All Men are Predators

If you see a man sitting by the side of a playground, watching the kids slipping down the slide, kicking their feet on the swing, or clambering up the rungs of a ladder - what is your first thought? For most people, this is a reason for them to immediately be on alert, in case the man is looking to either:

  1. Abduct a kid
  2. Indecently assault a kid

Unfortunately this appears to be another of those cases of so called positive discrimination. It’s a case of the minority of men’s actions influencing the majority of other people’s actions against them, but short of creating a new system to immediately identify ‘creeps’ is a necessary evil.

It also stems from a different form of discrimination however, and that is from that fact that the general view is the mother should take care of her children, while the father takes a backseat. While this is commonly accepted, more and more fathers are taking care of their children, as shown in a non-scientific survey quoted here:

Of the 74 fathers who responded (so far), 60 percent spend 31 or more hours a week caring for a child.

As a general fact, women tend to put their careers off more than men and place a higher value on family (and have a harder time getting back into the work force after taking time off to have and care for her children), but times are definitely a-changing.

Though it seems attitudes aren’t quite…

  • Three men — 4.5 percent of the participants who answered this question — said that they had been asked to leave a playground by a caregiver.
  • Twenty-four percent said that they had been refused entry to a gathering of parents and children.
  • Fifty-five percent said that their parenting skills had been criticized or corrected in a public setting.
  • Fifty-eight percent of participants felt that this criticism or exclusion occurred on the grounds that they are male.
  • Twenty-eight percent of participants reported that they had experienced these incidents on five or more occasions.

It’s not unheard of for women to snatch or indecently assault children, but for some reason it’s more natural to trust a woman (who of course is a nurturing caregiver) than it is a man. There are some anecdotes over here that make me consider what if a man wanted to adopt a child? It seems it would be really difficult these days, because he’s too great a risk.

In the end this all reminds me of Recorder to Randsell though, as Atsushi is continually chased and arrested for looking too mature and like a ‘pervert’ to the rest of his classmates despite being the same age. As the series drags on it makes me wonder if there’s a solution to this issue - and it doesn’t seem there is yet.

I’m in no way advocating that we trust all men implicitly – especially strangers — or that we ignore the statistics or even that we punish ourselves for feeling more protective about our children around unfamiliar men vs. women. So much of being a mother is trusting your gut instinct and, if you don’t, you’ll only make yourself miserable. I just know that as a mom who was faced with a tough decision along the gender divide, I can’t help feeling saddened by my well-meaning bias—or wondering if my daughter missed out on a chance to have a great caregiver and our family a friend.