Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Grieving Father Crucified by the Media

Does anyone else think that it is unusual that now, whenever children disappear, the media immediately either condemns the father or sees the need to announce to us all that he is released of suspicion? This is despite the fact that most cases that hit the media result in the man's name being cleared.

Steve Groene is a simple man distraught over the disappearance of his children. He is a divorced man who, wanting to spend more time with his children, got into an argument with his ex-wife because he wanted them to stay with him an extra night or two.

No one questions the role the ex-wife played in the argument, even though police say she was using drugs. Without the argument, as the father, Wolfinger would be immediately suspect because of the myth that father’s are somehow homicidal maniacs that are just waiting for an opportunity or excuse to harm their children. Add the argument with the ex-wife – the media would never criticize a woman for wanted to spend more time with her children and arguing to that effect, but jump on the father – and Wolfinger is crucified in the media.

This is the result of the pervasive anti-male, anti-father attitude that has crept up in our culture over the past two decades. Somehow, the scholarly research that demonstrates clearly that fathers are less likely to abuse their children than mothers is lost in the hysteria.

It harks back to John Mason, of run-away bride fame, who said that, "Statistically, I'm guilty." No, John Mason, statistically you are not guilty. Statistically, men and fathers work hard to provide for their families and are willing to lay their life on the line to protect them.

Meanwhile, a poor and suffering innocent man grieving and panicking over the disappearance of his children also must deal with a media and public that has been trained to reflexively point the finger at him.

No wonder so few men in King County want to take the risk of marriage and family.


Anonymous 12gagemoses said...

I must admit I questioned his role in this tragedy, proving your statement about how we've been "trained" to look to the father/husband first as THE suspect. There are lies, there are damn lies and then there are statistics, unfortunately the authorities only look at the statistic when a family member has been killed, the number of times they were able to pin a guilty conviction on the sorry bastard. The stat no one else cares about is what you are referring to, the number of dads/husbands that are solid pillars of their families and communities. No, that doesn't sell advertising. We'll just have to wait and see how this one plays out. I pray to God he didn't do it, otherwise it will be just another convenient tally to add to their stats, and another hurdle for the rest of us to negotiate future cases.

5/25/2005 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Iguana said...

I don't think you have to pray that he didn't do it. I think that you need to pray that the police don't get lazy and just make a case against him because they know they can get away with it.

5/25/2005 07:04:00 PM  

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