Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's a predator's world, not a *man's world*.

"If you're asked if you're sexually attracted to young boys and "No" isn't the first word out of your mouth, you have a problem." This was a succinct response to the Jerry Sandusky interview on NBC.

As the fatuous Ottawa Citizen dinosaur contributor David Warren observed, what's the big deal about men (priests, coaches, men in authority, etc. etc.) sexually abusing children? Happens all the time. Don't make a fuss about it, it only causes harm - to the institutions complicit in allowing those violations.

So. There's a minority of men who are serial sexual predators. Their actions are sanctioned by a second minority of men who don't want to rock the boat nor challenge the status quo. Their silence is complicity.

Then there's a third group of honourable and respectful men who will speak up and take a stand. Such as this guy did:
Meet John Matko. John Matko is a 34-year-old Penn State class of 2000 alumnus, distraught by the recent revelations that Coach Joe Paterno and those in charge at his alma mater allegedly shielded a serial child rapist, assistant Jerry Sandusky. He was livid that students chose to riot on campus this week in defense of their legendary coach. He was disgusted that the Board of Trustees decided to go ahead as planned with Saturday’s Nebraska game just days after the revelations became public. John Matko felt angry and was compelled to act. He stood outside Saturday’s Penn State–Nebraska game in Happy Valley and held up two signs. One read, “Put abused kids first.” The other said, “Don’t be fooled, they all knew.[...]

Matko stood with his signs behind a pair of sunglasses. He wasn’t soapboxing, or preaching: just bearing silent witness. It was an admirable act, but no one bought him a beer. Instead, beer was poured on his head. His midsection was slapped with an open hand. Expletives were rained upon him. His signs were also kicked to the ground and stomped.

As the Washington Times wrote, “Abuse flew at Matko from young and old, students and alumni, men and women. No one intervened. No one spoke out against the abuse.”

One disapproving student said, “Not now, man. This is about the football players.”

And with those nine words, we see the truth about Saturday’s enterprise. It was about the football program, not the children. It was morbid theater where people were mourning the death of a jock culture that somewhere along the line, mutated into malignancy. It’s a malignancy that deprioritized rape victims in the name of big-time football.
It's a malignancy that deprioritizes victims of abuse in the name of ... the Catholic Church ... heterosexual marriage ... the war in Iraq ... the credibility of the IMF ....

Add your own big-time sacrosanct institution to the list.

UPDATE: Must-have link to Heather Mallick's piece. This is vintage Mallick, thank the goddess. For a while there, I suspected that she had been declawed, defanged and neutered by Toronto Star publisher John Cruikshank and kept around as a warning to other feminist writers.

Grand merci to fellow Prog blogger DrDawg for one of the references.


ricky said...

As always I am pissed at the reaction of these people. Get over it, don't fu-k with our institutions.

That was a brave and honest guy! It took guts. The situation in Penn State just saw a friend of mine tell others for the first time of the abuse he suffered as a boy in Ottawa 40 years ago. What a burden so many of them carry.

It sucks to be little.

Gristle McThornbody said...

I am seldom at a loss for words. I can usually at least muster an expletive-laced, garbled rant about an issue I feel strongly about, but this is such sub-human behavior from so many different people that it truly has shaken my faith in human beings as a basically moral species. Overwhelming disappointment and a feeling of horror at the depths "normal" USians are sinking to are all I can come up with.

Beijing York said...

This paragraph made me weep for all of us:

"Instead, beer was poured on his head. His midsection was slapped with an open hand. Expletives were rained upon him. His signs were also kicked to the ground and stomped."

What kind of societies have we become where glorifying institutions trumps protecting the lives of the vulnerable.

These are the same people loudly demanding public sex offenders lists for those who have served time, to keep their suburban streets safe, but have no care about children being abused by coaches, priests or the Boy Scouts. Makes me wonder if those sex offender lists are more about protecting their property rights than safeguarding children.

Anonymous said...

This young man should be commended for taking a brave stand.

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