At the McDonald’s close to my house, a little girl ran out of the bathroom, screaming, “He touched me! He touched me!”
The “he” was a man, who was arrested on-site. He was running a pedophile operation at that location, knowing places like McDonald’s have always been perfect zones for child molesters. The man would wait for a mother to point at the bathroom, in the overly-crowded restaurant teeming with French fries and hyped-up children, know whether or not the little girl was alone in the bathroom, and then head in to attack his latest victim.
I thought about this event over the weekend, as I hustled my six year-old son into the women’s bathroom. We waited behind several young girls and their mothers–my almost 4’3 son sticking out like a sore thumb in a sea of female–and I began to wonder when I would no longer be allowed to bring my son into the bathroom with me; when I would no longer be allowed to monitor his safety.
When I had to begin trusting the public restrooms to not victimize my son in a bathroom.
That little girl, who is now older, has had years of hardships and psychological trauma. That man, who is now in jail, existed solely to exploit a mother’s belief that she could trust a public bathroom in a crowded McDonald’s. But, today, in this new society we’re living in, that man could have said, “I don’t know what she’s talking about. I was using the restroom that mirrored my gender identity. She must have just freaked out because I walked in and looked like a man.”
Nothing to see here, folks.
Her rights, that little girl’s right to not be molested in a public restroom, would now be stripped away in this new society, because that man–that criminal–could have cited a policy that protected his “right” to freely walk into that women’s bathroom. In fact, he could have not only destroyed that little girl’s life, but also sued her for infringing on his “right” to be in that bathroom.
Target, which has been at the tips of lips these days, adopted the idea of gender neutral bathrooms in 2014. After completing a quick Google search, I discovered numerous instances in which child molesters targeted women and children in Target dressing rooms and bathrooms. Articles such as, “‘Rub Me for Luck,’ Child Molester Gets 5 Years in Prison,” “Man, 28, Shows Pornographic Video to 7-Year-Old at Staten Island Target,” “Man charged with 10/7 sex crime at Peterson Ave. Target Store,” and “Man arrested for groping girls at Indio Target.” There were so many more, but I had to kill the screen and save my brain from screaming.
The key word in all of these articles? Man. Not father, not male friend of family, not male cousin, not uncle.
Man. According to The Justice Department’s statistics, 96% of child molesters are men.
“There are over 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, and an estimated 80 to 100,000 of them are missing. They’re supposed to be registered, but we don’t know where they’re living.” -Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, The Early Show
We’ve all known that most child molesters know their victims in some way. They’ve either found a way into the family’s good graces, or they have been the family all along. However, that man at McDonald’s didn’t know his victim. Those men at Target didn’t, either. After I searched for some statistics, one being yellodyno.com, 10-30% of pedophiles are not acquaintances. Therefore, those predators would have to go somewhere, places like Target and McDonald’s, in order to commit their crimes.
To date, the male criminals were prosecuted. My fear? If the victim would still have rights when a law opened the door, thereby allowing the male criminals of our society the “right” to come in?
What has astonished me lately, especially as I look at my son and worry about sending him into a male bathroom alone, has been the sheer number of people who have told me that instances such as I just cited had never happened.
“A man would never abuse a law and walk into a Target bathroom to abuse women and children, and if he did, he would do it regardless of the law.”
Sadly, I’ve heard those words ad nauseum over the past week, because that’s the only argument found to support opening a law that potentially strips away victims’ rights. The woman who said that felt pretty damn justified that she had derailed the validity of my statement. Well, and then there were a few ignorant women who thought that the word criminal was equaled to transgendered people.
Wait, have I said transgendered when speaking about criminals?
I’ve said criminals are criminals. I’ve said pedophiles are criminals. I’ve said child molesters are criminals. I’ve said broadening a law that enables criminals that I just identified as criminals would remove rights from women who will become their next victim.
Not if they become, when they become.
In any case, that woman thought she made some justifiable point that criminals would be criminals regardless of law.
Yes. A huge thanks for proving my point.
Laws were created to protect the victims, not to enable the predators. Why on God’s green Earth have we cut down the trees, hauled the debris away, dug up the dirt, set a golden pathway on the road, added a few blinking neon arrows that say “This Way,” and opened the bathroom door for the pedophiles and predators of the world to easily attack their prey? Although I would never agree that a public bathroom is a human right (it isn’t), why has our society been so willing to voluntarily give up these victims’ actual rights?
Those have been real questions that I’ve wanted answered. I haven’t cared about a transgendered woman peeing in the stall next to me. I worked with a transgendered woman for years; she gave out candy during insanely long cases, and I loved her for that, whenever my belly growled. That said, when I stood in that bathroom this weekend, helicopter parenting my child from the evils of the world, I wanted to know when our women and children became so unimportant, and when the predators, child molesters, and pedophiles of the world became so damn important.
Which brought me back to the question of when I could allow my son to walk into a male restroom alone. At this point, that might never happen. In a world of over three million child molestation survivors, over three million victims who might soon not have a voice with these new laws and policies, why would I? What I might do, however, would be to follow him into the Target bathroom, stare down the urinal crowd, and stand my ground while my child safely pees in a public restroom.
He has the right to do that.