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March 01, 2005

Warren "Positive Incest" Farrell Speaks About Women For The New York Times

Warren Farrell is no friend of women. From Feministing I have learned that Farrell is blaming women yet again for any problems they experience in an article he wrote for the New York Times. It appears he's on yet another book tour, so it's time to speak the truth about that man.

Laryn at Feministing criticized Farrell's woman-blaming opinions, quoting the Times article:

"Women, he believes, methodically engineer their own paltry pay. They choose psychically fulfilling jobs, like librarian or art historian, that attract enough applicants for the law of supply and demand to kick in and depress pay. They avoid well-paid but presumably risky work - hence, the paucity of women flying planes. And they tend to put in fewer hours than men - no small point, he says, because people who work 44 hours a week make almost twice as much as those who work 34 and are more likely to be promoted."

Ummmm, yeah. But where is the analysis on how women are pushed out of partnerships and senior level positions when they become pregnant. Or how women are *still* left tending to the majority of childcare and house work. And how no matter how many hours we put in, we will still *never* be eligible for the boys club. I don't care how you spin it, it is just plain *wrong* to blame women for their lower pay. (sigh).

Warren Farrell has no business speaking about women and children. Despite the way he waves around his allegedly feminist credentials, such as his stint on the board of the New York State chapter of NOW, in reality he has long been associated with anti-woman fathers' rights groups the National Congress for Fathers and Children and the Children's Rights Council (which is a fathers' rights group, not a child-welfare group). He was on the Advisory Board for Fathers' Rights and Equality Exchange (F.R.E.E.). He is also highly supportive of the American Fathers' Coalition (AFC often cites Farrell as an "expert"). These groups are of no service to women, and they don't do men and fathers much good either. They serve children the least.

What Farrell has been trying to keep quiet for twenty years were statements he made supportive of incest for a 1977 issue of Penthouse. He has threatened to sue anyone who brings up this article. I have been threatened but never sued. I am not afraid to bring this issue up when necessary. If he wanted to sue anyone he should have sued Penthouse and writer Philip Nobile for any problems with the article, but he has never done that. He made excuses for his pro-incest statements. For example, saying that he meant "gently caressing" rather than "genitally caressing." He then later changed that statement to meaning "generally caressing." He can't dance his way out of what he said.

I own my own copy of this particular issue of Penthouse. My statements aren't rumors found on the Internet. I found it at a collectible comic book store. Vintage issues of Penthouse and Playboy are considered collectibles, so sometimes they may be found at collectible book stores or comic book shops.

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.

The article is reproduced at Elizabeth Kate's web site - she owns her own copy of the issue, too. It is Incest: The Last Taboo. Previously Suppressed Material From The Original Kinsey Interviews Tells Us That Incest Is Prevalent And Often Positive. The statements below are quoted verbatim from the article, and they are available on one of my web pages about Warren Farrell. To read all of my web site pages about Warren Farrell, go to this link. It's a one-stop portal.

Everything below quoted is verbatim from the original Penthouse article. Bold is my emphasis.

"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 entitled Beyond 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."

Here are more of my links about Warren Farrell, if you don't want to go to the one-stop page linked above. Read them in this order. I highly recommend them so you get the entire gist of this issue and so that you can see how bad Warren Farrell really is.

Trish Wilson Responds To Warren Farrell: That Danged Penthouse Article Just Won't Go Away

Who Is Libeling Whom: More On Warren Farrell and the Penthouse Business

Warren Farrell, "Empowerment Feminism," and More Penthouse Backpedaling

Trish Wilson Reviews Warren Farrell's "Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: Destroying Myths, Creating Love." Also available at XY Online

I also recommend you read this page by Elizabeth Kates, WARREN FARRELL'S TOP TEN HOLIDAY SUGGESTIONS for a parent who wants to learn or teach stalking behavior?

Posted on March 1, 2005 at 09:50 AM | Permalink


Let me get this straight. Way back in the 70's Warren Farrell does some research into incest and of course that means he can have nothing to say about pay differences between men and women in 2005? This is a rational argument??

Is there some problem with - gasp! tackling the arguments in the article?

Posted by: Alyric at Mar 9, 2005 9:10:17 PM

"Let me get this straight. Way back in the 70's Warren Farrell does some research into incest and of course that means he can have nothing to say about pay differences between men and women in 2005? This is a rational argument??

Is there some problem with - gasp! tackling the arguments in the article?"

Well I haven't read the book yet, but I did see his hour long rant about it on CNN-Booknotes and yes, he's still weird.

Farrell managed to take an hour or so in which he was supposed to be talking about his book as an additional hour to smear women, especially single mothers and even female teachers, trying to blame them for the fact that young males join gangs... claiming that the young men are looking for the male presence in their life...

Well whose fault is it that their fathers have abandoned them? He MIGHT have gotten away with the mother smear but dragging in their female teachers was a little too much...I think don't you...

So no, nothing he saids can be taken too seriously....

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 9, 2005 11:41:02 PM

NYMOM wrote:

>>>>Well whose fault is it that their fathers have abandoned them?<<<<

Ah well, we know it's not so much abandonment and the deadbeat dad syndrome as 'driven away dads' so Mum can get on with her life.

The female teacher as male role model is an interesting concept. A college here wanted to offer scholarships to encourage guys into teaching - you know - affirmative action. Naturally it was nixed. The female is plenty good enough and if that doeasn't work there's always ritalin.

Posted by: alyric at Mar 11, 2005 12:18:51 AM

"Ah well, we know it's not so much abandonment and the deadbeat dad syndrome as 'driven away dads' so Mum can get on with her life."

Typical of men...you've been ignoring and abandoning your children since history was first recorded but it's so convenient to blame some woman for it, isn't it...

If you aren't trying to blame your mothers for your bad behavior, you're trying to blame your wives and girlfriends...if only THE WOMEN in your life were better people, how much better MEN could be...

When are you people going to start accepting responsibility for your own bad behavior...From China, through the Islamic States right through the US of A...men simply refuse to follow the rules and THAT is why children are a mess...

Grow up...

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 11, 2005 1:17:19 AM