I have been thinking about the topic of shame a lot lately. On my spiritual blog, I have been exploring each of the chakras and shame is the main attacker of the solar plexus chakra. Shame tells us we should not be confident or secure in ourselves. Shame attacks our intuition and makes us second guess what we know is true. I feel like this year I have had quite a few conversations with women who were knocked down by shame and trying to find their way back.
I have also discovered the “Guys We Fucked: Anti-Slut Shaming” podcast. The podcast is hosted by two female comedians, Corrine Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. The premise of the podcast was to interview past guys they had fucked and gain some insight. However, the podcast evolved to much more and they invite on guests to explore all topics involving sexuality and shame. I have been binge listening to their past two years of material and am almost all caught up. I have learned so much and even though they can be silly, and even annoying, at times, they have created a safe platform to explore topics that are not generally talked about and hopefully decrease shame.
A particular episode that was incredibly thought provoking, although extremely uncomfortable for me to hear was entitled “When Did You Find Out Your Dad Was A Pedophile?”The girls interviewed a fellow comedian who openly talks about his father, who molested his sisters. It was very insightful to hear from someone who was not the direct victim of molestation, but undoubtedly effected, nonetheless.
The truly insightful portions of the interview dealt with the lack of research and treatment for pedophiles. The girls referenced the podcast “This American Life” and an episode entitled “Tarred and Feathered-Help Wanted”. I looked up the episode and listened, then read this adjoining article. The podcast episode interviews “Adam,” a teenager who has realized that he is sexually attracted to children, but has never acted upon it. He is terrified and realizes how harmful his desires could be to someone else and he wants help. “Adam” seeks out assistance, only to find there is very little out there for pedophiles, particularly for those who have never acted upon pedophilia.
“Adam’s” struggle was uncomfortable, but thought provoking for me to contend with. I can certainly understand and have sometimes been on the side of most of the voices in society that shout to lock pedophiles away and let them rot. I have, unfortunately, worked with many students who have been the victims of pedophilia and I see the damage and pain it has caused. It has turned my stomach and enraged me, at times. However, it was good for me to hear another perspective on pedophilia and understand that there is very little understanding about it’s causes and even less about it’s treatment.
It really made me think, why aren’t we talking about this?! Why isn’t there more research, treatment options or preventions available for those who are searching for help? Could we do a better job about preventing children from being abused? Could we help those who are sexually attracted to children live a more fulfilled life without acting upon their desires?
I thought about this, maybe too much, and the answer I kept coming up with is SHAME. There is so much shame surrounding this topic that I am not sure how much progress can be made, until we begin opening an honest and intelligent conversation. I do realize how difficult that can be, especially when emotions get involved, particularly of those who have been the victims of pedophilia.
But, I just still feel like we can do better. At the very least, would you be willing to read the linked articles? Would you maybe listen to “Adam’s” perspective and struggle on the podcast? I would love to hear your thoughts. You can read the article by clicking here and listen to the interview here.