Sunday, January 18, 2015

Feminism? You gotta be kidding

If you party too hard, willingly go home with someone to whom you are attracted, and continue drinking until the rest of the evening is a blur but you have vague, foggy memories of sexual activity, you are a victim of rape—if you are female.

If you party too hard, willingly go home with someone to whom you are attracted, and continue drinking until the rest of the evening is a blur but you have vague, foggy memories of sexual activity, you are a rapist—if you are male.

As an entertainer/comedian, if you tell a joke that even hints that you find the subject of rape fodder for amusing your audience, the results are that you are castigated, pilloried, and will, more likely than not, be blackballed from the entertainment industry—if you are male.

As an entertainer/comedian, if you construct an entire episode around the subject of rape for the express purpose of amusing your audience, the results are that you are called brave, innovative, and empowering—if you are female.

What is wrong with this picture? If this is the goal of feminism, I don’t want any part of it. If this is the goal of feminism, it fails miserably, assuming, that is, that the bottom-line goal is equality.

Where is equality when the outcome of a situation—one in which both male and female behave the same--depends on gender?  Where is empowerment when the same actions by both male and female result consistently in female victimhood? This isn’t equality. This isn’t feminism. This is gender discrimination. This is payback. This is revenge for past injustices scanning decades, actions taking place in American cultures far removed from our 22nd century.

True feminism seeks the elevation of women, not the degradation of men. True feminism demands respect for oneself and offers respect in return. Whatever is passing for feminism now is devoid of respect for everyone, even ourselves and our gender.

Women, including modern feminists, share this planet with men; that will not change, and most women, even most modern feminists, like it that way. We are, as my Southern grandmother used to say, cutting off our noses to spite our faces. We are creating an environment of hostility, and not just in the workplace but in every corner of our lives.

When I was a young child, I believed that the only way I could right an injustice done to me was to do the same thing to the one who hurt me. As I gained a few years and some wisdom, I embraced the meaning of the well-known quote, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

I don’t want to live in a blind world. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Homeless ministry, Salvation Army get failing marks in treatment of those on the sex offender registry

First post of the new year, and my fury-level is high.

I just read this: "True Vine Ministries on Morganton Road to offer shelter for homeless on 'white flag' nights."

"White flag nights" are nights when the outside temperature in this part of North Carolina is expected to go below the freezing level. According to the article, the week between Christmas and New Year saw "multiple" white flag nights.

My fury went from 0 to 10 when I read this sentence: "Anyone can seek white flag shelter regardless of their status with the Salvation Army unless they are sex offenders, have previously assaulted Salvation Army staff members or residents, or have been terminated for having a weapon in the shelter."

Unless they are sex offenders.

I dashed off this response on their comment board:
" 'Anyone can seek white flag shelter...unless they are sex offenders....' Just to be sure I have this straight...a murderer, a dope dealer, and an arsonist are all welcome. However, the man who is on the registry because he had underage sex ten years ago at 18 with the woman who is now his wife will be turned away. Yeah, makes sense. Will his wife and child be allowed in and only he left to freeze outside? Just wondering...."
But that isn't sufficient. This CANNOT be tolerated. How dare an organization--a church in partnership with the Salvation Army--one that is unarguably doing good deeds, one that claims to be doing God's work, one that has to have the safety of those it serves as their primary motivation, just disallow, with those five words, a segment of society based on nothing but their inclusion in a group who are as diverse in deeds and character as--well, as any other group.

Unless they are sex offenders.

I had just read another article before this one. It tells of a Virginia state trooper who was charged with and pleaded guilty to a multitude of sexual crimes against a child. A kindly judge is allowing him to serve only 30 days jail time and two years probation of a nine year sentence and--the kicker--he will somehow not be required to register on the sex offender registry. The crimes to which he pleaded are, the article points out, "almost identical" to those for which this same judge not long ago--and not nearly so kindly--sentenced another man to 66 years in prison and--of course--he will be subject to registration should he live long enough to get out.

So this man, this law enforcement officer, would have no difficulty whatsoever seeking and being granted shelter at the True Vine Ministries should he find himself homeless on a frigid night; he isn't on the public registry; therefore, he isn't a "sex offender." But the man I referred to in my comment on the article, the man who as a high school senior had pre-marital sex with his sophomore girlfriend and was put on the registry when her mother reported their activity, the man who has been married to that
girlfriend for close to twenty years, not ten, as in my example, the man who is raising four children with her, not one, the man who will be on that registry until he dies, would be turned away to freeze.

This CANNOT be tolerated. This MUST not be tolerated. Those on the registry, as a random group, pose no greater danger to the safety or well-being of their fellow human beings than any other random group of homeless citizens seeking refuge from the elements.

I hope that no registrant, being turned away from True Vine Ministries, dies as a result. However, if he should, I hope that the organization, along with the Salvation Army, will know that his blood is on their hands.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SEX OFFENDERS should not be allowed to purchase lottery tickets; they just might win

~~by Shelly Stow

If proof were ever needed that an individual, once listed on a sex offender registry, no matter for what offense nor how long ago, is forever more thereafter considered unworthy of anything good ever happening in his life, this is it.

A registrant in Florida won a three million dollar scratch-off lottery, and the wrath of every hater in the United States and then some was raised beyond the boiling point.

Now granted, Timothy Poole is no poster boy for righteous living. He has a somewhat extensive record for other types of crimes committed before he was convicted of a sex offense. But it is not because of his larceny nor any of the other crimes that the hue and cry is heard from coast to coast that he should, by any means possible, be denied his winnings. It is because he is a SEX OFFENDER.

Florida has no prohibition against any convicted felon profiting from lottery winnings, not even SEX OFFENDERS. I am currently making book that Florida's next legislative session will see a bill introduced that will do just that. The only uncertainty is whether the proposed legislation will target those with any felony conviction or will focus only on SEX OFFENDERS.

Mr. Poole, since his release from prison in 2006, has maintained a record as spotless as the proverbial driven snow. He works for the family business, a taxi company, and he plans to use the money to help his mother and improve the business. None of that quashed the flood of outrage or deterred the cesspool of nasty headlines, articles, and commentary as to why he should not receive the money and how inherently wrong it is for him to have won it to begin with.

Among the more colorful headlines are, "Who’s winning big in state lotteries? Sex offenders," "People Left Wondering About Justice When Child Molester in Florida Hits the $3 Million Jackpot," "Sex Offender Wins Millions in Florida Lottery Proving Karma Really Isn’t a Bitch," and my personal favorite, "Convicted pedophile Timothy Poole wins $2.2 million in Florida Lottery." The language in the articles does not fall short of living up to the venom suggested by the titles. Mr. Poole is a large man, over 400 pounds, and one of the articles calls him "This fat 450-pound goblin..." And since pedophilia is a medical/psychological condition and not a chargeable crime, one cannot help but wonder how that particular writer can justify his word choice.

These reactions, seeping with vitriol, are not unexpected but nevertheless highly disturbing. If one who has committed any of the myriad of offenses that trigger registration is never, ever, hell no, to move past that to a point in life where good things can happen, where happiness is allowed, what does that say about our professed commitment to rehabilitation? How does that square with the volumes of research telling us that community reintegration of former offenders is the greatest assurance of enhanced public safety?

And does that mean that we, the public, the haters, those who would wrest Mr. Poole's winnings from his hands, are deliberately sacrificing that safety so that we can doggedly hang on to our refusal to believe that people can change?