This is topic Father's Day = Day of Shame? in forum Sexual Ethics and Politics at Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive).

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Posted by Dzuunmod (Member # 226) on :
I'm dumbfounded. Upon running into this artcle which tells of a New Zealand lawyer who is campaigning to have Father's Day in that country replaced with a "Men's Day of Shame" wen men would take to the streets in rallies, and apologise for sexual misdeeds done to children. Women, meanwhile, would have nothing to do with the whole thing. I guess they never abuse children, or something like that.

The lawyer, Denise Ritchie, is also the head of an agency in New Zealand that works to stop child prostitution, child pronography and other such things. What she hopes to accomplish with this move is totally lost on me. Can anyone here fill me in?

Posted by Laura (Member # 3426) on :
I think she means well, and has a few good points, but somehow has managed to completely mangle them. It sounds like what she's trying to accomplish is to get men, in particular, to come together and present a strong unified message that abusing children sexually is wrong.

What's counterproductive is the idea that all men need to apologize or feel shame for such abuse. I'm female, but still, I don't like the idea of having to apologize on behalf of my gender (or my race, or my country, for that matter) for things that I myself had nothing to do with. When someone suggests that I do so, it puts me on the defensive and makes me more likely to ignore whatever cause they're trying to promote, worthy as it may be.

As a side note, is she really saying that a "child" is anyone under 17? However one feels about whether it should be legal for a 16-year-old to have sex with a 21-year-old, it certainly shouldn't count as child abuse. If Ms. Ritchie really intends to stop all 16-year-olds from having sex, she's got a long fight ahead of her.

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Posted by John Doe (Member # 3836) on :
Sounds to me like she is a misangonist lunitic. The minister who supported the proposal should immediately resign. The proposal should be treated about as seriously as a proposal by the KKK to replace MLK day with a national day of shame for blacks for the somewhat higher crime rate found among blacks than whites.
As it is the role of fathers as parents gets no where near enough respect in this society, and this --edited by Dzuunmod from a not very nice word to describe the woman who proposed the idea-- wants to diminish it further. Have we really gone that far down the road from the assumption that "Father knows Best" to "Father Molests"

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 10-24-2001).]

Posted by Dzuunmod (Member # 226) on :
John! Get a hold of yourself, man! No matter what you feel about this woman, I don't think that calling her names is going to solve anything.
Posted by John Doe (Member # 3836) on :
Yeah, sorry I geuss that was a bit overboard. Its not going to solve anything, but then again, nothing I post on this subject is really likely to "solve anything".
It sort of pisses me off though that people like that are the ones who get invited to speak at UN conferences and such.
Posted by Dzuunmod (Member # 226) on :
Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention is that I'd imagine, Laura, that the thing about under-17s is probably just a reference to the legal age of adulthood in her country. She's probably just going along with the local laws.
Posted by sapphirecat (Member # 5317) on :
You cannot end something by claiming the people who haven't done it are morally accountable.

Am I the only one to note the proposal is to replace a pro-Dad day with an anti-male day? It seems really silly. "You are evil. To prove it, we're taking this holiday and making it a day to hate." Are they going to accuse opponents of it of being molesters?

<sarcasm>For symmetry, Mother's Day should be replaced with "Women's Day of Shame", when women take to the streets and apologize for having children. Obviously, without them, there would be no child abuse of any kind.</sarcasm>

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Posted by -Jill (Member # 5375) on :
I can't believe this. I don't understand what kind of misguided intentions could prompt such irresponsible gibberish. I say irresponsible because there will be some well-intentioned men who feel pressured to agree with this nonsense. While child abuse is everyone's problem, not everyone needs to feel shame because of it. There are many, many men who are doing everything in their power to end child abuse. Should they have to pervert a day meant to honor quality fathers simply because this is still a problem? I find the whole idea to be disrespectful to fathers. Implying that they should be ashamed that they haven't been able to fix a problem that everyone, male or female, should be trying to solve, instead of being proud of all the good that fathers have done is awful.

I hope I've expressed myself clearly. I'll edit later if necessary but right now I'm just too incredulous to think straight.

Posted by Gumdrop Girl (Member # 568) on :
wow. i can't help but think this Denise Ritchie person is a complete idiot. most of my sentiments have already been articulated.

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Posted by Beppie (Member # 94) on :
Ditto, this idea is disgusting and insane. It would be harmful to everyone- especially to men, but also to their children and to the women who wish to have healthy relationships (whether romantic or platonic) with men.
Posted by bettie (Member # 78) on :
This brings up a few things in my mind (some of it directly related and some of it indirect).

1- Lately, it seems almost fashionable for different groups of people to apologize for past wrongs -many of which have occured by ancestors long dead or by segments of a population and not by an entire group as a whole. I think the sentiments and the struggles identified are valid, but I am not sure if a "sorry" by today's Catholic Church for the Spanish inquisition heals much. I don't think a Day of Shame for men can heal much either. It doesn't take into account all the good men do, all the men who do not have sex with children.

2- This makes me think of "Take Back the Night" events. Most often men are not invited to these events or to the big parade that happens as part of the event. Again I understand the philosophy behind this stance, but I find it alienating for myself (a lover of men), for my father, for my husband and for all the non-violent, compassionate men I know.

Yet, I appreciate women-only spaces. I feel safer in them. I have never been harrassed by other women (sexually or otherwise), I have never been physically assaulted by women (sexually or otherwise), I have never been scared for my life in such an environment. I hate to say it, but I have had those experiences in both the presence of men and by at the hands of men and boys.

So I can see how fear and pain can cause people to see a group as a whole in a negative fashion, but painting them with one brush does no one justice and does not heal the pain.

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Posted by BruinDan (Member # 3072) on :
Originally posted by bettie:
2- This makes me think of "Take Back the Night" events. Most often men are not invited to these events or to the big parade that happens as part of the event. Again I understand the philosophy behind this stance, but I find it alienating for myself (a lover of men), for my father, for my husband and for all the non-violent, compassionate men I know.

I know just what you mean...back in 1997 when I was Floor President in my dorm, I made this big arrangement for my entire floor to march in a Take Back the Night demonstration. It had been well-publicized throughout campus and we were all amped up to do it. Which was all well and good until we got to the meeting point. While all of us were allowed to participate in some of the rallying that went on before the march...the march went on with the organizers delicately asking male members of my floor to "wait it out." At first I thought it was just for our floor, but then I realized that it was for all was a female-only march.

That annoyed me greatly at the time. It was okay for us to be at the rally, but not the actual march? I understand what the statement is...but I think it would have helped if the picture in the newspaper the next day would have had some male faces in there too, bringing recognition to the fact that all peace-loving people wish to take the night back, not just one gender.

It seems foolhardy to try and solve problems one gender at a time...especially given the fact that the Take Back the Night organizers went out of their way to point out that the vast majority of crimes committed at night are at the hands of male perpetrators. Bringing non-violent men into the march would have been a great way to help even the score, and I think they really missed a golden opportunity there. Hopefully this policy has been changed by now...I was so turned off by it back then that I have not attempted to march since.

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Posted by Gumdrop Girl (Member # 568) on :
the Take Back the Night rallies at my school have always been gender inclusive, or those I have attended anyways.

As for this new vogue politics of apologies, I gotta say, I hate the cult of victimization. Let's rpelace it with the cult of empowerment. i.e., stop whining and get out there and do good

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Posted by Lynne (Member # 713) on :
I agree with everyone who says that this proposal is completely insane. I'm vehemently against holding an entire group responsible for the actions of only some of its members (or holding anybody responsible for something they didn't do), so this Day of Shame idea really gets on my nerves. Not all men abuse children, and it's extraordinarily unfair to them to expect them to apologize and feel shame for something they didn't do.
Posted by entropie (Member # 26) on :
You can find another article here. I guess when it comes down to it, she means well. And in the past she has led rallies to have known child sex offenders named to the public, and has lobbyed for harsher penalties for these people.

But yes, this is going too far. Luckily she is only one well-meaning idiot in a small bunch here, and it is highly unlikely (read: impossible) for this to ever happen.


[edit] just found another article here.

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 10-27-2001).]

Posted by Confused boy (Member # 1964) on :
Never underestimate the stupidity of the general public. They can be used to attack any group they are told by the media to hate. It seem that in this case, the media is not supporting this completely ludicrous campaign, probably because they have simply picked a too big minority (49% of the whole population isnt it?).

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