Great (slightly wordy) article on Psychology Today blog about how, with all our exhortations about “stranger danger” we are teaching our children “that the world is a dark and nasty place were everybody wants to murder and rape them…”
The assumption of disgusting intentions has gone so far that the blogger, Helene Guldberg, author of Reclaming Childhood, had this happen to her at a local pool in England, where she lives:
Today it is almost impossible in the UK to take photos of one’s children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews in public places – if they are surrounded by other children. When my oldest nephew, Marcus, celebrated his fourth birthday with a pool party in Bristol back in 1996 I was able to take a number of shots of the children having fun in the pool. Ten years later, when his younger brother, Stefan, asked me to come and watch him during his swimming lesson and take some photos of him, all hell broke loose. Sitting by the side of the pool engrossed in conversation with a friend, I absentmindedly pulled the camera out of my bag. Mid-conversation I became aware of a kerfuffle going on in the background – whistles were being blown and lifeguards were waving their hands and shouting at someone. Turning our attention to the noise, wondering what on earth was going on, we realized that the lifeguards were shouting at me to put the camera away, as if I had taken a deadly weapon out of my bag. No photos could be taken of my nephew Stefan on the proud day he was able to swim an entire length of the pool for the first time.
Why not? Because the assumption there is that any kiddie photos could well be used as child porn, or posted on the Internet, attracting pedophiles who put them on their ever-growing “to stalk” lists.
Weird, warped world. — Lenore