11 November 2011

Football Power

The whole mess with Penn State is really bothering me, probably because I'm tying it all up in my head with bride kidnapping here.  A lot of my husband's research is focused on kidnapping (not because it's kidnapping, but because it's one of the many "disputes" here that isn't taken care of in court even though a state law is broken) and we've talked about it for hours and hours and hours (and I'm sleepy because of all those hours spent talking). 



The connection might not be obvious, but what the Penn State mess (and please don't call it a sex scandal because it is about child abuse) boils down to is too many people didn't go to the police when they saw or knew of a violent and awful crime being committed.  Nope, they just covered it all up and went on with their merry football lives.  Anyone who feels sorry for Joe Paterno right now ought to remember that if he'd only made sure this went to the police 10 or 15  or 20 years ago and fired what's-his-bucket right then instead of just having him resign and burying his head about the fact that he had access to young kids all the time, things wouldn't be anywhere near as bad for his football program right now, not to mention the kids that wouldn't have been molested. 


There are too many times where people don't call the police or turn someone in because it's financially or socially risky to do so.  If you see someone lighting a fire in the basement of an apartment building you don't call your boss and wonder what to do.  You call the police (or I hope you do).  If you see a child getting molested, you should call the police.  The risk to the people in the apartment building or to the child is much greater than your potential risk. It's simple. 


However, I know it's not always so simple.  It's against the Kyrgyzstan criminal code to kidnap a bride and has been for quite a few years.  It appears that no man has *ever* been convicted for kidnapping even though more than half of all marriages in Kyrgyzstan are a result of kidnapping.  Even though there is a law and people do have access to the courts, there are other significant, hugely significant, pressures playing against women who might want to take their kidnapper to court.  In short, women don't take their kidnappers to court because there is a great deal of pressure not to. Did the same thing happen at Penn State?  And if it did, what does that say about football and money and power in the US?



And I have more to say about this, but it will have to wait for another day.  Because it is time to make dinner.

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