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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:42 AM   #37
Edx's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 5,642
Interesting, but I just read the article in question in Penthouse and it is still not what you are painting it as. This was not an article written by him, he is being quoted in an article and at various times he isn't being quoted directly. Penthouse was not always "pornographic" and to characterise it as that is just to demonise and imply that the article as being far more overtly sexual that it was. This is from wiki, a Penthouse cover from 1969 and here's one from 1977. Apparently in 1998 there was a move to more hardcore porn content and to be less of a general mens magazine that happened to show some girls in it. More like the equivalent of Cosmo or maybe a magazine like FHM so its not exactly scholarly reporting but certainly not "pornographic" either.

We also have to assume the quotes are verbatim and characterised accurately. It seems to me that he was being academic in his reporting, as far as I can tell. He seemed to be saying that when talking to those who experienced incest in their childhood many of them didnt seem to be as negatively affected as we would think or assume they would be, and in a small minority of cases (6 out of 200) that it even seemed to be a positive experience. He is also skeptical of reports from fathers, the article writes, "However, Farrell has become increasingly skeptical of reports from fathers, for they are seldom confirmed by daughters". It also quotes him as saying that he is afraid of printing his findings as it might lead to more abuse from men towards women by misrepresenting what he found, ""In a society where men are powerful and exploitive and insensitive to women's feelings, which is reinforced by female adaptiveness and a daughter's lack of power, data like these can be used as an excuse for the continuation and magnification of that exploitation. When I consider that, I almost don't want to write the book." He says that therapists often tell those who experienced incest that they were definitely damaged by it no matter what, this may not always be the best approach and could even cause problems, " I'm finding that thousands of people in therapy for incest are being told, in essence, that their lives have been ruined by incest. In fact, their lives have not generally been affected as much by the incest as by the overall atmosphere...As soon as society gets into the picture, they have to tell themselves it was bad. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy."" In other words, his view is that the "overall atmosphere" toward incest can be more damaging to someone than the actual acts themselves and so this should be taken into account when dealing with those who have experienced it.

Its also worth pointing out that Farrell was still considered a well regarded feminist at the time so in that sense I guess we must also say that feminism was also promoting incest, if we're going to use this logic. Only when his views started to drift from their own did they realise they needed to find something on him they could use against him.

I also found this in response to peoples allegations of him promoting incest:

Dear Lindsay,

Thank you for the forwarded material from Elizabeth Kates (aka Liz,
<>), Trish Wilson (aka Asherah, <>) and
from Martin Dufresne (<>) that concerned false
claims about me and what I am falsely alleged to have said.

Please respond to them by placing the following on the net:


Dear Elizabeth Kates (aka Liz), Trish Wilson (aka Asherah) and Martin

Your inquiry on the net has been called to my attention. I am stunned
by your suggestion that I would approve of fathers genitally caressing
daughters, or anything to that effect. I do not approve of any form of
father-daughter sexual contact. And I have not approved of that in the
past. If anyone has quoted me to that effect, she or he has misquoted

Now that you know that, I will consider any future statements to the
contrary as libelous.

Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

Thank you also, Lindsay, for your additional email notices about NOW.
You may post the following where it is relevant:

I am responding to questions concerning my background with NOW in New
York City. I always represent myself as having been on the board of
directors of the National Organization for Women in New York City; I
have never represented myself as being on the national board, because
I wasn't.

The reasons I left the board of NOW are very different from the
reasons I began to part company politically. I left when my ex-wife
became a White House Fellow in 1973-'74 and we moved from New York
City to Washington, DC. I left my positions at NOW in New York City
and at Rutgers University (Newark, NJ), where I was teaching at the
time. I continued to do benefits for NOW until the late '70s or early
'80s, even after I was disagreeing with some of their positions.

My parting company with NOW politically is much more complex. I am
still a member of NOW and still support any portion of the feminist
movement that empowers women. I make that clear in both Why Men Are
The Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power.

I oppose NOW primarily when they express beliefs that suggest men's
propensity for earning more money is a result of male privilege rather
than men's greater obligation in this arena. And I oppose
male-bashing, distorting statistics, or developing one-sided policies
such as a battered woman syndrome without a battered man syndrome and
a Violence Against Women act without a Violence Against Men act, or
the option of joining the armed services without the obligation to
register for the draft. In brief, I oppose honing victimhood as a fine
art and feminism becoming the one-party system of gender politics.
Similarly, I would oppose my supporters being a one-party system of
gender politics.

My parting company with NOW was evolutionary, not sudden. It had many
prongs, most of which I express in Why Men Are The Way They Are and
The Myth of Male Power. However, the beginnings of my parting company
politically were rooted especially in my being appalled that many NOW
chapters around the country were opposing joint custody as the
starting presumption in child custody matters. To me, their opposition
was contradicting a core feminist position of encouraging women to be
involved more in the workplace and encouraging men to be involved more
in the home.
Rights and responsibilities always go hand-in-hand, so if
we want to encourage men to have equal responsibilities in the home,
we must give them equal rights to the children. (I would similarly
oppose expecting women to participate in the workplace without giving
them equal rights to workplace opportunities.)

Supporting these positions of equality should never be dependent upon
having children, whether it be for me or for Gloria Steinem, who also
has not had children. As any reader of Why Men Are The Way They Are
would know, I was a stepparent at the time I wrote that book, and for
a second time during the past four years. Children have been an
important part of my life, both as a camp counselor and camp director,
and as a boy whose baby brother grew up during my teen years. Each of
these experiences has offered insights and perspectives, but fighting
for children to have the right to both parents is something we should
all be fighting for, no matter what our background or ideology. To me,
this is not a father's issue, but a children's issue, and feminists
should be among the strongest supporters.

I am aware that personal attacks are a way of getting people to not
read what I have written, or to not believe what they read. Rather
than allow others to censor what we read by side-tracking us, I invite
anyone with an open mind to check out The Myth of Male Power in its
entirety, debate its arguments, and examine its hundreds of sources
personally. This book is meant to deepen our discussion of the issues,
not create a cult of personality.

Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

Last edited by Edx; 3rd December 2012 at 05:42 AM.
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