I just received a comment responding to this article, about Mackenzie Phillips.
The author of the comment, Meggs, also has a blog called Speaking Out which concerns surviving incest and abuse.
Meggs highlights two events that happened during the past year that deserve our attention.
The first concerns Mackenzie Phillips being given the Darkness2Light Voice of Courage award for speaking out about her experiences.
Meggs writes: Of course, no one in the media wants to focus on the work she is now doing to help prevent child abuse and incest. They all want to dwell on the drug use.
Isn't that the truth! It's all show biz, and trying to make it out like the John Phillips scandal is just an anomaly related to the world of rock stars, like others want to make clergy abuse simply an anomaly of a group's beliefs, standards and practices.
Hey, I keep saying you can't become a Jesuit priest through mail order! You have to go to universities, get credentialed, and the Catholic Church does have its standards churches must adhere to. They're not autonomous, and yet, they were the first religious group that introduced America to the fact that child abuse can happen anywhere.
Sure, Baptist churches, especially independents, might have low standards for their ministers, but, as the Catholic scandals demonstrate, even organizations with high standards and no autonomy can be guilty of turning a blind eye regarding pedophiles.
So, while everybody's patting themselves on the back, thankful they're not subjecting their kids to the abuse of rock stars, fundamentalist preachers, or Catholic priests, there always seems to be someone in any given family, or friends of any given family, who will take advantage of the ignorance that results from stereotyping Hollywood or religious figures.
This is everybody's problem. Hollywood and religious leaders just get stigmatized became they're in the public eye.
In addition to the honor given to Mackenzie by Darkness2Light, Meggs also pointed out an interesting project called 'Searching for Angela Shelton'. This documentary has Angela Shelton taking a trip across America to interview other women who also have the name, Angela Shelton.
It's an amusing premise that's brought into harsh reality when we realize all the Angela Sheltons in this movie have either been raped, or sexually molested, when they were children. Some were also raped when they were adults.
Hmmm, you know, if we treated the Angela Shelton cases like the media treats Mackenzie Phillips, or like other bloggers treat cases of clergy abuse, I can just imagine someone saying, "Well, stop naming your kid Angela Shelton!"
I know! I know! Bad taste. But I keep reading people saying things like, "If you're a pedophile, the best place for you is as a deacon in a Baptist church!" When it happened at a synagogue in New York, a lawmaker actually said, "If you're a pedophile, the best place for you is in a synagogue!" When Mackenzie's story broke, along with the Roman Polanksi arrest, bloggers at Huffington Post were also singing the same tune.
"Pedophilia is wrong, unless you're a famous artist or movie director."
If we're really serious about dealing with the topic of child abuse, some ideas and tactics are just going to have to be abandoned on the highway.
One of those ideas concerns stigmatizing various professions. Some people, in the depths of their subconscious, have the false idea that as long as they're not subjecting their children to:
a: Hollywood moguls
b: religious leaders
c: people in the arts
d: politicians (intern scandals)
. . .that their children are safe from predators.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Stereotyping professions creates a false sense of security. Sometimes the most dangerous place for a child is in his, or her, own home.
Here are some links and video clips related to Mackenzie Phillips and the Angela Shelton project:
From: Official blog of Darkness2Light.
Searching for Angela Shelton.