Thursday, October 19, 2006

Predator? Prey?

At some point, we might want to revisit the language used to describe those among us who find others sexually interesting. To write that Mr. Foley is/was a predator is a bit strong, disingenuous, and, possibly, dangerous.

Everyone I know responds positively to the presence of a reminder of the exuberance and vitality of youth.

Everyone I know, to greater or lesser degrees, seeks to recapture his or her own youthful exuberance and vitality.

Everyone I know, to greater or lesser degrees, avoids making young people uncomfortable as we observe and celebrate their youth and all the wonderful things about being a youth.

Everyone I know sends out "signals" to others indicating an "interest," and, depending on the response, we either pursue or drop the matter.

Are we all, then, predators? Are you, then, at 16 or 60, prey?

By using predator and prey in discussions about relationships with 16-year-olds, we befuddle the discussion about those who seek sexual contact with pre-pubescent children, which is where the real dangers lie.

The language we are using now casts too broad a net to be accurate. At some point we should try to develop a more appropriate metaphor.

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