Is it just me or is this just a truly deplorable (and laughable) sign of the post-modern culture we live in? I received this in my email box:

STOP the Stalker- UCF Victim Services Event: UCF Victim Services is hosting STOP the Stalker event to recognize Stalking Awareness month on January, 30th, 2007. The event will take place on the Student Union patio at 11am- 3pm. We will have free food for students, a game show with great prizes and information about Stalking and Cyberstalking. 102 Jamz will also be broadcasting live form the Union. A FREE self defense class will be offered in Key West C and D from 2:30pm - 3:30pm. A Cyberstalking presentation presented by UCF’s computer crimes officer Eric Walton, will take place from 7:30- 9pm in Cape Florida A and B. Please come out and join us for an exciting event and to learn more about the crime that is rapidly increasing on college campuses for both males and females.


The last sentence had me in stitches. “Join us for an exciting event” and to learn more about the crime that is rapidly increasing on college campuses for both males and females”. Huh? Would a rape awareness event be described as “exciting”? And the last part is at least partially true: The more females that are stalked, the more males that are becoming stalkers. But I like UCF’s ever non-discriminatory approach to try and include males as “victims”. Could we meet some male victims of stalking there? Who is stalking them? I mean, if your name is John Bon Jovi, maybe.

And of course, they have to throw in the ever pop-culture term of “cyber stalking”. Give me a break. In a day of MySpace and social networking to the extreme, there are people growing up with the impression that if they have been “googled”, that they are being “cyber-stalked”. How ironic. It actually isn’t a crime to cyberstalk (unlike regular stalking), but these laws are being defined and redefined at such a rapid pace, by the time you finish reading this, you could be guilty of a felony if you type in someone’s name in a search engine. Even if that person has a blog, a MySpace site, and a LinkedIn account. I like the irony that the most promiscuous radio station in Central Florida, 102 Jamz, will be there - playing songs that suggest nothing but sex - and not exactly meaningful relationships. Good pick, UCF.

Now, let’s stop and do what any good cop would do for just one moment. Who do you think might also be at this event? A-ha! You are correct if you guessed… stalkers! What better place to find a bunch of people who already jump at the sound of a footstep near them (even on a campus of 20,000 students) and use your scare tactics to further damage their already fragile well-being. Of course, it might be hard to pick out your next victim among all the freeloaders who will just be there to get some free chow.

It seems rather sad to me that colleges (and cities) are spending more dollars than ever on “victim services” which takes away money from investigation and law enforcement, almost as if we, as a society, have given up, and we need to have professional services for people who have been harmed by crime.

Of course, I think it is highly debatable that stalking is considered a crime. While there are armloads of evidence to suggest that a few rancid individuals eventually take their stalking to dangerous levels, the vast majority of complaints at college campuses are by girls who just want to get away from their ex-boyfriends, bad blind dates, and guys who are overly interested in a girl who wants nothing to do with them.

Someone needs to arrest me. I used to bicycle by Victoria Mosley’s house when I was 13 everyday, making an excuse to go the long way home. Of course, I wouldn’t have the nerve to say two words to her had she ever been outside - which she never was. So, I guess I’m a stalker by today’s weak standards. I sometimes wonder (he says out loud) if a lot of women are walking around single and lonely because they filed an injunction against the one boy who was otherwise persistent enough to break down their barriers in pursuit of their love. Notice I didn’t say “break down their door”, but so many women are growing up with the impression that the two things are equal.

These types of events make everyone feel good, but they don’t do anything to curb the real problem, assuming that there even is a “real” problem. We need to teach our young men how to be gentlemen, how to deal with rejection, and how to move on with their lives after a breakup. And we need to spend time helping our young women to realize that posting skimpy photos of themselves on MySpace, or dressing immodestly in public, only serves to attract unnecessary attention to themselves and increase the odds that they will be the victim of some kind of crime. Of course, you can already hear the women’s lib movement bellowing for the “right” to dress how ever they want and to be free from criminal attacks. We agree in principal, but the reality is that that day is a far way off. In the meanwhile, we can help our young women act like ladies (it can’t hurt) while helping to subdue crime now. Quite frankly, women aren’t the ones in a position to understand how men think. Their idealistic approach is far worse than the ideals set forth a century ago when women knew and understood more about men, knowing how to behave appropriately at all times.

Will the school mention any of this? Doubtful. They’ll preach to the men about simply “not stalking” (which will be defined as “don’t do anything that a girl doesn’t want you to do”) and they’ll tell the women how to defend themselves (with karate? Get real! Buy and learn to use a gun!), file injunctions (which hasn’t saved one life yet), and a bunch of common sense stuff (i.e. Don’t walk alone on the beach after dark). They won’t tell them how to act like ladies, and they won’t tell the men how to act like gentlemen. And so, more crimes will continue, while the Office of Victim Services stays in business hearing girls come in begging for injunctive relief against a guy who text-messaged them three times in one day.

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Posted in: Sexes & Culture