Small incest of big families

Oedipus and Antigone, oil on canvas by Charles Jalabert, 1842. Daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Antigone is the hated symbol of incest.

Isabelle Demongeot *, Sarah Abitbol *, Vanessa Springora *, Camille Kouchner * … the reports follow one another by books and media interposed to finally raise awareness of the only prohibition to the great sexual freedom that we have known for several decades: the intrusion of the sexuality of adults into that of children. We can notice that these are four women who, all, are in a strong social position – allowing their word to succeed – and especially in the wake of # MeToo, powerful awakener of conscience for only three years!

Incest and pedophilia are largely derived from the same mold since a large majority of pedophile acts are by people with parental delegation (close friends, teachers, monitors, educators …). A difference for incest was recently introduced in French law (2016) by adding the adjective “incestuous” to “rape”. Today we speak of incestuous rape when it comes to the father, mother, brothers and sisters, stepfather, stepmother … incest is still associated with the virtual impossibility for the child to confide in the first solid guardians that the parents should be, since at least one is the author. And we know the frequency of denial by the other parent to whom the child turns: “Your father? You don’t think about it! “

With The Big Family, Camille Kouchner paints the very particular framework of the great families as they existed in the aristocracy and the nobility until the last century, with their sprawling dimension, their permissiveness and their prohibitions, their hierarchy, their internal laws and the secrets which resulting. Because in the big family always reigned a promiscuity favoring interactions known to all, endogamous collusions which should in no case be rumored. It is – in the case of Duhamel / Kouchner an extended family with close friends and an intellectual and political community sharing an astonishing sexual freedom which was hard won in the 1970s.

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Roland would be the son of Charlemagne and Gisèle, his “kin”.

The great model – even if it is possibly a rumor – was the incest of Charlemagne and “his relatives”, in other words of Charlemagne and his sister Gisèle of which Roland would have been the fruit. the Ronsasvals ** (the Song of Roncesvalles in the Provençal language) is very explicit on this subject: “Charlemagne proclaims in front of Roland’s remains:” Beautiful nephew, I had you by my great sin of my sister and by my error. I am your father and your uncle also and you are, dear lord, my nephew and my child. “** Psychoanalysts have amply commented on this archetype organized around a major figure (Charles the Great, Charles the Great), archetype of male domination, which imposes its law and that of silence, at least outside the family. This is exactly what Camille Kouchner says with her Big family dominated by an all-powerful and revered male who imposes silence by sway on those close to them at the cost of the death of some. Julien Kouchner will say of the disappearance of Marie-France Pisier: “I don’t know how she died… my only certainty is that this whole story killed her. “Camille Kouchner finely describes the insidious nature of the hold:” By his tenderness and our intimacy, by the confidence I had for him, very slowly, without violence, in me, (he) took the silence. “

Therapists will tell you, “We are the receptacles of so many incest stories, but the story is always the same: an adult male (90%) uses his ascendant to ‘enjoy’ the flabbergasted body of the child that he objectifies (this is one of the definitions of perversion), that is to say that he makes it into something that can be manipulated as he pleases by always using the same arguments for defense, control, and sometimes threats: “It’s a secret between us … you don’t tell anyone” “Otherwise, it will be very serious for you”, love blackmail: “Otherwise I would love you no more! Sometimes even by covering the child with gifts.

And the scenario replicates, most of the time identically (“it was always the same way, on vacation, in the family house, when the others went to the beach” … but also – and this is the main message that I want to convey today – with other children!

Some will say to you, “Why report? Since this is an old story and … over. Precisely because it is never an old story and, unfortunately, it is never over. Especially with other children because perverse pedophilia is a mode of action of the personality which has its own economy (the aggressor enjoys it) with the need for repetition (by intrapsychic repetition and repetition of enjoyment). Why report? To stop this chain of repetition with other children of the family, of the entourage … In all the high-profile cases that we have just mentioned, we are obviously focused on the victim and the aggressor (often very well known, which makes it possible to underline its unfortunate trivialization) but at the medico-legal level, and beyond the interrogations, an investigation is carried out towards possible other victims because it is rare that the incestual or pedophile character of a predator is limit to a single victim. They are often sisters or brothers, cousins, cousins, nephews… the report then makes it possible to lift a complicit silence and allow the words of victims who have never dared to take it.

I have the vivid memory of a young woman incested by her father for almost 10 years, who had been “rejected”, at the age of 25, by a female doctor – unfortunately unprepared for this – to whom she. had confided, who then had not been able to say anything for another 10 years, and who had come to talk about it “because my daughter is now the age I was when it started, I do not especially want my father keeps it, but nobody understands and they are all mad at me. »Support work was necessary for him to dare to speak, to allow reporting and to stop the perverse repetition, since it was then discovered that his own sister and two cousins ​​had experienced the same incest.

It is because “the story is always the same” that we must underline four essential points for our understanding of the complex mechanisms of incest:

– The story is always the same with regard to the self-protection of “the big family”. But the family does not have to be big to protect itself with threats and an omerta always ready to support known and accepted incest.

– The story is always the same as regards the denial of relatives and the minimization of the facts: “He (O. Duhamel) regrets, you know, his mother would have said to Camille Kouchner. And then there was no sodomy. Blowjobs are still very different. There are no small and large incest, quarter or half incest. There is simply incest.

– The story is always the same as regards the reversal of the fault: “In incest, it is always the same story: positions are reversed, the victims become guilty and the guilty of the victims”, notes Camille Kouchner.

– The story is always the same as regards repetition, it is the overriding reason which must prompt the reporting of any incestuous act – or pedophile – for the protection of the children of the entourage. The attitude of relatives must be considered and supported, which is why we can follow the advice of listeners to victims of rape or incest, as Swan N’Guyen suggests in the very educational book of advice for caregivers *** .

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* Stolen service Isabelle Demongeot (Michel Lafon, 2007); *Such a long silence by Sarah Abitbol (Plon, 2020); *the consent by Vanessa Springora (Grasset, 2020); *the Big Family by Camille Kouchner (Threshold, 2021) ** Ronsasvals, epic Provencal poem, Romania, 58, 1932, pp. 161-189 ; *** Help a victim of rape or incest, advice from a listener by Swan N’Guyen (Spirit of Time, 2020).

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Small incest of big families


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