Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm Not Saying What He Did Was Right...

But I understand...
TEMECULA, Calif. -- An angry father is accused of using a stun gun on a 23 year old man who sent his 17 year old daughter an explicit cell phone picture.

William Atwood Sr., 45, was charged Wednesday with multiple felonies in connection with the case.

Authorities say Atwood lured Justin Moore to his home, ordered him to strip down to his boxer shorts, and tied him up and tased him with a stun gun before turning him over to a sheriff's deputy.

Moore told authorities he sent a photo of his genitals to several friends, including Atwood's daughter, as a joke.

Atwood apparently didn't think the joke was funny when his daughter told him about the picture in January.

LINK for the rest of the story.


Palm boy said...

I like it.

my name is Amanda said...

I also understand the instinct, as far as one's child is concerned (though not being a parent myself, I can only imagine what this would feel like). There is that uncomfortable sense of a father treating his daughter's sexuality like property, though. I'm not saying it's the case, but it fits the cliche. If anyone disagrees, consider for a moment how the story would sound if the genitals-photo was sent to a son rather than a daughter. Would a father be tasering over it, and would it make sense to you? ("You" as in any person reading the story.)

Brian said...'s a story about two dicks.

Bike Bubba said...

Ironically, since the age of consent in California is 18, the father arguably could have done far worse to the perpetrator (who was 23 of course) simply by taking his daughter's cell phone to the police and asking them to file charges.

Yes, dads should protect their daughters, yes with force if necessary, but ya gotta think of the best way to do it.

kr said...

Mebbe not the Dad, but I bet the Mom would consider it.

But then she'd do something much less easy to catch, like find a way to destroy the woman's business reputation so the woman couldn't work in the same city anymore.

Just sayin'.

kr said...

It's actually not about property, it's about reasonable protection for an offspring who will be taken advantage of by someone older enough to injure them, permanently, in a very delicate and deep-seated way.

Some offspring might be ready to face this sort of thing at 16 or 17. Others might not. One hopes the parent(s) in question has some sort of reality-check on that.

And, as a further clarification, I'm guessing I'd be a lot more likely to mother-bear on some shit female who abused my son's heart than one who sent him an explicit picture.

At some point my kids will be set free as their own people with only my fondness but not my mother-bear following them ... for a variety of reasons I am *very* aware of how necessary that is. Society recognizes this in the old tradition of the father "giving away" the daughter at marriage--yes I know there is a lot of feminist growl to be had in that tradition--but there is no equivalent mother-gives-away-son tradition, and indeed in many cultures there seems to be an assumption that this should *not* happen, yuck. Anyhow, until that time, I will be defending my children, whether that means giving them the tools they are old enough to use themselves or something more direct.

(I would tend to be more direct and open than the career destruction thing, for the record.)

J. Peterson said...

You make a good point Amanda. The man went way too far, but that is just how I see it. If she would have been a year, or more younger than she is, then I would understand more, but I could still not agree with this reaction to it. We can not take the law into our own hands.

Gino said...

i'm sharing a blend of all of your views.
yes, fathers should protect daughters.
it is different with sons. boys just are not the same, sexuality wise, as girls. girls need the protection, while boys need to be taught restraint and respect.

and yes, the dad went too far. but i've got jury duty coming up, and this is in my area.
if i get this jury, the dude goes free... because i understand.

Gino said...

J Petersen: welcome, and feel free to comment again anytime. i like diversity.

Night Writer said...

Amanda, I'd view it not a matter of property or chattel, but of respect. For example, I view my daughters as being worthy of respect (strangely enough, they view themselves the same way) and I will therefore insist that others do the same if they wish to interact with them.

Sure, my daughters are capable of requiring this respect from others themselves, but it's nice to know that Dad has their backs, especially in those crucial teen-age years when others will try to foster a young woman's self-doubts or manipulate her sense of "nice". I don't know that I'd be so elaborate as to hatch a plan to entrap and tase a young fellow (though it may be worthwhile for him to think it is a possibility), but I would let him know directly that his behavior was over the line and I might not be delicate about it.

For our family, however, the men/boys who have come around have always been given clear signals right up front that I'm a man who cares and pays attention. In a way, this helps them focus their attention on what they need to do. Just because I set boundaries, however, doesn't mean it's a property line. But it does serve notice to a boy that he can't walk in and assume that, or treat, our daughters as his property.

Brian said...

It's one thing to sympathize with the is another thing entirely to excuse violent behavior.

17-year-olds are not children. (I understand that in the eyes of the law, they are minors, but that's not what I'm talking about here.) They are certainly immature, poor judges of consequences (especially long-term-ones). They generally aren't really ready to start signing contracts, having children, and doing generally adult things just yet. But it isn't like a switch gets thrown on their 18th're never completely "ready" for all of that before the fact. You just figure out how to deal with these things as they come up.

This bunker mentality some people have about their kids is insane. Understandable, sure--you love your kids and you don't want anything bad to happen to them--but it's still nuts. If you try to protect them from everything until you can't, they are starting from that much more naive a place when they have to start dealing with life themselves. I see this all the time among the 18-22 year-olds I deal with on a fairly regular can always spot the sheltered ones, because they are completely unprepared for life. In other words, exactly what you'd expect when you don't let anything bad happen to someone, ever.

Look, feel free to ignore me here because I don't have kids...but from where I'm sitting (that is, dealing with recently minted adults) it looks like an awful lot of parents are more concerned about giving their kids a good childhood than they are about preparing them for adulthood.

And yeah, swooping in to defend your daughter's honor over the sight of penis on a cell phone screen is more than a little patriarchal. Especially considering that, given her age, the odds are better than even that it isn't the first penis she's ever seen.

Gino said...

brian takes all the fun out of neatherthalic parenting.

Bike Bubba said...

I hope I don't disappoint you too much by agreeing with you on a point, Brian, but the point of many parents doing a better job of giving a "good childhood" than of preparing them for adulthood is well taken--this daddy of five is always amazed when he hears kids (and their parents) noting that they've never done something as basic as clearing a table.

My wife and I took care of our nephews for a week a few years back, and one complaint we got (in an appropriately whiny voice) was "you make us set the table, and then you make us clear it." To which his tender, loving uncle said "yeah, and when you grow up, you'll be cooking the meal and cleaning that up, too."

my name is Amanda said...

Yes, perhaps "property" wasn't the right word. It was close to what I was thinking, though, I couldn't think of another way to say it. Brian sums it well when he writes:

"And yeah, swooping in to defend your daughter's honor over the sight of penis on a cell phone screen is more than a little patriarchal."

Night Writer and kr make great points, too, about parenting and respect. And yes, I agree that boys need to understand restraint and respect. Though I object to the idea of doing this while on the other hand guarding a daughter's "honor" (when it means her virginity). (I'm not singling out any specific commenter here with that example, though.) I think young women need education, sense, support - and they need to be trusted to learn and grow for themselves without shame. Like we do with boys.

Good discussion, Gino. :)

Brian said...

Bubba--I'll try to contain my disappointment ;)

(And seriously, thank you for not handicapping your kids by making their lives too easy.)

Upon further reflection, the story as presented leaves out a detail important to the discussion: how did the daughter feel about having the really short version of Free Willy sent to her phone? The article indicates that she told her father about it, but not why. Did she feel assaulted? Did she think it was funny? Did she tell her dad because she wanted him to do something about it, or just because she was relating the events of the day?

If my daughter showed me something like that, and was clearly upset by it, I'd certainly feel justified having a discussion with the young man in question about it. It wouldn't involve physically assaulting him, but it might involve showing him the picture in front of his parents, or (since he's an adult in this case) his employer.

Gino said...

ha, i just realized, i was about one block away from where this happened the other nite. this dude lives down the street from a friend of mine.

Night Writer said...

Here's another point: while my focus is on my daughters, the young men who come into their sphere also benefit because I do take the time to let them know what is expected of them and why (I'm much more about whys and wherefores than do's and don'ts), and I don't do it while stereotypically sharpening a bowie knife or cleaning my pistol. It's important for them not only to see there is a standard but that there are also people willing to live up to it. If they learn how to act around my daughters, perhaps they'll carry that over when around someone else's as well. (I mean, WHO gave that sorry kid the idea that sending a photo of your penis was cool?).

At the heart of it, it's the same reason why I hosted regular, boys-only, movie nights for three years and developed an "Are You Marriageable?" class for older boys, even though I have no sons of my own.