Power, Purity, Meekness and God. The Ugly Reality of Rape Culture.

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bells, May 23, 2015.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    “Imagine that your parents are going to surprise you and give you a brand-new bike for Christmas. Two weeks before Christmas, they buy your bike and hide it in the storage shed in the backyard. But then the boy next door sneaks into the shed and borrows your new bike; he stunt-rides it up and down the back alley.

    “On Christmas morning your parents lead you out to the shed to reveal the special gift they bought for you, and as they open the door and say, ‘Surprise!’ they’re just as surprised as you are. You’re all shocked to see that the bike looks like it’s been thrown off a cliff. The front fender is missing, and the front tire is warped so it rubs on the frame. It’s dirty, the paint is all scratched and chipped, and the seat has a big rip in it. It looks worse than something you would have bought at a garage sale.

    “I’m sure you would still be grateful for the bike, and you would have fun riding it, but it won’t be in the condition your parents had hoped and dreamed it would be when you received it. You would miss out on a lot of the enjoyment they meant for you to have.

    “In that same way, we don’t want any boy (or girl) to come and steal your purity.”

    As noted by Michelle Duggar, on the importance of purity, especially for girls. This is the lesson her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, gave to their children.

    The message is clear. It is up to you to protect your purity, to maintain it. Without it, you are nothing but a soiled and broken thing, an object so desired when pure and shiny and new, but much less so when used, ridden and much less shiny.

    And women more so. Jim Bob Duggar preached to them, that a person, especially a woman, who is somehow not pure before marriage is undesirable, impure, dirty and disgusting. And the moral basis of this story is that it is up to the girl and woman to maintain her purity. Not let anyone touch it or take it.

    And that’s just scratching the surface. The Duggars built their brand on a slavish dedication to ideals of modesty and purity, keeping their children away from Unwholesome Influences, even to the point of shouting “Nike!” when the family was out for a walk in the presence of a woman who was immodestly attired, in order to get them to stare at their shoes. Women must be “modest” and “godly” and pure to attract a godly man. This is where their value lies. Chaperones! Courtship! Side-hugs only! Even hand-holding is off the table.

    Twelve years ago, Josh Duggar, the eldest of their sons, sexually molested at least 5 young girls in his home. Four of which were his sisters. The molestation went on for a fairly long period of time, even after he had admitted his actions to his parents. Nothing was done. They did not contact the authorities, nor did they attempt to seek therapy and treatment for their son. They also did not remove their son from the home, nor were the victims removed for their safety. Instead, Josh Duggar was allowed to continue to offend. A year after his parents were informed by Josh Duggar and by some of the victims, Jim Bob Duggar approached the elders of his church for advice. They correctly suggested that Josh needed therapy and help. Jim Bob refused.

    Jim Bob knew of this beginning in March 2002, when Josh was 14. Josh’s victims were children younger than him, and in some cases significantly so. For an entire year Jim Bob knew what was happening, but did not go to the police or seek treatment or outside intervention. In March 2003, with the incidents of molestation still occurring, Jim Bob said he and the elders at his church, to whom he had gone for advice, agreed that Josh should enter a treatment program.

    But when one of the elders at Jim Bob’s church suggested sending Josh to a legitimate treatment program, Jim Bob demurred, reasoning that Josh would likely be exposed to more serious offenders and that that was not appropriate for the nature of his offense. So instead of sending Josh to an actual treatment program, Jim Bob sent him to Little Rock for four months to help a family friend with some remodeling.

    When Josh returned in July 2003, Jim Bob took Josh to speak with a state trooper he knew personally about what had happened. The trooper gave Josh “a very stern talk” but didn’t file a report, reportedly reasoning that nothing needed to be done because Josh had already gone through a treatment program. Except of course that helping a family friend in Little Rock do some remodeling is not a treatment program. (The trooper who spoke with Josh was later convicted of child pornography.)

    The Duggar parents then effectively went above and beyond to protect their son from a police investigation, even refusing to hand him over for questioning and held out until the Statute of Limitations ensured his safety from prosecution.

    At no time did they attempt to seek professional help for Josh.

    But what of the girls? His very own sisters, some of whom were also his victims?

    No help was sought for them either. All Josh was required to do was to say sorry. Justice for being preyed on by their older brother was not considered. Their role was to remain silent about the whole matter. After all, this was their lot in life and it was expected that they remain submissive, meek and compliant.

    They adhere to a fringe Christian movement called the “Christian patriarchy,” which commands total female submission to men and limited education for women. The Duggars do everything they can to control their children’s minds, then brainwash them with misogynistic dogma.

    Josh Duggar grew up in this sexist milieu. He was told that women exist to serve men—to show them “submission,” “obedience,” and “reverence.” He was barred from seeking out any differing views about men and women. His mind was warped from childhood. Is it any surprise that, by the time he reached adolescence, he believed girls’ bodies were his to touch however he pleased?

    And like good little girls, they lived up to their parents expectations in that regard.

    It is interesting that in all of the discussions about Josh Duggar, very few people have commented on the girls and their rights and how their parents failed to protect them and instead, forced them to remain under the same roof as their abuser. They are submissive and meek.

    People often wonder about the notion of "rape culture" and what it actually means. Sadly, the Duggars and their supporters have set a very good example of what that term really means.

    When reading about this horror show of a story, one thing remained constant in the whole thing. The story focused on Josh Duggar and the excuses people made for what he did. From his being homeschooled and not taught about sex education, to his being so young and curious about sex that he saw an opportunity and took it while his sisters would be asleep or awake, to his apparently raging hormones. The comment sections in some of the more conservative online sites were awash with excuses for Josh.

    None more so than Mike Huckabee, who argued that Josh deserved for this to not come out and that he needed to be protected from the evil people who dared to question the morality of the family's actions.

    At no time do any of Duggar's supporters comment on whether or not Josh's victims deserve protection, nor do they comment on why their parents forced them to remain in the same house as their abuser and allowed the abuse to continue. No, the main concern for these people was that Josh was being maligned by the media.
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  3. Bells Staff Member

    The Duggars homeschooled their children and followed the disgraced Bill Gothard's Bible based lesson plans.

    They have supported Gothard and given lectures and speeches for his organisation and are quite closely connected to it.

    Gothard also has a manual and teaching plan on how to deal with sexual assault in the home and even had an example of the older brother molesting the younger sisters and explained to parents on how to handle such situations. This was written back in the 1990's, so it is not based on Josh Duggar. However the hypothetical closely mirrors Josh's actions. Just as the reaction of his parents literally follow the education plan for it to the letter.

    Titled "Lessons from moral failures in a family", the hypothetical is given of the older brother sexually abusing his younger sister(s) and it details the questions the parents should be asking their son, how they should interpret it and how the victim should be viewed. It is a lesson in victim blaming and shaming.

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    These are the questions.

    Part of the answer given by the hypothetical son, as a lesson to parents and girls alike, discusses modesty of women and girls in the home. Apparently even baby girls and those sexually appealing diapers and nappies.

    The need for modesty in the home Modesty was a factor. It was not at the level it should have been in my family. It was not uncommon for my younger siblings to come out of their baths naked or with a towel. They would often run around the house for the next twenty minutes until my mom or sister got around to dressing them.

    Changing my younger sisters' diapers when they were really young may not have been a big thing, but it really did not have to be that way (if we had only applied Levitical law). My younger sisters used to wear dresses often, but as they were young and not aware of modesty, they did not behave in them as they should.

    Mom did not push the modesty unless we were in public, and Dad only had the opportunity to mention it during weekends. Little people do not realize their nakedness right away. It takes several years before they grasp it. It needs to be taught to them. My mom is a nurse, and the human body was not a big deal to her. I guess she didn't want it to be for her children either.

    She and I have talked about it. She explained to me that she had no idea how visual male sexuality is, compared to women who are mainly by touch. I am so grateful my parents have changed so much of this area in our home. This was not a major reason for the offending, but it allowed my little sister to be open to what I made her do. I don't think so much teaching was necessary because everyone was so young. However, a different lifestyle, with more modesty, might have prevented what happened.

    It is tempting to purge one's eyes with bleach after reading this level of pure drivel.

    Recovering Grace, an organisation of, well, survivors from Gothard's lesson plans point out that that the main factor in the hypothetical, or the one that is most concerning to the parents is public exposure. This is a running theme in all of their lesson plans on the role of women and sexual and physical abuse in the home. For example, if the father was caught sexually molesting his children, Gothard has a lesson plan for this as well:

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    Note the steps. And note how the father retains his authority in the home.

    The lessons are frighteningly light on personal responsibility, and heavy on blame for the victim—condemning younger sisters for dressing “immodestly,” and parents for exposing the boy to temptation by having him change his sisters’ diapers. The document also blames porn, advising families to “pray for protection from pornography.”

    Recovering Grace notes that “of the four listed consequences of sexual abuse, three concentrate on damage to public image.”

    It is little to no wonder that the Duggars did what they did in response to their son molesting at least 4 of their daughters. The lesson plan for dealing with sexual assault does not get any better.

    The running theme, once more, is victim blaming and shaming and ensuring that it does not get out.

    According to Recovering Grace, ATI’s Counseling Seminar curriculum also includes a handout on “Counseling Sexual Abuse,” which examines the many ways that a victim could have brought abuse on him or herself by “defrauding” God: Did you dress immodestly? Were you, perhaps, associating with “evil” friends? You should consider whether you’re guilty and apologize to God.

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    And no, this was not for the perpetrator of the sexual abuse. But for the victim to answer.

    Rape culture? What's that?
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    The members of all communities, including nations and whole civilisations, are infused with the prevailing ideologies of those communities. These, in turn, create attitueds of mind which include certain capacities and equally positively exclude others.

    The ideologies may be so ancient, so deep-seated or so subtle that they are not identified as such by the people at large. In this case they are often discerned only through a method of challenging them, asking questions about them or by comparing them with other communities.

    Such challenge, description, or questioning, often the questioning of assumptions, is what frequently enables a culture or a number of people from that culture to think in ways that have been closed to most of their fellows.

    ―Emir Ali Khan

    Ownership culture.

    Trying to psychoanalyze ownership culture in order to comprehend its roots is an exercise akin to spending eternity as Ren Hoek, smashing the Happy Helmet off your head with a hammer in slow motion. There is, in fact, a natural human reaction at the heart of it all, a perception of powerlessness in the face of reality, but that is so long buried that it is merely an artifact. It is a fossil skeleton of what would become a nearly universal human ideology; from the outset, it was easier to possess other people than the powers of earth and sky. Our species is a social one, and organizes itself into heirarchies; this, too, is a reaction to the contrast of empowerment 'twixt self and nature.

    Stephanie Coontz assesrts that the best determination we can make from the available record is that the purpose of marriage has not been specifically proprietary, but, rather, a matter of networking; we marry in order to acquire in-laws. And within this, certes, there will be a time when humans do so by trading one another as commodities. These customs persist; in Western culture they are largely supplanted by romantic marriage, but there are still plenty who marry strategically and intend that their progeny should do likewise.

    Indeed, we might look back to the Long Decade, following the Second War, and what we might describe as "Ozzie and Harriet" or "Leave It To Beaver" aspirations. A number of things happened during this period leading to the Sexual Revolution, but it is worth noting that traditionalists grumbled, even then, about the idea of marrying because one was in love as opposed to marrying strategically or traditionally―i.e., arranged or negotiated betrothal. Indeed, the idea that, "No daughter of mine is going to marry a _____" is present in the mythopoeia of my own generation, and about a quarter-century ago, it finally came down to "no daughter of mine is going to marry a woman".

    Elsewhere in her discussion of Helms's legislation, Butler delineates the same slide from homosexuality to pedophilia to sadomasochism that informs Measure 9:

    "The exploitation of children" comes [immediately after sadomasochism in the text of Helms's legislation], at which point I begin to wonder: what reasons are there for grouping these three categories together? Do they lead to each other, as if the breaking of one taboo necessitates a virtual riot of perversion? Or is there, implicit in the sequencing and syntax of this legal text, a figure of the homosexual, apparently male, who practices sadomasochism and preys on young boys, or who practices sadomasochism with young boys, a homosexuality which is perhaps defined as sadomasochism and the exploitation of children? Perhaps this is an effort to define restrictively the sexual exploiter of children as the sadomasochistic male homosexual in order, quite conveniently, to locate the source of child sexual abuse outside the home, safeguarding the family as the unregulated sexual property of the father? (Butler 116)

    Clearly, this construction of the family has a long history in the American New Right. To take Butler's interpretation a bit further, the family may be said to be consolidated, if not constituted, by this very fantasy. Indeed, the "ideological rearguard action" (Watney 43) which is the family in late twentieth-century America can be seen as the product of a series of similar fabrications. The discourse of "Family Values" rarely articulates what these values might be, but spends a great deal of time asserting that various people or social formations (homosexuals, feminism, single motherhood) are a threat to them. In fact, the political opposition to Measure 9 was able to exploit this discursive vacuum with assertion that "Hate is not a Family Value."


    It really is one of the creepiest of phrases: "unregulated sexual property".

    For the LGBTQ community, of course, this notion is still in furious play, as we prepare for what is about to be an ugly fight over forced re-education of insufficiently Christian children. But it is also clearly at play in other issues. Indeed, we saw a dose of this in Virginia, last year, when a Christian school expelled an eight year-old girl for not being feminine enough. Or, in a less charitable mood, I might possibly have said

    Let us simply call it by its name―grooming ....

    .... To the one, students are apparently (ahem!) “confused” about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl, which sounds suspiciously like the longtime schoolyard protection of bullies. After all, the kids are only “confused” because, well, Sunnie doesn’t dress and act like a girl. Either they aren’t really confused, or the sexual roles of boys and girls are already deeply enough ingrained in the youngsters to cause them this sort of trouble. Either way, accommodating the “confusion” as such only protects cruelty delivered unto the younger generation by those that have preceded it.

    To the other, there is the question of why a female must look girlish or womanly or otherwise not manly. Yes, the subroutine is that apparent. That is, we all see how this works, right?

    And then, to the beeblebrox, there is this confounded question of why it’s important to know that the school didn’t accuse Sunnie of being anyone or anything. Show of hands, is there anyone who doesn’t understand the implication? Obviously, the question is inevitable; one can easily imagine that the context of evil lesbian versus good virtuous girlish womanly obedient heterosexual wife arises in some of the correspondence and inquiry the school is receiving at this time.

    But it all comes back to sexcrafting. Grooming. Train up the child in the way she should go. Proverbs. Old faith. Trying to twist into form a young conscience so that she grows into a properly obedient wife. She must look and carry herself a certain way, or else other people who expect her to look and carry herself as such might get “confused” if she doesn’t. This is an asserted Christian virtue at Timberlake.

    Perhaps most frightening is that Timberlake Christian is not alone in its odd mix of faith, sexuality, and children.

    Now, here's the thing about the Duggars and ownership culture, and I cannot scream and shout about it loudly enough: This is how it is supposed to go, just, not this way.


    Try this: This isn't about how to treat a woman, but which woman to treat that way.

    The exploitation, the obligation, they're all part of the plan. But, you know, you're not supposed to get on your sister. Save it for your wife!

    And look at how the structure absolves men: "Mom did not push the modesty unless we were in public, and Dad only had the opportunity to mention it during weekends."

    I mean, that's just fucking great, you know? "Dad only had the opportunity to mention it during the weekends." Are you fucking kidding me?

    What the hell? Is he too busy working? Are weeknights women's work? Does he have too many kids to sit down and talk about these things with unless he gathers them together for preaching and lessons?

    It's all Mom's fault, you know, because she has no idea how men work.

    And this is how it's designed.

    Lately Republicans have been trying this line in their anti-gay platform: At least we're not in Iran, or being executed by ISIS.

    We can say the same thing to rape survivors, if you'd like.

    Look, it's not a good comparison. But I'll tell you where Iran and ISIS do come into play: Ownership culture. It's the same damn thing, only according to local variation. And that we're not stoning the women to death, but merely molesting the girls as they sleep, is no comfort.

    This is what it is set up for. This is what it is supposed to do. In this ownership culture, Josh Duggar's only mistake was that he treated the wrong female that way. It isn't a question of whether or not to treat someone that way, but, rather, who one gets to treat that way.

    And the presupposition that you can treat anyone that way is the heart of why we preserve ownership culture at all.

    And this is what it's for.


    Ali Khan, Emir. "Sufi Activity". Sufi Thought and Action. Ed. Idries Shah. London: Octagon, 1990.

    Coontz, Stephanie. Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Viking, 2005.

    Kent, Lea. "'Abnormal, Wrong, Unnatural and Perverse': Taking the Measure (9) of the Closet". (n.d.) Cultronix.eServer.org. 25 May 2015. http://bit.ly/1IYOsDT
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    I think one of the most disturbing aspects of this is that not a single person from that family, or their friends and from their church, have come out in support of the girls he molested.

    It is as though this is not that surprising and perhaps it is not, if one of the daughter's father-in-law's comment is anything to go by:

    And while Jessa’s been ignoring the controversy on social media, her father-in-law has spoken out in support of Josh Duggar, stating that anyone who had the chance to would have also molested themselves some girls.

    From the Inquisitr:

    Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law goes on to say that fans shouldn’t be shocked by Josh’s actions — he claims that many people would do the same thing if they didn’t fear the consequences of their behavior.

    “Many times it is simply lack of opportunity or fear of consequences that keep us from falling into grievous sin even though our fallen hearts would love to indulge the flesh. We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling.”

    I'm sorry, but where do these people come from that they believe that people would do the same thing if they had the chance? Do they think child molestation is just normal behaviour? Is the only reason Josh not molesting because he thinks he might get caught again? What about the father-in-law who believes that people just aren't doing that because they might get caught?

    As Mark Shrayber then points out:

    No, no it isn’t. For most people, I bet the decision not to molest a child probably doesn’t come down to thinking “I’ll get caught” or “man, I wish I could molest, but there are no kids around. Drat!” And if Jessa’s father-in-law is saying these things out loud now, are any of the Duggar kids (present and future) safe? I don’t know about you, but I’d be mighty concerned by anyone who says that we’d all be out there molesting if we just had the chance.

    He also notes that the family have completely ignored the victims in defending Josh Duggar.

    The ownership culture of the Quiverfull movement has always been there for all to see. Yet so little is ever said about it. Look at the case of Andrea and Rusty Yates. Andrea suffered from severe post natal depression and psychosis and both were advised by doctors after having children that she should not have any more.

    Yates' first psychiatrist, Dr. Eileen Starbranch, says she was shocked to disbelief when, during an office visit with them, they expressed a desire to discontinue her medications so that she could become pregnant again. She warned and counseled them against having more children, and noted in the medical record two days later, "Apparently patient and husband plan to have as many babies as nature will allow! This will surely guarantee future psychotic depression."[30] Nevertheless, she became pregnant with her fifth child, Mary, only 7 weeks after being discharged from Dr. Starbranch's care on January 12, 2000.[31] Despite Rusty's statements to the media that he was never told by psychiatrists that she was psychotic nor that she could harm the children, and that he would have never had more children had he known otherwise,[32][33][34] she revealed to her prison psychiatrist, Dr. Melissa Ferguson, that prior to their last child, "she had told Rusty that she did not want to have sex because Dr. Starbranch had said she might hurt her children." Rusty, she said, simply asserted his procreative religious beliefs, complimented her as a good mother, and persuaded her that she could handle more children.[35]

    Author Suzanne O'Malley highlighted Rusty's continuing sense of unreality regarding having more children:

    During the trial, he'd successfully maintained the position that Andrea would be found innocent. He had fantasies of having more children with her after she was successfully treated in a mental health facility and released on the proper medication. He worked his way through various fixes for their damaged lives, such as a surrogate motherhood and adoption (horrifying her family, attorneys and Houston psychiatrists) before giving in to reality.[36]

    Being part of the Quiverfull movement, she had no choice but to comply to her husband's demands and wishes. She eventually drowned her children in a bathtub. He owned her, he wanted more children, or as many children as nature intended for her to carry, she literally had no say in the matter.

    These fundamentalists believe the man is always right. That the woman or girl must always agree and accept. The parents were aware that their son was molesting his sisters and at least one other young underage girl for a year before they did anything about it. One approached them and told them in March 2002. Josh Duggar allegedly confessed to his parents in July of that year. At no time did they report him to the authorities or seek professional help for him. They allowed him to remain in the home with his sisters. And the parents were told again and again by other girls in the house that he was molesting them, even after they were made aware of it and after he confessed. This is while Jim Bob Duggar was running on a platform that advocated the death penalty for rape and incest.

    While Duggar was running on a platform that included this position about rape, the first allegations that Josh had molested a child surfaced. According to In Touch Weekly, which broke the story, a female minor told Duggar in March 2002 that Josh, who was 14 at the time, had been sexually touching her as she slept. Josh admitted as much to his parents in July 2002.

    A police report suggests that the first victim who came forward lived in the same home as Josh. In March 2003, more minors accused Josh of touching their breasts and genitals. The police report suggests that four of the five total victims were Josh's sisters

    I don't think it mattered that he molested the 'wrong sort of girls', in regards to his sisters.

    I do think that regardless of who he had molested, the community and family he belongs to would always have excused his crime and him while ignoring or blaming the victims. After all, he is a male and by religious doctrine, he is automatically blameless.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    There are a number of aspects here, and not a single one is comforting:

    (1) We often imagine and then denounce of others what we really fear about ourselves. This implication is obvious, and Shrayber's response is worth paying attention to in that context. That is to say, if said father-in-law fears this of most people, there is a strong―better than fifty-fifty―chance that this is how he sees himself, and thus defines other people.

    (2) I don't think it is possible to say this is what ownership culture was invented for, but it is certainly its attraction, and thereby its functional purpose. That is, this is the reason we cultivate it.

    (3) We Americans have, both as individuals within a society and collectively as that society, a specific obligation to address and rebuke ownership culture. Every day we choose to wait equals another handful of victims we aren't willing to look in the eye in order to explain why their suffering is the just price of our comfort.

    (4) That we have not addressed this issue yet as a society is indicative of our communal cowardice.

    There is no excuse.

    Still, though, it is important for me to maintain my assertion of certain differences, because in the end the Duggars truly are an emblematic distillation of ownership culture and its driving contribution to rape culture, but we cannot forget the other side of that representative context; that others are not so straightforward does not acquit them. Again, I remind of ownership and rape culture at Timberlake Christian School in Virginia, or in Texas where dead women are obliged to carry pregnancies, and living women are obliged to carry doomed pregnancies. Oh, and if they get their way, "religious freedom" will be a justification for forcing raped children to carry pregnancies. You know. Texas. American virtue. Family values. All that.

    I would ask my American neighbors to attend the social issues debate in the coming presidential cycle. Many would pretend ignorance as to the connections between traditional Christian rape culture and the weird "Obamacare" discussion about birth control, but in the end we see―even in explicit distillation from South Carolina―that the point of these policies is to reduce women to sexual servants. They will have sex when men tell them to have sex, and they will have babies when men tell them to have babies, and anyone who disagrees is just oppressing Jesus; this is a lie. And if you aren't willing to speak such lies to your own sister, or daughter, or wife, then you probably shouldn't be saying them at all. And if you are willing to tell these people in your life that their purpose in the world as a human being is to sexually serve a man, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    You see how this works? You have a vote. You have a voice. You have a will. And yes, I know your conscience stings whenever you are forced to consider what your prior votes and arguments and wills have inflicted upon your sisters and wives and mothers and daughters, but that is no reason to continue hurting them.

    There comes a valence at which none of us are innocent. That one isn't actually molesting anyone is no acquittal.​

    It's not that I can live with my part in all of this, but, rather, that I hope to change it. And, come on, given the number of people who think I'm an idiot, if I can wrap my head around this, so can they.

    I would, for the sake of delicate American egos, make the specific point that neither are our international neighbors innocent. Those who are ahead of us on this count I wish the best of fortune in such endeavors; those who are behind us really need to get on the trolley, because we're not doing so well, and in the end we're still one of the better outfits on the planet.

    This is a disaster. The Duggars represent the failure of our civilized society to simply live up to the definition of being civilized.

    Our entire species will suffer for this.

    But, hey, you're welcome to go on imagining your chances of getting laid will improve if you are willing to hurt other people. Just don't pretend you're some sort of victim when someone reminds you just what terrible people you really are.

    Because you really are a bunch of terrible people. You are the shame, the very indictment, of our species.
  9. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

  10. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Just how is it that the family or the community ignored the victims? Like their secular counterparts, they don’t profess to condone sibling molestation, and advocate steps to try to prevent and stop it. I’m not saying the Duggars acted ideally in their particular circumstance, but I don’t think it was addressed atypically of the majority of such situations, regardless of the social philosophy. From what’s been reported thus far, Josh’s objectionable actions appeared to be limited to a year or so from the time they were discovered. Whatever the family did in regards to his correction, and advice to the rest of the family, seems to have stopped further incidents, which is the ultimate goal of any state sponsored rehabilitation strategy.

    I have more of a problem with public servants aligning with josh’s adult ideological characteristics than those of his known childhood sexual behavior. And for the sake of accuracy the evidence currently paints Josh Duggar to be a reformed molester, not a rapist.
  11. Bells Staff Member

    I take it you did not read any of the links provided in this thread, which detail the teachings the Duggars adhere to?

    If not, it might be a good idea to read them.

    There is also the fact that they allowed him to remain in the house and continue to abuse his younger sisters, even after they had advised that he was molesting them. It went on for about a year, if not more, even after Josh Duggar had confessed to his parents.

    Surely you understand that this is bad, yes? This whole time, during this whole sorry saga, they never once addressed his victims and what they needed. All the have focused on was Josh Duggar. That family and their inner and outer circle are too busy making excuses for Josh Duggar to even acknowledge his victims. Did they receive treatment and counseling? Since Josh was merely sent away for a couple of months after he wouldn't stop molesting his sisters, I would say the answer to that is no. Did they stick with the lessons they teach their children and blame the victims, perhaps? After all, the lesson plans they adhere to clearly state that it is not the abuser's fault. Why did they allow him to remain in the home, and continue to molest for so long? They knew it was going on, they knew he was doing it. By their own admittance, they knew.

    You don't think that is not taking care of the victims and their needs? Because if they cared about those girls, he would have been permanently removed from the home and he would have been give the treatment he needs.

    None of which they addressed or used when their own son molested his sisters and another girl. Some even while they slept. Repeatedly and consistently, even after even Josh Duggar told them what he was doing.

    While they may not condone sibling molestation, they sure do have a lot of excuses for it and they certainly have a lot of ways to blame the victims, even the little baby girls are to blame for being molested by their brother because he saw their vaginas when changing their nappies or saw them naked. This is what the Duggars teach their children and these are the teachings they support and provide for their home schooled children.

    I'm sorry, but usually when parents are made aware that their children are being sexually molested, even by one of their own children, they will usually seek to remove their child from harm and away from that abuser, which usually means seeking immediate treatment and rehabilitation for the child that is abusing his or her siblings. That's what happens in the normal world.

    Unless of course you are suggesting that there is nothing wrong and that it is normal to force victims to continue to be molested and to remain under the same roof as their abuser? Because that is exactly what the Duggars did. Usually when parents do this, their children are removed from their care and they are arrested. The Church elders suggested Josh Duggar be sent for treatment and removed from the home. His father lied to one and all and refused to send him for treatment or therapy. Instead, he forced his daughters to remain in the same house and continue to be molested until he sent him away to live with a friend who was remodeling a house before allowing him to return to live in the same house with his victims.

    And what of his victims?

    At no time does Josh Duggar even acknowledge that he might have damaged or ruined the lives of his victims. Instead he says this:

    "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

    His life. Not the lives of his victims.

    They treated it as a sin. So in Josh Duggar's eyes, if he sinned, then his life would be ruined. The victims? What about them? The only person who matters is that Josh does not sin and go to hell. So he needed to stop because if he didn't, it could ruin his life. Not his victims. They don't count.

    If those victims counted, Josh Duggar would have been sent to actual treatment and he certainly would not have been allowed to remain in that house and continue molesting his little sisters, for over a year.

    Rehabilitation would have been the recognition of damaging the victims. At no time does Josh Duggar do this. Instead, he focuses on damaging and ruining his life.

    Childhood sexual behaviour.. You make it sound like he was doing something normal, like masturbating.

    He kept fiddling with little girls, without their consent, and sometimes even while they slept.

    As for his adult ideological characteristics, that's another issue. His father campaigned for the death penalty for incest and rapists, and yet hid his son's abuse and allowed his son to continue abusing his own sisters for a year. Josh and his parents spends time inferring that members of the LGBT community molest children, when he is a child molester.

    That would depend on if he penetrated their vaginas with his fingers.

    There is nothing reformed about Josh Duggar. The fact that he is more concerned about ruining his own life than ruining the lives of his victims shows that quite well.
  12. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    My understanding of the various media reports is that Josh’s molestation was reported to the parents by a younger sibling in 2002 and that apparently the parents felt the incident was not serious enough to warrant public intervention. At this point I would’ve expected the parents to advise the rest of the family to report such conduct if encountered in the future, and unfortunately it was, and was again reported the next year. As to the degree of trauma experienced by his victims, that depends on the specific nature and frequency of the touching, and how it was perceived by victims. Just as most parents don’t report and isolate children for nonsexual abuse unless it reaches a given severity; the same is true for sexual abuse.

    If the nature of the abuse was not severe, and the rest of the family was given warning of Josh’s proclivities and to report of further abuse, that would seem to be a reasonable first step prior to isolating him from the family.

    The reality is that most parents initial take on sibling sexual abuse is that like nonsexual abuse, it can be dealt with in house without resorting to legal and professional authority.
    I would consider it wrong for the parents to knowingly subject their children to ongoing abuse in their home. In the absence of knowledge of a repeat offense, they may have reasonably assumed they had corrected the situation. The report of his additional offenses did result in his temporary removal from the home by his parents, and in addition to whatever else they changed in their family dynamic, the abuse appeared to have ceased.

    Yes, what of his victims? How would you divine the extent of their trauma, if any? When compared to the normally expected physical and emotional interaction of a family of this size and temperament, was some potentially minor sexual contact to be considered significantly traumatic?

    Again, if we are to assume the description of his molestation to be correct, how would such a relatively minor degree of sexual contact be expected to damage or ruin the lives of his victims? Maybe the damaged Duggar girls can address this question in their potential spinoff.

  13. Bells Staff Member

    It was reported by multiple of his victims, as well as Josh Duggar himself.

    The abuse continued even after the parents were made aware of it, and he was molesting his little sisters while they slept and while they were awake. The molestation was ongoing, and the parents were aware of it.

    Why do you think the trauma depends on the nature and frequency of the touching only? And how it was perceived by victims.. Tell me, do you think it is less damaging that the victims were taught lessons which blamed victims for molestation and which taught that the male always has more say and more rights?

    I think it is a tad disturbing that you are excusing the parents for allowing the molestation to continue for a year. Would you have said the same if it was an adult family friend or perhaps the father who was molesting the children? What about a religious elder? And why do you think the children are less damaged from it?

    It is always recommended that victims of child molestation are kept safe and that the molestation stop immediately. These children told their parents and their parents allowed it to continue for a year. And you seem to believe that it isn't really that big of a deal..

    If someone starts molesting children in a house, you either need to remove the children or the molester. Telling his younger siblings that Josh might stick his hands down their underpants while they sleep or watch TV and expecting them to live in constant fear and have to keep watching is placing the onus on the victims to not be molested.

    What do you constitute "not severe" abuse? Fondling breasts? Exploring their genitals with his hands? You don't think that is severe? You would be okay for your child to suffer through that as a 5 year old, for a year? Would you say to her 'it isn't severe, so it's not that bad'? These were small children and some may have been small enough to be sleeping in a cot. The reports suggest that at least one of his sisters was very small when she was molested.

    I mean, what sort of molestation do you think is bad enough to warrant action aside from telling the potential victims to just stay away from him and placing the onus on them to not be molested?

    And I take it you did not read further down where she discusses just how abuse can affect the lives of victims and how sexual abuse can have long lasting repercussions into adulthood? And the part where she notes that it is up to parents to ensure their children's safety?

    The fact of the matter is, Josh's sexual contact with his sisters and at least one other child in that house were inappropriate and certainly not age appropriate. We also know that the impact from sibling sexual abuse and molestation is the same as for any other forms of sexual abuse for victims. The fact that they are siblings can make it even worse. At no time did they seek treatment for Josh, or for the family as a whole. Instead, they sent him away for a few months and then had him lectured by a paedophile who was later imprisoned for decades. The victims were ignored and their sole focus was making sure Josh Duggar was not caught or arrested. When the police later investigated, at least one victim

    Most parents would not allow the abuse to continue for a year before doing anything about it. They did nothing at all about it. Most parents would seek help from doctors or therapists and get their abusive child into therapy and the abused children into therapy. That is what most parents would do and that is also what is recommended for such forms of abuse.

    The police reports show that the abuse was ongoing, even after the parents were made aware of it and that the victims were telling their parents and they did nothing about it.

    It was after a year of this abuse that he was sent to live with a friend to do some refurbishing and then they made him talk to a paedophile, one on one, who apparently showed him the error of his ways. We do not know if the abuse has ceased. We can hope it has. But what of his victims? And their children? Did they grow up to think that this sort of behaviour was normal? It certainly seems so. At no time did they parents try to protect them for the year they were abused by their brother. They were certainly brought up to believe that as women, they were secondary and that the male always has a right, even to their own bodies. What kind of message does that send when you mix sexual abuse into it?

    And remember, children who are sexually abused by siblings suffer the same negative impacts that children abused by others go through.

    Minor sexual contact? Do you think someone forcibly fondling a child's genitals to be "minor sexual contact"?

    Wow, others are defending Duggar because of his age.

    You are defending him because you think the sexual molestation his victims suffered were minor, and thus, somehow not traumatic..

    As I linked above, childhood sexual molestation has the same impact on victims as other forms of sexual molestation on children, regardless of how "mild" it is. Now couple this with the fact that these children were taught to blame themselves if they are abused or sexually molested, what kind of ongoing damage do you think these children suffered? How do you think a victim of child sexual abuse feels when they are reminded again and again that the main priority was to not ruin the life of their abuser?

    Because that is exactly what went on here. The whole process was to ensure that Josh did not ruin his lives. The lives of his victims did not matter and continue to not matter, as Josh Duggar and his parents and his wife and the family pointed out that the main thing was to ensure he did not ruin his future and his life. Nothing was said of stopping him from ruining the lives and future of his victims.

    For most people, I would say that would be telling. However you seem to believe that since you feel the sexual molestation was minor, that the victims should simply have had the onus placed on them (hey, what do you know, exactly what the Duggar's taught their daughters) and that it wasn't really harmful because it was minor, so perhaps this might be a hard concept for you to grasp.

    As I noted above, how do you define minor?

    For most people, forcibly sticking a hand down someone's pants and fondling their genitals is up there for not being minor. Certainly when it is done for over a year.

    And as I linked above, child sexual molestation such as this can and often have a long lasting impact on victims. In a variety of ways. Coupled with those girls being brought up to believe that they don't really have a right or say over their own bodies, how "minor" do you think the molestation actually was and what kind of self image do you think those girls had growing up? What am I doing asking you such questions? You think that child sexual molestation isn't that bad if it's minor.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Custom Fit

    Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo offers a narrative that is ... well ... this is beyond any sort of (ahem!) "mistake". I've already argued that this is kind of how it's supposed to go; this is what all the ownership and purity culture is for. But Marshall's review―

    The day the Duggar scandal broke out I did a write up based on the initial reports of what had happened. So over the weekend I read the actual police report that pushed the whole story into the media and apparently ended the Duggar's show at least temporarily. So what's in there?

    ―is pretty much horrifying. The article contains uncomfortable phrases, like, "standard fondling molestation", but this is actually about the least uncomfortable aspect of the tale:

    The other point that jumped out at me is that the father Jim Bob pretty clearly lied to the police about sending his son to a counseling program after discovering the molestation incidents. He even went into some detail about where it was and details about it, though he claimed to have forgotten the name of the center ....

    .... Jim Bob Duggar's description seems to clearly identify the unnamed center as a Little Rock center run by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, an evangelical ministry that is a key part of the "quiverfull" movement the Duggars are part of and whose founder Bill Gothard was himself forced to resign from the IBLP in 2014 over accusations that he molested underage girls under his care. But again, Michelle Duggar's second interview seems to make clear that Josh was in fact not sent there.

    This goes to another point.

    One thing that comes through fairly clearly in the report is that a lot of people who came into contact in some way with the facts of these incidents really wanted and tried to get his parents to get Josh Duggar some sort of counseling or treatment. While adult pedophiles may be close to untreatable, there is evidence that treatment interventions for teens can be effective. But his parents appear to have resisted this advice at pretty much every turn - even to the point (the interview transcripts are a bit ambiguous on this point) lying to people in their church and local police about sending him for treatment.

    And, you know, it should be noted specifically that there is a tale about how Jim Bob took his kid down for a stern talkin' to by the police.

    Yeah. That was a longtime family friend and former business associate. And the cop is also now serving his second stint―fifty-six years, this time―for child pornography.

    What part of this isn't a rape factory?

    Look, we've known about ownership culture for a long time, but this really is a striking example of its potential. This public scandal is bigger than just one television family of perverts. This assertion of ownership culture is a masterfully calculated distillation; it is sinister to its core, a massive sex game for pretentious, poseur prudes.

    And any time we want to stop and wonder about how traumatized any victim can be from this or that form of abuse, we're missing the point. The fact that these victims weren't, say, sodomized with hot pokers isn't really any substantial comfort.

    It is interesting enough that Michael Seewald argues the virtual inevitability of the abuse, and we can say what we will about the astounding idiocy of his attempt to blame it on everyone else, but in the end this massive sex game they're all playing is what guarantees there will be victims.


    Marshall, Josh. "Reading the Duggar Police Report". Talking Points Memo. 27 May 2015. TalkingPointsMemo.com. 29 May 2015. http://bit.ly/1J7t4hq

    Thompson, Catherine. "Josh Duggar's Relative: 'We Should Not Be Shocked That This Occurred'". Talking Points Memo. 26 May 2015. TalkingPointsMemo.com. 29 May 2015. http://bit.ly/1HzYgQB
  15. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    According to the 2006 police report the initial complaint of touching breast and vagina came from a single sibling in 2002. Nine months later in 2003 other siblings make similar complaints. There is nothing in the report that indicates that it was a common occurrence over the given time span of the molestation. The first complaint listed five incidents while awake and asleep. The complaints a year later consisted of single incidents where three sisters had been touched while awake, one of which did not remember where she was touched, and a family friend was touched while asleep with no recollection of the events.

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#13 First sister complaint: 2002 touched on breast and vagina 4-5 times in bedroom, once on couch awake and asleep.

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#14 Additional sister complaints: 2003

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#16 Sister in living room clothed, in chair, blanket fell off, Josh in room and was not aware of touching. Josh admitted to touching

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#17 Sister on couch asleep, breast touched through clothes.

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#19 Sister: Josh scratching back, pulled up shirt and touched her breast.

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#21 Sister was sitting, Josh puts hands into pants under dress, touched vagina.

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#22 Sister on washing machine, Josh put hand up dress, did not remember where touched. Josh admitted to touching breast and vagina

    http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#30 Family acquaintance was asleep on couch unaware of touching. Josh admitted to touching her breast.

    Family member often engage in various forms of physical contact. Parents and older children bathe and perform hygienic wiping of the genitals of young children. They also wrestle, kick, slap, push, spank, cuddle and kiss out of play, affection and anger. So with all of this touching going on between family members, don’t you think how it’s perceived has a significant impact on its potential for trauma? From the interviews in the police report, the three girls who were aware of the touching didn’t understand the nature of it at the time, and two of the girls were only aware of the touching because Josh admitted to it. Are you suggesting we create trauma in the minds of these girls after the fact by convincing them that such an encounter demands trauma?

    According to the report they became aware of these incidents on two separate occasions separated by a period of nine months. There is nothing in the report that indicates knowledge of ongoing molestation over the time between the two occasions. After the latter complaint they sent Josh away for a few months and reordered their family situation to minimize future potential for abuse. I’m not saying they acted ideally at every stage, but they were fortunate that the action they did take as far as we know, eventually ended the abuse.

    Look at the report, after the first complaint they assumed their correction had stopped the abuse. Nine months later they discovered he offended again and they corrected again and apparently succeeded. Although preferable, there’s no guarantee that if he had gotten professional counseling that the outcome would’ve been any better.

    That’s not how most parents would react to an initial complaint of molestation involving that level of contact. They would first try to deal with it conservatively at home. Children often engage in illegal destructive behavior that more often than not goes unreported to authorities. Drug use, vandalism, violent and reckless behavior are a few that come to mind. How many parents would call the cops if they discovered their teenage child driving drunk?

    The girls that were aware of Josh’s actions seemed to be more confused and creeped out than in fear for their physical safety. The Duggars keep guns, knives and baseball bats in their home; should they all be in fear of being beaten, stabbed or having their brains blown out by one another? Maybe Jim Bob or Michelle instead of spanking the children next time decide the baseball bat would be more effective. What do you suppose in their family dynamic would preclude these possibilities short of outside intervention? How have they managed to survive relatively intact thus far?

    But there is no indication that any of the girls were continually touched by Josh for any extended period. Children of all age groups engage in this kind activity amongst themselves, so it’s not the touching that’s the problem, it’s who does the touching and how it’s perceived by the touchée and society. If my daughter who is four years older than my son had fondled his genitals when he was ten years old, I would not have contacted any authorities over a few reported incidents. If the behavior continued, I would likely take whatever steps needed to stop it, including professional counseling.

    Everything you propose to be damaging about sexual abuse can be said of nonsexual abuse as well. Coercion, physical and intellectual dominance are going to be elemental in sibling relationships regardless of the inclusion of a sexual component, yet we don’t see much of a social cry to address these issues in proportional fashion. Throw sexuality in the mix and it suddenly becomes worthy of concern.

    You don’t recognize gradations in behavior? Is a slap a punch? Is a swat a beat down? Is a teenage boy coping a feel from his sister violent sexual assault?

    You do realize that the charge of forcible fondling in this case refers to the lack of consent of the victims rather than the force use to subdue them. Even if the siblings were willing participants, due to their age they could not legally give consent.

    I’m not defending him at all; I’m just not sensationalizing the nature of his offense. He needed to be corrected before an ongoing and escalating pattern of personal violation was established. He was lucky that the ex trooper didn’t refer the complaint to the cops. His daddy’s lies served him well. On the other hand, if Jim Bob had told the truth and got josh into mandatory counseling, it could of been factored into their future TV show as a social redemption story, instead of the reputational flogging the family is currently enduring.
  16. Bells Staff Member

    As well as reports by Josh, and sexual molestation in the living room and laundry.

    I'm sorry, are you comparing normal behaviour and saying it isn't that different to sticking his hands down their pants and up their dresses and tops to feel them up?

    No one is inventing trauma, Capracus. In March 2002, one victim approached Jim Bob Duggar, "crying and upset" and reported that Josh had been molesting them in their room while they slept. Nothing was done about it. In July of 2002, Jim Bob advised that Josh admitted to having molested his sisters. and what appears to be another molestation had occurred, and it was then that he was punished by his father. Nothing further was done. Jim Bob then advised that 9 months had passed when Josh again molested his sisters, once while reading to them on the couch and within the same time-frame, in the laundry. What is clear is that the girls reported being inappropriately touched by their brother and he was allowed to continue with the same behaviour for a year, while his parents lied and then refused to send him for actual therapy and treatment which he needed. At least one advised that their parents never even spoke to her about what he did.

    There is clear evidence that even this form of sexual molestation is traumatic, which is clear considering the children were running to tell their parents in some instances. At no time was treatment sought for the victims and instead, they were made to continue to have to put up with it for 12 months. Where he did reoffend, at times while they slept.

    And they did nothing about it for several months, after they were first made aware of it. And he continued to molest.

    You need to read the report. It was reported to them and told it had happened multiple times in March 2002. Nothing was done by the father's own admittance. Then in July 2002, Josh admitted to having molested again, and he was "disciplined". And then 9 months later, they were told about it again and in that "time-frame", Josh had molested multiple times.

    At no time did the father even admit to getting help for Josh's victims and we know at least one of them was upset and crying. So she was clearly traumatised by what he did to her.

    Are you suggesting that when told that one child was sexually molesting another child(ren), that most parents would do nothing at all about it for months?

    Which is why they ran to their parents, one in tears and clearly upset about what had happened, and others ran to inform their parents about it.. They did this because it's normal and because he confused and creeped out and they were more concerned about that then their personal safety?

    The police report clearly shows that you are mistaken.

    Are you suggesting that it is normal for children to molest each other while they sleep and play?

    There is appropriate touching between children for different age groups and there is inappropriate touching between children for different age groups. As I clearly linked earlier, what Josh did, even in his age group, was inappropriate and overtly sexualised behaviour against other children, some much younger than he was.

    Well, since you consider clearly inappropriate sexual touching between children to be normal behaviour, I am surprised you would have done anything about it at all.

    What is inappropriate:

    11-12 Years of age: Any sexual play which involves children younger than themselves.

    13-18 Years of age:
    Compulsive masturbation
    Attempt to touch or expose other's genitals - especially without permission
    Sexual contact with animals and younger children
    Using sexual themes to degrade others or themselves
    Chronic preoccupation with sex and pornography​

    I wouldn't have thought that people were not aware of this, but there you go.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    And who said otherwise?

    No one.

    So I fail to see whatever point you are trying to make by diverting attention away from the subject at hand. If you wish to discuss the power difference in the relationship between Josh Duggar and his sisters and the way in which they were/are educated and the role and power difference between boys and girls in the education plans they are taught at home, then by all means, lets. And that is clearly a point of this thread. These children are taught from an early age that the male is the dominant one in the home. Josh Duggar was older than his victims, in some cases, apparently several years older, and he was in a position of power and dominance, both by education and the way in which that household views gender roles. In which case, then there is a clear cause for concern.

    I get it if you haven't bothered reading the links at the start of this thread, but it might behoove you to be aware of the society Josh and his victims belonged to and how they were taught and putting that into context with this discussion, which you clearly are failing to do. For example, the Duggars freely admit to homeschooling their children, with plans, from one example, from the Advanced Training Institute. If you ever want to hear of or know of a backwards education plan, then the ATI and the Duggar's Quiverfull principles would be top of the list. Women and girls have to be submissive, weak and controlled, yes, even by their own older brothers.

    Of course I do. But really, your distinctions are disturbing and so far out of context that I don't know whether to laugh at you or feel sorry for you, because this is kind of pathetic. Would you say that to a victim of domestic abuse? 'What? It's just a slap, it's not that bad!'..

    What's a bit of incest between brother and sister.....

    Yes, Capracus, unwanted touching is sexual assault. If someone gropes you without your consent, yes, it can be and is often construed as violent contact, hence why it is called sexual assault.

    Are you aware that it is still forcible touching because of that lack of consent?

    But to hear you excuse it, you don't seem to think that incest, forcible sexual molestation/touching is really a bad or negative thing.

    Is that what you call it?

    You have just spent some time trying to normalise incest and tried to convey your belief that you do not seem to think that it was or is even harmful. And you also seem to be arguing for lying and hiding sexual molestation to protect the molester.

    And he wasn't, was he? He wasn't while it was happening. His parents didn't even address it for months and he kept molesting.

    You mean the ex-trooper who was a police officer when this was reported to him and the one who is a paedophile and who failed to file a report about it?

    Yes, how lucky that his father took him to a paedophile, who protected a boy who sexually molested his little sisters and at least one other girl.

    Because hiding sexual molestation and protecting child molesters is a good thing, in your opinion?

    You should join the Catholic priesthood. They would love you. Because they are also into protecting, defending and lying to protect and hide child molesters.

    If Jim Bob had not lied, then his children would have received the treatment they needed.

    As the report also clearly shows, the parents lied to the victims, by telling them that they had sent Josh for treatment. Not just to the victims and the rest of the family, but to their church and police. Meanwhile, they go around telling people that gays, lesbians and transgender are child molesters, and the mother who went out of her way to record robocalls demonising LGBT as child molesters in her bid to reverse legislation removing discrimination for LGBT.. Poor them for all they are enduring..
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Just ... stop.

    (1) You do not get to decide what is or is not sensational about this offense.

    (2) Your argument lacks basic human sympathy; you do not know what these events mean to them.

    (3) Your refusal to consider point (2) above is grotesque.

    (4) You are treading in the territory of rape advocacy and normalization.​

    I don't understand why some people need it spelled out this way; perhaps they're just perverts getting a thrill out of these discussions. And as much as I loathe trying to explain the following―there is no elegant way to do it―I will do so now, because apparently you need remedial education, and there does come a time when it is simply that important.

    In the first place, these survivors live in a setting that is exceptionally focused on issues of sex and sexuality. In the teaching they have received, what has happened is a sin, and that sin can endanger an immortal soul. The most valued currency in these girls' Universe is now at stake. This, in and of itself, is terrifying. The manipulative power of that psychological lever, the immortal soul, is unparalleled in our society.

    Now add to this that these girls live in an environment that blames them for what happened. This only adds to guilt and terror.

    And it seems to me that in a way we are back to Ron Paul's "honest rape", or Todd Akin's "legitimate rape", or HR 3 (112th Congress, First Session), the bill that sought to redefine rape to exclude statutory.

    So, what happened in the Duggar family isn't sensational enough?

    I need you to stop and think of what our sisters are putting up with. Every day in this country alone there are millions of sexual offenses that go unreported because wives and girlfriends have chosen, either consciously or as a result of acculturation, to let it pass. And we are all, on some level, just fine with this. The women don't like to talk about it because it causes way too much grief; after all, the men will pitch a fit, and, you know, #WhatAboutTheMen? And that's the thing; for most of us, a little bit of pawing and persisting after she says she has a headache is effectively a traditional right. It is also, under law, sexual harassment, molestation, and assault.

    And every day, women let this pass. Millions of times. Each for their own reasons. Some of them might make sense to you or me; some of them won't. But what weight should our judgment carry? I would suggest the answer is little to none. And here is why.

    Nobody wants to account for this. It's way too complicated. And in the abstract, yes, of course there are people in factions I'm more familiar with and sympathetic toward who would call this situation a disaster; I do not specifically disagree, but at some point this issue treads into the realm of indicting the entirety of one's own life.

    To strip out gender and genotype for a moment: Partners often decide to grant their own partners extraordinary access to their bodies.

    And if the public discourse demands, that very idea will be among the stakes.

    Think for a moment about that voice that rises in the discourse from time to time in order to remind us that men can be raped, too. There is a reason an old double standard still exists. There is a reason why so many men still hedge and wonder, "Well, if a hot older woman like my teacher was to want to get on me when I was thirteen ...." And there are plenty of women who also wonder; they, too, have been taught the difference between the virtuous stud and the awful slut.

    But think about what you're empowering. And don't bother telling us that's not what you're trying to do; that isn't an excuse for doing it anyway.

    We don't know what it means to other people. Sure, maybe it occurs to you or me in the abstract that getting a hot thirty year-old to stick ourselves in when we're thirteen or fourteen would have sounded great, but compared to the double standard what right does any man have to complain if she "merely" puts his penis in her and "makes it feel good"?

    And how do we know he's not terrified?

    So there you go. #WhatAboutTheMen? How do you know he doesn't feel like he's going to Hell for getting hard and ejaculating?

    And some would certainly point to the theology and remind that faery tales are no decent standard, but neither should we miss the point that it doesn't really matter what you or I think of their faith insofar as what this or that victim is feeling and thinking is not subject to our assessment. There are many things we can do to reduce the impact of these crimes, but our first duty is to reduce the number of these crimes.

    Because in this case, we can say that there are strains of Christian faith that exacerbate the impact of these crimes, but we must also acknowledge that this particular version of Christian family is a fucking rape factory.

    This is on display for everyone to see.

    And if we're going to take a time-out in order to question these victims, because, you know, it isn't sensational enough to count in someone else's opinion? Yeah, if that's where we're going, we're doing it wrong.

    Don't give us that excrement about how you're "just not sensationalizing the nature of his offense" when you are deliberately ignoring its impacts and potentials; you are ignoring everything else about the crime.

    And this dearth of human sympathy can be deadly.

    You have no idea how many abuse victims and survivors you have just denigrated. And you apparently don't give a damn about how many more this American raping spectre will harvest.

    You don't get to decide what is or isn't sensational enough.

    And in that weird context otherwise known as reality the question of what is sensational enough just doesn't count for anything. It only has value in sexplay fantasy.
    pjdude1219 and Bells like this.
  19. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    You missed the point. All of the above actions which could be considered normal examples of familial physical interaction can also contextually be classified as abuse. Say a parent gets sexual gratification when bathing their young child, technically this could be classified as sexual abuse, but unless the child was able to perceive and understand the intent of the parent, there would be no expectation of trauma of any kind. When sibling rough play becomes habitually nonconsensual it becomes physical abuse, which is common not only among siblings but children in general, we call it bullying. If an older sibling gets sexual gratification from kissing, hugging or holding a younger one who has no perception of the elder’s motives; again, sexual abuse with no expectation of trauma.

    The level of detail and redaction in the report makes it virtually impossible to make a definitive claim as to how specifically a given incident correlated to a given time frame. The incidents in March 2002 would appear to involve just one sister, and Josh’s admission in July of 2002 are in reference to those incidents. He may have simply denied his actions in March and fessed up in July.

    Children cry and are upset on a regular basis over many things, that alone doesn’t define such “trauma” as serious or deserving of professional help. And your claim of a 12 month period of ongoing molestation is still not supported by the testimony. The report states there were two periods of molestation consisting of a total of 8-9 incidents, 4-5 around March of 2002 involving a single sister, and 4 around March of 2003 involving three additional sisters and a friend.

    No, I’m suggesting most parents would first take action in the home, as the Duggars did, before resorting to outside authorities.

    A lot of child activity is normal, but it doesn't necessarily make it desirable or acceptable.

    Interesting you should bring up this example. A coworker of my wife’s was goaded into slapping her boyfriend so that he could call the cops and claim domestic abuse in an attempt to gain leverage in a child custody dispute. She made the mistake of admitting the action to the officer and had to spend a night in jail over this engineered slap. The boyfriend eventually admitted he intentionally provoked her and the charges were dropped. So yes, like anything else, the qualities of a slap are contextual.

    When describing physical action the term violence is usually reserved for physical force resulting in injury. Boxing is consensual physical contact but still considered violent action. Rubbing someone’s breasts gently enough not to wake them is not. Simply touching the skin of another with no intent or result of physical injury may not be proper, but it hardly qualifies as violent force. As for legally defining sexual violence, the term has become bastardized to the point of classifying a simple case of an unwelcome conveyance of sexual imagery or suggestion as violence. A couple having sex on a beach is legally considered sexual violence on the offended beachgoers. From a legal standpoint, to a large degree sexual violence is in the eye of the offended beholder.

    I never said it wasn’t bad or undesirable, I just don’t feel the need give these sexual offenses greater weight than other issues of familial and social abuse. If you want to be consistent in your reasoning then advocate that all non sexual abusive behaviors be treated the same way. If a sibling’s actions have the potential to cause any degree of trauma to family members, then have them removed from the home and allow the authorities to remedy the problem.

    What I’ve been doing is putting theses sexual offenses into perspective in relation to the non sexual offenses that commonly occur in families.

    Jim Bob, like most of us have done on occasion, lied to protect his interests. I’m not saying it’s virtuous, I just noted the fact.

    No, because parents don’t often see their problem children as the menace society makes them out to be. Most parents will make some attempt to internally address family problems without sacrificing the reputation of the family. It’s just basic human nature.

    How do you know they needed treatment? You have no idea how they ultimately interpreted the actions of their brother, or their ability to deal with any potential negative aspects of his actions. I imagine that the family would’ve been under no obligation to enter the sisters into counseling even if Josh had been convicted of molestation. So in the end, the emotional needs of the daughters would still be in the hands of the prevaricating patriarch.

    I don’t get to decide what my opinion is regarding the relative characterization of familial abuse? Please excuse me, I’ll check with you first next time.

    But oddly enough you apparently do. I don’t presume there to be trauma when its evidence hasn’t been presented. And unlike you I don’t presume trauma to be a necessity of the particular issue at hand.

    And your lack of objectivity and penchant for drama gets tiresome.
    Please, draw me a map so I’ll know when I’ve arrived.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  20. Bells Staff Member

    Pretty sure I did not miss the point, Capracus.

    Look dude, I don't know where you are from, but where I am from, a 14 year old sexually molesting his younger siblings and other little girls is not normal behaviour and is considered a crime. Clearly you disagree and you believe this could fall into "normal" behaviour in a family, and behaviour that should be protected and hidden, and you even went so far as to say, in previous posts in this thread, that you do not consider a teenager molesting little kids to be violent sexual assault or even really harmful if the victim does not feel harmed by it.

    No one has said that bullying and violence between siblings is normal or good behaviour, or normal examples of familial physical interaction.

    Do I need to remind you that sticking your hand down your younger sister's underpants and fondling her vagina is not "rough play" or normal familial physical interaction? I didn't think this needed to be explained anymore.

    Sexual abuse is still sexual abuse.

    It isn't normal for teenagers or older siblings to get sexual gratification from contact with their siblings, dude, especially their much younger siblings while they are sleeping or while he is reading them a story from a story book. It is certainly not normal behaviour for an older sibling to grope his younger siblings, by grabbing their breasts and sticking his fingers in their vagina.

    The term in that "time frame" indicates the abuse was ongoing and multiple molestation occurred within that time frame, by the parent's own admission.

    Is this another attempt for normalising sexual molestation and incest?

    Because thus far, you have tried to downplay the harm caused by sexual molestation of children within families and by siblings, you have tried to claim that it could just be construed as normal familial physical interaction, you have praised the family's lying about it and hiding it, you have praised the paedophile police officer who failed to file a report about it and who gave him a stern talking to, not about it being wrong, but about how badly things could go for him if it got out (ie the repercussions).

    The report is ambiguous and the father's report of continued molestation in "that timeframe" could be taken either way.

    That said, it would be surprising that his repeated molestations would suddenly stop for a period of months and then start up again with a flurry of his touching his sisters before his parents decided to send him away to do some remodeling work on a house and instructed him to read his bible.

    And when the behaviour continues, they would seek outside help.

    The parents, in this instance, were told about it by one of the victims. By their own admittance, they did nothing until he confessed to it months later, when he was then punished. What that entails, no one really knows. Then months after that, the molestation clearly did not stop and it was then that they lied about sending him for treatment and instead sent him to live with a friend of theirs for a couple of months.

    This is unacceptable.

    Sexually molesting little girls is not a normal child activity.

    Please stop trying to normalise it by comparing it to normal child activities.

    I see the notion that you can't goad someone into hitting you as an excuse for domestic violence hasn't made it to your shores yet.

    And more excuses for sexual violence..

    Two boxers who get into the ring, with the full intention of boxing - hitting each other - is consensual because both consented to the physical contact of the sport anyway. If one person walked up to another and beat him up, it would not be consensual and thus illegal.

    Rubbing someone's breast while they sleep is non-consensual contact. Why? Because the person is asleep and has clearly not consented to it. And really, what kind of person sexually molests people while they sleep anyway? Especially little children?

    And your complaint that sexual violence has been broadened to apply to all forms of sexual violence is noted.
  21. Bells Staff Member

    I have never advocated that non-sexual abusive behaviours were acceptable or normal.

    Nor have I ever made excuses for it.

    You, on the other hand, have spent quite a bit of time trying to normalise the molestation of children and incest, to the point of praising the family for lying about it and praising a paedophile police officer for protecting a child molester. Why? Because you want to pitch a fit that non-sexual family violence is not being addressed in a thread that deals with and is about sexual violence and rape culture.

    Who is this "us" of which you speak?

    Because you don't speak for anyone I know. No one I know would praise a paedophile for protecting the interests of a child molester, nor would they praise the father of the child molester for hiding it, lying about it and not getting the molester or his victims (his own daughters) any help. Sorry if that's not what it is like in your neck of the woods, but that's how it is in mine. And if this sort of behaviour is normal in your family, I would suggest you contact the authorities immediately and tell them why.

    What you have been doing is bending yourself into a pretzel to deem the molestation of children as normal familial contact, while deliberately ignoring the context and especially the context in which these girls are brought up and how they are brought up. If you wish to speak about non-sexual violence and how that is often excused in a familial setting, then by all means, start a thread about it. No one here has said that non-sexual violence is not damaging to children in every way.

    Actually, parents often do, hence why treatment centers for child molesters like Josh Duggar exists for teenagers and children.

    I certainly do hope that you are not trying to suggest or insinuate that child molesters are not a menace, by your statement that it is society that makes them out to be a menace. Although, after your display in this thread, I am not holding out much hope.

    Please take time to read the links in the first few posts in this thread, as they go into detail about how these girls were educated and brought up by their parents. It would go a long way in your not wasting people's time, because all you need to know to answer those questions can be found in those links.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  22. Bells Staff Member

    I think it needs to be said that this has been hovering around this family and such strictly religious sects for a while now. And it is only now, with the benefit of hindsight, that we can look at what the Duggar family have been encouraging and forcing as "rules" in bringing up their children, especially their daughters, that we can see just how perverted it has been. For example, in their "rules" about dating, the Duggars encouraged the brothers to oversee their sisters, chaperoning them and monitoring them while on dates:

    All of the Duggar boys have been chaperones to Ben and Jessa, even the younger ones who will go along with them to a coffee shop or out to dinner. Jim Bob and Michelle say there is something special about the way brothers size up a potential suitor. “The brothers can see how they treat mom and dad, or see whether they show the sisters respect,” Michelle says, adding that each brother has given Jessa their opinion of Ben.

    Now, consider for the moment that Josh is one such brother who had chaperoned the sisters he molested, and has given his opinion on their sister's boyfriends, and was in a position to size up the potential suitors. If that isn't creepy enough, consider that in the Duggar household, being part of the Quiverfull movement and the of the Christian beliefs that defer to the male as the ultimate authority over even the sister's, it becomes something out of a twisted horror story.

    What our neighbour really leaves out in his pfft'ing child molestation and incest between siblings is the context in which these girls in particular are brought up in. When he comments that the girls are not harmed by it, he leaves out the fact that these girls are not really allowed to complain or not forgive their older brother for what he did to them. They had no other option but to forgive. Their needs were always secondary. The only thing that mattered was their brother's redemption.

    The Duggars are part of a theological movement called “Quiverfull,” a deeply conservative sector of Protestant theology whose most salient characteristic is a disregard for birth control—including the rhythm method. Such families also tend to be politically conservative, believing white Christianity in America to be under threat. Producing godly Christian children to carry on the gospel, both politically and socially, is vital to the continuation of the faith: You must have lots of “arrows”—children—in your “quiver.” More children means more demographic power, according to this philosophy, and the ability to control societal and governmental outcomes by maintaining hold of majority power.

    And typically attendant with this theology is a whole host of conservatively minded elements. Women are to stay in the home; men are to be breadwinners. Women are to be conservatively and modestly dressed, and sexual purity is prized above all things when entering into a marriage contract. Generally, men and women marry young and start producing children quickly.

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    The theology is not shy about making sure that men are the heads of households and women are subservient. Frequently, families are so large that older female siblings are enlisted in helping to care for the younger, allowing the mother to focus on newborns. Such a practice not only places minors in charge of each other; it frequently places the work of educating the family members in the hands of people who are still learning things themselves. This combination of factors creates a vortex of little to no education and a lack of skills transferrable to the outside world. In other words, the theological sect perpetuates itself by keeping women dependent upon the family structure until they are married off into a family approved by their patriarch—which is usually another family within their denomination. Women are functionally without power or voice within this movement; leaving it often means leaving behind every social structure you have ever known.

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    These elements combine to produce a conservative Christian culture in which victims can be silenced and sexual abuse may be excused as part of an abuser’s redemption story. The prioritization of forgiveness means that having a neat, clean story of Jesus’ power is often more important than actually stopping harm from being done.

    So Josh Duggar’s victims likely had a number of things working against them. In addition to the typical problems facing victims of childhood sexual abuse, these young girls existed (and continue to exist) in an environment that prioritizes the redemption of men over the pain of the women they hurt. Coming forward for any one of the victims meant going against a very powerful patriarch in their sect, and it meant an “admission” of sexual impurity on their part.

    In the Duggars’ narrative of events, Josh admitted his crimes to his now-wife, Anna, during their courtship, and Anna forgave him. The police report from 2006 also notes that the young victims of the Duggars had been spoken to about the events and that they all had “chosen” to forgive Josh for his transgression. But in a world as theologically, socially, and politically constrained as the Duggars’, is it really possible for these girls—some younger than ten years old—to really understand a concept as weighty as forgiving the man who abused you?

    Any forgiveness in such a situation is a Band-Aid over a bullet wound at best. These women may genuinely feel that the abuse they experienced has no real impact on their lives now. But it is undeniable that the environment in which they were raised and the heavily moralistic and gendered purity culture in which they exist contributed both to their abuse and to the subsequent cover-up and minimization of such acts.

    This problem of sexual abuse in conservative Christian environments is not just a Duggar problem. This is not an anomaly. This kind of cover-up, this kind of abuse and minimization is all too common for such theologies. It’s just that not every story will involve a national television star.

    It is not surprising that his victims forgave him. They had no other choice. There were no other options available to them.

    For Josh's victims and as they wrote in their book, their purpose as girls and women is to be a "godly girl", to seek forgiveness and to put their past behind them and choosing to live for God.

    “We know that a godly girl is not someone who has lived a ‘perfect’ life but is someone who has received God’s forgiveness and is seeking to put the past behind her and choosing to live every day for Him,” Jana, 24, Jessa, 21, Jill, 23, and Jinger, 20, wrote in their book “Growing Up Duggar.”

    Now, you can imagine how and why these girls had no choice but to forgive him. It is not surprising that the Duggars have focused more on ensuring that Josh's future was not ruined, that this was their biggest concern. The paedophile police trooper Jim Bob took him to was sure to focus more on Josh's future prospects if he continued and was caught. The girls did not factor in this at all.

    It is concerning that we have a member who is praising the deliberate act of hiding and protecting child molestation, to the point of refusing to allow said molester to be questioned by police and lying about his getting actual treatment, even going so far as to praise a paedophile for protecting a child molester. I might question this individual's motives in this matter, but I do think that approaching this out of context leaves out even more of the tragedy that is this story.
  23. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Talk about pretzeling the discussion. There’s no point in continuing to address your misconceptions point by point, you’re just too ideologically focused to see the issues objectively. My central argument is that there should be no distinction between sexual and nonsexual behavior in regards to their potential for abuse. If Josh Duggar had kicked these girls in the shin on ten different occasions over the span of a year you would not be advocating that he be removed from the home, prosecuted for assault, and all parties be professionally treated for psychological damage. Because even though an escalation in the intensity and frequency of kicking someone has great potential for physical harm, it would not be given the same offensive significance as a potentially less damaging sexual pattern of behavior. Hypersensitivity regarding sexual behavior has compromised the ability of many to objectively relate it to other behavior.

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