March 16, 2014

Captain Grimes

Perhaps not the most surprising news story in history:
Wave of Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain 
By STEPHEN CASTLE  MARCH 16, 2014
LONDON — Prompted by publicity surrounding recent child abuse scandals involving well-known figures, dozens of British men are breaking decades of silence about molestation they say they suffered as boys at expensive private schools, forcing the schools to confront allegations that in the past might have been hushed up, ignored or treated derisively. ...
Most of these claims are directed at Britain’s preparatory schools, which typically admit children 4 to 13, with students living at the school starting at 7 or 8. Fees can be substantial, but in a country where private schooling is often seen as a key to success, many parents pay up in an effort to prepare pupils for entry to famous establishments for older children, like Eton College, Harrow School and Winchester College (known in Britain as public schools despite being private and expensive). 
Britain’s fee-paying schools have a track record of brutality. These days, most have shed the strictness and austerity of previous eras, but many upper-class Britons remember childhoods of cold showers, inedible food and relentless corporal punishment.

The very nature of boarding schools — closed environments in which teachers can wield enormous power — can make them attractive to child abusers.

Keep in mind that private English schools traditionally encouraged celibacy among their staff. As I explained in my review of Bad Teacher:
Idealistic young teachers willingly sweat for their students, but once they have kids of their own, their priorities change. Hence, the most common solution that societies have come up with to get their educators—such as Jesuits, nuns, and Eton schoolmasters—to care passionately about other people’s children has been celibacy. (Of course, celibate teachers sometimes wind up caring a little too passionately for their charges.)

The NYT continues:
But in previous decades, parents were often reluctant to challenge teachers’ authority, said Alan Collins, principal lawyer at Slater & Gordon, which represented the former Aldwickbury student. He has 30 to 40 more cases pending against schools across the country. 
“You had deference and the attitude that ‘this sort of thing happens,’ ” Mr. Collins said, adding that when teachers were discovered abusing pupils, they tended to be moved on quietly to avoid public embarrassment and damage to the school’s reputation.

That last sentence represents a major subplot in Evelyn Waugh's 1928 debut novel Decline and Fall about Paul Pennyfeather's first year as a schoolmaster. 

Here he meets another teacher, Captain Grimes, an amiable pederast, who informs Paul that he's engaged to be married to the headmaster's aging daughter:
"We haven’t told the old boy yet. I’m waiting till I land in the soup again. Then I shall play that as my last card. I generally get into the soup sooner or later." 
“This looks like being the first end of term I’ve seen for two years,” he said dreamily. “Funny thing, I can always get on all right for about six weeks, and then I land in the soup. I don’t believe I was ever meant by Nature to be a schoolmaster. Temperament,” said Grimes, with a far-away look in his eyes—“that’s been my trouble, temperament and sex.” 
“Is it quite easy to get another job after—after you’ve been in the soup?” asked Paul. 
“Not at first, it isn’t, but there are ways. Besides, you see, I’m a public school man. That means everything. There’s a blessed equity in the English social system,” said Grimes, “that ensures the public school man against starvation. One goes through four or five years of perfect hell at an age when life is bound to be hell anyway, and after that the social system never lets one down. 
“Not that I stood four or five years of it, mind; I left soon after my sixteenth birthday. But my housemaster was a public school man. He knew the system. “Grimes,” he said, “I can’t keep you in the House after what has happened. I have the other boys to consider. But I don’t want to be too hard on you. I want you to start again.” So he sat down there and then and wrote me a letter of recommendation to any future employer, a corking good letter, too. I’ve got it still. It’s been very useful at one time or another. That’s the public school system all over. They may kick you out, but they never let you down. 
“I subscribed a guinea to the War Memorial Fund. I felt I owed it to them. I was really sorry,” said Grimes, “that that check never got through. 
“After that I went into business. Uncle of mine had a brush factory at Edmonton. Doing pretty well before the war. That put the lid on the brush trade for me. You’re too young to have been in the war, I suppose? Those were the days, old boy. We shan’t see the like of them again. I don’t suppose I was really sober for more than a few hours for the whole of that war. Then I got into the soup again, pretty badly that time. Happened over in France. They said, ‘Now, Grimes, you’ve got to behave like a gentleman. We don’t want a court-martial in this regiment. We’re going to leave you alone for half an hour. There’s your revolver. You know what to do. Goodbye, old man,’ they said quite affectionately. 
“Well, I sat there for some time looking at that revolver. I put it up to my head twice, but each time I brought it down again. ‘Public school men don’t end like this,’ I said to myself. It was a long half-hour, but luckily they had left a decanter of whisky in there with me. They’d all had a few, I think. That’s what made them all so solemn. There wasn’t much whisky left when they came back, and, what with that and the strain of the situation, I could only laugh when they came in. Silly thing to do, but they looked so surprised, seeing me there alive and drunk. 
“‘The man’s a cad,’ said the colonel, but even then I couldn’t stop laughing, so they put me under arrest and called a court-martial. 
“‘God bless my soul,’ he said, ‘if it isn’t Grimes of Podger’s! What’s all this nonsense about a court-martial?’ So I told him. ‘H’m,’ he said, ‘pretty bad. Still it’s out of the question to shoot an old Harrovian. I’ll see what I can do about it.’ 
And next day I was sent to Ireland on a pretty cushy job connected with postal service. That saw me out as far as the war was concerned. You can’t get into the soup in Ireland, do what you like. I don’t know if all this bores you?” 
“Not at all,” said Paul. “I think it’s most encouraging.” 
“I’ve been in the soup pretty often since then, but never quite so badly. Someone always turns up and says, ‘I can’t see a public school man down and out. Let me put you on your feet again.’ I should think,” said Grimes, “I’ve been put on my feet more often than any living man.” 
 

70 comments:

Capt John Charity Spring MA said...

Whatever you do don't mention the Pakistani gangs selling 12 year old blondes to heroin smugglers for a bit of infidel fun.

Mr. Anon said...

Why, without the creepy homosexual undertones, what's the point of an english public school education? The parents will hardly be getting their moneys' worth! And think of the all the tortured, self-loathing Bildungs-novels we will ultimately be deprived of. They might as well just be Americans, and play football.

Anonymous said...

I will say good riddance. Wellington's Eton will die too, flooded by rich Hindus and Arabs.

Bert said...

You know, the more I hear about modern day Britain the more I become sympathetic to Scottish independence.

This union has reached the end of the line.

Beyond our Quenelle said...

A memory of schoolteaching from Waugh's autobiography, A Little Learning. The school has just been on an outing and the exhausted teachers are sitting in the staffroom:

Grimes alone sat with the complacent smile of an Etruscan funerary effigy.
“I confess I enjoyed myself greatly,” he said as we groused.
We regarded him incredulously. “Enjoyed yourself, Grimes? What did you find to enjoy?”
“Knox Minor,” he said with radiant simplicity. “I felt the games a little too boisterous, so I took Knox minor away behind some rocks. I removed his boot and stocking, opened my trousers, put his dear little foot there and experienced a most satisfying emission.”

CARRY ON, GRIMES or LLANABBA CUM LLANDDULAS

"Knox Minor" may be a teasing reference to Ronald Knox.

SFG said...

Waugh wrote *that* (great writing, BTW) and he was a conservative?

Marquis of Queensbury said...

In America you are working hard working up a lather for world war Gay. And gay parades.

Headmaster of Fetes said...

A great number of these schools are actually in Scotland.

dearieme said...

"Britain’s fee-paying schools have a track record of brutality." Oh what wimpiness. I don't remember receiving any corporal punishment that I didn't deserve, except once. The number of times I escaped punishment for something that deserved it was a good deal bigger than one.

A nation in which some child can be punished for pointing a finger at another child and saying "bang" should think twice about lecturing others. It's as absurd as the USA lecturing Russia against military aggression.

AMac said...

The 1984 drama Another Country is a take on the Burgess/Philby/Maclean Cambridge spy ring. It posits that public school hypocrisy about homosexuality was what drove Burgess to betray his country. A very watchable movie (as I recall), though I can't pass on the fidelity of its plot to actual events.

Anonymous said...

There's a section in Arthur C. Clarke's memoir ASTOUNDING DAYS where he writes about his time in the British civil service. One of his jobs involved giving back pension contributions from schoolmasters who had been let go in order to avoid scandal. Clarke remarks that, because this was England and not France, the scandal invariably involved a young boy and not a young girl....

Chicago said...

Predatory homosexuals have always made it their business to infiltrate themselves into those institutions where they can come into contact with youth, such as schools, churches, boy scouts, etc. People have been loathe to stick their neck out and make waves and so there's been a conspiracy of silence in all these institutions. Sandusky is a good example of how someone can go on for years like he did by ingratiating himself with all the right people and making himself indispensable as a cover for his real aims. When one thinks about it how many full grown normal men really aspire to some of these jobs of dealing with kids day in and out, apart from needing a paycheck? Predators usually have the cover story that they want to 'save' the youth, they want to 'make a difference', they're defenders of children's rights, and so on. People have a way of turning a blind eye to what they prefer not to see.

Anonymous said...

OT: Evidently, Mark Kleiman reads Sailer. But then again, who doesn't?

http://www.samefacts.com/2014/03/international-affairs/ukraine-and-historical-analogies/

H said...

Off-topic: I foresee World War G as the nail in the coffin for U.S./World relations. In this country support for gay marriage is about 50/50 if I recall correctly, maybe 55/45 in favor, while the rest of the world largely is not in support, similar to older U.S. As the U.S. threatens to withhold economic aid for countries that pass laws banning gay marriage or against homosexuality in general, Russia (or China, if China doesn't implode first) will step in and give those countries economic aid. Thus, the political opinion of many countries will turn against the U.S. as the U.S. continues to push World War G.

Anonymous said...

The first I thought of when reading this headline was - now we can guess the profession of that creepy poster who says "Dear Boy" all the time.

All Right Forum said...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4499488,00.html

In Support of Crimean Secession

Anonymous said...

Orwell wrote two essays on the subject worth reading, a memoir of his personal experiences, "Such, Such Were the Days", and an analysis of book series about public school boys written for an audience of boys lower down on the social scale but seeking to identify with those above them, e.g., the petite bourgeoisie. Contrary to the suggestion of another poster, the elite public schools always catered to a certain class of exotic student from the colonies, e.g., the occassional maharaja's, sheik's, or African chieftain's son. The highest levels of the British upper classes were perfectly comfortable associating with the extreme elites of other cultures. The prejudices appear a bit lower down on the social scale. The series analyzed by Orwell, supra, and Kipling's boys' novel, Stalky and Company" illustrate both elements of this assertion. The presence of foreign elites was well enough known that exemplars had to be included in these works. But, in an obeisance to the middle and lower class boys he read these things, the foreigners were always the butt of comic portrayals.

Anonymous said...

Waugh's *Decline &Fall* is one of the three cleverest novels ever written.

There's an absolutely brilliant unabridged audio performance by Michael Maloney.

Don't miss it.

vinteuil

Anonymous said...

Capt John Charity or anyone else,
Please provide more info and links regarding Pakistani gangs selling 12 year old blondes to heroin smugglers.

Anonymous said...

"collapsed the world economy?!? Why, can't have a Yalie down on his luck!"

"totally botched the invasion of Iraq, did you wolfowitz? Can't have a Cornellian down onhis luck! Here's an IMF position!"

John Derbyshire said...

Of course, celibate teachers sometimes wind up caring a little too passionately for their charges.

One of the more sympathetic cases.

Anonymous said...

There was a big child abuse scandal in children's homes in North Wales some years ago and the boys who they decided were least likely to talk were shipped down to London on weekends for senior politicians and civil servants.

When the scandal was finally made public the government minister at the time ruled the inquiry couldn't investigate anything that happened outside of Wales. The guy who decided that is the foreign minister now.

.

"Whatever you do don't mention the Pakistani gangs selling 12 year old blondes to heroin smugglers for a bit of infidel fun."

I think a lot of the previously hidden stuff about VIPs and politicians that has come out in the UK in the 2-3 years since the Muslim grooming gangs were first made public is a reaction to that.

Anonymous said...

Bert shouldn't imagine that Scottish schools will have been free from such things. Plenty of boarding schools up there.

Here are the pupils of one, Glenalmond College, indulging in the ancient sport of "chav hunting".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9_YhKbrhnY

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/13/class_wars/

Scottish independence is probably a good idea though - the place is not terribly enriched and is still mostly populated by Scots. Be good if at least one of the historic British tribes could survive.

Anonymous said...

I like the line in UK film "The Dresser"--- "I will hold no brief for pederasty." Albert Finny I believe

David B said...

The English term 'public school' goes back to the days when there was no state-provided education in England. There were large schools established as charities under Royal Charter, like Eton and Winchester, and there were small privately-owned schools, for those who could afford to pay for them. So it was not unreasonable for the first category to become known as 'public' schools, to distinguish them from the second category. The usage became so well established that it persisted even after genuinely 'public' (state-owned and run) schools were created.

Anonymous said...

/* . Hence, the most common solution that societies have come up with to get their educators—such as Jesuits, nuns, and Eton schoolmasters—to care passionately about other people’s children has been celibacy. */ Christian societies may be..

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that the public school man solidarity described there is partly ethnic. Upper class Brits must have more recent common ancestors with other upper class Brits than with lower class Brits.

Anonymous said...

but in a country where private schooling is often seen as a key to success

Whereas the US is blessed with a universal, egalitarian public school system in which all students prosper!

Anonymous said...

My son is now of an age to attend a private school, my wife and I agreed he should not as they are rotten with faggotry.

Gordo

Anonymous said...

it is really tough to over-emphasize the importance of the British Public School to your American audience.
Today was the Northern Ireland School's Cup, which the "superbowl" of school Rugby. It is televised/streamed live on the BBC and the country stops to watch it. 1 team, Methody, has been in 60 someodd School's Cups and won 40 some-odd of them. Northern Irish Ruby basically *is* Methody.
In addition, Methody sends the biggest fraction of it's students to OxBridge in the whole of Northern Ireland.
Methody is where EVERYONE of note congregates, the "jocks" and the "nerds".
In America, your cultural choke point is university, ie "he went to Hahvahd!" is the biggest prestige indicator you can get. In the UK, it's "high school". No one cares where you go to uni, it's an unfortunate 3 years you have to while away as you wait for your sinecure from Methody alumni

Tasman said...

One of Waugh's novels has a part that goes something like this- "...and the masters came and went. Some liked little boys too little, and some too much."

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's just lovely, writing letters of recommendation for a man who should be hanged. Swell system.

Anonymous said...

RE: The importance of being a public school man,

I've read that a large measure of Kim Philby's success as a double agent was simply due to the fact that he was a public school man. People simply could not believe that a man with his background (Westminster and Cambridge) could be a traitor....

Anonymous said...

Of course you'd be wrong. Very little of the Norman elite left in the elites of England. No a lot of them are related by marriage but that it's ethnic at all.

Anonymous said...

"Please provide more info and links regarding Pakistani gangs"

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmhaff/uc182-vii/uc18201.htm

It's the same in the US but like the UK the media cover it up.

Mass immigration is skewed male and poor which leads to high demand for very cheap prostitution which means forced prostitution which means kids.

Hunsdon said...

Lady Gaga says we're (sic) just born this way.

Pink Floyd says Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"The first I thought of when reading this headline was - now we can guess the profession of that creepy poster who says "Dear Boy" all the time."

MMMM, Sadly, no. My teaching experience has been confined to the university level.Glad to know, however, that I remain uppermost in your thoughts.

Harry Flashman said...

See Oxford Pakistani Paedophile gangs.

The Counter Jihad websites are excellent about this.

Anonymous said...

dearieme:"Oh what wimpiness. I don't remember receiving any corporal punishment that I didn't deserve, except once. The number of times I escaped punishment for something that deserved it was a good deal bigger than one."

Now, now. Don't be a tease. You know what we want to hear regarding your years of tender youth...

Anonymous said...

H:"Off-topic: I foresee World War G as the nail in the coffin for U.S./World relations. In this country support for gay marriage is about 50/50 if I recall correctly, maybe 55/45 in favor, while the rest of the world largely is not in support, similar to older U.S. As the U.S. threatens to withhold economic aid for countries that pass laws banning gay marriage or against homosexuality in general, Russia (or China, if China doesn't implode first) will step in and give those countries economic aid. Thus, the political opinion of many countries will turn against the U.S. as the U.S. continues to push World War G."

Very unlikely. Western elite opinion is strongly in favor of the homosexual agenda. And the Western elite has been very good at getting the rest of the world to come around to its way of thinking for the last 200-odd years.

Anonymous said...

Why, without the creepy homosexual undertones, what's the point of an english public school education?

It builds character. You learn to take it like a man....

dearieme said...

"You know what we want to hear regarding your years of tender youth…"

Out of luck, old son. My school did corporal punishment, but it wasn't a boarding school and it was, gasp!, mixed. There were girls. We had some female teachers. I can think of one male teacher who perhaps too often put an arm round a girl's shoulder, but that was the extent of the problem. Since we all knew, or at least believed, that he had been a hero of the French Resistance, no fuss was going to be made about it. Actually, though by the end I had had enough of school and was looking forward to leaving, on the whole I'd enjoyed it greatly. Them wuz the days - the days before The Forces of Progress so successfully buggered up the British schools. I suspect that a little genuine buggery would have done a good deal less harm than those bastards.

Anonymous said...

dearime:"Oh what wimpiness. I don't remember receiving any corporal punishment that I didn't deserve, except once. The number of times I escaped punishment for something that deserved it was a good deal bigger than one."


Ah, le vice anglais.....

Anonymous said...

deraieme:"Oh what wimpiness. I don't remember receiving any corporal punishment that I didn't deserve, except once. The number of times I escaped punishment for something that deserved it was a good deal bigger than one.

A nation in which some child can be punished for pointing a finger at another child and saying "bang" should think twice about lecturing others. It's as absurd as the USA lecturing Russia against military aggression."

Feeling defensive, are we?

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a passage in one of William F. Buckley's Blackford Oakes books where the protagonist runs into an old friend of his from the time when they were American students at a British boarding school. The schoolmate recalls a time when he was "buggered" by one of the older boys, now a British politician of some eminence.

The old school chum tells Oakes how he was once seated next to the aforesaid British politico's wife at a party; the wife was a left-winger of a fairly extreme type. At one point, she says to the American that they have nothing in common. The American replies that they do, indeed, have at least one thing in common.....

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anonymous wrote: "Of course you'd be wrong. Very little of the Norman elite left in the elites of England."

Not so - practically the whole of the British nobility and gentry are descendants of Edward III, or if not they connect into the royal lineage at a more remote generation.

Male lines may have died off, but the descent persists through the female line. This is true even in the case of royalty.

dearieme said...

"descendants of Edward III": possibly, but he wasn't Norman.

Average Joe said...

"an amiable pederast"

Now there's a phrase that you don't see everyday of the week!

dearieme said...

"Feeling defensive, are we?" Since I didn't attend That Sort of school, my defensiveness is pretty limited. But I do snort with derision at wimpiness about corporal punishment. And wimpiness about pointed fingers.

Moreover, the (rather prurient) interest here isn't directed at what I always assumed was the worst aspect of boarding schools, namely the extent that the boys were subject to the bullying and/or authority of other boys. A few groping pederasts may well have mattered less - I don't know. I suppose those who've served in the military or navy are exposed to the same sorts of problems. They get over them, I assume. Ditto any men whose civilian job denies them female company for long stretches of time. I dare say that the old Texas cowhands buggered each other from time to time. C'est la vie.

Crawfurdmuir said...

""descendants of Edward III": possibly, but he wasn't Norman."

Was he not a descendant of William the Conqueror? Did he not have French possessions and pretend to the French throne in consequence of his Norman descent?

Anonymous said...

"Was he not a descendant of William the Conqueror? Did he not have French possessions and pretend to the French throne in consequence of his Norman descent?"

0 for 2 Tony Gwynn you ain't.

Average Joe said...

I dare say that the old Texas cowhands buggered each other from time to time.

I think you've seen Brokeback Mountain too many times.

SortofanAnglophile said...

" I dare say that the old Texas cowhands buggered each other from time to time. C'est la vie."

Oh dearieme, you do try too hard. You know that homosexuality was and is rife in the British public schools. It's probably less so now than in the past, but still rife.

The British upper classes had institutionalized pederasty from the time of Ruskin to WWII. But it's still pretty prevalent and in certain schools, a given.

A better source on this subject is Simon Raven. Typical Englishman of his generation, a misogynist & homosexual. They went hand in hand. No fabulous friend of the girls he. He loathed women. That's why he was gay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Raven

When you read about Raven's generation of Englishmen, the homosexuality becomes so commonplace it's like reading about a ballet company, except the English fags were macho. Here is a memoir of Raven's miserable younger brother, Myles:

http://www.rupertwilloughby.co.uk/archives/796

Also homosexual. Is this genetic? I doubt it.

I suspect that there's a lot of dirt on the whole class, which is why Cameron is so gay rights. He's being blackmailed. Most upper class Tories had pederastic relations and they can be blackmailed.

I suspect the same is true of the US political class as well but not so much homosexuality, more like, general corruption.

popper stomper said...

The British crime author Derek Raymond once remarked that Eton was a, "hotbed of buggery."

Also, consider this insert from The Old School Tie, a history of the British public school.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lp49orQgfY1qzm2wmo1_1280.jpg

Anonymous said...

Can someone please enlighten me? How does this go on for so long without complaints? Didn't some boys' mothers get upset about it? Their fathers?

Anonymous said...

Hunsdon said...
Pink Floyd says Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone.

I think this is about thought control.

"We don't want no education, we don't want no thought control. Hey teacher leave those kids alone."


Anonymous said...

"Can someone please enlighten me? How does this go on for so long without complaints? Didn't some boys' mothers get upset about it? Their fathers?"

I think there were complaints but not to the police so the teachers involved just got moved on to another school a bit like priests were moved on to another diocese.

James K. said...

Honest to goodness, Grimes's homosexuality went over my head when I first read Decline and Fall a few years ago. When Grimes referred to his recurring sexual problems, I thought he was meant he was always getting girls into trouble, as they used to say. I guess I really am an innocent.

Does this go on American boarding schools? It certainly seems to be not as institutionalized. We can't credit the Puritans, because such schools, although mostly located in New England, are usually Episcopalian (just like their British counterparts).


Steve Sailer said...

In "Brideshead Revisited," a worldly Italian lady points out that it seems to be a British and German thing, not an Italian thing.

My guess is that it's somehow related to whether the schools most idolize the Greeks or the Romans.

Anonymous said...

Captain Grimes, meet Viscount Slim, "the finest general of WWII"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/10696544/Britains-finest-WWII-general-accused-of-child-sex-abuse-in-Australia.html

dearieme said...

"Oh dearieme, you do try too hard. You know that homosexuality was and is rife in the British public schools." I don't know because I didn't attend such a school. I do know that public school literary types sometimes seem to talk of little else. I also know that friends who attended such schools remark on the matter much less (though more often than people from day schools, I think). And that's about the size of my knowledge of the problem - skimpy, you might say. A gay friend told me once that "I wasn't the type" to appeal to gays. So it's no surprise that I can't judge the issue by categorising the males who have ever made a pass at me; none ever has. Now, if I'd been a cowboy, or had gone to sea, perhaps that would have been different.

I suspect that the "They're all a bunch of poofs" line is about as accurate as the feminists' "All men are rapists".

I'd no more assume that all public schoolboys used to bugger their juniors than that all Americans are noisy, vacuous materialists who rate other people only by their wealth. Even if Tom Stoppard once had a character imply as much.

Anonymous said...

dearieme:"Since I didn't attend That Sort of school, my defensiveness is pretty limited."

Then why bother responding?

dearieme:" But I do snort with derision at wimpiness about corporal punishment. And wimpiness about pointed fingers."

Le vice anglais.....

dearieme:"Moreover, the (rather prurient) interest here isn't directed at what I always assumed was the worst aspect of boarding schools, namely the extent that the boys were subject to the bullying and/or authority of other boys."

You do know that a goodly portion of that bullying involved buggery, don't you?

dearieme:" A few groping pederasts may well have mattered less"

Difficult to say. Perhaps we should do a poll. Which is worse, sexual molestation from a pederast-teacher or bullying from boys your own age?


dearieme:" - I don't know. I suppose those who've served in the military or navy are exposed to the same sorts of problems. They get over them, I assume."

Of course they do. And a thirteen year old boy being buggered by his 50 year old teacher is just like a fully grown man in the army being molested by an officer....

dearieme:"Ditto any men whose civilian job denies them female company for long stretches of time. I dare say that the old Texas cowhands buggered each other from time to time. C'est la vie."

Well, now we are truly straying from the line of argument, aren't we? Somehow, I don't think that two consenting adults responding to an enforced lack of female companionship is overly analogous to a 13 year old boy alone in a room with an adult pederast....

Working Class Englishman said...

Steve Sailor writes:


My guess is that it's somehow related to whether the schools most idolize the Greeks or the Romans.


Robert Graves' excellent public school and WWI memoir Goodbye to All That states the following:

"In English preparatory and public schools romance is necessarily homosexual. The opposite sex is despised and treated as something obscene. Many boys never recover from this perversion. For every one born homosexual, at least ten permanent pseudo-homosexuals are made by the public school system: nine of these ten as honourably chaste and sentimental as I was....

in my fourth year I fell in love with a boy three years younger than myself...

Finally the headmaster took me to task for it. I lectured him loftily on the advantage of friendship between elder and younger boys, citing Plato, the Greek poets...

He let me go without taking any action.


In contrast, in my working class state school suspected homosexuals were bullied remorselessly.

We had a Turkish Cypriot in our year, but I doubt anyone knew anything about Greece or Greeks - this being in the early seventies before package holidays to places like Corfu were cheap enough for the likes of us.

Anonymous said...

dearieme:" I can think of one male teacher who perhaps too often put an arm round a girl's shoulder, but that was the extent of the problem. Since we all knew, or at least believed, that he had been a hero of the French Resistance, no fuss was going to be made about it."

A girl and not a boy, eh? Well, he was a Frenchman (cf Clarke's observations on one of the essential distinctions between England and France).

Anonymous said...

dearime:" I don't know because I didn't attend such a school."

Yes, we know; your noisy attestations to your purity have been duly noted.

dearieme:" I do know that public school literary types sometimes seem to talk of little else. I also know that friends who attended such schools remark on the matter much less (though more often than people from day schools, I think). And that's about the size of my knowledge of the problem - skimpy, you might say."

Again, your protestations have been noted.

dearieme:" A gay friend told me once that "I wasn't the type" to appeal to gays."

Not sure if one should take that as boasting....I suppose that it rather depends on how "gay appeal" is defined...


dearieme:" So it's no surprise that I can't judge the issue by categorising the males who have ever made a pass at me; none ever has. Now, if I'd been a cowboy,"

MMMM, bit of a fixation on the Open Range, I should say...

dearieme:" or had gone to sea, perhaps that would have been different."

Wasn't it Churchill who defined life in the Royal Navy as consisting of "rum, sodomy, and the lash"?

dearieme:"I suspect that the "They're all a bunch of poofs" line is about as accurate as the feminists' "All men are rapists"."

Clearly.

Dearieme:"I'd no more assume that all public schoolboys used to bugger their juniors than that all Americans are noisy, vacuous materialists who rate other people only by their wealth. Even if Tom Stoppard once had a character imply as much."

A Briton's wounded amour propre, it's never a pretty sight.

Black Sea said...

"I'd no more assume that all public schoolboys used to bugger their juniors than that all Americans are noisy, vacuous materialists who rate other people only by their wealth."

If, as a commenter, one frequently asserts that most Americans are noisy, vacuous materialists who rate other people only by their wealth, should one then assert that most public schoolboys used to bugger their juniors?

Art Deco said...

Can someone please enlighten me? How does this go on for so long without complaints? Didn't some boys' mothers get upset about it? Their fathers?

If their interest in their children were something other than pro forma, those youngsters would not be in boarding schools.

Anonymous said...

Of related interest: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/sec-kerry-us-to-send-scientists-to-discuss-homosexuality-wit

Hunsdon said...

dearieme said: I'd no more assume that all public schoolboys used to bugger their juniors than that all Americans are noisy, vacuous materialists who rate other people only by their wealth.

Hunsdon said: Oh then most (but not all!) public schoolboys really do bugger their juniors.

Dick Moncure said...

Evelyn Waugh went to a second-rate public school because his older brother Alec was expelled from the family's good public school (Sherborne)for a homosexual incident, and then wrote a book about it and caused even more scandal. Evelyn was extremely bitter his whole life about his brother doing him in like this.