Friday, April 10, 2015

Dear Barbara Walters, This Interview is Disgusting

Dear Ms. Walters,

You have failed us. You have failed women, you have failed victims, you have failed equality of the genders. That is not to say that your own career is not commendable and that your own battle for and equality is to be ignored. Your career commenced as a writer and segment producer, covering stories that were of women's interest. Did you feel belittled? Was it not you that wrote in your own biography that you felt that woman would never be taken seriously? That real or hard news would never be assigned to a woman? You showed them all what it was to be a woman and amazing journalist. How is it then that you have come to this point? Are you desperate for ratings?

If you are confused by my statement, allow me to further explain my fury to you. You are currently scheduled to interview  a known pederast on 20/20 this evening.  You, a renowned journalist who has interviewed obscure dictators, queried politicians, advanced great advocates for human rights, will sit down with Mary Kay Letourneau, and interview her, her husband, and teenage daughters. I ask you, will you be  interviewing Oliver O'Grady as well? Will he be allowed a moment to shine on prime time television as he details his "relationship" with his Parishoner's children? It would only seem fair since you have what seems to be enough esteem for a woman pedophile. And let me make it clear, Mary Kay Letourneau is a pedophile. Her victim was only 13 years old, nay, younger, when she began a sexual relationship that resulted in two pregnancies. 13 years old. Can you remember what you were like at 13? Were you eager to sleep with your middle school teacher of 34 years old? If you had, would it be your fault? Would you have seduced your vulnerable teacher, waited for him to be discharged from prison, then marry him? Or perhaps I should present it to you in a different manner, what if it had been your child, your daughter Jacqueline, that was targeted by her teacher. Would you think "well it must be true love so I think it's ok"? Would you interview them on the eve of their 10 year anniversary knowing she was fucking him at the age 12? I would bet you the answer would be no. You probably would have hosted a series of "talks" on your daytime talk show highlighting the horrors of child molestation and victimization and the forever impact on your family's life.

Did you know that male victims are so confused by what may at times be their first sexual encounter, that the probability reporting their crime is so low that there is barely enough information  to accurately profile female sex offenders? These young men may be even more confused because of how easy it is for them to get aroused. Can you imagine the outrage of someone was to explain to a 12 year old how she must have "wanted it" if she had self lubricated during an assault?! Or how about the fact that there is currently a double standard in the perceptions of male and female offenders? You may be guilty of perpetuating the double standard of being seemingly more sympathetic towards a woman who has repeatedly admitted her crime and is now married to her victim. She even got a Lifetime Movie out of this ordeal!

Mary Kay Letourneau was a 34 year old married woman who began a sexual relationship with the 12 year old Vili Fualaau. She was tried and granted a lenient sentence of six months in jail, and three years of sex offender treatment. She was not obligated to register a s sex offender. Did you know that Frank Rodriguez of Texas, is a registered sex offender since the age of 19 years old. He was convicted of statutory rape of his girlfriend, after being reported by her father. She was 15 at that time, she is now his wife. Still wrong, but can you imagine, the four year difference and he was automatically forced to register as a sex offender. No major corporation will hire him, he cannot attend his children's school functions. Do you think he is worthy of  a 20/20 agenda this evening? Should he and his wife be given the opportunity to highlight their long standing marriage on your show? Even after Mary Kay was handed such a light sentence, and after the birth of her child, she continued to have sexual relations with her victim, once again becoming pregnant. It was only then that it seemed appropriate to force her to register as sex offender. Did you know that Vili hosts DJ Parties called "Hot for Teacher". A slap in the face for any student victimized by a teacher.

Ms. Walters, although I did admire you, I am saddened and disgusted by this interview. It is a mockery and disgrace for anyone who has fallen prey to a sexual assault. Rape, molestation, abuse are all problems that transcend race, gender, and epochs of time. We should never be glorifying or justifying the actions. Your interview of this pedophile is a gross misstep and a slap in the face to all victims. Mary Kay's gender, her past, nor her previous pitiful marriage exempt her from the disgusting actions against her former student. May you look on your conscience and think clearly on the message you are sending by conducting this interview.


A Woman Who Thinks We Should Be Treated Equally, Even When We Commit Crimes