Thursday, March 23, 2006

Now this really is tragic

The death of Abigail Rae is certainly tragic. This beautiful two year old wandered away from her playgroup, unseen, and drowned in a pond. The jury ruled it neglect, which seems very likely, but what struck me was this:

"the court heard how a bricklayer had passed a toddler, believed to be Abigail, walking alone near the nursery.

But he did not stop to help in case he was suspected of abducting her."

The worst of it is, his failure to act is entirely understandable in this age of knee-jerk misandry. This bricklayer has spent years, like many of us, hearing how awful men are, the horrible things they do to children - the last thing he wants is to find himself under suspicion himself and he knows good intentions won't help. Better to let some woman deal with it. But no-one did, and the child died. It would be easy to condemn him for his irresponsibility, and I'm sure many do. But it wasn't irresponsibility, it was a small cowardice in the face of a world that could easily turn on him, desperate for evidence of its paranoia. The consequences of this small, everyday cowardice were enormous and they reflect the dangers of dissuading men of their value to children. I feel sorry for him, he's likely condemning himself with no need for others to do it for him.

Update: Wendy McElroy's take and, in a related case some poor sod gets a record as a sex offender for scolding a stupid teenager.


1 comment:

MisAnDrope said...

Great work, great posts, thanks

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