September 6, 2007

Men as Predators

OK, I'm angry. This article in the September 6th Wall Street Journal, titled Avoiding Kids: How Men Cope With Being Cast as Predators, will help you to understand just how bad it is for men who are considering becoming mentors. It's an enormous tragedy that when we are suffering from an epidemic of under-male-nourished boys, men who ARE motivated to help have to be careful about how they show their interests. It's a twisted world.

I'm curious to know how male readers feel about being a man after reading this article. You can share your thoughts by clicking on "Comments" below.

4 comments:

  1. Larry2:47 PM

    This particular topic has been receiving quite a bit of attention and discussion in the national media recently. It's sad that our society has done this to the man/boy relationships in our country. I completely sympathize with the men who have been accused of impropriety with adolescents, and who have now become wary of their association with youth. I had been a high school teacher for many years and had seen it happen to colleagues -- an accusation by a disgruntled student who decided this was the best way to "get back." It's more than pathetic that our society is not only teaching young kids that adult males are predators, but it's doubly sad that our society is teaching adult males to be fearful of young kids!

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  2. Steve2:50 PM

    A few years ago, as the director of a religious camp/retreat center, a female employee/section head came into my office early in the day for an operational discussion. She was late for our meeting. She was out of breath and flushed. Her hair was wet. I jokingly commented that she must have come to work just out of the shower.

    Days later I was reported for inappropriate comments and sexual harassment by her addicted and two time drug felony convicted live-in boyfriend. On her behalf he demanded a significant cash settlement and my employment termination. After months of investigations I was reprimanded (that’s how organizations cover their asses), but then allowed to continue in my leadership role. I was advised by the board of directors, and the attorney I had to pay thousands to out of pocket, to never be alone with a female employee or guest (flee the room no matter what is going on or how awkward it was to do so) and to never ever, in any circumstance, be alone with a youth or child. Though unfounded, a history of possible inappropriate behavior had been documented. A second accusation could possibly result in my incarceration and total financial destruction.

    That ended any possibility of me becoming a mentor to a child or youth. Nice, huh?

    I recall praying alone in the chapel one afternoon when a teenage male retreat center guest came into the chapel to pray / meditate. Upon noticing his presence, reminded of my instructions and advice, I ended my devotions with a heavy heart and left the room.

    I am a good man with much to offer but I will not place my life and reputation at risk under these circumstances. Coward? Perhaps so, but there you have it.

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  3. Anonymous6:33 PM

    I recently stopped my work with my mentee because on three occasions when I went to pick him up, he went crazy. Crazy meaning he didn't want to go with me - he wanted to play video games with his brothers.
    However, after going to ball games, church, riding with me on my auto parts deliveries, spending time with my son and I and other healthy men activities the relationship ended.
    I think it's because his mom thought I may have done something which I never did.
    It saddens me. However, on my walk today to the grocer I saw a group of teenagers skate boarding. I made a point to walk over in their direction look them in the eyes and greetly them warmly.
    Guess what - they responded in kind. I have decided to limit my mentoring to activities within organizations where there are plenty of people around.
    This saddens me as well because it's in the quiet private times the masks can come down and the questions asked that are the most life changing.
    What a rotten situation. I will continue to pray and think and be open to solutions.
    Jake,
    Tucson AZ

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  4. Dave A.7:14 AM

    These guys are pathetic at throwing away their rights like this. Talk about buying into the discourse they are supposedly opposing! They are acting like wimps. We all need to stand proud and declare our outrage if anyone thus labels us with no reason but prejudice. People will then begin to think about the absurdity of the situation. These guys are acting guiltily!! Well maybe they have secrets....For the rest of us, we must actively and openly resist this stuff in all its manifestations.

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