I’m a bachelor. Single, and unattached at present.
I like to take photographs when I am out and about.
Today those facts, taken together, were the cause of a paranoid mother becoming paedohysterical.
I was at an outdoor Canadian winter festival, at a local park, taking pictures.
One picture I took was of a group of about eight children, perhaps ranging between five and ten years old, playing on a piece of playground equipment that had been temporarily installed for the festival.
After shooting my shot, I walked away, headed elsewhere.
Suddenly, a woman ran up to me and demanded, “Did you just take a picture of my children?”
I answered, “Well, I just shot a group of children playing; if your children were among them, then I suppose I did indeed photograph them!”, smiling, trying to be friendly and polite and show my non-malevolent intentions, though I had already realized she was in the grip of paedohysteria, and my efforts were likely in vain.
And I was correct, for she then asked me, “Well, what are you going to do with it?”
I resisted the urge to sarcastically reply, “Why, I’m going to rush home right now and furiously masturbate over it!”, and instead I said, “I’m going to look at it, just as I look at all of my pictures, of all the different things and/or people that I shoot; like all the other people and scenes I’m shooting today.”
She appeared mollified by my response, said “Okay.”, and then left.
But a few minutes later, after I had walked away, irritated at the encounter, when I got into a line to get something to eat and drink, I saw her ahead of me in the line, and she noticed me. Then, afterwards, when I was sitting down with my food, I saw her at another picnic table, watching me. Still paranoid. Shortly after, she got up and left with her brood.
The experience almost ruined my afternoon.
I’m sure her own damned paranoia probably ruined hers, too.
Everyone loses with paedohysteria.
Parents, especially mothers: don’t be paedohysterical.
Do you really want to automatically assume bad faith on the part of every single man you see, especially one with a camera?
Suppose I was a pervert: do you think I would answer honestly when you ask me what I’m going to do with a picture of your children? And since you can’t actually stop someone from taking pictures in public places – yet – wouldn’t you rather not assume the worst, since you can’t actually stop someone from doing whatever they want with a shot they’ve taken, in the privacy of their home? And how would your children be hurt by such a thing, anyway, especially if they don’t know?
What a terrible thing, to go through life paranoid about things entirely beyond one’s control.
If you want to do something constructive, I have a suggestion: band together with other parents to fight attempts by authorities to allow adults who decide they are of the other ‘gender’ to use the public gym changerooms and showers of the opposite sex.
Now that’s something worth fighting for – and it’s winnable, too!
And we’d all win!
To end on a positive note, at one point, I wanted to get some shots of some animals that were there for kids to go on rides, and I noticed an area roped off where other photographers were shooting; I asked the teenage guy guarding the area if I could go in and shoot; he asked me if I had kids that were in there, I said no. He hesitated for a moment, but then said, “Technically, I’m not actually supposed to; go, hurry up,” and let me through.
Thanks, bro, for not being paedohysterical (unlike your bosses); for assuming I was acting in good faith! 🙂
If there are enough common-sense guys like him, we can turn things around and make the West sane again! 🙂