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to wonder why everyone is a sex offender....

(124 Posts)
gabbymum Sat 04-May-13 19:24:56

Every day in the papers there seems to be a new one. Most of them seem to relate to events that happened years ago. What is going on?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 07-May-13 22:48:20

B4Bunnies' views are basically the prevailing views of that era - is it any wonder that people didn't bother to try to prosecute, or assumed no-one would believe them?

It takes a good generation for these sorts of attitudes to shift, so there's no hope that B4 will be swayed by this thread. She(?) believes she's right and can't - or won't - see why people are so appalled by her thoughts.

ManifestoMT Tue 07-May-13 23:43:05

They are not the thoughts of the era at all.
I went to an all girls school. A magnet for flashers, to which the police were called. The police hid in bushes and caught the flashers much to the great amusement of all us girls. This was in the 70's 80's .
You are talking about an era where the majority of men respected women, opened doors expected you to get out of a lift first, walked you home to keep you safe. There were some wankers but generally women were respected and protected (and patronised) but hey!
A greater percentage of rapists were convicted in the 70's than there are now. Possibly because you needed a stronger case to get there but still.

AnyFucker Tue 07-May-13 23:48:26

I agree with MT

Peter Sutcliffe was murdering prostitutes (and some women who were not, but apparently he believed they were) all through the 1970's and that was taken very seriously

I expect B4B would think they "had it coming", going off his/her posts on this thread

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 00:44:28

I think something relevant about attitudes in the 1960s-1980s, that was changing as I was growing up - is that a lot of women were very much self-defined by what other people thought of their appearance or behaviour.

So there seems to have been more normalization both of others (men) in positions of power feeling they had the right to comment on, influence and determine women's lives, and of behaviour that we would now regard as attention-seeking in women - because a lot of women's self-definition was in terms of how they related to other people.

Being only "a pretty girl" or "a good mother" or "a good wife " or "a good daughter" is quite different from being "a good lawyer who has kids, a partner and parents and gets on well with all of them and leads a happy and productive life".

Obviously second-wave feminism was about trying to change that self-definition, but a lot of women my mother's age (born 1940s-50s) really didn't get it, and never realised there was an alternative to being defined by men in positions of power.

There is also the generational shift from before the pill to after the pill - "inconsequential" flirting in the 1950s may or may not have led to sexual activity, whereas similar levels of intimacy in the 1980s or 1990s were more likely to lead to an expectation of sexual activity. So the behaviours were a bit out of step with the consequences.

My mother brought me and my sister up to be self-defined by attention from boyfriends and older men. She framed this as "I get on better with men, they're so much more interesting than women" and constantly reporting on attention from men about the fact they thought she was beautiful or had said something intelligent.

My sister, growing up in the 1980s, got sucked into this mode of self-definition, but of course - it being the 1980s as opposed ot the 1950s - ended up in the minefield of extensive teenage sexual activity (i.e. experiencing depth of feeling and experience that she was far too young and inexperienced to process). She was regarded as a "slut" and "asking for it" by boys in the local schools, and as "beautiful" and "successful" by my mother. She appears to have actually been very, very unhappy, because totally defining yourself by interactions with people who ultimately don't respect you, is hardly likely to lead to happiness. She is now very insecure, very much defined by appearance, and not in a healthy frame of mind.

I was an ugly failure, according to my mother. Perhaps because of that, I never consciously self-defined by what others thought of my appearance or behaviour. I've always thought it was up to me to run my own life. Looking back, I was in 3 moderately abusive relationships aged 16-29, where I was trying to self-define partly by what others thought of my appearance and behaviours. Thankfully I got to grow beyond that.

sashh Wed 08-May-13 00:45:04

Peter Sutcliffe was murdering prostitutes (and some women who were not, but apparently he believed they were) all through the 1970's and that was taken very seriously

The women were not though. At least two survived attacks and told the police he had a Yorkshire accent, but they were ignored because they had tapes of a Geordie.

As for the 'good' and 'bad' girls, I watched a documentary about 5 years ago where they re interviewed the detectives and others who worked on the case (few WPCs in a building with no curtains working into the night and feeling vulnerable) the expolice were still referring to prostitutes and 'innocent' victims.

As far as I'm concerned they were all innocent.

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 00:52:52

It is probably quite relevant that both my mother and my sister are now absolutely strident victim-blamers when talking about abuse cases on the news. They think self-possessed women are asking for it, tarty women use sex to entrap men, and that women go to the police only to make trouble or get money. They don't see that underage "troublemakers" or "little tarts" have to have got their understanding of the world and interactions from somewhere, i.e. grooming and self-affirmation by what others think of appearance.

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 00:55:32

(I hasten to add that someone seen as a "troublemaker" by my mother is absolutely not ever behaving in a way that justifies being taken advantage of.)

crushedintherush Wed 08-May-13 10:18:23

Been lurking until now, but I had to say something here.

Anna1976 shock I feel for you and your sister. I also feel for the young girl who b4bunnies talked about. All this abuse starts in the home.

My mum used to have this saying, which used to make me cringe. She used it when I was young, single and unworldly.

'You're nobody 'til somebody loves you'.

And she said it in a sing-song type of voice, like it was a song she heard. (if it was a song, I'd like to get a gun and shoot the b&#$£@÷d who wrote it.

When I got older, I realised the saying wasn't just cringeworthy, it was, still is, downright bloody dangerous.

The saying,to me, translates as 'you have to have somebody to be validated', because thats what it really means at the end of the day.

Everybody has a fundamental need to be loved/validated, and to a young vulnerable girl with no real experience of the world, to have this drummed into her head would drive them into the clutches of somebody evil enough to spot the vulnerability and groom her over a period of time, using the right words to make the victim feel validated, before the abuse begins sad

ConferencePear Wed 08-May-13 10:35:18

It really was a song.

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 10:48:15

Crushed - yes, self-image starts in the home, and when that's really unhealthy - then yes, the people who imparted the self-definition are kind of complicit in subsequent problems htat stem from the vulnerability that could so easily have been avoided. Even though you'd have to be seriously screwed up to actually want to impart ideas like that.

What a truly horrible song.

CheerfulYank Wed 08-May-13 10:52:14

Wellllll...the song wasn't really intended that way but that line on its own is cringe worthy. I think it s an old Dean Martin or Sinatra song that talks about all the money in the world not bringing you comfort when you're old, etc. My grandpa used to sing it because we loved him and were comforting to him in his older years.

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 11:03:16

CheerfulYank - that's good to know smile

Though i think my mother had clearly firmly internalised just that one line from it... as had the mother of b4bunnies' friend. grinsadangryconfused

crushedintherush Wed 08-May-13 11:56:45

Cheerfulyank. - thanks for sharing the meaning of the song. I obviously won't be shooting anybody now smile

I see it differently now I know what it is about, but that one line ruins it, doesn't it? You must have lovely memories of your Grandpa smile.

Anna1976 - my Mum only ever sang that one line. I never heard her sing any other part of the song. Chances are, somebody sang just that one line to her...chances are, she just didn't know the rest of the song. Chances are she meant it. Because I hadn't forgotten it.

I hope the victims get the acknowledgement they deserve.

Jenny0505 Wed 08-May-13 16:01:09

Anna1976, I know what you mean, my dd is much more attractive than I ever was, which obviously delights my mother. She makes remarks about it, and then she looks irritated when I say afterwards to my daughter 'not that you're under any obligation to decorate the world'.

Feel sorry for b4bunnies friend. I couldn't stand up to my mother when she chose my a level subjects for me.... I don't think b4bunnies friend could have said 'actually, no mother, i'm going to stay in and work on my essay this weekend'. We're all socialised (largely by our parents) so to blame this poor girl as b4bunnies does for 'using sex' to catch a man sad it beggars belief. The poor child. 14 years old.......... Some of these people like b4bunnies wouldn't expect a 14 year old boy to be able to navigate their way through complicated adult dilemmas, to reject a much older member of the opposite sex with social skill so as not to cause any awkwardness or embarrassment. That was tricky in 20s, so how is a 14 year old supposed to handle it and keep everybody happy.

Jenny0505 Wed 08-May-13 16:02:41

ps, with dd I praise her with other things, like overcoming nerves before a practical exam. I tell her 'you were scared but you tackled your nerves and went in and did well anyway!". I don't tell her she's UNattractive obviously!!

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 21:21:08

Jenny0505 - good for you smile - that sounds like a very good comeback! I usually tie myself in knots trying to say similar things to niece/nephews/godchildren though am getting better at picking what to praise before I start the sentence...

and yes - expecting a 14 year old to simper away at a 1950s school dance and effectively process why different boys treat her differently is bad enough - how on earth does anyone expect a 14 year old to go to parties full of rich kids every Saturday night, with lots of alcohol and drugs around, and "be a success with the boys", and effectively process messages from the boys who think she's "asking for it", the ones who think she's a disgusting tart, the mothers like ours who think she's wonderfully beautiful and a real success with the boys, vs. the mothers who think she's a slut, vs. the mothers (and a lot of the more vocal school teachers who knew what was going on) who think she's in dire need of help from social services? hmm Only the seriously deluded could think it's a good idea to expose anyone to that set of mixed messages as a form of self-definition.

b4bunnies Wed 08-May-13 21:25:46

jenny505 - that's what's made me mention it - i feel sorry for my friend, retrospectively, too. her mother, was very domineering. so was mine but mine wasn't star-struck. but there was that feeling that unless people find you sexually attractive, you aren't anyone at all. my mum's still of that view, even though she's in her last days.

JennyMakkers Thu 09-May-13 19:42:45

So can you understand how a young girl with a domineering mother who has no belief in herself is definitely a victim if her mother (also no doubt with a low self-esteem) offers her daughter up as a sacrifice at the alter of fame?

My mum was a bit domineering too, but at least she steered me well away from danger. I'm very cautious now, feel like I need her approval all the time. My self-esteem isn't great but at least my mother's style of domineering was to keep me AWAY from potential 'dangers'. Heaven help a 14 year old whose mother offers her up like this. And I'm sure it's still happening. Doesn't make it ok, now, in the past, in the future.

ManifestoMT Thu 09-May-13 22:36:23

I think we are all defined by our families and culture.
I don't recognise that validation by men at all, my parents were born in the 30's I was born in the 60's so you could say quite old fashioned and conservative views, but I was brought up to be just as good as any man. To educate myself first and then get married to someone who loved and respected you, but no harm if you didn't get a man. I was brought up to be beholden to no one and earn and keep my own money.
I always remember breaking my heart over some one and my mum saying "what of him, it was his loss you don't need any man for any thing now they have sperm banks" I was :0.
Most of our neighbours were like that. Most of the women worked all through their lives and were the generation who lived through the war, lived through civil rights and fought for women's rights.
The were the burning your bras and standing on your own feet people. Feminists who still dollied themselves up but stood their ground.
It's due to those women in the 60's 70's 80's that we have the rights we have now.
They weren't all at home tied to the kitchen sink.
The men I knew growing up respected and liked women, as in they liked them as people they weren't objects or just a shag piece. My dad washed, cooked looked after us as he had to as my mum worked. It was a partnership. I think it was because they came from large close families, where women were worked on farms so everyone mucked in as if you didn't you didn't survive.

Hmmm different lives different perspectives.
I feel more down trodden now as I am working my arse off for a huge mortgage, child care costs. My dd's are going to have to deal with men and women who have been brought up in a highly sexualised culture, who have access to extreme porn and where the socialising is more on the net than rl.

Cross fingers it will all turn out lovely

ManifestoMT Thu 09-May-13 22:39:04

Crushed. A song for you

You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You"

You're nobody 'til somebody loves you
You're nobody 'til somebody cares
You may be king, you may possess the world and its gold
But gold won't bring you happiness when you're growing old

The world still is the same, you'll never change it
As sure as the star shines above
You're nobody 'til somebody loves you
So find yourself somebody to love

The world still is the same, you'll never change it
As sure as the star shines above
You're nobody 'til somebody loves you
So find yourself somebody to love
So find yourself somebody to love

Anna1976 Thu 09-May-13 23:35:07

Manifesto - you sound like you had a good upbringing with sensible people. I guess I was talking about people who really didn't have the perspective that your parents had & passed to you.

The women with whom my father worked, during his career, were probably brought up like you were - they would have had to be self-defined by something other than male validation, to survive doing medicine in a colonial backwater in the 1960s.

But the women my mother mixed/mixes with at her tennis club are all very similar to her - trophy wives who brought up the kids, decorated the house, and didn't ever get to do anything they wanted for themselves, because that's not what women did - 1970s second wave feminism appears to have completely passed them by and they seem to still be living in suburbia in the 1960s. Except thankfully their skirts are a bit longer now they're in their 70s...

NB my parents always said that "the 1960s was the decade that made the 1950s look interesting", so they weren't exactly rioting in the Sorbonne in 1968. More deciding what colour nail polish to buy in Woolworths this week...

nooka Fri 10-May-13 02:18:02

My parents were also born in the 30s and sometimes I really wonder if they lived through the 50s/60s at all! My mother is very traditional, revered her father and thinks her daughters should revere both my father and our husbands, pretty much through thick and thin. And yet we had her lesbian Greenham common protesting friends living with us for a while. Weird mixture!

NKffffffffabeee2d7X127640abcce Fri 10-May-13 14:20:57

Just want to respond to Boschy - actually, if you state that some men in that era abused boys because they were suppressing homosexuality, then you are suggesting gay men are potential sex offenders. Which is unacceptable gobshite.

I work in this field and it's often an excuse men who have offended against children come out with - it always turns out to be denial about their actual feelings. There is a world of difference in being attracted to and having consensual relationships with an adult of the same gender, and being attracted to a child, who is not capable of consenting. That distinction is no different now than it was 30 years ago.

crushedintherush Fri 10-May-13 17:53:03

Thanks manifesto smile

I see how the line fits in with the rest of the song, just awful on it's own sad

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