The women were discussing their habits in relation to leaving their children in the care of others.
They were all very particular about who could look after their kids (fair enough), but the conversation was very much centred on the gender of the carer.
They were debating the 'safety issues' of allowing their children to be babysat by men. And leaving their children in the care of men who work in childcare centres. Each had examples of their children being left alone with men. Each reported feeling incredibly uncomfortable with the situations they found their children in.
I can honestly say I have never considered this. That male babysitters or childcare workers *could* pose a greater threat to my children. I mean, I have certainly gently warned my children about talking to strangers and keeping their clothes on in public, but I haven't ever been concerned if my friend's husbands have taken on the 'minding' duties if their wife had to step out. Should I be more concerned or is it reasonable to assume that my friend's are married to 'good men'?
The conversation took another turn when they discussed overseas childcare centres. One woman reported that she had read an article about children who had contracted STIs whilst in the care of a 'Kid's Club' in a resort overseas. My ears pricked up. The very thought of that makes me feel sick to the stomach. Those poor children.
I hadn't even considered that these facilities are not governed by the same rules and regulations that ours are in Australia. Will my kids be at risk on our trip to Fiji if we use the Kids Club?
I am of two minds (surprise, surprise!). Half of me thinks I am very happy that my first thoughts about humanity are good. All men are not paedophiles. Why should they all be tarred with the same brush?
But my other half thinks that I would absolutely hate to put my children in a situation that turns out to be less than ideal. I can only imagine how horrendous the parents of those children with their STIs feel, both for themselves and their precious children.
So what are your thoughts? Do you treat all men as 'paedophiles' unless proven innocent*? If you are a man (I know there are a couple of you who read this blog), what are your thoughts on this kind of thinking?
* I am quoting one of the women from the conversation (that particular remark made me gag a little).