Try as I might, I haven't been able to concentrate on writing stories, reading stories and growing plants this week. (I mean, I've done it: the new book is underway, the adrenaline-soaked Save Me by Lisa Scottoline got read and my nasturtiums, sweetcorn, courgettes and okra have all germinated) but the newspapers and radio broadcasts have been full of sex scandals.
First, the ex-governor of my new state apparently had an affair which produced a child. He kept it secret from his wife until his stint was done, then he told her so she dumped him and at last the story broke. Pretty shabby behaviour. A scandal. But not one of the three that got to me.
Elsewhere, a businessman allegedly attacked a chambermaid in a hotel suite, attempted to rape her, leaving her injured, and checked out in a hurry to rush off to the airport after she got away. She reported it, he was arrested, and now he faces trial. This isn't a sex scandal. This is an (alleged) violent crime. The scandal is the deluge of articles calling it a sex scandal and calling him a charmer/seducer/womanizer who, this time, went too far.
Over the years, some priests in the Catholic church have attacked children, attempting to and succeeding in raping them, leaving them injured, and then running away. Sometimes the children reported it. Eventually some of the priests were arrested. There have been trials. These were terrible crimes. This week a five year study by Catholic bishops in the USA concluded that poor preparation and poor monitoring, stress, and the social and sexual turmoil of the 60s and 70s led to the abuse. This conclusion is a moronic, pitiful scandal.
Every day, men sexually abuse children, both boys and girls. They attack them. They rape them. They injure them and then they run away. Crime after crime after crime. This week, a British MP stated that if girls were taught abstinence there would be less sexual abuse. That any sentient human could say such a thing is a stinking, shameful scandal.
Which brings me to the crime series, at last. What I loved most about the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson was the escape into a cosy fantasy world where I'd love to live. Others have called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels dark and disturbing. I don't see it.
In Larsson's world, all consensual sexual behaviour between adults is absolutely fine and dandy and all coercion,violence and paedophilia is wrong, is 100% caused by the decision of the perpetrator to do it and is 100% his responsibility. In Larsson's world, rape isn't caused by stress and hippies. Abuse isn't the fault of little girls who don't say "no" properly, and (alleged) attempted rapists aren't just charmers who went too far one time.
Next week, gardening and picures of kittens, Maybe even a recipe or two.