Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'd really like to know what a paedophile is supposed to look like

Well it would seem that only has to be male in order to possibly be one.

Kevin Geraghty-Shewan was out shopping at Bridges Shopping Centere with his four year old son Ben and his wife when Ben saw a kid's train ride and, being a fan of trains, wanted to take a ride on it. Thinking there was no harm in it. Apparently there was some harm in it. While Ben was on the ride Kevin's wife suggested he take a picture of him on it. That's when trouble came.
"I took the picture on my phone and suddenly this security guard came up and told me it wasn't allowed because I could be a paedophile.

"I told him Ben was my own son. But he said I couldn't prove it. He said there is a real problem with paedophiles and that if I didn't like it, he'd call the manager.
A few minutes later a police officer arrived saying he had received a compliant that someone matching his description had been taking pictures of children and wanted his name and address. Not sure how its done in the UK but I find it odd that a cop would just walk up on a guy asking for his address along with his name. And along with asking for his name and address he also told Kevin that he had the right to delete the pictures he had taken. When Kevin raised his voice the cop threatened to arrest him.

When contacted for a statement Bridges said:
"We take the safety at all our shopping centres very seriously. "We do ask our security guards across the estate to be diligent in implementing our security measures, which includes monitoring photography in our centres. Unfortunately on this occasion what should have been a simple polite conversation led to a misunderstanding and we apologise for any offence caused. It is always our aim to implement our security procedures with the minimum of fuss and disruption to our shoppers."

This is not the first time we've seen in which being male is enough to get someone accused/suspected of being a child molester. Yes a lot of child abuse is committed by men (yet more is committed by women that many are willing to admit) but that does not mean its okay to just willy nilly finger pointing at any and every man in sight that is around a child.

This is a stigma and presumption that falls squarely on the shoulders of males. According to society we are supposed to not want to be around children unless we are trying to hurt them or their moms. Well unless someone can prove there are more males that are child molesters than males than are not buying into such an assumption is nothing but misandry. But this image will continue to live on for as long as people are more comfortable (and in some cases profit) from the belief that a male can do nothing for a child other than do damage and cause harm. And this image will keep women in a privileged position over men when it comes to parenting.