Yes, I even love using alliteration when discussing pedophilia. Anywhoo…
I am away on a business trip in San Diego that is approaching 5 days in length. Whenever I am away for too long, I start looking longingly at other children. And all week long, I have been frequenting places with lots of kids, e.g., tourist traps, ice cream shops, beaches, etc.
As a woman no one looks at me funny when I stare at their children. Most people even smile at me. At least I wasn’t trolling the schoolyards, right?
Now, consider this situation. A dad goes away on business and misses his kids. He starts staring longingly at other kids. Does he meet the same reaction? Probably not. People look at him like he is wearing a trench coat, driving a windowless van handing out free candy.
The other day, I was in the playground with other parents and there was an older man hanging out near a group of small boys, but not immediately next to a particular boy, and a mom said, “Who is that man? What is he doing here?” I assumed he was a dad (and he was). The thought that he was a pedophile preying on small children in public in broad daylight surrounded by seemingly responsible parents never crossed my mind. Did I under-react or did she over-react?
And from what I hear, even if people aren’t looking at a dad funny, he fears that they will. He takes steps to ensure that his actions are beyond reproach.
Is all of this panic really necessary? And if it is, should it be so solely focused on men? I realize pedophilia is more common in men, but it’s hardly common at all and there are female pedophiles too.
Thoughts on this issue of gender inequality?
Eventually, I will write about something fun again, I promise.