Warwick & Alison’s speech
Introductory Speech by Warwick and Alison Marsh
Convenors of the 2005 Sexual Integrity Forum
W: We warmly welcome you to Parliament House Canberra, the nation’s capital for the Sexual Integrity Forum. We in particular would like to thank both Jennie George, Member for Throsby who is our sitting member for where we live for her wonderful support. Jennie will be hosting tonight’s dinner in the Reps Alcove with Dr Mary Anne Layden. Dr Mary Anne Layden will be speaking on the subject of ‘The Human Cost of the sex Industry’. Jennie George has a passion for justice for those women who have been shockingly treated as sex slaves her in Australia.
A: We would also like to thank Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells, a very strong supporter of the Sexual Integrity Forum. Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells is passionate to end the abuse of children and has worked for many yeas with Fr Riley’s programme – ‘Youth off the Streets’. You will hear from both of these wonderful women in a few moments.
W: We welcome Dr Mary Anne Layden who is one of the world foremost authorities on the combined subjects of pornography, sexual exploitation, prostitution and sex trafficking. We look forward to hearing from you this morning and later at this evening dinner. Dr Mary Anne Layden will be speaking tomorrow night at the ACT Parliament House in the city of Canberra for those who would like to hear her again, or let colleagues and friends have the opportunity to hear her. Dr Mary Anne is an extraordinary woman, as you will soon find out, and we are very grateful for your sacrifice to come to Australia to speak to us.
A: We also recognise each of our many presenters who have travelled long distances to be with us, mostly at their own cost. All of you have given up your valuable time, and for this we salute you. We would especially like to thank those who have worked so hard behind the scenes and also thank our many sponsors as listed in the handbook, whose work and monetary input have enabled this forum to come into being.
W: Lastly this forum could not be a success without your input. Yes, I’m talking to you, and you and you and you. You are the delegates. You are the people who are going to provide a definition of what sexual integrity really means. You are going to come with policies that will help save our children’s lives. In your electives you are going to try to come up with creative solutions to the sexual problems that beset our nation in the area of inter-gender relationships.
A: Two years ago the Fatherhood Foundation convened our nation’s first Fatherhood Forum here in Parliament House. From that Forum we produced the 12 pt Plan to restore fatherhood in our nation. At that Forum we established 100% agreement on the finished document. This is the sort of consensus we will be aiming for here in this forum. Our minimum is 80% consensus but 100% is our goal. Let’s aim for it together.
W: The preamble in the 12pt Plan states, ‘The quality of the relationships between our nation’s mothers and fathers and our children will determine the destiny of Australia. The Sexual Integrity Forum is founded on this principle. Relationships are the key to our nation’s future. That’s why the goal of the Sexual Integrity Forum is to ‘promote quality relationships between men and women for the purpose of ending the sexual exploitation of women and children in Australia in the 21st Century. The Sexual Integrity Forum goal is gender reconciliation, and to come up with the answers that will advance that cause. The 6 elective subjects are all worded very carefully to support the cause of gender reconciliation. Anything less than this is simply not acceptable.
- Define sexual integrity. Promote both debate and education on the topic of ‘sexual integrity’ in Australia at a national level.
- Promote the need for sexual integrity in order to foster gender equality, gender reconciliation and healthy family relationships.
- Promote the need for sexual integrity in media, communications, advertising and the workplace for the greater good of the whole community.
- Promote the regulation of the internet to curtail the sexual exploitation of women and children.
- Advocate for the ending of sexual slavery – in particular the end of international trafficking in women for prostitution in Australia.
- Promote the need for sexual integrity to bring an end to the sexual abuse of children.
W: “Why have a Sexual Integrity Forum?” The statistics coming from our sexually dysfunctional society scream for an answer:
- Sexual assault has increased by almost 30% since 1999.
- Men in prison for sexual assault have doubled since 1988.
- The risk of sexual violence doubled in adulthood for women who were abused as a child.
- 84% of boys and 60% of girls have had exposure to internet pornography.
- 73% of boys and 11% of girls have watched x-rated videos.
- 2/3rds of sex crimes in Australia are committed against our children.
A: These statistics are pleading for our action. Your presence here in the Main Committee Room in Parliament House is open testimony to the need to restore sexual integrity in Australia. The challenge will be for us to be very open and honest with each other, to hear not only each other’s words but also each other’s hearts. In the past, the Fatherhood Foundation has held forums that have been very successful. This success is contingent on the ability of each delegate to listen and walk in another’s shoes and to show honour and respect to those who join us on the journey. These attitudes of the heart are the keys to the success of the Sexual Integrity Forum.
- Blame not, judge not, and make no assumptions
- Listen intently and carefully. Look from the listener’s perspective
- Identify the kernel of truth in every argument, especially those you totally oppose
- Treat everyone with honour, respect, dignity and sensitivity
- Always relate to the big picture i.e. gaining sexual integrity in Australia
- Let the past be a reference, not a pivot for the future
- Look for common principles
- Put differences in context
- Deal with issues, not personalities
- Pursue unity with diversity
W: What has brought us as leaders in the fatherhood men’s movement to initiate this important forum. The goal of the Fatherhood foundation is the development in Australia of fathering excellence. We believe that Australia will one day have the best dads in the world. Our goal is that fathers are involved, responsible, committed and loving to their wives and children and we conduct seminars and fatherhood mentoring courses to achieve this.
1) I was in Tasmania doing a fatherhood seminar in Launceston. The title was called, ‘seven Secrets for Success’. I use an acrostic of SUCCESS for this. There are three ‘s’s in success but in my seminar, none of those ‘s’s stand for sex because I am trying to deal with other issues besides this one for fathers. I was foolish enough to ask a rhetorical question, “What does the first S stand for?” Some joker at the back of the room yelled out, “SEX” and I retorted, “Wrong!” All night long I kept thinking that he was right and I was wrong. The first step in becoming a father is sex.
2) We would like to pause for a moment to reflect on the tragic passing of 9-year-old Ebony Simpson in 1992. Ebony was on her way home from school in Bargo when a man took her and put her in the boot of his car. This man raped and violated her, and as she pleaded for her life, tied her with fencing wire and threw her in a dam to die. We dedicate the Sexual Integrity Forum to the memory of Ebony Simpson.
3) A: While we were recording our most recent album, Fathers, with our family band Warwick showed up one morning at the studio to lay down some guitar tracks. When he got there he enquired of the sound engineer where a man called Geoff was who had been helping us with our recording. His reply was, “Haven’t you heard? Geoff’s in gaol!” Geoff had been arrested for sexually molesting his two teenage step daughters. It came as a great shock to us as we had known Geoff and his family for a number of years and had no idea that there were any problems. Some time before we had found a lot of porn images on our computer after we had been away and our house had been used by quite a few families. On reflection Geoff had obviously been addicted to internet pornography with unthinkable results. He had been working with us on an album about fathers and yet his own fathering was tragically flawed.
4) W: I was in Pru Goward’s office one day and we were having a robust conversation about whether women were still suffering gender discrimination. I argued that this was not the case. Pru argued differently. “What about the woman in the boardroom who comes up with a good idea, but it is ignored,” she said. “Later a man suggests the same idea and it is applauded.” I had to admit that she was right. Often women are ignored or treated as sex objects. I began to think about the epidemic of pornography in our nation and how most men have been affected by the pornographication of our society. This sex doll that I asked a close friend to purchase here in Fyshwick exemplifies what a lot of Australian men actually think about Australian women.
Women are good for one use only – to have sex with.
Women are really like blow-up plastic sex dolls that can be treated as lower levels of the species by the male of the species.
Women are disposable creatures.
This blow-up plastic sex doll that I am showing you today is a sad testimony to the fact that gender equality is still not a reality in Australia today.
A: Professor Warren Farrell puts it this way, “For the first time in history, the sexes have an opportunity to redefine love.” The Sexual Integrity Forum could play a key part in this process. The challenge is to find unity in our diversity and accept that in some areas we will never have the same point of view.
We thank you for your contribution to the restoration of sexual integrity in Australia. The Sexual Integrity Forum is all about your passion for change, your willingness to listen, your creative policy ideas and your ability to bring change through love.
The song, ‘I wanna know what love is’, is a very apt description of the broad purpose of this Sexual Integrity Forum, here in Parliament House.
Love is still the greatest force in the universe, and perhaps here over the next two days we can discover it together.
Dr MA Layden’s speech
SEXUAL INTEGRITY FORUM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY DR. MARY ANNE LAYDEN
MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2005
Anything with power can be used for good or for not good – anything with power. Art has power. Money has power. Religion has power. Sex has power. The more power it has, the more good it can produce and the more not good it can produce. Sex, in ways we don’t completely understand, produces human beings, and so sex is the most basic and at the same time the most pre-eminent act of the human species. We should be interested in it because it has power and because it is so central to the species. It will drive humans to the best in their nature and to the worst in their nature. We ignore sexuality at our peril, we misunderstand it at our peril, we falsify it at our peril, and we misuse it at our peril.
There are those who are driven by money and greed, by sexuality and lust, sometimes by their own psychological damage, who would have us misunderstand, falsify, ignore and misuse sexuality. Do not be fooled by those.
For 10 years I was a college professor and I taught theories of human behaviour. And then at one point I said, “I wonder if any of those theories are actually true?” You know, I’ve been teaching them all these years to students, and they come into my class and they take notes and I’m thinking, “Does any of this actually work? Is this really the way it goes?” And at that point I changed my career and became a psychotherapist. And I’ve now been a psychotherapist for 20 years.
I began my work as a psychotherapist working with individuals who had been raped, who had experienced incest and sexual violence of all sorts, but I came to realise that after 10 years of working with these individuals, that there were certain things that were clear to me. One is that in the first 10 years I noted — now, I’m not a fast learner, but I noted that there was not one case of sexual violence that didn’t involve pornography. Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to say something is going on here, because there was no other common factor in all the cases that I was treating. This one stands out.
The other thing that I came to understand was that as much as I believe in the power of individual psychotherapy to heal, I knew that there were not enough psychotherapists in the world to heal all those who had been damaged, that we would not solve the problems by doing it after the fact, after a rape, after an incest, and healing the victims. And I was pulling them out of the river as fast as I could pull them out of the river, but that would not solve the problem. And so at that point I decided it was time to go up-stream and see who was pushing them in.
Now, when you do that, ultimately it leads to another issue, which is, “Who’s pushing the pushers?” So, somebody is pushing them in the river, but something is pushing the pushers. And so those are the issues that I want to focus on.
Now, I understand that the Sexual Integrity Forum, I’m the part that’s supposed to say, “This is what it’s not”. And I’m okay with that role. So, I’m going to talk about what it’s not.
When you look at the issue of sexual violence, you notice that most of the rapists are men, and those who commit incest mostly are men, and those who go to prostitutes mostly are men, and those who go to strip clubs mostly are men, and most of the pornography is used by men. Now, there are some theoreticians that say, “Oh, well, then that means those things are fuelled by male sexual innate behaviour”. But I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it, because most men don’t rape and most men don’t incest their children and most men don’t go to prostitutes and most men don’t go to strip clubs. Wait a minute. If this theory of innate male sexuality was true, how come it doesn’t explain most men?
So, that is one of the red herrings that causes people not to see the truth. They start to say, “Well, this is just something innate about men”. We can’t deal with who’s pushing them in. We can’t deal with what’s pushing the pushers. We have to only deal on the end of dealing with the victims. Now, my heart is with the victims and I’ve been dealing with the victims, and I will continue to deal with the victims. But it is not the solution to say we can’t look at the demand end, we can’t look at the pushing end. We’ve got to look at that end.
So, if it’s not innate, if males are not rapists by their innate quality, then it’s got to be something else, and that means it’s learned. It means it’s learned. And then you want to know who’s teaching them. Who’s teaching them? So, when we look at this issue about who’s teaching them, I start by looking and listening to the individuals with whom I have worked in therapy.
Now, let me say that when you spend all day every day talking to rapists and rape victims and paedophiles and incest survivors and prostitutes and strippers and sex addicts and porn addicts and cyber sex addicts, the language can get a little rough in my office. But I’m going to pull out one concept expressed to me by one of the men that I was treating about what he had learned and what was his basic belief, and that was – it’s a little rough, folks – “women’s bodies are pieces of sexual meat to be consumed for male entertainment”. Yikes. Okay. So, that’s what you learned and that’s what you believe, and that seems to be connected to why you rape, because you’ve got that belief.
Well, after I’d heard that, I began to realise that others of my patients with other kinds of issues than just this rapist believe some variation of the same thing. And I said, well, this is sort of interesting because when you look at the variety of sexual violence – there is rape and there is incest and there’s sexual harassment on jobs and there is, you know, sexual exploitation, industry involvement and all this – there are lots of differences in these kinds of cases, but they all seem to have some core piece that is some variation on that belief. So, rapists are different from people who incest, but they both believe some version of this. And sexual harassers are different, but they believe some version of this too. So, this piece tends to be core.
Now, I’m a cognitive therapist, and the founder of cogno-therapy is named Aaron Beck, and I read a work by Aaron Beck where he talked about a concept called permission-giving beliefs. And he was saying permission-giving beliefs seem to be common in all varieties of violence, in all varieties of addictions. We seem to have this core piece which is some kind of permission-giving belief.
Now, the definition of a permission-giving belief is that somebody will come up with a belief that says, “What I am doing is normal, it doesn’t hurt anybody, is what everybody is doing, is okay, and therefore I can continue to do it”. So, anything that gives you permission to do what you’re doing becomes a releaser of your violence, of your addiction, of your behaviour of some sort. So, cocaine addicts say to me, “Well, the laws against cocaine are just the government’s way of keeping the good stuff away from the people and we really should just use and it’s fine and it’s normal”. And I say, “Oh, boy, there’s a permission-giving belief”.
And I remember the first time I said to one of my patients who goes to prostitutes, I said to him, “How many men in the United States do you think go to prostitutes?” And he sort of looked at me quizzically, like, and he said, “Well, what do you mean?” And I’m thinking, “That question was real clear but I’ll try to re-phrase it in case I didn’t say it the way you could understand”. So I said, “Of all the men in the United States, how many of them go to prostitutes?” And he said, “Well, all of them”. “All of them?” “Oh, yeah, all of them”. I said, “Oh. Yikes”. That became part of his permission-giving belief. If all men go to prostitutes, then of course you’ll go. Well, why would you even consider not going? “All men go” became a releaser of his behaviour.
Now, when I said to him, “Well, some studies say it’s about 17 per cent of men in the United States go to prostitutes”. He was aghast. I said, “Maybe it’s just all the men you know go to prostitutes”. Later on in the treatment he was willing to consider that. You surround yourself with men who go to prostitutes, it’s easy to come up with the belief that “Everybody goes, and so of course I’m going, and I’m taking my 16-year-old son to go when he turns 16 and get him a night”. You know, say, “Wow, you’re passing that belief right on to your kids too, aren’t you, because you say everybody goes, and so of course we’ll go”.
So, permission-giving beliefs became quite important. They obviously were connected to sexual entitlement. “I’m entitled to do anything I want whenever I want, however I want, with whomever I want”. They also have a special way of being shared in violent situations that involve men and women. And as a cognitive therapist I typically focus on the individual beliefs of an individual, but I began to notice that sometimes there were people that were sharing beliefs and that the shared set of beliefs was part of the dynamic.
The first place cognitive therapists noticed that was in the area of domestic violence. The domestic violence perpetrator would often say, “Well, the soup was cold and so I had to break her arm and knock her teeth out to show her that she can’t do that to me”. I’m thinking, “Well, that’s his belief”. And then when I talk to her, she says, “Well, the soup was cold, so he had to break my arm and show me” – I said, “Wow, she’s got the same belief”. Because people would say to me, “How come those domestic violence victims don’t just leave that guy? How come they keep going back on average seven times before they decide to leave?” And I’m saying, “She shares his belief”. We’ve got a toxic duo here and they’re both believing the same thing.
And so we found pairs in domestic violence where they share the belief. Well, we started to notice in the area of the sexual exploitation industry we had shared beliefs between men and women as well, that this was okay, that this didn’t hurt anybody, that this was male sexual innate behaviour, that this couldn’t be stopped and it couldn’t be controlled, and both the men and the women believed it.
So, we began to look at the issue of beliefs. But I also began to note that the people that I treated also understood some place deep, some place in the centre there was a small, quiet voice that was also telling them the truth, that “This activity is not normal. It does hurt people. It is not okay”. And I would say to the men that I treat who are sex addicts, who go to prostitutes and go to strip clubs and are viewing pornography, and I say to them at some point in their treatment, “So, would you like your wife to be a prostitute? You want your daughter to be a stripper; your mother to be porn star; your sister to be a porn star” – and a hundred per cent of them say, “Wow. No. No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no”.
And I say, “No. You want somebody else’s wife; somebody else’s daughter; somebody else’s mother; somebody else’s sister to do that. You don’t want the ones you love to be damaged”. The golden rule somehow didn’t apply here for them. But they know from that answer alone, this hurts people, and they don’t want the ones they love hurt.
Often the women who get drawn into the sexual exploitation industry also know that it hurts. Women on the outside looking at that, they know it hurts. It is almost never the case – almost never the case – that a white, rich, 30-year-old women would say to herself, “I think I’m going to be a prostitute. That’s a great idea”. Now, they may say, “I think I want to be a doctor. I’ll go back to med school. I think I’d like….” but they just hardly never say, “I think I want to be a prostitute”.
Hardly ever do men say, “I wonder if I could be a prostitute?” Now, if this was such a great thing, don’t you think rich, white women would want to do it? Don’t you think men would want to do it? But they don’t. Typically, the people who get into the area of prostitution have a common background, and this is what I hear from the patients that I work with. Somewhere in her childhood every night she would get into her bed and roll herself into a foetal position and every night he came in and peeled her open. The physical invasion, the visual invasion of her body became normative. This is what life is like. This is what happens.
So, in order for them to want to be a prostitute, you have to rape them as a child. Now, it also helps if you make them homeless, put them into poverty and get them drug addicted. What kind of career for those people who think this is just work, has as a prerequisite, you have to be raped as a child, you have to be homeless, live in poverty and you have to be addicted? For those who want to make the case that this is just work, how come you have to rape a child to want to do this work?
I think people on the outside could also figure out this is damaging if they would just look a bit about how this is structured. Most people know that strippers at strip clubs work with bodyguards. Now, they work with bodyguards because this activity produces violence. You notice in other places in our society, you know, we don’t have bodyguards stationed outside of churches just in case when you go into church you’re somehow, you know, ignited to do some kind of violent behaviour and we’d better get some bodyguards there. And up until recently we didn’t need to have bodyguards at our libraries because, you know, going in to read those books didn’t incite people to violence.
Of course, now, with the advent of the Internet in libraries, with people going into libraries and using child pornography and then raping children in the bathrooms of libraries, which happened in Philadelphia last year, the call was for more bodyguards at the library. Now that we’ve made our libraries red-light districts “More bodyguards”.
But strippers, they work with bodyguards, and so here they are these, who when they were little girls, were physically and visually invaded, and now as adults they’re going to re-enact their trauma. Now, psychotherapists understand that concept of re-enactment. You repeat what it is you know, so now they’re becoming strippers and they’re sending messages to men in the audience that women are pieces of sexual meat to be consumed for male entertainment, and then they’re filling the audience full of alcohol, okay, and now that’s dis-inhibited these guys even more because they’re got the message and now they’ve got alcohol, and so then they sick them on the women in the community who don’t have bodyguards.
The men become carriers of the message back into their homes, onto the street, into their jobs, onto the schoolyard. So, the message has been sent, and now it’s been carried. There are those who would want to make money on this whole phenomena – the pornographers, the pimps, the sex traffickers. They are the psychological cannibals who feed upon the psychological vulnerability of others. They don’t care that this stripper is stripping because she was violated in childhood. They don’t care that she’s become a prostitute because it feels like home. They’re driven by their greed, by their own sexual dysfunction, to feed upon those who are damaged, who are vulnerable.
When these psychological cannibals feed upon this system, they increase the damage. I regret that in some places, here and in the US and other places as well, there are some laws that have been passed that causes the Government to join that process and become psychological cannibals as well. When you have laws that try to segregate, let’s say, there are laws that are passed that said, “Let’s just put pornography on TV late at night, that’ll fix it. Let’s put the prostitutes all over in this zone over here, that’ll fix it. Let’s – you know, we’ll put something over here and put something over there”. Those are such naive attempts to work with this problem. You know, that is comparable to having a “pee” and “no pee” section in a swimming pool, you know. We’re all swimming in this place together, so we’re all going to be in it. So, those segregation laws – no, no.
And the legalisation laws. Well, how does changing a person from being pimped by somebody else to pimping themselves solve the problem? The damage is still being done because the act in itself is sexually, psychologically denigrating, and there’s nothing you can do to make that kind of behaviour healthy, nurturing, there’s nothing you can do. And legalising it will not do it. Legalising it will not do it.
So, coming up with a definition of healthy sexuality – the non-exploitive, mutual, life-enhancing sexuality is important, but I believe the first step is finding out what it’s not. And finding out what it’s not is realising that the sexual exploitation industry has no healthy sexuality in it. Truly, if pornography made us healthy, we would be healthy by now. Not happening.
And so we are joining here in the Sexual Integrity Forum and today you’re going to hear the truth from many people. You’re going to hear the truth from people who have had experiences in their own lives. There are giants in this room that will tell you the truth. I feel privileged to be in the same room and breathe the same air as the giants who sit here. They will tell you the truth, and then tomorrow you will be asked to develop a plan of action. Speak truth to authority because the truth will set us free.