If Dad Gives His Child a Bath …male-bashing par excellence
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 26, 2007
Background: In my recent blog post If You See a Father Holding His Child’s Hand, Call the Cops!, I called attention to the man-bashing Virginia Department of Health poster pictured above. I wrote:
“If dad goes for a walk with his daughter and holds her hand, apparently Virginia Department of Health officials wants you to pick up the phone and destroy his life by reporting him as a possible sexual abuser. I would’ve thought this article about this campaign was from The Onion or some satirical publication, but it’s for real. The picture above of a man holding a child’s hand–a touching little scene–is actually supposed to make us think he’s sexually abusing the child. Unbelievable.”
It is assumed that a man holding his daughter’s hand is also abusing her sexually. Can it really become any more misandrist than that?
The supposed aim of the campaign is to encourage people to report, seek help and stop child sexual abuse – and as such it is commendable – but the imagery and assumptions the ad carries is nothing but cementing the idea that ALL men are sexual predators, and that there are no healthy father-daughter relationships out there, or that they are at the very least very few.
The ad makers do not seem to have considered the implications for anyone falsely accused of sexual child abuse – the cost in human rights, privacy, family welfare or even child welfare for those children who are being hauled into Social Services Offices and pressured to testify – often through leading questions and “tests” that are then interpreted, by uneducated SSO workers who are more interested in getting a “conviction” to show off to their colleagues, than they are at actually hearing or seeing the truth.
“Groups that have formed to help people falsely accused of abuse are opposed to the campaign. Dean Tong, who operates a Web site that offers help to people who are falsely accused of abuse, said the campaign has the potential to tarnish the reputation of innocent people and hurt children.
“For every case of genuine abuse, there are two or three that are unfounded witch hunts,” said Tong, a Florida forensic consultant who has written books on the topic of false accusations.“
The false accusations, the night-mares for the children, the fathers, mothers and relatives while a false accusation is investigated, in a country where the mere suspicion of” sexual misconduct” will end you posted on the Internet “to warn parents”, are horrible enough, without this sort of hysterical and discriminating campaign.
Campaigns like this will only add fuel to an already, in regards to sexual matters “overheated public”, that crave such scandals and sleaze because their lives are boring and unimaginative as it is.
It’s McCarthy all over, “How do you know your neighbor is Commie?” but this is targeting not a politically undesirable group, which is bad enough – it’s targeting people because of their gender. Isn’t that what the Feminist have (justified or not) accused the Patriarchy of doing to women since time immemorial?
Why repeat the mistakes of Patriarchy?