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Pre-2008 Posts

Making Men Out of Boys

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Leaving the Island
by Sharon Olds

On the ferry, on the last morning of summer,
a father at the snack counter low in the boat
gets breakfast for the others. Here, let me drink some of
Mom’s coffee, so it won’t be so full
for you to carry, he says to his son,
a boy of ten or eleven. The boat
lies lower and lower in the water as the last
cars drive on, it tilts its massive
grey floor like the flat world. Then the
screaming starts, I carry four things,
and I only give you one, and you drop it,
what are you, a baby? a high, male
shrieking, and it doesn’t stop, Are you two?
Are you a baby? I give you one thing,
no one in the room seems to move for a second,
a steaming pool spreading on the floor, little
sea with its own waves, the boy
at the shore of it. Can’t you do anything
right? Are you two? Are you two?, the piercing
cry of the father. Go away,
go up to your mother, get out of here—
the purser swabbing the floor, the boy
not moving from where the first word touched him,
and I could not quite walk past him, I paused
and said I spilled my coffee on the deck, last trip,
it happens to us all. He turned to me,
his lips everted so the gums gleamed,
he hissed a guttural hiss, and in
a voice like Gollum’s or the Exorcist girl’s when she
made the stream of vomit and beamed it
eight feet straight into the minister’s mouth
he said Shut up, shut up, shut up, as if
protecting his father, peeling from himself
a thin wing of hate, and wrapping it
tightly around father and son, shielding them.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Making Men Out of Boys

  1. I love love love Sharon Olds. Except when she gets a bit heterosexual priveligey on me! I’m such a fan of “Looking at Them Asleep”…

    Posted by Pippa | February 25, 2007, 8:57 pm
  2. That was horrible.

    Posted by Evan | April 13, 2007, 10:34 pm
  3. Tasha, I moved this to this thread to avoid possibly diverting a thread devoted to girls and women. We see that a lot on the internet, everywhere, really, threads, comments, entire blogs diverted away from discussions of girls and women’s issues or outright focused on men or boys or children; hence, this blog, “Women’s Space.” Here women and girls’ issues are prioritized. This doesn’t in any way mean children’s, boys, animals’, the earth’s, men’s issues are not important or don’t have to be addressed– they do. But here girls’ and women’s issues receive priority. The blog Sadly Normal is great and is devoted to issues of child sexual abuse specifically.— Heart

    this probably won’t go through but gonna send it anyway–
    we also–have to start standing up against Pedaphilia–male or women perps, doesn’t matter–
    if we are to change the world for girls/womyn,
    no tolerance–PERIOD–THAT MEANS
    I DON’T CARE–IF ITS A CULTURE RITE–OR A RELIGIOUS RITE–
    no hiding behind culture, native or otherwise, no tolerance or ‘enabling or excusing’ child sex abuse/abuse under religion–including ritual abuse OF ANY KIND–INCLUDING SEX SACRIFICES TO GODDESS–WHICH IS USUALLY GIRLS–
    and no ‘preferential treatment to abusers’,
    pedaphiles are pedaphiles [PERIOD]
    THAT MEANS–NO TOLERANCE FOR THE PUSHING OF PEDAPHILIA AS A SEXUAL PREFERENCE–
    AND NO TOLERANCE FOR NAMBIA/BUTTERFLY KISSES WHO TEACH ONLINE WHO TO TARGET GIRLS MOSTLY, BOYS TOO,
    AND HOW TO MOLEST THEM…
    BUTTERFLIES IF IN CACOONS AND YOU OPEN THEM THEY DIE–SAME WITH CHILDREN,
    HANDS OFF. NATURE KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING–SHE DOESN’T NEED ‘YOU’ MR/MS PEDAPHILE TO PUSH IT–FOR YOUR OWN SELFISH GARBAGE
    I’m seeing more and more where Morrigan is taking me with this rage and the last post on the Goddess–one whom has crossed my reading path for past year but I didn’t tie it in–
    is making sense…
    my battle is not with misogyny alone or leftists who betray womyn–its against Pedaphiles, and the Tolerance of…
    all the fight in the world on behalf of girls/womyn–
    IS FUTILE–
    IF WE DO NOT WAR AGAINST THE LIES AND ENABLING OF CHILD SEX ABUSE. BECAUSE THE ROOT OF THE FALL OF ALL PEOPLES–LIES THERE.
    its bad enough–we have cultural relativists screaming western imperialism to tolerate and pander to the misogynic treatment of womyn,
    its INEXCUSEABLE WHEN THEY PANDER OR STAY SILENT TO THE BANALITY OF ABUSE TOWARDS CHILDREN.
    NO to culture rights/religion over the HUMAN RIGHTS OF CHILDREN–
    THEY WERE NOT CREATED TO BE PROPERTY–
    OR OBJECTS TO BE RAPED AT WILL.
    AND MAY THE GODDESSES RISE UP–AND STRIKE DOWN, EVERY ONE WHO PERPETUATES THIS ABUSE IN OUR WORLD TODAY. AND MAY THE GODDESS MORRIGAN RAISE UP WARRIORS–WHO WILL NOT FEAR–AND WHO WILL PLUCK THE CHILD MURDERERS OFF THE FIELDS, ONE BY ONE.
    AND WHO WILL NOT–COMPROMISE–FOR ANY RACE, CULTURE, RELIGION, BUT WILL ADVOCATE FOR THE CHILDREN–GIRLS AND BOYS.
    SEND OUT THE FURIES–
    Tasha
    </a>

    Posted by Tasha | July 2, 2007, 12:51 pm

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