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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Sexism and is it worth getting upset over? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Sexism and is it worth getting upset over?
Scott R
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quote:
Why does it matter?
It's possible that the county's policies regarding underage minors restrict community service to single gendered groups, supervised by same-gendered authorities in order to minimize the possibility of sexual assaults. If the resources are lacking for one gender, then they may not offer that option to that gender.

That's about the only reasoning I can come up with that makes sense.

quote:
It's unethical for a judge to consider gender as a factor in a traffic appeal.

I agree that community service of some type should be available for both genders, if it's offered to one. I don't know whether it should be removed for the one it IS available for, though; as a general principle, I don't like the idea of removing someone's advantages because another person doesn't have access to them. (Didn't Vonnegut write a story about this...?)

quote:
Governments have a responsibility to treat all their citizens equally.
Sure.
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Swampjedi
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Did you even read the first part of that quote.
I found Belle's husband's response, as described in her OP, sexist because IT IS SEXIST TO THINK GENDER DISCRIMINATION IS NOT WORTH GETTING UPSET ABOUT. The rest is a side issue. GOT THAT NOW??

Your definition of the issue isn't the same as mine, obviously. For that reason, plus the wall of caps in your reply, let's just drop it.
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Swampjedi
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Originally posted by Swampjedi:

quote:
The main reason I'm angry with my husband is he thinks there is no reason to be upset about it because we cannot change it. He says getting emotional over things we cannot change is pointless.

There's nothing sexist about this. It's not an opinion that I agree with (and I think it is insensitive), but it isn't sexist.

As far as I can tell, Belle has not called her husband sexist. [/QB]
No no, I was quoting Belle as part of my disagreement with Rabbit. I agree with your assessment, FWIW.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
It's possible that the county's policies regarding underage minors restrict community service to single gendered groups, supervised by same-gendered authorities in order to minimize the possibility of sexual assaults. If the resources are lacking for one gender, then they may not offer that option to that gender.
I would find that highly unethical. The state has an obligation to provide equal opportunities to all its citizens. It is not acceptable to deny opportunities to girls that are given to boys based on lack of resources. If the resources must be rationed, they should be rationed based on merit not gender. Why do you consider it acceptable for the government to ration resources based on gender?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Swampjedi:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Did you even read the first part of that quote.
I found Belle's husband's response, as described in her OP, sexist because IT IS SEXIST TO THINK GENDER DISCRIMINATION IS NOT WORTH GETTING UPSET ABOUT. The rest is a side issue. GOT THAT NOW??

Your definition of the issue isn't the same as mine, obviously. For that reason, plus the wall of caps in your reply, let's just drop it.
Swampjedi, I'll drop it when you apologize for putting nasty words in my mouth that I did not in any way say. I'll drop it when you apologize for stripping my quote in order to ignore my main point.

If it is simply a question of definitions, you could have responded by saying that you do not believe it was necessarily sexist to think gender discrimination wasn't worth getting upset about. You didn't. You ignored that and cut to the point that I said wasn't the issue.

My wall of caps was because you not only ignored it when I said it the first time, you stipped it off rather dramatically changing the meaning of my second sentence. It really pisses me off when some one takes one of my points out of context in order to grossly misrepresent what I've said. Its dishonest and insulting.

I'll drop it, when you indicate that you have made the slighest attempt to understand my point.

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Scott R
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quote:
Why do you consider it acceptable for the government to ration resources based on gender?
Hey, don't put words in my mouth. This is what I said:

quote:
I agree that community service of some type should be available for both genders, if it's offered to one. I don't know whether it should be removed for the one it IS available for, though; as a general principle, I don't like the idea of removing someone's advantages because another person doesn't have access to them.
"GENERAL PRINCIPLE"

quote:
If the resources must be rationed, they should be rationed based on merit not gender.
Do you mean generally, or in the specific case affecting Belle and her family?
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Swampjedi
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I will retract the way I phrased my statement. I shouldn't have used quote marks, or the pig statement. I did not intend for anyone to take that as something you said, or for you to think I was putting words in your mouth.

You don't get to define what the issue was for me.

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Scott R
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quote:
That's about the only reasoning I can come up with that makes sense.
Here, "makes sense" does not mean, "reasoning I agree with." It simply means that it's a policy I could understand a bureaucracy implementing in order to safeguard themselves and the minors in their charge.

I'm on the fence, in this specific instance, about whether the opportunity should be taken away from boys; I think I'm tending toward 'yes it should be,' because of the ability for community service to allow their records to be expunged, and the apparent inability for girls to have the same opportunity.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Swampjedi:
I will retract the way I phrased my statement. I shouldn't have used quote marks, or the pig statement. I did not intend for anyone to take that as something you said, or for you to think I was putting words in your mouth.

You don't get to define what the issue was for me.

No, but you objected to me saying his response was sexist so it isn't about how you define it. There is also the question of why "I" thought is was sexist and it is grossly unfair of you to apply your definition to my statement. And when you asked why I thought it was sexist, it was down right rude of you to ignore my response and replace it with your own.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
"GENERAL PRINCIPLE"

quote:
If the resources must be rationed, they should be rationed based on merit not gender.
Do you mean generally, or in the specific case affecting Belle and her family?
If by "General Principle" you mean something that has lots of exception, then no I don't think of it as a "General Principle", I'd call it a "moral imperative."

I think its unfair to represent this as a case "taking something away from the boys". If it is actually a question of the country not having enough resources for two programs, it's an issue of whether public resources should be used in ways that are discriminatory.

If the country could only afford one juvenille detention facility and it was deemed inappropriate to house boys and girls in the same facility, would it be acceptable to let girls who had committed serious crimes do community service while boys went to jail. Would it be acceptable to expunge the crimes from their records because their wasn't enough money to put them in jail?

I also think its a bit disingenuous of communities to claim they don't have enough resources to fund programs for both genders. In America, when we think its important we find the resources. And if there truly is a resources shortage, programs are rarely binary in nature. Resources can generally be split between girls and boys programs, giving both less support rather than eliminating one or the other.

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mr_porteiro_head
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In our county, first-time youth traffic offenders can get out of it with an essay and community service.

The logic is that if it's just a fine and increased insurance rates, it's the parents who are mostly being punished, not the kids.

The essay and community service option are seen as a punishment for the kids to help deter them from repeat offenses.

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Belle
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I don't understand why the only definition of community service is picking up trash outside. Where yeah, if the only cops who can supervise that are male, then perhaps it does make sense not to have girls as part of those crews.

But the City has many female employees who I'm sure could use some extra help. Let girls work in our library - they can shelve books, clean and dust shelves, vacuum, scrape gum off the tables, etc. Let them clean restrooms in the courthouse. There are lots of "unpleasant" jobs that they can do that will benefit our community and have them give something of value back to the community in exchange for having their records expunged.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
. Where yeah, if the only cops who can supervise that are male, then perhaps it does make sense not to have girls as part of those crews.
Wouldn't most communities even have female cops who could supervise girl crews? Its hard to imagine that there are no women on the police force who are qualified for the duty.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
But the City has many female employees who I'm sure could use some extra help. Let girls work in our library - they can shelve books, clean and dust shelves, vacuum, scrape gum off the tables, etc
I would imagine that in many of those scenarios, managing the surly teens that don't want to be there would take considerably more effort than just doing the job yourself. Not that there's not value in that -- we make that sort of bargain with our kids all the time, letting them "help" us cook, work in the garden, etc.. But I can see why a local government wouldn't want to bother with community service that they get less out of than they put in to it.

For mandatory community service with high turnover, you want something that a) requires no or little skill, b) keeps everybody together so that they can all be supervised at once, and c) does not involved expensive equipment that they might damage and d) does not involve dangerous equipment.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Wouldn't most communities even have female cops who could supervise girl crews?
Ours doesn't. I don't think we have a single female police officer either in the city police department or with the sheriff department.

[ April 08, 2011, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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Another thought -- there's quite a bit of liability involved with working with youth.

In order to work with the Boy Scouts, I have to take periodic "youth protection" training and jump through some other hoops. I don't have any personal knowledge, but it would not surprise me if there's a lot more involved in being qualified to work with youth in the government.

So, it might be possible for the city or county to have female employees and still not have anybody that can supervise teen girls.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Wouldn't most communities even have female cops who could supervise girl crews?
Ours doesn't. I don't think we have a single female police officer either in the city police department or in the sheriff police department.
What do they do when a woman is arrested and needs to be searched?
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King of Men
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I would like to hear why the judge said that. Perhaps there's some reason for the rule that actually makes sense; or perhaps Belle simply misunderstood what was said. Observe that we are not getting the judge's words, we are getting Belle's report of her husband's report of the judge's words. There's room for error in that chain. But if the report is accurate, then yes, I think there's grounds for being upset.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Another thought -- there's quite a bit of liability involved with working with youth.

In order to work with the Boy Scouts, I have to take periodic "youth protection" training and jump through some other hoops. I don't have any personal knowledge, but it would not surprise me if there's a lot more involved in being qualified to work with youth in the government.

So, it might be possible for the city or county to have female employees and still not have anybody that can supervise teen girls.

I still don't think this is relevant. If the government has to pay for someone to supervise people doing community service, it doesn't matter whether it transfers existing employees to the job or highers new people. The expense is the same.

If there are X dollars available for programs that allow offenders to expunge their records, the choice is never between
  • Spend X dollars on male programs.
  • Spend X dollars on female programs or
  • burn the money

There are always many other options that would not be discriminatory and wouldn't amount to "if everyone can't have it, nobody can".

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Wouldn't most communities even have female cops who could supervise girl crews?
Ours doesn't. I don't think we have a single female police officer either in the city police department or in the sheriff police department.
What do they do when a woman is arrested and needs to be searched?
I don't know.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I still don't think this is relevant. If the government has to pay for someone to supervise people doing community service, it doesn't matter whether it transfers existing employees to the job or highers new people. The expense is the same.
Belle said "But the City has many female employees who I'm sure could use some extra help". I was showing that the existence of female employees does not necessarily mean that the city has anybody that can supervise teen girls for community service.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
It's possible that the county's policies regarding underage minors restrict community service to single gendered groups.
quote:
it would not surprise me if there's a lot more involved in being qualified to work with youth in the government.
quote:
I would imagine that in many of those scenarios, managing the surly teens that don't want to be there would take considerably more effort than just doing the job yourself.
There seem's to be a presumption that Belle's daughter is a minor. Belle said she is 18. She's legally an adult, so none of this actually applies. She would be treated in court as an adult, not a juvenile.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Ah. Yes, I was presuming that. Good catch.

I will note, however, that that doesn't change the third quote of yours. Surly 18-year-olds who don't want to be there aren't all that much different from surly 16-year-olds who don't want to be there.

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The Rabbit
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In my experience, 60 year olds who don't want to be there can be as surly as 16 year olds.
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mr_porteiro_head
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*nod*
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advice for robots
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I think the community service should be supervising a bunch of surly teens in some cleanup project. If I had to do that, I'd never speed again. [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
I still don't think this is relevant. If the government has to pay for someone to supervise people doing community service, it doesn't matter whether it transfers existing employees to the job or highers new people. The expense is the same.
Belle said "But the City has many female employees who I'm sure could use some extra help". I was showing that the existence of female employees does not necessarily mean that the city has anybody that can supervise teen girls for community service.
Resources must be expended to supervise people doing community service. It doesn't matter whether we are talking existing human resources or human resources we have to hire new -- it's still a question of public resources and whether public resources should be spent to offer a benefit to males that is not available for females, when the alternative is always available to spend those resources on a program that will be available to both genders.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
I don't understand why the only definition of community service is picking up trash outside. Where yeah, if the only cops who can supervise that are male, then perhaps it does make sense not to have girls as part of those crews.

Actually, that doesn't make sense at all. Adults should be able to supervise other adults of any gender picking up trash on the side of the road, where there are lots of cars driving past. While your daughter and the other men in this program would be there because they violated a law, these people are probably not violent, attempting to escape, or requiring whipping or pat downs to pick up the trash. I would assume that the workers are issued proper gear in the form of gloves and sticks. I would also assume that civilians doing community service for legal reasons are NEVER mixed with inmates doing the same. And if only gender is preventing the supervisor from taking his charges from the side of the road into the woods and doing unspeakable things, we've got a major problem with our law enforcement officers.
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advice for robots
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Could there be any liability issues involved?

I could see the judge just being plain sexist, but I can also see there being some good reason why girls aren't allowed to do this community service. The judge does need to be more forthcoming if this is the case.

However, if there is a good reason not to send girls to community service, there should be an equivalent way for them to work off the ticket so it doesn't go on their record.

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Tresopax
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quote:
The main reason I'm angry with my husband is he thinks there is no reason to be upset about it because we cannot change it. He says getting emotional over things we cannot change is pointless.

My feeling is things don't generally change until someone IS emotionally upset about it. That's the first step.

Imagine you are trying to buy a car at an auction. Also imagine that it is an "all pay" auction, meaning that you have to pay whatever bid you make, whether or not you actually have the highest bid and win the car. So if you bid $1,000 and someone else bids $1,500, then you still pay $1,000 but get no car. In such a situation in only makes sense to make a bid if you are willing to bid enough to actually win. Making a smaller losing bid would only cost you money and get you nothing in return.

Your situation is similar. It only makes sense to get mad if you are willing to commit enough effort/expense to actually change things. Otherwise getting mad only hurts you and nothing gets changed. If you aren't willing to go all the way, getting mad won't help.

It sounds like your husband doesn't think the cost of changing things is worth it. It's definitely not worth it if you are just considering your daughter, because paying a fine is not really a big deal... it's less costly than the expense of fighting this judge. On the other hand, if it's about a moral principle instead of your daughter, then I'd have to leave it to you to determine how much you are willing to give up for the moral gain.

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Geraine
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I suppose it depends on what type of community service the court system deems appropriate, though that shouldn't matter either.

My wife worked for a non-profit organization that fed homeless kids attending public schools. Every Friday the kid would receive a backback full of food that they would bring back empty on Monday. They always needed help from people to pack the bags on Thursday afternoons, and there were plenty of people that would come help out to get community service hours in.

It may differ in your city/county/state though. I would try to find out the reasoning behind why your daughter was unable to get community service. If there is really no good reason, I'd hire a lawyer.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Selran:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
I will write letters to people if I think it will get something done but I don't know who to write it to.

You should get in touch with the local ACLU organization.
I don't know how you feel about the ACLU Belle, but this is actually a really good suggestion. This is the kind of issue they are very good at handling.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Resources must be expended to supervise people doing community service. It doesn't matter whether we are talking existing human resources or human resources we have to hire new -- it's still a question of public resources and whether public resources should be spent to offer a benefit to males that is not available for females, when the alternative is always available to spend those resources on a program that will be available to both genders.
Belle indicated that they already have the necessary resources. I am pointing out that this may not be true.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Your situation is similar. It only makes sense to get mad if you are willing to commit enough effort/expense to actually change things. Otherwise getting mad only hurts you and nothing gets changed. If you aren't willing to go all the way, getting mad won't help.
Perhaps I'm far less disciplined that the average person, but I'm unable to only feel angry when it makes sense. I am able to control my actions, even when I'm outraged and I am able with time to temper my anger when it is unproductive. But I can't not feel simply because not feeling would be more reasonable. I don't want to feel.

I respond to injustice with a feeling of outrage. I think its a moral failing not to have strong feelings about injustice. Those feelings, not cold reasoning, are what motivate people to fight injustice.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Resources must be expended to supervise people doing community service. It doesn't matter whether we are talking existing human resources or human resources we have to hire new -- it's still a question of public resources and whether public resources should be spent to offer a benefit to males that is not available for females, when the alternative is always available to spend those resources on a program that will be available to both genders.
Belle indicated that they already have the necessary resources. I am pointing out that this may not be true.
I guess its possible, it just seems extremely highly unlikely to me. Community service has become a common sentencing option for both adults and teenagers. In most cases, the only supervision that's necessary is some one to verify that you actually came and worked. I think its more than a little stretch to imagine that in Belle's community there are no possible community service options that would be appropriate for an 18 year old girl.

If its really true that Belle's community offers men the option of a community service sentence but that option is never offered to women, then the problem is much bigger and far worse than if this is only an issue with this judge for 1st time speeding tickets.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
... And if only gender is preventing the supervisor from taking his charges from the side of the road into the woods and doing unspeakable things, we've got a major problem with our law enforcement officers.

This. If young women aren't safe with police officers then there is a big problem. Unfortunately, sometimes there is such a problem, but "we just won't have them supervise girls" is not addressing it.
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mr_porteiro_head
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I don't think it's safe to assume that law enforcement officers are the ones supervising the community service. It could very well be volunteers, for all we know.
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kmbboots
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That is a problem as well.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I don't think it's safe to assume that law enforcement officers are the ones supervising the community service. It could very well be volunteers, for all we know.

Why does that make a difference and why does it justify excluding girls from community service? Boys and young men get molested too.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Boots said that if young women aren't safe with police officers there's a big problem.

She's right -- we need to be able to have a high level of trust in our law enforcement officers.

It's not nearly as big a deal if we don't trust some random person who volunteers their time.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Why does that make a difference and why does it justify excluding girls from community service? Boys and young men get molested too.

There's a probability issue here though. If it is true as on wiki that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male, then it kinda makes sense to wait until female volunteers are available to supervise females (assuming that female-female rape is uncommon).
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I respond to injustice with a feeling of outrage. I think its a moral failing not to have strong feelings about injustice. Those feelings, not cold reasoning, are what motivate people to fight injustice.

I can see that it would be a moral failing to not have strong feelings about *any* injustice, but I don't know if its a moral failing to not have strong feelings about every injustice.

Even if we're talking about gender issues, maybe someone has already spent their outrage quota on female circumcision or gender ratios at birth in India/China.

I'm not saying that the current situation is ok, and if someone is motivated to change it, then all power to them. I'm just not convinced its a moral failing for a specific person to not have strong feelings about this.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Why does that make a difference and why does it justify excluding girls from community service? Boys and young men get molested too.

There's a probability issue here though. If it is true as on wiki that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male, then it kinda makes sense to wait until female volunteers are available to supervise females (assuming that female-female rape is uncommon).
You also have to factor the probability that someone will be raped by a supervisor. We do not in general in our society forbid women from working under the supervision of men, I do not see why an exception should be made for community service.
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Mucus
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Most supervisors aren't volunteers that volunteer to supervise youth though. I think that category warrants special scrutiny and/or care.

(And I was responding in the line of thought that mph had where we don't necessary trust the random person)

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Boots said that if young women aren't safe with police officers there's a big problem.

She's right -- we need to be able to have a high level of trust in our law enforcement officers.

It's not nearly as big a deal if we don't trust some random person who volunteers their time.

I'm still trying to figure out why it makes a difference within the context we are discussing. If government is assigning people to supervise those sentenced to community service who can't be trusted not to assault their charges, it seems like a big problem whether or not those persons are police officers.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Most supervisors aren't volunteers that volunteer to supervise youth though. I think that category warrants special scrutiny and/or care.

(And I was responding in the line of thought that mph had where we don't necessary trust the random person)

Once again, we aren't talking about youth. Belle's daughter is 18, she is not a minor.

Second, given the large number of scandals recently in which teenage boys have been sexually assaulted by their leaders (including priests, scout masters and even female school teachers), I think its kind of hard to pretend that sexual assault of minors is only a problem for girls.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Once again, we aren't talking about youth. Belle's daughter is 18, she is not a minor.

quote:
The United Nations, for statistical purposes, defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/qanda.htm
Let's not quibble about definitions, you know what I mean.

quote:
Second, given the large number of scandals recently in which teenage boys have been sexually assaulted by their leaders (including priests, scout masters and even female school teachers), I think its kind of hard to pretend that sexual assault of minors is only a problem for girls.
To be honest, if the volunteers for picking up trash were priests and scout masters, I'd be similarly reluctant.

But teachers aren't really statistically more likely to assault children than anyone else and I'd think that the percentage of female teachers sexually assaulting female students is fairly small.

More to the point, none of what you said speaks to the relative numbers of assaults against males and females. It may very well be the case, that assault against boys is a serious issue. But that doesn't mean that there isn't more assault directed against girls.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Most supervisors aren't volunteers that volunteer to supervise youth though. I think that category warrants special scrutiny and/or care.

(And I was responding in the line of thought that mph had where we don't necessary trust the random person)

I'm curious about the statistics on this. Do you suppose its more common for teenage girls to be assaulted by an adult leader of a girls group than it is for teenage boys to be assaulted by an adult leader of a boys group.

I would speculate that sexual assaults by leaders are less common in girls clubs, since the adult leaders of girls groups are usually women, and sexual assaults by women are far less common than sexual assaults by men (though not unheard of), but that's just speculation.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/qanda.htm
Let's not quibble about definitions, you know what I mean.

We aren't talking UN definitions here, we are talking about US law, which treats people as adults after the age of 18. If Belle's community has regulations that would keep minor girls from doing community service under male supervision, they would not be relevant since Belle's daughter is not legally a minor. The implication is that in Belle's community, the community service option is not available to adult women.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I'm curious about the statistics on this. Do you suppose its more common for teenage girls to be assaulted by an adult leader of a girls group than it is for teenage boys to be assaulted by an adult leader of a boys group.

If I had to speculate, totally off-the-cuff, I'll go out on a limb and guess the order of riskiest to least risky would be:

1. (Male)Priest supervising male youth
2. Male volunteer supervising female youth
3. Male volunteer supervising male youth
4. Female volunteer supervising male youth
5. Female volunteer supervising female youth

I'd not wedded to those guesses, but under those kinds of assumptions I can understand why one might want to wait for a female supervisor for female youth. (Or in other words, to draw a line as to what is acceptable risk between 2 and 3 rather than 1 and 2)

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