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By Ilya Shambat
Expert Author Ilya Shambat
Listening to “Janie’s Got a Gun,” I came to thinking about the ways in which incest should be dealt with. Right now, most cases of incest never reach the courts or the social services, as the families hide them. With pedophilia (when someone has sex with someone else’s child), everyone wants to kill the perpetrator. But incest, which has been shown to have worse effects than pedophilia, is protected within the family unit .
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I’ve known more people to whom incest happened than I’ve known people who have been guilty of incest. The people who were guilty of incest did not strike me as being much different from other people. Whether the reason for their actions was lack of self-control, drug use, possessiveness, greed, sexual frustration or mental illness, there was nothing from their demeanor that immediately demonstrated to me that they were guilty of incest .
Someone I know who is an experienced social worker told me that women to whom incest has happened have a certain glint in their eyes and that they can be spotted on that basis. Whereas with incest perpetrators, there does not appear to be a litmus test. The psychological profiling, like racial profiling, does not do much more than enshrine discrimination against people of whom many are completely innocent. There needs to be a more precise way to test for such things .
It is only in the last two decades that people became aware of the prevalence of incest. Freud, the founder of psychology, was completely clueless on this subject. He mistook women’s memories of sexual abuse for erotic fantasy. On the basis of this wrong analyses, he made three disastrous corollary analyses that have had horrible effects on the world: That children are sexual, that women are an incomplete gender possessing of penis envy, and that children are in love with the parent of the opposite gender and that love in adulthood is transference of that love. All completely and utterly untrue. Yet many people who think themselves intelligent individuals believe this crap .
If children were sexual, then I, as a parent, would have known about it. Among women, there are some who act tomboyish and others who act feminine, and both appear to be happy with how they are. And, given that women raised by single mothers, men raised by single fathers, and people raised without either the father or the mother, develop feelings of love in adulthood when they did not have a transference figure in their childhood, Freud’s claim about love was obviously untrue .
Back to the original subject. Given that incest has happened to 30% of girls and 10% of boys, there is not enough space in prisons to hold everyone who has been guilty of it. Right now, the prisons are stuffed with people who shouldn’t be there at all – people who’ve smoked crack or sold pot or had sex for money. Ending the wrongful wars on drugs and prostitution would make room for real offenders, instead of using unconstitutional prohibitions of substances and activities to fill the prisons with people who have done nothing that should be against the law .
What really stands in the way of effective prosecution of incest is the institution of family. Many people see family as sacrosanct and do not want to see families broken up over the father’s behavior, however vile his behavior may be. My response is that a good father and a good family man would not be committing incest; and the man who does is not a good father or a good family man. In this situation at least, the institution of family gets used to support only the worst among men. And that is hardly a sacrosanct cause .
Is, as some people claim, family as such is the problem? Absolutely not. But family has to be done in a way that is honorable and that does not allow this kind of misconduct. The sanctity of family is profaned by being used to excuse such things as incest and domestic violence. The people who want family to be sacrosanct would behave rightfully while in the family. And the men who choose to behave like scumbags have no business using the sanctity of the family unit to hide their crimes .
It is this sanctity of family that makes it much harder to prosecute incest than it is to prosecute pedophilia. And what many people do not understand is that, if the idea of the sanctity of family gets used to hide ugly crimes, then the idea of the sanctity of the family gets profaned. And that ends up hurting all sorts of people, including the better fathers who would never dream of raping their children and who exercise self-control and do not batter their wives .
Incest and family must be separated from one another. One is a crime; the other is a workable unit. If a man chooses to abuse his parental authority to this extent, then he does not deserve to have a parental authority. To truly save family it is necessary to stop the wrong things that go on in families. And that means especially incest and domestic violence .
So if one is actually big on family, he would do what he needs to do in order to prevent these kinds of crimes. Family is fine; incest isn’t. To actually support the family lifestyle, one will confront wrongful practices that take place in families. And then family would actually deserve to be seen as sacrosanct, and family values would actually have meaningful currency in the world .