i found it!

i said:

“robin fox, for instance, in The Tribal Imagination (and, i suppose, in his incest book, but i haven’t read that) mentioned that, in father-daughter incest cases, the majority of those relationships are initiated by the daughter.”

redzengenoist asked for a reference, which then i couldn’t find — but now i found it! and it goes to show — you should always ask for a reference! from The Tribal Imagination [pg. 152]:

“In both stories the initiator is the girl, like Lot’s daughters. This is far from the ‘patriarchal’ situation usually envisaged with dominant males sexually exploiting helpless females, as Amnon and Tamar. The poet sees incest as a dangerous female impulse; the men are the horrified victimes. Ovid is almost Wahhabist in his fear of female lust. But this is in line with the fact that in cases of consummated incest the female often is the initiator, and with the classical and ancient world’s depiction of women (some women) as assertive, and as taking the initiative in matters sexual.”

obviously, “often” (what fox said) does not equal “the majority” (what i remembered).

boy, do i have a lousy memory! (*hbd chick blushes*) please, please, always ask me for a reference if i haven’t given one!

(note: comments do not require an email. can’t remember anything anymore….)

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14 Comments

  1. You are a gentlewoman and a scholar. I cannot access these pages of the full text, but I’ll take your word for it.

    My personal suspicion is that if an omniscient observer could exactly quantify the extent of daughter-initiated incest, the numbers would not deserve the term “often” in the vocabularies of most people. But everyone can agree that “Robins anecdotal observations” don’t qualify as “fact” in the vocabularies of most normal people. ^_^ I think we can safely infer that he’s gathering this fact from his ass; if such incest statistics had actually been gathered, a casual googling would reveal endless citations, discussion, and monkey fascination.

    More importantly, the word “fact” wouldn’t survive 48 hours on wikipedia without a score of [citation needed] challenges arriving. I wonder whether Robins editor even noticed the impropriety of the word.

    Compared to the instant and merciless peer review of wikipedia and the HBDC blog, physical print really shows how primitive it is in this kind of light.

    Reply

  2. @redzen – “My personal suspicion is that if an omniscient observer could exactly quantify the extent of daughter-initiated incest, the numbers would not deserve the term ‘often’ in the vocabularies of most people…. I think we can safely infer that he’s gathering this fact from his ass….”

    heh! could very well be.

    he doesn’t offer any citation for where he gets this data(?) from. it’s just this one half sentence that he threw out there which stuck in my head (albeit incorrectly!!) because it was remarkable. (he’s not big into hard data, btw — at least not in The Tribal Imagination. he’s very fond of mythologies and stories and tales like the Iliad and Odyssey — all very interesting, of course, and telling — but not really hard data.)

    i’m forever giving people the benefit of the doubt, though (will i ever learn?), and the only thing i can think of is that, perhaps, he dealt with this in his book on incest and, so, he feels we should all be familiar with it (’cause he is)? dunno.

    the fact that he specified “consummated” also makes me wonder if there could be something here. -?- he’s not just talking about fathers inappropriately fondling their daughters or something — he is talking about sex.

    his incest book is not available at all on google books (at least not last time i checked — too racy for google?). santa usually drops an amazon gift-certificate in my stocking each year (as long as i’ve been good…), so maybe i’ll get a copy of the book to see if he said anything about this there.

    @redzen – “…a casual googling would reveal endless citations, discussion, and monkey fascination.”

    probably. but you never know in our modern world which is flooded with so much feminism and political correctness. we don’t hear too much about how rape stats are skewed along racial/ethnic lines, so who knows…?

    in any case, “often” is not a very clear number! and real data is definitely required!

    @redzen – “You are a gentlewoman and a scholar.”

    that’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me. thanks! (*^_^*)

    Reply

  3. @chip – “Does Fox provide a source for the ‘often’ assertion?”

    no, not at all. all there is is that half a sentence there. -?- see, though, my response to redzen above — maybe there’s more info on this in fox’s incest book.

    oh! robin fox does have a blog of sorts. i guess we could just go over there and ask him! (^_^)

    Reply

  4. I just wrote to him. Your curiosity is infectious. ^_^

    “but you never know in our modern world which is flooded with so much feminism and political correctness. we don’t hear too much about how rape stats are skewed along racial/ethnic lines, so who knows…?
    This is a fair point.

    In the case of rape stats in fx. Denmark, the collection by the police of “ethnicity data” in conjunction with stats on violent crime was discontinued, because of PC lobbying.

    The thing is, to the extent that these stats were gathered, they are now immortalized on the net, and a recurrent staple of discussions on immigration, though I needn’t tell you that they’re never cited in the media. Of course, it goes without saying that the reason why their collection was discontinued is that they are “divisive and incendiary”, i.e. they convince the reader that he desires no social cohesion.

    My roundabout point is, despite PC suppression, the stats are cited frequently on the internet whenever people are allowed to safely argue from behind a mask of anonymity. I would expect the same to happen with incest data, despite PC suppression.

    More importantly: I can easily imagine the process for gathering violent crime data. But, incest data… argh, my head hurts even thinking about it, and the IRB discussions it would spawn. If this really got done somehow, I tip my hat to whomever pulled it off.
    Of course, it might nonetheless be true! Yet I struggle to imagine how such a statistic might reliably be gathered from the painful mess of human record. Contamination by guilt and shame and blame aside…

    Reply

  5. @redzen – “I just wrote to him. Your curiosity is infectious.”

    cool! well, it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say (hopefully he responds)!

    @redzen – “In the case of rape stats in fx. Denmark, the collection by the police of ‘ethnicity data’ in conjunction with stats on violent crime was discontinued, because of PC lobbying.”

    ugh. =/

    @redzen – “My roundabout point is, despite PC suppression, the stats are cited frequently on the internet whenever people are allowed to safely argue from behind a mask of anonymity. I would expect the same to happen with incest data, despite PC suppression.”

    yes, you’re probably right. like i said, though, i’m forever giving people the benefit of the doubt — usually without good reason. *facepalm*

    @redzen – “I can easily imagine the process for gathering violent crime data. But, incest data… argh, my head hurts even thinking about it…. If this really got done somehow, I tip my hat to whomever pulled it off. Of course, it might nonetheless be true! Yet I struggle to imagine how such a statistic might reliably be gathered from the painful mess of human record. Contamination by guilt and shame and blame aside…”

    no, would not be easy — to say the least! =/

    Reply

  6. @spandrell – “This reminds me of Psychohistory and deMause’s theory of universal incest. Ever read on that?”

    huh. no. i just took a quick peek on wikipedia. interesting … maybe. i’ll have to check it out further. thanks!

    Reply

  7. And of course, contrary to what our feminist masters say, it’s often very hard to say exactly who “initiates” sexual contact of any kind, let alone contact as hidden and shameful as incest, but male/female relationships of any kind are almost never a one way street. I’ve seen a lot of young girls kind of “flirt” with their fathers, in situations where there was no incest involved (I think…). Would this qualify as “initiating” something to Fox? I wouldn’t call it that, nor would most men, but who knows what it might mean to someone who had predispositions in that direction? I don’t have any kids, or any predispositions to pedophilia, so I can’t really say. I do know that child molesters often say that the kid wanted it, and would any girl admit to initiating sex with her father? What are the odds of finding out?

    Reply

  8. @toddy cat – “I’ve seen a lot of young girls kind of ‘flirt’ with their fathers, in situations where there was no incest involved….”

    yes, i’ve seen that, too. either you and i are both pervs, or we picked up on something that’s really there (the latter, i hope!).

    @toddy cat – “Would this qualify as ‘initiating’ something to Fox? I wouldn’t call it that, nor would most men, but who knows what it might mean to someone who had predispositions in that direction?”

    no, i wouldn’t call the kind of stuff i’ve seen as initiating anything. just girlish nonsense, really.

    Reply

  9. Women can be said to ‘initiate’ all sexual relationships because the attitude of the woman is the limiting factor; in practice no man is really going to turn a woman down (certainly not one 25 years younger than him). Incest is a special case of the principle that the female’s attitude to a particular male determines whether they will have sex.

    Mother/son incest is a lot rarer than father/daughter, and women who have sex with their sons usually have serious mental heath or sustance abuse problems.

    Reply

  10. @Sean:

    Women can be said to ‘initiate’ all sexual relationships because the attitude of the woman is the limiting factor

    Seans book of ye olde rapistes truismees yields another nugget. ^_^

    Of course, there’s truth to this. We must define not only the word “often” and the word “fact”, but also the word “initiator”!

    I agree with HBDC that I’ve seen so many cases of daughters borderline-flirting with dads, and other adult males around them, that I think it’s the norm rather than the exception, much as I think that the males reciprocate. And almost all males “play” at violence with each other. It’s just that the difference between flirt and consummation is IMHO as crucial as the difference between horseplay and murder.

    Reply

  11. @sean – “Women can be said to ‘initiate’ all sexual relationships because the attitude of the woman is the limiting factor….”

    except for rape. and i mean rape rape, not vague-and-confusing-for-everybody-concerned date rape. i’m talking about the raping and pillaging by barbarians kinda rape.

    Reply

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