Sometimes I think about all the stuff I’ve left at my parents house since I kind of treat my childhood room as storage. Mostly I think about books I wish I had at my apartamento, like The French Right: From De Maiste to Maurras or some other books whose covers I want to scan and show y’all. When I think about this my mind usually wanders to the porn I foolishly left behind in my room as well. This includes a book of erotic stories my friend got for me from the $1 section at Borders (the cover has a picture of a naked chick that looks like Mandy Moore), an issue of BUTT magazine (not really porn, but geigh so it would unnerve my dad) and Skin Gang, a gay skinhead porno by Bruce LaBruce. Even if you’re totally str8 this movie is great. There is a scene where the skinheads break into the apartment of a yuppie interracial gay couple and rape them. ”I didn’t know people still kept houseboys?” one of the skinheads growls before they begin their sexual assault. I really hope my parents (and to a lesser extent my sister) never find that stuff.
I was over my parent’s for dinner a few weeks ago and my dad randomly asked me if I was ever molested. Yeah, Dad, I guess I just forgot to mention that time I got raped as a kid. To be fair it wasn’t an entirely random question since we were discussing child abuse in some context. When I asked my father where he got this idea from he told a story from my childhood.
When I was in preschool a group of psychology students from a local college were allowed to observe our class for a project. Each student was assigned a preschooler to observe and needed their parent’s permission to do so. My parent’s figured it was a pretty run of the mill assignment thus consented to have me be observed. The report that was written was a bit different than what they expected however. I was a very imaginative little boy, you see. I had a fairly elaborate cowboy outfit which I would wear to school sometimes. I was obsessed with cowboys since visiting my relatives in Arizona and learning about the history of the Wild West. I even had a cowboy themed birthday party with ponies! While most people would simply chalk this up to me being a fanciful little boy, the psych student who observed me suspected something rather sinister. He (as least I believe it was he) claimed that this whimsicalness was a possble mask used the hide the pain of being molested. Keep this in mind anytime you see some kids using their imaginations to play some game (it’s not just harmless fun, it was because they’ve been diddled!)
I reassured my parents that this was ridiculous, I was never molested and even considered telling them the story of how a grown woman put my hand on her boob when I was 14 and how I liked it (it was outside the shirt and I ended up keeping this to myself.) I also reminded my parents that at the time of this student’s observation, the topic of child abuse, especially in preschools, was rather en vogue.
What really pains me, though, is that psychology, something I find has many positive benefits, can be used a tool of moral panic and social control. It also really bothers me that my father had this in the back of his mind for twenty years before he had the opportunity to ask me about it.