ethics of writing

ethics of writing

The ethical question is the question of our times. Within critical theory, it has focused on the act of reading. This original and courageous study reverses the terms of inquiry to analyse the ethical composition of the act of writing.

Здравствуй уважаемый читатель. Книга "Ethics of Writing" Burke Sean (EN) относится к разряду тех, которые стоит прочитать. Из-за талантливого и опытного изображения окружающих героев пейзажей, хочется быть среди них и оставаться с ними как можно дольше. Зачаровывает внутренний конфликт героя, он стал настоящим борцом и главная победа для него - победа над собой. В главной идее столько чувства и замысел настолько глубокий, что каждый, соприкасающийся с ним становится ребенком этого мира. С невероятной легкостью, самые сложные ситуации, с помощью иронии и юмора, начинают восприниматься как вполнерешаемые и легкопреодолимые. Очевидно, что проблемы, здесь затронутые, не потеряют своей актуальности ни во времени, ни в пространстве. С первых строк понимаешь, что ответ на загадку кроется в деталях, но лишь на последних страницах завеса поднимается и все становится на свои места. Существенную роль в успешном, красочном и динамичном окружающем мире сыграли умело подобранные зрительные образы. В процессе чтения появляются отдельные домыслы и догадки, но связать все воедино невозможно, и лишь в конце все становится и на свои места. Возникает желание посмотреть на себя, сопоставить себя с описываемыми событиями и ситуациями, охватить себя другим охватом - во всю даль и ширь души. Сюжет произведения захватывающий, стилистически яркий, интригующий с первых же страниц. "Ethics of Writing" Burke Sean (EN) читать бесплатно онлайн будет интересно не всем, но истинные фаны этого стиля останутся вполне довольны.

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Ethics of Writing Creative Non-Fiction

I'd say there is also a rather large area in-between these two. More the point, I'd say that the distinction is more important in other types of writing. If he had been writing an article for a newspaper, let's say, in which he was writing an expose on homelessness in his city, then I would expect him to capture the essence of Joe's words as accurately as possible, and for Joe to be real. Mostly, that's because then he would be writing a piece in which his stated purpose would be to write a story that was true to Joe. In this case, though, his stated purpose, or rather, the one that was given to him, was

It must be based on your personal experiences which have occurred in the last few years.

To me, that puts the essay firmly in the "creative9quot; realm. Just think about how many Hollywood movies are "based9quot; on true stories, yet have huge swaths of the material completely made up. All he has been asked to do is to capture a lesson that he has learned based on his personal experiences. Under such circumstances, Joe might easily be a composite of several homeless people he had met, with the incident emblematic of the larger truth he wishes to convey, rather than either Joe or the incident being "real,9quot; in the sense you seem to mean.

Should You Write that Letter of Recommendation for a Colleague or Friend?

The other day I received an e-mail from a reader who asked for guidance in determining whether to write a letter of recommendation for a co-worker who had applied for a promotion within the organization. The ethical dilemma centered on two areas: (1) the writer was listed as a source for a recommendation letter even though she was not asked in advance to do so and (2) the writer had reservations about the requester's ability to carry out the duties associated with the new position. The conflict was even greater because there the requester was a friend. Here is my answer.

My motto is honesty is always the best policy, otherwise what you say may come back to haunt you later on. What if you give a positive recommendation when you don't feel that way and he does something wrong down the road. Others may start to look at you with suspicion and question your judgment. At a minimum you should admit that the employee did not seek your agreement before using you as a reference.

Your primary obligation is to yourself -- to be honest, have integrity, and act responsibly. Second, is to your employer who trusts you to do the right thing for the company and act in its best interests. You should never allow loyalty to another person cloud your good judgment. Otherwise you may wind up doing things that are dishonest in the name of loyalty. Honesty requires full disclosure -- to not lie and to fully inform others with an ethical right to know specific information.

Requested letters of recommendation are a common problem for me as a college professor. Often a student will come to my office and request such a letter to support the application for a job in the business world. My decision whether to write such a letter rests on four considerations: (1) How long have I known the student?; (2) What was the level of academic performance of the student in my class(es)?;  (3) Does the student have the necessary skills to be successful in a career in the business world?; and (4) What, if any, observations have I formed about personal responsibility and other character traits of the student?

The first two considerations speak for themselves and are based on actual observations. It is somewhat more difficult to judge communication skills. I always include a written assignment in my course requirements to judge writing skills. The number one complaint I hear from potential and actual employers is the inability to write a coherent and well organized memorandum, an essential quality for success in the workplace. I also assign a group project where oral communication skills can be evaluated. I specifically tell students not to use expressions such "you know" and "like9quot; in their speech. These are all too often interlopers that take away from the flow of a presentation and are unprofessional. I look for eye contact, speech tone, a sense of humor, and direct response to the case questions.

The most difficult evaluation to make about one's ability to be successful in the workplace is character assessment. I can judge a student's ability to exercise due care in formulating answers and making presentations as well as the ability to meet deadlines. To some extent personal responsibility can be judged by meeting deadlines and, if I have personal contact with a student about his or her performance, I assess whether the student accepts critical comments and judgments and takes responsibility for his or her performance. Honesty can be judged as well based on these criteria. A student's work as a group member can be judged by asking other students in the group whether the student in question lived up to his or her responsibilities as a member of the group and the ability to interact with other group members. Success in the workplace is based in part on how an individual performs as a member of a team assigned a specific work project. The classroom should be used as a training ground to enhance student skills.

In closing, I ask myself whether I would be proud to defend my letter of recommendation should the prospective employer contact me and ask questions about the candidate. If I feel uncomfortable doing so, then I respectfully decline to write the letter. The last thing I want is to feel regretful for doing something that I should have known might come back to haunt me later on.

If you have any questions on this or any other workplace matter, please feel free to use the confidential process and submit a querie letter. I provide advice the same or next day. Finally, employees should remember that they build a reputation from the first day on the job and the respect shown to them by their supervisor and employer is dictated by their ethical actions and behavior.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on September 9, 2011

Cartoon reproduced with permission of Cartoon Stock

Tags: business ethics, ethics sage, interpersonal behavior in the workplace, interviewing skills, letters of recommendation, oral communication skills, personal responsibility, workplace ethics advice, written communications skills

Should You Write that Letter of Recommendation for a Colleague or Friend?

The other day I received an e-mail from a reader who asked for guidance in determining whether to write a letter of recommendation for a co-worker who had applied for a promotion within the organization. The ethical dilemma centered on two areas: (1) the writer was listed as a source for a recommendation letter even though she was not asked in advance to do so and (2) the writer had reservations about the requester's ability to carry out the duties associated with the new position. The conflict was even greater because there the requester was a friend. Here is my answer.

My motto is honesty is always the best policy, otherwise what you say may come back to haunt you later on. What if you give a positive recommendation when you don't feel that way and he does something wrong down the road. Others may start to look at you with suspicion and question your judgment. At a minimum you should admit that the employee did not seek your agreement before using you as a reference.

Your primary obligation is to yourself -- to be honest, have integrity, and act responsibly. Second, is to your employer who trusts you to do the right thing for the company and act in its best interests. You should never allow loyalty to another person cloud your good judgment. Otherwise you may wind up doing things that are dishonest in the name of loyalty. Honesty requires full disclosure -- to not lie and to fully inform others with an ethical right to know specific information.

Requested letters of recommendation are a common problem for me as a college professor. Often a student will come to my office and request such a letter to support the application for a job in the business world. My decision whether to write such a letter rests on four considerations: (1) How long have I known the student?; (2) What was the level of academic performance of the student in my class(es)?;  (3) Does the student have the necessary skills to be successful in a career in the business world?; and (4) What, if any, observations have I formed about personal responsibility and other character traits of the student?

The first two considerations speak for themselves and are based on actual observations. It is somewhat more difficult to judge communication skills. I always include a written assignment in my course requirements to judge writing skills. The number one complaint I hear from potential and actual employers is the inability to write a coherent and well organized memorandum, an essential quality for success in the workplace. I also assign a group project where oral communication skills can be evaluated. I specifically tell students not to use expressions such "you know" and "like9quot; in their speech. These are all too often interlopers that take away from the flow of a presentation and are unprofessional. I look for eye contact, speech tone, a sense of humor, and direct response to the case questions.

The most difficult evaluation to make about one's ability to be successful in the workplace is character assessment. I can judge a student's ability to exercise due care in formulating answers and making presentations as well as the ability to meet deadlines. To some extent personal responsibility can be judged by meeting deadlines and, if I have personal contact with a student about his or her performance, I assess whether the student accepts critical comments and judgments and takes responsibility for his or her performance. Honesty can be judged as well based on these criteria. A student's work as a group member can be judged by asking other students in the group whether the student in question lived up to his or her responsibilities as a member of the group and the ability to interact with other group members. Success in the workplace is based in part on how an individual performs as a member of a team assigned a specific work project. The classroom should be used as a training ground to enhance student skills.

In closing, I ask myself whether I would be proud to defend my letter of recommendation should the prospective employer contact me and ask questions about the candidate. If I feel uncomfortable doing so, then I respectfully decline to write the letter. The last thing I want is to feel regretful for doing something that I should have known might come back to haunt me later on.

If you have any questions on this or any other workplace matter, please feel free to use the confidential process and submit a querie letter. I provide advice the same or next day. Finally, employees should remember that they build a reputation from the first day on the job and the respect shown to them by their supervisor and employer is dictated by their ethical actions and behavior.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on September 9, 2011

Cartoon reproduced with permission of Cartoon Stock

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 21, 2010

Last summer, Peter and I noticed that one of our blogging friends seemed to be posting things that were lifted from another source. They were word for word what was on another website; we considered that a serious breach of ethics.

I finally had the opportunity to ask him about these posts, telling him that I had noticed that they were the exact same thing is on some other websites. He told me that he had purchased some PLR (private label rights) articles and was using them because he didn’t have time to write anymore but wanted to keep new content on his website. I pointed out that it didn’t look right, and that when people usually use PLR articles that the idea was to modify them so that they would become one’s personal articles.

As some of you know I now offer writing and blog writing services as part of my business. With one of my blogging clients, I knew his industry really well, so I didn’t have to do much research with it. With most of the other writing that I’ve been doing, there has been a fair amount of research. What you start to find out is that as you read on the subject enough times, you start to get the feeling that you know it fairly well and can pretty much write totally original content more than half of the time without having to do any research at all.

But there are those times when you have to do some kind of research. On most topics, what I will do is think of what I want to write about, pull up four or five resources, read them all, and then start writing. If the majority of the resources quoted exact same information, then I would use that exact same information, but will alter the words if it’s possible.

Sometimes it’s not; if you have a list of things that have to go in a particular order, you’re pretty much stuck using what’s there. For instance, I once wrote an article regarding something called “revenue codes“, which is a health care term. I listed a whole bunch of numbers and descriptions, and no matter what resource I might have had to look at, those numbers and descriptions would have been the exact same everywhere.

I think when it comes to writing there has to be some kind of ethical standard that a writer has to have. It doesn’t do a writer any good to copy blocks of words from someone else’s articles without giving them attribution. One of the gripes I’ve written about often on this blog is seeing people on other blogs saying the same thing over and over that they got from another blog.

True, there may not be many new ways to say “create great content” when talking about ways to improve one’s blog or to encourage visitors to stop by, but that’s part of the essence of what writing is supposed to be about, that being creativity. I’m sure that someone else has probably written about ethical writing in the past, but I’m also betting that no one is ever written about it in quite the same way that I’m writing about it right now. That’s the kind of thing that makes us all unique.

There’s also the question of rewriting articles. Many people believe that’s unethical, because they’re taking one source and basically saying the exact same thing that someone else said only in a different way. I have kind of a different take on that one also. I have rewritten my own stuff from time to time, and as I am the original source for that information, I have no qualms about doing that rewrite.

I also think that it depends on what you’re writing as to whether doing a rewrite of something is ethical or not. For instance, if you’re writing something about a new story you read, and you can only find that information in one place, I don’t think there’s anything unethical in writing that in a different way; after all, that’s news, and it’s what all the major newspapers around the country do when they get those newsfeeds from places such as the AP and Reuters. I do that on my finance blog all the time, although I also didn’t comment on those stories which make them unique.

What are your thoughts on ethical writing? Do you think I’m too strict, too lenient, or something else? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wilson was acquitted of raping an unconscious 17-year-old girl, but convicted of aggravated child molestation of a 15-year-old girl. The legal issues in the case and the ultimate appellate court decision that freed Wilson after serving two years of his 10-year sentence are posted here and here. [Tracie Powell, Poynter]

Journalist Tracie Powell reflected on the piece (now deleted) as a case study of how writers should and shouldn’t cover sexual assault. Two guidelines she suggests are particularly relevant to the Gawker piece:

  • Be specific with language.
  • Cover all sides of the story.

    With these points in mind, I second Ta-Nehisi Coates: this article was a huge failure of journalistic ethics, by Jefferson as well as his editors, AJ Delaurio and Emma Carmichael. I have many questions about the choices they made on this piece.

    1) Why did Delaurio and Carmichael accept this pitch? And why did Jefferson want to write this piece?

    Cord Jefferson says this is the first time he’s ever written about rape. Frankly, it shows.

    I never expected the pedophilia piece to be beloved by many people. When I touched on the topic last year, one of my coworkers told me directly that she wouldn’t be reading “that trash.” When I told my friends Amanda and Megan I was working on it, they both balked and warned me that I would probably have to live forever with the Google suggestion “cord jefferson pedophile.” …I knew the story would make some people loathe me, and others loathe me more. I knew other writers would fire off angry screeds about what I wrote. I knew people would unfollow me on Twitter and Tumblr. I knew there was a good chance I would hurt people’s feelings. If I’m being honest, I started to let all the fear around the whole thing goad me on—I wanted to be the kid who went into the haunted house while all my naysaying classmates stood and watched from the sidewalk. - Jefferson

    I’m quite curious to know how Jefferson got it into his head that this was a story he in particular needed to tell. He pursued it with a tenacity that’s inexplicable given that he’s never covered sexual violence (though he had interviewed one of the scientists he profiled before). Why was he so convinced of his ability to write this piece?

    2) Why was there so little consideration of sexual abuse survivors’ perspectives?

    The blowback was mostly what I expected…I had anticipated people saying the doctors and I were wrong, and that all pedophiles should “go to the therapy of Smith & Wesson,” as one commenter put it. I had anticipated people telling me to kill myself. I had anticipated people writing off the studies I referenced as junk science. I had even anticipated molestation survivors writing me to tell me how insensitive the piece was.

    Jefferson was convinced (dare I say determined?) that his piece would shock and infuriate people, including survivors. Why? Did he think it was impossible to write a piece about the human rights of pedophiles without people “loathing” him, or without coming across as “insensitive” to survivors?

    When I looked at the lede of my pedophile piece…I never imagined how hard to read that would be for someone who’d lived through molestation…I’ll admit that I wrote and read [it[ the way a guy who was never molested would write and read [it].

    This much is obvious. The absence of any real consideration for survivors is pervasive.

    It's not easy to listen to Terry talk about the time he had sex with a seven-year-old girl. But after his psychotherapist put us in touch, he agreed to lay it all out for me during a phone call and email, and I was enthralled the way one might stare at a man falling from a bridge.

    Jefferson writes about childhood sexual abuse (CSA) from a remove - it seems almost abstract to him. Perpetrators are more real people in his piece than survivors. There’s a lack of inquisitiveness about the lives and experiences of victims, a lack of identification with them that’s viscerally horrifying when Jefferson goes to such lengths and lurid detail to get readers to identify with pedophiles, and equates them every oppressed group he can think of.

    The old adage is that the true mark of a society is how it treats the weakest in its ranks. Blacks, women, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and others are still in no way on wholly equal footing in America. But they're also not nearly as lowly and cursed as men attracted to children.

    By any common sense reckoning, it is not men “attracted” to children who are the “weakest” in our society; it’s children who are sexually exploited and abused. I’m confident that Jefferson would agree if asked to speak directly to this point. But in this piece he seems to have gotten so caught up in hand-wringing over the plight of pedophiles that he lost sight of survivors of CSA.

    3) What research did they do to substantiate the comparisons of the marginalization of pedophiles to the racial, gender, and sexual oppression?

    Without evidence to justify it, Jefferson’s claims that pedophiles are more “lowly” and “cursed” than “Blacks, women, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and others” is nothing more than lazy sensationalism. It’s particularly egregious given that children with these marginalized identities, especially girls of color and queer and/or trans youth of color, are at much higher risk of sexual abuse and exploitation than children outside these groups. Jefferson’s failure to consider victims in his reductive argument kept him ignorant of the intersectionality of identities and oppressions in CSA.

    4) What did Jefferson and his editors hope to add to the conversation about CSA?

    Somatic Strength, a survivor of CSA and incest, has written that people frequently and without proof extrapolate from the idea that pedophiles can’t be rehabilitated to assuming they can’t control themselves around children, or that they really believe their actions are innocent and consensual.

    5) Did Jefferson and his editors make any effort to determine what best practices for writing about child sexual abuse are? Did they consider how their language and story choices fit with other reporting or the current climate re: sexual violence, and how that’s been commented on by survivors or advocacy groups?

    Between Jerry Sandusky, the Catholic hierarchy, the GOP’s war on sexual and reproductive rights, and other stories, the media has been full of stories about sexual violence and the language different groups use to describe it. Just in the past month there’s been furor over Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and Father Benedict Groeschel’s assertion that children can be “seducer[s]” in cases of sexual abuse. Advocates for survivors have decried the unfortunate decision of many media outlets to call rape and sexual abuse scandals “sex scandals,” as though unfaithful politicians are on the same level of offense as a Jerry Sandusky.

    “How you tell the story of exactly who is the harm-doer and what is the nature of the harm matters…Using a term that conveys pleasure when you’re describing a crime is always wrong, but particularly when there’s a child involved and especially when it’s highly erotic. It’s just the wrong descriptor.” [Poynter]

    When a major news outlet describes a high-profile case of convicted rape and sexual assault as a “sex scandal,” that blurs the boundaries between the public perception of rape and sex and both glamorizes and sensationalizes the serious crime being described. When an internationally renowned paper describes a Ugandan rape survivor as “beautiful, sitting there with her scarred cinnamon brown skin,” or tells how “her lips shine with a natural gloss” and her legs look “polished,” it confuses sexuality and sexual assault, and encourages readers to objectify and sexualize her as a survivor of rape. [Women Under Siege]

    My thinking was that no sex with a prepubescent child can be considered consensual, meaning if you’re talking about sex (read: intercourse) with a kid, you’re automatically talking about rape. - Cord Jefferson

    Question: if you’re “automatically talking about rape,” how is that a reason to not use the word rape? Rape is the accurate and honest term.

  • “attempting to rape a minor” vs. “attempting to have sex with a minor.”
  • “decided to groom a 7 year old with the ultimate goal of raping her” vs “began a sexual relationship” with that 7 year old.

    They can’t really believe there’s no material difference between using these words because lack of consent is implied.

    [The response] I didn’t expect was being branded a ‘rape apologist.’…I do not believe that I published 3,500 words of ‘rape apologia,’ and the claims that I did were what really kept me tossing and turning in bed last night. …Did I defend rape? Absolutely not, and many, many people, some of them survivors, have written to me or commented to say that, to them, my intended message was conspicuous.” - Jefferson (Emphasis mine)

    I wish my editors and I had been more aware of all this beforehand, because I believe we would have changed a lot of that language. Alas. I think we handled the lede and the headline poorly, and for that I really do apologize…

    If I had to write ‘Born This Way’ all over again, I think the ways in which I’d change my approach are pretty obvious. But I’d still write it and publish it…[I got an email] from a man who said that, after decades of being attracted to young boys and not acting on that attraction, he read my piece and is finally ready to talk to someone about his problem…maybe knowing there are people in this world who don’t think he’s a disgusting animal changed the course of his life and his unrealized victims’ lives forever. I just wish I hadn’t hurt people to possibly help others. - Jefferson (Emphasis mine)

    Jefferson has made a partial apology. I don’t question its sincerity. I also don’t believe he intended to write rape apologism (I mean really, how many people would?). It’s nevertheless what he did. I’d put it to him that if he’s fully committed to his intention to avoid rape apologism, he’d do well to try to understand why people are calling his piece that and work to do better in the future.

  • Black Women’s Blueprint - works on issues affecting black women in general, including sexual abuse and other sexual violence

    T.F. Charlton is a former evangelical Christian, recovering academic, spouse to a pink-haired musician, and mama to a wise-cracking (almost) 4-year old. She's the founder of the religion and gender blog Are Women Human?, where she blogs as "Grace," and a writer and commentator on media and culture from a black, Nigerian American, queer feminist perspective. Say hi to her on Twitter at @graceishuman.

    This is a really mindful and sensitive article. Thanks for sharing it. As someone who was abused I find myself always qualifying my experience at age 11 (I escaped my attacker before it escalated to rape) rather than accepting it for what it was and by extension expecting others to accept it for what it was.

    I think the absence of clear language and transparency about what these adults do to children puts those of us who were abused in a cage of ambiguity and self doubt, and that's a second level of victimization. Thanks for calling child sexual abuse exactly what it is, we need more of that not less.

    [. ] can read the whole thing at PhD in Parenting. I’ll also be saying more soon about the shoddy science reporting in the piece, so stay [. ]

    Thanks so much for this. I was absolutely horrified by the piece, and his refusal to listen or understand why makes me deeply uneasy.

    Amazing response. Thank you so much. Let's hope Jefferson reads it.

    [. ] Consent” from Ta-Nehsi Coates (one of my favourite contemporary writers) and this, “The Ethics of Writing About Sexual Abuse” from @graceishuman (one of my favourite people on Twitter and a kick-arse writer, too). These [. ]

    Thank you for this wonderfully sensible response.

    Here because of Blue Milk's recommendation ( I learn a lot from following her links). Thank you for articulating the thought process that should have happened before Cord Jefferson's piece was written or published (helping me understand what the piece lacked, in addition to what it got very, very wrong) and your clear conclusion, which should be required reading for anyone who identifies as a journalist.

    [. ] to leave my thoughts on the science reporting in Cord Jefferson’s piece out of the post at PhD in Parenting. It was already long enough, and it made sense to keep it focused on Jefferson’s approach and [. ]

    All I can say is wow. Good post.

    [. ] On the ethics of writing about sexual abuse. [. ]

    As someone who was sexually molested by my grandfather as a toddler and am, more than 65 years later, still trying to understand how my grandfather (the only male in my family I felt safe with) could do such a thing to me, I would really like to understand what this writer believes make men do such things. My grandfather was an evangelical Christian, highly respected in his community, and when I tried to "tell", I was shunned with disgust by the family who told me he was a fine Christian gentleman and I was a dirty little girl with a vivid imagination. I saw the hatred and disgust in their eyes and was made to believe that it was my fault that it happened, and more than 65 years later I still "feel" that way though I know it can't be true. I haven't read this man's article, but I would give anything to understand what makes a man do such things to a child, and how he feels while he is doing them. I am still struggling with the feelings that it must have been my fault it happened, but another part of me feels that can't be true either, though many of the memories are vivid, and I suspect my own mother (and maybe her sisters) were abused in the same way. Nobody in the family ever talked about it, and everyone lived the lie.

    Thanks for the insightful article. What are readers' and CSA survivors' takes on the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov?

    I tried to read it because it's a "classic," but wound up having a panic attack on an airplane and throwing the book across the aisle while hyperventilating/crying.

    grace, thank you for this important and careful take-down. that gawker piece was horrifying, and your perspective is much needed.

    annie, i appreciate your hosting this conversation.

    I tried to read it, and got maybe a chapter or two in before I couldn't take it any more. I'll take any horror movie over listening to Humbert Humbert's creepy view of the world. (And I'm not even a CSA survivor.)

    My impression is that Nabokov wanted to take us inside the mind of a paedophile, and, though I'm not an expert, I think he succeeded. If his goal was to make us like and sympathise with his protagonist, he failed utterly, at least with me. I found him repulsive, and I never got to the point where he meets the girl he insists on calling Lolita.

    "Reading Lolita in Teheran" has an interesting take on Humbert's behavior. E.g., that his insistence on calling her "Lolita" instead of her name is one of the ways in which he erases her identity and replaces it with his own idea of who she should be.

    What an incredibly well-written, forensic dissection of Jefferson's piece and his privilege. I read a lot about privilege, the rape culture and other horrors of our world, but the clarity of this piece really stands out. Thank you.

    This was phenomenal. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    [. ] A reaction to a Gawker article about pedophiles : The Ethics of Writing About Sexual Abuse:Gawker and Cord Jefferson [. ]

    Your article outlines why ethics is so important, but everyone does not have the same ethics. People need more tolerance of each other and try to learn other cultures.

    A stirring piece of in-depth writing. Thank you. Unfortunately, Cord Jefferson is and always has been unbelievably dense and unbearable. He is THE reason I stopped buying GOOD magazine, after a number of inexcusable pieces. Looks as if he is getting worse, not better. Ugh.

    [. ] an exception with Gawker and other Gawker Media properties. This is the same outlet that gave Cord Jefferson the greenlight to write an article that sexualized the rape of a 7 year old girl and was extremely [. ]

    " I’d put it to him that if he’s fully committed to his intention to avoid rape apologism, he’d do well to try to understand why people are calling his piece that and work to do better in the future."

    Bravo. His "apology" seems perfunctory and backhanded, and Jefferson's persistent inconsistencies reveal more about his intent than any backpedal.

    dear anon who lived something almost the same as what i lived;

    there are myriad reasons why people [not just men, despite the over-riding belief that only men molest and rape children. ] do this, but it really is the same reason for rape in general:

    i.e. the person raped - adult or child, male or female - is NOT A REAL PERSON WITH RIGHTS AND FEELINGS IN THE EYES OF THE RAPIST.

    it is WORSE when it is a child, since our culture IN GENERAL seems to feel that children are PROPERTY, owned by their prants and families.

    and is further exacerbated by the lack of agency children have, the lack of communication skills, coping skills, and lack of ability to make a "NO!" stick

    a rapists desires to rape. he/she finds a person they feel they can get away with raping. they rape the person. they will absolutely try to "justify" it, in the worst, most disgusting, victim blaming ways. and people will tend to accept these justifications, for reasons ranging from fear ["well, then, if i don't do X and Y and Z that was the "reason" he raped him, then *I* don't have to worry bout being raped, right?"] to misplaced weird guilt ["if she really raped someone for "no reason", then i'm friends with an evil rapist! my judgement can't be that bad! therefor, she isn't a real rapist!."] add in things like "he did it to me, and *I* wasn't so stupid/immature/selfish/evil/[lucky]" as to tell" and you begin to grasp why this is an endemic problem.

    IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! if you didn't have the ability and agency to refuse to eat your veggies, what makes ANYONE think you had the ability and agency to stop a grown man from doing things like this to you?

    like myself, you DID WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE - you told other adults, WHOSE JOB IT WAS TO PROTECT YOU FROM PREDATORS, INCLUDING YOUR RAPIST. [sadly, also like me, they BLAMED YOU. because it's easier to blame the victim, who is inherently seen as weak because s/he has already been preyed upon, while the TRUE person with blame is the predator, who is already proved to be "strong" by attacking the victim. dear gods, is our culture SICKSICKSICK]

    the people who rape are master-level geniuses at removing the humanity of those they rape. as children, our humanity is was already suspect, because we weren't adults, with the rights and responsibilities of adults, with the education and life-experience of adults. as girls, our humanity was already suspect, by sheer "virtue" of the fact that we are female, have vaginas and vulvas and uteruses [i apologize if words of this nature discomfit you - i'm doing my best to not use my normal cussing levels - i'm strangely enamored of many, many cuss words, and as a 35-y-o woman, it's strange that i cuss more than either a teen or a sailor, but i'm trying to not!] i could expound for DAYS on why being female is a crime [and for an equal length of time on why being a child is a crime] but these are, i think, a given [though if you want to discuss it more, my email is denelian at yahoo dot com]

    there is the added irony and sin that it was well-known "Christian" man who did this to you - "CXhristian" because he went to church and was known to "practice" the Christian faith [practice DOES NOT make perfect!] people forgetting the very words Jesus said. ["As you do to the least of these - the children"] the hypocrisy of religion allows people to hide from the mistakes and crimes of their co-religionist; "of course Bob didn't do that - he's a good Christian/Muslim/Jew/Hindu/Buddist/Shintoist/etc". i bet they ALSO gave you BS about "not spreading lies and hate and gossip and evil" right? the APPEARANCE of evil [TALKING ABOUT an evil that occured] is almost always considered worse THAN THE ACTUAL EVIL DEED THAT HAPPENED. why? well, to start, there's fear - fear that if it's talked about, it will happen more, fear that if person A protests evil commited against a victi, then the perpetrator of the en attavk person A. the continued guilt of "but i'm friends with [evildoed]!" and weird ideals like "if a Christian [or other religion] person can do this, does it mean Christianity [or other religion] IS WRONG?! because we're taught to not do eil, but evil happened, so. " and the added, SPECIFIC issue of Christianity that is ONLY applied in cases like THIS; the "Though Shall Not Judge" because Judging is God's province - people will judge EVERYONE AND E4VERYTHING ELSE! BUT! bring out a person who has done SPECIFIC AND CALCULATED EVIL LIKE *THIS*, and all the sudden! they can't judge. which goes along with the weird idea that sex is sinful, but ONLY on the part of the person who "was penetrated" [i don't know how better to phrase that - generally, sex is ONLY sinful for the woman involved, or the person who plays the "woman's role" in sex] the AGGRESSOR in sex, the person who persues it, or the rapist if it's rape as opposed to consensual, isn't the one to blame. there's that whole "I couldn't help it, i was TEMPTED!" mindset, BS that it is, and so the person at fault MUST be the one who was "pretty" or "sexy" or in a mini-skirt, or who is male but looks faintly feminine to the rapist, or whatever. t goes back to the continued BS about Eve and the apple, and is INCREDIBLY insulting to men as much as to women, but there you are: sex is ALWAYS the fault of the woman/penetrated partner, and rape EVEN MORE SO, because gods forbid we expect MEN [and women, but this is mostly applied to me] ADULT!, to CONTROL THEMSELVES! they're only men, you see, and if they're "tempted", the problem isn't that they have the self-control of a 2-year-old-with-an-addiction-and-impulse-control-problem, no! the PROBLEM is them evil, evil temptresses and temptors, who need to stop with tempting and such! wear more clothing! cover it up! don't walk sexy! don't breath deep! don't turn that way! i can't control myself, i must control you to make sure *I* don't commit any sin because you look so damned rape-able!

    it's sick and it's wrong and it's VERY un-Christian [and every other religion!] and is one of the BIGGEST, if not *THE* biggest, problems with Patriarchy [kychiarchy? however it's spelled. discussion for another day/time]

    and it won't go away until EVERYONE, or at least the majority, starts to blame the people who are actually AT FAULT - the rapist, the molestor, the harrasser, the assulter. it's NEVER the victim's fault - i don't care if i walk down main street naked as birth, NO ONE has the right to touch me without my express, enthusiastic consent. until THAT is the standard, until we stop hearing "well, he shouldn't have raped her, but SHE shouldn't have worn that, in that place, at that time, while drinking, and then talked to him. " it wll continue.

    i am so sorry that this happened to you, too. i'm sorry for little-girl you, betrayed not only by her grandfather but also by the rest of her family, her friends, her church, her community and her society; i am sorry for growing-up-girl you, who had labor under the twin stigmas imparted by this evil; i am sorry for adult you, continuing to struggle and question "was it really my fault, after all?" despite the fact that it is NEVER the victim's fault, despite all the work that has proved that ALL abusers try [and, sadly, mostly suceed] to convince their victims that it WAS their fault ["i'm sorry i beat you, but you made me SO MAD! don't do that and i won't hit you!" utter BS they'll FIND reasons to abuse, and then find reasons it was "your" fault, and it never was your fault and it was ALWAYS them looking for reasons] i'm sorry for now-you, STILL questioning and hurting! sorry you never got justice, never got support, never ever got "forgiveness" for the "crime" of having a person with power over you decide to abuse it. that you've probably been told all your life that *YOU* need forgiveness! when you don't [not for this. ] and also that you've probably been told by OTHERS that you "HAVE" to forgive him! like it's ever that simple! by the tenets of Christianity, you have to TRY - but you're only human. [presming you are Christian. not everyone is. i'm not. but if you are, i'll say again - you do NOT have to. by the book, what Jesus said - everyone fails, give it to God. God understands. TRY to forgive, *IF* you have it in you. don't beat yourself up if you can't. GOD LOVES YOU. no matter WHAT religion one is, or none - God loves you. period. even atheists :D though i don't tell them that *G*]

    and again - if you want/need to talk to someone who went through similar stuff, you can email me. though it would probably also be very useful to you to get counseling. it is NEVER too late to try to come to terms with it, to try and heal.

    The sanctified division between pederasty and other forms of abuse is part of the reason why nothing changes, children get murdered to cover up lesser crimes and children (like me) end up being the only people to be exposed to the realities of their abuser's psychological condition and isolation-and we get drawn into that isolation with them and have to deal with it on our own.Society should take responsibility for men who are attracted to children by responding to them in a way that encourages them to seek help in the surety of being treated compassionately and pragmatically-we should be solution oriented. If I hear one more person on the media saying 'I just want children to know it isn't their fault' my head' my head will literally explode! Is there one person out there who was abused who is helped by all this cliched victim-speak? If anything it just suggests to me that there is a possibility that it was my fault-or that what really matters, still, is whose fault it was. The reality of my vulnerability as a child (and as an adult) is quashed by this neat little one size fits all statement-and worse, my vulnerability seems a complex things now-too complex for anyone who deals in cliches to bother trying to understand. It is a matter of my individuality-my specific circumstances which like any other life are characterized by ambiguity, ambivalence and division. Yes I did seek out the attention-I enjoyed it and was also terrorised by it-pat reassurances turn my unique experience-one of the primary sources of meaning in my life into a fracking mid-day movie replete with fuzzy camera angles and children's school yard songs as a sound track.

    Every article like the one above adds to a discourse in which victims are encouraged to set their suffering apart from the rest of the world's-child sexual abuse is this special category-its victims are special cases who can never fully share their pain. Anyone who deviates from the dogma and generalisation becomes a focus for this hunger to condemn. I mean did anyone even bother to read Anomynous's post properly? She said that I would give anything to understand what makes a man do such things to a child, and in our eagerness to tow the party line her voice is smothered-again. She will only have a chance at understanding what led to her victimisation if people are encouraged to speak honestly and freely-then we might have a chance at raising a generation who experience the wonders and terrors of sex in a reasonably healthy, non-violent way. Lots of people who have not been sexually abused can understand the internalisation of the pressure to never acknowledge an adult's transgressive behaviour-and the madness and circular shame that is part of the conditioning of abuse in general-and is there anyone in the world who has not been abused as a child in some way-at home or in school? it is the norm, not the exception.. The puritanical, 'special' approach to pederasty grows out of the same puritanical approach to sex that drives pederasts-and that drives them underground. It mirrors the 'specialness' that children are sometimes encouraged to feel as part of the abuse. I find it not only unhelpful-but its part of the lip service and fake moral division that isolates children and ensures that nothing will ever change-reading articles like this makes me feel hopeless, frustrated and isolated-like a blob with a label on.

    Also Nabakov's Lolita is a masterpiece-what's the point of saying 'it wasn't your fault even if you enjoyed it' if we are compelled to deny that for some of us those early sexual experiences, even though painful-or perhaps because they were so painful and intense-have become the essential, central iconography of our sexual identities? I actively seek out literary accounts of child/adult sexual relations, including violent ones, I need a sexual outlet for my dis-ease. I am not attracted to children but my own sexual identity is inextricable from my child self.

    I have to see myself as a child, with an adult, usually old, male who has power over me, to get off-so that;s that-the end of my rant and my contribution to a more enlightened society.

    PS There is a difference between a 'real' pedophile and a man who is an opportunist and has 'poor boundary issues' in the jargon of the day-it is the difference between systematic abuse and sloppy opportunism and I think you'll find that a lot of people who were abused as children end up experiencing both-and can see the difference-zero tolerance policies have never been effective in a war on anything-is there some underlying reason that society doesn't want to get real on this issue?

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