Thursday, October 05, 2006

GOOD POINTS FROM READERS

Just having gone through the hundreds of emails I have recently received, I found a couple of points that I feel warrant being posted. They come from two separate emails, so I will copy the body of both below, but also withholding their names/email addresses. I generally agree with the points that they make and thank them for sending them along.

FIRST EMAIL:

First, I'd like to CONGRATULATE you on your efforts to stop sexual predators! Anyone who has been a victim of incest can identify with how it feels to be sexually hounded by someone and the requistie lifelong effects that has. You are providing a much-needed outlet for these young people who have been preyed upon; often times they are confused by the action(s) and feel they are the only ones who have experienced it.

Second, I just have a few suggestions in light of the Congressman Foley scandal. Since many interested people will be checking out your blog for information, I suggest you make clear what defines a sexual predator. Combined with the political spin about the Foley scandal, and people's general confusion about this issue, the facts are getting marred. For example, often times the fact that these pages were minors -- under the age of 18 yrs. -- is seeming to escape peoples' thoughts. And, more importantly, people are forgetting that sexual predatory behavior of a minor is a CRIME! It is not "flirting," just sending "naughty emails," or happening because one is homosexual.

The point I'm making is, like incest or sexual assault, sexual predators come in all forms -- and from all classes. I see nearly every night on my local news, stories about sexual predators, and more often they not, they are not the ones in business suits; rather, they are portrayed as some working class thug. So I'm proposing that those who post on your blog, provide their ages during the time they were preyed upon, and where it occurred (meaning the context, like "at work"), and how it made them feel.

I feel your blog is going to be a very useful tool ingetting sex predators. Good Luck with your efforts!


SECOND EMAIL:

I just came across your blog and wanted to say a few things.

First, your statement to the press is perfect!

Second, I'm sorry to hear that threatening comments had been posted, and that you've been receiving threatening emails. I have a hard time understanding why anyone should find fault with you, but then I have a hard time understanding much of what passes for logic among some people.

You do say to email you if there is something one feels needs to be posted. I have no information on this, but there is a point (two actually) that I think needs to be made. Since you have the ear of many people and a wonderful way with words, may I ask you to consider making one or both?

There is now discussion on eliminating the page program, and I don't understand why I've yet to hear anyone make the connection: If young people 16 years old up to college age aren't safe on Capitol Hill, it's probably not the pages who need to be removed. What does it say about our elected officials that we can't trust them around these kids? What does it say about us that we still trust them to run the country? What does it say about all of us, that we're considering doing away with a tradition as old as the country is, that provides a such a wonderful opportunity, with so little outcry? After all, it isn't that there's illness spreading, or natural dangers (prone to dangerous weather or earthquakes), or the high crime rate has been a problem for the kids. The threat is our own elected representatives!

The second point is emotionally charged, and if you're already getting threatening emails, you probably should stay away from this one. I would like to know though why Foley's homosexuality is such an issue. What if he had gone after female pages instead of male pages? Would that be all right? Maybe that is going on and no one is saying anything about it? As a fully heterosexual woman, it makes no difference to me if an unwanted sexual advance is made by a man or another woman. The minute I make it clear that it's unwanted, I expect it to stop. NO full adult should be preying on our kids, certainly no one in positions of power and authority. It doesn't matter what the gender of either one is! I'm concerned that Foley's sexual orientation is overshadowing the real issue here - he had no business treating ANY page as he did.

There is one way in which his sexual orientation is relevant. I find itamazing how many Republicans are gay, given the party platform on homosexuality. Can we say hypocrisy? But that's another matter entirely.