I'm not a big victim fan. I am, however, a huge fan of survivors. That's one reason I loved Flora from the moment I met her. She started life as a victim and fought her way out of it until she was free. That made her a survivor.
That said, I have noticed in people who express genuine concern for the victims of American polygamy a disturbing pattern emerging. I call it "the never ending victim".
Perfectly reasonable people who understand that most pedophiles were abused as children themselves, and have no problem sending men to prison once they have crossed the line from victim, over to abuser, want to brand the women of polygamy as completely helpless victims who should not be held accountable for their actions.
I find this to be a blatantly anti-feminist and misogynistic way of thinking. Everyone knows that abuse is a cycle. Everyone knows that just because a boy grows up in an abusive home where his father is an alcoholic wife beater he is never excused or given a free pass once he begins to engage in the same behavior.
As I read more about polygamy around the world I understand that women are not only a necessary part of the victim cycle, they are also a necessary part of the polygamy abuse cycle.
Take these two quotes, both from national news stories about polygamists this week:
By JON GAMBRELL
Associated Press Writer
On the Tony Alamo Case:
"One woman even testified that she was "married" to Alamo at age 14 during a visit to him in prison, with a group of other "wives" blocking guards' view as he groped her".
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
On the Elizabeth Smart case:
"At a hearing last month, Smart said that within hours of the abduction, Mitchell took her as a polygamous wife and then raped her. Smart said Barzee washed the teen's feet and dressed her in robes before the ceremony."
In both cases women were facilitating the abuse occurring within their respective polygamous practice.
Why do some act as though it is a big mystery how the abuse cycle, any abuse cycle, works?
Is it not evident that polygamy needs a very strong matriarchal structure to function? How would it continue without the cooperation and active participation of the women themselves?
Why, when over two hundred Texas children were identified as having been the victims of abuse, were they sent back to the very women who facilitated it? These women blatently attempted to obfuscate facts as simple as their names and ages when questioned by Texas authorities. Why?
Because they completely understand this country's laws against polygamy and have made the conscious decision to break the law, no matter what it ever costs them.
Now, I'd like to know exactly what other felony crime a woman can commit in this country with complete immunity from prosecution? Never mind when she hands her child over to a polygamist she is earning her heavenly brownie points, or upping her standing within the community. Do you really think there is no reward in giving her children over for rape? Do you really think there is no reward in preventing her little girl from ever knowing about the freedoms and opportunities she is born entitled to in America?
Every time you excuse one of these women in the name of "she's just a victim", you are spitting on little Flora Jessop as she tries to cross a desert to get away, because she knew it was all wrong.
They all know it, they've just made different choices, illegal choices.