La La How The Life Goes On

Zero Tolerance

Posted on: January 18, 2012–david-ettlinger-to-face-more-child-porn-charges-today

Friends, that link right there is my worst parental nightmare come true. A local schoolteacher has been charged with possessing hundreds of pornographic images of children, including images of him molesting a family friend when she was 12. Pretty horrifying, but it gets worse. He was part of the infamous international kid porn sharing site Dreamboard that was busted last year by the DOJ. I will not go into the micro details of Dreamboard for fear of vomiting, but you can google it. Truly vile, depraved and evil stuff going on, involving children under 12, many infants, with a preference for footage of “children in distress and crying.”

It absolutely boggles the mind that such evil exists in our world. It absolutely chills my soul to know that those involved are people you know and see everyday. These pedophiles are not homeless flashers. They are not creepy old men. And, folks who fear homosexuality, they are not your gay neighbors. They are married, “upstanding” men. Accountants, lawyers…and teachers. Why? Because you don’t leave your children in the care of homeless flashers. You leave them with clean cut all-American teachers.

Which is why–I will say it again and haters can hate–no male will ever babysit my daughters. Parents of sons, I mean you no offense. In fact, I would recommend that you adopt the same policy. This is a shame for the wonderful male elementary school teachers I know and adore, of course, that their motivations should now be suspect. So what else can we do besides suspect everyone of nefarious intent?

I think we should adopt a zero-tolerance attitude toward the sexualization of children. This means pageants, smart-ass t-shirts, kiddie bikinis, all of it. The BabyDaddy has what I thought were overly-strict rules for the girls: no bikinis, no online presence, no unsecured online pics, etc. Now I am with him 100%. I google my girls’ names frequently just to make sure that nothing comes up, because predators lift photos without your knowledge. They will have no email address and no Facebook profile until high school. End of story.

Another practice we have for hopefully decreasing their vulnerability is deflecting any praise they receive for being “pretty” or “beautiful.” I usually say something like, “thank you, and she is incredibly funny/smart/sweet too.” I want my girls to find it not normal for an adult man to comment on their prettiness. I want them to be skeeved out if someone remarks on their appearance more than once. I want them to feel that it’s weird enough behavior to tell me about. More than anything, I want them to immediately tell me if anyone ever makes them feel even the slightest bit weird, “politeness” be damned. Luckily, Bambina does tell me stuff, and I am so lucky and grateful. So, adult males ( and females), I issue you a challenge today: next time you see a young girl, challenge yourself to say something about her that is not appearance-related. In fact, challenge yourself to know that you don’t have to compliment her at all until she does something worth complimenting. Trust me, the kids won’t care either way.

What else an we do, folks? It seems that the coarsening and soft pornification of our culture is unstoppable. But maybe if a good number of us band together and say enough, even if our kids don’t have cool clothes and our great grandparents think we are crazy, we could make a difference. Maybe if we recognize that the entire paid sex industrial complex relies on children as its foundation, we will have less tolerance for strip clubs, a 4-to-1 hooker to John arrest ratio, and anything–anything–that says young equals sexy.


3 Responses to "Zero Tolerance"

EPo, I ❤ you. While I may not be a mother myself, I agree with you 100% and share your posts with all of my mom friends. Safety first peeps!

I just had this conversation with my friend the other day. She asked whether our new nanny was a manny, and I said “Not to sound like that person, but I will NEVER have a male babysit our kids. All of the sexual abuse that has been enacted on people that I love–and there was much of it, sadly–was by trusted males in their lives.” I’m glad you brought up the “they are otherwise normal men” thing; did you see the essay in slate following the sexual abuse (Sandusky) reports? It was making the rounds on local mom boards…Yeah, safety first.

I first read this post a month ago and tonight, from a different link, read your blog from ‘Zero Tolerance’ down until discovering that I had been here before. All excellent funny, insightful posts. This one makes me sad, but I have to admit you’re probably wise. I’d love to argue against your decision. But I can’t. Every woman that I have been close to has shared stories that range from mildly disturbing to truly abusive. The sadness comes from how much I enjoy children, and also the richness that time spent with other adults in my extended family added to my life. Adventures with Uncles, Aunts, and close family friend/neighbors is the source of many of my positively defining moments. I think if I were the parent of a young girl (instead of the parent of a grown son) I would make the same decision you have, but would seek out opportunities for her to spend time with other adults in less threatening situations. I also wonder if vigilance and probing questions after time alone with others, could provide some protection given our modern awareness of the problem.

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