Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Page turning and sick making

Of children and young men

As the scandal of emails and instant messages threatens to engulf the Republican campaign to great detriment, I begin to wonder what the facts are and how they are being portrayed.

In a question directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the interviewer starts with – “This 16-year old boy who is the young man affected …” the Speaker answers with – “The young man …”

Herein, is the confusion, is the person a child, a boy, a youth, a young man or a man? He is all of that and more.

My voice breaks

There is no doubt that he is an adolescent, which does not make him an adult, he is a teenager and definitely a child of someone – I think it all now depends on the way you look at it.

In terms of criminal responsibility, he is not a child, in terms of sexual development he can father a child, in the scheme of things, he is a boy, as a page, he is a youth, in terms of prospects, he is a young man and when grouped he is a teenager.

In terms of the relationship, he was abused by reason of the exchange between a man of authority and responsibility, had the messages been exchanged between peers, it would have been without event apart from a frank exchange of views involving the headmaster.

At 16, I would have taken offence if anyone had referred to me as a boy or a child, I was already out of secondary school and in polytechnic, though, I had to show my birth certificate because they did not believe I was that young, normally people finished secondary school at 18, my sister finished at 14.

Adults of shame

Anyway, the sad thing developing out of this sad saga of predatory acts against boys, children or young men is the squabble between National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) which has released an amended statement on Mark Foley’s resignation and the National Law Center for Children and Families (NLC) over which organisation is too tightly linked with Congress and who came up with the best ideas for finding missing children.

There is the quality of life of a boy at stake here and the adults of responsibility either in offence or defence are scoring political points against each other – that, I must say is childish. It is all becoming sick-making – I need to see all that food and drink again – Urrggh!

Back to the child, I just hope he is well and well left alone with the support he needs to get on with his life.

Mark Foley on Bill Clinton

Finally, is this the same Mark Foley who said 8 years ago of Bill Clinton during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal “It's vile, it's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction.”?

Glass houses and stones seem to have met with a resounding clatter and shatter – how are the mighty fallen. ‘Nuff said.

References

Report: Foley allegedly tried to meet page

Foley's Behaviour No Secret on Capitol Hill

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