tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Jail time for truancy? WTF?

Gotta love it when a man takes it upon himself to tell women how to address mismatched sex drives. Warning - if you're a woman who's ever suffered from this, the second paragraph is likely to make you want to either throw up or hit something. But this is, in fact, about when the man has lower sex drive and *surprise surprise* it's all about what you, as a woman, can do for him. Just like it's about what you can do for him when yours is the lower sex drive. At least in this guy's opinion it is, along with a healthy dose of "I know what women want".

Why, oh why do I click those links?

Although, I did get one thing from that page, which isn't rocket science but as a woman is also something not-so-much within my experience and therefore learning for me. The idea that men (I need to qualify this as 'a lot of men' because my social group = not representative of society at large) hardly ever get touched - a handshake here, a backslap there. And affectionate touching even less so. So while it's not an excuse, this goes some way to explaining why many men seem to equate affectionate touching with sex, and some assume that a woman touching them is an invitation for sexual contact. I guess if the only time you get touched affectionately is in a sexual context, it's a somewhat logical conclusion. However, the solution to this isn't MOAR SEX, it's MOAR AFFECTIONATE TOUCHING FOR MEN - outside of a sexual context.

I'm kind of gobsmacked at the number of people who think prison is a solution for the most broad array of things.

Take this for example. Turns out that in Baltimore, parents are getting jail time for their kids being truant. Granted the truancy has to be particularly bad (example kid was absent 103 of 130 days). But, putting the parent in jail? What does that solve? And why do so many people think jail time is appropriate for the 'crime' of not being able to force your 15 year old kid to attend school?

It blows me away. Murder? Jail! Tax evasion? Jail! Pot grower? Jail! Petty theft? Jail! Parent of a truant kid? JAIL 'EM! It's as if jail is the only possible way of dealing with any kind of deviance - and now it's ok to punish someone who's not even the 'perpetrator', by locking them up. The mother in this case has four kids at home, yet they still think sending her to jail for ten days is the best approach they can take?


I remember a time when our government made noises about punishing parents with fines for tagging done by their kids. The Kid talked to me about this and I was all "Like hell I'm paying a fine for what you do." Which sounds cold-hearted and potentially irresponsible, but let's have a look at this.

I work full time. My hours are 8am to 4pm. I leave the house at 7am and get home around 5.

The Kid goes to school. His hours are 10:30am to 3:30pm. He leaves the house at 9:30am and gets home about 4:30pm.

So between 7am and 9:30am, and 4:30pm and 5pm, 5 days a week, I am not supervising him. This is ample time for him to get in trouble if he were that kind of kid. Would I be responsible for what he did while I was at work, given that the hours he attends school are not something I can control? Maybe I'm 'supposed' to get someone to watch him for that time. Maybe I'm 'supposed' to drive him to school and drop him off at 7:30am and hope he stays there till school starts three hours later. Maybe I'm supposed to be working a different job, one with hours that suit.

Oh wait. Anyone know of full time jobs going that start at 10:30am and finish at 3:30pm? Preferably sufficient of them for all working parents? No, me neither.

The average working day doesn't match the prescribed school day. This mismatch came about during the times when one parent worked and the other stayed home - it's based on an assumption that at least one of the kid's parents will be around to make sure the kid gets to school and is supervised afterwards. That setup stopped being the norm nearly 40 years ago - yet here we are, still juggling work hours with school hours. Employers have become more flexible around glide-time and the like (at least, some have - a lot of lower-paid jobs are completely inflexible and have even longer hours than mine). Schools, however, have not. The skyrocketing cost of daycare makes that not a viable solution for many parents - never mind that putting a 15 year old kid in daycare is a ridiculous concept.

And governments' solution to this is to punish the parents for what the kids do during this unsupervised time. I strongly suggest that there is more of a solution to be found in looking at school hours and making them more working-parent friendly. Working parents are not going away, and if kids are as important as the "Won't anybody think of the children" brigade keep trying to tell us they are, then setting up the situation to allow working parents to be there for their kids is a fucking sensible idea.

You know, I don't know if I'm getting crotchetier as I get older or if the world really is going to the dogs, but I'm finding more and more that certain laws are just stupid. And while I'd like to be a law-abiding citizen, often obeying the law requires me to compromise a principle that is important to my sense of personal integrity. And faced with that choice, I'm more likely to ignore the law than to ignore my integrity. I sometimes wonder what would happen if my kid tagged something and an attempt was made to fine me for it. Or if Warner Bros tried to fine me $15,000 for a copy of Supernatural that I downloaded and will buy on DVD as soon as it becomes available? How much soapboxing do you reckon I'd do? Would it be worth it? Because while the government has the power to punish me for breaking the law, they don't have the power to make me believe that the law is right.

Yesterday I painted a ceiling - first time ever. It involves, I have discovered, getting paint in my hair and on my glasses. This is part of the dollying up of the house in Tawa. Sadly, the market has done nothing but sink since we put it up for sale, and since other owners are offering 'better' houses for less money, we've been forced to pretty it up. We didn't want to do this because we felt that showing it 'as is' would demonstrate the basic soundness of the house and allow potential buyers to remodel however they saw fit. Unfortunately all it's done is make other houses look better. So, ceiling painting and deck-nailing and windowsill painting. On the upside, the house smells dry and warm, which will become a selling point as winter sets in.

Someone please buy our house!
Tags: house, other stuff, working parents are people too!
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.