In last Friday’s 10 at 10, we featured this link to a story about a mother and daughter who were both sexually abusing a teenage boy over the course of three years. The mother, Susan Brock, was arrested back in October; her daughter, Rachel Katherine Brock, was brought into custody last week—both on a smorgasbord of sexual misconduct charges. Their baffled husband/father reported his mental state as “appalled and crushed.” (No kidding.)
But what’s really interesting is the public reaction to this story. As blogger Dr. Helen Smith points out, many of the commenters on the article don’t seem to see the harm in what happened, claiming that the act was “a privilege that a teen male had two women showing him the ways of the world.”
As if the sexual fantasy of a mother-daughter double team—a la Lindsay Lohan and her mom in Machete—excuses the fact that this boy was victimized and likely traumatized.
One particular commenter, Bill L., summarizes it well:
Why should the consequences for a woman who violates a 14-year-old boy be any different? I wonder how most of these macho, “he wanted it” posters would feel if their 14-year-old daughter had relations with a 48-year-old man and his 18-year-old son? Would they crow “she wanted it”? Not likely.
What strikes me as the most interesting part of it all is that if the victim had been a boy of maybe 10 or 11, the reaction would have been drastically different. But because he was 14—an age when we assume male brains start turning into American Pie—the reaction shifts.
It’s not surprising. Our rising obsession with MILFs and “cougars” is a socially sanctioned phenomenon reinforced by media everywhere. (Nightline even ran a piece covering a so-called “Cougar convention.”) For an already sexually confused boy going through puberty, coming forward about sexual abuse can be a near-impossible feat. Add on this pressure from media (not to mention boys’ peers) and reporting assault gets that much harder.
Sexual fantasy can be a healthy part of life and culture. But perhaps, in this case, more reflection is needed. What do you think, readers?