Seriously, trigger warning. I’m in a strange brain place and I need to deal with intense stuff, but if that’s not where you are, go somewhere fun and healthy. Like here.
People love to post images that express their anger. Like this one:
I mean, what is that? It’s fear porn. It alerts our most basic fears (being attacked, having our loved ones attacked) and then drop kicks a moral into the middle. The moral being, we should put down pedophiles. Like rabid dogs. And everyone who commented seemed to think this wasn’t punishment enough. The comments are below, but they are hideous. To see them, click to enlarge. But honestly, skip it.
Skip it because it’s exactly what you’d expect. Lots of calling for some right sick sexual retribution (which is really just more sexual assault and debasement, and now it’s justifiable!) I mean, who would it serve to sexually hurt pedophiles? Not the victims. We get no benefit from the sorrows of another. Not the pedophile. It will not make him/her whole or sane or rehabilitated. And whoever chooses to carry out the sentence, how are they any different? Wouldn’t we then have to punish them?
Whenever I see these I’m always struck by how soundly they support the circle of damage and pain. If every person who seethed that they wanted to murder a pedophile actually helped victims and empowered children, I could see the purpose, but as it stands, it seems like violently misplaced rage and if it is not rage, then this is far to glib a way to express dislike.
I was sexually abused as a child. I don’t speak for all people who were, but I speak for me. Here is what I want you to fight for:
Fight for better childcare and children’s services. The person who molested me was molested himself. He was in the system and his life was horrifying. He was deeply damaged and he passed that on to me. So yes, if you want to do something to stop pedophiles, stop making them. There’s a start.
Educate children about their own bodies and give them the vocabulary to describe their own experiences. When I finally told a teacher, most of the way through high school, the best I could manage was “things they weren’t supposed to do.” I had no words.
Oh, and when kids tell you this shit, report it.
If a kid is running away from this, do the scary thing and take them in. They will probably be crazy, depressed, wild, damaged and really hard to deal with. But they need, need, need you.
Support charities that directly support victims. RAINN, Kid’s Help Phone (thank you Kamal, for the all night conversation,) Youthlink and LOFT all specifically helped me. Me, the person. I got actual help.
Don’t waste your energy on vengeance fantasies. The world doesn’t need more pain. It needs more care.
And as for the people hurting children: no, we shouldn’t kill them. I’ve crossed it around in my brain over and over. What is the good, the ethical, the helpful thing to do?
Knowing it would be corrupted and maybe made horrible, I still think isolated work farms are a pretty good idea. Seriously. Make something good in a place where you can’t hurt people.
Or heck, start by bumping those teeny tiny sentences up. I have to wonder if any of the vitriolic folks calling for death considered calling their MP or writing a letter or doing some research into ways to make it better.
Anger is easy.
Change is hard.
And I am tired.