This word has been thrown around lately for the wrong reasons. A few months ago, a popular entertainer was outed as dating a younger singer.
People were surprised because during his decades-long career it was believed he wasn’t interested in women. However, after fans got over the shock of his dating revelation, people were genuinely happy for the celebrity.
Unfortunately, there was a dark side to all this happiness. Anti-fans and some so-called fans called him out for being a pedophile. Not cool since this guy was known to be a good guy in real life.
This scandal gave way to threads of conversations on whether or not this guy was actually a pedophile. He’s in his thirties and his girlfriend is in her twenties and gorgeous.
These so-called fans accused him of having fetishes and only wanting her because she was so young.
This isn't the only instance of a celebrity being called a pedophile for dating younger women. I’ve rarely heard the term used to describe women celebrities who date younger men. And the term used for them is another issue but not for this article.
There are for sure celebrities who deserve to be slammed with the term but only if it applies to that person. I think when people start blanketly using the term, it takes away the terms’ strength.
But for a person who deserves the mark of the term, how long does it take to forgive them?
In the eyes of the law, there are different crimes associated with being branded a pedophile. But when it comes to the term being used, no one really focuses on the details of the crime (unless it’s a celebrity).
The term itself is enough for a person to be branded as a bad person.
There are cases where a guy aged 19 and a girl aged 17 were caught in a relationship and the guy was arrested and charged...which meant he would be branded as a monster for the rest of his life.
I’m not talking about those cases even though you can argue what’s right and wrong on both sides in situations like the one mentioned above.
I’m talking about if you can ever really forgive someone who preyed on young kids.
Generally, there are arguments from people who believe pedophiles can and should be forgiven for their crimes. However, I’m sure the victim wouldn’t feel so forgiving.
I’m conflicted on something which drove me to write this article.
Unfortunately, I’ve known people who prey on kids due to my personal and professional life. It isn’t a good position to be in when your close friend is being molested by an old man or to hear stories of children going through it.
However, there’s someone who reached out to me recently and it brought up some old feelings of betrayal and opened wounds I’d closed off.
This person wanted to know why I wouldn’t answer my phone for them. Of course, I read this through a message because I wouldn’t answer the phone for them. Also, I felt betrayed because someone gave them my number in the first place.
The reason I wouldn't speak to this person is that they were associated with someone I learned to be untrustworthy.
Some years ago, while out with friends at a restaurant, I received a disturbing call. We left the restaurant and I haven’t returned to that establishment since. It has nothing to do with the place because it’s great.
I can’t bring myself to walk into the place without being reminded of what happened so many years ago.
When my friends and I left the restaurant, we went to meet another friend. Upon meeting the friend, we were informed that someone we knew had molested someone we knew. The first time it happened when they were both underage BUT the perpetrator was in a position of authority over the other child.
More stories started coming out and I was devastated. This was a person I’d distanced myself from before finding out any of these things because he’d been acting odd (the best way I can put it).
Most of the situations happened years ago and the status of limitation had expired but who knows how many other kids went through this with this person.
Though, I’d distanced myself from this person I wasn’t angry with them. But now that I knew what they were, there was absolutely no way I’d ever speak to them or see them again.
It’s not difficult for me to detach and that’s exactly what I did. That person was now someone who I'd never known.
That brings me back to the person trying to contact me. I wasn’t sure if they knew what happened or not but I did know they were close with the monster and I wanted no parts of any of it.
I caught some flack from a mutual associate which shamed me for cutting someone off for “nothing”.
I didn’t feel bad but here’s the thing...I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t forgiven the monster. There was an event after it was revealed what he’d done (a few years later if that matters) and one of the victims, the victims’ mom, and other people were there with the guy.
Years have passed and I don’t see those same people as before, but I was still appalled -- why would I be the only person who found something wrong with what happened?
I couldn’t understand what was going on and now this person is popping up and trying to force a friendship that I clearly don’t want. It all reminded me of what happened and how short people's memories are.
But are memories really that short when something this traumatic takes place?
Not in the sense where you block out memories due to traumatic events. This is not that...I wonder can people actually be betrayed and like the victims, he preyed on and forgive.
I wasn’t a victim but I still can’t forgive anyone who hurts kids.
Do you believe there are exceptions to this?