A Reader Who Believes Men Should NOT Be Allowed to Sit Next to Kids on Planes

Hi Readers! It takes all kinds…even the kind that thinks men are raping random children on planes, I guess. Here’s a note that came in response to my post below this one, about Virgin Air’s policy of not allowing males to sit next to unaccompanied minors:

I agree with the policy. It is too bad that the airline did not arrange the seating ahead of time to avoid an embarrassing moment but as a mother I would not want my child seating next to a strange man on a plane.

The fact is 99% of paedophiles are male. I’m sure this man is a lovely person but the fact is he is 100 times more likely to rape a child than a woman.

Are we now going to sue the insurance companies who charge men more in insurance because men are 100 times more likely to have an accident?

It’s called statistics. It’s called trying to prevent the most horrifying incidence by calculating and diminishing risks.

Why doesn’t this man put his energy into fighting paedophiles, who are from his sex rather than demonizing a society trying to protect itself from a deadly disease within the male.  – Pastiche


Readers — This is a re-posting of a post I had to take down because somehow the video was corrupting my site. (It’s fine if you go TO the video.) Anyway, will you please watch this news report and tell me what is going on? A man in a pick-up truck calls out to a girl, “Come here” and this is the BREAKING STORY OF THE DAY? Every single cop car is ON THE CASE? The newsroom is scrambling its reporters to GET THAT STORY? The correspondent “rushed to the scene” of…a vehicle that isn’t there? What is this (media) world coming to? And how can parents NOT go crazy when this kind of story gets this kind of play?  – L

And, on the WordPress going kerflooey angle: Is there someone who can write to me at heylenore3@gmail.com and explain to me how come I suddenly no longer get comments coming directly to my email with a nice return address that I can just click and respond to? Instead, all comments are coming to me as FROM “Free-Range Kids” and when I click “Reply” I am now replying to Free-Range Kids! Argh!! L.

“My Brush with Predator Mania” – Guest Post

Hi Readers!  Just realized (it IS summer) I posted this story earlier. Sorry! Stay tuned for something new in a little bit! Or re-read and get mad all over again! L.

My Brush with Predator Mania by Nicholas Martin

I took my 9-year-old daughter and two of her friends to swim today at Brookville Lake, an Indiana state park. I was shooting pictures of them from the beach with a telephoto lens when I was approached by two park guides who asked if I was photographing my own kids or other people’s.
I responded that I had the legal and constitutional right to photograph anyone. I asked if there was a complaint and a female guide responded that one beachgoer had motioned them over to question my picture taking. The guide said that she was just ensuring the safety of the children. I said that it was ridiculous to think that a man shooting with a large camera and lens on an open beach was a potential threat to kids, and pointed out that probably hundreds of people on the beach had cell phone cameras that could take pictures without being noticed. I told the guides that they should tell the complainers that anyone had a right to take pictures at the beach. The guides were unfailingly cordial and respectful and we bid each other a friendly goodbye.
Minutes later the ladies next to our beach tent pointed out the woman nearby who had made the complaint to the guides. She was with three other women, all apparently in their thirties and with no accompanying kids. Seconds later one of the four women lifted her cell phone and began taking pictures of one of her friends standing in front of the water. Or she could have been taking pictures of the children behind her for all I know!
I approached the woman who had complained and asked if we should notify the authorities about her friend’s picture-taking. She responded by asking me if I would want a stranger taking pictures of my child at the beach. I said it would be fine with me since it presented no threat.
Later my kids heard some people in the water complaining about my picture-taking. One of them said, “He better put that camera away.” It is not far-fetched to imagine a mob of people driven by a sufficient frenzy to inflict “justice” on a photographer at that beach. What if I hadn’t had any kids with me and was just shooting some beach scenes, with kids, adults, and lapping waves? The American mania regarding sexual predation is not to be toyed with.
Perhaps area photographers should show up at the beach for a Photo Freedom Day to publicize and defend the right to do photography. – Nicolas Martin
Lenore here: I like the idea of a Photo Freedom Day. If anyone organizes one, please let us know how it goes! – L 

What kind of disgusting pervert takes a picture like this?

Help! An Old Man is Giving My Daughter Sea Shells!

Readers — You’ll love the answer Dear Prudence gives to this mom who is freaked out by an elderly man — a friend of her parents — who gives her 5-year-old daughter “gifts” like shells and feathers.

Let’s hear it for Dear Prudence! She is so…prudent! And wise! As she tells the mom:

…from your description of this situation, my gut feeling is that you have overactive mommy bowels. If you see every friendly man as a potential predator, you’re going to convey unnecessary fear and anxiety to your children.

And while we’re on the subject of bowel-churning fear of old men anywhere in the vicinity of children other than their own, here is my take on the story that’s gone viral about the aged doctor kicked out of an Arizona Barnes & Noble’s children’s book section because a woman found his presence disturbing. What a disgusting pervert!

The woman, I mean. Imagining a child isn’t safe near any male, no matter how public the place, no matter how minding-his-own-business the man.

At this point B&N has apologized and the man — a doctor — wants to drop it  already. He’s tired of the hoopla. But it’s nice when the media pauses to realize how crazy our fear of men has made us.  (Even if its constant carping on kiddie danger is what made us crazy in the first place.)  – L

Yikes! Old men! Can’t we just lock them all up, for the sake of the children?

A Child Goes Off with Adult —

Hi Readers: This piece below was originally posted at The Rustic Child, a blog about kids who take risks, do chores and entertain themselves (if you can imagine!). It’s by Jilly O’Brien, a New Zealand mom of 2 who’s a teacher studying to be an educational psychologist. I asked her if I could reprint it here, it’s so inspiring, and she said yes! So — voila! L.


There is a school somewhere in the US (as posted on freerangekids blog), which sent a letter home to all parents warning them to be on the lookout for “stranger danger”. Some bloke who goes to the bakery (every day) had spoken to some kids who go there (every day) and this was therefore a matter of utmost concern. Apparently, the letter said “The situation is now in the hands of the police. Fortunately for us today, all of our children are safe.” What from? Doughnut Man – that dastardly kidnapper of children?

In the South Island of New Zealand where I live, at about the same time, our local newspaper – the CO News – ran a story titled “Buddy fills special place in young boys life”.  This Buddy programme is where a child, who needs a bit of extra time with an adult, is paired up with someone who has the same interests as them, and has a lovely time.

The article was about a10 year old lad who had lost his grandfather, and so his single mum said she “had to reassess how she was going to raise her son”.  She did just that, contacted the buddy programme and now her boy spends all his Saturdays on a retired farmer’s farm, helping with the tractors, making stuff in the shed, sorting out the bees, doing up old machinery. Without her.

Have a go at this multiple choice quiz. The article goes on to say that when Jan Bird, the Buddy co-ordinator is approached about big buddies, she is careful to ………………..

A) Make sure big buddies are police vetted?

Probably, but it’s not the point, it’s not the issue, it’s just something that has to be done.

B) To make sure they are not alone with the child? Er, no.

C) To make sure that the parents are always around? Wrong again.

What Jan Bird is careful about is “putting our young buddy with a big buddy who I know is going to be a good match”. Obvious.

I could list all the positives from this for everyone involved, but I’d hope you could already work them out. There are many children on the list who really want a Buddy and the organisation are always advertising for more possible Buddies to come on board. The kids’ parents, the kids, the community and the Buddies themselves all agree to the value of this initiative.

If the buddy programme ever sent out a letter to parents, it might go:  “Fortunately for us today, all of our children are happy, healthy, free, helpful, safe and learning to be decent citizens.”

Perhaps that’s what needs to be mailed out to parents at the silly school with the bakery concerns, instead of the overwhelming horror of someone trying to make conversation whilst eating a custard slice. — Jilly O’Brien