Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another Stupid Blog Entry On Foley

Did anyone see the recent op-ed called "A Tear In Our Fabric" by NY Times' David Brooks? You have to have to buy it or have Times select to see it (I downloaded it as a free podcast). He opines about the fact that we excoriate Foley's sexual pursuit of teenaged pages as "perverted" yet "celebrate" the tale of an adult secretary's preying on a 13-year old girl and initiating her sexually in Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues."

I thought it was an interesting enough piece, but he totally missed the point that while Foley had professional power over the pages (whether that extends beyond their term of service in Washington, DC is not clear to me), the woman in Ensler's story was a neighbor kid who was happily seduced by the sexy lady across the street. "If this was rape," she says, "It was a good kind of rape."

I remember feeling rather sickened by that particular monologue when I last saw "The Vagina Monologues" last February. I certainly was not one who laughed and whooped and applauded the story, even as I respected the fact that Ensler collected this narrative through interviews, and was therefore dramatizing a story told her by the woman much of society would label the victim of sexual predator.

Of course we haven't really heard the pages' stories. I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

I just wondered if you read Brooks, and what you thought. Some conservative bloggers are getting all frothed up about it, of course.


Blogger LucreziaUU said...

Yes, I read David Brooks opinion. I'm stumped as to why we haven't seen the phrase *sexual harassment* in any of these discussions. Asking an employee or assistant for measurements of their private parts would be wrong no matter what the age of the underling. Giving the teenager across the street personal lessons in sexuality is also wrong, because it does *tear at the fabric of our society*. Our social roles in the community deserve respect, including that girl's mother. Nonetheless, I was cheering for a teenager's discovery of pleasure when I first heard *The Vagina Monologues*. Her story isn't an example of *expressive individualism* so much as it is a testament to the fact that the fabric of our society has had a huge hole of ignorance and secretiveness about sexuality in it for years and years. We aren't going to repair that hole by reverting to pretending that no one has sexual feelings or that social roles never inspire sexual feelings. I'm just glad we have the OWL program encouraging our young people to NOT be ignorant and to respect themselves and others.

Blogger ms. kitty said...

I haven't read the Brooks opinion yet, but my experience with teenagers who have been seduced by older men and women is extensive, as a former school counselor, and lucreziauu is right--------it's not okay for the woman across the street to seduce her teenage neighbor girl.

When a child (and a thirteen year old is a child) is sexualized by an adult, it skews the child's view of sexuality; it is not a big favor the adult is doing the child.

I know several adults who were seduced by older women or men when they were teenagers and they all have a chronic history of problems with relationships, including infidelity, fear of commitment, an exaggerated sense of what sex means in a relationship.

Some became sex addicts, alcoholics, and drug abusers. Some are in recovery; most are not. None of them has truly benefitted from the seduction, despite the much-bragged-about experience. And it is sad that they don't see it that way, because their lives are not as happy as they might be.

It's also illegal in many states to have sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18. It's called rape. When an adult disregards this law, what does it say to the kid? It bespeaks contempt for law AND it gives the kid the idea that s/he is an adult, when s/he is not.

I'm pretty vehement about this issue because I've had so much personal and professional experience with it.

Blogger Sun Warrior said...

It is true. I have a hard time breaking through this hysterical hypocrisy after 20 years of neo-con domination to focus on the victim. The satisfaction of showing this epitome the creepy Republican comes at a price.

I saw on the news they had one page before Congress. Talk about furthering and deepening the trauma. Making a terrible situation worse.


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