Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It doesn't work, but let's do it anyway

There are two media-circus type trials going on in this country right now ... or, one at least is a huge media feeding frenzy. The other one has been getting less attention, but it's still being reported widely. The two cases are totally unrelated, but the crimes are the same - sexual abuse of children. A lot of children, over long periods of time. And just so it's said: Yes, that is so awful in so many ways. None of the following is to be taken as any indication that I don't think it's completely horrible.

But it just really get my hackles up the way this type of thing is reported in the media, and the way the general public responds to it. First of all I just hate the way it's always said that someone has been 'convicted of pedophilia'. Argh ... !! No! No one is ever 'convicted of pedophilia'! It's not illegal to be a pedophile! Would you say of a man who was sent to jail for raping a woman that he was 'convicted of heterosexuality'? Of course not. Because it isn't illegal to be a heterosexual, it isn't illegal to be a homosexual, and it isn't illegal to be a pedophile. What is illegal is to force your own sexual activities on others. But that is entirely unrelated to one's sexual orientation. In fact, AFAIK, a great many child abusers are not pedophiles. But still it's always the same thing - 'convicted of pedophilia'. One of the most commonly seen glaring inaccuracies in the media today.

It also really gets me the way people are so eager to demand the blood of anyone who's been 'convicted of pedophilia' ... or even when they haven't been convicted, as in these two ongoing cases. There was a report about it on the news tonight, which is what inspired this post ... they showed screenshots from Facebook saying things like 'pedophiles ought to be executed'. I mean ... what? We should kill people simply for being pedophiles? Even if they've never harmed a fly? That is so wrong on so many levels. :-(

But also of course people are wanting, nay, demanding, a sort of Megan's Law here in Norway. Sigh. They reject my reality and substitute their own ... o_O

Because the fact of the matter is that Megan's Law just doesn't work, and in fact often makes things worse. I'm not going into why, I've worked overtime today and I'm pretty tired ... but it's just the simple facts. It doesn't work and it doesn't make everything better and it doesn't keep your children safe. Read this excellent article, or if you're really interested, this study done by the US Department of Justice. And please, if you're ever in that situation, don't vote for or support any kind of Megan's Law without doing some serious research beforehand. If you're thinking right now that if we had that law, things would be so much better ... think again. The world is not as simple as you believe. :-(


Paz said...

great post, ITA Megans law is makes things worse, BTW Irish news always say they were arrested on child molestation charges

Leisha Camden said...

Well, the media here also use that type of phrase. But we get 'convicted of pedophilia' really often ... and that just pisses me off, because it's just a way of saying it that should never be used. Because it's a total falsehood, no one is ever 'convicted of pedophilia'. Argh.

Anonymous said...

Good point about the pedophilia. I think it's yet another example of the way grammar is just going downhill more and more, and the trouble is that grammar, and diction especially, is important if you wish to get your meaning across accurately :(

Leisha Camden said...

That is so true! It's so depressing every time I hear people excusing statements and phrases that are obviously incorrect by saying 'you understood what I meant though'. Augh. That's just not good enough.