Thank you Lenore Skenazy!
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. [Source, Wall Street Journal, Eek! A Male!]
I have suffered this myself. See, I’m that creepy stalker guy.
I dropped by the high school band practice to give my daughter some money since she decided to stay from practice to the game instead of coming home. My wife and 3 other children were in the van as I approached the field. The girls on the flag team became concerned because “a creepy stalker guy” was approaching the field. Their response was an immediate jump to the negative.
How strong was the impact of this experience with my daughter? Two days ago I offered to drop by during band camp to offer support to the team and my daughter begged me to stay away. She reminded me specifically that I am “that creepy stalker guy.” Wow. Gee. Thank you society for the hollow feeling you have put in my chest, destroying bonding opportunities between my daughter and me, and embarrassing my daughter in front of her peers.
How can we be raising happy children to become happy adults when we are teaching them to focus only on the negative…and a negative that is highly unlikely?
[Source, Reality Me, I am the creepy stalker guy]
Imagine the hysteria that I could have created by trying to take a picture of my daughter practicing. Perhaps I would have ended up in jail.
Our attitudes toward males around children drive men away from the early education system where they are greatly needed. A segue: Our children need more hugs. A child who has fallen on the playground should be picked up and comforted by an adult (male or female) and often that comfort comes in the form of a hug. Touch is important but our society now fears it so much that I think we are turning into a parody of the movie Demolition Man. I implore the teachers of my children to hug them if they need it.
I could easily quote all of Lenore Skenazy’s article but let’s end with this. As you jump to the negative giving in to media driven fearful hysteria, think hard about this incident:
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. [Source, Wall Street Journal, Eek! A Male!]
See also: Every possible form of interaction between an adult and a child is perceived as yet another opportunity for child abuse.