Thursday, July 18, 2013

why I publish the hostile comments

Notes from the Handbasket generally runs along quietly, not drawing much attention. Once in awhile, someone notices it and holds it up to their online friends as an example of all that's wrong with the world. What follows then is a sort of competition to see who can make the comment that will leave the mark on me that stings the most. After all, I should be ashamed of myself, staying with my husband.

I will have a few days of high traffic and negative comments from people who disapprove of me having anything nice to say about my husband. Every time it happens, I wonder if maybe I ought to think about running Google ads; after all, I could use the money for the anti-registry causes I support.

Happily, every time it happens, I end up with a few more regular readers. Some of the regulars still don't like what I have to say but they make intelligent comments. The fly-by-night commenters are here not to understand but to condemn. Some, in their condemnation, are unintentionally amusing. I doubt this earnest commenter intended the irony in her comment:
I also want to suggest (gently) that you refrain from visiting this blog in the future. I don't think there are any minds here that are open to changing. 
Open minds, indeed. That commenter can't open her mind even the tiniest crack to the possibility that people can change for the better.

So far, I publish all comments except for the one I deleted by accident yesterday (apologies to the commenter...repost and I will publish it) and one some time ago that was the f-word repeated for several lines. Too bad that commenter didn't include more because just one more f-word would have made me see the error of my ways.

The first time I got hit with nasty comments, I considered not publishing them. After all, I started this blog to welcome others like me who have family members in trouble for possessing child pornography. How does it feel to a visitor who is planning to stay with her husband to read cruel comments like these:
You disgust me perhaps more than your husband does. 
I am extremely disgusted there are people like you and your husband in the world. are no better than the perverts who exploit children.
...or to encounter truly ignorant things like:
Police officers don't watch child porn or look at images to get their jollies off... 
YOU should not be allowed to say whether people looking at child pornography is abuse.  
Of course there's a difference! In one instance, he's viewing pictures of victimized children -- in the other he's not!  
The ignorant comments speak for themselves. Information is easily available but some horses won't drink the water.

The cruel comments say more about the commenters than about those of us who have watched someone deal with crippling guilt, shame, and remorse. When I read them, I wonder what it feels like to write those comments, to think that way. 

Maybe it is wrong of me to publish such mean-spirited thoughts. I honestly hadn't thought that until just this moment. Is it wrong to let someone bare the worst of themselves in public?

Fallible human beings are worthy of redemption. We should all be happy to know that. Instead, some take pleasure in beating down people who try to live with hope. 

I oppose pornography and sexual abuse because it is immoral. Wrong. That isn't a secret to anyone who has read my blog. However, child pornography laws are not based on reason, sex offender sentences are draconian, and the sex offender registry is unconstitutional.

That is my focus.

It is wrong to stand by and watch a whole segment of the population--750,000 Americans on sex offender registries--be vilified and labeled as monsters. Publishing those vile comments brings the ugliness to blame for injustice out into the open where it can be examined and challenged. 

I hope that others who have family members in trouble read those comments and can see clearly that that kind of thinking is evil. Don't give in to it.


Shelomith Stow said...

Well and beautifully written, as usual. You are braver than I. I refuse to print vicious attacks and comments from those who are limited in their ability to express themselves much beyond the f-word. I believe your way is better; I'm just not there yet.


forlornfather said...

Keep up your hard work and dedication. One day our loved ones who suffer from this life sentence will be freed to pursue their dreams.

Cassie said...

Excuse my curiosity -- perhaps you could elaborate as to where in the Constitution it says we shouldn't keep a list of sex offenders? If it doesn't, in fact, say anything of the sort, perhaps you would reconsider your misuse of the term "unconstitutional"?

Margaret Moon said...

No, Cassie, the Constitution doesn't say we "shouldn't keep a list of sex offenders." It is the ex post facto punishment of the Registry that is unconstitutional. That means you can't punish someone twice for one offense. There are also all the regulations and ordinances that keep getting added on to the registry designation. Here in California many of them have been struck down for their unconstitutionality by the courts. The initial purpose of the Sex Offender Registry was to "protect the community" but many on the list are unarguably not a threat to the community, therefore being listed is only punitive and ex post facto punishment. Then there is the threat of harm and violence caused by the Registry. Many people have been attacked, injured, lost property, and even been murdered simply because they are listed on the Registry. Family members, who are innocent of wrongdoing, have been harmed as well. Not to mention that this vehicle of hate and vengeance has not diminished the number of sexual abuse cases. Many studies have shown this.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You truly don't see anything wrong with child pornography. Are you a psychopath or just stupid? Child pornography is wrong because those viewing it are supporting the idea that something had to happen for the picture to be taken.

I hope one day you will look back on yourself now with shame and horror. Until then, know that the hostile comments are correct. I don't understand how anyone could think you're brave for attempting to justify child pornography.

Margaret Moon said...

Of course there is something wrong with child pornography. No one said otherwise. But to say that someone who looks at a picture is "supporting" it is not logical. We all look at the news at some time. That doesn't mean we support the things that are reported there.
And to punish someone who only looks at a picture as harshly, and often more harshly, than the person who created it is not just.

Why don't you read through the things you and your co-haters have written and then decide who is "stupid"... there has been no attempt to justify child pornography. Perhaps someday you, and your cohorts will look back and be embarrassed and ashamed of the way you jumped to conclusions and made ugly and uncalled for remarks.

Anonymous said...

You're equating people who watch the news with people who view child pornography? Again, are you a psychopath or just stupid? I agree that people who create it should be punished, but that only serves to prove that people who view the picture should be punished as well. There is something biologically wrong with someone who enjoys pictures of children; how can you not understand that?

I will never look back and think, "That terible woman who stood up for a pedophile and allowed him to have access to her children was doing the right thing."

One Fine August Day said...

WOW.....A Pedophile is a harsh word to use. Not all people who are in prison for possession of Child pornography are pedophiles. There are lots of people in for possession of Child pornography whom either themselves never downloaded the material or accidentally downloaded the material calling all of them pedophiles seems a little harsh.
Second, Most men or WOMEN who download or view child pornography never go on to hurt or touch a child but are punished severely in hopes to deter them from doing it. The way I view it your either going to hurt a child or not going to. Many people hurt children every day with out viewing child pornography. Many of those people get light sentences compared to the inmates who are in possession of child pornography so what is the sense of that one? Oh we are going to deter you from hurting the child but the one who already did we are going to smack them on the wrist...good thinking.
Third...How would you like your mistake to haunt you for the rest of your life and then it be made public after you have already served your time in prison, paid restitution, did counseling, lost most if not all of your friends and family, had to find a place for you even to live that would let you live there, a crap job because you have been out of the work force for so long and oh by the way, there business address is now going to be plastered all over the place because of the registry, and have to fear for your safety almost daily because everyone on the great big old planet knows where you work, live and etc and its plastered all over your neighborhood and on your drivers licenses and on the internet and you can never get away from it. But don't worry the guy who just moved in and mass murdered his family after he robbed a bank isn't on any list, feel safe now. So the registry keeps you real safe, because the guy on the other side of you that is on the list and your freaking out about had a movie with two sixteen year olds in it. So make sure when you hear a bump in the middle of the night you run to the murderer's house cause it's the sex offender who served his time for having that video that you call a pedophile.
Do you see how dumb that one sounded. I mean seriously???? Yes some people really need to be in prison and monitored. I am not saying that. But those people don't usually make it out of prison, they mess it up for them selves before they even are due to get out of prison. They end up being committed. Others are listed as a Predator. Even then, If they were a Predator at 25 do you think at the age of 85 and still on that list is fair to them? Is it a fair assessment? Do not people change? Is that 85 year old man the same man he was at 25. I highly doubt it.

How many of you actual read the crime that was committed and the age of the person it was committed on and the age of the person at time of arrest? I bet most of you just scan your neighborhoods and see how close they are to your homes, look at their pictures and make sure they don't come near your kids. Do you know that they could of been on the Sex offender Registry since the age of 18 for having an underage girlfriend or boyfriend and then went on to marry that person, for peeing in the public, for having pictures of a girlfriend or boyfriend, from sexting. There are guys who are ending up on the registry who are dating girls who have fake ID's and meet them at a bar and then the guys are being charged with rape. How about them apples? Yes of course there are guys who are there for possession and distribution and other things but I agree possession is a lot less of a crime them manufacturing of child pornography. If you call me stupid so be it. But possession can happen in much more ways then actually the man or woman sitting down and paying for it and purposely downloading it for their viewing pleasure.

Margaret Moon said...

Do you watch Dr. Phil? Or Judge Judy? Or any others of those awful shows where people air their worst sides? Why do you watch it? Come on, think about it... aren't you watching because it is exciting at some level to see how other people are screwing up their lives??? Now, are you SUPPORTING all those adulterers, child abusers, wife beaters, bullies, child prostitutes, homewreckers, crooks, etc. just by indulging your curiosity?
By the way, I think you should make a point NOT to use epithets that you do not know the meaning of...

Anonymous said...

Cruel comments? Ignorance?

You are the one being cruel when you repeatedly say on this blog that pictures and videos of minors being viewed over and over does NOT re-victimize the victims. YOU are not a victim of child pornography whereas I AM and there are others who read and comment on this blog who are victims as presume to tell us that we are not victimized every time some pervert like your husband downloads and views our humiliation and shame? Your support and continued love for your husband is your business and I have no opinion on this whatsoever. If you choose to love a sex offender then more power to you, but when you repeatedly use the excuse " He was only looking at pictures" you fail to even consider how it makes those of us who are IN those pictures feel when grown ADULT men look at our nude and sexualized pre-teen bodies. You have a daughter, just ONCE try and consider how you would feel if SHE were in the pictures your husband was viewing.I HOPE for her sake that you would not be so indifferent to how she felt about it.I have had to fight these demons that have haunted me for 10 years now since I was 9 years old! How as a mother can you be so obtuse when it comes to how the victims feel? "only looking at pictures" indeed.

THIS is why so many people here are disgusted with you!

Marie said...


I make no excuses for what my husband did. I take issue with the laws having to do with child pornography.

Your experiences with child porn must have been excruciating; I am sorry that you have such painful memories. I admire you a great deal for spending time reading the blog of someone with whom you disagree. Too many people lack the courage to do that. Thank you for your thoughtful--not cruel, not ignorant--comments. I do not blog from your perspective but I welcome comments from you.

Anonymous said...


I appreciate the way you responded to my post,often my anger over my experiences comes out when I am writing,especially online.It's something I may need to work on,regardless of your views on these matters you did not victimize me and I should keep that in mind when I post here.I will most likely continue to disagree with you on this but from now on when I post I will try to do it without anger

Also I will pray for you and your family.

Marie said...

Thank you for your kindness, Dani. You will be in my prayers, too.