Monthly Archives: January 2013

More on Child Abuse

Hey friends, I don’t have time to write a true follow-up to yesterday’s contemplations about the motives behind child abuse.

So here are two additional articles that came out today on the topic.

A few salient points: when people think of pedophilia and sexual abuse of children, they are generally not thinking about the so-common-it-could-be-routine sexual abuse of children within families. AKA incest.

Instead, they are thinking of the sensationalized but actually rare creepy dudes who are sexually attracted to pre-pubescent kids and motivated to kidnap kids from malls and playgrounds and such. The Law and Order SVU stuff. That doesn’t happen NEARLY AS MUCH as abuse of children by family members.

Here are some statistics that should be familiar to us all, but aren’t, either because they’re too mind-boggling to be absorbed easily, or because they’re not publicized enough. One in three-to-four girls, and one in five-to-seven boys are sexually abused before they turn 18, an overwhelming incidence of which happens within the family. These statistics are well known among industry professionals, who are often quick to add, “and this is a notoriously underreported crime.”

Reporters don’t specify, but I’d bet that most adults who rape children in their family are not, in fact, looking at child pornography. They are not motivated by sexuality. They are motivated by other desires. Anger, rage, control, the dark stuff we all feel but we don’t go and beat on kids to deal with it.

One in three to four girls. One in five to seven boys.

And that stat does not include physical abuse of children, because we tend to treat sexual abuse differently for reasons that are, frankly, unclear to me, but that’s another post.

What to do about it all? I’m throwing my hands up here. I don’t know. But I’d sure love a load of research money to uncover some causes (straight up inequity, across the board, as I was wondering yesterday?) and freakin STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING.

Maybe money equivalent to the money we spend researching illnesses that affect as many people. What, like cancer?

What illnesses affect nearly a third of our population? More, if we count in physical abuse. And partner violence. Much more.

That’s a lot of people. Our people. We need to do better.

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A grab bag of detritus from this week, with more extended thoughts below.


Clinton’s testimony inspired some fabulous giffing.


Mike Doughty uses his KNOWLEDGE of SINGING to ‘splain how Beyoncé was not lip-syncing and could you please lay off her already because she’s “a samurai.”

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Sometiiiiiiiimes I Feeeeeel Like a Motherless Fringe Fan

You guys know that the #1 gift that science fiction gave us is time travel as a way to cheat death, right?

Specifically the death of loved ones?

Despite what certain intergalactic aristocrat survivors of a dead species that controls time may have you to believe about how you can’t use time travel for THAT.

So the Fringe finale knocked that one out, as I suspected it would. Time travel’s the only way to restore dead kids to their superhuman parents. Sure. Check and check.

And I suppose it was too much to ask that the Lost creators would be straight feminist, but really.

Where’d all the women go, JJ Abrams?

Why, they evolved out. Because, you know, scientists discovered how to eliminate emotions and let rational intellect take over the brain.

Which means no more women.

Even genetic anomalies have feelings.

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Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall

I can’t think of a time that a president has so directly, forcefully, thoughtfully, and eloquently argued that we must pay attention to those whose voices are weakest if we want our country to fulfill its promise.


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The Riddle of Alice Munro

One riddle: as I sit down to write this review of her latest, Dear Life, why do I keep toggling back to read about Lena Dunham?!?!?!?

Why oh why?!

Another riddle: why is she so cryptic in this interview?

Ms. Munro, whom everyone nearly beatifies but no one puts on any glossy lit magazine covers, do you consider yourself a feminist writer?

I never think about being a feminist writer, but of course I wouldn’t know. I don’t see things all put together in that way. I do think it’s plenty hard to be a man. Think if I’d had to support a family, in those early years of failure?

MUNRO, JUST USE THE DAMN WORD. It won’t hurt anyone.

You write about the women’s movement changing culture. You write about women after it, and before it. Women who needed it and didn’t have it. Women who came up short against it, or who benefited from it and still lost some of themselves anyway.

Damn enigmatic genius

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