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When Every Boy Is Guilty, Every Girl Becomes a Monster

I have a problem when I get angry. The problem is that I’ve long ago learned – particularly in dealing with traditional publishers – to get depressed instead of letting myself go berserk. Mostly because when you’re dealing with publishers they’re not near enough to vent your berserker on, so you just end up hurting yourself. (Whoever said stress is the feeling you get when you can’t strangle someone who righteously deserves it was right on the money.)

Lately, I’ve been getting deeply, profoundly depressed, which is why I’ve been so silent. (Yes, post three on how to write short stories is on the way.)

So many things are winding up, it’s not even worth listing them all. The most proximal one, though, is the accusation against Kavanaugh, which, even if true, would not be in any way actionable or, barring this behavior persisting into adulthood, mean anything about his character as a grown-up. High school has always been a weird and psychologically unstable part of anyone's growing up years, partly because we’re all learning the ropes of what “adult” means, and partly because we’re isolated with other kids, also all learning the ropes. (It’s not the best system, no.)

But this nonsense with the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — which, by the way, not only doesn’t rise to “credible,” but is barely past the level of “inane ramblings of crazy woman on the corner”  —  is being given credibility and the Senate is bending over backward to give that crazy woman the chance to ramble at them. Any way she wants to.

Which is a symptom of deeper corruption.

This morning I woke up to an article in my inbox about a student at a middle school in Colorado Springs who was arrested and suspended for “sexual harassment" with allegations about as credible as the ones brought against Kavanaugh. And I want to throw up and hit people.

Let me tell you about my experience with Colorado Springs area public schools while raising two boys:

In Manitou Springs, in first grade, my older son started writing poems to girls. Yes, I realize this is a weird thing, but he comes by it naturally. Both his paternal grandfather and his paternal uncle have written entire books of poems to various girls and women, starting at about that age, and his mother wrote three hundred and some sonnets (between the ages of 14 and 18) to a guy who never knew she existed.

What none of us ever got was the reaction my older son got. I got a phone call saying he was sexually harassing a girl. Since at 6 he didn’t know how to spell “harassment” and would be uncertain on the meaning of “sexual” (both boys were far less curious than I was at their ages) I begged leave to differ, marched down to the school like the wrath of mom and demanded proof. At which point I was given a very bad, rather innocent poem. I mean the boy didn’t even say he wanted to kiss her. Just that she was pretty and her eyes were like stars. I pointed this out. I was sarcastic. It was resolved that it would be forgotten if he just kept his poems to himself (which, honestly, every poet should be encouraged to do, since the collapse of society starts with open mic poetry nights).