Human First, Aboriginal second.

I moved away from Australia in the early 2000’s. It was right as the government was taking it’s first steps to say sorry to the Aboriginal people for the stolen generation.

As I’ve watched Australia from afar, it seemed like the country was taking great steps to right past wrongs, to embrace the indigenous community, and provide more assistance for Aboriginals to go back to a more traditional way of life in their communities, or provide them with education in the cities if they chose.

As someone who had been gone for about 15 years, I was impressed at how much things had changed when I returned home last year, and at a Film Festival, each person stood up to speak, and the first thing they said was they wanted to acknowledge the traditional holders of the land, named the local tribe, and then moved on. At first, I was like “Wow. I could not have imagined this when I left all those years ago. We’ve really changed.” But as three people spoke in a row, and all recited the same verse, it felt a little less genuine, and more like people feeling the need to be PC and grandstand about how enlightened they were. Or were afraid if they didn’t also say it, they would be seen as somehow racist. It’s not really a change in mentality if it’s not genuine, you’re just saying something because you have to.

Then, more recently, there was discussion about child abuse issues within Aboriginal communities, and whether children should be placed with other indigenous people, or if they could be fostered by white people. (Or anyone outside the Aboriginal community) I noted that several networks discussed the topic, but it seemed to go under the radar until Sunrise had the discussion of how to tackle it. They asked whether it was better to leave a child with an abusive community, or whether it was better to take a child and move them to a place outside the community, and the whole thing blew up into people protesting that Sunrise was advocating for another Stolen Generation.

With the news this week that another young child has been raped in Tennant Creek, and my own interest in preventing child abuse, I went down a rabbit hole of trying to work out how you can try to help prevent child abuse in Aboriginal communities, while not provoking another stolen generation.

As I read further about sexual assault against children in places like Alice Springs, and the amazing amount of violence against women in the Aboriginal community, (Aboriginal women and children are 45 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than non-Aboriginal women, and eight times more likely to be murdered.) what struck me was the amount of times an offender was let off because it was a “cultural issue”. Countless times, when an Aboriginal man raped a child or beat a woman, he got off by claiming it was his right as an Aboriginal Man to do so.

Judges have been scared to interfere with the community, especially given the terror over black deaths in custody, or to be seen as being unfairly biased against black men.

But what about Aboriginal Women? Why are we saying it’s OK for Aboriginal Men to beat women because it’s “their culture” and we don’t listen to the Aboriginal Women who say it’s not part of the traditional culture, it’s just that their men or drunk or high, and violent?

Are we really telling Aboriginal women that they don’t count when it comes to culture or traditions. That it’s only what the men say it is? Are we really dismissing an entire half of a race?

Can you look at a child who has been gang raped, and tell her that you’re sorry she was beaten, raped, given an STD, but there’s nothing you can do about it because the men who did it told you it was OK because it’s just their way? That you’re not going to move her to a safer place to live, or provide her with any protection because it’s just a part of being an Aboriginal? Or if you do move her, it’s going to be to another community with the same problems, but with different people to abuse her? That she should just get used to it, because he whole life is going to be the same?

Aboriginal culture hasn’t always been violent. Yes, there has been a tradition of arranged marriages, and like any culture, there has always been incest, rape and murder. However, back then, young women in marriages were protected by co-wives and other family members. Before current housing styles, camps were open air, and other people could see violent acts, and step in and protect women and children. Communities self policed.

Now, Aboriginals are policed by white man’s laws, which have traditionally been favourable to the men, and not women or children. Double that down with a white judge who doesn’t know what is truly acceptable in traditional Aboriginal culture, and it’s never going to end well for indigenous women and children.

I honestly have no idea what the answer here is. I don’t know whether Aboriginals should have their own tribal justice system separate to that of the white man, like many Native American communities. I don’t know whether there should be a court system that has judges trained in Aboriginal ways, or whether we need to do more training with the women so they can educate us on their version of Aboriginal culture, that doesn’t give men a free pass to rape and murder. I don’t know how we protect Aboriginal women and children without moving them out of their communities, or how we create equality and education within it. I really don’t know what the answer is, but I think the first step is to have a conversation about it.

However, I’m not sure in the current climate we can even discuss what the appropriate actions should be, since any time the subject is brought up, it creates a war for the SJWs who think being PC is more important than protecting a child from rape, disease and murder. It’s racist to treat people differently because of their colour, but that’s exactly what we’re being when we have a different set of rules on how we police them.

I think the best course of action is to remember that these are people. It shouldn’t matter what color, religion, race or culture someone comes from. If they’re in danger, we need to help them. Being a human should count before being any other designation.

Something has to be done. It’s going to be uncomfortable for a lot of people, and I’m sure many will be offended. But if we don’t go through the hard part of having discussions, and that means discussing ALL options, we can never find a solution. Right now, people aren’t even able to talk about how to deal with it, for fear of backlash. That’s not helping anyone.

If you truly care for the Aboriginal people as much as you say you do in your little speeches, you’ll accept that we all need to stop treating them as a special category, and recognizing that Aboriginal women and children should be protected just like white women and children. (Which isn’t nearly as good as it should be, but it’s still a step above what they’re getting.)

So next time someone brings up a subject you think might not be PC, or is uncomfortable, before you shut it down, ask yourself whether that’s really helpful. Or, ask yourself if your discomfort is more or less than the child being gang raped….

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Pedophilia and Politics

Politics of Pedophilia

Normally when one talks about politics and pedophilia, we think of politicians and the allegations of them engaging in pedophilia. Most recently with a girl accusing Trump of molesting her, and of the multiple trips that the Clintons took to “pedophile island” with Jeffrey Epstein, or of Pizzagate, or of the accounts of Fiona Barnett and the pedophile ring involving many Australian politicians, or the sheer amount of people knighted by the Queen who are later tainted with the accusations of partaking in sex with minors.

There are all kinds of conspiracy theories about people climbing the ranks being brought into a situation that involved sex with kids, in order that later on it can be used against them, there’s also theories that birds of a feather flock together, or that people congregate to places where they have access to kids and won’t be questioned. Either way, that’s not the focus of my rant today.

Instead, I want to talk about how politics is being used on the victims this week.

Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannopoulos is obviously a very polarizing figure. People either love him or hate him, and many do it without ever having actually heard the man speak. As with most things, the media has an opinion on him, and tells the public what to think, and the sheeple go along with it, without ever researching him to discover whether the guy is taking sense, or is as they say, a complete asshole. I don’t really care what you think of him, as long as your opinion is based on having actually listened to the man, and not just what you’ve been told.

Milo is brash, and not PC at all, and he’s clearly a threat to the establishment. People love to hate him. Many of the elite fear him, because while saying things people may not like, he is very articulate, he’s polite, he lets people ask questions, and he can actually respond without yelling or calling people names. Well, he does sometimes call people things, but not the same way that trolls on the internet do.

This week, he’s had video from a late night interview he did over a year ago resurface. In it, he was talking about his first sexual encounter with a priest. He was about 14 at the time, and he said in the video that he wasn’t going to name the priest involved. The left has now trotted out the video to claim that Milo was all for lowering the age of consent, that he is protecting pedophiles, that because he witnesses inappropriate things happen in Hollywood, that perhaps he partakes in these events.

After people were upset that Milo was targeted by the left, and being used as a pawn to get to Trump, the other side has now gone George Takeiafter poster boy for the left, George Takei. George, who is also openly gay, and loves to hate on all things Trump, also has done interviews discussing how he was given a hand job at the age of 14 at summer camp. These are now resurfacing, in a tit for tat game by the people who think that bringing up people’s sexual past is ok when it comes to politics.

What BOTH sides fail to recognise is that underage sexual encounters are much more complex than simply having a sexual encounter, and at some point discussing it on radio/television. People also don’t understand the nature of media interviews, and how things can come out wrong, or people trying to put on a brave face, or even the fact that many victims of childhood sexual abuse may be in denial of the fact that they were molested, and laugh and joke around about their experience as a coping mechanism. A lot of people who have a sexual experience in their early teens don’t understand the adult implications of sexual contact with an adult. There’s a reason there’s an age of consent. Teens are learning about their own sexuality, they’re developing feelings, they’re becoming curious. They may want to explore those feelings, and yes, they may initiate sexual activity with an adult. It’s the adults job however to recognize what is going on, and say NO. A lot of adults don’t, and they take advantage of that sexual naivete, and while some people may be fine with the experience, others may regret it. Some may be confused, but don’t want to acknowledge what happened, or may turn the encounter around in their minds to make it seem like they were in control the whole time. There’s a myriad of coping mechanisms, and more importantly, there’s no right or wrong way. We are all different, and we all cope differently. Which means we all have no right to judge how someone else deals with a situation. People like to proclaim that they’d act a certain way in a given situation, but when tested, act completely differently. We have no right to judge how Milo, or George, or any other victim of childhood sexual predation deals with it. It’s downright disgusting that we’re now using these people to further a political agenda. Milo was forced to resign from Breitbart, and it’s too early to tell if there will be fallout for George.

I don’t want to hear any comments about how either of them won’t name names, because in the US there’s a statute of limitations. Without proof, the victim can end up being the one who goes to jail for defamation or slander. Either one might say something quietly to the police, without announcing it loudly for a lynch mob to dispense vigilante style justice. I also don’t want to hear about how they were joking around about their experiences. Both were discussing them on very long interviews, (Milo’s was a 3 hr interview FFS) and the point of both interviewers is to get stuff out of people that hasn’t been heard before. Laughing is a common thing when you’re nervous. My husband keeps telling me not to giggle when I talk about Robert. I still do it. I try to laugh the whole thing off, because that’s how I handle stress.

At this point I’ve lost respect for both sides of the political spectrum. I expect politicians to play dirty, but I expect the public to play nice. Everyone needs to just sit back, let the people who are paid to do their jobs get along with what they’re doing, and it’s our job to be nice to each other. We need to stop attacking each other, and seeing who can set the bar even lower by attacking each other openly and with such hostility.

Stop the he said, she said bullshit. Stop airing dirty laundry. Stop trying to stop the system. Let the politicians do their thing, and let’s focus on being good human beings. None of us are going to win a prize for tearing each other apart.

 

 

 

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Dealing with Celebrity Sex Offenders

When a celebrity is a sex offender, the victim doesn’t have the option of simply avoiding them.

I turned on the TV this morning, and as I was flicking through channels, Robert’s face popped up.

After leaving Hey Dad..! he mainly did voice over work, but he had a tiny part in a C grade movie called Race The Sun. It was about a group of Hawaiian kids who built a solar car. Anyway, since it’s an American movie that was filmed in Australia, they play it here, and it means that when I am randomly flicking through channels, I am subjected to hearing his voice, and seeing his face. Even though I no longer live in Australia, there’s still the potential of me having to see him, when I least expect it.

Thankfully, I’m pretty good at dealing with it. It’s not really a huge trigger for me anymore. (Well, today was ok) But it got me thinking about all the other people out there who are unable to avoid their perps, and how there’s always debate about celebrity sex offenders, and whether they should be allowed to continue to work.

It’s a tough question. I think it’s a shame for an entire body of work to be wiped from history simply because one person in the production was a terrible human being. Should all the cast from 7th Heaven never receive royalty cheques again because the dad molested a few girls? Should Hey Dad be wiped from TV because of Robert? What about the Cosby Show? Can we no longer listen to Six White Boomers at Xmas because of Rolf Harris? Should we avoid all movies directed by Roman Polanski, Woody Allan, Victor Salva and Bryan Singer?

I think each person has to decide for themselves. I thought 7th Heaven was cheesey, I never watched myself on Hey Dad, and Cosby always gave me the shits. However, millions of other people loved these shows. But, what about the other cast members. Is it their fault that the male stars here thought they were above the law, and didn’t keep their perverted sexual desires in check? Are we punishing an entire production by boycotting a show because of one person? Sometimes I feel like it’s not fair to the other people associated with a show. I think it’s not fair to Simone Buchanan and Ben Oxenbould that they can’t proudly display Hey Dad clips on their resumes because of something that Robert Hughes did. I feel bad for 7th Heaven cast members who rely on that residual income. I feel sorry for The Cosby kids who have to answer questions about Cosby when they’re trying to do interviews about something completely unrelated.

Then, Robert pops up on my TV.

racethesun

My brain goes from trying to be the impartial person, right back to seeing it from the view of anyone who has dealt with a celebrity sex offender. Even when I move overseas, I may still be subjected to seeing that trigger. Anyone who has dealt with a celebrity sex offender could be subjected to their attacker at any point. Even if they avoid their movies, or make a point not to turn on the TV when their show is on, at any point, while flicking through channels, that person could pop up. It might be on E! News, or a TV commercial, or on a random talk show. The only thing the person can do, besides refusing to watch any form of media, is to learn to deal with the trigger. Some people can, and some can’t. Some people need more time, and some don’t have access to the resources that will help them heal from that trauma.

So what’s the answer? I’m not really sure. Maybe there’s a balance. I think that while old stuff, pre-knowledge of sexual offending might be OK to keep showing, for the sake of other actors/crew, and let the public decide if they want to watch, I think that going forward, the offender should be barred from more public work. If you’re a celebrity sex offender, you shouldn’t get to keep putting your name out there. You shouldn’t be able to keep putting your face on TV, or work in movies. You shouldn’t be allowed to be glamorized, and continue to work in the industry. You shouldn’t be rewarded, while your victims have to keep seeing your face, or your name, or hear your voice, over and over, forever and ever.

It’s not just for the victims of these celebrities, but for anyone who was a victim of anyone. Seeing someone convicted of a sex crime be rewarded with work, or strutting down a red carpet sends a horrible message to victims everywhere. While the victim lives with the act forever, and has to learn to heal, the perp is out and about, living a glamorous life, being glorified, and everyone forgiving them. It doesn’t inspire victims to speak up, or try to do anything about their molester. Why bother going through the drama of police investigation, court, etc if the person if just going to go straight back to normal life afterwards? As much as I hate that we all look to Hollywood for life inspiration, we do. If people see that celebrity sex offenders aren’t punished, people will wonder what chance they have of their own perps getting punished, celebrity or not.

Even if I was still working in the industry, I would choose not to work with a sex offender. I would never make a film with Roman Polanski or Woody Allan, or even alleged sex offender Bryan Singer. That’s something that each person still working in the industry has to decide for themselves, but I know where I stand.

What about you? Do you think there’s an answer? How would you deal with it? Let them keep working, boycott all their work? Would you work with a celebrity sex offender on a production? Is art more important? Or are victims the priority? Is there a balance?

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Could Roman Polanski finally face justice?

The Polish Government is looking to overturn extradition hearings for Roman Polanski.

Well, it certainly seems to be the year that Celebrity Sex Offenders are getting hit with the spotlight. I woke up to news this morning that questions are once again being raised about Roman Polanski, and the hope that he might finally have to pay for raping and sodomizing a 13 year old girl back in 1977.

Roman Polanski drugged and raped a young actress/model at Jack Nicholson’s house after inviting her over for a fashion shoot. He gave her alcohol and drugs, and then sexually assaulted her, while she cried and told him no. She told her mother what happened, and Polanksi was arrested. He initially denied it, but then pleaded guilty, in exchange for a plea bargain. After undergoing court ordered psychiatric tests, he fled the US, fearing he would get serious jail time. He went to France, where he was also a citizen.

The US courts sought to extradite Polanski, but France refused to extradite him.

Now, even though he admitted raping a 13 year old child, he continued to make movies, and big stars continued to work with him. Because, we all know by now that Hollywood types don’t give a fuck about kids getting hurt, as long as they get a fabulous role, and keep making money.

Fast forward many years, and people forget that Polanski fled the country to avoid doing time after he admitted raping a child, and everyone is still fawning over him. Because, you know, he’s an artiste, and that’s way more important than the girl getting some form of justice. The poor guy even had to miss the Oscars in 2003 when he won for “The Pianist”. There was a huge pity party for him, and everyone thought it was unfair he couldn’t be there. Hollywood took the side of the rapist once again. Don’t worry about the victim. “It was a long time ago and we should all just move along”

In 2009, Polanski went to a film festival in Switzerland, and was arrested. The US was still trying to extradite him. The extradition request was denied, and Polanski was safe once again. By 2010, the victim, Geimer, asks the court to drop the request, due to health problems surrounding the constant publicity of the case. She was probably sick of hearing people like Whoopi Goldberg declare that it wasn’t “rape, rape” and she should get over it. Everyone had an opinion on it, and I can’t imagine how badly it must have affected her. I only had to deal with listening to a few millions Aussie’s have an opinion on whether Robert did it or not, and whether I should care so many years later. Geimer had the US and Europe discussing her case, for decades. I think at some point you’d go bat shit crazy and ask to have it dropped too.

Fast forward, and after a couple more extradition attempts, and Hollywood still praising Polanski, and today, someone in Poland, who probably has a conscience, has decided to look at overturning the denial of the extradition order.

What gets me is that it’s not 38 years since he committed the act of raping and sodomising a young girl. As lenient as courts are to famous people, and the fact he took a plea deal, he wouldn’t have gotten a slap on the wrist. He would have served a very minimal amount of time, been released, and allowed to carry on with his life. He’d be back out directing, and nobody would give a shit. (Just look at other Hollywood people who get jailed for child sex offences, like the Director of Jeepers Creepers, who is out and working with kids again) However, by constantly avoiding doing the right thing, he’s now spent 38 years on the run. 38 years of fleeing, and having to work overseas. Not being able to go to certain countries or face arrest and possible extradition.

Now, if he does get extradited, he won’t just face the original time for rape, he’ll also get done for fleeing and avoiding justice.

Hopefully, this time the extradition sticks. Maybe he’ll finally face prison time, and be not rape raped in prison….

I’m sure when he gets out, everyone will rally around him and help him get back to work as quickly as possible. Because, Hollywood.

 

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Cincinnati Zoo – What went wrong?

harambeDid Harambe have to die?

Unless you’ve been living in isolation the last week, you probably couldn’t have missed the news about Harambe, the Gorilla who was fatally shot by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo, after a young kid ended up in his enclosure.

It seems like there’s only two sides. Either you think the mother was a worthless bitch, who wasn’t able to watch her kid, and that the Gorilla was killed needlessly. The other side seems to think “accidents happen” and kids are squirmy, and it’s the zoo’s fault for not having enclosures that could have prevented a kid from getting in.

Many people are also questioning why they used fatal force on Harambe, instead of a tranquilizer dart. The whole incident has also brought up a lot of debate about Zoo’s, with people claiming they’re cruel, and animals shouldn’t be imprisoned their whole life in cages.

PBZooToday is Memorial Day in the US, and Matt and I went to the Zoo. We went to the Palm Beach Zoo, which had it’s own death last month. This time though, it was a human who was killed, and the animal lived. A zookeeper was in the cage with a Malaysian Tiger, and something went wrong. They used a tranquilizer dart on the tiger, and the female zookeeper, Stacey Konwiser, was still alive when she was transported via helicopter to the hospital, but didn’t survive. They said she died of neck injuries. They haven’t identified publicly which tiger did the attack, and her husband, who is also a tiger keeper at the same zoo, has backed the decision to not name the tiger. They said Stacey wouldn’t want the tiger to be unfairly targeted. The zoo did state they it was zookeeper error that led to her death. The tiger lives on, but a human died. Many people questioned why they used a tranquilizer, and didn’t immediately shoot to kill. The zoo had to defend the decision to NOT kill the tiger.

Back to Cincinnati. It’s reported by observers that they heard the kid in question repeatedly state that he wanted to get inside the exhibit, and the mother told him he couldn’t. Apparently he really wanted in, because he then went under a rail, through wires and over a moat wall to get into the enclosure, according to the zoo. So it’s not like he just “fell in”, as some outlets are trying to say. I’m guessing this wasn’t a 3 second escapade, so at some point here, the mother is negligent. He stated his intentions, she dismissed it, but then didn’t keep the kid in check, and he managed to get inside the enclosure.

Now, many people are claiming that he shouldn’t have been able to get in. But going under a rail, through wires, and over a moat wall doesn’t sound like they’ve made it super easy. But here’s the way I understand it. Years ago, animals were kept in crappy little cell like cages, and it was like they were prisoners. Zoos have come a long way, and are doing their best to create beautiful environments, that seem like a natural habitat, and less like a prison. The enclosures are designed to keep animals in, not to keep humans out. Because, humans are supposed to be smarter than animals. Humans are supposed to enjoy observing the animals, and understand that although inside a zoo, that they are still wild animals at heart, and you’re not supposed to try to climb into their enclosure with them. Unless you’re suicidal, like the guy in Chile, who got two Lion’s killed, when he tried to commit death by big cat. The only deaths were that of a male and female Lion. The obviously mentally disturbed man was rescued.

So this kid, who was three or four years old, depending on the media outlet, got away from his parent who knew he wanted in. He gets through a fence, wires, moat wall, and then splashes into the actual moat surrounding the enclosure. At this point, Harambe goes to see who is intruding in his space. He seems to drag the kid around through the water a few times, and of course, people are worried the kid may drown. When the kid screams, Harambe helps the kid stand up. There’s all kinds of screaming and commotion coming from above, and you can hear the mother say “Mommy loves you” and I’m sure at this point Harambe is pretty freaked out. He moves the kid to another part of the moat, away from the commotion.

At some point, the zoo keepers move the female gorillas out of the enclosure, but Harambe doesn’t want to leave his new toy. People are freaking out, and the zoo keepers have to make a decision. Do they risk the kid being killed, or do they sacrifice Harambe? They can’t use a tranquilizer, because Harambe has the kid between his legs, and tranquilizers take several minutes to go into effect. While they do, you’ve got a startled 400 lb Gorilla holding on to a small child. He could freak out and snap the kid in two, or he could pass out peacefully, onto the kid, and kill him anyway. So they decide to save the human child. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision, but they didn’t really have time to mull it over. They sacrificed their gorilla to save a human.

The kid is pulled from the enclosure, and taken to the hospital, where he was found to have a concussion and some scrapes. No cuts, breaks or serious injuries. The mother then makes a post on FaceBook:

michelle gregg statement

So the mother says, Oops, accidents happen, but it’s ok, ’cause God protected him. At which point I lose all patience with her. Any sympathy I had, understanding that kids can be slippery little shits goes right out the window. Why didn’t her chosen deity not stop the kid from “falling” into the gorilla enclosure to start with, and how come he gets the praise the kid lived, and not the staff who had to make the decision to put down a member of their zoo? Maybe instead of thinking your invisible friend will watch over your kids, you need to start taking charge of that duty yourself. Remember, God helps those that helps themselves. – Meaning, protect your own damn kids.

So, the kid is fine. The mother thinks it’s not a big deal. No “sorry about your dead Gorilla”, or anything like that. Just a thanks to the imaginary guy in the sky.

So, whether the mother was negligent or not, the zoo pretty much did what they had to do. The kid, being a kid, doesn’t know better. (Although at that age, I’m pretty sure I knew better.) The Zoo loses a beloved animal, and now all the lawyers are rubbing their hands together, wondering who is going to sue who first. Should the mother be made to compensate the zoo, since she was negligent in keeping a handle on her kid, or is the Zoo at fault for letting the kid get in? So far, the zoo has managed to go 38 years without anyone else “falling in” to the enclosure, so I’m on the zoo’s side with this one.

fencesign

So now we come to the question about whether zoos are necessary? Is it really a prison sentence for an animal to be in a zoo? Should animals be in the zoo, or should they be out in the wild?

There’s a few ways to look at this.  I kind of feel that growing up on television, I feel a sense of understanding. Growing up on TV is like growing up in a zoo. It’s loud, crazy, people are always watching you, and you’re confined to certain spaces.

Most zoos these days don’t hunt wild animals and transport them to the zoo to be imprisoned and put on display for the rest of their lives. Harambe for example was born in captivity, at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX. He was transferred to Cincinnati where it was hoped he would breed. Some animals are only not completely extinct because of zoos. The breeding programs, and protected environment, is the only thing keeping their species alive. Having been bred in captivity, these animals don’t know anything outside the zoo, and it could be argued that they don’t know what they’re missing.  Just like kids raised on reality TV, it’s the only thing they know, and they are relatively happy – just like Honey Boo Boo.

Other animals, like many of the ones we saw today at the Palm Beach Zoo were injured animals that were rescued, but could not be re-released into the wild, because they wouldn’t survive. Mardi, the white alligator lives at the zoo because he couldn’t live on his own.

mardi
bayou

Many of the birds were also kept there as exhibits because they wouldn’t make it if they were set free. hurt birds sign palm beach zoo owl

The monkeys were all on their own little islands, and many of them were species that were on the endangered lists. They are happily swinging from tree to tree, surrounded by lush vegetation, with a small river surrounding them. They are given food and shelter, and excellent veterinary care. Yes, some of them could be living in the wild, but if you’re living in a rainforest, where you’re being poached for your fur, or to be some rich persons pet, or having your home cut down for timber, are you really any better off?

Then there’s the people who argue that zoos don’t need to exist because you can learn about animals from books or the internet. Well, yes, you can read about an animal, or you can watch a documentary on TV, or see pictures on the internet. But it’s really not the same as seeing an animal in person. Not everyone has the funds/time/energy/ability to go to the remote places that some of these animals live in the wild. Yeah, it’d be amazing to go to China and see a panda bear in its natural habitat, or go to Costa Rica and see macaws and monkeys in the wild. I’d love to be on “I’m A Celebrity, Get me out of Here” and live with baboons in South Africa, but it’s not going to happen. For the majority of people, the only way they will ever see a real exotic animal is in a zoo. Which isn’t a bad thing. Some kids, especially inner city kids think that steak comes from the supermarket. They don’t connect meat coming from a cow. So what hope do they have of understanding elephants being poached for their tusks? Many conservationists started their love, and eventual protection of animals, with a visit to the zoo. They see a real life animal, and it touches something inside them. They hear the animal, watch it, feel a connection to it. That inspires people to care about animals in the wild. It helps some people make better decisions, whether they be as small as making sure to cut up their 6 pack rings so turtles don’t get stuck in them, to some CEO deciding not to harvest a rainforest because they know that a monkey is living there – a monkey they fell in love with at the zoo when they were a kid.

So while we all like to make a snap decision and tweet our anger when something tragic like this event happens, we need to understand that we weren’t there. We didn’t have to make a snap decision like the zoo management did. We didn’t have a plethora of kids with us like the mum did. We can’t shut down all zoos because of one incident. We can mourn the loss of Harambe. We can learn from the mistakes of the mother, and keep kids on leashes, or get a nanny or babysitter, or stay home from the zoo if you can’t control your kids. If you’re at the zoo and see some kid scaling a fence, reach out and stop them. You’re allowed to stop other people from making bad decisions. What if one of those people filming the whole thing had put down their camera and stopped the kid from getting into the exhibit to start with? We can donate to our local zoo, so they can create even better enclosures, and facilitate breeding programs that keep endangered animals alive. Direct your anger into something useful, not just generating internet memes that don’t solve anything. Oh, and if you insist on sending hate mail to Michelle Gregg, make sure you’ve got the right one. Some other poor woman with the same name is getting all kinds of threats. Most of all though, if you see stupid happening, stop it, before it ends up like this.

A monkey enclosure at the Palm Beach zoo. Just a small fence, and shallow moat. It's expected that stupid people won't try to enter the habitat.
A monkey enclosure at the Palm Beach zoo. Just a small fence, and shallow moat. It’s nice and open for the animals, and it’s expected that stupid people won’t try to enter the habitat.
Old school enclosure at the Palm Beach Zoo. The Koalas are kept in a small exhibit, behind glass. People can't get in, but it's not much fun for them.
Old school enclosure at the Palm Beach Zoo. The Koalas are kept in a small exhibit, behind glass. People can’t get in, but it’s not much fun for the animals.
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Mark Salling indicted on kiddie porn charges

Mark-Salling-Glee

Mark Salling, an actor best known as Noah “Puck” Puckerman from “Glee” has been indicted on Child Pornography charges.

Salling was the subject of a Los Angeles Police Department investigation in December of 2015. He was arrested on state charges in connection with possessing child pornography. He was released on $20,000 bail. He had thousands of images and videos depicting child pornography. The 33-year-old was named in a two-count indictment, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. He is expected to surrender and be arraigned on the charges on June 3, 2016.

It’s been a busy week covering Hollywood abuse. Last week, Elijah Wood discussed that Hollywood had a major pedophilia problem, and once again Corey Feldman was asked about his experiences, and how he and Corey Haim were both molested by Hollywood moguls. Only a week before, Woody Allen was again being questioned by Ronan and the press over the allegations he molested his daughter Dylan and his now wife Soon Yi. Bill Cosby is also finally seeing the inside of a courtroom after more than 40 women spoke of being drugged and raped by him.

What surprises me is that every time the news covers Hollywood sexual perversions, it’s written about like it’s the first time that anyone has said anything about it. I don’t know how many times people need to speak up before it’s understood that Hollywood does indeed have a problem with sexual predators. Pedophiles are everywhere, there’s no reason Hollywood would be immune. In fact, Hollywood is the dream location of many sexual deviants. It’s a hot bed of beautiful young people who are easily manipulated while trying to fulfill a dream. Producers, Directors, casting agents, etc are all in high power positions to groom and take advantage of young actors and models who are naive and hungry.

Maybe with so many cases in the press these last two weeks, people will finally understand that the entertainment industry isn’t just immune from sexual assault, but is actually a breeding ground for it. Hopefully people don’t act surprised when a celebrity is accused of sexual indecency. Maybe people will actually start to listen to victims when they come forward, instead of just dismissing them as being money grubbers, looking for fame and fortune.

While I think it’s sad that all these cases are coming up, because it means there’s so many victims, I’m also thrilled that we’re seeing so many cases, because it means that people are finally feeling like they’re able to speak up. Abusers use silence. They cultivate it, and demand it from their victims. It’s how they get away with it, and how they get more victims. If we all start speaking up, they can no longer hide. We need to tell kids that it’s OK to speak up, and maybe these pedo’s will think twice before they abuse someone, knowing they might not get away with it.

Pedophilia in Hollywood is a problem. Pretending it doesn’t happen isn’t going to make it go away. Victim blaming isn’t going to help either. We need to start empowering kids. We can also help by letting Hollywood know we won’t support Hollywood pedophiles, by choosing not to watch movies or films that these predators make. If enough of us stand up and say No! they might have to finally listen. If you really want to help, we can try to change laws by getting rid of the statute of limitations. Then if people find their voice, even if it is 10-20 years later, their abusers can still be held accountable, instead of silencing their victims once again with threats of suing for slander or defamation of character.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.

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Elijah Wood says Hollywood has a child sex problem

elijah-woodYesterday, someone posted a link to my FB page with an article about Elijah Wood. A couple hours later, I got a text message from another friend, linking to an Elijah Wood article. I then saw a radio station with an idiotic link to the same article, with a “I can’t believe it!” caption. Which made me wonder, Why can’t you believe it? What I can’t believe, is how many people recently have spoken up about predators in the entertainment industry, and each time, the public acts as if it’s the first time they’ve heard it. Maybe because I’m so vocal about it, and I was successful in sending one of those predators to prison, maybe that’s why when I woke up this morning I had another half dozen people alerting me about Elijah Wood speaking up. I think it’s great that someone else, someone still working, someone who people might actually listen to is speaking up. People like Barbara Walters won’t be able to belittle Elijah like she did to Corey Feldman when he spoke up about being passed around, implying that Corey was a druggie and shouldn’t be believed, before declaring that he was “destroying an entire industry”. Unfortunately, most of the people who have spoken up so far have been the ones who have been damaged by the industry they’re talking about, and the elites simply run a smear campaign, and it goes away very quickly. But even if one of those elite is found to be guilty, like Jeepers Creepers director Victor Salva, they do a miniscule amount of time, and then go right back to working in the industry, embraced by their fellow predators in the industry, and given a green light to work with kids again.

I can’t believe people are shocked every time this subject comes up. I’m amazed at how quickly people forget about the last dozen people who have spoken up and said the exact same thing. I don’t understand how people can possible think that Hollywood is exempt from this kind of thing, when it’s so prevalent in regular society. Why would Hollywood be missing out? People accept the casting couch with pretty young girls is common, why is old men preying on young boys unbelievable?

I hope that now that Elijah Wood has spoken up, people finally start listening. Maybe other high profile actors will also start speaking up, and finally, people will start believing those that have been affected. Maybe we can finally start changing laws, and making the industry a safer place for children to work. Everyone at A Minor Consideration knows there’s a huge problem in the industry, and are trying their best to not only change laws, but provide help to those kids that were directly impacted by it.

If you haven’t seen the movie An Open Secret, it’s available on YouTube. Read Corey Feldman’s biography, Coreography, do a google search on hollywood convicted sex offenders, or read about my own story, which took place in Australia, not LaLa Land. Abuse of power is truly universal…

Most importantly, stop acting shocked everytime someone speaks up about abuse by powerful people. When you act shocked, and think it can’t be true, someone who you know in real life may think twice about speaking up about their own abuse. If you don’t believe someone like Corey Feldman, why would you believe them?

 

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Faux Intellectualism

Also known as the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Actress Blake Lively, left, director Woody Allen and actress Kristen Stewart arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the film Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Actress Blake Lively, left, director Woody Allen and actress Kristen Stewart arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the film Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

With all the media hype this week surrounding Woody Allen, what with his movie opening the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and his (maybe) son, Ronan Farrow writing another thought piece about how entertainment types like to continue to praise Allen and ignore the allegations of abuse, or the fact that he married a child who was raised as his own daughter, I wondered why people choose to overlook his indiscretions.

For the most part, people seem to ignore Allen’s creeper factor because, like Polanski, who raped a child and people kept working with, it’s because he’s an “artiste”. I’ve never liked Allen’s movies, and I stopped bothering to watch them a long time ago. Maybe it’s because after coming home from a year in Honduras and seeing Allen’s movie “Bananas” and thinking the guy had no clue, I was jaded by his later offerings. Most of his stuff has the same premise, much like his real life. Old guy, young girl, pseudo intellectualism, yadda, yadda, yadda. I’ve asked other people, and they tell me it’s supposed to be intelligent humor, and if you don’t get it, it’s cause you’re not smart. However, I think most of his stuff is simply seen as intellectual, and so people pretend they like it and understand it, because they don’t want to be seen as not getting it. It’s the whole emperor’s new clothes thing. Nobody wants to point out that it’s stupid, for fear of being the one pointed as being stupid. I guess actors work with Allen because of the same reason. There’s some kind of street cred in having been in an Allen movie. Then again, Hollywood is a place where everyone only uses mac’s because everyone else uses Mac’s, and they don’t want to be seen using something different, incase people think they’re inferior. Same reason they all tout the same political beliefs, or even use the same stylists. They’re all desperate to fit in, and don’t want to rock the boat.

I don’t care how much people like to pretend he’s a creative genius. The fact is, a child said he molested her. He used his influence and popularity, as well as wealth to afford a team of legal and publicity people to smear the child and the mother. He then went on to take nude photos of another child that was raised as his own, (yes, I know she’s not biologically his child, or that Farrow and Allen lived together, but he still raised her like his own) and then he married her. His latest interview about how he has given her opportunities she didn’t have in Korea is especially uncomfortable, because he really does speak about Soon Yi the way a father would about a child, not like a man talks about his wife. “She had a very, very difficult upbringing in Korea: She was an orphan on the streets, living out of trash cans and starving as a 6-year-old. And she was picked up and put in an orphanage. And so I’ve been able to really make her life better. I provided her with enormous opportunities, and she has sparked to them. She’s educated herself and has tons of friends and children and got a college degree and went to graduate school, and she has traveled all over with me now. She’s very sophisticated and has been to all the great capitals of Europe. She has just become a different person. So the contributions I’ve made to her life have given me more pleasure than all my films.” Another interview points out he didn’t intend to marry her, he was just cheating on Farrow with her, and then it developed into an actual thing. “I started the relationship with [wife Soon-Yi Previn] and I thought it would just be a fling,” Allen tells Sam Fragoso about Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, whom the filmmaker started dating while still in a relationship with Farrow.” Ugh.

Whether you like Allen’s films or not, or think he’s an exceptional artist or not, it shouldn’t stop people from asking the hard questions. Being a director doesn’t mean you can get away with things a plumber couldn’t. If you wouldn’t refrain from questioning the local brickie who was accused of kiddly fiddling, you shouldn’t stand idly by while a Hollywood person is accused of the same thing. Being famous isn’t an automatic hall pass to incestuous relationships, police interviews, or even jail.

I applaud Ronan Farrow for once again speaking up. I say fuck you to all the anonymous internet trolls who rear their twitter egg heads whenever someone speaks up against abuse and types the same boring lines. “They’re after money, or fame”. “Why did they wait so long” etc.

Watch Allen’s movies if you like, but don’t try to justify his actions simply because he can make a movie. Separate the man from the job. Don’t say that the press trail isn’t the place to ask questions. It may be the only place he has to answer them. Don’t be a part of the cycle of silence. Don’t point the finger in outrage at the guy who opened the show in Cannes with a rape joke. He didn’t rape anyone, he just pointed out that certain Americans directors did. (and continued to work)

I’m not saying you have to hang and quarter Allen, or judge him as guilty, but I am asking you to at least consider the possibility that he did was Dylan said he did. Have a little sympathy/empathy, whatever, and don’t just sweep the allegations aside because you like his shitty movies.

 

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Old Threads

Today I was googling around, seeing if there was any new reviews on my book, Allegedly, and I found an interesting forum thread, that was started way back when the allegations first came up in Woman’s Day and A Current Affair.

Back in the day, these kinds of forums really tore me up. So many people discussing my life, which I accept is part of going public. There were so many judgements, name calling, and in the case of this thread, people getting pretty stroppy with one another. Back then, being in the center of it, I mainly noticed the negative comments. Today, six years later, I can read these, and see all the positive ones. I can even laugh at the douchebag who said that I was an actress, and therefor, anything I say or do must be a lie. I guess one of the main things I’ve learnt over the last few years is that a person’s opinion shows more about them than it does about me.

Sometimes when I come across these old threads, I wonder if the people who wrote them ever look back on the things they wrote back then? Do they look back and wonder what they were thinking at the time? Do the ones who stood up for me feel glad that it did go to court, and justice was served? I hope they feel proud they stood up for someone else. I also wonder if the ones who think that anyone who speaks up publicly are only after money and fame have since experienced something in their life that could teach them some empathy, or if they are still the sad, closed minded people they were back then?

Either way, I’m glad I am at the point that I can see these things, and it no longer upsets me. As shitty as the whole process was, I’m glad I did it. I’m even more happy that I was given the opportunity to write Allegedly, and share MY story. The one that wasn’t told in the media. Even better, I love all the messages I have received since, from people who have read it. Before writing it, I knew that many of us had shared journeys. So many of us had experienced the same things, but because of the silence surrounding abuse, we didn’t share it, and we didn’t know how similar we all are. I have so many people telling me that they experienced similar things, similar journeys, whether it be a parent that ignored them and the abuse, or the feelings of loneliness, or the doubts of others. We are all so much more similar than we ever thought, and that is comforting. We aren’t alone. We have others who can understand us, who know what we’ve been through, and who we can talk to.

I hope one day you’ll be able to look back at things that were painful, and no longer feel that sadness. That you know that others are here for you. That I am here for you. That time really does heal all wounds.

Most of all, whatever you’re going through, ignore the douchebags who say shit about you. You know the truth, and in time, they will too.

Try not to take things personally What people say about you is a reflection of them, not you

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Can someone give me a reason to NOT have a sex offender registry?

It’s a few years now since Derryn Hinch came to the US, trying to get support for an Australian version of Megan’s Law. Unbelievably, it’s still not a thing in Australia. Western Australia has a form of a publicly accessible list, and while it’s a start, I still don’t think it’s as good as the ones I have available here in the US.

At the time Derryn came to the US, I was in Texas. Texas has a phenomenal Sex Offender registry. You can search by name, address, or see the most wanted sex offenders. When we had an exchange student, we were able to look at the map, and see names, photos and addresses for sex offenders on her route to school. We didn’t alarm her, we just told her there was a couple places she should avoid. There was no vigilantism, there was no picketing, there wasn’t burning bottles thrown at people’s houses. It’s just a tool, like any other, that lets you stay informed, and keep your kids safe.

We’ve moved to Florida, and they are way more pro-active here. They put up signs out the front of people’s houses in some counties. There are hundreds of pretty licence plates for cars here, with everything from the space shuttle to manatees on them, but if you’re a registered sex offender, you have one choice. Lime green. Makes it pretty easy to spot a sex offender cruising past a school… Their driver’s licence also identifies them. Schools here make visitors sign in with ID. This clearly identifies an unwanted.

I want someone to give me a valid reason Australia doesn’t have a sex offender registry. A real reason. Not some bullshit excuse about vigilantes. There’s 300 million people here, and everyone has access to the sex offender registry, and there is NO hunting of pedophiles. There’s no burnings at the stake. There’s no vigilantism. I call bullshit on that excuse.

The other excuse I constantly hear is about how some poor 18 year caught sexting with his 16 year old girlfriend ends up on the sex offender registry, and has to pay for life for their one indiscretion, and you know, “kids are kids”. I’m going to call BS on this one too. Every single sex offender tries to play this card. They were all some poor teenager caught with their girlfriend. Nobody ever admits they raped a kid. Matt’s mom had a kid who moved in next door to them, who was on the sex offender registry. In Texas, they’re legally obliged to tell the neighbours they’ve moved in. They tried to pull the whole “it was a misunderstanding with his girlfriend’s parents” crap, but a quick look at the sex offender registry, which actually tells you what the person did, let us know he raped a 12 year old.

Here’s the other thing about the US registries. They actually list what the offence was. They don’t name the victim, or go into explicit detail, but you can see whether someone really did get caught with their close to consensual girlfriend, or if they violently raped a child, or a man, or a woman. If you really did get popped for sexting, wouldn’t you want people to be able to see that, instead of just being a general sex offender?

Seriously, there is no reason to object to a sex offender registry. It’s a tool for keeping everyone safe, not just kids. Australia needs to step up and start protecting the innocent, not the offenders. People should be allowed to make decisions on how to keep themselves and their families safe, and you can’t do that without information.

Here’s the interview with Derryn from a few years ago. It’s all still relevant now.

 

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