PLEASE make the stupid stop!
The latest iteration of Willful Public Stupidity comes to us courtesy of Pennsyltucky. A 59-year-old woman took some film to the local Wallyworld for developing. Among the photos on the roll of film were a couple of cute shots of her three-year-old granddaughter in the bath. The Wal-Mart employee seeing the pics immediately called the cops. The police promptly arrested the child’s grandmother. The District Attorney instantly fired up his high horse and charged grandma with producing child pornography. Rather than conducting a modest investigation and letting the latter drop, the DA kept pushing this issue for fifteen fucking months before a special prosecutor dismissed the case.
Leaving aside for the moment the draconian abuse of power exhibited by the prosecutors in this case, can anybody read the DA’s explanation for his zealous persecution of this woman without getting creeped out? Methinks he doth protest too much- or at least is guilty of projection.
The special prosecutor made mention of the “reasonable man” test in his explanation. If there are any reasonable men anywhere in this story, I have yet to read about them. The two prosecuting attorneys (during the 15-month witch hunt, the original prosecutor went into private practice, leaving the Inquisition to be carried on by his successor) viciously destroyed a completely innocent person in the name of political grandstanding. In this case, in order to appear “tough on child porn”.
How, a “reasonable man” might inquire, do prosecutors around this country get the idea that appearing “tough on child porn” is a pathway to political success? Who could have convinced politically-ambitious attorneys in Public Service to adopt zero tolerance (which generally equates perfectly with zero intelligence) policies in the name of “the children”?
Look in the fucking mirror.
We, the People, have willfully and stupidly bought into the whole, “It’s for the chi-i-i-i-i-i-ldren” stupidity. It’s come to the point where we are deliberately destroying our own civil rights in the futile attempt to remove any shred of risk from the paths of the precious little snowflakes.
When I was a wee lad, I was constantly getting banged up by being a rambunctious little kid. My knees and elbows were constantly adorned with bandages or scabs. In every single picture of me as a kid, I have a black eye. Not from abuse, mind you. This was all from being a hellion in the days before kindergarten and pre-school. This used to be considered normal behavior for kids. Today, I’m reasonably certain my parents would get arrested based solely on those photos. Can’t have any possibility of child abuse, you know. This is for your own good. Papers, bitte.
The scariest part of the ordeal suffered by the grandmother in the story is the automatic presumption of guilt based upon the flimsiest of suspicions. All for the children, of course. Merely being accused of child abuse/child neglect/child pornography is enough to destroy one’s life. Actual guilt or innocence means nothing. If eventually exonerated, the victim of such an accusation might eventually get a retraction buried on page 13 of the local paper. Forget about the overzealous prosecutors or police ever admitting a mistake.
How many other victims of false accusations are we, the People, willing to permit? Why are we allowing these insane with hunts to baselessly destroy the lives of completely innocent people with no legal recourse?
Because we have to protect the children?
Let’s take a look at the price for this shortsighted devotion to protecting the children at all costs. How many male elementary school teachers are there in this country? The demographics for that sub-group of teachers is skewed sharply toward females. 98% of all pre-school and kindergarten teachers are women. Male teachers only make up 29% of all teachers, regardless of grade level. By contrast, secondary and post-secondary teaching has a more normal ratio of male to female instructors (roughly 50-50).
Why do you suppose that is? Why are males so scarce in the teaching profession in general and elementary school teaching in particular? Many teachers with whom I have corresponded say they are unable to get a teaching job at the K-6 grades. Others say they don’t even try, out of concern for false accusations of impropriety. How many of you folks with children look with guarded eyes at male teachers? This stupid double standard has the effect of cutting the pool of qualified teachers by approximately one third. How’s that for a societal price tag?
How much time and money is wasted prosecuting parents and grandparents for the heinous crime of taking pictures of their kids? I’m pretty sure the police have better things to do than respond to calls about a lone male escorting a child to the bathroom. Let us not forget the recent flap in the UK over families taking pictures of their own kids playing in the park. What is the cost to society of this level of senseless paranoia?
Here is the fucking cost, people. If I see a kid who is crying or hurt or seems to be lost, I will not go anywhere near the child out of sheer self-preservation. The personal and professional hazards are too great to be worth the risk of making any attempt to help a child. Society has deemed that this is the cost for protecting the children. I don’t like it, but this is the situation you people have created in your insane quest to bubble-wrap the dear children.
If this behavior bothers you, you have only yourselves to blame. I don’t have kids- by choice. If you want to spam the planet with rough copies of yourself, that’s your business. I refuse to have anything to do with the resulting progeny for fear of losing my liberty and livelihood. Don’t like my attitude? Tough shit. It’s going to take generations to rid our society of this paranoia. You caused this mess. You clean it up.
Current status: Pissed off
Current music: Hey, Johnnie Cope- Are Ye Walkin’ Yet? by Alistair MacDonald