Thanks to Mick Kenny of the Men In Childcare Support Group in Ireland for sharing this article from the Wall Street journal highlighting the growing perception that all men are potential paedophiles – and how this puts kids at risk.
Getting more men into children’s lives is vitally important and several members of The Men’s Network took part in A Few Good Men in 2009, a project set up by one of our committee members Kuen-Wah Cheung.
The Wall Street Journal article – Eek! A Male! – tells many bizarre and disturbing stories of such as the tale of male daycare worker who is not allowed to change nappies and is even asked to leave the classroom when nappies are being changed!
Other stories include the British Musicians’ Union warning music teachers not to touch a child’s fingers incase they are accused of abuse and a public pool in Sydney, where boys are banned from changing in the same locker room as the men, because the men feared false accusations.
Last year at The Men’s Network we met teenage boys locally who said they wouldn’t choose to do work experience at a nursery school in case they were labelled a perverts and an experienced male childminder refused a job with one particular family because they wouldn’t employ a man.
Though none of this tops the bizarre stories of men banned by British Airways from sitting next to children - which one man successfully challenged in court last year – or fathers banned from sleepovers with girls at the Science Museum -
And the saddest story of all is the tragedy of the toddler left to drown by a man who feared being labelled a pervert if he tried to help her.
All of which suggest it is time we get over the sexist idea that all men are potential perverts and let children – and particularly boys – know that it is very normal, healthy and desirable to have more men involved in children’s lives.