By Kendra Holliday | January 25, 2012
Pedo vans are everywhere!
You know the game Slug Bug?
Well, my daughter taught me a new road game that’s a sick variation on that. (Note: Punching is optional, and we’re a non-violent family.)
One day I was driving along and she pointed to a white van and announced, “Pedo Van.”
“What are you talking about?”
“White vans are what pedophiles drive,” she explained.
Excuse me?! I thought they were work vans. Silly me.
I asked, “Where did you learn THAT?”
“From the internet,” she said simply.
After I finished telling her that the internet is not the most reliable information source, I quickly got into the spirit of things and started noticing white vans EVERYWHERE.
In order to count as a Pedo Van, it has to have no windows on the sides. The older and creepier it appears, the better. It can’t have writing on the side like “Beverly’s Flowers” or “Bob’s Seafood,” but suggestive names such as “Reem Your Pipes” or “St. Anthony’s Church” are acceptable.
Now everytime I see a white van, I compulsively blurt, “Pedo Van.” For instance, one time I saw a whole row of them lined up in front of a catering business. When I exclaimed, “Look at all those Pedo Vans!” my daughter breathed, “It’s a Pedo CONVENTION.”
Then one time we saw a white van parked in an office parking lot after hours.
After I announced the perfunctory “Pedo Van,” my daughter shot back, “Pedo Idiot – he should be parked at a playground, not an office building, sheesh!”
So now we have something to bond over besides tea parties and Harry Potter books.
I’ve taken to muttering Pedo Van under my breath out and about, even when I’m alone. What can I say, I’m a sucker for sick jokes.
As a parent, I like to keep tabs on all the child molester stories in the news. Unfortunately, there are ASSLOADS of them. Almost as many as there are Pedo Vans.
“Good news, honey!” I told my daughter after perusing an article (I found on the internet), “According to this article, now that you’re 11 you no longer have to worry about pedophilia! Now you just need to worry about hebephilia. And well, possibly pedohebephilia.”
She said, “OK, so when I turn 18, I just have to worry about plain old rapists?”
I laughed and said, “Not if the SlutWalk movement has their way!”
Then there’s Maddox’s “How to Spot a Pedophile” article and quiz. (In the interest of research, I took the quiz and scored an 11 out of 18.)
All kidding aside, there are many other interesting related articles and websites out there. For example, there really was a pedophile convention last August in Lynchburg, VA, and I’m not talking about NAMBLA.
It was hosted by a group called B4U-ACT and had real live pedophiles, or “minor-attracted persons,” in attendance. B4U-ACT’s motto is “Living in Truth and Dignity.” They believe there is an unfair stigma in our society when it comes to pedophilia, and the unhealthy way we handle it (FEAR! OUTRAGE! DENIAL!) can cause more problems than if we approached the issue with compassion and a willingness to be educated.
Nothing is a more of a hot button topic than linking children and sex. A recent move to recognize pedophilia as a disability in Greece is a good example of how an attempt to get a handle on a nation’s health can twist faster than you can say “panties-in-a-bunch.” I’ll bet I get accused of being a child molester just for having the audacity to address the taboo topic.
And what about all the scandals involving hot blond teachers and 14-yr-old boys? Browse this slideshow and you be the judge. Which deserved jailtime, and which were wrongfully persecuted?
As far as I’m concerned, you can be sexually attracted to whoever and whatever you want, as long as you don’t touch what you shouldn’t. It would be nice if we all knew who was hands off, but alas, we are human, and if there’s one thing for certain, our species is an unpredictable and emotional lot.
I wish there was a “You Break It, You Buy It” policy in the sex realm. Instead, we have a few bad apples running around robbing people of their sexuality, and those bad apples are like food poisoning that can linger for years.
As parents, it is our job to educate ourselves and our children about the realities of life. We should be fiercely protective of our children, and do our best to put them first without sacrificing too much of ourselves. Trust your gut, and do your research. The RAINN website is a great place to start. (In response to the recent scandal, Penn State raised $500,000 for RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, by the way.)
Instead of raising innocent children, we should raise knowing children. I know for a fact that I’ve cultivated an open and honest relationship with my daughter so that she knows she can come to me with any questions or issues.
She has the benefit of living in a guilt and shame-free home that is relaxed enough to joke about sensitive topics, which can lead, believe it or not, to important trauma-preventing conversations.