Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Singles in parks are suspects

The Australian news reports:
AN ENGLISH theme park has barred all single people from entering — just in case they are a paedophile.

Puxton Park, a family-friendly theme park in a coastal town west of London, has a policy of not allowing single men or women through its gates in order to protect the children inside. ...

The park’s managing director, Alistair Mead, has defended the rule, which has been in place since it opened seven years ago.

“There is a lot in the headlines about paedophiles and things that are going on with children,” he told the Western Gazette.

“We have done our research and, in line with all other parks, we don’t let single men or women in.
All men near kids are suspect. That is life today. When I was a kid, I would sometimes see signs saying that kids had to be accompanied by adults. Now the downtown Santa Cruz California park has a kid play area, and the sign says that all adults must be accompanied by kids.

If they are scared of pedophiles, I might expect them to be scared of that pig mascot at the front door.

Here is how deep the paranoia is. Here is yesterday's stupid newspaper advice:
DEAR AMY: I am a mother of two and I am blessed with a wonderful, caring partner. I come from a big, close family and my partner comes from a small, distant family.

We see my family more often than his, because I keep my kids away from his family -- his dad in particular. I have this gut feeling that he could be a child molester.

The problem is that my mother-in-law wonders why we never visit or call. I don't see how she can act so clueless about her husband's wandering eyes.

Worried Mom

DEAR MOM: It is vital to follow your instincts when it comes to the people your children come into contact with -- but your narrative is a little hollow. Let's say you truly believe your children aren't safe around their grandfather. Why don't you call their grandmother on the phone? Why not invite them to do things with you in public? Why not invite the grandmother to spend time with you alone?

You are leveling a serious accusation against this man, and you do so couched in vague terms.

You must be open with your partner about your instincts, and you and your partner should try harder to find ways to be in contact with this grandmother -- even from a distance.
She has somehow decided that her father-in-law is a child molester based on nothing but the look in his eyes. It is impossible to detect child molesters that way.

No, it is not vital to follow such paranoid instincts. Paranoia is a psychological disorder. Amy acknowledges that this is the vaguest possible accusation, and yet she urges her to keep her kids away from their granddad anyway.

This is today's world. It is not just the crazy paranoid moms who treat men as child molester suspects, but it is public park officials and newspaper advice givers.

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