Last week a spokesman for the National zrrhsnfbis
Center for Missing and Exploited Children went on Good Morning America and told us to stop teaching our kids “Stranger Danger,” despite having rammed that fear down our throats for over a generation — a point I discussed in this post.
To demonstrate how important it is that children learn to approach a stranger for help, in case they ever need it, Good Morning America and the spokesman, Callahan Walsh (John Walsh’s son) staged a bizarre little experiment. They dressed a school stage like an abstract minimalist grocery store and then asked a gaggle of children who they’d ask for help if they were shopping with their mom and suddenly couldn’t find her. Would they ask:
a) A mom with a baby?
b) A security guard with a badge?
c) The checkout lady, also with a badge? Or —
d) A guy.
Of course the children were encouraged to talk to everyone EXCEPT the guy…I guess on the very likely chance that any man in a grocery store will stop shopping for Doritos and steal a lost child, given half a chance. The instructions boiled down to this:
The guard, mother and clerk all had identifiable markers that signify a safe adult — including a badge, a baby and a name tag, according to Walsh. In a dire situation, a child should feel empowered to reach out to any of these strangers who possess the markers that signify they can be trusted for help.
Somehow wearing a badge or being female makes people good. But a man, even one just minding his own business, is Â simply not to be trusted, even if the kid is in a “dire” situation. So maybe the new slogan should be: Â “See a guy/Run and cry.” Or, “If he’s got balls/Jump the walls!” Or, “He’s got a penis?/Those are the meanest!” Feel free to supply your own mnemonic device.
And so the senseless fear-mongering continues…now in the guise of reassuring a successfully terrified America. – L
One of these things is not like the other. While ostensibly rejecting “Stranger Danger,” The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children still insists one of these people cannot be trusted. Hint: He’s got a Y chromosome and no badge.
Hair on the chest? Wants to molest.
It’s sad that these all seem plausible.
what about a guy with a a badge wearing baby?
I’m ok with this “rule of thumb” – as long as ADULTS leave me alone as well (and I am talking to all you folks stopping in front of my house, lost, looking for Woodridge Dr EAST. You gotta turn around and go back to the main road…)
Y chromosome; leave him alone.
If he’s male, haul ass and bail.
If he’s a buck, you’re outta luck.
Well, they should run away from SOME men. Like John and Callahan Walsh.
“Feel free to supply your own mnemonic device.”
Hmmm. If the chromosome’s Y, then you’re gonna die.
So would it be OK to approach a man with a baby? Why should a woman with a baby be trustworthy, but not a man with a baby? Should the assumption be that any man with a baby is already in the process of abducting the baby?
Also, why is the one guy without the badge two feet taller than the rest of them (who all happen to be exactly the same height)? Think maybe it was intentional to make him look more imposing to a short child?
I’m glad they’re urging people to rethink Stranger Danger, but why can’t they just be honest and admit that almost nobody, male or female, has any desire to run off with someone else’s kid?
I wonder what it’s like for two black men to be having a conversation with a white guy about what makes people safe vs. strangers. Even being nicely dressed doesn’t make a stranger safe.
I was walking at Greenlake (a beautiful man-made park in Seattle) one fall in some of my common attire which was some form of nearly nude. Every day, except in cases of bad rain, there are hundreds of people who walk at the lake, on the walking path around the lake. People even walk around the lake when it is cold and I would walk at the gym instead. It is a fairly safe place in daytime hours.
So, on this one day in, I think 2015 or perhaps 2014, there are these two young girls of what seem to be 1st or 2nd or 3rd grade age. I am walking headed east and they are walking headed west. They see me and one of them says danger or stranger danger or something like that. They then run, though they run westwards meaning that their running takes them a bit towards me, though they veered off the walking path to make their little run.
On that day, I walked 2 circuits around the lake. Abour 40 minutes or an hour later I was at one point and I think that the two kids were near a bush, partly hiding but partly visible, and somewhat watching me to help determine if I was safe or if they should fear danger.
lol . . .
They have survived and I hope they enjoyed their small adventure!
If we see a woman with a baby how do we know she didn’t kidnap the baby????
What about a man with children? I was lost at the Skyline Drive Shenandoah National Park when I was fourteen–I had gone for a walk and got turned around about a half-mile from the campsite. I saw a man with his two daughters, both carrying Cabbage Patch Dolls and asked him for a ride back to my campsite and he drove me back. There’s no reason why a man with kids or even a man alone should be automatically considered less trustworthy.
This kind of stuff makes me see red. It’s so damn irresponsible. Listen, I don’t want your kid, really. But if he’s lost in a supermarket, I’m going to try to help him. Especially if he’s upset. Teaching children to be fearful in their community is cynical, irresponsible and just plain wrong. But it makes good TV, or so some dimwit producer things.
You want a bit of horror, watch “Stranger Things.” (Awesome)
This is why I no longer watch morning TV. The “frisson” of fear and the egotistical message that you are the only thing that stands between your child and certain danger is just plain wrong.
I find it interesting that these people who are so scared of some unknown man seem to forget that these are the same men who are in their lives, as brothers, spouses, sons, etc. So, they’re saying that it’s okay to vilify men who are strangers, even though their loved ones are included in that category. I’m sure they say to themselves “Well my husband/son/(fill in the blank) would never do anything horrible to a child, but your husband/son/(fill in the blank) just might.” Hypocrisy, pure and simple!
To be fair, they didn’t compare a man with a baby or a badge to a woman without either.
Cheep prop badge, no uniform, handcuffs… kid, that’s the one to worry about. That and probably the woman carrying around the baby doll and pretending it is real. I know, I know, cheep production, use your imagination.
The instructions I’ve given my daughter on what to do if she gets separated from me in public are:
-If you get lost in a store, go to the front, pick someone working at a counter and ask “would you please page [full name who she came with]”
-If you get lost elsewhere, ask the nearest adult to please call me and stay put. If there is no obvious danger, do not allow anyone to lead you away from where you are. And especially never allow anyone to move you out of sight of where other people are.
Dean Cameron’s slogan, “Hair on the chest? Wants to molest” is absolutely hilarious.
Now, for the serious part. After listening to this all-men-are-potential-child-molesters propaganda for more than two decades, all I can say to the women of America is, “protect your own goddamned children.” I won’t even talk to them. It’s an arrest and false accusation waiting to happen. Perhaps I’ll be lucky and they’ll grow up to overthrow our corrupt government.
Is it just me, or do the kids in this video seem way too old not to know what to do if they get separated from their parents in a grocery store? (At that age, I’m sending mine a couple of aisles over to pick something up.) And why such emphasis on only asking for help only in a dire situation?
When my youngest son was three, we were at the zoo with another family. There was a fork in the path and he zigged while the rest of us zagged. It was extremely crowded and I didn’t know if he’d gone into the primate building or around it in either direction, so I stopped the first zoo employee I saw with a radio clipped to her belt.
In the meantime, my preschooler had realized that he had a problem and asked for help from a group of construction workers who were doing repairs on the building. We hadn’t discussed what to do if he got lost, because he was still young enough that he was always holding my hand. Men operating power tools wouldn’t have been *my* suggestion to him (not because they’re men, but because I have this idea that you’re not supposed to interrupt the person using potentially dangerous equipment), but he found someone who obviously worked for the zoo and just as I was explaining that he was lost, he came trotting up holding the hand of a security guard.
I’ve always told my kids that if they lose track of us in a store they should ask for help from the person at the cash register. Not because I think they’re safer than anyone else — they’re the one with access to the PA system. Ask a mom with a baby for help and she’s going to find an employee. I’m guessing the random guy would do the same thing.
Got a prick? He’s a dick.
Testosterone? Call in the drone.
Want your kids safe? Teach them to approach a group of bikers (motorcycle riders). Most of us are fathers and the thought of someone harming a child gets us rather upset (understatement of the year award). NO ONE will harm a child under the protection of bikers. We’ll get that kid back with his/her parents ASAP.
Serious. We (bikers) will help.
Years ago I went with a guy friend to pick up his toddler son from daycare. The kid had been at the daycare for about three months and my friend was usually the one to drop off and pick up. Upon entering this place you had to wait in what he called an “airlock” to be buzzed back to reach the childcare rooms. I kid you not, the receptionist (who was herself behind a glass enclosure) actually said to him, “I’ll need to see your ID, Mr. Simmons.” Meanwhile, she’s never seen me in her life, but she didn’t say a thing as I went through sans ID (although she did glare at me because I was laughing so hard).
“So would it be OK to approach a man with a baby? Why should a woman with a baby be trustworthy, but not a man with a baby?”
In my experience, men with babies are considered okay. The baby proves (somehow) that we’re not horrible humans after the blood of children. I’ve been in a number of situations before and after having children (and with/without my kids in tow), and can state that my experience supports the conclusion that when people see a man with a baby/small child, they treat him like a human. Otherwise, they treat him like a criminal.
A few weeks back I went grocery shopping with my wife. We decided to split up, and both our boys wanted to go with Mom. My fault–I walk too fast (0.87 meter stride on flat ground, compared to 0.9 meter tall child….) and they were tired. Anyway, we agreed that we’d do our respective tasks, then meet at a certain spot. I got done and went to that spot. Then spent five minutes enduring glares and comments from pretty much EVERY customer there, and multiple store clerks obviously keeping an eye on me. It got bad enough that I had to leave the area. Contrast that with what happened last week, when I had one of my kids with me: Multiple parents came up to talk about how adorable the child was, and a young mother parked her cart near me for a few minutes (to search through the cooler I was standing next to). My son and her kids made faces at each other the whole time. In both cases I was dressed business casual, I’m pretty clean-cut these days, and in both cases I was standing there, minding my own business. The only difference was the presence of the child.
On a different note: I always love how this sort of flagrantly sexist nonsense is apparently allowed as long as it’s against the right people. If someone dared to say that women by themselves were, categorically, not to be trusted, that someone would be looking for a new job if not facing criminal charges the next morning. But stating that men are evil unless proven otherwise is, somehow, socially acceptable. Anyone else remember South Pacific?
You have to be taught before it’s too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people your relatives hate!
You have to be carefully taught!
No hair on top? Quick, call a cop.
If there’s a weenie, run! He’s a meanie!
If he’s got a co*k, run away – don’t walk
If you see a beard, be very skeered.
All men named Andy, will lure you with candy.
That’s it.. no, really.
Guy with a dick! Run! Quick!
If he looks like dad, he must be BAD!
A comment here made me look up baby snatching, and guess what? Since 1983, there have been 306 incidents of baby-snatching, and in 296 of them, the abductor was female.
I wish I had that statistic in my mind as I, a 52 year old grey haired guy, was walking out of the very busy public library this morning behind a mom, her toddler and infant. She looked back at me, gave that well-known stricken look, and grabbed the toddler and said, “we’ve got to speed up now!”
If his head is gray, he’ll take you away!
I have two sons, and it always makes me sad to read stuff like this.
We were at story hour at the library, and the subject of stranger danger was being discussed. There was a father there with his two kids. A female librarian told him point blank, in front of everyone, that men are 70% more likely to be child molesters. So children should never go up to a man, even if he has children.
The look on his face! To this day I haven’t forgiven myself for not speaking up and telling her what a horrible thing she did. The man never came back with his children.
Lenore, please tell me that you’re going to forward these slogans to both GMA and NCMEC.
And I don’t know about you all, but I trained my son from a young age to be very vigilant in the grocery store so that he’d KNOW right away that there was a kidnapping opportunity for him to take advantage of. Snoozers are losers!!
As the parent of a boy, I’m curious about how old a male has to be for other people to worry that he’s dangerous. Does that age overlap with the time when he’s considered too young to wait in the car while I run into 7-11? /sarcasm/
But seriously, how do I prepare him for people to be wary of him? His body is growing quickly… At 8 years old he’s approaching my (short) height, but he’s still very much a child who prefers to have me by his side to being independent. How soon will we be dealing with others’ fears, and how do I prepare him for that without screwing with his sense of self? I know anyone who doesn’t look Caucasian has been dealing with this forever- how do you do it?
The advice is actually good, if the presentation was flawed.
Employees can help a lost/stranded child. Teaching kids how to recognize one is, in fact, a good idea.
Cops are also good.
People (all of them, not just women) who have kids are likely to help, and other kids may help timid children work up the nerve to ask for help.
They didn’t tell the kid to avoid the man (although some ARE taught that way, of course.) They just didn’t give him any of the signs that say “this person can help you” to a very small child.
Lol! Ignorance. Another example of booksmart but common sense stupid. Because if anyone of those experts who teach these stereotypical notions really understood life and the world, they’d realize that there are plenty of women, mothers, daughters, sisters, as well cops (male and female). Including security guards (male of female). Who are in jail for crimes they committed. Including crimes against children.
I’ve often said, it’s not what you do, what you have, or even if you were a badge and work for the law, it’s who you are as a person that determines whether you are a good person or not. Misconceptions. That’s all they are spreading.
My advice, if you the kid needs help because something happened to his/her mom in the grocery store. You ask the first person you see for help. There really is no time to pick and choose. Your mothers life is at stake. Remember, they’re asking for help, not running off with the person they asked for help.
Some might argue, “what if that first person is a guy and he grabs her?”. Well, first of all, that would be very remote thing to happen. So remote, that you have a better chance of winning the lottery, being struck by lightening, or even being hit by a car. But no one ever worries about those like they do random abductions. And those other things can kill you (except for the winning the lottery. Unless you have a weak heart. lol). It doesn’t get worse than that.
Selective fearing contributes to unwarranted ignorance and paranoia.
And…Callahan Walsh is a guy, right? So he’s basically complicit in the “all men are kidnapping pedophiles” mindset?
Well, I guess we understand why Jesus said “*suffer* the children to come unto Me”.
My husband works in retail. His words of choice for parents are let me show a cell phone picture of our daughter. He says it relaxes the customers and they know he doesn’t want to steal their children. Some have come back over 15 years just to see an updated picture of our daughter. (my opinion) At this point our daughter should get paid by the retail establishment as a sales aid.
if they are a guy, it is time to fly. Don’t stop to think or ask why!
“A female librarian told him point blank, in front of everyone, that men are 70% more likely to be child molesters. So children should never go up to a man, even if he has children.”
There’s a word for this sort of statement: LIE.
Abuse is under-reported in general, but abuse by females is so drastically under-reported that I don’t believe any statistic comparing rates between males/females. Worse, there is a huge cultural bias against reporting abuse by females–or, in some cases, seeing it AS abuse, particularly when sex is involved. Taking such statistics at face value is simple mathematical illiteracy. Then there’s the issue of “more likely”. Sure, if 1 woman a year hurts a child and 7 men do, one could say men are 7 times more likely to hurt a child. But when you consider there are what, roughly 150,000,000 men and 150,000,000 women in the USA, this GROSSLY, and from an authority I would say negligently, overstates the issue. Anything that occurs among less than 0.1% of the population is background noise in my opinion (others place the line in different places).
I know you probably know this, but I get furious when I see statistics abused in this way, particularly among educators. They are spreading false information, pure and simple, and all it takes is KNOWING MATH to figure out just how screwed up the statistics are.
It’s a start. I’m glad to see that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is no longer saying that 100% of all strangers are dangerous.
If he’s got testes, call for arrestee!!
Sporting a sack? Watch your back.
Person with a dong? Move along!
Someone with a wiener couldn’t be any meaner
I don’t really see that it any way matters which person you ask for help in a public place. Obviously the vast majority of people are not child molesters or kidnappers and genuinely want to be helpful. But for the sake of arguments, let’s say the person you ask for help IS the neighborhood serial killer. In the middle of a grocery store, what are they going to do?? Drag you out kicking and screaming in front of dozens of people? As long as you are teaching your children not to leave with people I suspect the worst thing that would happen from them asking ANYBODY for help would be to be told to get lost.
“Cops are also good.”
Perhaps. They’re supposed to be good, and to have higher standards than the general population. But speaking as someone who’s family regularly annoyed the cops, I can tell you that this is far from universal. I was taught to NOT go to the cops. But I’m willing to be convinced: is the rate of molestation higher among cops, or among the general public? And does that rate exceed 0.1% in either case (or substitute your own threshold here)? And is that difference statistically significant? You’re assuming that the answer are “Among the general public, yes, and yes”. If that sounds harsh, I apologize–it’s not intended to be so. In the circles I travel in, this is considered a standard and polite line of questioning.
“People (all of them, not just women) who have kids are likely to help, and other kids may help timid children work up the nerve to ask for help.”
Again, got any evidence to support this? Because I can immediately think of two reasons to conclude the opposite: 1) Adults with children are already fully occupied and have little attention to spare; and 2) Adults shopping with children are almost certainly on a tighter schedule than those shopping alone, as children really don’t take missing meals very well (the exception is people alone shopping during a break at work, but most places would take “I was helping a lost kid” as a good reason to miss time). I’d rather my kids avoid the frazzled woman yelling at her three kids as they rampage through the toy section, or even the woman struggling to comfort a screaming baby. Both may be perfectly nice. Neither has time to deal with my kids’ problems.
I’ll agree with you about store clerks. We can assume they have means for actively resolving the situation, such as the PA system or known and obvious locations (the registers). The issues above still apply in terms of evidence for whether or not they’re more likely to be problematic than solo men, but the presence of immediate methods for resolving the issue trump those problems.
It matters AmyP, because all we hear from “experts” is “Adults should never ask kids for help”, along with all the fear of males; male day care employees can’t change diapers, male teachers can’t meet one-on-one with students, males can’t sit next to unaccompanied females on a plane, can’t let my kid sleep over at a friend’s house if dad is the only adult home….and on and on and on.
That’s why it matters. This is just one more thing to pile on.
After submerging myself in some recent Ritual Abuse 2017: Child Trafficking videos on YouTube I’m going to advice kids to point at men and scream ILLUMINATI OPPRESSORS!!!!
Why not? It can’t hurt at this point.
Advise phone, advise.
NCMEC, get off my TV
If Walsh says it’s legit, then he’s full of shit
Mr. Walsh wants your Funny, and it ain’t even funny
Kids, if you see Callahan Walsh, he also has a penis,
so if he approaches you, say, ‘Put some space betwen us!”
Ba dum tiss….
And one last one…
Reve Walsh was only 16,
When John Walsh gave her his string bean…
Maybe the Lady with the baby stole the baby already?
“Itâ€™s a start. Iâ€™m glad to see that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is no longer saying that 100% of all strangers are dangerous.”
It would be interesting if they were, because everyone at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is, to me, a stranger.
Exactly. I recently re-read The Devil in the Nursery, an article about the day care abuse hysteria in the 80s & 90s, which talked about how the excessive restrictions came about during the panics. So many men were driven out of childcare and teaching positions, and so many boys were driven out of school. My first love and 4 of my close friends were demonized as devil worshippers, and potential threats to other students, before being kicked out of school because they listened to punk and metal. All guys, and far from alone. It was a common story. One that I’ve thought of often due to the persecutory climate on some campuses. It’s mostly males paying the price.
“When you once believed something that now strikes you as absurd, even unhinged, it can be almost impossible to summon that feeling of credulity again. Maybe that is why it is easier for most of us to forget, rather than to try and explain, the Satanic-abuse scare that gripped this country in the early 80’s — the myth that Devil-worshipers had set up shop in our day-care centers, where their clever adepts were raping and sodomizing children, practicing ritual sacrifice, shedding their clothes, drinking blood and eating feces, all unnoticed by parents, neighbors and the authorities.
“Believe the children” was the sanctified slogan of the moment — but what it came to mean, all too often, was believe them unless they say they were not abused. It didn’t matter that no trace of the secret tunnels was ever found, that no physical evidence corroborated the charges (a black robe seized by the police as a Satanic get-up turned out to be Peggy’s graduation gown), that none of the kiddie porn the abusers were supposedly manufacturing ever turned up, despite an extensive investigation by the F.B.I. and Interpol, that no parents who stopped by during the day had ever noticed, say, the killing of a horse. It didn’t matter that most child abuse — which after all does exist in real and horrifying form — takes place not in day-care centers but in the home, indeed within the family. The prosecution charged forward nonetheless, with a seven-year trial that became the longest and, at a cost of $15 million, the most expensive criminal trial in American history. It resulted in not a single conviction, though seven people were charged in the McMartin case, on a total of 135 counts — just a series of deadlocks, acquittals and mistrials. Buckey served two years in jail, and her son, Raymond, served five. They spent their life’s savings on lawyers’ fees and in the end went “through hell” and “lost everything,” as she put it after her 1990 acquittal.
Yet even now, the legacy of McMartin and other cases like it (Wee Care in Maplewood, N.J.; Little Rascals in Edenton, N.C.; Fells Acres in Malden, Mass.) is with us. It’s with us — this is the sad part — in policies that discourage day-care workers and teachers from hugging children or from changing diapers without a witness, lest they be accused of something untoward. It is also with us — this is the good part — in improved methods of questioning young witnesses.”
“â€œCops are also good.â€
Perhaps. Theyâ€™re supposed to be good, and to have higher standards than the general population. But speaking as someone whoâ€™s family regularly annoyed the cops, I can tell you that this is far from universal. I was taught to NOT go to the cops.”
I’m pretty sure the number of children abducted and molested by cops from public stores is pretty low. If you lived in Hazzard County and are surnamed “Duke”, I guess you might want to teach your kids differently. Call me an idealist.
“Again, got any evidence to support this? Because I can immediately think of two reasons to conclude the opposite: 1) Adults with children are already fully occupied and have little attention to spare; and 2) Adults shopping with children are almost certainly on a tighter schedule than those shopping alone”
The point of going to a random adult in the store is that they will lead the child to the employees who can actually do something to re-unite parent and child. A parent with children is more likely to know where, in the store, such an employee can be found than is an adult who has no children.. The point was and is, the presence of children is likely comforting to the child, enabling a timid or shy child to actually ask for help.
“children really donâ€™t take missing meals very well”
If taking a lost child to a checkout counter causes your child miss meals, you need to re-evaluate your life.
“Iâ€™d rather my kids avoid the frazzled woman yelling at her three kids as they rampage through the toy section, or even the woman struggling to comfort a screaming baby.”
OK. Were you expecting opposition to this?
(My kid wasn’t shy, so she was taught to look for employees of the store if she got lost. Why? Because they’re the ones who can actually help… others are just going to pass the lost kid to an employee. My kid was smart enough to cut out the middleman. YMMV.)
“The issues above still apply in terms of evidence for whether or not theyâ€™re more likely to be problematic than solo men”
Solo adult men, solo adult women, groups of either or both… they’re all just shoppers in the store, who may or may not know where a lost child should be directed. Store employees do know. Cops (or uniformed security officers) are more likely to know, and they often have radios.
You’re confusing “this is who it’s safe to ask for help” (which is so close to everybody as to be statistically insignificant) with “this is the fastest way to get reunited with your lost parent”. The latter question has tiered answers, and a smart parent teaches their kids what they should do to get the fastest re-unification.
Teaching them “don’t approach a single man wearing an overcoat, no socks, and a “Make America Great Again” hat? Parental prerogative. Teaching them “don’t approach any single man” is dumb, but also still parental prerogative. (Again, it’s not what NCMEC is actually advocating… no matter how much indignation we can generate by pretending that it is.) Teaching them to look for an employee to ask for help is smart, if the kid can do it. (Does the kid look for a nametag, or the first person with a red shirt on in the Target store?). If you have a particularly timid or shy child, you can point them towards adults with kids (male or female or groups with both) if it will make the child more able to ask for help.
I’ll concede that there are some cases where you might not want to point your kids at a cop. If you are a criminal, for example, but also if your only crime is having a name that ends with a “z” in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s county. I’m a white guy from the suburbs, my daughter was a white girl from the suburbs. I’m pretty sure any hypothetical future children I might produce will also be white in tone. Cops are our friends.
how does this apply to the whole transgender thing…? Is it safer to approach a man who’s crossing over than a woman who’s going the other direction?
Hahahaha! Good question, especially considering many at the moment are actually transtrenders who admittedly have no plans to ever transition.
They just grow their hair out, wear a little makeup, throw on a tank top and jeans and say they’re a lesbian. It’s some form of exalted, or failed, cross dressing that knocks off a few privilege points. (I personally miss the loud and proud cross dressers of the world, who refrained from telling lesbians that they were transphobic if they wouldn’t sleep with them). From my observations, it lasts about 5 years so I’m going to say it’s a revolving limbo.
Actual transpersons… less that 1% of the population so I doubt many will have to sweat it.
It’s the new goth!
“how does this apply to the whole transgender thingâ€¦? Is it safer to approach a man whoâ€™s crossing over than a woman whoâ€™s going the other direction?”
Easy. Just follow them to the bathroom, and when they get out their birth certificate to show the cop stationed at the door, ask the cop for help finding the lost parent.
I truly do hate that this has trickled down into high schools and elementary schools via Tumblr. It’s identity politic overkill and makes me incredibly thankful that (for the most part) I was just worried about a test, someone spreading rumors or turning off the ringers on all the phones so my parents wouldn’t know my boyfriend was calling back at 11. (And that none of my gay or trans friends ever felt the pressure to jump through an additional set hoops, complete with 952 new pronouns no one can pronounce & 2568 new or repurposed genders made up by teenagers such as “gender special” or “butch” for anyone).
I snagged this from Reddit, and of course a disclaimer about gender diversity must take place before one can carry on, lest they crucified by the identity politics God’s…
“Hey reddit, I have a question because a lot of my friends are getting caught up in the tumblr echo chamber and it’s hard to talk to them. Before that though, I want to say that I am 100% in support of young people questioning and playing around with their gender. I think it’s great that they feel comfortable challenging social norms and discovering themselves.
That aside, a recent trend has really gotten on my nerves. A lot of people I know irl and online have started “coming out” as non-binary, but not actually changing anything when they do so. An example to illustrate what I mean by this is a girl I know from high school, let’s call her X. X wears flower crowns and lolita type dresses everywhere she goes. She loves makeup, long hair, and everything stereotypically feminine. On the trans day of visibility, she “came out” as nonbinary, saying she wants everyone to use “they or she pronouns.” She then reblogged a bunch of stuff about transgender rights, which she doesn’t normally do.
I can’t help but feel like this is just a bunch of cis people feeling left out and trying to hop on the special-snowflake train. I feel like they are invalidating my identity and the trans community as a whole. Am I crazy or intolerant for feeling this way? Let me know what you think.”
Someone coming out as non binary on the trans day of visibility makes me want to throw on Zappa’s Joe’s Garage, though there is no need to revisit 1979. It’s here again.
This is the CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER
You have just destroyed one model XOJ-37 Nuclear Powered Pan-Sexual Roto-Plooker, you’re gonna have to pay for it! So give up, you haven’t got a chance.
As a child, I only got lost and had to ask for help once. I think I was seven years old.
It was on this boat:
Somehow I got separated from my parents and some neighbors who were with us. There was a bandstand with live music on the boat. I waited until there was a break between tunes, told the band leader (yes, a MAN) my name and that I couldn’t find my parents. He made an announcement from the bandstand and I was reunited with my parents in about a minute.
I’ll say again. It’s a start. Kids are starting to be taught how to recognize strangers that they can seek help from. Granted, it’s not going as far as we’d like – yet. However, it’s much better than it previously was. We have had more than 20 years of, â€œIf the person has a dong, you’d better move alongâ€! This ‘wisdom’ is not going to disappear overnight. It has to start somewhere.
Family members are not strangers, so teaching children to only watch out for a stranger makes what family does ok “not bad because they are not a stranger”.
“Iâ€™m pretty sure the number of children abducted and molested by cops from public stores is pretty low.”
I am absolutely certain that the number of children abducted PERIOD is low, so this is a non-issue. It also wasn’t the question. I specifically asked if cops were MORE or LESS likely to abduct children than men without children.
“A parent with children is more likely to know where, in the store, such an employee can be found than is an adult who has no children.”
How could you conclude that? The mere act of being in the company of a child provides no information on one’s knowledge of the store layout.
As for the repeated use of “the point”, you sure missed mine. I wasn’t giving an exhaustive list of reasons to object to going up to parents, but was merely demonstrating that such considerations exist, something you didn’t appear to have accounted for. Sure, 99 out of 100 can and probably will help you–but since the overwhelming majority of men aren’t child kidnappers, we’re talking extremely small percentages here.
My point is, we’re not looking for reasons to talk to a mother with kids. We’re talking about going up to one of these AS OPPOSED TO a male without kids. There’s just as much reason to go to the men as to the women.
Kids are more likely to talk to parents with children? I guess it depends on the kid. My kids aren’t, not significantly anyway. If your kid is, then sure, this works, but basing a broad educational approach off of one family is going to fail rather badly.
“Were you expecting opposition to this?”
Are you familiar with argument ad absurdium? What I described was an action that violated none of your statements, was still plausible (which violates the “absurdium” part, but it still works), and yet is an undesirable outcome. It suggests there may be a slight problem with your argument.
“Solo adult men, solo adult women, groups of either or bothâ€¦ theyâ€™re all just shoppers in the store, who may or may not know where a lost child should be directed.”
So are mothers (or fathers) with kids. You have yet to demonstrate that the presence of a child has any influence on this knowledge–just a mere assertion that it’s true. It’s even probably true of the cops in the store, though they should be trained to handle the situation (whether they follow their training is an open question).
“Youâ€™re confusing â€œthis is who itâ€™s safe to ask for helpâ€ (which is so close to everybody as to be statistically insignificant) with â€œthis is the fastest way to get reunited with your lost parentâ€.”
No–I quite specifically addressed this in my last paragraph, in which I describe the specific reason going to a store clerk is the best option. I merely disagree that there’s any real difference between “male by himself” and….well, anyone not in the store in an official capacity. Not unless there’s some specific issue not included in the parameters of the hypothetical, anyway.
What I am doing is refusing to ignore the fact that you are substituting mere assertion for actual evidence. You provided none in your response, and merely doubled down on the assertion that people with kids magically know the layout of stores better than people without kids. Please note that I’m not saying you’re wrong–I’m saying we haven’t gotten to the point where we can meaningfully discuss if you’re right or wrong. THAT is the issue I have with your comments in this thread.
” Iâ€™m pretty sure any hypothetical future children I might produce will also be white in tone. Cops are our friends.”
I’m German-Irish. Thus far, in my experience, it hasn’t helped. But that’s me personally, and obviously doesn’t scale.
“I am absolutely certain that the number of children abducted PERIOD is low, so this is a non-issue. It also wasnâ€™t the question. I specifically asked if cops were MORE or LESS likely to abduct children than men without children”
Why would you, or I, or anyone else care?
“How could you conclude that? The mere act of being in the company of a child provides no information on oneâ€™s knowledge of the store layout.”
A person with no kids has approximately a zero percent chance of having lost a child in the store, or of caring where lost children in the store should go or be taken. A person with children has a nonzero percent chance. Nonzero is more than zero. QED.
“I wasnâ€™t giving an exhaustive list of reasons to object to going up to parents, but was merely demonstrating that such considerations exist, something you didnâ€™t appear to have accounted for.”
You might want to review how I said I handled it.
“Sure, 99 out of 100 can and probably will help youâ€“but since the overwhelming majority of men arenâ€™t child kidnappers, weâ€™re talking extremely small percentages here.”
At what point was I talking about child kidnappers?
“My point is, weâ€™re not looking for reasons to talk to a mother with kids. Weâ€™re talking about going up to one of these AS OPPOSED TO a male without kids. Thereâ€™s just as much reason to go to the men as to the women.”
Duh. If the kid’s confident enough to do that. Some of them aren’t. BTW, have you missed the part where, every time, I’ve substituted “parent with kids” for “mother with kids”? If (read slowly here) you have a kid who is not comfortable talking to adults, an adult with kids may seem more approachable to the kid. If you have a kid who is comfortable talking to whoever, they can talk to whoever.
“basing a broad educational approach off of one family is going to fail rather badly. ”
Basing a broad education approach to your actual child rather than a hypothetical child tends to work rather well, actually.
“So are mothers (or fathers) with kids. You have yet to demonstrate that the presence of a child has any influence on this knowledgeâ€“just a mere assertion that itâ€™s true.”
It’s a small but nonzero chance. And STILL NOT THE POINT. For like the third or fourth time, the reason a child might be pointed to an adult with kids is because the kid will actually ask for help versus be too timid or shy to do so. Yes, sometimes an experienced parent can detect a lost child even with a verbal request for assistance… but asking for help is more likely to work.
Sorry, I’m just asserting that as fact. Do you need some kind of reference that states that no, human beings are not telepathic?
“‘Youâ€™re confusing â€œthis is who itâ€™s safe to ask for helpâ€ (which is so close to everybody as to be statistically insignificant) with â€œthis is the fastest way to get reunited with your lost parent’.â€
Noâ€“I quite specifically addressed this in my last paragraph”
Then why did you do it AGAIN???
“What I am doing is refusing to ignore the fact that you are substituting mere assertion for actual evidence.”
No. What you are doing is ignoring evidence because you want to argue something different than what I said.
“Please note that Iâ€™m not saying youâ€™re wrongâ€“Iâ€™m saying we havenâ€™t gotten to the point where we can meaningfully discuss if youâ€™re right or wrong.”
The fact that I am right exists independently of your acknowlegement or lack thereof.
“I merely disagree that thereâ€™s any real difference between â€œmale by himselfâ€ andâ€¦.well, anyone not in the store in an official capacity.”
With whom are you having this disagreement?
“‘ Iâ€™m pretty sure any hypothetical future children I might produce will also be white in tone. Cops are our friends.’
Iâ€™m German-Irish. Thus far, in my experience, it hasnâ€™t helped. But thatâ€™s me personally”
What, exactly, would you like me to do about either your ancestry or your personal inability to interface with law enforcement professionals?
I’ve said it before here- let’s call this attitude what it is: sexist. Every time we hear it. IRL or online.
Maybe I am old fashioned. I am a stay at home, farmer, father of three (two girls and a boy aged 20, 14, and 7), and I have watched and or helped raise several nieces. I always simply ingrained in my kids “look them in the eyes”. Irrespective of gender, badge or no badge, look at them at make a judgment call. They are kids, not amoebae – stimulus – response… I trust my kids to decide who might help, but more importantly, I trust them to help themselves.
I live in flyover country, and am just as likely to see a father as a mother on the playground with the kids – more likely actually. I have even often seen – horrors – dads with open carry firearms on the playground (we often have a bear problem in town). The presence of a man with a gun has never frightened my children, but a person with “bad eyes” has. The only time I, or most of the dads, get the stranger danger reaction is when the “HeadStart” children come to the playground. Suddenly we are all perps. The Generation Snowflake “teachers” start with giving us mean looks and pulling their group away from wherever the men might be (I am generally reacting to the ten thousandth “Look at me Dad!”). If I am not made uncomfortable enough to leave immediately, they will take the children to another part of the (small) park and get on their cell phones. Are they calling for authorities? I don’t know, but their gaze is always on me rather than on their charges.
As for badges, in many of these situations, you are not looking at a cop, but a security guard. Many are well trained and probably ok, but how many are Barney Fifes who couldn’t make it in the academy, but still have a deeep desire to be in authority somewhere? Not my first choice.
My kids have always been taught to scan their horizon, whether it is distant hills or the line of sight in a store, look people in the eyes and judge them, eyes not appearance, know your surroundings and your exits, and use your head for more than a hat-rack. I wager my seven year old daughter will be the one helping those poor lost adolescents find their mommies before the badges even figure it out.
Also, the german-irish fellow who didn’t think cops were the first choice was spot on. I am Scots-Irish, my ancestors have been in these parts since the 1740’s, and we have a long history of solving problems without 911 or daytime TV. The best police should be busy looking for real crime and shouldn’t be bothered unless there is a real problem. Many of the others are well trained, but are all too anxious to try out their combat skills, and too young to know when not to.
I trust my kids to solve their own problems rather than to always look for someone else to do so. My biggest worry is that my daughters will have to choose a husband from among all these snowflakes and that my son will marry a daytime TV watching nincompoop.
It’s almost as if men should be staying at home, in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, making “sammiches”
@mer Have you been snooping on my life? 🙂
‘Itâ€™s almost as if men should be staying at home, in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, making â€œsammichesâ€’
Reminds me of something I saw recently on twitter. The paper towels going by the brand name Brawny have long featured a man on their packages – a brawny man, naturally.
Now they’re going to have a woman on the packages too.
The twitter item asked “so now women can be identified with cleaning up kitchens and other household tasks? How far we’ve come!”
Sigh . . . it just keeps coming. When my (now 22YO) daughter was a baby, my wife was taking a walk around the block with her. There were a few kids playing in a front yard, one street over. One of them approached my wife (Ya Hafta See the BAY-bee!).
Immediately, one of the other kids began screaming: “You’re talking to a STRANGER!” And they all ran into the house–presumably for the baby-interested kid to be chastised for dangerous behavior.
Regarding men: I’ve been singing the same song for more than two decades now (one grows weary of ones own voice after a while). You can’t whipsaw men between, “Why don’t men do more childcare?” and “Why is that guy always ‘hanging around’ the playground?”
Just. . . SO sad.
“As for badges, in many of these situations, you are not looking at a cop, but a security guard. Many are well trained and probably ok, but how many are Barney Fifes who couldnâ€™t make it in the academy, but still have a deeep desire to be in authority somewhere? Not my first choice.”
You spend the first half of your comment talking about how you don’t like it when you get pre-judged. Then, you spend the second half of your comment pre-judging other people. The irony was delicious.
” Many of the others [cops] are well trained, but are all too anxious to try out their combat skills, and too young to know when not to.”
Conceded. If you live somewhere where the cops can’t be relied upon not to try out their combat skills on a 3-year-old child looking for mommy or daddy, your kids should not be taught to look for police for help.
“The best police should be busy looking for real crime and shouldnâ€™t be bothered unless there is a real problem.”
Well, no. The BEST police have done such a good job reducing crime that they have time to do other services for citizens, like jumpstart their stalled cars or help lost kids find their parents.
The best RUN police agencies use a technique called “community policing”, wherein they interact regularly with citizens. This reduces the “us vs. them” mentality that can infect both sides, and significantly improves the effectiveness of the police in reducing crime.
@ James Pollock â€“ I never said anything about prejudging me. I frankly, do not care. I was pointing out the weakness of people that cannot look at me, or anyone else, with any discernment. A bunch of guys playing with their children are probably not a threat. I even stressed that my kids are taught to look at someone’s eyes and behavior, not their appearance – race, sex, badge or no badge etc.
As regards the (few) cops who may or may not be relied upon to not not try out combat on children â€“ Notwithstanding the frequent news reports of excessive force or violence on the news, and ensuing riots – My point, which you seem to be missing, is that police have way more important things to do than to find your momentarily lost child. My children have been raised to fix their own problems whenever possible. In the utopia which you describe, where there is so little crime that the police are jumpstarting cars, then the police and other agencies are unnecessary. While there is crime remaining, then you should not be troubling them over trivialities which you should be able to solve on your own.
I might add, that you have been judged, and found lacking. My kids know your sniveling troll type on sight, that is assuming you ever leave your mother’s basement.
“I never said anything about prejudging me.”
Right. Except for when you did.
“The only time I, or most of the dads, get the stranger danger reaction is when the â€œHeadStartâ€ children come to the playground. Suddenly we are all perps.”
“As regards the (few) cops who may or may not be relied upon to not not try out combat on children â€“ Notwithstanding the frequent news reports of excessive force or violence on the news, and ensuing riots”
I’m not aware of ANY of these “frequent” news reports of excessive force or violence against 3-year-olds asking for help finding mom or dad. Could you point some out?
“My point, which you seem to be missing, is that police have way more important things to do than to find your momentarily lost child.”
I disagree, and so, generally, do they. Seriously. Look up “community policing”.
” My children have been raised to fix their own problems whenever possible.”
Yeah. Mine too. What kind of trophy do we get for that?
” In the utopia which you describe, where there is so little crime that the police are jumpstarting cars”
It’s called “the suburbs”. We pay firemen to stand around not putting out fires, too.
“I might add, that you have been judged, and found lacking.”
“My kids know your sniveling troll type on sight,”
” I was pointing out the weakness of people that cannot look at me, or anyone else, with any discernment.”
MMM. More delicious irony.
“assuming you ever leave your motherâ€™s basement.”
How clever and original. Your 7-year-old help you come up with that zinger?
that is assuming you ever leave your motherâ€™s basement”
Forgive me if this has already been said…but…it seems that all search and rescue teams need to be females or males with high voices. Probably also fire fighters too. Those kids lost in the woods that won’t answer to a male voice, the kid scared and in the closet with the fire…perhaps they would stand a chance.
Or…maybe the easier thing is to teach kids if there is trouble that they need to answer to anyone calling for them….by name or not.
Dave, your posts are spot on. If anyone ever tried to kidnap my daughter I’d be terrified – for THEM! Remember “The Ransom of Red Chief”? Yeah, like that, except with extra biting and scratching.
If he has a beard, he must be feared!
Got a dick? Run away quick!
It’s a guy, don’t be shy. He’s a dude, it’s OK to be rude.
“The fact that I am right exists independently of your acknowlegement or lack thereof.”
This–and your continued refusal to actually provide evidence–demonstrates an unwillingness to honestly engage in conversation. You want to preach. Have at it–but after leaving the Catholic Church I have no interest in being preached to.
“Thisâ€“and your continued refusal to actually provide evidenceâ€“demonstrates an unwillingness to honestly engage in conversation. You want to preach. Have at itâ€“but after leaving the Catholic Church I have no interest in being preached to.”
I see. You actually DID intend for me to do something about the fact that you are white, and don’t get along with cops, and now you’re giving up? And now I’m also supposed to address your crisis of faith?
I think you’re right… I can’t help you with your problems.
Say, have you met this “Dave” fellow? It seems like you and him have a bit in common.
“My point, which you seem to be missing, is that police have way more important things to do than to find your momentarily lost child.”
I’m not 100% on board with this. Ironically, despite my family’s feud with cops, we know a fair number. One of the major roles of a cop is to simply be present. The mere presence of a uniformed police officer (or a known one if your area is small enough) is sufficient to deter a lot of crime before it occurs. So cops patrol. They stop in at diners and the like for lunch–often at a discount, because diners encourage them to do so (which I think is perfectly acceptable, but that’s a debate for another time). Cruisers need gas just like any other car, and cops want a cup of coffee or a soda like anyone else while they’re at the gas station. My point is, there are plenty of times when cops are present but not doing anything particularly pressing. This happens a lot at fairs, carnivals, and large-scale public gatherings: the cop is there to be seen, and to walk around, but doesn’t have a specific task or destination; they’re on call, basically. And those are likely places for a kid to get lost. They go to the bouncy castle for a few minutes, come out, and Mom is behind some folks so they go trying to find her.
That’s not Utopia, either. That’s Ohio, California, and Alabama, at least in terms of carnivals. The presence of cops stops a lot of stupidity, and helping lost kids builds goodwill with the community (which they SORELY need!).
I will agree that trying to fix the problem yourself is the best first step, and finding someone with access to loudspeakers is the best second step. Cops are a decent third option. After that, there’s no real difference between any strangers–none that should influence a kid’s choice of who to ask for help, anyway.
“I see. You actually DID intend for me to do something about the fact that you are white, and donâ€™t get along with cops, and now youâ€™re giving up? And now Iâ€™m also supposed to address your crisis of faith?”
No. You were supposed to address the questions of fact that I raised. The fact that you decided to come at me personally (ad homs all over the place) demonstrates an unwillingness to actually engage in conversation. The crack about religion was merely a joke; a bad one, granted, but a joke.
I have no confidence that anyone will ever convince you you are wrong about anything. That makes discussions with you a waste of time.
I’m so glad that they outlined this for me, all I have to teach my kids is to be sexist! This is absolutely wonderful! I’m so glad that I can profile people like the police do!
I’m certain that no man or woman has ever faked an ID tag, no one but police and security guards can get ahold of badges and no one but a caring mom could be holding a baby (all the irresponsible parents are being tracked down).
That being said, I do tell my kids to find a ‘Mom’ if they should get lost. This is simply based on moms being more inclined to help and that I don’t want some poor guy being labeled wrong because my kids asked for help.
“No. You were supposed to address the questions of fact that I raised.”
After the third or fourth time doing so, the point of continuing to do so seems…
I’m so tired of the male induced paranoia. It is hurting so many people. There is a sweet man at our church, who has been wonderful with my kids, he usually sat near us. Well, a few weeks ago our clergyman informed him that another member of the congregation was concerned about the interactions between him and the kids. Seriously!?!! He is sitting down the bench from us! This man is an upstanding member of our church. It was so sad to see a little bit of the spark in his eye gone after he found that out. He came and told my husband that he would err on the side of caution and no longer sits near us. How sad! I’m still at a loss for what to do.
Jesus H. Christ