We Need To Talk About Mark Salling And Pedophilia

We Need To Talk About Mark Salling And Pedophilia

His crimes are by all accounts horrendous, but he is still a human being, and we need to change the discussion surrounding crimes of this nature if we ever hope to make change.

This past week, actor Mark Salling, best known for his role as Noah Puckerman in the musical TV show "Glee" –– was found dead from apparent suicide. He had formerly been convicted of several counts of possession of child pornography and had pled guilty to the charges. He was awaiting sentencing, which would likely occur in March.

Many people took to Twitter to voice their grief or outrage at others' grief. Some took it as an opportunity to talk about mental health, while others thought the focus should remain on Sallings' victims and his crimes.

While it makes me uncomfortable to see people tweeting about the loss of Mark Salling –– or Noah Puckerman, as most have been referring to him –– without seemingly any level of awareness of his crimes, it also makes me very uncomfortable seeing people act as though his crimes detract from his humanity. No matter the crime, a human is still a human, and that’s something that we as a society often forget or disregard in discussions of the criminal justice system (especially with prison conditions and the death penalty) with alarming frequency.

Also, while yes this happened right before sentencing, I have to imagine this was an ongoing mental health struggle with which Salling had been dealing well before his crimes were brought to light, especially given the nature of his crime, which is very often coupled with mental health troubles.

Further, and this is more disconnected from his suicide but still connected to the discussion as a whole, we need to provide some sort of resources and counseling to people afflicted with sexual affectations toward children.

It is qualified as a mental health problem by the APA and is not something people can choose. Obviously that in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY excuses his (or anyone’s) crime, nor does it lessen the horrifying effects on his and others’ victims.

But other countries have found substantial levels of success when pedophiles are able to speak to some kind of counselor or therapist about their sexual urges without fear of ostracism or shame. Many of these same countries also offer the (voluntary) option of chemical castration or drug treatment to reduce those sexual urges, which has also shown levels of success.

That’s something the US should look into if we ever hope to actually affect change for potential future victims of this sort of sexual exploitation and abuse, rather than just hoping eventually all of the perpetrators are in prison. Even the seemingly worst among us, such as pedophiles, are still human and are therefore capable, at least potentially, of being rehabilitated.

And when we completely dehumanize them to the point that we often do, it becomes counterproductive because we don’t ever reach any real solutions, and we make it even more likely that the vast majority of pedophiles who never act on their urges will be too frightened to seek help.

Suicide is bad. Pedophilia is bad. Dehumanization is also bad.

These statements don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.


They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch


What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong

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