Felony Swatting And Junior High

Police With Too Little To Do

I'm gonna break something. It's going to happen. Anything could trigger it. A neutered hamster of a high-school principal is going to complain about the violence inherent in freeze-tag. Or some baffled ditz-bunny in a university will whinny about how Frosty the Snowman symbolizes white patriarchal phallocentric linearity. I'm going to pop, and suffer an access of superhuman strength, and pick up a backhoe, and smack'em into gruel.

And then put on waders and dance in it.

And whoop.

"Espanola, NM -- (Reuters) "A 14-year-old boy could be charged with a felony for slapping a girl's buttocks, officials said." Yeah, the kid did it. Whereupon an assistant principal called the police.

When I was a kid, the obvious thing would have been to take Bobby aside and say, "Listen, kid, we don't do that. Quit it. Got that?" Whereupon, unless Bobby was a budding nutcase, the matter would have been closed.

But no. It's "criminal sexual contact." A felony.

The story did not say how the trauma affected the girl. Presumably she is an a psychiatric intensive-care unit, with an IV Thorazine drip, and teams of therapists working around the clock to save what shards remain of her former being. In fact, I'd guess she's in a coma. Maybe worse: She was thwacked on the butt. She'll probably need a respirator for life.

"We have a strict sexual-harassment policy," said Assistant Principal Ruben Lucero. "Any time a person's body is violated, we consider that major."

Savor the somber salacious absurdity. Her body. . . was . . . violated. Yes. It was the moral equivalent of being gang-raped by the Golden Horde. It was just like medical experiments in the dungeons of the Third Reich. Violated. On the playgrounds of America.

The horror.

It seems that Espanola has a police department -- barely, I'd estimate. Its chief, Wayne Salazar says, "The suspect is alleging that this was just a battery, that this was not a sexual issue. But why the buttocks? Why not the arm, why not someplace else? It's the target area that concerns us."

I've always wanted a police department concerned with little girls' bottoms. But, my god, the grim officiousness of these pompous minor Stalins. The suspect? I know real cops, undercover guys, actual men who carry guns and go into bad places. Do you know what they would think of a cop investigating felony fanny-smacking in middle school? ("Hey, a Swat Team . . . .") They'd send him a catalog from Victoria's Secret.

Do you suppose Chief Salazar doesn't have enough to do?

A serious question: What will this prurient hysteria -- that's what it is -- teach Bobby and Sally Sue? These are kids creeping up on puberty. They are going to horse around the fringes of sexuality, like all kids who ever lived. If they don't, something is wrong with them.

The prissy confused in Espanola are teaching Sally that sexual attention from boys is sick, reprehensible, and a cause for calling the police. Gee, that'll make for happiness later in adulthood. And, dead serious, they may put the boy in juvie for two years, destroying his life forever. They're teaching Bobby that females are dangerous, that a man should never trust them.

Think I'm kidding? Reuters: "Salazar said the forensic psychologists would complete their assessment within the next two weeks, after which police would know how to proceed."

I suggest they proceed to grow up, and stop acting like everyone's maiden aunt.

And how is Sally Sue going to feel if in fact the gender rabbitry of Espanola do put Bobby behind bars? She's thirteen, and she's being used by adults to forward weird sexual agendas she doesn't understand. And I don't either.

Europeans laugh at the latent Puritanism in the American soul. That's exactly what this is. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Don't touch me! That's nathsty. Note the curious revulsion at the thought that a boy of 14 might have a sexual interest in girls. How . . . unnatural. It's like, well, dirty.

Huh? What fourteen-year-old doesn't have a budding sexual interest in girls? And if not, why not? What's he supposed to have a sexual interest in? Goats? Endangered condors? Realistically, his options are limited. Girls are sort of what we have, unless we are girls, and then we have boys. And you don't suppose -- oh, the gnawing shame -- that adolescent girls might occasionally find their minds turning to thoughts of the carnal? Like, oh, about every ten seconds?

Oh, no-ooo-oo.

For that matter, do you know how many second dates a boy gets if he's not at least interested? Start with not any, and count downwards.

What is so wonderfully funny here is the irony. In the Sixties, feminists pushed the Pill, and hollered about how women should be able to cat around like guys. Now they could. Oddly, the sexual revolutionaries figured the Pill constituted a triumph over men. The notion that you can triumph over men by making sex more readily available is, uh, lacking in insight.

But now -- this is seriously strange -- the revolutionaries have reversed their field. Today's comic-opera feminism seems to consist largely of a squeaking horror of sex. They now push exactly the patriarchal attitudes of the 1890s: Women are helpless victims, pitiable, weak-minded, cringing, unable to handle a pass on the playground.

Funny, I've never met such a woman.

Ain't it grand? If a man says a bad word at the office, or glances at her legs, a woman should swoon, deftly dialing a lawyer before hitting the carpet, and maybe get the vapors. Is this not Victorian England all over?

Meanwhile, Chief Salazar has his hands full. Any day now, some deranged crypto-rapist of a boy, doubtless with dead bodies buried in droves beneath his house, is going to snap a girl's bra strap. The thought is ghastly, but . . . we live in dangerous times. The chief is nothing if not alert, though. He will doubtless have the National Guard on the way in seconds. But is this enough? Sufficient protection against, eeeeeeeewwww! ordinary life? Actually, I figure girls ought to come to school sealed in Kevlar barrels, on wheels, with air from scuba tanks, and special headphones that filter out dirty words.