The power of hindsight: it’s always 20/20.

Everyone knows that THEY would be the Perfect Parent whose child would never ever ever have a problem ever: any child who ever has an accident is the child of a Bad Parent. Obviously. No Good Parent ever lets anything bad happen to their child ever.
Anyone with even the tiniest bit of information about the incident at the Cinicinnati Zoo (where an adult male gorilla was shot to protect the 3 year old boy he was holding onto, who had fallen into the enclosure) knows it was the Bad Mother who is at fault, which explains all the memes about “the bitch mother” that I’ve been seeing. I’ve read reports from witnesses mentioning the child’s family…and yet no one is clear what other family members were there. Most don’t even mention them. They don’t need to: only the Bad Mother is to be faulted. And everyone is very clear that the child’s mother is at fault based on several witnesses who suggested that (“She was on her phone”). Of course we know that those witnesses are only speaking truth: at no point would their memories be arbitrary or creating a storyline that fits their facts. Everyone knows memory is a perfect thing. Sure, when I witnessed a major tractor-trailer accident months ago I realized that within the hour I was becoming fuzzy on many of the facts…but that’s probably because I’m a Bad Parent. (Yes, my children have had accidents. And only the children of Bad Mothers have accidents:  Fact.)
 
One witness mentioned that the child’s family was watching…and yet, we only hear about the mother. The Bad Mother, The Bitch Mother Who Caused the Death of the Gorilla. The Bad Mother so closely observed by witnesses that they can testify that she was on her phone. Because they were watching her…but not her child? Why were they watching her? Why do they know what she was doing?
In a world where we blame passersby for not preventing beatings and assaults, where we blame those who stand by and watch accidents happen, where we wonder why people turn away rather than try to deal with those who need help…  it does seem like an awful lot of people want to be very very clear that there is no way that THEY could be held responsible.
 
But clearly: it was the Bad Mother’s fault. After all, she should have been paying attention because she should have known it was a possibility that her son could slip through a fence and FALL INTO THE GORILLA ENCLOSURE. The only reason it had never happened before is because they’ve never ever had a Bad Mother at the zoo with her children before.

Oddly enough, I’ve spent decades taking my children to the zoo at various ages. They’ve run loose, they’ve run up to enclosures, they’ve run around the exhibits, just like all the other children at the zoo with their families. There are no signs suggesting that it’s dangerous for children to be loose, that their parents should hold onto them at every moment… In fact, the few times exhibits have been breached at the Toronto Zoo it has been teenagers or adults with time on their side (after closing), or with the ability to jump and climb around several fenced barriers.

And thus, we come to the fatal flaw at the centre of all this blame game:  a three year old child was able to get through a fence and fall into the gorilla enclosure. One zookeeper suggested that it wouldn’t be easy to do (my understanding of zoos is that it should have been “well nigh impossible to do”), and would have taken some time…  Too bad all those witnesses were so busy watching a mother on her phone…and not paying attention to a three year old child.

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