Make-Up On My 4-Year-Old Doesn’t ‘Invite’ Pedophiles
I can admit that I was prepared for a little internet blowback from appearing on Good Morning America to talk about allowing my daughter to wear make-up. I understood that agreeing to the interview meant opening myself up to other people’s opinions and observations. As a blogger, I welcome critiques every day.
But I have to admit that there is a vein of comments surrounding the issue of young children and make-up that I find particularly disturbing. I’m okay with people saying I’m wrong. I’m fine with someone saying that I need to re-think this decision. Those people are entitled to their opinions. I’m not okay with commenters saying, “This is one reason why pedophiles exist.”
No. That’s wrong. Pedophiles exist because disturbed people sexually abuse children. Pedophiles exist because they have a mental disease, pedophilia. These criminals make a choice to do something horrible, and there’s nothing that any child or parent does that causes these tragedies.
These comments, the ones that have been warning me of creating another JonBenet Ramsey situation, are victim-blaming the most innocent. They are suggesting that young children are hurt because of their own actions, and that’s simply untrue.
One individual warned me, “You’ve called attention to your child for every child hungry monster out there. Your children aren’t your dolls, their your offspring so parent properly (shocking concept, no?) and put away the makeup! If you don’t want your child to be mistaken for a pageant contestant, put away the makeup!” Another said, “”IT is child abuse, remember Jonbenet Ramie’s [sic],and what happened to that little girl,with all of the sick pedophiles running lose,why would any mother in her right mind do that to a child,SICK!!!”
The takeaway here is that somehow it’s the parent’s fault that a young little girl was abducted. While I do not personally agree with the pageant world or Toddlers & Tiaras, I think it is awful to suggest that these mothers are inviting pedophiles to harm their children. No one invites harassment or abuse and it doesn’t matter how much make-up a person or child has on.
This type of victim-blaming is disgusting. And even if you’re blaming the parents, not the children, you’re still putting the emphasis on the wrong party. Children are not molested because they are wearing make-up or acting older or dressing too mature. Children are molested because they are in the presence of a child molester. It is the exact same principle behind rape apologists. Women are not raped because they are drinking alcohol or wearing a short skirt or flirting too much. Women are raped because they are in the presence of a rapist.
Every time we take that blame away from the person committing the crime, we tell them that it isn’t their fault.
People who say, “Then they wonder why these sick a** pedophiles r out there n the world,” suggest that another person is at fault for an individual’s choices. And they’re wrong.
I have to admit, I believe that this thread of dangerous victim-blaming is a much more important conversation to have than the original argument about children and make-up. That’s a personal choice for parents to make regarding their own families. Whether or not my daughter has on eye shadow will not harm anyone else. Blaming victims of abuse for their own assault by suggesting that make-up on children creates pedophiles, that’s a problem that hurts every child and our culture as a whole.
(Photo: The Inquisitr)