The following is an excerpt from ‘Not Guilty : The Case in Defence of Men’, by British author David Thomas, one of the first men’s rights books of the modern era (published in 1993).
The excerpt comes from chapter 4 entitled ‘The Myth of the Bad Man’. Thomas begins by discussing the recent child sex abuse panics that had been imported from the USA, and that had found expression most infamously with the Cleveland abuse scandal.
Whilst reading the passages below, keep in mind that the author was a father, arguing mainly from the perspective that this early paedohysteria was a feminist attack upon fathers and the family, as well as male sexuality in general. Notice that the chapter almost assumes without needing to state explicitly that any intelligent person reading, with a support for men’s rights and a distaste in radical feminism, would agree upon a definition of sexual abuse involving only the forced penetration of a child by an adult. It is a testament to the success of feminist paedo-hysteria, along with American puritanism, that less than 20 years later, it is ‘creepy’ to suggest even that men should not be jailed for years as paedophiles by feminist laws so absurd they define looking at pictures of 30 year old women with small breasts as ‘child abuse’.
….By then an unlikely alliance of anti-family and anti-patriarchy ideologues, fundamentalist religious fantasists and misguided media celebrities, ever eager for a bandwagon upon which to jump, had managed to persuade the nation that one in three children suffered from sexual abuse administered by men. What they tended not to reveal was that their conclusions were a deliberate twisting of research which defined abuse in an extremely general sense. Far from it consisting exclusively of the forcible intercourse which most of us tend to imagine, however disgustedly, in these circumstances, the term was applied to any unwanted sexual experience of any kind. Any little girl who had seen a flasher in the park had, by that definition, been abused. Any little boy whose maths teacher had put his hand on his knee had been abused.
Penetration by a penis formed a small proportion of total cases of abuse. Of those cases, many occured between step-fathers and teenage daughters. Of the rest, most involved vaginal, rather than anal penetration. Only a minute fraction within a fraction comprised the activity alledged by the doctors at Cleveland, to wit, the anal penetration of small boys and girls by their fathers.
In my view, the obsessive search for evidence of such perverse behaviour tells you more about the people doing the searching than it does about those being searched. But, lest anyone doubt the harm that such obsession may bring, let me quote from a letter that was published in the Solicitors’ Family Law Association Newsletter, November 1991. It was written by a lawyer, whose name and gender were not revealed, although I presume from the account given in the letter that she is female.
“I was sexually abused over a period of approximately two and a half years by a male near relative who had been adopted into my mother’s family. The sexual abuse has, so far as I am aware, had little discernible effect upon me. The discovery of the sexual abuse and the trauma of the investigation by professionals have had a profound impact upon me.
When Esther Rantzen introduced her Childline, with the attendant television programmes, I watched, and found to my shock, that the description by one of the participants of the medical examination she had following the discovery of sexual abuse caused me to cry uncontrollably.
I will never forget the ordeal I was put through at the age of seven. I will never forget the feelings of shame, degradation and intense physical invasion when examined by a paediatrician. I have no doubt that the same paediatrician would, if questioned, have stressed the consideration, tact, and understanding he showed to me on examination.
My views were not sought as to whether I should be examined. I doubt if I would have had the knowledge or understanding to express or hold my own views. In retrospect, of course, I have strong views, but those are formed only with the knowledge of hindsight. I was seven : these were ‘grown ups’ who knew best what should be done with me.
How much needless suffering is caused by children who have been sexually abused by the professionals?…In my own view, the sexual abuse I suffered, was to quote a judge in a rape trial, ‘a pretty tepid affair’. The subsequent sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of a paediatrician will live me for the rest of my life.”
Later in the same Chapter, David Thomas continues :
It is generally agreed that a child who is compelled to have sex with an adult against his or her own will suffers lasting damage. Certainly that would be a common-sense view, and one with which, as a parent, I would instinctively agree. In August 1992, however, the New Statesman published a special issue devoted to opinions that were politically incorrect. One of its articles, by Edward Barrie, suggested that the after-effects of sexual activity might be less traumatic to children than had previously been supposed. In particular, he said :
“An enormous investigation was carried out for the German police by Dr. Michael Baurmann, who reported his findings in 1983. His team carefully assessed 8,058 young people of both sexes (more girls than boys) involved in illegal sexual relationships. They found that in many cases no harm was done – neither emotional nor physical. About 1,000 boys under the age of 14 took part in the study, and not one of those was found to have been harmed. Harm to the girls, when it occurred, was sometimes (not always) a result of the sex act itself, and sometimes the result of heavy-handedness by police, parents and others in the aftermath. Bauermann has shown conclusively that a child may well become a victim purely because victimisation is expected. More recent police department follow-up studies have confirmed the findings.”
Those findings, astounding though they seem at first glance, tally with the experiences of the solicitor whose letter about her experiences of abuse that I reproduced earlier in the chapter. They make me question whether the important social issue which both British and American society needs to confront is not abuse itself, but our apparent obsession with it.
Barrie remarks : “Perhaps most sinister of all, a young woman university graduate working on a doctoral thesis and pursuing the ‘harm done’ aspects of abuse, with help from….overseas experts, was denied a grant unless she came up with findings that would help the authorities ‘detect peadophiles’. She found this distortion of her views unacceptable.”
At this point the truth is clouded with exaggeration and confusion that one cannot do anything other than speculate about what is really going on. But when celebrities que up to reveal ever more lurid accounts of their childhood experiences, or publicise abuse helplines, the sickness to which they bear witness may just be the profound suspicion with which the Anglo-Saxon world regards sex. That, and the belief that the quickest route to public approval is to label oneself a victim – even if one happens to be a millionaire rock star, or a candidate for the presidency.
Consider, specifically, the determination with which some women seek to paint a picture of rampant sexual abuse, practiced entirely by men. Is this motivated by an altruistic desire to cure a social malaise, or just a fearful hostility towards male sexuality as a whole? Are they simply projecting their own terror onto children? Is there anything to choose between the dysfunction that causes an adult to seek out sex with children, and the dysfunction that persuades a doctor or social worker that she is surrounded, on every side, by a raging sea of sex abuse?