There is an old Greek saying, “Show me what you fear, and I’ll tell you what you are”; it encapsulates the idea that whenever anyone goes around yelling about something we should all be worried about, it says something about that person’s psyche. It takes a particular kind of mental gymnastics to turn your own personal insecurities into a crisis, but it’s something humans do all the time. Race fears, witch hunts, Communist invaders, we know now that in part, all of these destructive social movements were really born from the minds of the people who started them, damaged folk who projected their own fears and doubts onto an unpopular section of society and then punished them for their imagined sins. Sadly, this trend continues unabated, especially with people who claim to be “protecting” society, especially children, from some exaggerated bogey; here’s a clue, my friends, when someone says they’re thinking of others, it’s really themselves they’re thinking about.
A silly but telling example of this was a hoopla over a photo in a yearbook of what might or might not (gasp!) be some girl’s vagina; seems some North Carolina mom opened her child’s yearbook to find what she’s calling “porn”…how shocking! Funny how no one else seemed to think it is what this woman says it is, and no one made s stink till this little Puritan decided to go off. After diligently searching for an unedited photo (all in the name of journalistic veracity) I have to concur with the school, which says it may or not be a pic of the girls genitalia, it’s rather hard to tell. The school offered to replace the yearbook (which cost the students 100 dollars) for anyone who wished, but of course that isn’t good enough, the NC blue nose wants ALL the yearbooks recalled and altered; as the girl in question was 18 at the time, the authorities aren’t taking much interest. Listening to this woman (who, tellingly, refused to have her name or picture in any of the stories) go on about this would be sooo embarrassing for her child, I really had to wonder, what kind of fear of sex does this demonstrate? Does she really think her graduating HS senior has never seen nudity, or sex, or god knows what else on the Internet? Even if this saucy chick did intentionally flash her goodies, is that really the end of the world?
Another mom is making waves over a talking doll that she says “spews profanity”; a Houston woman claims her daughter’s You and Me Interactive doll, which babble in baby like talk, called her a “crazy bitch”…hmm, did it say it was gonna kill you too, crazy lady? The news showed plenty of clips of the doll babbling, and it’s nonsense to me, but, no, Texas Batshit Mom is sure it’s cursing her, and, naturally, is demanding that Toys R’ us recall all the dolls. Once again, we have an obvious projection of her personal insecurities; sure, every parent worries what their kids are hearing, and what they might repeat, but a talking doll teaching a two year old to swear?
Regrettably, these actions are not limited to silly moms and their petty neurosis, but to real decisions that discriminate; the Boy Scouts of America recently announced that it will continue its ban on openly gay Scout leaders, especially after Supreme Court rulings maintained they have a legal right to do so. I should note at this point that I was a scout myself back in the day, and while certainly not the most motivated, I enjoyed my time there and believe it to still be a worthwhile endeavor for young men and women, and my older son William was a scout, though I certainly repudiate such a blatant face of homophobia and prejudice, very contrary to the American values of honesty and fairness that I was taught. The Scouts mouth weak platitudes about religion, not doing much to disguise their Christian leanings, but they don’t explain what the ban really is, a misguided effort on their part to prevent adults from sexually abusing children. That fact that it isn’t openly gay men or women who are accused, but fine upstanding priests, ministers and coaches who are usually married with five kids that turn out to be the pedophiles, doesn’t seem to have been noticed by them. Like so many of these institutions, the BSA has been rocked by scandals of abuse and cover-ups, and this is the latest asinine gesture to quell the bad feelings, as off base as the famous initiative by the police in Jerusalem. Back when Golda Meir was Prime Minister, she was informed by a police official that, due to an increase in sexual assaults on women, they wanted to instigate a curfew…on women! Said Golda, “Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew!”
But no such luck, since avoiding any common sense solution to a problem is par for the course in America, and frightened people who can’t handle their own weaknesses will try to make us all responsible for them. Tell me what you fear, and I’ll tell you what you are…and most of you panicking Chicken Littles are idiots.