2 replies on “Post-mortum on the case of the nanny who took off her clothes for her 4 year old charge”

  1. There are a lot of angles on this and I don’t want to touch several of them, but it does seem that the parents of the kid are being overprotective after the fact. If the article is accurate that the kid had a history of grabbing women’s breasts and this was never addressed, that seems like bad parenting. Next the parents tell the child that he did not do anything wrong in this situation, and hey, I’m all for making sure kids come out of these incidents unscathed and aren’t scarred for life, but it seems like he was doing things wrong. There is a difference between a little kid doing something wrong and an adult caretaker doing something wrong, a big difference, but that does not mean he is completely without blame. If the attitude of the parents is that the kid is always blameless, that seems like it could lead to consequences later in life.

    Then again, he’s five, so there is a lot of development time left.

    Finally, it is vaguely ironic that the child’s mother is a gynocologist and yet is having such a strong reaction to a child seeing a naked body. Now again, it is all about context, and we don’t quite know what led up to the “events” and where his fingers went, but everyone seems to agree that there was no real “abuse” or “molestation” coming from the side of the babysitter. One would think a little boy seeing a naked woman is not going to be scarred for life. I mean, its not like little boys haven’t seen (and played with) breasts before, at least as long as they weren’t formula babies…

    So I guess what I’m wondering is, how much of this is justified and how much of it comes back to Americans’ strange sexual taboos?

  2. I kinda feel a bit bad for the babysitter. It seems like she was really depressed and not completely cognisant of her actions. I think it’s really interesting to see how people’s attitudes (memories perhaps) alter with time. The father noted that, after the ordeal “We were worried about the fact that she might have to go to prison.” Of course, later on, it becomes the idea that she should have received the maximum sentence. I wonder how much, if at all, they have distorted their memories to make her more of a villian now?

    In terms of the parenting stuff, parents now seem to want nothing to be blamed on their children – a far cry from previous generations where the motto was “what’d ya do now!”

    This could be expanded into a great discussion of the construction of childhood (which wasn’t always seen as a distinct portion of life where they had to be protected from things that adults could handle) to general sexual ethics – heck, at one point they say that she would have gotten a harsher sentense if she were a man; that at least has to bring up the prospect that hetero-molestation is more acceptable to us than homo-molestation.

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