MRA founding father Warren Farrell responds to questions about his incest research with evasive non-answers. And a smiley.
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Warren Farrell, whose 1993 book The Myth of Male Power essentially set the agenda for the Men’s Rights movement we know (and don’t love) today, did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit yesterday.
Most of the questions he chose to answer were pretty much softballs, and his answers largely reiterated things he’s said before many times. But he was also asked some pointed questions about his views on incest which he chose to answer. Well, sort of. Instead of clearing up the issue, he dug his hole a little deeper.
[TRIGGER WARNING for incest/child abuse apologia.]
What Men’s Rights guru Warren Farrell actually said about the allegedly positive aspects of incest. (Note: it’s even more repugnant than that sounds.)
So there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the recent talk that old school Men’s Rights guru Warren Farrell gave at the University of Toronto. Protesters troubled by Farrell’s repugnant views on incest and date rape, among other things, blocked the entrance to the building holding the talk; police broke up the blockade. You can find various videos of what went down on YouTube. I’m not going to try to sort out all the various claims and counterclaims about what happened.
I personally don’t approve of blocking people from giving talks, even if their ideas are repugnant. But I certainly do approve of holding people responsible for what they say, and Farrell – in addition to being wrong about nearly every aspect of relations between men and women – has said some truly awful things over the years.
Exhibit A: A notorious interview he gave Penthouse magazine in the 1970s in which he discussed a book he was researching about incest, tetatively titled The Last Taboo: The Three Faces of Incest.
Let me put a giant TRIGGER WARNING here for disturbing discussion of incest and child sexual abuse.
Father Benedict Groeschel: In “a lot of the cases [of sexual abuse by priests] the youngster is the seducer.” Friars: He didn’t mean to blame the victims.
It’s victim-blaming at its worst. Last week, Father Benedict Groeschel, a fairly prominent religious figure who is, among other things, the director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, said some utterly appalling things about the victims of sexual abuse by priests.
In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Groeschel declared that some of the victims were likely “seducers,” and expressed sympathy for ”poor” Jerry Sandusky, and suggested that abusers “on their first offense … should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.”
After the comments spurred outrage, the NC Register took down the interview. Here are the relevant sections, which I found reposted by an appalled columnist on the right-wing RenewAmerica site. The whole thing is awful; I’ve highlighted some of the worst parts.