When we ask “why”, we need to look at all possible answers

When we ask “why”, we need to look at all possible answers

The nation was once again shocked this week by a school shooting, this time in Bailey, Colorado. Six girls were taken hostage by a 52-year-old man, specifically selected from among their peers. Four were let go during the standoff, one was killed during the police entry, and some may have been sexually assaulted. And since the gunman had no obvious connection to the school or the girls, police are left wondering about motive.

I may not know the motive, but I can guess what may be behind some of it. I get lots of spam email. My email address has been the same for 10 years and has been posted online for most of that time. That means that spam harvesters have put my address on every spam mailing list out there, including some truly vile ones. Take a gander through my spam folder (or don’t!) and a theme emerges: the sexual brutalization of teenage girls. What is this fascination, not just with these girls, but with sexual violence toward them?

Certainly, it’s obvious that our society has gone a long way toward turning even the youngest girls into sex objects. Mona Charen, in her latest syndicated column, talks about parents and teachers allowing pre-teen girls to prance about in suggestive clothing, not just in how they’re cut, but with the slogans written on them. As she says: “Great. Let’s hear it for women’s liberation. Our 13-year-olds are free to look and act like sluts.” What purpose could there be for shorts or pants with words written on the bottoms if not to get people to look at your daughter’s behind? Are these parents sleep-walking through life?

Creating a predator-friendly environment

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • I read the third paragraph first, which really ticked me off.  Fortunately I took a step back before replying.  That paragraph can be read as really, really inflammatory, not too many steps below Howard Stern’s suggestion that the Columbine killers should have raped their victims before murdering them.

    There’s certainly no evidence those girls in Bailey were anything other than innocents, and it’s downright disrespectful to lump them in with the pornoculture.  Mountain towns aren’t as subverted by typical urban/suburban corruptions, so largely inner-city teen mothers and indolent Myspace.com users are a poor analogy.

    Yet your larger point holds.  The murderer brought in sex toys for his heinous acts.  I have little doubt he was a regular porn user, perhaps an addict.  This man was willing to see sluts everywhere, and willing to force virgins into slutty behavior for his benefit before killing himself.  He blinded himself with porn and took his despairing, unrepressed lusts to their fatal conclusion.  But remember:  the only one using sex as a weapon in Bailey was the murderer.

  • Well, if you take parts of what I say out of context, I can’t be responsible if you miss the point.

    I’m not holding the girls responsible for what happened to them. Only the killer was responsible. But I hold all adults responsible for the environment we’ve created.

  • I touched a little bit on this topic here.I am the mother of a sixteen-year-old daughter. I have worked since the time she was a toddler to keep her femininity and sexuality in proper perspective. I know that one summer I made all of her clothes because it was too hard to find little shorts outfits that didn’t make her into an elementary school harlot. I have a suggested resource for mothers of girls in their teens and tweens. And I do admit that I have a connection to this publication. However, True Girl magazine is aimed at Catholic girls ages 12-19. It is full of modest fashions, fun, and faith. It is a great resource for girls trying to navigate and enjoy their teens within the context of Catholic values.

  • Folks, let’s not get too explicit here. I just had to delete a couple of comments that were a little too graphic. Make your points without any specific references. Already the allusions to particular sexual acts in the comments that I haven’t deleted are on the line. Don’t go over it.

    Move on.

  • “Kevin, I don’t see how you get that Dom is lumping them in with the pornoculture.  Nor is he blaiming these specific girls for this tragedy or claiming they weren’t innocent.”

    The better analogy would have been some televangelist blaming New Orleans or NYC for Katrina or 9/11.  Perhaps it makes sense in the larger picture, but poor Emily Keyes wasn’t even buried yet at the time this was posted.  Even the minor griefs of a local like me dozens of miles from the crime blur one’s vision.

    “But your idea that mountain towns are more innocent that others doesn’t stand up either.  the myspace users and the trendy clothes that draw attention to body parts exist in even mountain towns.”

    I wasn’t claiming the mountain towns were entirely innocent, only less affected by the various corruptions listed here.  TV and internet access is more limited, as are trendy clothes shops and incomes with which to support such habits.  Small mountain town vices are still intense, but not as absorbed in the national dynamic of decadence as other regions.

  • t from my understanding of sex within marriage is that the Church’s teachings is very unrestrictive in foreplay.

    We’re not going to get into a discussion of the specifics here, but there are indeed restrictions.

  • A surprising number of men are obsessed with young girls. I remember one day going to a news stand to get a magazine and being shocked at how many magazines there are in the “barely legal” genre. These mags have baby faced models who are all 18 or older but are dressed and posed in girlish situations and clothes. While I stood shocked I saw an old man walke up to the section. He bought about six or seven of the magazines. This man was wearing a suit and looked like anybody’s dear sweet grandpa.

    Now, about the clothes. The whole industry of having sexually provocative things written across a girl’s chest or backside just feeds the barely legal obsession. I saw a girl of about twelve with the word Juicy on her behind. What on earth were her parents thinking?