Monday, January 17, 2011

"Eek! A Male!"

Lenore Skenazy of The Wall Street Journal has an excellent and thought-provoking article on how "stranger danger" in the United States and its singling out of men can itself be dangerous here.

I personally think Ms. Skenazy is spot on in a lot of respects. When I nannied in Ukraine I pretended I was Nikolas' father when I was out on walks with him because male nannies simply do not exist in Ukrainian culture. When I moved back to the States and decided to take a nanny job here in Oregon I continued to get the weird looks I had gotten in Ukraine, this time from friends and family. 'What's wrong with him' was clearly written on a number of faces. My cousin, who I'm currently working for, has had friends ask her how she can be comfortable with a man taking care of her twin girls.

I personally don't enjoy changing diapers period, much less girls' diapers, but I find it insulting when I'm treated as though I'm incapable of changing them because of my gender or, worse, that I shouldn't be changing them because of my gender. Children are children. Pedophilia is a problem and we should be on our guard against it, but demonizing and denigrating all men is as wrong as saying that we should hide our purses or messenger bags whenever a black American is around because there happen to be black Americans in jail. There are male and female pedophiles just as there are white and black criminals in the United States.

So, there's my two cents on the topic. I can hear the girls waking up from their morning nap and have to run, but if anything else comes to mind I'll be sure to post a follow-up here. Please feel free to leave your own thoughts here as well!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Wow thank you for such an amazing piece of work. It makes a lovely change to read something that is inspirational. I was looking through to find people with similar interests and I came upon your work. I have an interest in Human Rights and I am very proactive in this area especially in the Tibetan cause. I would very much like to follow your blog and would apreciate if you could check out mine even though it is a little different from your own,

    Thanks Tenzin Dasal