I am so glad that I am not a man. And no, this isn’t going to turn into some kind of feminist rant. It’s just that the hysteria about paedophiles and sex offenders in Britain these days is making it difficult for ordinary people, ie men, to go about their normal daily lives.
We heard back in the seventies or whenever, I don’t remember as I never took it seriously anyway, that every man is a potential rapist. Yeah, right. Now it seems to be that every man is a potential paedophile. Er, aren’t men parents too? What about little Sarah Payne’s father? If you had seen how devasted he was about the murder of his daughter you wouldn’t stick that label on him. How would any other father feel? Who cares, it’s just a man. And we all know what men are like.
Almost every day here in the UK there are reports in the news of crimes committed by vigilantes against “paedophiles”. Vigilantes are not the answer but even if they were it would help if they got their facts right first. There have been reported cases of a paediatrician having to go into hiding, an arson attack on an innocent family whose house was previously occupied by a sex-offender, and so on. Are these thugs really intent on making society a safer place?
These days everyone is paranoid, and probably with good reason given the hysteria. I know a talented person who was reluctant to be part of a local committee on a child-related issue after overhearing the following conversation where one woman said to another “…well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Why would any man want to work with kids unless he’s a bit weird? It’s not a man thing, is it?”
I have a friend who owns a school and there is no way she would ever let her (very nice) husband be alone with a child – to protect him. And a couple of weeks back at least half a dozen adults, including me, stood around looking helpless because a small child was blocking the entrance to a shop. No one dared to move the child or persuade it to get out of the way. We all stood helplessly waiting until eventually the parent came to move the child so we could proceed.
What do you think? Why not comment and let us know?
Phillida McCollum is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about stuff to fill space on BE. [Can't think of anything amusing right now... ho hum]