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July 7, 2009 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Was Michael Jackson A Pedophile? No! Jackson Was A Homosexual Autohebephile!

J Michael Bailey tries to explain both the sexuality and appearance of Michael Jackson in one grand theory. Bailey's diagnosis of 'homosexual hebephilia' considers Jackson's personal esthetic desire to be reflexively linked to his sexual attraction to young boys, wishing to create his own body as a target of sexual arousal. Bailey previously published The Man Who Would Be Queen, which accused trans women of an analogous disorder and sparked a fire of controversy. (Previously.)
posted by Sova (121 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
When your only tool is a hammer...
posted by mr_roboto at 8:52 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


too soon?
posted by lalex at 8:56 PM on July 7, 2009


A much rarer erotic identity disorder is the sexually-motivated desire to become an amputee. A subset of men are erotically driven to have particular limbs amputated (usually, but not always, one of their legs).

Oh he's not trotting out the apotemnophilia stump speech again, is he?
posted by mazola at 8:58 PM on July 7, 2009 [18 favorites]


But in important ways, gay men do not behave like Michael Jackson did. They do not get elaborate facial surgery that makes them look freakish, for example. They try to maximize their desirability to other gay men, and gay men enjoy conventionally handsome and masculine faces.

When I thought Jackson was gay, it was because of his unusual manner of speech. Since then, I've studied gay speech and learned that I was wrong. Although there is a gay accent prevalent in many gay American men, Jackson didn't have it. And gay men don't raise the pitch of their voice the way that Jackson did.


-Scientific Idle Speculation of Massive Cultural Groups Painted in Overly Broad Strokes Blogging
posted by zoomorphic at 8:59 PM on July 7, 2009 [18 favorites]


I can't wait till Michael Jackson's life and death is not considered 'news' any more. So, so tired of hearing every little detail for the last few (many?) years.

He's just a singer. He's also dead. Let him be.
posted by Brockles at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2009


This is the dumbest shit I've read in quite a while.
posted by rtha at 9:03 PM on July 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


There's no need to invent a new sexuality to describe Michael Jackson. After his death I thought that there were really two possibilities, (1) all sorts of children would come out of the woodwork describing various settlements and abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson, (2) he was not a pedophile, probably just a chaste homosexual.

Why did I come to those conclusions? Pedophiles don't just have one victim, the abuse is usually serial over a number of years over a large number of victims. Michael Jackson had all kinds of access to children, they slept in his bed and he had every opportunity to engage with them sexually and all the prosecutor could come up with were some flimsy cases? When pedophile priests are outed there's all kinds of victims coming forward either believing they were the only one or too embarrassed to say anything. With Michael Jackson you had the opposite, with kids coming forward and saying they slept in his bed and nothing sexual occurred.

While I think his behavior is beyond eccentric and clearly not appropriate, it does not match the patterns of behavior that abusive pedophiles tend to take on. More likely I believe he was a homosexual, who came from an abusive family that was incredibly homophobic. Watch Blame it on the Boogie and I think there's at least more than a few indications that he's gay, and if someone like me watching that sees it and thinks, wow he must might be gay, I cannot imagine that say, Joe Jackson would let effeminate behavior like that go unnoticed. Couple that with being the leading sex symbol of your generation and hitting puberty in the limelight, I don't think it is far fetched to think that Michael Jackson might have had quite a few identity crisis in his sexuality alone.

I think quite simply that after years of abuse about his appearance and sexuality that he no longer saw being sexual as an option, leading to his increasingly bizarre appearance and forced chastity. I think by bringing all sorts of kids to his house and his ranch he was, really, trying to help them as best he could as sort of a bizarre penance. Add onto that he was on enough opiates to make William S Burroughs look like a school kid, well, I'm sort of surprised if he had any grip on reality whatsoever.
posted by geoff. at 9:08 PM on July 7, 2009 [35 favorites]


I vote for letting Michael Jackson rest in peace.
posted by OolooKitty at 9:08 PM on July 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


I don't understand the obsessive desire many people have to dissect a celebrity's sexuality.
posted by heyho at 9:09 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yay! An author who espouses the idea that gay men are gender-confused mistakes, sexual dysphoria along a sliding scale that ultimately leads to having "the surgery". How forward thinking! I bet next he'll be rating us along the cleverly-named Bailey Girlyman Scale.

Feh. Away with his bigotry.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't think we'll know what MJ's sexuality was, exactly. As for the pedophile lawsuits, I always saw it as a 50/50 thing: I'd give equal weight to the dueling theories that he was a pedophile versus the idea that the kids (via coaching from their money-hungry parents) lied about the abuse. Both seem equally plausible, so I am agnostic about the subject. (Ok, maybe not agnostic, I'd lean another 5% that Jackson did it).

We'll only ever have speculation like this, unless--God forbid--video or something utterly ambiguous surfaces somewhere.
posted by zardoz at 9:19 PM on July 7, 2009


Autohebephile?

Huh. I didn't know there were any Jewish race car drivers.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2009 [18 favorites]


What about this guy?
posted by HabeasCorpus at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2009


There was Paul Newman.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2009 [10 favorites]


No one knows what causes paraphilias, although I strongly suspect that they are inborn errors of brain development.

I think this is unnecessarily harsh.
posted by Sloop John B at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2009


scientificblogging
SCIENCE 2.0


What's SCIENCE 1.0 and where do I go for my upgrade? Geek Squad?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:32 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thank you J Michael Bailey for those beautiful words.




So this is the official memorial thread then?
posted by mazola at 9:38 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of surprised if he had any grip on reality whatsoever.

Stories I've heard about Michael Jackson reminded of things I knew and say with my own eyes from professional athletes in my past career. It's very easy to lose whatever grip on reality you had when you're suddenly surrounded by zillions of sycophants.

Recall Kevin Smith's anecdote about working for Prince. "Prince has been living in PrinceWorld for quite some time now. Prince will come to us periodically and say things, like, 'It's three in the morning, in Minnesota. I really need a camel. Go get it.'"
...
"I'll watch this documentary about how a man fall's apart in front of a crowd of people. But I don't think that's the documentary that he has in mind."

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:38 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Paul Newman

Of course. I see how Michael Jackson would be attracted to him. Those eyes, that smile....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:39 PM on July 7, 2009


Sometimes it seems like he is rubbing a bunch of judgmental homophobic shit all over what could be a few interesting points.

There is a significant percentage of men who are erotically aroused by imagining themselves as women, and often transition to a female gender identity and live a lesbian lifestyle. The following is only a single datapoint, but the only uncloseted pedophile I ever talked to thought of himself as an overgrown child, and had a difficult time empathizing with other adults (he was strictly celibate for ethical reasons, he could not help his turn-on).

Psychology needs to be able to make sweeping generalizations and predictions about ways various kinds of people think, which will of course skirt dangerously close to stupid stereotyping. Of course this guy does more than stereotyping when he talks about paraphilias as errors for example.
posted by idiopath at 9:39 PM on July 7, 2009


You all realise that he's not going to be shagging people any more, right?
posted by pompomtom at 9:45 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I thought Jackson was gay, it was because of his unusual manner of speech. Since then, I've studied gay speech and learned that I was wrong. Although there is a gay accent prevalent in many gay American men, Jackson didn't have it.

What? I've "studied gay speech"? What planet did you get your drugs on and can I have some?
posted by nola at 9:48 PM on July 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


rtha: This is the dumbest shit I've read in quite a while.

Hear, hear.

Psychoanalyzing the recently deceased ought to be an act which makes any decent human being hesitate a bit.

Psychoanalyzing the recently deceased merely in order to sell books filled with made-up words is certainly not only disrespectful to the person of the man being psychoanalyzed, but to humanity as a whole.

And psychoanalyzing the dead using contradictory, ridiculous terms and making silly claims like saying that a certain person wasn't a ‘pedophile’ but rather someone “whose erotic goals included…having sex with pubescent boys”? Well, that's just fucking crass.

I find it fitting that both of the linked articles were published exactly five days after Michael Jackson's Death. I mean, I'm certain that it's not that he waited. It only took five days because that exactly how long it took for Mr. JM Bailey and his agent to have a good back-and-forth via email about the ‘tremendous lucrative possibilities’ here and the ‘necessity of positioning any future publishing prospects well by getting in the public eye’ and the ‘great opportunity this presents for putting more content in front of more consumers’. I'm sure they discussed how important it was to begin at least one of the articles with a phrase like “The predictably massive postmortem analysis of Michael Jackson has focused on…” in order to divert attention from the sleazy, shameful profiteering this amounts to by implying that everybody's doing it, so it can't be that bad, can it?

Fuck this dude. Whatever Michael Jackson was, this guy is a fucking douche, and he can go to hell.
posted by koeselitz at 9:48 PM on July 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Science 1.0 was Aristotle. Science 2.0 was Geber and the Muslim chemists; 3.0 the Enlightenment, and 3.1 the important Relativity patch. We're currently running Science 95, a buggy workhorse but better than the proposed Science Vista, known mostly for crashes and spotty adoption.
posted by klangklangston at 9:50 PM on July 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


two important Canadian sexual scientists

These words do not belong together.
posted by lukemeister at 9:57 PM on July 7, 2009


two important Canadian sexual scientists walk into a bar....
posted by Afroblanco at 9:59 PM on July 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


nola: the more isolated a subculture, the more likely it is to has its own distinctive vocabulary, accents, and affectations - look at Polari, which was on the verge of being its own language. I can't testify about whether he actually studied gay speech, but I am sure someone did a survey of gay accents.
posted by idiopath at 10:00 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


When your only tool is a hammer...

You want to become a nail. Right?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:03 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


two important Canadian sexual scientists

Wait till you get to the part about their seminal work.
posted by mazola at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


That was an interesting article.

This sentence from part two really stood out, “Autogynephiles tend to be gifted in technical, mathematical, and scientific pursuits, with computer scientist being the prototypic autogynephilic occupation.”

I’d love to read more about the research behind that statement.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 10:07 PM on July 7, 2009


If Professor Bailey's work had passed peer review, he could have gotten onto NCBI ROFL.
posted by lukemeister at 10:09 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay! An author who espouses the idea that gay men are gender-confused mistakes, sexual dysphoria along a sliding scale that ultimately leads to having "the surgery". How forward thinking! I bet next he'll be rating us along the cleverly-named Bailey Girlyman Scale.

Feh. Away with his bigotry.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on July 7 [+] [!]


The author doesn't think Michael Jackson was gay, at least not in the way we think about men being gay, and the section zoomorphic quoted above ("They do not get elaborate facial surgery that makes them look freakish, for example. They try to maximize their desirability to other gay men, and gay men enjoy conventionally handsome and masculine faces.") is part of his reason why.

I think it's pretty accurate--how many gay men do you know who look or talk like Michael Jackson? The bit about "conventionally handsome and masculine faces" is a little off the mark, but even within the wide universe of gay subcultures, I can't think of many that emphasize strange or otherwise unconventional face-structures, even among those groups whose aesthetics wrt body-type/behavior differ greatly from those of the gay mainstream (and mainstream mainstream). This is what makes Michael Jackson especially aberrant, according to the author, and the author finds an explanation for this in what he calls Jackson "autohebephilia." Anyways, I think the author's theories are pretty interesting, and I don't you should read too much homophobia, even if his talk of "gay accents" comes off as pretty clueless.

(even given all of this his theories on transwomen and "autogynephilia" seem nothing if not regressive, so I can see why people would approach this dude's theories with incredulity)
posted by chomputer at 10:17 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't fucking moonwalk either, Bailey, but that doesn't mean I have to invent a brand new psychiatric condition for those who can.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:24 PM on July 7, 2009


I can moonwalk.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:27 PM on July 7, 2009


I wondered if we'd get through this day without a Michael Jackson post.

It's about 3pm where I am. It seemed like we would. I was hopeful. Now I am gravely dissapointed. Pun totally intended.

On the plus side, it allows me to say what I really want to say about Jackson and this whole veneration of him in death.

The man was a pedophile and it pisses me off more than mere words can express that the very journalists who would have written an article about 'Whacko Jacko' and his child loving tendencies on June 24 are now hailing him as pretty much The Greatest Human Being Who Ever Fucking Lived with scant mention of the activities that have likely irreperably scarred the lives of his victims forever.

I understand the whole idea that everyone is made a saint in death but christ, fuck, give me a break. Whatever talent this bozo had (and in my books, there's not a lot to speak of) does not excuse the crimes he committed.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:28 PM on July 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't give a damn what the hell people thought he was, but looking at his basement I think many many people here wouldn't have minded hanging out with him. He's got Han FREAKING Solo in Carbonite!!!
posted by P.o.B. at 10:28 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


The man was a pedophile

Wow, this is the OJ Simpson trial all over again!
posted by lukemeister at 10:31 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can moonwalk.

Sounds like a textbook case of autoerotographomanic antagonistic distemper to me.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:34 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe he was just asexual, or whatever the term is for being sexless, without a desire for it, whatever. Maybe he was both that and, like most people, very capable of making stupid decisions. For the record, my wife and I babysit our 4 year old niece and she sleeps between us when she's here. Michael sleeping with boys who he felt like he was genuinely friends with or that, I don't know, they'd feel really happy and good and special sleeping next to someone so talented, so kind, so giving. I'm not saying it's not weird, but man, I'm sorry. He just doesn't seem like he'd do that to me. He's like a human version of Mickey Mouse, only if Mickey could dance and sing and break down racial barriers and whatnot.

If this guy can theorize, so can I right?
posted by Bageena at 10:37 PM on July 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


The man was a pedophile

Wow, this is the OJ Simpson trial all over again!

Seriously. By the way, unless someone can come up with some hard evidence that he was a pedophile I'm just going to go with the idea the guy had a serious Peter Pan Syndrome.

Wiki

Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his Heal the World Foundation, charity singles, and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his changing appearances and behavior, generated significant controversy that damaged his public image. Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged. The singer had experienced health concerns since the early 1990s along with conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, actions which caused further controversy. In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of different sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:41 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


chomputer: Well, the author does use the word "homosexual" applied to Jackson, while trying to differentiate between pedophiles and hebephiles, as his apparent interest was toward boys and not girls. However, doing a bit more background reading on the author and his theories shows that his later analysis of Jackson as being erotically fixated on imagining himself as a pubescent boy is part and parcel of Bailey's overall hetero-oriented bigoted attitude about gay men in general.

Bailey repeatedly uses the term "inversion" in reference to non-heterosexual men, a term of nastiness which had passed from common use decades ago. His premiere, controversial work "The Man Who Would Be Queen" not only argues homosexuality from a perspective of "feminizing of the male", which is harshly hetero-bigoted, it also seeks to explain transsexuality only in terms of hetero-normal terms which end up being more insulting than illuminating.

He's a machismo-frightened homophobe who insists on hiding behind academic theories and poorly executed research to underscore his theories that straight = good, gay = bad (with a subtext of female = weak = bad).
posted by hippybear at 10:46 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


When your only tool is a hammer...
posted by armage at 10:56 PM on July 7, 2009


I never really cared whether Michael Jackson was gay, a pedophile, or a gay pedophile.

This article however brings to light some pretty damning stuff. Rebuttal anybody?

And can we all agree that the whole Jackson clan is a little off?

Also, why do some gay men, from completely different backgrounds, speak with similar accents? Seems weird to me. Is there a gay female accent I don't know about?

Back to the article though. If Jackson had auteheebyjeeby whatever, wouldn't he also dress as a child? I guess he did apparently dress up as Peter Pan. If his intent was to look like a child, it seems he got the wrong kinds of surgeries. I always thought he was going for a white 40's gangster type of look. He was an autoalcaponephile.

Okay, enough of my day wasted reading/typing about deadass Michael Jackson. Now I must go look online for fake vulva and breasts to wear, while listening to Crispin Glover's version of "Ben".
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:58 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think the most disturbing tidbit that I read about Jackson was that his pet name for semen was "duck butter." Which seems a slur against ducks, all manner of dairy products, and probably semen as well. Yikes. Here's hoping it's completely scurrilous.


Sorry! (No one's reading this thread, are they?)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:59 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Duck butter!
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:00 PM on July 7, 2009


I am never going to understand the fascination people have with explaining Dead Michael Jackson's peculiarities. I remember listening to the news report about the nose, the thing about not wanting his nose to look like Joe Jackson's nose or whatever. WHAT. Seriously. No question mark there, no questions tonight! There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for us to be discussing Michael Jackson's nose, or whether he was a pedophile or had some sort of "erotic identity disorder". The guy is dead. He had three children. At his memorial service, the dude's OWN CHILDREN were told that their daddy wasn't strange. The fact that had to even be brought up is kind of ridiculous and sad.

I don't wanna be Debbie Downer or Betty Boring here, but LEAVE MICHAEL ALONE.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 11:03 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think that's spot-on, hippybear. Re-reading the article with what you said about Bailey's larger framework in mind, a lot of what I saw as cluelessness now comes across as a lot more homophobic. Anyways, I didn't mean to defend Bailey's theories (which I don't know anything about), just to point out that Bailey doesn't think Jackson is gay, at least not as Bailey understands gayness.
posted by chomputer at 11:08 PM on July 7, 2009


Okay, last thing I have to say about Michael Jackson, hopefully ever: The only reason I'm even saying anything about the guy in the first place is that the whole world seems to have forgotten that he may have done something wrong. I'm not sure where it says that we have to only say nice things about dead people? The Bible? Miss Manners?

SkylitDrawl, you're worried that his kids had to hear that he wasn't strange at his funeral? You're not perhaps a little worried that one or more of them might have been sexually molested by a man who has been accused of sexual molestation several times? A man who fed wine to children, and admitted, on camera, that he slept in the same bed with them. Autodelusionphile.
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:17 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


These speculations would matter to you if you were involved in a court case involving the dead guy's sexual activities. Otherwise, it's all rubbernecking at a particularly visible car wreck.

But. But.

That's what people do. We read biographies. We gossip. We are fascinated by ourselves and by others. I'm haven't been particularly interested in this guy since about 1982, but I understand the impulse to root through his garbage and laundry bin. I'd pay good money for reliable details about, say, Shakespeare, and I wouldn't care how low my interest seemed to anyone else. Tell me exactly what Shakespeare did when he wasn't scratching about with the pointy end of a goose feather. Give me his dirty underpants, if he wore any underpants, and tell me about it if he didn't. Show me upskirt (or updoublet?) photos of his meat and two veg. Entire books could be written on Shakespeare's pants and what he had in them. And they would be read.
posted by pracowity at 11:43 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love the rhetorical pull quote:

"Am I suggesting Michael Jackson was a homosexual autohebephile? I sure am"

Yeah, I got that part. That was the one part of the essay that was actually made sense.

MetaFilter: I SURE AM
posted by GuyZero at 12:02 AM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Gay men do not behave like Michael Jackson did. They do not get elaborate facial surgery that makes them look freakish, for example.

Sounds like someone needs a little vacation trip to Miami Beach, pronto!
posted by rokusan at 12:05 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


From Bailey's bio page...

I am Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University.

Okay, is there an article missing there, or:

(a) does Northwestern really have only one Psych professor; and/or
(b) is he, like, some kind of caveman professor?

I am Professor of Psychology. Kneel before me!
posted by rokusan at 12:09 AM on July 8, 2009


(b) is he, like, some kind of caveman professor?

I SURE AM
posted by GuyZero at 12:17 AM on July 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Show me upskirt (or updoublet?) photos of his meat and two veg.

Taters?
posted by ericost at 12:32 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Effigy2000: On the plus side, it allows me to say what I really want to say about Jackson and this whole veneration of him in death.

The man was a pedophile and it pisses me off more than mere words can express that the very journalists who would have written an article about 'Whacko Jacko' and his child loving tendencies on June 24 are now hailing him as pretty much The Greatest Human Being Who Ever Fucking Lived with scant mention of the activities that have likely irreperably scarred the lives of his victims forever.

I understand the whole idea that everyone is made a saint in death but christ, fuck, give me a break. Whatever talent this bozo had (and in my books, there's not a lot to speak of) does not excuse the crimes he committed.


Relax, dude. You and I both know what this is: it's all due to the fact that most people with access to a camera and a microphone don't know when to shut the fuck up. Everybody thought he was a pædophile before he died, so those people with microphones and cameras went on and on about how he just may be a pædophile in order to appease everyone's morbid curiosity and moralistic tendencies. Now that he's dead, everybody feels guilty for dragging him and every other celebrity through eleven tons of grade-A shit…so, predictably, what sells now are laudatory eulogies—because it was never really about whether he was a pædophile or not; it was about making us feel good.

And none of this changes the point at hand: there is plenty of guilt to go around, but if you're going to go swinging the shame stick, dead people are a pretty pointless target. In the worst-case scenario, he was a pædophile who lived a paranoid and schizophrenic life before dying at the early age of fifty. If the system didn't work, well, it sounds like he damned well got punished anyhow just by being the man he was.

If you'd like a better target, well, take some aim at those very people who are eulogizing him now: you're right, they're bald-faced, shameless hypocrites who deserve a few smacks. And they are the ones who run this ridiculous circus. The best thing you can say about all of them, all the cheap rags and glossy mags and news shows dedicated to 'entertainment updates,' is that they don't really and truly think that pædophilia is okay; but even that's not actually a good thing, since their actions in this case, all the hollow eulogies and empty praise, demonstrate quite plainly that they would happily speak up in favor of pædophilia if it would sell a subscription or help bump up their ad revenue. If you ask me, “entertainment journalism” (and, hell, most of the entertainment industry too) should be regulated out of existence; hell, if we can do it to Studebaker, why the fuck can't we do it to these scumbags?

All that's aside from the asshole who wrote the linked articles. I've already said what I think of him, so I'll leave that one be. Suffice it to say: whatever Michael Jackson's crimes, well, there's not much more we can do at this point. But there are pressing matters that we'd be wise to deal with, and they generally have to do with saving this country from hacks and charlatans.
posted by koeselitz at 12:56 AM on July 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Fascinating stuff. Very reminiscent of the work of the late John Money.
posted by Tube at 1:10 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


…anyhow, the only thing that really comforts me at this point is my own fervent belief that the tabloid press, and especially the author of this article, will now have something very worrisome to face.

ZOMBIE MICHAEL JACKSON WILL EAT THEM.
posted by koeselitz at 1:15 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's tempting to wonder what the hell was going on with MJ. In a popular culture that worships fame, wealth, talent and physical beauty, why did such a beautiful, talented, rich, famous man, whose success was guaranteed, destroy himself the way he did? Other famous stars were abuse survivors and didn't changes faces like that, bleach their skin from black to white (while singing about racial equality), sleep with young boys (while denying there is anything wrong with that), live in a house named after a fairyland, say things like "I am Peter Pan,", while his stage performing was not at all childlike.

No, he was incredibly confusing, it seems natural to wonder what was going on with him as one wonders about lots of confusing people, from Marilyn Monroe, Burroughs, Marlon Brando to Warhol and countless other confusing but interesting, talented people throughout history.

I liked J. Michael Bailey's exploration of the idea MJ was a homosexual autohebephile and thought his ideas about MJ's Peter Pan obsession sounded accurate with MJ's transparently put-on falsetto speaking voice, the Peter Pan non-nose, pointed ear, Neverland as the name of his home. That he wanted to be a child and have others erotically responding to him as a child sounds logical to me in light of his behaviors. I would add that I think MJ had narcissistic personality disorder.

Pedophilia is, in essence,auto-erotic. The pedophile uses children's bodies to masturbate with...Many pedophile truly bond with their prey. To them, children are the reification of innocence, genuineness, trust, and faithfulness - qualities that the pedophile wishes to nostalgically recapture.

His collection of stuff is as confusing as his collection of seemingly disconnected traits.
posted by nickyskye at 1:28 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh. I didn't know there were any Jewish race car drivers.

Paul Newman.
posted by cogneuro at 1:42 AM on July 8, 2009


I know, I know, this is a strange and difficult concept. It might help to provide an additional example. The most extreme autogynephile I have ever known did not only cross dress but would at some other times would glue (yes glue!) fake vulvas over his penis, wear fake breasts, and film himself (as a pseudo-woman) engaging in pornographic acts with a male dummy. This was highly erotic to him. This person eventually got surgery and is now living as a woman.
"Hence you know this wacky wacky person is not me. Wow, who would do those things."
posted by fleacircus at 1:48 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think Mr. Bailey has an unhealthy interest in speculating about people's sexuality. The extent of this perversion is such that he has turned it into a career.

There should be terms for these things.
posted by cogneuro at 2:04 AM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


There were also, presumably, different Hitlers. Some people might like to remember the Hitler who reunited Germany and brought back full employment. Not the later Hitlers, with their "attendant problems".
posted by fire&wings at 4:02 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Gary Numan

Autophile?

In a popular culture that worships fame, wealth, talent and physical beauty, why did such a beautiful, talented, rich, famous man, whose success was guaranteed, destroy himself the way he did?

If your narcissist verdict is right, you know why he could not be satisfied by external veneration. Indeed, most people of would find the adoration of strangers to be a bit troubling.
posted by asok at 5:39 AM on July 8, 2009


There is a significant percentage of men who are erotically aroused by imagining themselves as women, and often transition to a female gender identity and live a lesbian lifestyle.

There really isn't. The diagnostic criterea for "autogynephilia" can be turned on cis women and, ooh look, a majority of them tick the same number of boxes as the people JMB and his friends judge to be "autogynephiles". The motives ascribed to transition by JMB are a symptom and not a cause.

JMB is a hack, his research is unreliable and unverifiable, and he has influence far above his ability because he picked a few controversial areas of study that don't attract much serious research money and published sensational nonsense through non-peer-reviewed channels. This article is the usual festival of facepalm that I would expect from him.

There should be terms for these things.

Curse my limited forum search fu! As you might imagine, trans and gender-variant people have come up with quite a number of paraphilias to describe the incessant need of JML and his mates to apply bizarre and inaccurate motives to trans people's lives, but sadly I am unable to find a single damn one. Pity, as "autodiagnostiphilia" is all I can come up with right now, and it's not that great.

Yay! An author who espouses the idea that gay men are gender-confused mistakes, sexual dysphoria along a sliding scale that ultimately leads to having "the surgery". How forward thinking! I bet next he'll be rating us along the cleverly-named Bailey Girlyman Scale.

He also likes to imply that men who say they are bisexual are liars. He's a peach.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:00 AM on July 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


I wondered if we'd get through this day without a Michael Jackson post.

It's actually a J Michael Bailey post, you know. If pet theories were visible physical parts of the human body, Michael Jackson would look positively normal in comparison to this man. It's worth pointing out just how theoretically ugly Bailey is if it means people stop listening to his views on LGBT people. If Jackson ever harmed anybody, at least they can find some peace now, but Bailey is going to keep on harming people so long as we take him seriously.
posted by Sova at 6:00 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


re: What about this guy

HEY!! Peter Pan got married! And what a cute ceremony! I haven't checked in on him in years, thanks for the link! :)
posted by cavalier at 6:15 AM on July 8, 2009


Heh, serves me right for not checking back to the OP -- I semi-duplicated a link.

I remember my awesome email conversation with JMB back when The Man Who Would Be Queen was first extruded. He told me that if I just went back and looked hard enough at myself then I'd find my life magically conforming to his theories. Luv'im.

Bailey is going to keep on harming people so long as we take him seriously.

Yeah, his connection to the people revising the relevant section of the DSM is worrying.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:26 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


This sentence from part two really stood out, “Autogynephiles tend to be gifted in technical, mathematical, and scientific pursuits, with computer scientist being the prototypic autogynephilic occupation.” I’d love to read more about the research behind that statement.

As I recall, Bailey's research largely consisted of chasing CDs and trans-women in bars. Cat has more issues than a run of Psychology Today.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2009


Ha! This guy thinks he understands Michael Jackson? Jackson, who very consciously lived (and altered his body) in a way to defy easy categorization?

Jackson would have had a sexual identity like an orbit defined by his energies, impulses, and interests; bouncing past strange attractors; performing gravitational slingshots assisted by near-invisible, long-dead, but still lethal black dwarfs of past trauma; veering away in denial from self-aware expectations and unconscious fears in a kind of celestial celibacy; plunging through topological defects in the pathological curvature of his mind where a Asmovian psychomathematician would just wave his hands and say "a miracle occurs here;" which would inevitably loop back on itself in ever-increasing complexity into a tesseract-threading knot resembling a Lovecraftian Lorentz butterfly combined with a ratking whose shape only a team of telepaths and topologists could hope to untangle.

Nothing so reminds me that modern psychology is still a case of blind philosophers pawing at pachyderms than the attempts to pick a pair of paraphilias to patly package Jackson.
posted by adipocere at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Something I don't get at all is Bailey's his assertion that "if you are aroused by imagining yourself as X, that means you automatically want to fuck X." Is there any proof to this at all? Because this is pretty much his main argument; Michael Jackson liked to think of himself as a boy, and thus he molested boys. Bailey seems to have a very rigid view of "normal" sexuality, so I'm inclined to doubt anything he says.

Here's another explanation -- Michael was an incredibly abnormal individual who either did or did not molest boys. If he did molest boys, he did it because he was sexually attracted to them and had no real sense of right and wrong. Why does it need to be more complicated than that?
posted by Jake Apathy at 6:59 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nothing so reminds me that modern psychology is still a case of blind philosophers pawing at pachyderms than the attempts to pick a pair of paraphilias to patly package Jackson.

Nice alliteration, but this is an embarrassment for the tenure system more than for psychology as a whole.
posted by kathrineg at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2009


As niave as it may seem I would like to believe that michael jackson was a tad weird, but that he was innocent of the sexual crimes he was accused of and that the allegations were people looking to get rich. I think it's weird how people, especially from my experience white people, were willing to accept these allegations without any sort of trial. On top of that they accept the settlements as admittance of guilt. The only proof they have is that he looked weird.

On the other hand, assuming he was guilty, then the second family to bring these allegations about, ten years after the first incident, should be held responsible as bad parents for allowing their child to sleep with a "known" pedophile. The state should have taken their children and any settlement they recieved should have been put in some sort of trust that only the children would have access to upon their 18th birthday.

After I saw Paris Michael crying about how great her father was, I felt really bad. I mean that "weirdo" was someones father and this girl really believed that he was a great dad, so i can only assume that he was. Now my fear is those kids are going to Joe Jackson (indirectly) who is documented to not be a good father.



I
posted by djduckie at 7:05 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


The first time I encountered the term "autogynephilia", for what it's worth. From 2007.

Whether this has anything at all to do with the late MJ, I do not know. But it's a better-written article than JM Bailey fella's.
posted by Neofelis at 7:22 AM on July 8, 2009


J Michael Bailey, Purple Prose Professor of Pataphysics
posted by lukemeister at 7:34 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The bit about "conventionally handsome and masculine faces" is a little off the mark, but even within the wide universe of gay subcultures, I can't think of many that emphasize strange or otherwise unconventional face-structures, even among those groups whose aesthetics wrt body-type/behavior differ greatly from those of the gay mainstream (and mainstream mainstream).

How is the emphasis on conventionally handsome and masculine faces any different in gay subcultures than it is in heterosexual non-subcultures? Are "strange or otherwise unconventional face-structures" a turn-off only to gay people?
posted by blucevalo at 7:44 AM on July 8, 2009


The article is weird, but interesting.

Jackson may have been a child molester. He may have paid off one or more families to avoid allegations. He is on video holding an infant off a 4th story balcony, clearly a very unsafe move. He seems to have married and divorced someone so that he could have children, and may have used anonymous donor egg/sperm, thus avoiding custody conflicts. He clearly abused prescription drugs, apparently leading to his death. It matters when anybody uses fame and wealth to manipulate and break the law, potentially harming children. Sometimes, thinking of the children is a good idea.
posted by theora55 at 7:45 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


The author states that homosexual men are no more likely to be sexually attracted to children than heterosexual adults. I believe this to be true, but would love to see documentation, as many people who are uneasy with gay rights seem to believe otherwise.
posted by theora55 at 7:46 AM on July 8, 2009


"I have seen pictures of naked pubescent children."

Ah, ha! So he is projecting.
posted by aftermarketradio at 8:00 AM on July 8, 2009


Yay! An author who espouses the idea that gay men are gender-confused mistakes, sexual dysphoria along a sliding scale that ultimately leads to having "the surgery". How forward thinking! I bet next he'll be rating us along the cleverly-named Bailey Girlyman Scale.

hippybear, did you even read the article? He definitively states that he doesn't think there is overlap between gays and autogynephiles. Nowhere did he draw a parallel between homosexuality and gender-confusion.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:39 AM on July 8, 2009


I think quite simply that after years of abuse about his appearance and sexuality that he no longer saw being sexual as an option, leading to his increasingly bizarre appearance and forced chastity.

Maybe he was just asexual, or whatever the term is for being sexless, without a desire for it, whatever.

Brooke Shields talks about ‘asexual’ Jackson.
posted by ericb at 8:44 AM on July 8, 2009


two important Canadian sexual scientists

These words do not belong together.


yeah, there is only 1 important canadian, Marg, Warrior Princess.
posted by nomisxid at 8:54 AM on July 8, 2009


J Michael Bailey tries to explain...

You mean "J Michael Bailey, Professor, tries to explain..." Show some respect!
posted by Nelson at 8:59 AM on July 8, 2009


theora55, this is a nuanced discussion of the studies that have been done, with a linked bibliography, from a non-wingnut (of any stripe) source.

While I'd like to believe that simply presenting the actual, scientific truth to people (whether about gays and pedophilia, evolution, or the actual Neil Armstrong moonwalk) will make them change their minds, we have ample evidence that it just ain't so.
posted by rtha at 9:13 AM on July 8, 2009


hippybear, did you even read the article? He definitively states that he doesn't think there is overlap between gays and autogynephiles. Nowhere did he draw a parallel between homosexuality and gender-confusion.

I should point out that in his other works he has drawn precisely this parallel. Not between gay men and "autogynephiles" but between gay men and what he calls the "homosexual transsexual". JMB is bad for everyone.

also, in future please don't use "gender confusion", as it's actually pretty offensive.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:22 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I should point out that in his other works he has drawn precisely this parallel. Not between gay men and "autogynephiles" but between gay men and what he calls the "homosexual transsexual". JMB is bad for everyone.

Yes, this.

J. Michael Bailey is the biggest moron who ever wrote about what other people were thinking. His mean-spirited Just So stories get way, way more traction than they deserve.

He should have been laughed out of the profession when he began his so-called "groundbreaking book" about gender identity, in which he coined the ridiculous term "homosexual transsexual," with a fake "case study" and then said "See, my made-up story shows that what I'm talking about is true."
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:36 AM on July 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


IAmBroom: I read the article very closely. More than once. I was aghast at what I was reading and wanted to make certain I hadn't mistaken anything.

From the first article about pedophilia: Furthermore, unlike gay men, homosexual hebephiles and pedophiles did not tend to start out as feminine boys. Meaning: gay men all start out as little boys who want to play with dolls.

Also from the first article: To reiterate, I do not know if Michael Jackson molested any boys. But I think he might have, and if he did, he was probably a homosexual hebephile. Meaning: Michael Jackson is homosexual.

From the second article (in bold print no less): Am I suggesting Michael Jackson was a homosexual autohebephile? I sure am.

As for his other "theories", please take the time to read the Wikipedia summary of The Man Who Would Be Queen, linked to in the FPP. It will give a brief overview of his idea that only heterosexual men are real men, and how everyone else is somehow an inferior, feminized pathetic hybrid. (I'm paraphrasing, of course.)
posted by hippybear at 9:54 AM on July 8, 2009


J. Michael Bailey, Professor, is the biggest moron

Fixed that for you. The title is right there on his poorly anti-aliased masthead so it must be very important to him. I imagine his business cards read "J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D." as well.
posted by Nelson at 9:59 AM on July 8, 2009


He definitively states that he doesn't think there is overlap between gays and autogynephiles.

It is true, he does state this.

Nowhere did he draw a parallel between homosexuality and gender-confusion.

This part is not true--while he claims that the majority of people who transition from male to female are motivated by autogynephilia, he also argues that the rest (a much smaller minority, according to him) are really basically just gay men who are transitioning as a strategy to attract straight men. He thinks that people who claim not to fit one of these two categories are lying (outright, or to themselves).

His theories are incredibly demeaning and insulting.
posted by Pryde at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Other famous stars were abuse survivors and didn't changes faces like that, bleach their skin from black to white (while singing about racial equality)

I do wonder, in a parallel universe, if Joe Jackson was a light-skinned, delicately-featured fellow, would Michael Jackson have gone out of his way to beef up, darken his skin, break his nose so it resembled a prizefighter's....

I'm not sure.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:10 AM on July 8, 2009


Bailey said: unlike gay men, homosexual hebephiles and pedophiles did not tend to start out as feminine boys.

hippybear said: Meaning: gay men all start out as little boys who want to play with dolls.

I think you're overstating that a bit. More like "gay men tend to start out ...".

Now maybe you still disagree even with that less drastic paraphrase, but it does not help your case to paint him as broadly as he seems to be painting human sexuality.
posted by ericost at 10:16 AM on July 8, 2009


I imagine his business cards read "J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D."

And, when making restaurant reservations, he makes them for Dr. Bailey.
posted by ericb at 10:22 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe he was just asexual, or whatever the term is for being sexless...

Or maybe he was castrated before puberty (which wouldn't necessarily make him asexual, but could explain some other things, like his voice). Did his voice ever really change? Seems to be a popular rumor on the webs.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:37 AM on July 8, 2009


please take the time to read the Wikipedia summary of The Man Who Would Be Queen

Hm. I didn't know that John Derbyshire reviewed Bailey's book favorably, suavely remarking [that matters of sexual eccentricity are] "at the very crux of conservative thinking as it has developed in this country across the past half-century ..." The same John Derbyshire who suavely wrote:
"It is, in fact, a sad truth about human life that beyond our salad days, very few of us are interesting to look at in the buff. Added to that sadness is the very unfair truth that a woman's salad days are shorter than a man's — really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20."
posted by octobersurprise at 10:57 AM on July 8, 2009


He is on video holding an infant off a 4th story balcony, clearly a very unsafe move.

I was talking to my wife about this and all the other stuff that people talk about when the subject turns to how MJ was strange. It makes me a little sad, because I can think of many, many stupid things that my parents did, my wife's parents did, and most parents do while raising children. For instance, my wife, when she was 8, wanted to go to the store with her mom. Her mom told her no. So my wife waited until her mom was in the car, then climbed up on the top of the van and held on for dear life while her mom drove the two blocks to the store. She remembers that she wasn't even worried about falling off, but was absolutely terrified that an owl would swoop down and eat her. When she got to the store, which was actually just a gas station, the attendant inside pointed out to her mom that she had a stowaway riding on the roof. She got herself a tanned backside and some groundation.
If this had happened to Michael, it would be on TMZ within moments. The police would get involved. People would talk about it still, like the balcony, like the surgical masks. My dad gave me my first sip of beer when I was about 6 or 7. It tasted like shit and it kept me away from it for years. If Michael was caught doing the same, they'd have probably taken his kids away. Can anyone here safely say that either their own parents or that they themselves as parents haven't once EVER done something stupid without intending to? I don't think MJ was thinking about the possibility of dropping his child, but more just excited to present his baby to what he thought was adoring fans instead of what it really was and has been for years - a rabid public that loves to see people fail.
That Vanity Fair article, full of oh-so-damning information, still fails to change my perception on the man. I'm sure that probably doesn't matter much to anyone, but if it helps any, I actually have intimate, first-hand knowledge of what a real pedophile is like. Pull up the AZ Court of public records and look up my father, Paul Press. You'll find about 40 arrests over the last 20 years. The last one was in 2006, when he was arrested for over 11 counts of child molestation. You wouldn't even have to know that to know he was fucked up if you met him though; it came through HIS SKIN. He was creepy and sick. His eyes would scan you like you were meat. He is a genuine predator which makes it all the more shitty that he'll be out of Florence Prison, where he's been held for the past 3 years, next year.
I've been around a child molester. I was raised by one. Michael Jackson was my hero when I was 4 years old (I'm 28 now). As the years past, I watched him fall apart and make bad decisions and felt very sorry for him because it was shocking to me to see how a man who gave so much his whole life, a man who CLEARLY did not even HAVE a childhood, was not allowed any wiggle room when it came to an explanation for some of his stranger mannerisms and poor decisions. I have friends that are way, way weirder than MJ. Shit, with all the money in the world, I cannot myself claim I wouldn't build myself a Neverland ranch and then hang out with a bunch of kids who'd at least give me a run for my money at Killer Instinct Gold.

Either way though, he's dead. So we can either choose to remember all the good or all the bad or a mixture of both. People writing articles about how he's a homosexual Autobot who molested children while riding ponies into outerspace are still dicks though, IMHO. Sorry. Why not dedicate your writing skills to how Sara Palin is a white devil or something instead? There's just so many other celebrities to slag on that didn't and haven't done ANYTHING good. Can't we talk about Fred Durst or Chad whats-his-face from Nickelback? Or how China just shut down Facebook for all it's denizens? Or anything else other than disrespecting MJ without any further proof that he deserves it?
posted by Bageena at 11:12 AM on July 8, 2009 [12 favorites]


Something I don't get at all is Bailey's his assertion that "if you are aroused by imagining yourself as X, that means you automatically want to fuck X."

I can see that I have guy parts, and I believe I have a guy brain, and I want to fuck women. Does that mean I should be imagining myself as a woman?

Because, really, that doesn't work so well for me. Maybe it means I'm a lesbian? I'm so confused by Bailey's pulled-from-his-ass ideas.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:52 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


unless someone can come up with some hard evidence that he was a pedophile I'm just going to go with the idea the guy had a serious Peter Pan Syndrome.

Well, maybe not evidence of being a pedophile, but there's plenty of hard evidence that he had sexual relationships with underage boys. Enough evidence to convict? Perhaps not.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:53 AM on July 8, 2009


What evidence?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:03 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


To all the people who are convinced that MJ was a pedophile - what proof do you have? I have no opinion one way or another, because I have not found any evidence that settles the case. What am I missing? Why are you so certain he was a pedophile? Because the arguments, such as they were, in the various posts, and the articles linked, are utterly unconvincing. I have to conclude that there is no convincing evidence that MJ was a pedophile (which is not the same thing as saying he in reality was not a pedophile). The settlements, the various accusers, the "sources" - all those have been taken apart by one poster in the first ("MJ is dead") thread over a week ago (sorry don't remember the name of the poster, but s/he did an excellent job).

It seems reckless in the extreme to throw such accusations around without very good evidence (I'm not even asking for ironclad proof).

Again - do you have high quality evidence? Come out with it, then. Because so far in these threads, I have seen ZERO - again, ZERO - good evidence.

Until such evidence is clearly presented, I call BS on the accusation.
posted by VikingSword at 12:28 PM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


The evidence is that the only men who enjoy the company of children are pedophiles. Men hate children. QED.

what I'm saying is that it's misandry.
posted by GuyZero at 12:33 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I find that Phonte of Little Brother (and The Foreign Exchange) shares my opinion on this matter and sums it up most eloquently forthwith: "My Hero Ain't Molest Them Bitch Ass Kids: Phonte's teary-eyed tribute to The King"

An excerpt: When defending Michael Jackson against his detractors, I am often asked if I would let one of my sons sleep over at his house. The answer is no. Shit, I wouldn't let my sons sleep over at YOUR house. But that doesn't make you a pedophile, it just makes me a concerned and protective dad who doesn’t leave his kids around people I personally don’t know well enough to trust.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:55 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


don't know about this autodefinitionphile writer/psychologist/whatever and his homophopia but a Michael Jackson as wannabe Peter Pan-theory seems pretty plausible, me thinks.
with his not so normal "childhood", jacko could emotionally have still been 11 when he died.
posted by mr.marx at 1:44 PM on July 8, 2009


(the Peter Pan-theory would not automatically make him a pedophile)
posted by mr.marx at 1:47 PM on July 8, 2009


Remembering Michael Jackson
posted by nola at 2:17 PM on July 8, 2009


I don't understand why people say we shouldn't criticize Michael Jackson. I *especially* can't understand how some people evidently believe that he probably did molest children, but say that we should now just "get over it" and let him rest in peace (because hey, he had a rough childhood too and couldn't help what he became).

That is, in effect, telling victims of sexual abuse that *they* need to just get over it. But child abuse isn't a crime that dies with the perpetrator. The children he abused (do any of you seriously believe he didn't do it?) will suffer for the rest of their lives. Child abuse isn't a "let's let bygones be bygones" kind of crime.

While there is no definite proof of child abuse, it is known that he slept with children (10-13 year old boys), gave them drugs and alcohol, and had books with naked photos of boys. The boys he favored came from broken and poor families that were likely to be blinded by gifts. They were also frequently physically unhealthy. These are classic, classic, classic traits of child molestors. Many, if not most, male child molestors also see themselves as a child in an adult body. This is why many of them don't really think they're doing anything wrong when they abuse kids -- they think, in a way, they are contemporaries. Many also seem asexual. This is because they are not sexually attracted to adults, and so don't give off sexual vibes to fellow adults!

I can see why some people may think we should give MJ a break for some of his weird stuff -- he was, after all, an enormously famous man and had a non-existent and abusive childhood, so of course he was going to have a couple quirks -- but no one should ever be let off the hook for child abuse. And to suggest that they should be is extremely damaging to all the victims of abuse out there.
posted by imalaowai at 2:29 PM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


This guy is a bigot disguised as a scientist and I'm not exactly sure why this is on MeFi.
posted by spitefulcrow at 2:37 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


(do any of you seriously believe he didn't do it?)

I have my doubts.
posted by availablelight at 2:53 PM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is the most plausible theory I've heard about MJ. I think he's probably correct.
posted by mike3k at 2:57 PM on July 8, 2009


Speaking for myself, I don't think "we shouldn't criticize Michael Jackson". What I object to is the "so when did you stop beating your wife" type arguments from those convinced he was a child molester. Criticize him by all means, but not for imaginary transgressions. Don't assume his guilt. All I ask, is: prove your case - or if not prove, then at least put forward good quality evidence. I still have not seen any. The worst we know about him in that regard is that he slept with kids in the same bed - I think that was highly inadvisable, not to say reckless. I think he can be rightly criticized for that - it was 100% inappropriate. But that still does not make him an active pedophile - he may have had a Peter Pan hangup, being generally disconnected from reality and common sense in such matters, which led him to such immensely stupid and wrong behavior (sleeping with kids in the same bed).

The reality is that there were a ton of people highly motivated to make up stories about his abusing kids - it was all about money. Those sources must be scrutinized very closely. So far, it seems they don't pass the smell test. There have also been several formal investigations - by the police and private investigators - result was, NO PROOF, NO HARD EVIDENCE.

So until you have proof, or at the very least, high quality evidence, it's all idle chatter and unfounded ranting.
posted by VikingSword at 5:37 PM on July 8, 2009


"Jason Francia, the handsome son of a former personal maid at Neverland, was the only young man to come forward and tell the jury that Michael Jackson had molested him, beginning when he was seven. After five years of therapy, the devout evangelical Christian said, he now works as a mentor to troubled young people and as a salesman of auto parts. He was 17, he said, when he learned that his mother, Blanca Francia, had agreed to a $2.4 million settlement with Jackson over three allegations of fondling him, and he had found out only two days prior to taking the stand that she had sold her story to tabloid TV for $20,000.

Francia testified that twice at Jackson's "hideout" apartment in Los Angeles the pop star had engaged him in tickling games during which he would move his hands over the boy's genitalia on the outside of his shorts. "Pretty much at every tickle thing there was money," he said, adding that both times Jackson gave him a hundred-dollar bill. As he described a third time, at Neverland when he was about 10 and Jackson's hands were inside his pants, his eyes welled up with tears, and he had to stop. When detectives questioned him in 1993, during the investigation into the Chandler case, he was 13 and at first denied that anything untoward had happened to him. A short time later, however, he disclosed details to the police."
posted by kathrineg at 6:01 PM on July 8, 2009


Lead Defence attorney Tom Mesereau cross-examined Jason Francia yesterday about his claims that he was molested by Michael Jackson fifteen years ago.

Mesereau concentrated on interviews given to investigators between 1993 and 2004, and implied that the investigators were pushing for him to say that he was molested although he initially denied the claims. "It was only after you were pushed real hard by the sheriffs that you began to say anything like that," Mesereau said. Francia claimed he could not remember, which would become a frequent answer during his cross-examination, much like when the Arvizo children were cross-examined at the start of the trial.
posted by VikingSword at 6:10 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Claims, and counter claims. Whom to believe? The architects of our justice system decided upon one way, which while not perfect, has worked reasonably well in an imperfect world. And when these specific claims and counter claims were examined, it was Michael Jackson who was exonerated. Now, unquestionably, we don't know as much about the evidence as those who reached this decision, but there it is, the decision went MJ's way. Absent contrary evidence (like in the OJ case), I find that pretty convincing - or at the very least, I find the contrary case unconvincing.

Next.
posted by VikingSword at 6:16 PM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Rtha, thanks for the link. Gay haters may not be swayed, but one person I know was surprised when I said that gay men were not the same as pedophiles. Having documentation allows me to make the assertion with more confidence. There are people who are just ill-informed, and who are willing to listen.
posted by theora55 at 7:33 AM on July 9, 2009


Having documentation allows me to make the assertion with more confidence.

FYI: more documentation which shows that the majority of pedophiles are straight men.
posted by ericb at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2009


hippybear, did you even read the article? He definitively states that he doesn't think there is overlap between gays and autogynephiles. Nowhere did he draw a parallel between homosexuality and gender-confusion.

also, in future please don't use "gender confusion", as it's actually pretty offensive.

ArmyOfKittens, I'm sorry that the phrase offended - I didn't think about that aspect - but in fact I was restating the terms hippybear used, in trying to make a point back to him:

Yay! An author who espouses the idea that gay men are gender-confused mistakes, sexual dysphoria along a sliding scale that ultimately leads to having "the surgery". How forward thinking!

That being said, hippybear, you have convinced me that the small sampling of this man's writings which I've been exposed to are not enough, and in the greater context, he does come off as an asinine homophobe.

/Redundantly repetitive much?
posted by IAmBroom at 8:44 PM on July 10, 2009


I found this fantastic little interview with Bailey from The Advocate entitled aptly “A Kinder, Gentler Homophobia” very enlightening as to who he is and what he thinks. I particularly liked the end of the interview:

[Bailey] I’m trying to get to something you were worried about before, which is that legally gay and straight men are different.

[David Ehrenstein] Different before the law in that anything related to femininity is downgraded in this culture.

[Bailey] Well, women certainly get equal rights.

[David Ehrenstein] The struggle for equal rights is far from over—especially now with antiabortion laws being instituted in South Dakota, thereby making women’s uteruses the property of the state.

[Bailey] I think that feminine men are great and deserve every bit of the rights as masculine men. I would rather hang out with feminine men.

[David Ehrenstein] Gee, that’s swell.

[Bailey] I think a lot of gay men have an issue with femininity, and I think that’s too bad.

[David Ehrenstein] It has been traditionally a way of putting us down.

[Bailey] Yes, that’s right. I agree with you. But I don’t think the solution to that is to say that gay men are not at all feminine. It avoids the real issue, which is, Why is it wrong to be a feminine man? Why is that bad?

[David Ehrenstein] But it’s not as simple as that, because “masculinity” in all its forms is never problematized, never examined, never questioned. There’s a considerable imbalance here that creates a vast array of problems for people both gay and straight.

[Bailey] You’re preaching to the choir. I’m straight, but given the choice of hanging out at a gay bar or a straight bar, I’d prefer the gay one.

[David Ehrenstein] I’ve no doubt your remark was intended in good faith; nevertheless there’s more than a dash of patronization to it. Huge numbers of gay men give nary a thought to falling within your good graces.

[Bailey] I don’t know how to respond to this. I must say that your questions are unnecessarily aggressive, and they suggest a bit of defensiveness to me.

[David Ehrenstein] And as we all know, aggressiveness is such an unattractive quality in a “woman.”


I love it that Bailey's response to a gay man who (quite naturally) takes some offense to the notion that gay men are characterized by their effeminacy is: ‘hey, man, I'm cool…I'd, uh, rather hang out in a gay bar than a straight bar…I mean, gay people are much nicer than straight people, so you guys've got that going for ya, right?’
posted by koeselitz at 10:28 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


ArmyOfKittens, I'm sorry that the phrase offended

No worries, and thanks for the email :)

I found this fantastic little interview with Bailey

Woah. [/keanu] That's an... extraordinary interview.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:54 PM on July 10, 2009


It is, isn't it?

I like David Ehrenstein's response to the "I would rather hang out with effeminate men" comment:

Gee, that's swell.

posted by koeselitz at 11:55 PM on July 10, 2009


That part of the interview seems kind of bad to me, actually. The interviewer gets snarky and a little bit ciphery and frankly, kinda lame. I can't quite read it as: man, he really showed that guy! It seemed to me that Bailey won the point with, "I think a lot of gay men have an issue with femininity, and I think that’s too bad."
posted by fleacircus at 2:22 AM on July 11, 2009


Though you're right about the snarkiness of the interviewer, fleacircus—David Ehrenstein could've gone after what Bailey was saying with a good deal more precision—Bailey is clearly being evasive when he claims that “gay men have an issue with femininity.” The fact is that his claim—which is that gay men are by nature effeminate—is quite as controversial and borderline insulting to gay men as Ehrenstein implies, not to mention overwhelmingly subjective (by which I mean completely unscientific). For example, when, just before that moment in the interview, Bailey makes this claim:

[Bailey] On average gay men have more feminine occupational interests than straight men.
[Ehrenstein] Maybe.
[Bailey] That’s true on average. That’s what science has shown repeatedly.


…I can quite frankly see what made the interviewer throw up his hands in disgust and basically give up. In fact, I have no idea what Bailey is even talking about here, but I wonder how he could believe that he can say something like this and not be offensive. He can say that his statement accords with “what science has shown repeatedly,” but personally I'd like to know what science sees as feminine occupational interests. What the hell are those—babysitting? Being a homemaker? Cooking and cleaning? I have a hard time seeing why the idea that women by nature have different ‘occupational interests’ in itself wouldn't be offensive to a lot of people, especially, well, to women.

But that, of course, is just an example of how Bailey has no idea of the impact of what he's saying—we are, of course, talking about a man who once declared to the New York Times that “Male homosexuality is evolutionarily maladaptive,” which, even if true (why male homosexuality and not female?) is inadvertantly phrased in the most controversial way possible—although you can already start to see that his idea of ‘science’ is clearly not the one most scientists actually hold to in that it's open to manipulation and seems to make broad statements without justification. In my mind, Ehrenstein is right in perceiving that this issue is an instance which illustrates the deep and fatal flaws in Bailey's reasoning; I'll try to explain briefly why I think so.

To put all this together, we first have to take note of the fact that the scientific research methods which J Michael Bailey uses are fundamentally flawed; to expect the ‘test’ which are the basis of his work to show anything with regularity is the wildest optimism, and is certainly not warranted by anyone's research in the field. Specifically, his studies rely heavily on penile plethysmography—which, to describe it simply, means hooking up electrodes to measure blood flow in the genitals under the assumption that an increase in genital blood flow directly correlates in every case to increased sexual arousal. Not only is this anecdotally quite incorrect, at least in my own experience, but scientifically these kinds of tests have been shown to have limited value. This is why the fourth circuit court of appeals decided in the 1995 case United States v. Powers that penile plethysmography is legally inadmissable as evidence in a trial because, among other things, its “test results are not sufficiently accurate; results are subject to faking and voluntary control by test subjects;” and it seems to be afflicted by a “high incidence of false negatives and false positives.” The court made this decision based on the general agreement in the field that, in the words of the APA (American Psychiatric Association) in its standard DSM-IV,

The reliability and validity of this procedure in clinical assessment have not been well established, and clinical experience suggests that subjects can simulate response by manipulating mental images.

The wikipedia page I linked about penile plethysmography notes that the accuracy of this metric as regards its predictivity of arousal has been shown to be about 62%. That's a fantastic amount for a metric in general, and it makes this a worthwhile procedure to use in connection with therapeutic programs for recovering pædophiles; but it also means that it's far too inaccurate to have any meaningful significance in a research study.

The second thing to note is that J M Bailey has been saying for years, since long before his 2005 study which concluded it, that he suspected that there are no true male bisexuals, only females. He always stated this as a suspicion, although frankly none of his justifications for that suspicion ever rang true. And then he does this study in 2005, which notably includes research methods which are at best questionable and at worst easily manipulable and subjective, and it just happens to ‘demonstrate’ that bisexuality in men isn't natural? Hmm. Interesting thing is that, throughout his career, Bailey's studies have tended to confirm what he already believed; pardon me for saying so, but that's not generally how science works.

This problem is more than simply clinical for many people because many of us think we perceive that Bailey is being quite disingenuous in his reasoning, and that the true backings of his opinions are somewhat more unfortunate. Specifically, it's hard to read his opinions on the unnatural nature of male bisexuality, especially those made in lieu of any supporting evidence, without beginning to get the feeling that he just feels like it's weird for men to like having sex with both women and men. I would say that it could almost be demonstrated that this is the true basis of his opinions in this matter and many others, including his notion that gay men are by nature more effeminate than straight men. And, most importantly, the reasoning and opining through biases, hunches and instincts that Bailey does is the very definition of unscientific.

Contrast this with the reaction that most gay men have to Bailey's work. They will say, for example, what Ehrenstein seems to be pointing out: that they've known lots of gay men, and in their experience, gay men are not more effeminate than straight men. One might perhaps respond that this is merely anecdotal evidence; but Bailey's evidence isn't even that, and, well, if you want to know about what gay men are like, who's a better person to talk to than a gay man? Bailey's responses to this indication are a little ridiculous, and show how little (I believe) he really knows about the gay experience. He mentions at one point that he likes hanging out in gay bars; if so, his idea of what gay men are like in general and his assumption that they are always by nature more effeminate than straight men makes perfect sense, even if it's just a stereotype based on the fact that Bailey's been hanging out with a tiny subset of homosexuals which has various signifiers of identity and orientation which are clearly social and cultural, and not a natural indication of gender.

In short: Bailey's work reeks of confirmation bias; his comments tend to offend and infuriate specifically because he's merely taking the old stereotypes and biases about gay people and giving them the veneer of scientific respectability. I can understand why that pisses of gay people; it pisses off bisexual men like myself even more.
posted by koeselitz at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Two things: Even more fundamental than Bailey's reliance on flawed methodology, at least to me, is the tautological nature of his assertions. His argument that gay men have feminine occupational interests is based on the assumption that there is something inherently feminine about certain vocations, and that men who do these jobs are therefore effeminate, because the jobs themselves are feminine, because women do them.

Second off, I was just talking about this with my girlfriend, how different activities seem "gay" to different groups. Like how I don't think "gay" when it comes to intellectual pursuits or traditionally less-macho behavior; but I do tend to think "gay" regarding aggressive masculinity. I realize it's a tic of mine, but really aggressive rah-rah let's get pumped stuff seems more likely to end up with, yeah, let's rub our dicks together guys! I don't think swishy for gay, I think Tom of Finland. And I totally realize that there is a broad spectrum of gay identity and expression, etc., but the association of effeminate with gay is secondary for me to the association of macho with gay. The difference between me and Bailey is that I would never try to buffalo bullshit research into supporting my stereotypes and prejudices.
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 AM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks koeselitz. I wish the interviewer had been more willing to take Bailey to task on the facts and his methods. There does seem to be something disingenuous about Bailey.

(And man, let's hope the courts never find any arousal-measurement system admissible.)
posted by fleacircus at 8:47 AM on July 12, 2009


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