Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What a "Scorched Earth" policy really means

"With the stroke of Governor Scott’s pen, our state today sent a strong message – Florida is scorched earth for all those seeking to harm our children." -- Don Gaetz, Florida Senator

"We want to make Florida scorched earth for these sexually violent predators... We want to make our laws the toughest in the nation."-- State Senator Rob Bradley.

If you are a person who feels semantic arguments are valid, as I am, then it irks you when terms and phrases are used in an improper context. I wonder at times just how much thought FloriDUH legislators put into their so-called "scorched earth" policy for Registered Citizens. 

Just what does "scorched earth" mean exactly? In the most basic of definitions Scorched Earth is a military strategy in which a retreating army destroys any and all resources that the retreating army feels might be useful to the enemy army-- food, fuel, even people. Despite a ban on destroying food supplies per the Geneva Convention, the practice is still employed today. It is a desperation tactic by a defeated and retreating army. 

Does this mean that the FloriDUH legislature is admitting they are losing the "war on sex offenders?" 

At any rate, military terminology and tactics against American citizens, no matter how undesirable you may view them, has proven to be a disservice. You see, in times of war, civilian casualties are to be expected, so dropping bombs in a residential area and blowing up schools or an aspirin-manufacturing plant is considered acceptable. War tends treat every citizen of a foreign nation, or simply those with ties to that nation, as an enemy combatant. This leads to hastily-made blanket policies, like the mass "internment" (concentration camps) of Japanese Americans during World War II, a policy never overturned by the US Supreme Court. In times of war, rights can be taken away and "martial law" can be imposed. 

The imposition of military tactics and terminology has been damaging to American citizens. Since the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign in 1964, Americans have endured a "war on crime," followed by a "war on drugs," a "war on terror," and a "war on child abuse," of which a "war on sex offenders" becomes a relative extension. The problem with the militarization of culture is the promotion of violence that tends to follow. After all, the militarization of our police forces has only led to the increased police brutality that has in turn led to greater distrust of the police by many people in society. The war on drugs did not stop the cartels, it merely filled up our prisons with non-violent 

Just as with other wars, the "war on sex offenders" has a marked "enemy." Because the military mentality is a simple "us versus them" mentality, society can turn a blind eye to a little corruption from a sheriff running entrapment stings because he's targeting alleged online predators. But the label "sex offender" is a granfalloon, an association of diverse people whose only relation to one another is an arbitrary label given by the government. A "sex offender" can indeed be a rapist or child molester, and some can be pedophiles. The term "sex offender" can also mean anyone forced to register as a "sex offender" even if we are discussing a 10 year old child, teens having consensual relations with each other, married men having sex with their wives in a secluded area of a public park, teens taking nude selfies, or some guy who grabbed the arm of a 14 year old girl to chastise her for stepping in front of his moving car

"If it saves just one child" should have always end with an asterisk, because the "one child" obviously does not include the kids landing on the list. I suppose those "save the children/ just one child" types see a few kids on the list as acceptable casualties in this "war on sex offenders." They find it hard to let even one person off the registry even if that person landed on the registry as a child. Hell, they might even echo the sentiment of one US attorney who successfully added a 10 year old kid to the list, declaring this was the "best thing" that could have happened to the kid. Or, perhaps they could be the audience members cheering Erin Brockovich as she justifies adding a 10-year-old to the sex offender list

Treating a social issue like a war is a great disservice. Preident Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty" eventually became a war against the poor, not a war to reduce the poverty the poor experiences. Declaring a "scorched earth" policy is not going to resolve the issue of sexual abuse; it merely adds to the growing number of "acceptable" casualties. I doubt FloriDUH will see a marked decrease in registered citizens or sex crime rates (because most sex crimes are committed by people with no previous sex crime arrests) despite their "scorched earth" policies. perhaps it is time they eliminate the military rhetoric and use a solution based on facts and evidence rather than political bloviation. 

We can only hope that soon the Florida legislators realize their asinine "scorched earth" tactics are merely desperation tactics of a losing army. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feminist Hypocrisy: Even the common definition of "Feminism" is misleading

I do not consider myself a "Feminist." I believe even the definition of Feminism that our culture bandies around is inaccurate. Wikipedia defines Feminism like this:

"Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies which share a common stated aim: to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women."

That isn't Feminism, that is equality. There is indeed such a thing as "Masculinism," which Wikipedia defines in the following way:

"Masculism (or masculinism) is political, cultural, and economic movements which aim to establish and defend political, economic, and social rights and participation in society for men and boys."

Thus, if you believe that both sexes should be treated equally in every aspect of life, you are a Masculinist-Feminist. How can you be two things that are polar opposites of each other? Or, to quote Wikipedia once more, "In this regard, [Masculinism] is the counterpart of feminism, which seeks to achieve the same goals but from a contradistinct viewpoint."

I'm focusing on one key point in my morning rant. You see, I have a few associates who identify themselves as "Feminists." One day, one of them suggested I was a Feminist because I believe in equality (but interestingly enough, she did not say I was a "Masculinist"). It is a bit absurd to me, because I'm by no means a Feminist.

I do indeed believe in equality. As a criminal justice legal reformist, I would love to see equality between the sexes in sentencing policies. In fact, I'd love to see women sentenced the same way as men. When I see a story of a "hot (female) teacher" caught having sex with a student, the teacher gets a light sentence, and society tends not to label this female teacher as a "predator" or "pedophile." We don't take female sex offenders seriously at all. In fact, just Google "hottest female sex offenders," and you'll find 19 lists before you find a single article criticizing the fact we HAVE hottest female sex offender lists. (It is worth noting on the criticism article, a link to a petition for outraged readers was given-- it obtained a whopping 142 signatures. So much for the outrage.)

Here is an actual statement from one of these "hottest female sex offender lists:"

First off, I don’t see anything wrong with female sex offenders. The only time where it would be wrong is if the boy is under the age of 12 or 13. Otherwise female sex offenders or female rapists are oxymorons. (I never used oxymoron in a sentence before, I hope I’m using it right). Women can’t force themselves on young men because even at the young age of 12 and 13 boys have more strength than women. That’s a fact, Google it. Now this doesn’t take into account the scrawny little emo kids of today, they can definitely be raped by a woman, but any normal looking boy can’t. Furthermore any boy that age would welcome being “raped” by their teachers. Shit, personally if my 8th grade science teacher, Ms. Metler forced herself on me, I would lay back and pretend to struggle while she weakly pinned me down and let her “rape” the shit out of me. Secondly, to all the “victims” who told the police, what the fuck were you thinking? Tell your friends instead. Post that shit on your facebook, be proud of yourself. What the hell is wrong with you? And what the hell is wrong with the” victims” fathers? You fathers should not be telling the authorities and getting these women in trouble. You should be high fiving your sons and asking them if you can get a piece of that ass, on back to school night.

It should go without saying that if the gender was reversed in our scenario (male teacher), we want to "bury this pervert under the jail," the male teacher is generally given stiffer penalties and we refer to this man as a "monster, pedophile, and pervert." I could not find a "hottest male sex offender list. I doubt you'll find a male sex offender who received a lenient sentence because he was "too pretty for prison."

It is also worth noting that even Feminist researchers found that female sex offenders get lesser penalties than male sex offenders. These actually seemed somewhat surprised by their findings, as the study was based off a Feminist concept called the "evil woman hypothesis," which argues that sentencing may be harsher for women who are committing crimes that are outside there gender roles. They set out to determine whether the "evil woman" hypothesis is true but merely confirmed a fact easily observed by our culture-- female sex offenders are simply not taken as seriously as male sex offenders.

However, the Feminist researchers could not accept the fact, so instead of simply admitting the criminal justice system treats women more lenient as a whole, they attribute it to the "chivalry hypothesis:"

Women are not sentenced any more harshly than men, and in fact, it appears as if the criminal justice system actually treats women more leniently than men. Although there is no support in the current study for the evil woman hypothesis, it can be argued that the current study reveals evidence lending support to the chivalry hypothesis. […] This leads to the supposition that women, regardless of the departure from social and gender norms committed in concurrence with the offense for which they are being sentenced, continue to be viewed as individuals who should be protected by the justice system. 

In other words, blame the "Patriarchy."

No matter how you cut it, women are not treated equally in the criminal justice system. So where is the outrage, and where are the hordes of Tumblrinas, SJWs, and online feminist rage goddesses condemning the practice of an unequal criminal justice system where one gender is given preference over another? Where? Seriously, where are they, because I've been looking for them for a while, and I'm usually good at finding things.

I'm all for equality, rather than an -ism. Isms as applied to people are schisms and divisions, after all. I am all for equal sentencing between men and women. Lets give women the same sentences, the same threats of murder and castration, and the same stigma as the men. Or, lets sentence men equally as lenient when a "hot male" teacher has sex with a student, or any similar situation that would be considered "statutory rape." Whichever way you choose, be it lesser or harsher punishment, I say we should at least make it equal for the sexes. Which, according to the Feminist definition of Feminism, supposedly makes me a "Feminist" (imagine me literally rolling on the floor laughing when I wrote this, because I actually did).

Seriously, that definition should really be revised.