cover her mouth if she tries to yell for the teacher.”

    I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, but even my five year old mind knew that it was bad and that I should stick close to the teacher.

    My own daughter (2nd grade) got pinned down by four boys at recess early this year, and the teacher didn’t do anything because she and another girl had been teasing the boys. I just remember her saying how she was scared because one of the boys pushed his knee into her chest and she couldn’t breath.

    I hope the school throws the book at these boys and their parents. At least the school’s swift response shows some promise.

  3. Kaka Mak

    I recall being terrorized by young boys at some damn vacation bible school as a little girl. Held down, sat on, memory doesn’t recall the rest. Happened every day for a least a week as soon as the teachers left.

    What the fuck were we doing unsupervized?!

    One time during this, a priest came in, saw me being held down and laughed.

    How cute.

  4. Mandos

    Geez, they’re so young, do they even know what they’re doing? This is one of those places where I start reaching my parent-blaming point.

  5. sugaredharpy

    We hail from the Lou and I am NOT surprised. I should be, but I’m not. The amount of chest-beating men in Missouri (as I’m sure, in your states too) is staggering and only getting worse as it seems to be actively more acceptable and desired (think TGIFriday’s commercial, Dubya, etc., etc.).

    Rape and misogyny are learned traits. How else did they know to go for the underpants as a source of shame and harm?

  6. grrr kitty

    When I was a wee slip of an 11-yr-old lass, one of my male classmates squeezed one of my newly-sprouted boobs. *I* was the one who got in trouble for bopping the little bastard in the head with my art bag, which left a not unimpressive water-color-box-shaped cut on his forehead.

    I’m disgusted and creeped-out by how much this still happens.

    and they wonder why I blame the patriarchy.

  7. Esme

    “It’s quite rare we get delinquency referrals on such young children,”

    Well maybe that’s because this girl actually complained. I don’t think I suffered as much physical abuse as you guys as a teenager, but one of my first experiences at public school was that one of the students I was forced to tutor (the curse of the smart kid at public school. Finished early? Female? Good. Go help the others!) spending his time looking up my skirt and trying to grab me. I had loved to wear skirts, jumpers, and dresses all my life up to that point. I made my mother buy me jeans after his abuse got bad enough.

  8. Esme

    (I didn’t mean to say teenager, I meant to say child. I was 6 when the boy started harassing me. His father had taken him to a strip club the summer before, and he developed some ideas about girls apparently)

  9. kathy a

    oh, yuck. i am pretty much with mandos and kaka mak, blaming the parents and supervisors. kids so young aren’t going to read in all the implications we do — but this could not have been a quiet little altercation. a group of kids cornering and physically overpowering another kid is NOT OK, not ever.

    [i seem to remember "wedgies" being a popular sport for a little while among the bully boys at my elementary school. they did get in trouble, just not every time -- the offense could be committed quickly and without much notice, but the teachers did have eagle eyes. girls weren't targeted, probably because we wore uniforms with skirts, and the little thugs knew there would be big trouble pulling up a skirt.]

  10. kathy a

    p.s. — sorry about the ongoing barbeque. hope you have a good visit with mom.

  11. finnsmotel

    “The amount of chest-beating men in Missouri (as I’m sure, in your states too) is staggering”

    Since the f–king St.L Post online edition doesn’t have a set of editorial conventions… I don’t know if this happened in Columbia, Missouri or Columbia, Illinois.

    The article I read simply stated “Columbia” school.

    Columbia, IL is a suburb of StL, MO across the river. Columbia, MO is a college town an hour and a half away. [similarly, they never distinguish O'Fallon, MO vs. O'Fallon, IL, either...]

    Not that it matters. Chest beating knows no state lines.

    I just hate lame online newspapers and ours is one.

    -finn

  12. finnsmotel

    To add to the confusion, there’s a St. Louis city school called Columbia, though it’s not located in either of the Columbia townships.

    I think it’s the city school where this activity took place. So, Columbia, IL and Columbia, MO appear to be off the hook, for now.

    Since it’s St. Louis we’re talking about… and our fair burg is still very racially segregated… and the school in question is in the northern part of the city, which is still mostly black population… you can be sure that race will eventually be a major part of the discussion.

  13. whyme63

    First grade. Spring, 1970. I was seven years old.
    Two of my classmates took me under the slide, restrained me, pulled up my skirt, and pulled down my panties.

    When I stormed over to the playground teacher who had ignored my panicked screams while this went on, she sent ME to the principal’s office for “causing a ruckus”. I still remember her exact words. “Causing a ruckus.”

    Fortunately, our (male) principal was not such an imbecile. He listened to me, had the secretary calm me down and bathe my face, assured me that I had done everthing right and nothing wrong, and dealt with the two boys–and their families.

    All this is just my way of saying that it ain’t just “kids these days”. This kind of shit was going on 36 years ago, too.

  14. Vibrating Liz

    Oh yeah, I remember well the kid who leapt out of the bushes and pinned me down in the fifth grade, stuck his hand up my shirt, and said, “I’m gonna feel your balloons!” I broke his front tooth. It was always sort of weird to see him later as an adult, with that cap still on his tooth, him always soooo charming and polite and nobody ever mentioned when or why he GOT the damn cap. (I almost used his real name here, but then I googled him to see if he was in prison or anything by now and discovered that his son, who has the same name Jr, has become a famous football player, and the capped-tooth dad has become a political bigwig in the town where I grew up. Yuck. Where the hell is that Instant Karma lightning bolt when you need it??)

    Coffee shops with Sting Ray definitely sound like the bright spot on the horizon these days.

  15. sugaredharpy

    “I think it’s the city school where this activity took place.”

    Jebus, it IS so sad that they can’t even clarify that. I can hardly read our paper, it’s so ridiculous.

  16. Esme

    Google the name of the school. It’s in the city.

  17. Sarah Z

    So many of us are damn data points for this.

    I don’t remember it happening to me, because I was only three, but all the other kids my age on my block were boys, and apparently three or four of them chased me to see what was under my panties. My mother caught them, and gave them a talking to in front of their horrified, feminist, mothers. This was in Berkeley in the mid-70s, so I don’t think Midwest attitudes, or the parents, are completely to blame. See title of blog.

    Stekatz, congratulations on (I presume) not murdering your daughter’s teacher.

  18. finnsmotel

    “Jebus, it IS so sad that they can’t even clarify that. I can hardly read our paper, it’s so ridiculous.”

    I had an email exchange with someone who works for the online edition and he made it sound like he could do nothing about it, since the stories come from each of the individual newspapers: city desk, suburban journal, etc. And, if they didn’t clarify the city and state in the content, he was evidently powerless to do anything about it when it got to the online edition. In other words, he’s a computer guy who is managing a database of articles, not an editor.

  19. jenofiniquity

    I just can’t imagine how these junior patriarchs learned how to gang-rape a girl.

    It’s all the liberals’ fault, dontcha know. To wit
    (this is from Vision America’s demagogue-in-chief, “Dr.” Rick Scarborough. It was in his most recent newsletter, to which I can’t find a link):

    “3 CHILDREN IN FIRST AND SECOND GRADE DAMAGED BY LIBERALISM

    Last week 12 first and second grade boys sexually assaulted an eight year old female classmate during recess at a public school in St. Louis. The incident happened Friday at Columbia Accelerated Community Educational Center, a school with 400 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade on the city’s north side.

    Educators, law enforcement officials and the general public are left scratching their heads and asking, “How could this happen?” In my latest release, Liberalism Kills Kids, I offer the explanation in detail. For the past 50 years we have been implementing the progressive liberal agenda in our public schools and we are now seeing the results.”

  20. Keeshond

    Unfortunely, I not only read the story, I also started reading the comments until they made me physically ill. The subject matter was twisted to fit everyone’s personal political, racist, or misogynistic belief system. The one thing that NO ONE BOTHERED TO MENTION was the poor little 8 year old girl that was the victim and . The comments were not only indicative of how hateful and dismissive towards girls and women our culture is, but also a statement on our appalling lack of literacy. Of the first 40 responses (I couldn’t get past 40), two geniuses put St. Louis in MASSACHUSETTS, another in MINNESOTA, and the last genius apparently believes St. Louis is part of Chicago. I hereby blame the patriarchy for the actual victimization of the little girl, and the ignorant response to the news article.

  21. Arianna

    Keeshnod, I hadn’t even noticed there was a comment section until you posted. I went and had a gander and I now want to be sick. Even sicker than I felt when I read the article. Forget eating before class :/

  22. sage

    I also was assaulted as a child and nothing was done about it. I’m pleased the school’s acting on it so quickly, but I wonder about the wisdom of expelling 8-year-olds. I wrote more here.

  23. Jodie

    Esme, I guess I was lucky. I always got done with my schoolwork early too, but most teachers just sent me to the library. I remember all those blissful hours spent reading instead of being bored in the classroom to this day.

    When I was in elementary school, we had Mr. Max-something-or-other who was more than a little obsessive and who patrolled our playground like a hawk. No one got away with anything for very long (including such innocent and honored pasttimes as “burp-talking”). He approved of jacks and marbles, though, so those games were VERY popular. Since he apparently saved me some grief in elementary school (considering what some of those boys were like in junior high) I guess I can finally forgive him for the “no talking in the cafeteria for any reason ever” rule.

  24. Hattie

    Esme
    I was forced to tutor (the curse of the smart kid at public school. Finished early? Female? Good. Go help the others!)
    Yep.
    Funny, but I suffered more abuse at the hands of other girls than of the boys. A girl cracked me over the nose with a baseball bat and broke my nose. A gang of girls rubbed dog shit in my hair. At summer camp, my tentmates discovered my underpants stained with menstrual fluid and strew them around the camp and made up saucy songs about them to tease me. It took me years to get over the shame.
    I was just as bad to other girls. Maybe it’s better now; this was in the 40′s and 50′s.

  25. Kwillz

    As much as I have come to expect stupidity from internet hate mongers, I didn’t expect to see what was in the comments section of that article.

  26. Kelley

    Second grade, on the merry-go-round. Eric (his real name) tried to pull up my dress. I shoved him off the merry-go-round, breaking his arm. His parents dared to call mine to complain. My mother, bless her heart, told them to piss up a rope. Not only would we not pay for his medical treatment, but they were lucky we didn’t call the school and the police for his attempted assault on me. Heh. The conversation ended quickly, and nothing more was said.

    That was 1975, people. This is just more evidence of how the patriarchy teachs males from an early age that women are merely sex object.

    Ya’ll know who I blame.

  27. jaye

    After getting thrown down on the playground and tearing my leotards, I let one of the patriarchy’s favorite sons have it upside his head with my purse. The metal lock cut him in the top of his pointed head and he needed six stitches.

    A few years later, another male classmate shoved me off a poarch and I landed on my face. He later went on to be a state district civil judge.

    I had my crotch grabbed in class.

    I was sexually assaulted at a birthday party and the next day his friends came over to my house again for some more. I was screaming and my parents were mad at me for using curse words.

    Sometimes the adults are there and it just doesn’t matter.

    My neighbor and his friend grabbed each of my legs and ran my crotch into a tree trunk again and again. In the front yard. In broad daylight.

    How many gropes in crowded hallways?

    This isn’t new. It just gets reported now. This happens every day and has as long as we can imagine.

  28. mel

    Hattie, that was CHILLING to read. It makes me feel awful. I remember that most of the girls were worse to me too. It’s so weird and horrible how patriarchy does that, isn’t it? It’s not just the abuse from the males: that’s a given in a patriarchy. But it’s the separation from other females that truly hurts the most. It’s the competition, the cruelty, the acting out that really makes one step back and shiver. I can take the defeat from males and laugh–I’ve done it many times. But when the females hurt one another, that’s when it all falls apart.

  29. whyme63

    Never, ever, ever subject yourself to the hate-filled, sick, disgusting freak show that is Yahoo Messageboards. They are quite the most notoriously unregulated and idiot-populated boards in the whole wide web.

    The slack-jawed droolers and raving, spittle-flecked loons who haunt them are the poster children for birth control.

  30. Keeshond

    “The slack-jawed droolers and raving, spittle-flecked loons who haunt them are the poster children for birth control.”

    How about we make that retroactive birth control? The people commenting on that poor girl’s victimization are truly beyond hope and the world would be a lot better off without them, particularly the assholes who don’t see a problem with “letting boys be boys” or the particularly offensive douchebag who claimed that he still “fingers” little girls and insists they like it. G. Zeus, that message board is one cesspool of perverted, venal, reprehensible sleaze.

  31. Aussie Liz

    Expelled the boys, good.

    “Removed” the victim????

  32. Hattie

    Mel: I gave as good as I got, alas. In fact, now I’m more ashamed of that than of anything.

  33. Pony

    I can’t tell my list because I’m not strong enough to survive it.

  34. ae

    Hmm. Indeed, where in the world did these boys learn this behavior? Let’s see, knocked around, pinned down, spied on (!), and/or groped 6 times by 7th grade. This does not include the casual harassment girls suffer as a general rule. Neither was I a targeted kid; on the contrary. In 9th grade, I beat on a locked door til my fists were blue, because a teacher had locked himself in a room w/ my best girlfriend and made remarks about how she was his now and there was nothing I (we) could do. We’d been playing around in the gym just earlier, and I was scared to death. And furious. So furious that I could’ve beaten Superman in a knife fight.

  35. Tapir

    As a young’un, I took an aikido class in which I was the only girl. Occasionally, the other students would get it in their heads to try to break into the women’s dressing room while I was changing, or mob me and jump all over me on the mats before class when the sensei was otherwise occupied. I was a feisty little tapir, and I wanted to be able to fight back on my own, without any adult interference, but there was only so much my nine-year-old self could do.

    Luckily, the sensei found out what had been going on. He wasn’t going to tolerate that kind of crap, but he also knew that it would hurt my pride if somebody came to my rescue. So he asked me what I wanted to do about it, making it clear that no matter what, he wouldn’t let the harassment go on. Since I hadn’t had any luck getting the boys to stop on my own, I reluctantly just asked him to handle it – I didn’t want to have to think about it anymore. He did, the boys cut it out after that, and I spent a few years of aikido free of trouble.

    Then one day, when I was twelve, two of the class’ newest members, a pair of little boys who had convinced themselves that they were Da Bomb, decided that I would be an easy target on which to pick. I was walking onto the mat to stretch before class when I heard one of them say, “Hey! Let’s gang up on the GIRL!” [exact quote]. They came running over to pounce on me, but sadly for them, ovaries and a second X chromosome do not even out a height difference of several inches and 30-pound weight discrepancy between 8-year-old boys and a 12-year-old girl. The first one to reach me, I don’t even remember what happened, except that he was suddenly on his butt and didn’t know how he got there. The second one jumped on my back. I considered for a moment, as he clung there like a rabid koala, then decided, yeah, I had to… and flipped him over my back. I swear, it was just like in the movies. Only better.

    I don’t think Sensei saw me, but I think he would have been pleased if he had.

    A few years later, Sensei and his daughter died in a car crash. R.I.P., Paul, and thanks for your part in helping me stand up for myself, even when I was too young to do it all alone.

  36. jenofiniquity

    I was an expat kid who grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. As soon as I turned 12, it was as if a switch had been flipped and I could not go anywhere in public without having men hiss at me as I walked by. Everywhere, it was “psssst, pssst.” I was a really young-looking 12: very short and slight, with baby-fine hair and a baby’s wide-open face. God knows how old they must have thought I was, but grown men hassled me in the street constantly. My best friend and I had the good sense to be seriously pissed about it even though my mother tried to talk me into believing that it wasn’t a big deal. They’ll never touch you, she said, as if that was supposed to make me feel better. I had feminist outrage even then at the injustice being done to me: I felt as if I had to avert my eyes every time I passed a man on the street. I felt as if I was doing something wrong but I wasn’t sure what. I wish my mom had told me to give them a hard look as they passed, but she wasn’t a hard look kinda gal.

    I was a shy girl who felt exposed in public on a decent day, and a couple of years of that seriously fucked me up but good. I became very remote, and when I moved back to the US, I was of course derided for being stuck up.

  37. CafeSiren

    I’ve got one of these, too, from age seven. Parents out of the house, seven year-old “friend” suddenly pushing me down on the couch and pulling my bathing suit off. I tried to scare him by invoking the possibility that my parents would catch him. His response: “Then they’ll see you naked.” That one hit home: it was my fault, and I was going to be the one who got in trouble.

    Needless to say, I never told, until now.

    Last I herad of him (age 19 — his parents & my parents were long-distance friends), he had gotten some girl pregnant, and had had some minor run-ins with the police. Why am I not surprised?

  38. cc

    I know World Net Daily is no bastion of the sane but:
    http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50174

    I don’t think there is anything to actually add… (I think that’s a vaild use of an elipse).

  39. cypress

    once more i am ecstatic that i attended all girl schools from grade 6 to 12. ecstatic.

    i’ve not read all of your comments – and don’t know if this has been raised. these are the little brothers of boys who are organizing blow jobs for themselves and their friends on the other side of the playground. i’m horrified how many times i have heard this from friends, accounts based on their daughters’ experiences.

    how can we make those little girls stronger and stronger. how can we speak to them from here. tell them they are precious and that we love and support them in being strong. tell them they do not deserve to be harmed. and try to protect them.

    what will we do?

  40. finnsmotel

    “As much as I have come to expect stupidity from internet hate mongers, I didn’t expect to see what was in the comments section of that article.”

    How did you get to the comments section?

  41. Twisty

    “I don’t think there is anything to actually add… (I think that’s a vaild use of an elipse).”

    Fight the power!

  42. Kwillz

    “How did you get to the comments section?”

    The discuss button at the end of the article.

  43. finnsmotel

    “How did you get to the comments section?”

    “The discuss button at the end of the article.”

    Maybe I’m being dense, but I still don’t see a comments button. Did you read the story on stltoday.com? (urg. sorry)

  44. Kwillz

    I was speaking of the commets section of the yahoo news article:

    click

  45. finnsmotel

    “I was speaking of the commets section of the yahoo news article:”

    Thanks for the link.

    Yeah, those comments are just awful. Not surprising, but truly awful.

  46. Amber

    I was very protected and empowered as a kid. I thank my mom for that. I feel really lucky after reading some of your lists because mine is so short.

    Age 7: a man exposed himself to me and told me to “suck it” in a Toys-r-us store in Florida. They let me keep the little plastic horse I was looking at when it happened. Hmph.

    Age 10: my mom homeschooled us as well as part-time teaching a few other people’s kids (she’d teach science units and stuff to the other kids). Several of the kids were outside playing before school and I was sent out to call them in for lesson time. The biggest kid who was my same age was throwing a football with another boy. After I called everyone in, he looked totally annoyed, ran over to where I was and used the football to smash me in the face. Bloody nose and a headache. Last I heard he’s in a gang in South Georgia. A winner.

    I’ve been thinking about it all morning and those are the only two I could come up with. Although when all the unwanted attention started happening around age 13, getting grabbed, whistled at, poked, etc. Mostly (scarily) from older adult men, I started packing on the pounds. Since then I’ve had my anti-patriarchical fat shield, which is probably one of the biggest reasons I’m not another rape/assault statistic. Yeah, I blame the patriarchy, which is why I’ve finally come to grips with it and am taking control of my life back.

    I fucking hate the patriarchy.

  47. jami

    i watched “the goonies” with a four-year-old boy i was babysitting a while back. we watched impressive displays of caring and inventiveness, and the kid was loving it.

    but his strongest impression was when the inventive asian kid said, “ohhh, shit.”

    “ohhh, shit!” repeated my four-year-old charge.

    “indeed,” thought i, wondering what kind of lunatic agrees to babysit her boss’ child.

    which is to say: they get this stuff from movies, even the harmless and good ones. what’s to be done.

    really. i have no idea.

  48. hedonistic

    I’m with Pony: If I write about mine it will ruin my day. But I will say this: It was my “first kiss.” And years later, my second.

    (AWWWWWWWW how romantic)

    The girly DNA has evolved, however: The first time a boy tried to pin down my daughter to kiss her, she bit him. So much for HER first kiss!

  49. Ani

    When I was 8 or 9, my neighbor friend’s older sister enjoyed exerting power over us younger girls by grabbing our breasts (which were hardly there), our crotches, and our butts. Especially when we were in the pool. None of us liked her much, but none of us felt comfortable complaining, either.

    So is it any wonder that, at 12 years old, I never said a peep when another neighbor friend’s asshole live-in grandfather grabbed my emergent breasts and said skeevily, “It’s good, huh?” I just stopped playing with that friend and never told her (or anyone else) why. She was hurt. In retrospect, I sure hope she wasn’t being abused by him–but I’m betting she was. How awful.

    At least by the time I was 17, when a boy (and his girlfriend!) in my high school flipped up my skirt several times as I walked up the stairs in front of him, I had developed some solid inner strength. I spun on my heel when I reached the top of the stairs and tell them that I didn’t know what the fuck their problem was, but they had better get over it real fast. They never harassed me again. But I didn’t tell the principal, either.

    What the hell am I going to do if/when I have kids? How do I convince them to “tell” when these kinds of things happen, whether it’s at the hands of girls, boys, or skeevy old men, when a culture of silence in all its patriarchy-protecting implications is so dominant?

  50. TheGlimmering

    Reading these makes me realize that my experience wasn’t that unusual at all, and makes me wonder why there’s such a stigma attached to “sheltering” your children. I can’t imagine this sort of common bullying is good for anyone, yet the going wisdom is to hang your own children out to dry when they’re picked on. Maybe it’s supposed to build character. What I know is this: I believe I’ve found one of the good men, not perfect, just good. He was very sheltered growing up, but didn’t turn out a coward unwilling to stand up for himself or others like I’ve so often heard sheltered boys will. Instead he tends to see women who are vulnerable for whatever reason as younger sisters, his female superiors as older sisters, and me as some other category altogether. I have every intention of homeschooling our only child and supervising their extracurricular activities myself until they develop the skills to look out for their own safety, if that’s sheltering so be it. Better sheltered than traumatized.

  51. kcsheehan

    How these boys learned gang-rape is certainly a mystery, but I think Dr. Socks has the answer: Maybe Aliens Made Them Do It.

  52. Ms Kate

    I’m just wondering if “Tommy” still has that cowboy boot heel mark in his forehead at 40 years old.

    He was warned not to try to “shirt” me.

  53. emjay

    In first grade, a boy in our neighborhood was harassing me. I don’t remember what he was doing. My mom told me to hit him the next time he bothered me. I do remember punching him, and him running home crying. He was polite not only to me, but to my mother and sister until my family moved out of that neighborhood seventeen years later. Yeah, Mom, teaching me to fight back at six years old!

    Unfortunately, the lesson didn’t carry over to when the (girl) babysitter threatened to pull down my bikini top if I didn’t do what she said (which was something not safety-related, like getting her a popsicle from the freezer), or when the boy molested me a few years later, or when my prom date couldn’t keep his hands to himself. It does seem like being touched against our will, multiple times, by boys and sometimes other girls, is part and parcel of growing up female in our culture.

  54. Kate

    I am not going into all the assaults I suffered as a kid or a teen, I have before here. I was emotionally abused and neglected when young and thus vulnerable to whatever came along and plenty did.

    Anyway, the topic of ‘what to do with the girls’ is one I’d like to add to.

    When my second child turned out to be a girl I was nervous. I had sworn I did not want the pain of bringing up a girl in this society, but there it was. ANd since my bondage to the breeder wasn’t over quite yet, I had another child and yes, that was a girl also.

    Both of my girls are strong in their own ways and one thing they are definately is aware.

    Since they were old enough to understand the basic concept verbally and communicate with me, I began to teach them about bodily boundaries and also I reinforced with all my children their right to say no and to object. Tyranny breeds subservience. I had a rule (enforced most of the time, hell I ain’t perfect), of not ever touching my children in punishment, again to reinforce the concept that their bodies were not to be violated by anyone. Oh yes and how I have had the run around with the traditionalists!

    I think I won out on this end. My daughters are known to be sassy and prickly, they especially tend to upset godbag patriarchs who demand their females quiet, obedient and subservient. Not my girls! I remember fondly my father speaking of his visiting eight-year old granddaughter, “She’s awfully contrary, I’ll tell you that, she makes up her mind that’s it, she has no problem telling you.”

    My response to this part-time-in-denial mysoginist? “Good, I’m glad to hear it.”

    Might I also add that in my very liberal household I still have had to fight with my son’s seemingly ingrained sense of entitlement to those things considered FOR A BOY like computers or the teevee. I never had to teach him to assert himself, he adopted it from popular culture and playground peer approval.

    In my theory the worse of them ( junior patriarchs) are often carefully groomed and managed by elder patriarchs who wish to carry on the grand tradition and start their younguns off early in the practice of letting the girl know who’s boss. Of course, in such households, mom plays along and supports because she ain’t the boss.

    I remember a sixth grade teacher bragging to the class once that he allowed his younger than us son to view his playboy mags because ‘there’s nothing wrong with a naked lady.”

    I remember a seventh grade math teacher who used to like to oogle all the girls and make comments to them, no one told the authorities last I knew.

    By the age twelve I had seen a man expose himself in a doorway on the way home from school, on the same street another man drove up in a Ford Granada and asked, “What school is that over there?” causing me to lean over to understand where his finger was pointing and see him nursing a massive hard-on. I was dumbstruck, mumbled the name of the school and hurried away. In retrospect, I could have been raped as I didn’t look back at all, just kept a straight course to home.

    I remember porn mags strewn all over the street all the time from some perv’s house, I would pick them up, take them home and at eleven years old be primed with a bevy of patriarchy teachings that would help me later to think it was my duty to assist all males in their pained efforts to relieve themselves of their all consuming testeronal urges.

    My father’s wife discovered the mags a couple of years later in my closet and told my father. I was harangued for hours on the subject of ‘horrible, disgusting, filth’ and ‘didn’t anyone teach you about the birds and the bees?’ Uh, no asshole, good christian people don’t have sex remember? And girls don’t need to know about it either.

    Unless and only when another male feels the ‘urge’ and the teaching is done by him, on his turf and on his terms to suit his needs. But that’s what we’re here for right?

    That’s what the WorldNet Daily sez and millions of morons think. Damn those feminists, damn us all to hell for messing up all those poor males who were able to exercise their right to be males without all this liberal hogwash about girls having control of their bodies or even controlling them for themselves and not for the pleasure of men alone!

  55. scratchy888

    I never had any troubles as a kid. After the first two years of primary school, girls and boys had separate playgrounds. Then I went to an all girls’ high school.

    I would say that I have suffered much more prejudice because of my gender as an adult than as a child or adolescent. It was a shock for me to find how judgemental many women can be, of each other, how they can use small aspects of another person’s behaviour or disposition against them, to score small points with the patriarchy. Because of some very negative experiences of this sort (as even small points can have a big impact when you’re playing for crumbs) I tend to avoid the company of women. The only women I relate to are at the martial arts gym, where directness in speech and a certain honestly in demeanour is prized — actually rendered necessary because of the gym context which automatically exposes fakery, because its hard to remain a fake when you’re really, really fighting. The males at the gym are also exposed to the same rigours, and few who just want to just want to dazzle and impress are able to last in this psychological environment. We all tend to learn the lesson, after a while, that no matter who you are, there’s always somebody who can beat you, in some context.

    Die-hard extremists of the patriarchy, however, do have trouble learning something of rhe realism of this lesson. My parents recently had two dogs (now deceased) which went for walks with them, and sometimes got into a fight with another dog. The more intelligent animal was a bull terrier mix with an Australian blue heeler. The larger, but less intelligent animal was a rottweiler cross. The bull terrier was more likely to end up in a fight, and when this occurred, the rottweiler would itself get very excited, wainting to participate. It would go bounding over to the fight, hackles raised, and muscles flexing with adrenaline. Then, because it was more familiar with the smaller dog, it would sink its teeth into the smaller terrier, attacking it, refusing to let go. So, then the smaller animal had two animals to fight, instead of one.

    Unfortunately, my parents own fundamentalist behaviour very much tended to emulate that behaviour of the stupider big dog. The stupidity of my father, in particular, was overwhelming. One could not draw a caricature of it, because it was already a caricature of something. Whenever I have had any pressing problems from some unfair treatment or patriarchal denizen, he has always come bounding to the aid of my oppressor. There is something so incredibly loutish about this tendency that it defies words. I felt like I had to develop some kind of violent cattle-prod against this stupidity. He eventually taught me to burn him with words (and to back that up with martial arts training) — but still, it hasn’t rectified his stupidity!

  56. Mickle

    Geez, they’re so young, do they even know what they’re doing?

    Well, they damn well know it’s wrong.

    You are welcome to blame the parents as well, however.

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