Lenore Skenazy, the woman who became famous because she permitted her nine-year-old son to ride alone on the New York Subway in the middle of the day, has an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal that exposes the hysteria that exists whenever a male is near children. She begins the article:
Last week, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Timothy Murray, noticed smoke coming out of a minivan in his hometown of Worcester. He raced over and pulled out two small children, moments before the van's tire exploded into flames. At which point, according to the AP account, the kids' grandmother, who had been driving, nearly punched our hero in the face.And it is not just in the USA. Her blog deals with incidents of hysteria in Canada and New Zealand, and the British also have weighed in, as she explains here:
Mr. Murray said she told him she thought he might be a kidnapper.
And so it goes these days, when almost any man who has anything to do with a child can find himself suspected of being a creep. I call it "Worst-First" thinking: Gripped by pedophile panic, we jump to the very worst, even least likely, conclusion first. Then we congratulate ourselves for being so vigilant.
Given the level of distrust, is it any wonder that, as the London Telegraph reported last month, the British Musicians' Union warned its members they are no longer to touch a child's fingers, even to position them correctly on the keys? Or that a public pool in Sydney, Australia last fall prohibited boys from changing in the same locker room as the men? (According to the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, the men demanded this, fearing false accusations.)This has been a godsend for prosecutors, police, and CPS workers who have taken this media-driven hysteria and used it to pursue false prosecutions and throw innocent people into prison. Not surprisingly, juries mostly have been compliant, willing to swallow the kind of nonsense that our forebears would have rejected out-of-hand as, well, nonsense.
What's really ironic about all this emphasis on perverts is that it's making us think like them. Remember the story that broke right before Christmas? The FBI warned law-enforcement agencies that the new Video Barbie could be used to make kiddie porn. The warning was not intended for the public but it leaked out. TV news celebrated the joy of the season by telling parents that any man nice enough to play dolls with their daughters could really be videotaping "under their little skirts!" as one Fox News reporter said.
The Tonya Craft case was an exception, as mostly males are accused, but nonetheless, the same kind of mentality that has driven thousands of false accusations against men was in play here. We should not be surprised that LMJC DA Buzz Franklin has made "child molestation" prosecutions front-and-center during his reign of terror, and for a long time, the strategy worked.
There would be an accusation made in connection with a child custody case, crooked investigators like Tim "The Fabricator" Deal would help push things along, and the Children's Advocacy Center would supply the "experts" who would make fantastic claims in court. This was a scam, and a scam that I contend has been understood by the principals such as Chris Arnt, "judge" brian outhouse, Len Gregor, Franklin, Deal, and CAC goons like Holly Kittle, Stacey Long, and Suzi Thorne.
Unfortunately, the scam has worked, and even when the supposed molested children often would recant post-conviction, the courts were deaf. The tag team got its wrongful conviction, the media treated them as heroes, and the wrongly convicted could rot in Hell, for all they cared.
Like Skenazy, I believe that the results have been tragic, and she notes one situation in which the consequences were deadly:
In England in 2006, BBC News reported the story of a bricklayer who spotted a toddler at the side of the road. As he later testified at a hearing, he didn't stop to help for fear he'd be accused of trying to abduct her. You know: A man driving around with a little girl in his car? She ended up at a pond and drowned.I could not agree more. That is the world that the Arnts, Gregors, and Franklins want us to have: a sick society where people live in fear of being falsely accused so that others can pretend they are society's saviors when, in reality, they are nothing but destroyers.
We think we're protecting our kids by treating all men as potential predators. But that's not a society that's safe. Just sick.