THE LIZ LIBRARY: LIZNOTES - The Fathers' Rights Movement

Children Need... THIS?      1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8


Cover of PENTHOUSE December 1977, containing the article INCEST: THE LAST TABOO by Philip Nobile

"If a man ignoring a woman's verbal 'no' is committing date rape, then a woman who says `no' with her verbal language but 'yes' with her body language is committing date fraud. And a woman who continues to be sexual even after she says 'no' is committing date lying...

"We have forgotten that before we began calling this date rape and date fraud, we called it exciting." -- Warren Farrell, in Myth of Male Power

And what do you call it, Warren, when a pedophile rationalizes that a little girl is saying "yes" with her "body language?"

Just a difference of opinion, apparently.  Excerpt from Off Our Backs on Warren Farrell's views of incest is immediately below.   A response from Warren Farrell, interspersed with liznotes, is below that on this page.

For Farrell's opinions on how a father's genital caressing of his daughter is just a part of a caring, loving expression, see here -- quotes from the December 1977 PENTHOUSE.  

For a review of Myth of Male Power, see here.  

For a review of Women Can't Hear What men Don't Say, see here.

article reporting on the
1983 Congress of a U.S.
national sexologists' association
July 1983 issue

[BEGIN QUOTE]  Charles Moser and Warren Farrell both emphasized that most incest problems are caused by "treaters," i.e. therapists cause problems where none exist.  Moser claimed that "most incest cases have a loving nature" and that a daughter (in father-daughter incest) gets "special treatment" from the father.  If the incest is found out, Moser says, the child may feel more co-conspirator than victim.  He stated that it is traumatic for a child to divulge the details of the incest to strangers or to her mother who is, after all, "the other woman". He stated also that incest is a symptom of a pathogenic (diseased) family, and that "pseudo incest families" exist which have all the problems of an incest family without the actual incest.

I was uncomfortable, to say the least, with Moser's analysis. Most incest problems are not caused by therapists; but a bad therapist can aggravate any problem. Undoubtedly the judicial system brutalizes rape victims --- I wish that the system could be changed so that a child need only talk with a therapist, and if a court appearance is required that the child be represented by the therapist. The child should not have to detail the incest to her mother or any other relative unless she is willing and ready to do so. And yes, a child can be made to feel like a co-conspirator by her father, who may exhort her to keep "our little secret". Can a child ever be a willing "co-conspirator" with her parent?

Warren Farrell asked that his data not be reported until his book on the "Family Sex Debate" comes out next year.  Tough, Warren.  [liznote: "next year" would be 1984]

Farrell advocates the use of neutral words to talk about incest in order to leave room for both bad and good feelings around the situation.  He calls incest "family sex" (sounds like a family outing at the swing club to me) and he prefers "incest participant" to "incest victim". His term has the advantage of including both parties.  Farrell interviewed "incest participants" and found that a significant percentage found the experience positive.  These tended to be the adult males, who are "involved with" (rather than "who commit") incest.  I mean family sex.  Language is confusing!  Farrell makes incest sound innocent, bland, and harmless.

Certainly, some incest victims (back to my language, where an unwitting victim is still a victim) have resolved their incest issues before entering therapy for other problems.  And any good therapist allows a client to express all of her feelings, good and bad, about any situations. These factors do not make incest less of a trauma for the vast majority of cases.

Farrell mentioned, but did not emphasize, that almost all of the girls involved in father-daughter incest (the most common type) found the experience very negative.  His findings that many incest participants found the experience positive is skewed because it includes perpetrators as well as every kind of incest (including cousin-cousin, which is usually peer sex and not so comparable to other types of incest). [ENDQUOTE]

Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 14:21:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: "dr. warren farrell" <>
Subject: Re: Warren Farrell and 'Family Sex'

May 6, 1997

Dear Liz,

I was sent via e-mail a subscription plea for the feminist publication Off Our Backs.  It reprinted an article filled with inaccuracies.  I was told you are responsible for circulating it.  I do not know if that is true; I prefer checking with original sources.  If it is true that you are responsible, I ask you to be more responsible.  If it is not true, then please just let me know.

          [liznotes are in gray]

Warren, it is true that Off Our Backs wrote an article in 1983 and that the above is an excerpt from it.  It remains timely and responsible for all of us to inquire as to what you think about things like incest. First you were a Ph.D in political science. Then somehow you decided to become a feminist activist, a credential you still tout, even though it was long before your incest "research." After being booted by the feminists, you somehow turned into a "sexologist," advertising for examples of positive father-daughter incest. You were on this kick for quite a while, it appears, given that back in 1977 you were about to publish The Three Faces of Incest and this article, above, hails from 1983. Your pro-"family sex" advocacy just never took off, but then all of a sudden you were a sociologist, analyzing relationships and society via books like Why Men are the Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power. And now, you use your status and influence as a public figure -- it's not clear where you got your apparently professed expertise in law, child development or parenting -- to posture as an advocate for "fathers and children's rights" (i.e. father's rights; i.e. Children's Rights Council, Father's Rights Equality Exchange aka F.R.E.E., etc.)

Attitudes and belief systems and such usually are not the sorts of things which change merely because of the passage of time. Certainly you were strangely and extremely interested in pedophilia and incest for a sufficiently long enough time to warrant our questioning your political interest now in family law and father's rights.

In case you are responsible, here is what is accurate:

First, what was reprinted was something pubished in 1983 that says I have a book called The Family Sex Debate that will be coming out next year.  It is now 14 years later.  Where is this publication? The answer: It does not exist.  I decided not to publish my research because of its potential for misuse, to say nothing of its potential for being misquoted! Since then, I have published two books: Why Men Are The Way They Are (1986) and The Myth of Male Power (1993).

The date of the quoted and paraphrased remarks you made, and the article's publication date, weren't hidden. You imply that this information about you, these opinions of yours, are untimely, out of date. Yet, there you are, right on the current stationery of the Children's Rights Council, inter alia, still touting as a credential, your rather short stint calling yourself a feminist -- which was way before all of this incest stuff.

We know that you didn't publish Family Sex Debate. Or your other sex "research."

You did much better with the opportunistic timing of Why Men and the Myth of Male.  With the advent of herpes and AIDS in the early 80s, "free sex and love" was out of style, and no longer a trendy kind of topic.

Second, the reprint claims that I say that "most incest problems are caused by 'treaters.' " That statement suffers from double jeopardy: It is neither what I have said, nor what I agree with. Specifically, I do not agree that most incest problems are caused by treaters.

Second "inaccuracy?" Where is the first one?

And where is the one here? To say that you "do not agree" that "most incest problems are caused by 'treaters,' " could mean anything from you don't believe that psych professionals are in fact "treaters," to "it's the non-molesting parent who causes most of the problems," to "most incest problems are aggravated by 'treaters'," to who the heck knows? In the 1977 Penthouse article, you blame everyone from interfering mothers to society for giving the daughters raped in father-daughter incest some kind of shame complex.

Why wouldn't you simply have stated what you DO believe, or what it was you DID say? Or did you just not want to dredge up your 1977 statements.

Third, the reprint says that I mentioned, but did not emphasize, that almost all the girls involved in father-daughter incest found the experience very negative. The accurate portion: I did mention that; the inaccurate portion: I also emphasized that.

What is emphasized is pretty much open to different interpretations, isn't it.  What you claim to have emphasized, apparently didn't come across that way to the Off Our Backs writer. Was she lying? Why? Most persons would not consider a difference of opinion or perception to be an "inaccuracy." In your 1977 interview with Penthouse writer Philip Noble, you didn't say "very negative;" rather you phrased it as daughters "admitting" to some negative feelings.

Warren, you took the trouble to send a whole letter to me, and this is it? That's all you have to say? Out of an article you allege to be "filled with inaccuracies," you actually have not been able to identify one.  I would think that someone who is supposedly a communicator and thinker knows the kind of impression that leaves...

Sincerely, Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

[liznotes:]  You never were a feminist, were you.

I wonder if, like many other "liberated men" of that era, you thought "feminism" really was about women not wearing bras, being able to have lots of free sex with "liberated females," and not having to pay for dates.

Are you really a "child advocate" now?  

What, actually, is moving your claimed interest in "children's rights aka father's rights?"

As I read your Myth of Male Power, it seemed to me that if I could identify any underlying premise in it at all, it would be the mawkish whine that men can't get enough free sex from "young, beautiful women." I wonder: just how "young" would be "young" to you?

I also recall thinking, while reading Myth, that for someone who is supposed to know all about relationships and equality between the sexes, (being a sexologist, and also the author of an ostensible gender equality theory), that there was an awful dearth in your book of any acknowledgement that women actually have their own physical preferences for sex partners (and strongly held ones at that.) Odd skew. Sort of egocentric. Women actually are much MORE picky than men about what partners are physically appealing to them. (Really. Money won't do squat if he makes her skin crawl.)

I thought it was strange that, even as you were postulating a "partnership" model of relationships between men and women, you discussed sex pretty much exclusively from the standpoint of male "wants." You treated the subject of sex as something only men have physical partner preferences for ("young and beautiful.") I thought it was strange that in the numerous mentions of "partnership model" relations, you gave absolutely no indication that you had the most fundamental understanding of the very UNequal, UNpartnership-like impact of pregnancy and childbirth on a woman's life. Odd... for one with a doctorate in... sex? [lizliznote], and who once claimed to be a feminist.

By the way, was that choice of field of study a result of the free-wheeling hippy era, or would there be something more behind your choice of vocation? You've heard how they say that many psychologists get interested in their fields in connection with trying to understand, cope with, or self-vindicate regarding their own "problems..."



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more... of Warren Farrell's opinions on incest
more... his "Myth of Male Power"
more... Farrell libels liz over these pages
more... Farrell keeps blathering

ACFC: Warren Farrell's Position on VAWA By
Thanks to Warren Farrell, Ph.D. for sending us the following. ACFC

Below is Dr. Farrell's official quote in opposition to VAWA II.  You may post this on the "Stop VAWA" website.  If you have questions, feel free to reply to this message and I will get back to you.

"Two-thirds of people who are murdered are men.  Men are the only sex required to register for the draft.  Since 1954, over 50,000 men have been killed by women, but none who have killed only men have been executed.  The VAWA and VAWA II are blatant violations of the 14th Amendment's provision for equal protectr your time.

Take care,

Sophia Ruiz Research Assistant to Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

Children Need BOTH Parents!
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children

[liznote:  Farrell's doctorate is in POLITICAL SCIENCE.
He "researched" incest just for the fun of it, apparently.]

Farrell Pages: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8


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