UPDATE, Friday morning, August 24: While we're on the subject, I'm sorry, this is not, in itself, a crime. Apparently the cops in my area are hunting for a man who offered a ride to a 9-year-old girl. In today's lexicon of thought-police paranoia, that constitutes the so-called crime of luring. Look, I'm a grandfather, and I adore my three beautiful granddaughters (and, of course, my grandson). I also continue to love my other granddaughter-in-absentia. I never want anything to happen to them. It goes without saying that I do not want them abducted, molested and/or killed. (Point of fact: They are far more likely to be molested and/or killed by people they know than by total strangers driving by in cars. So maybe we should proactively lock up my children and their spouses?) But if offering a ride to a child is wrong—because you may have sinister intentions—then is it also wrong to walk into a bank wearing a baseball cap, because you may be planning a robbery? Apparently the answer to both questions, nowadays, is yes. Regulars may recall my confrontation with a bank guard who insisted that I remove my ballcap. I refused, strolled up to the counter, did my banking and left without robbing the place, which I should have, on principle.
I absolutely love kids, and often go out of my way to engage with them. I find them and chat them up in supermarkets, at playgrounds and just about anywhere else. At such times my wife will stand by in the background, examining a grapefruit or whatever, and make a point of calling out to me in some sweet, congenial way, to demonstrate to bystanders that I am not (a) a man alone, or (b) dangerous. Still, the moms and dads tend to eye me warily, but that's their problem, not mine. A lot of kids today get far too little (positive) attention, from their parents in particular. I know that I am adding a bit of sunshine to these children's lives in my own small way, and if society wants to make something ugly out of that, then screw society. It's getting ridiculous out there.
Pretty soon the law will be: GOT A PENIS? GO TO JAIL!
Consider this a preview post. Very busy today, but wanted to "throw this out there" and get something down in black and white so I know to come back to it at the length it deserves. We need to revamp our policy on sex, in all its aspects. And it's possible that I'm still being too Puritanical in these examples:
- Female high-school teachers should not go to jail for having sex with male students, as long as there's no coercion involved. (I'm still thinking about the other configuration: There may be reason for a double standard here. Or there may not.) I'm not saying that such teachers should get merit raises, but jail time is crazy. Perhaps they should lose their jobs. Perhaps not.
- No two (or three, or five) consenting adults should go to jail for having sex, ever.
- No one should go to jail for exposing himself to another adult. Again here, I'm not saying this behavior should be encouraged, permitted or penalty-free, but absent other circumstances, jail time is overkill. There have to be other ways of dealing with it, short of ruining people's lives.
- Sandusky aside, there is a huge difference between (a) sexual molestation and (b) innocent horseplay that has a minor sexual component or subtext. Guys engage in this foolishness among themselves in the locker room all the time. No one is damaged by it. Possibly because of the Catholic Church scandal and other matters, we are way too hung-up on "sexual abuse" and pedophilia nowadays. I cannot prove this, but I suspect that too many parents and other adults are in trouble and/or registered under Megan's Law for "crimes" that reduce to simple playfulness that has zero prurient content. On the other hand, we chortle about TV shows like Toddlers & Tiaras (photo above), which comes as close to kiddie-porn as anything you're ever apt to see.
- This is hardly a new argument, but speaking of double standards, rethink the one that regards violence as less objectionable than sex. We can show a grisly sword fight on network TV, but not a wet vagina. We can show a head-shot (the kind involving bullets) but not a cum-shot. Huh?
- The use of an offensive term is not "sexual harassment" and does not constitute a "hostile environment" unless it is chronic and directed at a specific person in an intentionally derogatory or abusive manner. I find it amusing that a woman can come to work and effuse loudly about the fact that "We're pregnant!!", but God help the guy who comes to work and starts effusing in mixed company about an especially enjoyable instance of the act that sometimes leads to pregnancy. Would we prefer to pretend that all conceptions are immaculate?