Concerned parents, culture war tropes and tabloid twattery

concerned parent

concerned parentThe latest BBC ‘scandal’ has got the lot, hasn’t it? You’ve got the starting point of a celebrity being accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a minor: well, there’s a lot of it about, isn’t there? Then you’ve got the fact It’s The Sun Wot Dun It, because the evil BBC, which is full of lefties and sexual deviants, wouldn’t take action against the alleged perpetrator. You’ve got the furious demands to name this person despite the fact that being accused and even investigated over such accusations isn’t immediate proof of guilt. And then you’ve got bewildered back-peddling when a new element is chucked in to the story.

If you love pooing with rage over stuff you read on Twitter, you must be having an absolute ball right now. Wild proliferation of rumours is usually entertaining. But there’s some weird and potentially dangerous stuff that seems to be involved. Like the alleged victim not only not being the one who made the initial complaint, but having hired their own lawyer to insist, on their behalf, that no wrongdoing happened at all – and said lawyer declaring that the Sun’s news team were informed of this before they went to print with the story. But the supplier of the story was, apparently, a Concerned Parent who nobly declined any fee.

It’s really not that long ago that a journo put out an appeal for ‘concerned parents’ to whine and moan about how their kids ‘identify as cats‘. Offering both anonymity and cash, because of course that’s not an open invitation to mischief-makers, grifters and dishonest bigots with an agenda.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the Concerned Parent is a mask worn by many a bigot, especially when it comes to the sexual behaviour of young adults. It’s also a role that suits fame-hungry grifters, sometimes seen in the pages of tabloids, standing next to a young adult who looks disgusted, humiliated and furious but daren’t go against the family bully. So what’s happening here might well (given that it is implied that both the celebrity and the young person involved are male) be a homophobic parent determined to regain control over their adult child’s sexuality – it has been stated that the parent complained to the BBC, was not satisfied with the result (which might have consisted of being told to mind their own business) and then went off to whine and cry at that nice trustworthy Mr Murdoch and his minions.

concerned parentDealing with the fact that your precious baby is in a relationship you disapprove of is always going to be difficult.  Fair enough, if the relationship is with someone a fair bit older, with glamour, money and power on their side, it’s not impossible or even unlikely that your darling is being used or mistreated, whatever they say. You might well be worried for them and you might not be wrong. But even if your concerns are completely justified, you won’t save a dazzled, horny, besotted youngster by throwing your weight about and humiliating them publicly. But here’s the thing: it’s not up to you to enforce your view. It’s deeply unwise to try enlisting the authorities to help you meddle in something that is not legally and perhaps not even ethically any of your business.

In the current climate of repeated and intensifying attacks on LGBTQ people and on the bodily autonomy of the young, gleefully encouraged by the tabloids on the whole – even more so when they can use such stories to fight more culture wars, the behaviour of this parent looks selfish, stupid and harmful.

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