Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can we get government out of our pants?

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 wrongbecause you may have sinister intentionsthen 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?
More to, uh, come...


a/good/lysstener said...

Wow Steve, that's pretty ballsy, so to speak. I'm basically with you on this one, however. Society is way too hung up about sex. Pleasure should be there for the finding, among consenting adults.

The only place I take issue is with respect to children, who I do think need special protections. As for female teachers sleeping with students, go for it, girl! Your male counterparts have been doing it since forever!

Cal said...

I think I said this before when this topic was brought up over the double standards involving sex. For instance, the issue of sex involving teachers. I still remember the teacher in Florida who I thought was extremely beautiful who was caught having sex with a student in 2004. Her ex-husband (he divorced her after the incident) became somewhat famous for advocating that she should receive jail time, because if the situation was reversed a male teacher would.

I know when I was a teenager if a guy had sex with a teacher like that, he would have been high-fived. A female student having sex with a male teacher would have been scorned. I acknowledge the concern is with how it affects a person in the future, but there's no way the guy in the aforementioned situation didn't continue bragging about what happened all the way into adulthood. And I seriously doubt it hurt him psychologically. It probably made him more self-confident around women.

In fact, I've seen on twitter young females talking the ways guys used to talk in private when I was a kid. And pretty much no one has shame about taking pictures, video, etc. and putting them on the Internet for everyone to see.

Of course, I'm not advocating sex between teachers and students. But it's interesting that teachers are not allowed to date former students in many jurisdictions even after the student is an adult.

I put this into the same category as drunk driving and financial literacy. Maybe instead of focusing on math equations that most of us will never use, we should have more education about these topics. And I mean in a legal sense. I live in area with 3 different jurisdictions, and I would have to look up the blood alcohol limit for each one if I were to drive somewhere and have a drink. It's the same as for kids in high school with sex. I believe a guy who is more than 2 years older than a female when the are both teenagers can be charged with statutory rape, and I believe some of the guys don't even know that beforehand. I'm thinking of the instance where a male senior in HS is dating a 9th grader.

But your future posts will be interesting, Steve.

Anonymous said...

You think anyone is ever going to hire you for anything with postings like this!

Steve Salerno said...

Anon, uhh, come to think of it...