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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 9, 2013/ 29 Nissan, 5773

Let's ponder Pervert Panic

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The other day, one of the parenting blogs had a frank and nicely written piece by a woman who came to the exact opposite conclusion I did. She was mulling whether or not to hire a male baby sitter for her child. On the one hand, the young man she interviewed seemed like a dream. He grew up in the neighborhood; his mom ran a day care center; he sounded warm on the phone and had great references. On the other hand...

He was male.

In the end, surprised by her own misgivings, the writer decided to hire a woman instead. And she wonders whether she did the right thing or ended up missing out on a great baby sitter.

When our kids were a little younger, my husband and I hired some male baby sitters for about a year each and didn't really worry about their gender. In fact, we hoped they'd take the kids outside and have them playing a lot, so we sort of pigeonholed them that way — thinking they'd be sportier than female baby sitters. (We were wrong.) And it's true that I have sons, whereas the writer of the misgivings piece has a daughter. If she'd had sons instead, she might have been a little less leery.

But what I love about the essay and regret about her decision is how much she realized her decision was based almost solely on the creeping prejudice against men around kids. Yes, statistically, I'm sure, men are likelier to molest kids than women, but the fact is that most men and most women are not out to molest kids at all.

Pervert panic is so front and center in our culture that it sometimes seems to color our perception of almost all male/child interactions. In some day care centers, male employees aren't allowed to change diapers. The number of guys for whom diaper changing is a turn-on must be tiny indeed, yet it is top of mind.

Then there's the suspicion of any man snapping a kid's picture: Is it for porn? And any man near a school: Is he a predator? There are parents who don't want a male pre-K teacher and others who wonder why an 80-year-old codger is willing to teach woodworking to the local kids. A generation ago, we'd see him as Geppetto-like. Now "worst-first" thinking kicks in: He likes kids, and he wants to be around them. Oh, no!

This prejudice is just as corrosive as any other, and it comes from the same source: fear, reinforced daily by TV shows highlighting the saddest stories, the worst individuals, the least likely/most sexually titillating events. Add to the mix movies that revel in sadism and books that take us inside so many "twisted" minds that nuts seems like the new normal. All these images rattle around our brains, echoing endlessly, "Our children are at risk!"

I never would say that absolutely all men (or women) are good or that no child ever has been harmed by a baby sitter or even that this woman made the wrong choice. In fact, I'm thrilled that she wrote the piece so that we can talk about the problem: seeing all men as predators.

So here we are, talking, peeling away at prejudice, inching our way back to sanity — and men.

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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