Well, yeah, probably—according to both society and biology. Exhibit A: The New York Times’ Motherlode blog, which today features the hemming and hawing of the fabulously named Nicole Sprinkle, who when she’s not starring in golden shower videos can’t make up her mind whether to hire a 23-year-old man with good references as a babysitter:
I told him frankly that I liked him best of all and yet still wasn’t sure I could make the leap of letting a man watch my daughter: one who might have to help her wipe, clean her up in case of an accident, who would be alone with her everyday for several hours.
I also told him that I felt really awful about having to feel this way, and that it was such a shame that society forced us to discriminate against kind, competent men as caregivers for our kids. Yes, I know that statistically a man is far more likely to molest a child than a woman but, really, what is the likelihood of it happening to your child when the potential caregiver comes replete with recommendations that you trust and a personality and career path you admire?
You might think from reading the above that she’s about to say “To hell with society!” and hire the guy. But no. She bows to (imaginary) pressure and goes with someone else—someone she doesn’t like as much as him. Wow.
Now, I think I may have written something about our irrational fears of child molesters before, but it bears repeating: CHILL OUT! Also, if you want to hire a male babysitter but lament how society forces you to discriminate, and you wish it were some other way, why not try hiring a male baby-sitter? Seeing more guys out there taking care of kids can only help the situation. Sheesh.
Although, actually, maybe Ms. Sprinkle (oh, god, how I love saying that!) is right. Maybe we men are dangerous beings, bent on raping whatever is at hand. After all, according to our favorite source for parenting news, women “avoid their fathers when they are at their most fertile to reduce risk of inbreeding.” Yes, that’s correct. The reason your teenage daughter doesn’t want to be near you half the time is because she’s afraid you will get her pregnant. Should that come as a surprise?
Of course, the researchers at the University of Miami “conceded that the high-fertile women might simply be avoiding their fathers because fathers might be keeping ‘too close’ an eye on potential male suitors.” Sounds reasonable. But it’s much more likely that they have a built-in genetic fear of rape rape rape! Watch out! The men are coming to rape everything in sight! Panic! Panic! Panic!