Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wear Blue This Saturday
TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD ABUSE, RAPE
The Board of Trustees of Penn State has fired head football coach Joe Paterno. Having read the grand jury report (and by the way, I suggest you don't - it is truly horrific) it was the least they could do. Paterno knew, and he did nothing.
Here's how some members of the student body responded:
"Demonstrators tore down two lamp posts, one falling into a crowd. They also threw rocks and fireworks at the police, who responded with pepper spray. The crowd undulated like an accordion, with the students crowding the police and the officers pushing them back. “We got rowdy, and we got maced,” Jeff Heim, 19, said rubbing his red, teary eyes. “But make no mistake, the board started this riot by firing our coach. They tarnished a legend.”
When I read accounts like the above, it makes me want to cry. What the fuck is wrong with our culture?
How is it that so many people can know that children are being abused, but not one of them can pick up the phone and dial 911 to report the crime?
As a parent, I am grappling with how to process this. My son will probably play baseball, though a small part of me hopes he does not. He'll encounter this fucked up male sports culture bullshit someday. Even if he chooses not to play - it's in the American culture.
I know I'm not sounding terribly articulate here. This is really bothering me, and I don't really have the words.
A therapist I respect has said that after about age 5, too many boys stop getting physical affection from their parents. As if at some point their parents deem them too big to hug and kiss. I've seen it all around me. Sometimes boys look to athletics and their coaches to fill this need for affection and physical contact and belonging in a group. This is also the point where predators know boys are particularly vulnerable.
I need to go hug my children now.
Wear blue on Saturday - the color of child abuse awareness.