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#365668 - 07/08/11 01:36 PM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: prisonerID]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6864
Loc: USA
.



Edited by pufferfish (06/21/12 12:32 AM)

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#365700 - 07/09/11 12:55 AM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: prisonerID]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I can see what you're saying, Daryl. It seems like that girl received preferential treatment, probably not because she was "cute" as I was describing before (i.e. the naturally adorable appearance of babies and children) but maybe because she was pretty--easy on the eyes. If it's the second scenario, humans are often biased against the unattractive because we're wired to gravitate more towards people who exhibit characteristics that are consistent with good health (i.e. busty women who aren't overweight, symetrical facial features, healthy hair, and on men large muscles). It's a natural selection thing. The sad fact is that the boy might have been hygiene-challenged because no one told him how to take care of himself. When I taught in the inner city, there were a few times I sat down with a particular student because some other students were complaining that he smelled bad. Yeah, it's repellent. People often don't realize the bias they have, but it's there. He didn't know that you had to shampoo your hair and then use conditioner. He just thought he could use conditioner to wash his hair. I told him I used the 2-in-1 kind. He also thought deodorant was something you used instead of taking a shower, not after taking a shower.

The young man and the young woman both had similar issues with bad conduct, but the young woman was thought of as more deserving of help because she was attractive. Were those coworkers making that decision on a conscious level? Were they aware of their bias? No, I imagine they were not aware until you made them aware. In a lot of was, I think that our brains are naturally wired to size others up based on outward appearances, because it is somehow linked to survival and choosing the right mate with the right genetics. That being said, as human beings we have the ability to rise above our baser urges. We can become aware of these instincts, and temper them with rational thought. We can learn to consider other factors besides outward appearances.

Yeah, I didn't experience any abuse in my childhood. I made that journey to adulthood without too many scars. Still, although the abuse did not happen during a formative period in my life, it doesn't mean that there aren't tons of other challenges we face when rape occurs in a life stage other than childhood. Very little is written about this from the perspective of developmental psychology. Maybe it would explain why I am still so messed up.

_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#365769 - 07/11/11 02:06 AM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: CruxFidelis]
Still Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6411
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis
...A really dear friend here who is an ASA survivor has heard time & time again from advocacy orgs and local groups that they don't have any ASA resources. I can't help but to wonder if they are simply saying to us, "BE A MAN," "WALK IT OFF." We lack cuteness, which is associated with vulnerability. Therefore, people can't wrap their minds around the fact that an adult man can be set up and made vulnerable in a sexual assault.


I'll leave out who said this but many will know him: "We see "Save The Dolphin" efforts getting out of control and proliferating our kids schools, groups, TV, etc. They have demonized the tuna fishermen who inadvertently capture the occasional Dolphin. The Dolphin typically dies and THAT is a horroible poutcome to the tuna-fishing effort. Thus, feel-good-oriented consumers have shifted their tuna-can purchases to those brands that promise "Tuna-Friendly Methods."

Why does no one give a flying flip about the poor TUNA???? Answer: Cuz they ain't CUTE!

We all new this was true about the earth's inhabitants when we were kids. We knew this shit-hole was puddlee-deep! When WE had to deal with substantial and life/death issues, the world around us was hung-up on shallow looks!

Janis Ian is a folk singer, songwriter, musician and author. Janis Ian is best known for her song At Seventeen which was a commentary on teenage angst brought about by her own insecurities in high school. Janis Ian felt ugly with her brown curly hair and brown eyes compared to the taller blonde hair cheerleaders. At Seventeen earned Janis Ian a Grammy Award.

Keep making me puke world! You've done a perfect job to date!

Sincerely: The Tuna

_________________________
Wishing You Were Here!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#366865 - 07/29/11 12:37 AM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: Still]
pufferfish Offline
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Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6864
Loc: USA
deleted


Edited by pufferfish (06/21/12 12:27 AM)

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#366879 - 07/29/11 02:58 AM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: pufferfish]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I am sorry if this thread brought up any painful memories. Your story about looking back on your parents' parenting methods is interesting. I think sometimes when abuse takes place in childhood, to some degree the survivor can be "stuck" looking at people from their past from a child's point of view... but being able to see your parents' weaknesses while at the same time, understanding that they loved you in the way they knew how, is a very mature outlook and it shows a lot of growth on your part. Cuteness aside, there is no reason for an adult to ever hurt a child the way you were hurt. No reason whatsoever.

I just want to clarify that I never meant to argue that a child's cuteness was in any way a factor in if/why they were ever abused, but rather my focus has been on how I think the lack of research & attention being paid to ASA might be a result of the fact that we were not "cute" at the time of our abuse. Perpetrators commit sexual abuse because their minds are too demented and warped to look at a child in a healthy way. It is not that you were cute when you were a child--it is that the perpetrator was disgusting and disordered.

I think it is only natural for any victim of sexual abuse/assault, whether we are talking about ASA or CSA, to wonder "Why did it happen to me? Why not someone else? Was it because I was....?" It is a way in which our minds seek to create meaning and order out of senseless acts of cruelty. My intellect desires more than anything, to find something--anything--that I could have controlled in the conditions of my assault. It wants to discover something I could have done differently. When I blame myself for what was done to me, it makes it seem like I was in control of the situation, and then it would make sense. I so want things in my life to make sense!

I'm trying to make sense out of what you say about the boyhood pictures CSA survivors have posted. Do you think that by seeing the innocence in these other photos, that somehow you are able to see that you, too, were innocent and deserving of authentic love? Maybe to some degree it helps for childhood abuse survivors to "look back" and see that they were not a "garbage pail kid."

Also, when I think of cuteness, it is not just the way a child looks. It also can describe things children do that exhibit their wonder at this new, unfamiliar world all around them. For example, I think it is adorable & cute when my son tries a new food for the first time. The wide-eyed look of delight when he first tried a blueberry, and the surprise when it ended up turning his fingers blue. Everything is so new to him, and this naivete is what should call caring adults to nurture that sense of wonder & risk-taking, preserve the child's creativity, and protect him from letting his own curiosity get the better of him. That innocence is something inherent in every child, regardless of visual appearance.

As a survivor of ASA, not CSA, I wrestle with the fact that I wasn't a cute little child--not on the outside, not on the inside. I was a mature adult, and so I beat myself up because I should have known better. It is even more disturbing when I ask myself whether "knowing better" would have even done anything, or whether that is even the issue at hand. I imagine in my head sometimes, the faces of male ASA survivors. They are just that, imaginary. Because the men we were often don't look that different from the men we are now. We are fathers, brothers, husbands, significant others, coworkers, sons, and friends, and we don't show our faces because what will it accomplish besides evoking that sense of "You, as an adult, should have known better."

_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#366910 - 07/29/11 03:47 PM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: CruxFidelis]
Rusty563 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 200
Loc: Anywhere, USA
I was 8 when I was first molested. Nothing cute. Just a scrawny kid with a large forhead. Then by 13, my looks had changed and I became "cute." A man tried to moleste me at 13 but I got away from him.

By 15, 16, and 17, the years I was sexually abused and molested, my looks had changed even more and people started calling me "cute." This mattered to me with the girls but not so much with the men that were starting to pay attention.

I can say without a doubt at least 2 of the men that abused me picked me because of my looks (I was a Twink to them.) I began to hate for men to look at me. I felt like they were eyeing me up, checking me out, plotting, planning. Even then I felt like a piece of meat.

So, yes, at the ages I was abused, looks mattered and I dispise every minute of those days. I had them buried for 30+ years and now they're back.

Quote:
"You, as an adult, should have known better."


I'm going through this phase right now and the pain and shame is overwhelming. Why didn't I say "No?" Someone one just recently told me "Would you have said "No?" The answer is "No" because I didn't have the skills to back away and run. I was raised demoralized and hated so those men took from me my dignity all for the sake of attention and a perverted type of love. There was no saying, "No."

Rusty

P.S. Because of the ages of my abuse I'm never sure if I'm ASA or CSA. I don't fit in with the usual CSA members and the ASA members were much older adults when they were abused. I've always considered my circumstances "between" even though 15 and 16 are minors and not only was I abused but my circumstances fell under statutory rape. 17 is that between age. A minor but almost adult. So sorry if you guys feel I butted in where I didn't belong. I never know where I fit in.



Edited by Rusty563 (07/29/11 04:03 PM)
Edit Reason: added text
_________________________
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDOkMSf-F14

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#366923 - 07/29/11 04:42 PM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: Rusty563]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Rusty563

P.S. Because of the ages of my abuse I'm never sure if I'm ASA or CSA. I don't fit in with the usual CSA members and the ASA members were much older adults when they were abused. I've always considered my circumstances "between" even though 15 and 16 are minors and not only was I abused but my circumstances fell under statutory rape. 17 is that between age. A minor but almost adult. So sorry if you guys feel I butted in where I didn't belong. I never know where I fit in.


15, 16 & 17 fall squarely in adolescence, and unfortunately this is a distinction not many people make. When many of us were growing up, those ages meant high school, driving a car for the first time, and getting your first job. I don't know the exact circumstances of your abuse, and you don't have to go into that if you don't feel comfortable, but it's an age where you are still discovering who you are and how you want to live your life. While a lot has been written in the field of developmental and educational psychology about adolescence, often a lot of sexual abuse literature doesn't make that distinction which is unfortunate. 150 years ago, a 17-year old could establish himself in his own trade or plot of land to farm. Perhaps he already had a wife by that point. Most of the 17-year olds I taught when I was a high school teacher were still very dependent on their parents and didn't have that kind of direction. Many theorists have argued that adolescence is getting longer, and with that, perhaps more attention should be given to this unique time in a person's life.

Another thing that blurs the line of abuse at 15, 16 and 17 is that adolescents also voluntarily enter into sexual relationships at that age, mostly with other teenagers. Whether that's a good choice is debatable, but obviously there's a big difference between having sex with your high school sweetheart and the abuse you are describing. One is voluntary, the other is predatory. That is something I think you would have in common with people who have experienced ASA as opposed to CSA. Since some of your peers were probably entering into consensual sexual relationships with boyfriends and girlfriends, it can be confusing when you are being forced/coerced into a sexual experience by someone who is older.

My cousin is a preschool teacher. She has said to me, "If these kids weren't all so cute, I would throw them out the window!!!" I said to her (back when I taught high school) "I am tempted to throw my sullen sophomores out the window, but the problem is that they are just too heavy!" Today's SAT vocabulary word of the day is... Defenestration! I guess what I'm trying to say is that adolescents aren't objectively "cute" the way children are... Children tend to become less and less cute the more self-reliant they become. This has nothing to do with physical or sexual attractiveness.



Edited by CruxFidelis (07/29/11 04:48 PM)
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#366928 - 07/29/11 06:15 PM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: Still]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11073
Loc: Denver, CO
I've been watching this thread off and on, wondering about adding a two cents. My ASA was at 19yo, possibly even 20. I never considered this a time when I would have looked "cute." The perp was in his 60s, so the wide age difference could have helped see me as some "desirable young man" which turns my stomach in retrospect. Add to it that I had all kinds of social issues and was easily-controlled, and there's the situation.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#366934 - 07/29/11 07:30 PM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: FormerTexan]
Rusty563 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 200
Loc: Anywhere, USA
Just to clarify. My abusers were adult males. I did not solicit or entice them into having sex. Each one of them came after me. I NEVER sought out a sexual partner.





Edited by Rusty563 (07/29/11 07:36 PM)
_________________________
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDOkMSf-F14

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#366941 - 07/29/11 08:17 PM Re: Cuteness and ASA [Re: Rusty563]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Rusty, I see nothing invasive about your post here and in fact I was very glad to read it. I think it is an amazing thing that we all stand here on the common ground as men who were sexually abused/assaulted. That we share something, though none of us ever wanted or sought it, that no matter who we are can bond us in a an incredible way.

Now, at the risk of offending some, I do firmly believe that is okay to go beyond the bedrock of that common ground and see that we are also of different soil. I do not see it as division to look at the variants beyond our commonalities. I can see why there was a need for a forum to serve members who were abused by women. There is a distinction between those who are gay survivors and those who struggle with SSA. Great respect is due to both sides of that coin.

There are different things to consider when it comes to the age of the victim/survivor. I know many balk at the term victim but it is where we begin I think in our recovery. It was not our fault what was done to us and therefore I am proud that today I can say I was a victim. I look at myself as a survivor today but I still was a victim that night. To refute that is to take back the blame that caused me to attempt to end my life on two occasions. I like my victim/survivor viewpoint and it works well for me.

But it is good to further explore the things that are more distinctive in male sexual abuse as well as what all share in common. I think of three areas - child, adolescent and adult. And each would benefit from further exploration by the therapeutic community. I do not see this as abandoning the commonalities that we all share but simply digging further into the finer points of individual recoveries. I know - many would say I sound like a broken record. That is okay but please know it is not a way for me to pull away from anyone here or MS itself. I believe with full conviction that this needs to be done. And to those who disagree I would challenge them to remember that at one time there were no male CSA books to differentiate from the female ones. And I see a need for adolescent emphasis as much as I do for adults. I think there is much more work to be done.

Rusty, thank you for your comments here and reminding us of this.

Crux, as usual you bring many thoughts to my mind and I echo and support what you wrote out here. Thank you for your continued comments on this thread.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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