Not Even Sexual Abuse is Egalitarian

Generally speaking: The male form of sexual abuse is when a man abuses his power (usually some combination of money, respect, or strength), against a woman, to gratify his sexual desires. This is well-noted and agreed upon by everyone.

The female form of sexual abuse is: When a woman abuses her sexuality, against a man, to gratify her desire for power (usually some combination of money, respect, or strength). This is not usually acknowledged, and never fully.

I say it is not fully acknowledged because while it is sometimes frowned upon, the incidents are treated lightly. “Well, she shouldn’t have done so,” we tsk, “but he should have known better.” Which is a good bit different from the fiery condemnation that is heaped on male transgressors. Where is the movement to outlaw gold-digging? Who is creating a safe space from women?

Which church advocates custody of the eyes as a wardrobe selection strategy for women to employ rather than as a stick with which to beat men into being blind of their surroundings??

Every so often a female will imitate male patterns of sexual abuse. Those incidents don’t rise above the level of talking points. The occasion of a female teacher seducing a male student causes us to ask, “What is going on with that woman?”, as if she’s diseased or ensorcelled; rather than acknowledging that she chose evil because she liked it. A college op-ed about a man who surrenders to the protestations and physical manipulations of a college woman is a mere thought experiment. Crichton’s book Disclosure was a fictionalized story, but it was based on true events which failed to make the news and outraged no one. Why? Because we don’t get emotionally involved. Well why is that? Because our experience tells us that it’s not a pattern of which to be wary.

The first reason these thought experiment stories are ever reported are the novelty of “man bites dog”. But the important reason is that they give cover to the idea that we are striving for equality under the law; that our laws against males forms of sexual abuse constitute a full spectrum of justice to which men and woman can be held.

It’s a lie.

Advertisements

Walking Back on Walking Dead

Awhile back Empath, Dalrock, and Oscar all recommended “Walking Dead” to me. At the time I demurred because zombies haven’t interested me since the excellent “Resident Evil 4”. That was a long time ago. It’s so long ago the only thing I’m more tired of than zombies are vampires. Thanks for nothing, Ann Rice.

Readers from last autumn may recall that another show was recommended to me, and I trashed it. There was a lengthy debate among Empath, GKC, (both fans) and myself about how to interpret story elements; whether characters and plots are meant to instruct the audience, or whether they are merely influenced by the creators’ worldviews. We will turn to that topic again, but not until after I’ve laid into this Walking Dead business.

It’s very good. At the time of the Longmire post I was in the midst of watching the first season of WD. I said then that Justified (my favorite show still in production) had a challenger. I still really like Justified, but I have to say that WD is a better show and tied for favorite. Every episode is incredibly intense. Each character is utterly believable. Those of you who live in a metropolitan area of the Southern US know them, and their interactions provide the goriest bits of the show.

The characterizations of the women are more true-to-life than any other show or move that I can recall. They cause so many problems, and generate so much unnecessary friction by the things they say and what they don’t say… As a man with a wife and three daughters I am sensitive to this reality, and I very much appreciate it being shown in the raw rather than glamorized as it almost always is. It’s shocking to me that very many women like the show. If the ratings are anything to go by, then they do.

–(Slight Spoilers)–

As I said, I’m only halfway through season two, but it’s been clear to me that Shane has to die, and probably soon. The combination of hubris and self-degradation via Lori and Otis has rapidly accelerated his loss of sanity. He is obsessed with the idea of “making the hard choices”. Hard choices must be made, but in Shane’s mind hard choices only consist of who to kill and who to abandon. Unfortunately for Shane his decisions appear to be expedient to everyone else. Of course, they don’t know what he’s done. It’s only a matter of time before he decides that he needs to make the “hard choice for the good of the group”, and kill Rick. Since Rick is still on the program, I surmise that he kills Shane, and soon. (Plus, someone told me he’s dead. At the time I insisted I would not watch the show.)

I don’t know if Shane and Rick could ever have lived together in peace, but if they were to have done so then Rick would have to be more assertive in directing the group. He puts little confidence in himself, and no confidence in anyone else. He is a doubter in general. Everyone in the group naturally looks up to Rick, but his unwillingness to direct them leaves everyone uneasy. Unease metastasizes into chaos, rebellion, and depression.

There’s a scene in the last episode I watched where they’ve just killed a bunch of zombies and now it’s time to dispose the bodies. Rick just stands there, moping. One of the group tries to get the ball rolling and suggests they bury the zombies who the group loved in life. Rick mopes. Another ones makes a suggestion. Rick mopes. The members of the group know what to do, but they stand around expectantly; waiting for Rick to give them directions: bury those; get the truck; burn those; etc. They don’t need knowledge–they need courage, unity, and purpose. Those come through and from the leader.

Conversely, Rick thinks no one but him can personally handle real problems. He cannot delegate, and when delegation is forced on him he has no sense of order about him. He cannot distinguish between his responsibility, and the responsibilities of others. He has a martyr complex and makes every mistake his own fault. This robs the group of confidence and the ability to learn and gain confidence. It also robs them of a leader because he’s always running off to be the frown-faced hero. Unless of course he’s straight-up moping.

It is in this vacuum that an impulsive person like Shane loses his compass, stops being a boon, and becomes dangerous to those around him. There is a lesson in there for husbands and fathers.

Bad Up Good Down

Whether my suspicion that Lourdes Torres Manteufel’s (LTM) marriage is part of her revenge or not, I think the lawsuit against Doug Phillips must be considered to be so. Such revenge should not–must not!–be acceptable to Christians. Nor is there anything of meekness or quiet about her manner. Two Facebook pages–to remind everyone that one is the woman who tried to steal Mrs. Phillips husband and disgrace one’s own father–are two too many. Yet I have read nothing against LTM but the very merest criticism.

Meanwhile; Phillips confessed his sin. He recused himself from leadership at both his church and the organizations he founded (including the very successful Vision Forum), both of which ought to be considered fruits of repentance. Until LTM–his accomplice in destruction–sued him, he said nothing publicly against her, nor defended his actions. He has hidden his face in shame since he was discovered. Yet he was hounded from all corners.

I have written about this before. Not only have Christians and Conservatives abandoned one of their own to fend for themselves, but the haughty and vengeful are upheld while the humble and contrite are scorned. Someone needs to evangelize these Christians.

Unhanging from Last Year’s Cliffs: Dougs and Dogs

Back in October, I had started the second post on the scandal surrounding Doug Phillips, but it was crap; just lede-burying crap. That was deleted.

As I read the legal complaint of Lourdes Torres Mauntafel I was irritated by the fact that the accusations against Doug Phillips aren’t always rendered along an easily discernible or believable timeline. I am suspicious this was deliberately arranged to be confusing. A demonstration of a pattern of abusive behavior would carry more force if the alleged instances were arranged into an actual pattern. In addition to confused timelines, the document only mentions Ms. Torres Mauntalel’s age once:“This grooming began when Ms. Torres was a fifteen-year-old child.” Otherwise, the complaint is devoid of any reference to her age. I believe this is intended to leave the reader with the false impression that Lourdes Torres Mauntafel was a teenager throughout her entire relationship with Doug Phillips.

That much I knew to be false, so I started from the other end. I laid out the pattern reported in the legal complaint and then let it show me what it was demonstrating. (For the purposes of this timeline I assuming that something along the lines of the accusations occurred.)

11/1999: Lourdes Torres meets Doug Phillips when her family met the Phillips family at a conference. At that time, Lourdes is fifteen.

12/1999 – 12/2006: Nothing untoward is accused. Lourdes reaches the age of 21. This is important. Whatever transpired between Torres and Phillips, we should bear in mind that she was a fully grown woman who had reached the age of full majority in every sphere of life.

01/2007: Phillips begins to compliment her and request her help caring for the Phillips children in his and with projects at his office.

07/2007: Phillips begins to touch Torres with familiarity and fondness; massaging her neck, rubbing her leg, etc. He also begins texting her frequently, sending her emails, and instant messaging.

10/2007: Phillips asks Torres and her family to move in with him while they are between homes. Torres and Phillips begin having sexual encounters in her room. Phillips tells Torres that he wants to marry her. Torres is 22.

11/2007: The Torres family moves out. Mrs. Phillips stops requesting Torres come to the Phillips house.

11/2007-12/2012: Mr. Phillips begins requesting Torres’ help directly whenever he can. She obliges, and for the next five years they engage in sexual activity whenever they are alone. Torres is 27.

01/2013: Torres breaks off the five-year long affair. Later that month, Phillips is chased away from Torres’ window by her father. Torres is 27 or 28.

02/2013: Torres and her family report Phillips’ behavior to his organization and church, and then depart.

04/11/2014: Torres marries Mauntafel. It is a Friday.

04/15/2014: The day the legal document is rendered to the courts; the Tuesday following her marriage. Of all the Christian marriage celebrations I’ve heard, suing the man with whom one carried on a five year affair for over $1,000,000 takes the wedding cake. Torres is 29.[1]

04/16/2014: The “Together We Overcome: Supporting Lourdes Torres Mauntafel” Facebook page comes into existence. Here she posts selfies; proclaims fad diets; posts videos of herself exercising; hocks childish paintings; gushes the empowering wisdom of Oprah and Cindy Crawford…she even dedicated the sentiments of Keith Urban’s you-go-grrl “Stupid Boy” to Doug Phillips, and “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift’s move-along-harlot anthem) to herself.

The legal complaint carefully caricatures Torres Mauntafel as a helpless teenager caught in the patriarchal web of the powerful overlord Phillips, but we’ve established now that Torres was a full-flegded adult over the entire course of their affair. It should be mentioned somewhere that there are sex acts described within the complaint. The authors do their best to make it seem as if Torres assumed the role of a mannequin whenever Phillips was around, but any imaginings of the descriptions reveal that she must–at least sometimes–have been in outright cooperation.

Torres’ complaint explains that this is because of the insidious are fearful power of the “patriarchy model” and the “patriarchy movement”. Yet there is no accusation of physical (or even the popular and vague “verbal abuse”) against Phillips. He has no monetary hold over her; no lien or promissory. Her family was in no danger, and their livelihood did not depend on Phillips. We must ask what kind of power did this malevolent patriarchy movement threaten over Torres and her family?

The answer is: None. The Torres family left the church straightaway. They informed the Vision Forum organization and Phillips’ church of Phillips’ transgressions without incident or reprisal. In fact, Phillips resigned from VF, quit pastoring, and gave up speaking at conferences. He has been disavowed and vilified by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, and virtually every other organization with which he ever had relations. He was pilloried in the media and on the Internet. The church he founded even reinstated the membership he had abandoned just so they could ex-communicate him…for show. This is testimony for the strength of anything but patriarchy.

This is the most powerless movement since move- was butted against -ment. While the legal document repeatedly tries to sell ideas about patriarchy as the source of Torres’ problems, the truth is that any form of patriarchy beyond the nominal is never demonstrated in the document. None of the actions of either Phillips or Torres resemble anything like patriarchy. As far as I can tell, patriarchy (of any kind) played exactly one tiny role in the whole affair: Once Torres’ father found out his daughter had been carrying on with their pastor, he put an end to it.

[1] I cannot imagine what Mr. Mauntafel was thinking when he decided to marry her. Did he know about her plan to spend their honeymoon in revenge? Does he ever wonder if he is merely a plot point in that plan; a crude demonstration of her desirability to be shoved in Phillips’ face? What does he think when–after mere months of marriage–he reads his wife use Facebook to publicly tell off the man whom she let ejaculate on her for five years?  Is he bothered that on her own Facebook page, she has “Taken”, “RED”, and “Moms’ Night Out” listed as her three favorite movies? The common factor in each is that the hero is a middle-aged, craggy, bad-boy; not a reedy, young, towheaded nice-guy like himself.

————————————————-

My dog never did go off to die. The tumor in his mouth alternately grew and then was torn off by his constant worrying of it. At the end there was an explosive growth–the bulge doubling within a week–and then a last tear which would not stop bleeding. We kept him outside that night and hoped that it would subside, but he was still drooling blood the next morning. We took him to the vet and left after the sedative. I regret that I had to render him to another.

For a couple weeks after I still got the same old feeling as if he were supposed to be underfoot. Years of habitual response had to be laid aside; as several times I caught myself walking towards the backdoor to let him back in.