Archive for the ‘child abuse’ Category

I wrote a few months ago that I wouldn’t be reading Fifty Shades of Grey because of the bad reviews and the weak heroine. It turns out I caved and read it, although no money was spent – thank God. I found this book in a suitcase my mother had filled up with books she wanted to donate, so I figured, WTH, let’s see what the hype is all about.

Let me just start by saying that although I didn’t spend any money on it, the hours I wasted reading it are gone forever and should’ve been spent doing something else. ANYTHING else. THAT, I regret deeply.

I had no idea that this piece of c#$% was Twilight fan fiction, but then it makes sense because the whole thing, the characters, the plot, even the location, are all Twilight-based: Anastasia is basically Bella, only this time around she gets laid every 20 pages or so. Christian has Edward’s copper tousled hair. They all live in Washington state.

I don’t even know where to start so I guess I’ll just make a bullet list:

-The bad writing. I mean , the worst writing I’ve ever had to endure. I keep wondering how Ms. James managed to pull this off. Are there no editors at her publishing house? Holy c$%&. holy s*¨#$, holy f$%&, later’s babe and all sorts of similar expressions are on every single page. “Later’s, babe”?. Who talks like that?

-I never thought I’d say this, but Anastasia is worse than Bella. She keeps asking herself why this guy wants her when she is nothing. Well, if you have to ask yourself that, then you probably aren’t worth it. Did I mention she’s a 21-year old virgin who has never masturbated, calls her vagina “down there”, has an annoying “inner goddess” and although Christian has told her that he’s into inflicting pain, she manages to act surprised at the end because she felt pain. Ugh. Oh, and she supposedly never owned an email account or a computer before Christian came around. In what century has this girl been living? AND, she is willing to put up with anything this psycho does because he is just so gorgeous, something that is said over and over ad nauseam.

-Christian has a little more depth, although psychologically he makes no sense. He’s supposed to be a 27-year old billionaire, which means that he is probably a tough guy, and yet he is whiny, insecure, jealous and a stalker. Someone that insecure could never make it big in business. I mean, the whole buying out the plane seat next to her, following her to Georgia, giving her a Blackberry and a computer so he can monitor her every move, that’s just sick and I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with him being a dom and her a sub.  

-The constant and ridiculous emails they sent to each other. Anastasia’s writing and speaking skills range from Snooki to Elizabeth Bennet in the same sentence. Who uses “avuncular” in the middle of a conversation?

-The BDSM. I’m not that knowledgeable on this subject but I’ve been told (more than once, actually) that this is a sexual preference and as such rarely reflects on people’s real lives, meaning that a sub in the bedroom is rarely a doormat in real life, and a dom is not necessarily a control freak either. So there goes the author’s research.

-These people have sex all around the place and every few pages. THIS is supposed to be the good part of the book and what has been turning women on all around the world. Let me just say that by the middle of the book I’d had enough already it was so repetitive and monotonous that I started skipping to the “substance” to see if the plot got any better. It didn’t. I can’t believe Kathy Lee and whatshername and the anchors of the Today Show actually raved about this book, saying it was a great Mother’s day gift.  Heck, even Dr. Oz had a show about how this book improved couples’ sex lives. Puh-leez.

-This stupid girl tries throughout the entire book to get to the core of his issues so she can fix him. In the process, we learn that he was abused into BDSM by an older woman when he was 15. And somehow, you never read or hear anyone criticizing this way-too-casual reference to pedophilia. Disgusting.

-Anastasia and Cristian are in an extremely abusive relationship. Stalking and wanting full control over someone is not love. Just because people prefer calling it something else or fool themselves into thinking it’s romantic doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse.

The fact that such rubbish made it to the NYT top 10 says a lot about us as a society. I mean, people can write whatever they want and hope it’ll go viral. The problem is, there must be way too many lonely, hopelessly romantic women out there to let this disaster become some sort of reading reference. Every single woman I know has read this book and loved it, and every time I’ve had something to say against it they consistently refute it, as if I hadn’t understood the darn thing, when I think I got it a lot better than all of them did. For someone who reads as much as I do, I’m pretty certain my reading comprehension level exceeds that of all of them, who have probably only read this one book this year because this sorry excuse for writing was published. 

It’s a sad day when you realize that issues such as abuse and pedophilia are being ignored for the sake of romance. I truly never thought that one stupid book could do such damage. And I don’t think I’m being dramatic here. When people start ignoring important things because they’d rather look the other way, they are accepting them by default. And shame on Ms. James. Instead of writing about a strong, independent heroine other women could look up to, she’s debased us all by serving up a spineless, immature weakling that can’t stand up for herself and puts up with unimaginable situations for the sake of a guy, who in turn, doesn’t even love her.

Writers who get lucky enough to be published have the incredible power of reaching other people’s minds and speaking to them through their characters. I believe they should take that responsibility and privilege more seriously and try to contribute instead of punching us in the face with their own sexual fantasies.

I wonder if Ms. James has daughters, and if she does, I seriously hope they are as disgusted with her as I am.


I read an article last week on a mother that was charged with child abuse for “smooshing” (I don’t really know what that means but that is how the article described it) the kid who had recently bullied her son.

It appears that she’d heard that her son had encountered some trouble with a bigger kid, so she escorted her son to take the bus in the morning. The bully showed up and started arguing with the boy before even boarding the bus. The mother took action, the teen retaliated (!!!), and then the mother followed the bully onto the bus and pulled his hair. All this was caught on video and all the mother had to say was that she didn’t really regret it. 

The bullying topic is permanently discussed on parenting sites and blogs and the consensus seems to be the same: even though schools have established policies regarding the topic, at some point someone else has to do something about it (either the parents or the child have to eventually take a stance) because the law constrains the authorities way too much to truly be able to take care of things.

My take is that there is something essentially wrong with the way the issue is being dealt with and with the lack of consequences (or enforcement actions) that somehow conveys the message that bullying is ok.

I mean, bullying isn’t new. It’s always been present and is a part of many kids’ daily routine. The thing is, nowadays, it’s just so much more difficult to straighten up your kids when everything is now set up to “protect” the children, even in the cases in which they are the bad guys. And I’m not even talking about spanking the kids, which is not allowed anymore, but about truly and unequivocally letting them know why and how this is unacceptable behavior and making sure they never abuse anyone in any situation again.

Would I have done what the mother in the news did? Probably not. And I’m the mother who shamelessly shouted at another toddler on the beach for throwing sand at my daughter’s face. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have gone to the bully’s parents and the school to tell them all about their son’s cowardly actions.

People are always trying to explain bullying by stating that bullies have low self-esteem, are insecure, their parents usually pay no attention to them, and the list goes on and on forever. However, no one ever tries to analyze what happens with the bullied child, or what the long and short-term consequences are. The problem is always focused on the perpetrator and never on the victim. What does that say about us as a society?

In my opinion, there are two types of bullying: traditional bullying, which usually involves boys violently beating up other (smaller) boys. The other, is bullying among girls. This is a lot harder to spot, because it’s subtle. You’ll never see any bruises or scratches. And yet, bullying among girls is just as dangerous because it strips the bullied girls of any self-confidence they may have. It’s more if-you-don’t-bring-me-the-English-paper-by-tomorrow-I-wont-let-you-sit-at-our-lunch-table. Or in the case of smaller girls, if-you-don’t-come-to-school-with-a-ponytail-we-won’t-play-with-you. That is really dangerous, because if you aren’t truly alert, you’ll never see the signs until the damage is done and it’s probably too late.

The topic is way too broad and has so many takes that it’s impossible to condense it in a few lines. I will say, however, that I’m convinced that bad kids who aren’t taught that actions have consequences, turn into bad adults. Not being the religious type or a believer in divine retribution, there is, however, one thing I’ve instilled in my daughter and that is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The good part is it’s easy enough to understand and I know she gets it because when other kids treat her or someone else badly she always asks them if they would like to be treated that way too and it usually stops the offender.

But then of course, she’s only 6 and at some point it will no longer be enough. That’s why I’ve also told her to defend herself or fight back if someone does anything to hurt her. It’s not ideal, and my daughter’s school strongly disapproves, but kids have to learn that it’s ok to stand up for themselves if they are being attacked, because the world isn’t an easy place and not all people are good. What’s the alternative, turn the other cheek? No thanks. But even though they have to learn to stay out of trouble, they must also learn that it’s ok to tell a teacher or an adult if someone else is being mistreated. We can’t allow our kids to be bystanders just for the sake of protecting them.

I heard from a friendly couple whose son attends my daughter’s school that last year there was a bully in his class. A full-blown bully who would beat up other kids in the bathroom or in the corridors on a daily basis. Mind you, this was happening in second grade, not junior high. Anyway, the problem was spotted early enough during the year and the bully’s parents were instructed to take the boy to therapy to deal with it. The school told those affected to be patient, that it was being handled, but it just went on and on and it wasn’t until the end of the school year that the kid was expelled.   

As a parent, to be informed that your child is a bully that is physically or psychologically hurting other kids must be a fatal blow. However, seeing it as the parent of a bully’s victim, how can you be told to “be patient” and expect your child to understand that it’s going to be ok, even though he gets slapped around every other day? How can you just stand aside and allow you kid to get hurt? I honestly don’t know how the victims’ parents handled it, but I know I would have pestered my daughter’s teachers and the school’s principal every single day until some effective action was taken. So the bully was expelled? Big deal, he was given a whole school year to inflict pain on so many of his classmates that I’m pretty sure the damage to those he bullied will last longer than the bully’s punishment (if any) or remorse (if any).

Anyway, regardless of the reasons why a child becomes a bully, I’m convinced that the parents are the only ones who can nip the problem in the bud. Sure, schools and the authorities may lend a hand, but if a child doesn’t get the message at home (loud and clear) that abusing others is wrong and unacceptable, there’s really nothing left for the others to do. 

There’s been much controversy lately in my country of residence on whether childer abusers should be given the death penalty or at least life sentences.

In all honesty, although I’ve read a lot about the subject, mainly how it’s handled in the U.S., I can’t help but think that these are both alternatives our justice system should take into account, even though the death penalty and life sentences are forbidden by the nation’s constitution. I guess it is more a political issue than an ethical one, and that is the main problem.

The thing is, when you have a child of your own, every single crime where a child was the victim, or whenever a child is abused or mistreated becomes a personal matter, as if it the victim had been your own child.

Now, there has been a lot of opposition claiming that these abusers and criminals have the right to become productive members of society once they’ve done the time and “rehabilitate”.  However, most specialists agree that because a vast majority of child abusers have an underlying psychological disorder, they are not able to truly rehabilitate. If this is correct, then how are we expected to just sit and watch them re-insert themselves into society, knowing all the while that they can – and will – relapse into their old behavior?

Most importantly, are justice systems around the globe really taking this matter seriously (enough) to tackle the issue as they should and defining punishments that are equivalent to the crime committed? As I said, the country where I live has forbidden both the death penalty and life sentences, so what exactly does that leave us?

In my country of residence, the scariest monster imaginable, the most terrible child molester that ever lived, is currently serving a 40-year sentence, after having been found guilty of the rape, torture and murder of 168 children (it is even said that there are a lot more victims we don’t know about…). Twenty four years were knocked down from his sentence right then and there for cooperating with the authorities. If we do the math, the guy is paying approximately 6-7 weeks per victim. However, good behavior (can an animal really behave properly?) has helped him reduce the time to approximately 35 days per victim. As if that weren’t enough, our Penal Code provides that after 3/5 of the sentence have been served, the inmate may be released. This means that upon completion of 14 years of prison, this pathetic excuse of a human being gets to walk the streets and breathe the free air like any one else.

A 40-year sentence, in my opinion, was hardly enough to start with in this case, and yet, if someone doesn’t come up with some way to retain him, he’ll be free. Honestly, is this fair? Who is going to protect our children once this monster gets out? The worst part is, after having seeing him on the TV, he seems completely remorseless, all smiles and jokes, oblivious of the fact that he has inflicted so much pain on so many.  He is the closest I’ve seen to a real-life Hannibal Lecter (without the refinement). He even says that since he has seen the error of his ways, he wants to open an institution to work in pro of the children. I almost fainted when I heard him say that.

And this guy is just one example. What is going to happen to so many out there who continue to victimize children and get to do it over and over again, all in the name of a justice system (and human rights defenders who claim to be defending the rights of the criminals, but are really nothing more than politicians trying to get their name in the headlines)  that insists that people have the right to rehabilitate and regain their freedom. That we must defend the human rights of all citizens. Well, I ask the honorable members of Congress who make the laws (not only here but everywhere), what about the human rights of these children? Just because they are gone their rights ceased to exist? Don’t their families also have rights? How about the rest of us? Don’t we have the right to be protected?

Now, the death penalty is too broad a subject to discuss. However, I will say that it is tricky, because as technological breakthroughs occur more frequently, there are now new and improved ways to analyze evidence that weren’t available before. This means that some people who had been convicted years ago for a crime have been proven innocent at some point because there was no way of knowing then what we know now as a result of the tools that are available to us today.

I’m not aware how many times this has occurred, but still, taking a person’s life away only to realize years later that he/she was innocent is a crime in itself. And how can the state repair the damage?

Now, if the person is serving a life sentence, at least that person gets to be vindicated in life and live the remainder of his/her days freely.

The life sentence also guarantees that the person will be locked up for as long as he/she lives and that’s that. No mitigating circumstances, no “discounts” on time served. If our dear legislators are so fearful of the death penalty for their own political reasons, then maybe they should choose life sentences for certain types of crimes. That way, whatever these criminals do, they’ll never get the chance to hurt anyone ever again, which, I assume, is part of the purpose of sending someone away for life.

I wonder if our lawmakers have ever thought about the creep I described before, what it would be like if he was released and chose to live somewhere near them. What if he moved to their neighbourhood,  or packed their groceries at the super, or visited the library. Honestly, would any of them be able to sleep at night? As a parent, I can say, without a doubt, that they would probably never leave their children out of their sight ever again, for fear of that psycho and would probably move as far away possible  from him.

So, unless our dear representatives take a good look into their hearts and take a stand on the issue, these monsters will continue to crawl our streets and keep committing the atrocities they commit against those who need the most protection: our children.  And the cycle will continue to repeat itself until members of Congress commit, fully and wholeheartedly, to do their job as they should, instead of trying to gain votes for the next election.

As for me, although I’m convinced that anyone who chooses to harm a child deserves nothing more than a horrible, slow death, I’m well aware that 2 wrongs don’t make one right, mainly because if one day it is discovered that the accused was innocent, there is no taking back that wrongful death.

A life sentence in isolation should do it. And when I say isolation, I mean complete isolation: no access to the media or to other people; just the bare minimum to get through each day. These people should be given the rest of their days to think about what they did, in the hopes they’ll eventually feel remorse and guilt, and be able to prepare themselves for a solitary death, whenever that day comes.


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  • Carrie Rubin: I don't always remember names well, but I remember circumstances. I especially remembered yours because it's such a rare cancer, and you were the firs
  • iamtheinvisiblehand: Thank you for your kind words, but also thank you for remembering it was me....it's amazing that you'd remember this considering the endless stream of
  • Carrie Rubin: I am so sorry to hear about your mother. After you commented on my blog yesterday, I remembered that your mother was the one who had cholangiocarcinom