22 May 2015

Christian rape culture: Duggar edition

Oh the Duggars. The train we've been watching because we knew it would eventually run off the tracks. That is the fascination, right? I don't know. I never got it. I watched an episode of it with my daughter who thought it was fun to watch, and it was just not something I wanted to see. No judgment on those who do/did. Just not for me. Like wrestling. Or The Bachelor. Or CSI. Just not my thing.

Okay, other progressives, I do have a bit of a problem with one thing. A LOT of you are saying that you'd have called the cops immediately. Really? REALLY? You'd have had your son branded as a child molester for life without trying to do something about it yourself first? Not me. No fucking way. If I found out my son was touching my daughter without her permission, you're damn right I'd do something about it. The police would not be my first call though. I simply don't believe in the justice system. I wouldn't put my daughter through that. And I wouldn't put my son through that. Because (a) it wouldn't help him; (b) it wouldn't help her. There'd be group and individual counselling, therapy, medications, absolutely NO chance for him to be near her or any other girls. Do you know the life that child molesters live? I don't know if I could do that to my own son. But worse, wow about the fact that the girls would then be named? In their culture, that's a LOT of shame. In our culture, there's shame (not as much, but it's still there), but there's also pity. Gross pity. And don't forget, these people are famous. No one is going to forget. Any time those girls go anywhere, someone is going to be whispering. I would NOT inflict that on my daughter. Not without trying something else first. Maybe I'm weak. Maybe I'm part of the problem. But I just don't believe that I'm alone in this.

Gleeful schadenfreude on the part of progressive Christianity is disgusting. Gloating that you always knew they were creepy and fucked up in order to prop up your own value system is disgusting. It is remarkably inconsiderate to the victims.

Yeah, I know. They're creepy and backward. They make the girls wear long dresses, even to work. Doesn't that, right there, teach the boys that female bodies are just too tempting, and that they (the boys) aren't in control? Yes, yes it does. Churches foster this environment with theology that teaches that women aren't as valuable as men. That women are the cause of their own victimhood. That they should be more modest, to stop tempting men to abuse them. This is appalling. Men have agency. They can control themselves. But Christianity (in general, as it is practiced) props up rape culture and reinforces it, sometimes overtly. And still, gleeful schadenfreude is grotesque. You think Jesus would be laughing at this? I sure don't.

I have read so many stories of people who have gone to their church for help when they were being abused, and were told to stop sinning and pray for forgiveness. The women at one of the Christian universities were told to pray when they needed help after being raped. As @benjamincorey said on Twitter, "If your theology teaches that women are sexual property, don't be surprised when the boys you raise treat them that way." Michelle Duggar flat out said that she taught her daughters that they are not allowed to say no to their husbands. "Duggar girls don't get headaches", I believe was the quote. How on earth can this not lead to abuse?

And giving this guy a pass because he was young (he was 17! One of his victims was 8!) is bullshit. Giving him a pass because he's reformed now? Uh... how do you know that? Because he says so? Has anyone talked to his girls? And furthermore, would you give anyone except someone who shares your value system that pass? Not likely. What would The Blaze be saying if Josh Duggar were Muslim or Black (or heaven forbid, both?!) They sure as hell wouldn't be treating him the way they are now.

Now, giving the dude a pass because he's in a cult that messed him up since birth? Maybe. With good counselling and a deprogrammer? Maybe. But that's not happening. He's clinging to his cult. So no pass.

And what about the girls? Are they getting couselling? Does it require them to ask forgiveness for their molestation? (Yep, that's a thing. *sigh*) That's what I mean, btw, about the practice of Christianity propping up rape culture. When abusers get a pass, and the victims are told to pray for forgiveness, that's pretty much the definition of reinforcing rape culture.

05 May 2015

Language Matters: Adoption terms

This week, a semi-truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, hit a car full of teenagers who were stopped for a flagger on the highway. The car hit a pickup truck in front of it, and the truck hit a construction vehicle, which hit the flagger. The teenagers were killed instantly. The flagger is in critical condition. He has a broken shoulder, bleeding spleen, cracked spine, and several brain bleeds. He's in a coma.

The flagger is my brother. Sort of. I mean, we share the same DNA. We have the same biological parents. But I don't know him. This post not for sympathy, though prayers, good wishes, vibes, healing energy, or whatever would be appreciated, for both him, and the families of everyone in the accident, including the driver who has to live with killing three teenagers. The reason for the post is because I am having a very hard time talking about this because of the relationships, and the utter lack of appropriate language for them.

When I was born, my birth parents were young and utterly unprepared for parenthood, so they gave me up for adoption (GOD BLESS THEM!) Unlike most people in this situation, they stayed together, and 6 years later, started having more babies. 5 more babies. Sam (the flagger) came along about a year before I had Snap. When I was 22 and they contacted me through the ministry, I found all this out. My awesome parents flew me out to meet them and my siblings. Sam was about 4. As it turned out, I was moving to where they lived anyway (had already put down damage deposit!) and so I got to know them a bit until they moved to another province a couple years later. When they came for a wedding about 10 years ago, I saw Sam again for about 4 seconds. Gawky teenager. Shy. Putting on tough guy airs. That was the last I saw him. But I've kept up via Facebook with his Mom. So really. I do not know this man. I'm connected by blood, but nothing much more.

So what's the point other than oversharing, Luna? Well, it's this. What do I call him? He's biologically my brother. He's not legally my brother. Nor in any social way. My brother is the man who my Mom and Dad raised with me. The racist moron who drives an oversized truck he doesn't need, cares only about sports, brags about not voting ever in his life, and has never moved out of Mom's house (he moved his girlfriend in - and honestly, thank God. She's amazing, and they look after Mom who is so sick). He's the brother I know and love.

What do I call Sam? Birth-brother? Bio-brother? Doesn't that just lead to questions? Why is there no term? I can call the woman who birthed me my biological mother, or my birth mother, or my natural mother, and most people immediately figure out the situation. But siblings? Not so much.

And worse? What do they call me? Especially my bio-parents. There is absolutely no term for me that is acceptable. And we wonder why adoption is taboo! They gave up their right to call me their daughter when they signed the papers. I'm their daughter in genetics only. The reciprocal relationship term doesn't work. They can't call me their biological daughter, as they have three others whom they kept. When I went to a wedding of one of my "sisters", people kept asking me who I was. I had a hell of a time explaining, and eventually, just got cheeky and said, "I'm the one they gave away" and grinned. Well. That went over like a lead balloon. The man, who was a very old friend of my birth father, started on me about how inconsiderate that was, and how I had no idea what they'd gone through, and blah blah blah. I said, "Okay. You tell me. How should I introduce myself?" He had no answer, but informed me that I could be more kind. *sigh*

Adoption is so taboo. It's so taboo that the language doesn't even have a word for me for my birth parents because they are not supposed to ever speak of me again, I guess. And you know what? I don't even have a suggestion for it. How about you, comrades? Anyone have a suggestion for what parents of children given up for adoption can use to speak of these children?