Paedophilia? Loving father comforting sick son…

BBC Trending: Is this picture disgusting or beautiful?

Shows how much better educated we need to be.

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This can cause far more damage… pushy parents, youngest kid asleep from boredom, seeing what’s ahead of him, vowing never to be any good at music…  

The opening line of this article alone has me in a purple and red fury. In some ways the picture appears to show a fairly everyday scene. It’s not an everyday scene for parents. But the use of the word ‘appears’ paves the way for the idiocy of some of the comments. Balanced reporting?

Though in the minority, the suggestion there’s abuse involved shows how much further we have to go in understanding what abuse is. This isn’t it.

Read the article and tell me you think there’s some sort of abuse here.

Even as a victim of abuse myself, I’m moved and warmed by this image. It shows vulnerability on the father’s and child’s side.

To me, the image shows neither an abusive parent nor a child victim nor even the seeds of abuse. Were the father to be abusing his son, it’s unlikely there would be no images.

How else is the father going to soothe his young son? Get in the shower fully clothed? Point a hose at the boy while he stands outside the cubicle? This would illicit the masses raising their hands up in horror shouting, Callous father!

I’m seriously beginning to doubt anyone really knows what paedophilia is. Ooh, a long word, that’ll make me look smart.

There’s a trend today where those who don’t know want to seem like they know. Throw in a medical term here; fling in some technical jargon there. He presto! I know stuff! Yes, I devoted an entire blog to these people. I’m afraid The ones who casually diagnose other people’s children as ADHD, OCD, on the autistic spectrum… That kind of tripe.

But I’m seriously beginning to doubt anyone really knows what paedophilia is. Ooh, a long word, that’ll make me look smart.

Educate yourself. Work with abused people. Read. Learn and then you might be qualified to use the word.

If we can stop focusing on the easy targets, (images like this) we stand a good chance of tackling real abuse.

There’s so much in this image that touches my feelings – about the true devotion of some parents. The sad desperation when your child is hurt or ill. The element of water, I think says so much. For the parents, symbolising literally a wash of tears and for the boy, just the helpless feeling of being bathed in the parent’s flowing love .

If we can stop focusing on the easy targets, (images like this) we stand a good chance of tackling real abuse.

But I think for many people, that’s just too much dammed trouble… A lot easier to bandy about words that will incite and look like you care.


Get real people off the TV! (Part I)

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A few years ago, I was saying the opposite. “More real people on TV please!” Dozens of house-hunting programmes later with ordinary people competing with sewing/cooking/singing and I’ve changed my mind…

I now see the appeal of people trained to perform.

As one with a compulsive house-hunting programme obsession, I rarely miss a showing. But the Escape to the Country one must top the lot.

Shiny, smooth, friendly, tolerant people faced with deadpan voices, estranged couples, chubby, badly dressed real people who’ve made no effort to smarten up for TV… it’s awful.

They shuffle about trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about and just ape the presenters with their catchphrases and slick comments. (See Part II.)

I’ve seen it all. I worked many years at an estate agent showing these people around houses and flats. They all seemed to think they had to contribute something knowledgeable to the viewing.

“Is the attic boarded?” and “Is this a partition wall?” and “I don’t think we’d fit our king-sized bed in here.”

No dearie. You wouldn’t. This cottage was meant for poor people. The builders didn’t envisage young’uns like you with your home-offices and LinkedIn profiles and annual amassing crap living in a humble worker’s cottage like this in 150 years. They had a fire and some tools maybe.

But these people are now on TV. Commenting on the wallpaper and floor tiles of someone else’s house. Making a mess with cake mixture or zips and Velcro. Get off! Go and do all this in the privacy of your own homes.

I want experts on my TV. Reasonably well-dressed, people who’ve bothered to brush their hair and wear clothes that fit. Telling me things they know and I don’t.

It’s a mistake I hope programme producers realise that the ‘docu-drama’ approach is failing. Real people doing real things, God! I wouldn’t sit in my neighbour’s house for an hour watching them just… live.

Glamour. People who’ve been transformed by the make-up artist. People who can speak… Can we just leave it to the professionals? Leave the rest of us at home on this side of the camera. That’s where we belong.

The experiment’s over. The findings are: it didn’t work.