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Post Info TOPIC: Dear Prudie: What Constitutes Molestation?
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Always misinterpret when you can

Posts: 21294
Date: March 10th
Dear Prudie: What Constitutes Molestation?
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Q. What Constitutes Molestation?: When I was a child, my father would do something that would make me incredibly uncomfortable. He would suck and nibble at my earlobe. I never said to stop because I would just freeze in my discomfort. The first time he did this there were people around. I was 6 or 7 and sitting on his lap and even then it seemed wrong, but his sister and her kids were in the room and no one said or did anything, so I thought it must be my problem. Later he started doing it when he came in my room to say goodnight. By this time my brothers and I were visiting him on weekends as my parents had split up. Every night I stayed at his house I would dread that moment. As I got older I started pretending to be asleep and holding the blankets tightly over my head. When I was 14, I stopped going to his house on weekends. I never said anything to anyone growing up because I was embarrassed and thought I’d be told I was making a big deal out of nothing (my family copes with everything through minimization and denial). When I was 18 I told my mom about it and she treated it like it wasn’t a big deal. She said she didn’t remember him having some sort of ear fetish when they’d been together so there was no way it was sexual in nature and I must have just misunderstood. Then she said I should stop making a big deal out of it since I didn’t even go to his house anymore. That was 15 years ago and I still freak out if my ears are touched and feel dirty and ashamed. My husband accidentally got too close last night and I broke down crying and didn’t want him near me. We talked about my past and he was loving and supportive, but neither of us is sure whether or not my dad actually did anything wrong. He pointed out that my reactions are like that of someone who had been molested but when no one has touched your private areas, does it count as molestation?

A.: Your mother confirms your father had an ear fetish, then goes on to say that this proves what he was doing wasn’t sexual! [Update: Yes, I know “didn’t” is the opposite of "did." I address this reading error below.] You had more insight as a 6-year-old into what was going on. You instinctively understood that you were being violated and that your father was getting some kind of sick pleasure from this. Then, as a young teenager, you managed to find the wherewithal to protect yourself by withdrawing from your father’s life. But even when you eventually told your mother why, she minimized what had happened to you. Please see a therapist to talk all this through. Not just the fact that indeed your father was molesting you—he clearly was getting sexual stimulation from touching you against your will—but the fact that no adults in your life listened to you or protected you from this creepy, sick transgression. It’s wonderful that you have a supportive husband who understands. I think that a good therapist will allow you to feel more comfortable in your body and in your marriage.

Q. Re: Ear fetish: You read the letter too quickly—the mother said that she didn't remember the father having an ear fetish. Otherwise, I agree with what you wrote.

A: Yes, reading comprehension is important! Sorry about that. So, the mother can confirm that her ex-husband didn’t fetishize her own adult ears. Yet she was unable to listen with them to the fact that something awful was going on whenever her daughter visited her father and that her daughter was afraid when he came into her bedroom at night. The father was a perpetrator. The mother was unable to support her daughter and offer help. I hope the letter writer will finally find someone who understands what she went through and will help release her from its grip.

 

 



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Jedi

Posts: 1508
Date: March 10th
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I dont know that I agree with this assessment.

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Grand Master

Posts: 7149
Date: March 10th
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The best way to figure out would have been to tell him to knock it off. If he continued then he's an ass (still not sure it's molestation) but the fact that he didn't even know it bothered his daughter makes me kind of sad that he didn't have a chance to fix the relationship.

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Wait, was I supposed to care?

Posts: 3407
Date: March 10th
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NotAnyOtherWay wrote:

The best way to figure out would have been to tell him to knock it off. If he continued then he's an ass (still not sure it's molestation) but the fact that he didn't even know it bothered his daughter makes me kind of sad that he didn't have a chance to fix the relationship.


 I agree. I think it's weird, but what if he thought it was their cute thing and had no idea she didn't think so too?



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Sith Lord

Posts: 26563
Date: March 10th
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Sounds to me like the dad was trying to annoy or aggravate her.

Some don't know how to say what they are feeling so they do annoying things.

This isn't molestation. Sounds like the daughter has been watching too many talk shows.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24634
Date: March 10th
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Definitely weird. Molestation? I'm not sure. I guess I would hope there were more "red flags" than just this that made her uncomfortable.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24054
Date: March 10th
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Weird and uncomfortable? Yes. But, if that is the only thing, I would not call that molestation unless he was sucking on her earlobes for a prolonged time and not just a nibble, good night kiss or whatever. He may have thought that was his way of showing her she was special or something. I don't know. And, I get that it may have freaked her out but as an adult, unless there was something else untoward, I think she should take a step back and accept that it really was meant as an act of affection and not ascribe meaning to it that isn't there.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24054
Date: March 10th
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I think people giving Wet Willies is incredibly gross and disgusting and in many ways an overtly hostile. But, some people do it just to be annoying. You don't have to give all these things so much power over your life.

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Jedi

Posts: 2537
Date: March 11th
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Honestly, the guy was sucking on his 14 year old daughter's ear. That's pretty damn skeevy.

And I love how the TEENAGER is blamed for not standing up to her father. Awesome victim blaming here.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24634
Date: March 11th
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OpheliaDev wrote:

Honestly, the guy was sucking on his 14 year old daughter's ear. That's pretty damn skeevy.

And I love how the TEENAGER is blamed for not standing up to her father. Awesome victim blaming here.


 But she wasn't always a teenager--and "victim" of what? 

I think it's weird, but we don't know at all this was sexual in nature.  I've seen fathers pat their daughters on the butt (heck, I've seen coaches do it to their female players)--and it's RARELY sexual in nature. 

I think this is more of a situation where she didn't have a good relationship with her father, anyway, so this particular behavior is seen in a different light than most would see it--and MOST commenting on here that this isn't that big of a deal are females, themselves, so they are/were daughters.



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Jedi

Posts: 2341
Date: March 11th
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I think it's creepy.

Though I would have pushed him away. My Dad was touchy feely....not in a weird way but more of a trying to control way if that makes sense. Like putting his hand on your back or shoulders but then pushing you in the direction he wanted you to go. He still tried to do that even up until he went in the ALF. I have never been shy about telling him to stop pushing and directing me but I was outspoken even as a child. I guess some kids are more timid about protecting thweir personal boundaries, laws no I was never one of them!

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24634
Date: March 11th
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Mary Z wrote:

I think it's creepy.

Though I would have pushed him away. My Dad was touchy feely....not in a weird way but more of a trying to control way if that makes sense. Like putting his hand on your back or shoulders but then pushing you in the direction he wanted you to go. He still tried to do that even up until he went in the ALF. I have never been shy about telling him to stop pushing and directing me but I was outspoken even as a child. I guess some kids are more timid about protecting thweir personal boundaries, laws no I was never one of them!


 It's weird--but there is a HUGE difference between weird behavior and sexual molestation.  Sexual molestation you can at least call the police and they might do something about it--especially in this day and age--the ear thing?  NO way. 



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Sith Lord

Posts: 24054
Date: March 11th
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huskerbb wrote:
OpheliaDev wrote:

Honestly, the guy was sucking on his 14 year old daughter's ear. That's pretty damn skeevy.

And I love how the TEENAGER is blamed for not standing up to her father. Awesome victim blaming here.


 But she wasn't always a teenager--and "victim" of what? 

I think it's weird, but we don't know at all this was sexual in nature.  I've seen fathers pat their daughters on the butt (heck, I've seen coaches do it to their female players)--and it's RARELY sexual in nature. 

I think this is more of a situation where she didn't have a good relationship with her father, anyway, so this particular behavior is seen in a different light than most would see it--and MOST commenting on here that this isn't that big of a deal are females, themselves, so they are/were daughters.


Well, maybe they did have an awkward relationship and this was some weird way of trying to show affection.  I don't know.  But, I think that sometimes we have to step back when we are adults and realize our parents were flawed people as well. 



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On the bright side.... (M)

Posts: 30392
Date: March 11th
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I am a bit disturbed that the father either never picked up on the fact that she didn't like it, or that he didn't care.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24054
Date: March 11th
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Some people are oblivious LL.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24634
Date: March 11th
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Lawyerlady wrote:

I am a bit disturbed that the father either never picked up on the fact that she didn't like it, or that he didn't care.


 It really doesn't sound like she made it known.

However, it's a bit like tickling.  Does anyone really "like" it?  Meh, I don't know--but you laugh when someone tickles you.  

She doesn't really say how she reacted at the time he did it. 



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Sith Lord

Posts: 24054
Date: March 11th
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Well, it was uncomfortable and annoying for the daughter. However, as an adult, she needs to find some way to deal with it and understand it. Doesn't mean she has to excuse her discomfort, not at all. But, only she can really look deeper into what his motives were.

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Jedi

Posts: 1528
Date: March 11th
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Creepy.

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Grand Master

Posts: 9821
Date: March 11th
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The only time I've ever nibbled/sucked on an ear lobe or had it done to me has been in a sexual situation so yea, I'm calling it creepy and it would freak me out if a parent did it. But, on the flip side. I've given raspberries (blowing on a tummy) to my kids and would never consider that sexual. Is there such a thing as an ear raspberry?

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Jedi

Posts: 2341
Date: March 11th
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TrudyML wrote:

Creepy.


 Right?

I wouldn't let anyone do that to me except a SO in a  Happy Fun Time situation.  

Ick

 

 



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Always misinterpret when you can

Posts: 21294
Date: March 11th
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I only remember one female who licked my ear, and it wasn't sexual. She was a collie, waking me up to take her for a walk in the middle of the night.

 



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Jedi

Posts: 2341
Date: March 11th
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"why do they call you Lassie????"

:))

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24634
Date: March 11th
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Mary Z wrote:
TrudyML wrote:

Creepy.


 Right?

I wouldn't let anyone do that to me except a SO in a  Happy Fun Time situation.  

Ick

 

 


 But context means everything.  That was always immediately prior to or during the "happy fun time" situation.  Not the case here, apparently (because if she'd said it was followed by grabbing her breasts, we'd all agree it was molestation).



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Jedi

Posts: 2341
Date: March 11th
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I just don't think sucking on your child's ear is ever appropriate...color me crazy.

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Jedi

Posts: 1528
Date: March 11th
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Cra, cra!

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Jedi

Posts: 1528
Date: March 11th
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Think about it. In bed sucking your childs ear. That is a freak show.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 24634
Date: March 11th
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Mary Z wrote:

I just don't think sucking on your child's ear is ever appropriate...color me crazy.


 No one said it is--but that doesn't mean it is sexual molestation, either. 



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Jedi

Posts: 1528
Date: March 11th
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ed11563 wrote:

I only remember one female who licked my ear, and it wasn't sexual. She was a collie, waking me up to take her for a walk in the middle of the night.

 


 This is the cutest post. 



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Jedi

Posts: 2341
Date: March 11th
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huskerbb wrote:
Mary Z wrote:

I just don't think sucking on your child's ear is ever appropriate...color me crazy.


 No one said it is--but that doesn't mean it is sexual molestation, either. 


 Oh...I wouldn't say molestation either but still weird and creepy.



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Jedi

Posts: 1528
Date: March 11th
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Did he have a boner? Hmm.

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Jedi

Posts: 2341
Date: March 11th
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If I were married to someone and saw him do this, especially rountinely and as the child got older I would be having a talk with him. I would think WHT is wrong with him. Seriously.

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Jedi

Posts: 2869
Date: March 11th
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I used to "nibble" on Bunny when he was a baby. His chin, mostly. I've already stopped though because it would feel weird to do that to him now that he's older.
Something is wrong with this dad.

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Jedi

Posts: 1508
Date: March 11th
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Like it was said earlier, I feel bad that the relationship is now forever ruined all because dad didnt know his daughter didnt like it when he nibbled a goodnight kiss to her. I see it almost like a little pet thing that a daddy does for his little girl even when she is grown. I bet here all along during her growing years he did it because he thought she liked it.

This reminds me, I should probably ask my kids if they mind the butterfly kisses I give them once in a while or if it freaks them out.

:(

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