Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No, They Aren't All the Same

So this started as a comment on a Facebook post, but it got too damned long.  Caution, my opinion on this matter is vehement and I am understating it here for the sake of politeness.  I wrote this in response to this little gem.

Ugh.  This is inflammatory writing, biased and without anything remotely resembling objective thought.  Not all sex offenders are pedophiles.  Most aren't.  That is a common and terribly damaging assumption, often used to persecute not only the EX-offenders but their families.  Why not pick on the pervert's family, too, huh?  They deserve it for not abandoning the rapist, don't they?  Why not deny that child molester a job, a place to live, a support system?  After all they're all child-rapists anyway right?  Right.  None of them made a mistake, had sex as kids with other kids, peed in the bushes, or mistakenly thought they were at the nude beach that was actually a mile down the road.  None of them had sex in the wrong position, had vindictive ex-family who framed them, were lied to about the age of their partner, took a photo of their kid in the bath because cute! and shared it with family, only to be told that's child pornography AND it crossed state lines.

You'd think, though, that given the assumption that ALL SEX OFFENDERS ARE CHILD MOLESTERS!!!!! the author would be DELIGHTED that so many of those awful offenders who are clearly NOT human or worthy of compassion are contained in one place rather than living with their tainted families in the community at large.  Thank goodness we are free to judge them all the same without reservation and without actually having to KNOW the nature of their offense.

Also, FYI - I do not know a single person, NOT ONE, who wouldn't be considered a sex offender in the state of Redneck Central, which only recognizes missionary position marital sex as legal...everything else, ALL OF IT, is unlawful and a sex offense.  Peeing outside is a sex offense.  Living with a partner but unmarried?  Unlawful.  Gay?  Living as partners? Holy cats, SO UNLAWFUL!!!  That's right, not a single one of you who knows me IRL ISN'T an offender under the law.  Think about that...

Yes, there are monsters out there.  Yes there are drunk, stupid, unthinking horndogs who maybe could use learning a lesson.  No, they aren't all alike and they aren't all dangerous and they aren't all stalking your childrenz all day long.  Truth is, most of them are reeling from their experience and just want to try and live out their lives as quietly and inoffensively as possible.  And yes, I think we should not only let them, but do our damndest as a society to help them instead of blocking them at every turn.

And before you tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about, I was molested by a serial offender when I was a child, and I know a couple of people who fall under the "I fucked up" label, so I get to look at this from both sides.

Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.


Donna Donovan said...

So tell me, then, exactly WHAT do you think should be done to someone who rapes a child? Honestly? I'm not talking some 19 or 20 yr old who gets duped by a 17 yr old using a false ID. I mean if a grown ass man RAPES a 13 yr old child...then what? We just be ok to "let him live out his life in peace" while endangering other children. Because yes, Kiki...I feel that a person like that IS a pedophile and SHOULD be made to pay the rest of their lives. Just my opinion.

Kyddryn said...

Hon, I am all for each case being handled as an individual case with consequences commensurate to the crime. What I'm NOT okay with is making a blanket judgement that ALL offenders are child-rapists, which the piece in question was doing. I am also NOT in favor of punishing them after they have served their sentence - we don't punish serial DUI drivers, even when they have killed...nor mass murderers, nor serial killers, nor thieves, nor physical abusers, nor any other class of crime once sentence is served. Prison time is supposed to be how they are punished/serve their debt...once the sentence is complete, they should be done. If we want them to continue to pay, then we need to advocate for longer, harsher sentences. Honestly, if someone is considered to be that dangerous, then why are they permitted out in the first place?

Why not make ALL who have been jailed or imprisoned register, put signs on ALL of the lawns and places of business? Wouldn't you like to know that an abuser, an addict, a drunk driver lives nearby? So that you can avoid them, too?

While some sex offenses are very offensive, indeed, and deserve harsh punishment, some are acts of foolishness, ignorance, or youthful exuberance...but under the law they are all treated alike and the general public seems fine with that. I take exception. The man who assaulted me? Knew my age, knew it was wrong, and was not invited to in anyway to do so. He was also NEVER punished, so the registry laws would have failed to warn anyone about him. The kid who had consensual sex with his girlfriend a month before her 17'th birthday? Not the same class of offender. The law and the general public treat them the same way. That offends me.

A 30-something man assaulting a 10 year old child, who has done it before and will do it again and again, needs to be dealt with differently than the man (or woman) who is duped by their victim, or the teen (or even adult) who partners with a younger person consensualy.

If these laws had been in place twenty, thirty years ago, I have no fewer than six friends who would not be married, whose current partners would either still be in jail or be registering as offenders for the rest of their lives.

I'm not saying let everyone go on their merry way and let's just pretend it didn't happen, and I'm not saying don't punish those who transgress our laws, but jut as not every shoe fits every person and not every medicine cures every ill, not every case is served by every law...and I find that an intolerable flaw in our legal system for ANY transgression!