Park Cities Rape Controversy Suggests Maybe It's Time For Parents to Have the Talk. A Real One.

Categories: Schutze

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The area we call the Park Cities, twin affluent enclave municipalities surrounded by Dallas proper, is riven by a rape case in which the son of a prominent family stands accused. One reason that case is tough to talk about is that nobody knows what happened.

The accused, a high school student, could be guilty as sin or innocent as the day is long. That won't get sorted out here. It's why we have courts, cops and lawyers. But the case understandably has spawned a larger conversation about rape in the rich little region we also sometimes call "the bubble" for its psychological city walls, its deliberate and sometimes harshly enforced separation from the surrounding city and its mono-racial Christian conservatism.

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Probably stop at a second base. Third base tops, but only on prom night.
The daily newspaper today has a story about parents inside the bubble struggling to explain to sons and daughters what rape is. Most of it seems to involve telling boys that rape is intercourse with a girl who does not want to have intercourse. And there's a start.

But in stories like today's in the daily, in blog comments and in casual personal conversations, I can't help feeling an important corollary is missing from the Park Cities discourse. I wonder if at some point it might help for parents also to explain to their kids, especially the sons, that girls sometimes do want to have intercourse. They do or they don't. If you have to ask, you're probably already on very thin ice. But if you do ask, or if for any other reason you hear the N-O word even faintly, then you are in rape country, and it's up to you to bail, quickly.

Of course that model entails some additional parental corollaries. If a parent recognizes that his high school-age girl does want to have intercourse sometimes, that she is endowed with free will and the ability to choose and that therefore she may take the plunge, maybe more than once, then that parent has an obligation to help his child avoid an unwanted pregnancy, a sexually transmitted disease or really bad sex with somebody she doesn't even like.

What that requires in the parent is some candid talk. Doesn't have to be a lot of candid talk. Girls have actually been figuring most of this stuff out by themselves for roughly 200 million years. Most of us can remember our own candid conversations with our parents as vividly as we remember that first root canal. So it's best to be economical with one's words wherever possible.

The problem, especially in an arch-conservative hyper-religious context like the Park Cities, is that both boys and girls are taught all sorts of distortions about sex -- lies thrown at them all day long at home, in school and at church -- and it's these lies that can get girls raped and boys put behind bars.

The chief among these lies is the model of chastity that sees girls as fighting a valiant but inevitably doomed battle against their own urges. In this medieval universe, a boy's challenge is to break open the vault that a greedy girl denies him, confidant she will change her mind after intercourse is well under way. The yes-no question, once elevated to the metaphysical, is way too hard to figure out.

It should be easy -- yes or no. It's not really bigger than that. If it's no and you persist, then you are what the law calls a rapist. It doesn't matter that she agreed to board your SUV before she said no. It doesn't matter that she made out with you. She didn't want to have intercourse. Just operate on the assumption that no is not yes and you won't wind up in the slammer.

Here's the other thing. If it's 100 percent yes, you will know. That's another fact that's about 200 million years old. There will be no doubt. Son, when a girl really badly wants to have intercourse with you, it will be way obvious.

A Park Cities son might ask if really wanting to have intercourse with him doesn't make the girl a slut. The proper answer might be one of two questions. Does it make you a slut? What's a slut?

I don't think much of this is getting said in the common dialogue right now in the Park Cities. From what I'm picking up, much more of the conversation is about Jesus and abstinence.

Certainly people have a right to their religious beliefs. Certainly self-control is a big part of healthy sex and a huge part of life. People need to be able to keep their pants on part of the day. I'm not arguing against any of that.

What I am saying is that rape ensues from a model of gender in which females are assigned less power and choice about intercourse than males. Teach your kids that model -- that boys always want it and girls just give it up -- and you are teaching rape. Jesus wouldn't go for that.

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46 comments
Gman99
Gman99

 Did this guy just write that wealthy Christian communities have a natural tendency to teach their sons to rape young women?

 

 I'm an atheist, and that sounds like a ridiculous insult even to me.

censormeallyouwant
censormeallyouwant

I'm going to give Jim a suggestion for his next column:

 

Tie this in together with the WRL boathouse and your fabricated 50th JFK assassination controversy!

PerryMoore
PerryMoore

I had no idea that Highland Park was such a bad neighborhood. I guess I'll have to go to Oak Cliff to look at Christmas lights this year. Wouldn't want to expose myself to all that Christianity-induced crime.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

In 2003, two middle schoolers at Robert T Hill middle school in the DISD were having oral sex in the classroom. Jim Schutze condemns all of the Park Cities and conservative Christianity for teaching abstinence only leading to rape. Using that same logic, you have to condemn poor, liberal democrats for creating a culture of free-for-all sexual norms that leads to teens to being so debauched that they will have sex in front of their peers. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Maybe a little "wait 'til you're married" isn't quite the bugaboo Schutze thinks it is

howdoyoudoit
howdoyoudoit

I don't know how you manage to pull it off, but lately every new column of yours is dumber than the one you wrote before it.

Kali
Kali

I was raped by my local priest when I was a teen in Houston.  I am now almost 50 years old.

 

Being raped by someone I cared deeply about and considered to be a "man of God" really crushed my life for years.  But, I healed and moved on.

 

What I have never recovered from though is the rage and hatred from some in my family, from my church family but the most from the betrayal by the church leaders.  

 

Many asked what I was wearing.  Many asked why I did not run away.  They all said I was old (16 / 17) and should have known better.    What should I have known?  That everything I had learned and believed about priests was false.  That everything I had learned and believed about the leaders of the diocese was false.    My world crushed down upon me.  

 

I went forward in the media about my rape and was shredded.  Totally shredded.

 

Neighbors, friends, parents of friends.....they all said what a great guy this priest was.  Well, I thought he was pretty great too when he was not molesting me.  I probably loved him more than they even liked him.  

 

I even had a witness who walked in on him twice but that did not sway anything.

 

The bishop controlled all of the information given to the panels.  There was no objectivity.

 

In my case, I had been abused for much of my childhood, fleeing to the church for refuge.  I was easy prey.  

 

I still remember some of the mothers of my friends calling me a slut.  Unbelievable.

 

Life has no logic at least in my life.  I was such an idiot.  I thought that the rapes were my fault because I was trash and he was so great.  I remember giving him a senior picture of myself before leaving for UT.  My note to my rapist priest on the back of my senior photo said:  You are my sturdy shelter and I hope you always will be so."  I had learned to do with this priest what I did in my own home.  Take the good, forget the bad and act like everything is just  fine.

 

I think about this girl a lot and wonder how she is doing.  She is brave.  

 

I wish I had told the police instead of just telling the priests and bishop.  

 

Telling is kind of like being stoned in public.  

 

 

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

Jim: You have ZERO information about the alleged rapist's parents did or did not teach him about sex. Likewise, you have no knowledge what the victim's parents taught her. Given your utter dislike for wealth, I bet you have no idea what most Park Cities parents teach their kids. So why bring religion, Jesus, or the Park Cities into this at all? Could it be (once again) that your hatred of the "rich" compels you to lash out? I imagine that there are many, many instances of teenage rape in Dallas that do not involve Park Cities teens. Why aren't you pondering the advice g(or lack thereof) given by parents to teens in, say, South Oak Cliff?

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

The interplay in question between the 18 year-old an the child (in the eyes of the law)seemed to be an isolated action. Yet as time marches on it has morphed  into another moving part of the larger prearranged night of  alleged  Substance fueled Sin and Debauchery  taking place among the Bubble youths who had gone to the Palladium. 

 

The Wrong decisions were being made long before anyone hopped  in the rear seat.

 

While you can't really protect your teens from anything they choose .to do , you can provide a little sound advice on how to take care of themselves .

 

My advice to my son is Stay the hell away from the girl /girls who announce to the world how drunk or high they are.

 

To my daughter it is stick with the group never set your drink down and only drink from a container you have opened.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Jim, normally I have a lot of respect for you opinion, even though I do not agree with you from time to time.  However, I believe that you have passed from opinion to conjecture with the following statement:

 

"The problem, especially in an arch-conservative hyper-religious context like the Park Cities, is that both boys and girls are taught all sorts of distortions about sex -- lies thrown at them all day long at home, in school and at church -- and it's these lies that can get girls raped and boys put behind bars."

censormeallyouwant
censormeallyouwant

So one case of rape and you write a column about a community needing to "have a talk" because you have some sour grapes chip on your shoulder about their wealth.

 

Yet, there are communities where rape and violence are every day normal activities-- where are your columns giving them some condescending old white man lecture? Not that any of them would read it. No this is just more impotent chest puffing to get your cheer leading squad's panties wet.

todd
todd

These "distortions about sex -- lies thrown at them all day long..."  Do we have confirmation of an on-going concerted effort to teach the "model of chastity?"  IOW, first-hand reports from homes, schools, and churches that this is happening.  

GroovyAtheist
GroovyAtheist

WTF does religion have to do with it?  How do you know the religion of the either the rapist or the victim?  How do you know they aren't atheists (I'm one) or Jewish?  There was an Islamic "honor beating" recently in Arizona, maybe your next column could be about that.

censormeallyouwant
censormeallyouwant

I know he's working on it right now. He's just letting his page boy Eric do some reach around work for him first

anneDallas
anneDallas

@Kali - I've never logged in here, but tonight I had to so that I could reply to your post. Kali, thank you for your bravery. I'm so sorry for your pain. There's nothing I can think of, in words, to ease your struggle. However, I send you all the honor and strength your heart can hold. Joy, kindness, and comfort to you.

SoSorry
SoSorry

 @Kali I am very sorry so many adults failed and deprived you of a childhood. Hopefully the PC community will let the law do their job, without interference from bullying parents and their mini-me teens. It's awful how quickly, seemingly normal people can spiral into stone throwers.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @PrestonHoller When the party platform is abstinence only, with any mention of penises and vaginas verboten, it's not too much of a stretch to bring religion and jeebus into it.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @PrestonHoller Sorry, South Oak Cliff can't get you out of this one, Park-Stuff.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @censormeallyouwant Your post expresses at least two, maybe three serious mental pathologies woven  as one. See a doctor. 

WhistlingPete
WhistlingPete

 @todd No confirmation as of yet. There is, however, evidence of 200 million year old  dinosaur sex occurring in the back seat of a 2009 Range Rover.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @GroovyAtheist Good point. Should have said, "Could also be problem associated with large Muslim community in Highland Park."

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @GroovyAtheist He set this up with the premise the HP/UP has more WASPs than the eaves or any house in Oak Cliff.

If you doubt this, just go count the churches within the city limits.

If that doesn't satisfy you, go count the cars on Sunday.

kali
kali

Good comes out of ashes sometimes.

 

I have worked in Federal Law Enforcement for 25 years after graduating from UT.  I did this to be the change I wanted to see.  

 

What I did not say earlier is that while there were those who smashed my soul to pieces, there were a few that lifted me up, supported me and loved me.  There were only a few.  But, those people gave me hope.  My youth minister at St. John's where I worked in high school has never left my side.  She testified for me when people all around her including her church boss told her not to.  Another priest also was a source of great peace.

 

Life is certainly a mix.  The church was a mixed blessing/ curse.  Many there gave me love that I still have.  It was hard going against the church because I hoped for justice but did not want to harm the many good people in the church that I loved.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

@Montemalone Monte: Just how many Park Cities parents do you know and out of that population, how many do you specifically know specifically teach their kids abstinence only? My guess is 0 and 0.

howdoyoudoit
howdoyoudoit

@JimSX Read the Dallas Morning News crime blog once in a while, look at all those black teens who committed MURDER this week.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

@JimSX I agree it's the thrust of your arguments that teens, in general, need to have more honest teaching about "No means no". But that need applies to kids from the Park Cities, South Oak Cliff, and all demographics in between. And it applies to conservative Christians and non believers alike. Why can't you leave it in those general contexts? You ruin an otherwise thoughtful post with your misguided need to needlessly trash those who have more material possessions than yourself.

censormeallyouwant
censormeallyouwant

 @JimSX My post? Perhaps you need to read your own. The declining mental health displayed in your columns is sad. 

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

 @Montemalone  In other words, your answer to my question is: "You're right Preston, I do have absolutely NO idea what Parkie parents are or are not actually teaching their kids and I was just talking out of my @ss."  Thanks for clearing that up.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @PrestonHoller  @Montemalone I don't discuss the sexual activities of other peoples' kids.

I am in favor of getting that information to young people that don't or can't get it at home, because there's more at stake than an 18 yo and a 16 yo getting into legal trouble. There's pregnancy (be it accidental or ordained from above) and a myriad of diseases which could result from hyperactive hormones getting in the way of wishful thinking.

A bunch of biblebeaters and hypocrites proclaiming that the only answer is no answer is a recipe for disaster, op cit

Glenn
Glenn

 @PrestonHoller  @JimSX  I agree with most of your sentiments here, PrestonHoller, but take issue with one: the idea that Jim's column was otherwise thoughtful.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

@JimSX @PrestonHoller Where exactly have I said or implied that anyone is jealous of MY money? No one should be jealous of my net worth or income. What I have been talking about is YOUR obvious jealousy (or at least blind hatred) of those in the Park Cities. Why do you needlessly bring them into so many postings? The Park Cities had its issues, sure. But nearly to the extent you write about. You really out to see a shrink about it

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

 @JimSX  @PrestonHoller you both are right and wrong.  Jim, you should have phrased your premise more from the 'we are rich, therefore priveleged, and rules don't apply to us.' But this is the same logic that anyone in power - bosses, priests, cops, teachers - has ingrained into them by their title.

PH, you need to be more aware of the insidious nature of the trappings of power, as in the PC.  The priveleged have many ways to convince themselves they are anointed.

  I call their churches, 'Our Lady of the Sacred Look at the New dress I bought'.

 

   BUT, how are these elites allowed to keep that idea?  WE LET THEM.  By letting them skate, from dog catcher to Prez, and all swine in between - cops, teachers, etc.  We let em slide based on title alone. not the FACTS.

 

  Let that SOB get tried like u and me.  Then, if convicted, cook his ass.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @PrestonHoller  @JimSX Here is what tells yourn story, Preston: Your defense from every single criticism, whether of your morals or your shirt, is that your critics are jealous of your money. You better have a whole lot of money to back that up and not be some $30,000 millionaire fool.

Really
Really

 @todd  @LDR4  @bradford.pearson 

If you live in 75205, you might be a resident of University Park, Highland Park or Dallas. We lived on Potomac near HIllcrest a number of years ago. Our side of the street was UP, and the house across from us was in HP. Both had 75205 zip codes.

If I am remembering correctly, HP Methodist has at least one buiilding in both UP and HP.

The only way to know is to find out which town receives payment for the water bill.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @bradford.pearson Trying to be snarky with me is a losing proposition there, sunshine.

Try the googleplexmachine, it even has a map feature.

MisterMean
MisterMean

 @bradford.pearson  @Montemalone I think that Montemalone's list is correct.   The boundry is south of Northwest Highway and perhaps as far south as Lemon Ave Bounded by Central and the Dallas North Tollway.   Not making a distinction between HP and UP.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @bradford.pearson 

Highland Park Presbyterian

Park Cities Baptist

Christ the King Catholic

Central Church

First Unitarian Church

Saint Michael and All Angels

Prestoncrest Church of Christ

Preston Road Church of Christ

Christ Lutheran

Westminster Church

 

LDR4
LDR4

 @bradford.pearson  Yes, Highland Park United Methodist Church. It's right there next to SMU. It's quite big. Very hard to miss.  

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