TRISH WILSON RESPONDS TO WARREN FARRELL
Now that you know that, I will consider any future statements to the
contrary as libelous.
- If you plan on suing anyone, it should be both “Penthouse” and Nobile. You haven’t sued them, have you? To my knowledge, at no time in the past twenty some years since that article was printed have you sued either of them. Could it be because you agreed with everything you said in that interview? After all, you were asked for your views on incest, and Penthouse got them from you. I get a strong feeling that these cries of “libel” are an attempt to keep this interview under wraps.
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
- By way of the phrasing, you make it sound as if you sat on the board of directors of the NATIONAL office of the National Organization for Women (NOW), rather than a small chapter — New York City. For those not familiar with NOW, they may think that the National office was located in New York. It wasn’t. It was — and is — located in Washington, D. C.
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
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.)
- To my knowledge, NOW has not taken a formal position for or against any form of custody, including joint custody. I certainly cannot speak for NOW, since I am not a member. I have not paid my twenty-something dollar fee to join. All anyone, even Warren Farrell, need do to become a member of NOW is to plunk down that membership fee, and voila! you are a member. Money talks, you know.The rebuttable presumption for joint PHYSICAL custody, to which Farrell is referring, is preferred by fathers rights groups around the country as a means of lowering or eliminating child support payments as well as maintaining control over their ex’s via the children. It has plenty of legitimate opposition from legal groups, sociologists, domestic violence groups, and child advocates. For more information on joint custody, in particular why a rebuttable presumption for joint custody is not in the best interest of children, please go to Success!!! Joint Custody Bill Fails In Maryland!!!
and Joint Custody Is Not In The Best Interests of Children
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.
- On the contrary, I urge everyone to find a copy of that Penthouse article where Farrell makes statements such as “the incest is part of the family’s open, sensual style of life, wherein sex is an outgrowth of warmth and affection.” Funny how he keeps bringing up “The Myth of Male Power” in the Usenet letter urging everyone to read it, but will not address anything related to the Penthouse article. Yes, I know he’s been on a bit of a book tour, reading snippets from “The Myth of Male Power” as he did recently at a Border’s Books in Pentagon City. Incest: The Last Taboo – Previously Suppressed Material From The Original Kinsey Interviews Tells Us That Incest Is Prevalent And Often Positive, by Philip Nobile is available in the November, 1977 Penthouse. Stores and individuals who deal in collectibles, especially magazine collectables, should have originals available for sale. I also urge everyone to read what Farrell said about incest in “The Myth of Male Power.” Very interesting quote, indeed. I’ve included it at the close of this article.
Warren Farrell, Ph.D.
Everything quoted is verbatim from the original article. I emphasized important portions of the text in dark green for easy reading.
From Incest: The Last Taboo – Previously Suppressed Material From The Original Kinsey Interviews Tells Us That Incest Is Prevalent And Often Positive, by Philip Nobile. Originally printed in Penthouse in 1977. Farrell’s book on positive incest, “The Last Taboo: the Three Faces of Incest,” was never published. He had placed ads in the “Village Voice,” the “New York Review of Books,” “Psychology Today,” and the “New Republic” seeking, for research purposes, people who had committed incest. 200 responded.
- “When I get my most glowing positive cases, 6 out of 200,” says Farrell, “the incest is part of the family’s open, sensual style of life, wherein sex is an outgrowth of warmth and affection. It is more likely that the father has good sex with his wife, and his wife is likely to know and approve — and in one or two cases to join in.”"… [M]illions of people who are now refraining from touching, holding, and genitally caressing their children, when that is really part of a caring, loving expression, are repressing the sexuality of a lot of children and themselves. … [T]housands 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. …”
“[Dr. Paul Gebhard, then director of the Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, Indiana] is releasing Kinsey’s startling incest material for incorporation in
Warren Farrell’s work-in-progress, The Last Taboo: the Three Faces of Incest.According to the cultural gatekeepers in New York publishing, America still wasn’t ready to hear about positive incest in the mid seventies. Farrell’s impressive credentials – a Ph.D. in political science from N.Y.U., former board member of the National Organization for Women, and author of a book entitledBeyond Masculinity — counted as nothing. His forty-one-page outline (including two sizzling case histories — one with a New York Writer who has intercourse regularly with his seventeen-year old daughter, occasionally supplemented by threesomes with the daughter’s girlfriend, and another with a Notre Dame graduate who made love to his mother for ten years) was returned by twenty-two houses last fall…”
“NBC’s “Weekend visit to the Santa Clara County Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Center in San Jose will not help Farrell and [Dr. James Ramey, a sociologist who has also written positive incest material] convince anyone that incest is less than a scourge.”
“Although Farrell has personally familiarized [Hank Giaretto, director of the Santa Clara Abuse Treatment Center] with his findings on positive incest before the “Weekend” taping, Giaretto failed to temper his apocalyptism on camera.”
“Warren Farrell admires Giaretto’s rehabilitative mission among legitimate victims, for his own investigation of positive incest allows for considerable negativity, particularly in the father-daughter category. But he faults “Weekend” for its skewed perspective. “It was like interviewing Cuban refugees about Cuba. “Weekend” recorded sexually abused children speaking about their sexual abuse, which is valuable, but the inference is that all incest is abuse. And that’s not true.”
“The idea for the book struck him after reading a Times article about incest early last year. According to the piece, only a tiny fraction of the cases ever reaches the courts. In 1976 New York City police received merely one incest complaint and no arrests. Farrell wondered if perhaps some incidents weren’t reported because the relationships went smoothly. Since nothing had been written about nonpatient-nonoffender participants, he decided the gap was too large to ignore.”
“…[H]is preliminary data suggest that the taboo needs severe overhauling. Breaking down the effects into positive (beneficial), negative (traumatic), and mixed (nontraumatic but not regarded as beneficial) categories — the three faces of incest in his subtitle — he says that the overwhelming majority of cases fall into the positive column. Cousin-cousin (including uncle-niece and aunt-nephew) and brother-sister (including sibling homosexuality) relations, accounting for about half of the total incidence, are perceived as beneficial in 95 percent of the cases. … Farrell points out that boys don’t seem to suffer, not even from the negative experiences. “Girls are much more influenced by the dictates of society and are more willing to take on sexual guilt.”
“Farrell also hopes to change public attitudes so that participants in incest will no longer be automatically perceived as victims. ‘The average incest participant can’t evaluate his or her experience for what it was. As soon as society gets into the picture, they have to tell themselves it was bad. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.’ ”
“Warren Farrell prophesies that incest will be a major social issue in the eighties. If so, the debate will be bloody and presumably unproductive. Those who accept the original sin of incest, the great Judeo-Christian majority, will not be dissuaded by anyone’s case studies. The last taboo could become the last straw as the Save Our Children movement heads closer to home.”
For a man who had so much to say about “positive incest” for Penthouse, Farrell is strangely silent on the subject for “The Myth of Male Power.” There is one very telling section on incest in “The Myth of Male Power,” on pgs. 85-86. It’s very similar to pro-pedophilia sentiments expressed by Ralph Underwager for the Dutch pedophile magazine “Paidika.” Since Farrell has lately begun claiming that those who quote him verbatim from his own material are purposefully taking him out of context (this sentiment extends to material he probably wishes would disappear, like that Penthouse interview), this is the section in its entirety. His claims of being taken out of context are, in a word, bunk. And, no, that Penthouse interview isn’t going away any time soon.
From “The Myth of Male Power:”
VI. Immorality … Or … Immortality?
Were sexual freedom and premarital sex condemned because they sacrificed morality or sacrificed immortality? The Bible contains some astonishing answers….
Was Religion Concerned With Immorality … Or … Immortality?
Say God Approves
Why would the above “headline” make William Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch blush and yet lead to Lot and his daughters receiving God’s blessing? The Bible explains, “One day the older daughter said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man around who will lie with us . . . Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him an d preserve our family line through our father.” So, on two consecutive nights, both daughters go their father drunk, waiting until he fell asleep, and had sex with him without his being aware of it (“He was not aware of it when she way down or when she got up”). They each became pregnant.
Were Lot and his daughters punished for incest or rape? (If a father had sex with is daughter while she was asleep, we’d call it rape.) No. They were blessed. By God. So blessed that both their sons became leaders of a people. Rather than feeling ashamed about the incest, not only was the first of the sons, Moab, named after the incest (Moab comes from the Hebrew meaning “from father”), but so were the peoples of which he was the father: the Moabites. Why? The drunkenness, rape, and father-daughter incest led to the preservation of a family line.