There’s a Double Standard for Child Predators, and This Case Proves It

Zakiya GaskinsZakiya Gaskins is clearly not playing with a full deck. When a 13-year-old kid came over to hang out with one of her children and ultimately decided to spend the night, the 32-year-old single mother of three first tried to liquor the boy up with a fruity, vodka-based cocktail. When the alcoholic bribe didn’t work — he didn’t like the taste — she got forceful, pulling the poor child into her bedroom repeatedly, even as her own kids pounded on the door, begging her to let him out.

Now here’s where the difference comes in. If this was a grown man assaulting a 13-year-old girl, everyone — men, women, black, white, teenage, elderly — would be appalled. But because it’s a chick making the sexual advances, guys who’ve commented on the story have said things like “I wish someone that hot would’ve hit on me when I was his age” and “he must be a virgin.” Ugh. Stupid isn’t even the word.

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The fact of the matter is that the victim in this case is still a kid and, just like a girl deserves to be safe, a boy should have the same protections. Without his young manhood being called into question for not wanting to knock off a grown woman more than old enough to be his mother. (And at 13, hell yeah he should still be a virgin!) No one fires off put-downs to a little girl who reports a man for molesting her. Why should it be any different for a boy? Fact of the matter is, the only person who should be ashamed of themselves in this story is the one who ended up in handcuffs.

You know, there is all kind of pressure on boys to wield their sexuality at an early age, even in situations like this, where an adult is clearly pressuring them into a situation that is not only physically unsafe, but mentally and psychologically crippling. Hell, I’m good and grown and I wouldn’t want to be in a room with someone as old as me if I didn’t want to. I can only imagine how scary the scenario would be for an innocent child just coming over to hang out with one of his buddies, only to be sexually manhandled by his pal’s mother. I don’t care how “hot” she is, guys — she’s a sicko just like any of the other pervs who’ve had their way with children.

Aside from that, I’m super irked about this story for two other reasons: the reaction, I believe, is a popular one, and may be one of the reasons we so very rarely hear about young boys being assaulted by older women. Who knows how many victims there are out there, but just feel too ashamed to come forward with their stories because, according to social convention, they were supposed to rise to the occasion, pull out their man parts, and lay the pipe instead of having a normal reaction of being confused, intimidated, and scared.

Secondly, we’ve got to stop expecting our boys to be so hypersexual. We’re in one ear screaming at them about strapping up and preventing diseases and thwarting pregnancy, but we’re in the other questioning their masculinity if they’re not willing to knock off any chick who offers up a slab of booty. It’s the biggest of contradictions. The bottom line is that boys should be able to take as much time as they need to be deflowered. And even if they are, they shouldn’t feel badly about saying “no” to anyone, especially not to some old lady preying on them at a sleepover with a friend.

Zakiya Gaskins’ case is still developing. If she’s turns out to be not guilty and I’ve judged before all the truths have had a chance to be unveiled, I take back all of the “dirty heffas” and “nasty bums” I’ve been calling her since my friend first sent me a link to the story. D.C. is small, and turns out she actually went to high school with one of my besties, so she has more of a vested interest in seeing this story all the way through than most that we run across. But even still, there are other women out there forcing themselves on young boys. And we’ve got to protect the virtue of our sons just like we do for our daughters.

Do you think female child molesters are less vilified than male child molesters?


Image via brad Montgomery/Flickr

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