1 EAGLETON NOTES: Assumptions

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Assumptions

PLEASE NOTE: In order to avoid unwanted searches picking up this article I have deliberately altered the main word in the post.

I read a rather good post by Yorkshire Pudding entitled Snapshots.  What caught my mind though was the first few paragraphs of the post in red.

It reminded me that watching a news programme a few days I heard that someone visiting a theme park to see the falconry display was refused admission because he was not accompanied and the policy was that adults must be accompanied for fear of p*philia. Being me I assumed that there was some other more rational reason for the refusal.  However something else yesterday made me wonder so I looked it up.  The Western Gazette has an article which sets out the story very clearly.  It seems that it really is true (even allowing for a healthy scepticism of the press).

As I am unlikely to visit a theme park on my own it is something I could probably have ignored but for its lack of logic and unfair assumptions.  My brother and I have visited falconry displays partly because we like the birds and partly because it's a good photo opportunity to catch the birds in flight.  I'm not a p*phile (but then I would say that anyway) and I'm darn sure CJ isn't either.  So far as I can see all that rule achieves is that p*philes have to travel with someone else who may or may not be an 'accomplice'.  More importantly to me, however, is that I strongly resent the assumption now being made that every single male is a p*phile and the burden of proof is on him to show that he is not.  

26 comments:

  1. This seems really extreme as I understand it to be the kind of park where children are supposed to be accompanied by parents or other supervising adults, and not allowed to be running about unsupervised. While for a grown-up to arrive in the company of a child cannot possibly be any guarantee for innocense anyway.

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  2. Lucky you are not here to hear my real life comments. That is ridiculous. Add a few colourful adjectives, you know the ones I use. I'm just thankful I'm not a man. Not for the first time but that's beside the point. No, wait a minute, single women are suspect, too. Has parental responsibility totally disappeared? Father can take the kids to the park, have a sleep under a tree and as long as there are no lone people in the vicinity, his kids will be safe? The world has gone mad.

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    1. I can well imagine your 'real' comment Pauline. If I wasn't actually committing my words to record I would probably say something similar. Single people (sic) are banned.

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  3. Having counselled many (deeply traumatised) adult victims of sexual abuse in childhood, I know that very few - if any - victims are picked up in theme parks. They are usually well known to the victim, They rarely lurk round corners as seems to be the popular belief, and kids are being brought up to be ridiculously nervous in situations where they should be having fun. There needs to be more education on the nature of sexual offenders, and how and where to look out for them There is far too much ignorance on the whole subject. I read about the incident you cite, and it's quite ridiculous.

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    1. Thank you Frances: the voice of experience and reason.

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  4. Your last sentence is key. The rule paints all males with the same brush. The reason for the rule in the first place seems like lack of reason.

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    1. I agree Red and although I was concerned with males (because I instinctively felt it was aimed at males) it's actually aimed at both sexes.

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  5. That is a disgusting new rule, and bizarre on top of that. Our freedoms are under assault. Does it apply to women too? Hey, a person denied entrance could turn to the next single person in line and they could go in together?

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    1. Yes Terra it does apply to women too. If they think of your point they will ban all couple and only allow people with children and then, reductio ad absurdum, only people who can prove the children they have with them are their own will be allowed in.

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  6. I am gratified that you detected this issue in my red opening to "Snapshots". In the last year as I have walked about - on my own - I have found myself in peculiar situations where I have actually been accused of being a "paedophile" simply because I was taking photographs of village ponds, churches or woods. The wheel has turned and what was black is now white.

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    1. YP I do not know what the answer is. I was in Exeter some years ago and photographing the ferry across the river. A child (probably about 9 or 10) was skipping towards me with flowing bright red hair and the most wonderful smile directed right at me. I almost took a photo from the hip. It would have been a photo her parents (behind her) would have treasured for ever and it would have been one of the most memorable photographs I had ever taken. I hesitated and the moment was lost. I have regretted it ever since. I needed the parents' permission. What I should have done was taken the photo and asked the parents whether they wanted it or wanted it deleting there and then from my camera. I'm sure they would have wanted it.

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  7. I have never had any problems and I'm usually on my own. Wait a minute......I am always with the dogs. That must make it all right.
    The daft thing is that the dogs attract children....more is the pity...It's a major disadvantage of having dogs.

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    1. Dogs make it ok but dogs are also banned from wildlife parks (surely!) so you'd be banned because you had dogs. I wonder if anyone who goes to wildlife parks is allowed in?

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  8. If they introduced similar rules about women who want to attend an event on their own, or black people, or homosexuals, or muslims or any other losely defined group of people, the uproar would be so loud that any such rule would immediately be withdrawn.
    It is very unfair and could be, I believe, contested by pointing towards the anti discrimination act that I am sure is still nominally in place in the UK.

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    1. Actually Meike the rule applies to all people if they are on their own. It doesn't make it less illogical but it does probably get around the laws which prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or creed.

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  9. We read this the other day and were shocked, disgusted and disappointed - as several other commenter's have pointed out this sort of thing usually happens to the child by someone who is known to them or the family, they are rarely if ever picked up in places like this and of course rarely act alone!

    As you say Falconry displays are the perfect place to get fabulous shots of these birds and how sad that this should have happened.

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    1. Thanks for your support Serenata.

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  10. GB. What - ill-intended persons such as you have in mind don't go out in public, don't do normal things with their victims? I wonder. Isn't the biggest part of the problem their appearance of normalcy? Where we live people cannot volunteer in any capacity at a school or Sunday school (or indeed, have anything do do with children but make either them in the first place, or deliver them to said places), without first having had a "Criminal Record check" to verify that our names are not on the list of convicted offenders such as those of the theme park's concern. I don't get it: someone already knows about those offenders. The burden of proof (with deterrent forms and fees) weighs increasingly on all of us to prove we are essentially good people acting in good faith and good will. Alas! the most reprehensible of the un-convicted mutants among us make exactly the same claims despite the various fail-safe measures that would stop them - and carry on. McGregor

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    1. McGregor the same criminal record checks apply here. If I were starting out in a career now I would not choose one which involved working with young people, females, old people or..... In fact it really means that I need a chaperone in order to be safe. But that person would also need a chaperone.....and so ad infinitem. The problem is that such undesirables are out there and all these safeguards will not, as you say, prevent the perverts from being perverts.

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  11. I read the story on The Telegraph website and was shocked to say the least.
    "A bird enthusiast was turned away from a falconry display when he was told adults without children are banned over p*phile fears.".....totally unbelievable...the world has gone mad.

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  12. Any response I want to make is choking me.

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  13. I am truly shocked. What is the world coming to, not only that a lone customer would be asked such a question, but the fact that the question needs to be asked.

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    1. DeeDee it's complex and I find both aspects deeply disturbing and upsetting.

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