“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Friday, September 07, 2007

We are not all John Wayne Gaseys

It's a sad day in America when this is the case...

These days, if Rian Romoli accidentally bumps into a child, he quickly raises his hands above his shoulders. "I don't want to give even the slightest indication that any inadvertent touching occurred," says Mr. Romoli, an economist in La CaƱada Flintridge, Calif.

Ted Wallis, a doctor in Austin, Texas, recently came upon a lost child in tears in a mall. His first instinct was to help, but he feared people might consider him a predator. He walked away. "Being male," he explains, "I am guilty until proven innocent."

In San Diego, retiree Ralph Castro says he won't allow himself to be alone with a child -- even in an elevator.

I have to admit, I'm the same way. I go out of my way to avoid being alone with any young person. When I'm in the vacinity of children, not my own, I'm aware of any inadvertant touching or even proximity to a child that could be misconstrued by a hysterical, suspicious, sue-happy parent. The sad thing is that statistically, hundreds of times more kids are mistreated and molested by family members than by strangers, and that statistically, strangers are far more likely to have your child's best interests at heart.

That is not to pretend that there aren't dangers out there. We hear about them every day. And most of the predators are men. But we make the mistake of assuming all men are potential predators. Our society goes out of it's way to not profile distinguishable groups who are clearly criminal. Why doesn't that apply to men when it comes to society's assumption that we are all potential molestors?


Daniel said...

You're not alone, Ed.

I'm a father myself. A few weeks ago I was sitting in a park reading a book. I was alone on the bench, but there were other people around. After a while two girls, about 5-6, suddenly appear and sit down on the grass, just a few meters in front of me.

As you already have guessed, I did the only sensible thing: Grabbed my things and walked away - fast (but not too fast as that might have caught suspicion...)

ed said...

I hear ya brother. And it's not right.

Luke said...

I've been there too. It's pretty fucked up, really.