Diablog: Kincaid Too

| 6 Comments

After reading the Kincaid article, I was taken aback at my own reaction. I'm the kind of person who likes to keep an open mind but I was having a really hard time reading it. While I agree that our society sexualizes youth, especially with the ideas of hairless female bodies, smooth "baby soft" skin, wrinkle free faces, and all in all appearing to be young, I don't agree with the hypothesis that he poses that these kinds of societal obsessions create potential sex offenders. I do not see how our society could possibly be to blame for a documented mental disorder which requires therapy and in some cases incarceration. I do, however, empathize with the dissolution of the child as a direct result, as with the Willy Nester example. The child was silenced and forgotten on the stand in the court where he was supposed to be able to tell his story. The images posted in cartoons and jokes after the Michael Jackson scandal also serve to ertoticze those images of children. Our society as a whole is obsessed with the image of children and youth. For me, this still doesn't justify child molestation. But I suppose on further examination of this article and further discussion I could really learn more.

6 Comments

I don't know that he is trying to justify or explain sexual molestation or sexual molesters. What I think he's trying to do, instead, is ask WHY there is an obsessive interest in sexual molestation cases/trials (like Willy Nester) and rumors of sexual molestation (like MJ), while at the same time the "script" of the conversation doesn't really change. We don't truly question the nuances of our interest in the cases or even plausibly entertain the idea that sexuality and children are NOT mutually exclusive subjects. But I don't think he's saying that children are actively sexual subjects, or that sexual molestation is something that can't be avoided. I think he's saying the opposite.

But at the same time, I think he's drawing attention to and questioning the fact that we are able to watch these things happen, and then ask ourselves WHY they happen, but everything is done in the past tense. It becomes, like he says, things that have "happened." Action becomes unnecessary and even impossible, really, because they're events that have already happened. But the conversations and imagined awfulness about these "happenings" continue. So, I think he's quesitoning what sorts of pleasure (whether it's erotic or not) from asking these resolution- and action-less questions, and having these imaginings and images. But that's only part of what he's saying, too, and only my interpretation of it.

That is an interesting take, I didn't look at the article like that until you mentioned it. Our culture is extremely obsessed with children and youth, and even idealizes that image for women. Do you think that there is something that can be done do change the way that these things are seen in society, or even work to prevent child molestation? Or do you think that people enjoy the outrage and passion that go along with these kinds of trials and stories?

I agree with what katie is saying about Kincaid theory of how he is asking the question why?, these things are so, or can these examples be the answers to the question why.I also see what you are talking about with being obsessed with children and youth verses being interested with child molestation. I feel a little bit differently about that,I say this because during my trial when I was molested, I wasn't even in the court room and no one heard the story that I had. They were more interested in why he did what he did and what I was doing that provoked him to take actions. So for me it seemed as if society was more interested in the fact that I was molested and the reasonings behind it rather than the help or damage that occured from this act of violence. At the same time he didn't even get that much time for what he did, which I blame to the fact that I wasn't even considered in the trial when it should have beeen all about me in the 1st place. they were more interested in the act of molestation, in my point of view.

I think what your pointing out katie is very important to keep in mind when reading this article because you can get lost and lose the argument of the article based upon the meaning of what molestation is and how the media then interprets it. Because I too was thrown aback by the theory that Kincaid was making because I was that child, but as I further read and reread I started to figure out what it is that he is trying to say.

Personally I feel that at the end of the day, that sex sales, and it will continue to sale. Out society does not want to find a solution ot connect the theories that Kincaid brings up in his article as to why these acts take place.I feel this is so because it would cause them to put more focus on how they have formed this society into thinking and desiring in such a way. I feel as though society puts pressures on people to look younger be desirable and to behave in child like behaviors. with that being said they wont change because the problem stems from our society.
I hope that answers your question a little bit.

I feel with this reading that one is suppose to feel this way, because the theories that Kincaid brings up is nothing that is ever brough up in a open minded space, in the media, because thses are children and they are innocent. for that matter society wants to keep them that way and make money off of them for those same reasons. It tends to all get blended and very confusing. I too was in that same mind frame when I initially read the article.

Doing this diablog really helps, and has me thinking very deeply about this reading in ways that I did not before.

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