January 24, 2011

A "good" man is hard to find

"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.)"
Eek, a Male!!
The Wall Street Journal

Treating all men as potential predators doesn't make our kids safer.

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.


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.

Consider the Iowa daycare center where Nichole Adkins works. The one male aide employed there, she told me in an interview, is not allowed to change diapers. "In fact," Ms. Adkins said, "he has been asked to leave the classroom when diapering was happening."

Now, a guy turned on by diaper changes has got to be even rarer than a guy turned on by Sponge Bob. But "Worst-First" thinking means suspecting the motives of any man who chooses to work around kids.

Maybe the daycare center felt it had to be extra cautious, to avoid lawsuits. But regular folk are suspicious, too. Last February, a woman followed a man around at a store berating him for clutching a pile of girls' panties. "I can't believe this! You're disgusting. This is a public place, you pervert!" she said—until the guy, who posted about the episode on a website, fished out his ID. He was a clerk restocking the underwear department.



LL said...

Men need to simply walk away and let the chips fall when that sort of thing pops up. Unwanted help, when the building is burning? Let 'em burn.

There really is no other way to deal with it.

I think that most men have been placed in positions like that. Not so much accused as they are the subject of suspicious glances simply because they are men.

Nickie Goomba said...

LL, you and I have shared a meal. You know I can be described as "big & tall". I volunteer in a church nursery school which means I regularly traverse a veritable minefield. To date, I have avoided any explosions, but I will soon be leaving that rewarding activity. Playing with fire and all that.

An accusation of any sort of exploitation would both test my anger management skills and break my heart.

The Underground Pewster said...

Evil men and evil deeds have created this distrust. The responses to date heighten distrust and transfers the problem onto the "good man."

Maybe certified good men can wear armbands like therapy dogs.

I wonder if such men will have be be neutered to be certified?

Quite Rightly said...

Good men suffer because we let bad men circulate among us. We used to be less tolerant, so we could be more trusting.

sig94 said...

Nickie - Because of my LEO background I was asked to help review our church's policies regarding who shall be permitted to work with children.

After talking to my pastor I was saddened to learn that our nation's churches have been targeted by perverts and those who wish to file frivilous lawsuits for damages that never occured. I also ended up installing windows in every door of every room where children were taught or could be taught. Our security personnel (yeah, I'm one of them) also roam the building during services.

Walk circumspectly my friend, for "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Pet 5:8).

DC said...

Quite Rightly is right (quite). We tolerate real evil and sniff at imagined evil. The two problems go hand-in-hand. GREAT column, Nicolai.

Necessity ultimately banishes foolishness. Stay ready.

T. F. Stern said...

Several years ago I taught in the Primary and made it a point to leave the door open at all times. Since that time our Church policy has added the need to have windows on each and every classroom; an extra expense brought about by our society's pension for laws suits.

Good article to remind everyone to walk carefully on "rice paper".

Nickie Goomba said...

Pewster... Yes, evil has created this distrust.

Those armbands would be all that was required to neuter them. Heck, we'll let everybody have an armband of one sort or another.

Nickie Goomba said...

Au, Quite Rightly... Less tolerance might make people feel uncomfortable or offend the masses or create a hostile environment.

Nickie Goomba said...

Siggie... Our nursery resembles a fishbowl and I like it like that. BUT, as you well know, it only takes an accusation to crush a reputation.

Nickie Goomba said...

DC... I need to tell you about something that happened yesterday. We took a couple of friends out to dinner last night. Friends from BERKELEY. I asked them to suggest a cuisine. They named Thai, Korean, or "Hispanic". After further discussion we discovered their feeling that in this present political climate, and in consideration of this nation's geopolitical exploitation, they (at present) feel uncomfortable using such "phrases" as Chinese, Japanese and Mexican. Huh?

Political correctness is killing us. Don't let them own the language.

Nickie Goomba said...

TF... excellent advice. And don't pull any children out of burning vehicles.

You should get a load of California's "Good Samaritan" laws. If you get involved, you're responsible. Conclusion????

Rhod said...

Liberalism is misandrous. It has to be, because of its ceaseless hostility to anything it imagines to be an established order in the Western world. Liberalism is little more now than an assortment of superstitions and outright occultism, and males are evil spirits.

Its deranged egalitarianism in matters that have nothing to do with equality has also purged maleness as something dirty in itself.

They've won the argument, too, generally with the help of defeated males who simply parody themselves.

The_Kid said...

This comes somewhat from women, but the real culprits are the lawyers.

Man, I hate lawyers. I hope I never need one.

Newton Revisited said...

Here's a slightly different take on this sorry state of perception:

I have heard it said that the lottery is simply a tax on people who are bad at math.

The hysteria associated with molestation, guns, auto fatalities and myriad other sensational causes for alarm can be directly traced to our failure to put these problems in mathematical perspective. Were they to be correctly represented as percentages, we would find so many of them to be statistically insignificant as to allay almost all of our unfounded fears.

When (and why) did we beome so bad at math as to worry about these things and play the lottery anyway?

Nickie Goomba said...

Rhod, there are times when I find myself hesitating before I refer to an uptown gal as a "classy broad".

Then, of course, I go right ahead.

Nickie Goomba said...

Kid... You hit that one right outa the park. Exactly right.

Nickie Goomba said...

Newt... You wanna talk odds? Odds are being a male will soon be considered a misdemeanor.