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Berglind Thorvaldsdottir   Professor:  Molly  Daniel   ENC  1145  

Paedophile “I  know  I  am  a  bastard  and  I  don’t  want  to  lie  about  what  I  did  to  these  children,”   said  Karl  Vignir.  “I  don’t  know  why  nobody  stopped  me,  and  I  know  I  deserve  a  punishment   for  what  I  did.”    Karl  Vignir  opened  up  to  two  women  who  went  to  his  apartment,  with  a   secret  camera,  to  talk  about  what  he  did  in  the  past.  He  molested  these  two  women  in  the   past  and  he  had  no  idea  that  he  abused  them.  Right  after  their  “meeting”  they  went  straight   to  the  police  station  and  gave  them  the  tape  and  that’s  how  everything  was  out  in  the  open.   “It  was  a  huge  relief.  I  didn’t  know  how  I  felt.  I  just  wanted  to  go  the  corner  and  cry.  It  was   all  so  overwhelming,”  one  of  the  women  said  after  their  “meeting”  was  shown  on  TV  and   everyone  knew  what  he  had  done  (Citation,  fyrsti  stafurinn  á  greininni).  If  it  weren’t  for   them,  maybe  Karl  Vignir  would  be  molesting  children  today.  Thanks  to  these  women,  he’s   not  doing  that  today.  Karl  Vignir  is  just  the  latest  un  a  string  of  high-­‐profile  child  molesters   in  contemporary  media.     In  the  book  Paedophiles  in  Society,  Sarah  D.Goode  talks  about  stereotypes.    She   writes  that  stereotypes  of  the  paedophile  are  shared  across  society,  changing  over  time:     The  attention  to  the  ‘evil  paedophile’  and  the  ‘nasty  pervs’  featured  in  contemporary   tabloid  newspapers  over  the  period  of  the  twentieth  century,  stereotypes  of   paedophiles  have  ranged  from  the  clinically  abnormal  to  the  violent  working-­‐class   sex  offender,  the  pathetic,  rather  grubby  old  man,  the  louche  and  decadent  member   of  the  Establishment,  the  middle-­‐aged  European  sex  tourist,  the  faceless  internet  

child pornographer,  the  fallen  rock-­‐star,  and  the  cunning  and  evil  member  of  a   ‘paedophile  ring.’(61)     Karl  Vignir  Þorsteinsson  is  68  years  old  and  from  Iceland.  He  has  been  molesting   children  for  more  than  a  decade,  and  the  worst  part  is  that  no  one  knew  or  believed  that  he   was  doing  it.  Karl  Vignir  worked  at  a  church,  a  morgue,  at  hotels,  and  with  blind  people.  In   all  of  those  workplaces,  he  allegedly  molested  children.  This  all  happened  50  years  ago,  but   no  one  knew  about  it  until  December  2012,  and  when  people  found  out,  everything  went   crazy.     This  all  started  on  a  small  island  off  the  coast  of  Iceland  called  Westman  Island,  and   4-­‐5  thousand  people  lived  there  at  that  time.  This  all  happened  in  a  church,  where  he  was   working.  He  molested  three  boys  during  his  time  on  that  island,  then  he  moved  himself  to   the  mainland,  and  that’s  how  it  really  started.  He  started  working  at  some  places  with   children  involved,  and  at  every  workplace  he  molested  at  least  six  to  ten  children.     The  first  job  he  got,  when  he  moved  to  the  main  land,  was  working  at  an  institution   for  children  who  have  been  abused  and  taken  away  from  their  parents.    Karl  Vignir  took   advantage  of  his  power  and  molested  the  children  there,  both  girls  and  boys.  He  was  really   careful  first  and  only  harassed  two  boys,  but  with  time  he  noticed  that  no  one  knew,  so  he   got  really  aggressive  and  molested  at  least  10  children  there.  After  working  there  for  many   years,  he  decided  to  quit.  But  he  always  came  back  to  “visit”  the  children.  Karl  Vignir  ruined   so  many  lives  and  many  of  these  children  were  really  damaged  and  mentally  destroyed  and   they  didn’t  see  the  point  of  living  anymore.     The  same  thing  happened  with  his  next  job,  which  was  working  at  a  hotel.  At  that   time,  a  lot  of  children  worked  there.  They  were  helping  the  people  who  were  staying  at  the  

hotel with  their  bags.  Karl  Vignir  was  the  boss  there.  The  children  always  worked  in  the   morning,  and  after  they  were  done  with  the  bags,  Karl  told  them  to  go  to  some  hotel  room   and  take  a  nap.  When  the  children  woke  up,  Karl  Vignir  was  usually  in  the  room  waiting  for   them  to  wake  up.  Luckily,  most  of  the  children  got  away  before  he  started  doing  some   things  to  them.    Karl  Vignir  got  fired  because  the  hotel  manager  was  starting  to  get   suspicious  and  he  saw  that  no  kids  wanted  to  be  around  him.  But  that  didn’t  stop  Karl   Vignir  from  finding  a  new  job  with  kids  involved.  You  can  say  that  he  was  kind  of   unstoppable  and  everywhere  he  went,  he  ruined  someone’s  life.       In  February  of  this  year,  two  boys  went  to  Karl  Vignir’s  home  and  beat  him  up  and   told  him  how  disgusting  he  is,  asking  how  he  could  have  done  this  to  little  kids  and  so  on.   Karl  Vignir  was  close  to  death.  Today  he  is  still  on  trial,  and  we  won’t  know  anything  about   it  until  the  middle  of  April.  Most  of  the  people  in  Iceland  are  really  upset  about  this  and   people  have  been  gossiping  a  lot  about  this  and  making  up  stories  about  him.  Gossiping  is   usually  a  bad  thing,  but  in  this  case,  it  is  a  good  thing.  According  to  Dunbar,  “gossip  is   functionally  defined  as  conversation  about  who  is  doing  what  with  whom,  and  whether  it’s   a  good  or  bad  thing  and  who  is  in  and  who  is  out,  and  why”  (5).  Now  people  are  on  alert   about  child  molestation,  and  everyone  knows  who  this  man  is.     A  similar  case  has  been  going  on  in  America  recently.  Jerry  Sandusky,  a  football   coach  at  Penn  State,  has  been  molesting  young  boys  for  years.  Both  he  and  Karl  Vignir   thought  they  would  never  get  caught,  so  they  got  more  aggressive.    The  media  in  America  is   a  lot  different  than  in  Iceland.  First  of  all,  315  million  people  live  in  America  and  320   thousand  people  live  in  Iceland,  so  if  you  do  something  wrong,  like  Sandusky  or  Karl  Vignir,   you  are  basically  screwed.  The  newspaper  in  the  U.S.  will  dig  deep  and  find  something  dirty  

about you  and  you  will  be  recognized.  It’s  kind  of  the  same  deal  in  Iceland.  I  find  that  in   America,  you  can’t  walk  away  from  something  you  have  done  wrong;  you  will  go  to  jail  or   get  killed.  In  Iceland,  you  can  walk  away  as  a  free  man,  and  that  really  bothers  people  in   Iceland.  The  newspapers  in  Iceland  have  been  asking  what  if  Karl  Vignir  had  done  this  in   Texas?  “I  think  Karl  Vignir  should  pray  and  thank  god  that  we  live  in  a  protected   environment  of  Icelandic  laws.  What  would  people  do  to  a  man  like  him  in  Texas?”  (Guðrún   Sverrisdóttir)  If  this  happened  in  Texas  he  would  go  to  jail  for  sure  and  probably  get  killed   right  away.  The  prisons  in  Iceland  are  a  joke  compared  to  the  prisons  in  America.  You  can   have  a  computer  in  your  room  or  a  TV.  In  America  you  could  get  a  pillow,  if  you  are  lucky.       Michael  Jackson  went  through  the  same  thing.  He  was  molesting  a  kid  and  it  blew  up   America  and  the  rest  of  the  world.  In  January  2004,  a  man  who  wrote  for  The  Smoking  Gun   somehow  saw  Michael  Jackson’s  files  from  the  government  and  the  jury  testimony  and   wrote  this:  “If  the  harrowing  and  deeply  disturbing  allegations  in  these  documents  are  true,   Jackson  is  a  textbook  pedophile,  a  46-­‐year-­‐old  predator  who  plied  children  with  wine,   vodka,  tequila,  Jim  Beam  whiskey,  and  Bacardi  rum.  A  man  who  gave  boys  nicknames  like   Doo  Doo  Head  and  Blowhole  and  then  quizzed  them  about  whether  they  masturbated  and   if  ‘white  stuff’  came  out.  A  man  who  conducted  drinking  games  with  minors  and  surfed   porn  with  them  on  a  laptop  in  his  Neverland  Ranch  bedroom,  noting  that  if  anyone  asked   what  they  were  looking  at,  the  kids  should  just  say  they  were  watching  The  Simpsons  .  A   man  who  frequently  talked  sex  with  his  little  companions  and  explained  that  ‘boys  have  to   masturbate  or  they  go  crazy.’  (The  Smoking  Gun  ,  2005:  online)  The  media  and  this  guy   who  wrote  that  maybe  made  this  case  look  so  much  worse  than  it  was.  A  lot  of  people  were   talking  about  that  this  didn’t  happen  and  that  ‘the  king  of  pop’  could  never  do  that.  But  

what Michael  Jackson,  Jerry  Sandusky  and  Karl  Vignir,  all  had  in  common  the  molesting  of   young  boys  who  hadn’t  even  reached  puberty  and  they  were  all  male.    Molestation  is  an   international  case.  People  are  getting  molested  every  day,  which  is  so  sad.  It  is  a  fact  that  if   you  are  a  woman  and  born  in  South  Africa,  you  are  more  likely  of  being  raped  than  learning   how  to  read.  In  the  U.S.  a  woman  is  raped  every  2  minutes  according  to  the  U.S.  Department   of  Justice  (Rape  Statistics).     Everybody  thinks  about  children  being  sacred  and  how  much  they  have  to  learn  and   how  to  enjoy  life  when  they  get  older.  It  is  always  so  hard  to  hear  and  believe  that  someone   molested  a  child.  How  can  people  seriously  think  about  children  in  that  way?  And  being  the   one  to  destroy  that  kids  life  forever?    “Children  have  long  been  both  beloved  and   denigrated,  idealized  and  feared.  Increasingly  from  the  Enlightenment  and  into  the   Romanic  period,  children  were  cherished  as  almost  sacred,  angelic,  noble,  Apollonian,   closer  to  God  than  disenchanted  adults  ever  can  be;  in  Wordsworth’s  phrase,  even  ‘trailing   clouds  of  glory’  as  infants  descended  from  heaven  to  impure  Earth.  At  the  same  time,  an   older  but  still  continuing  tradition  sees  children  as  intrinsically  evil,  Dionysian,  wild,   untamed,  asocial  and  anti-­‐social,  needing  wickedness  beaten  out  of  them  and  goodness   beaten  in.  Thus  the  child  is  deviant,  threatening,  anarchic  but  also  beloved  and  dependent,   calling  forth  self-­‐sacrifice  and  altruism  on  the  part  of  adults,  especially  the  parent”  (Jenks,   1996).   Maybe  people  didn’t  want  to  believe  these  scandals  because  they  are  men,  famous  and  had   power.  What  if  they  were  all  women?  Would  people  believe  it  right  away?    It’s  really  rare  to   read  about  some  woman  molesting  a  young  boy  or  a  girl.  In  the  beginning  of  this  year,  a   teacher  was  having  sexual  intercourse  with  a  student  in  the  classroom  during  school  hours  

in Florida.  The  case  was  pretty  big  because  the  teacher  tried  to  escape  when  she  found  out   that  people  knew  about  them.  But  I  think  women  in  general  get  really  upset  reading  about  a   woman  having  sexual  intercourse  with  a  young  boy,  but  when  males  read  this,  they  either   get  upset  or  laugh  and  I  have  that  feeling  that  some  of  them  laugh.  Males  are  accused  of   molesting  children  more  often  than  women.  I  don’t  think  anyone  could  answer  that   question:  Why  do  men  molest  children  more  often  than  women?   Gossiping  about  pedophilia  is  good.  Grown  ups  and  children  will  be  on  alert  about   that  person  and  be  careful.  But  there  are  some  people,  who  are  very  unlucky,  that  gets   falsely  accused  of  pedophilia  and  have  their  lives  ruined  by  other  people´s  lies,  but  that   doesn’t  happened  that  often.     When  is  comes  to  “men  gossip”  or  “women  gossip”,  people  believe  more  what  men   say  because  girls  intend  to  change  the  stories  and  make  it  sound  a  lot  worse  than  it  was.   Men  do  that  too,  they  tell  stories  about  themselves  and  in  that  story  they  look  like  heroes.     Easthope’s  notion  of  “male  bonding”  within  men’s  magazines  may  be  augmented  by   a  description  of  magazine  discourse  as  “male  gossip.”  Gossip  is  a  mode  of  speaking   traditionally  associated  with  women,  which  in  its  broadest  sense  is  a  means  of   affirming  group  solidarity  and  an  unofficial  channel  for  information.  (21)  

Works Cited   “Barnaníðingur  brotið  á  fleiri  en  fimmtíu  börnum:  Aldrei  þurft  að  svara  til  saka.“  Pressan.  7   January  2013.  Web.  17  March  2013.   Benwell,  Bethan.  “Male  Gossip  and  Language  Play  in  the  Letters  Pages  of  Men’s  Lifestyle   Magazines.”  Journal  of  Popular  Culture.  19-­‐33.  Print   Cooky,  Cheryl.  “Success  Without  Honor:  Cultures  of  Silence  and  Pain  in  the  Penn  State   Scandal.”  Cultural  Studies  <=>  Critical  Methodologies  12  (2012):  326-­‐329.  Sage   Journals.  Web.  17  March  2013.   Goode,  Sarah  D.  Pædophiles  in  Society:  Reflecting  on  Sexuality,  Abuse,  and  Hope.  London:   Palgrave,  2011.  Print.   “Rape  Statistics  –  South  Africa  and  Worldwide  2011.”  Rape  Survivor  Journey.  Survivor   Journey,  n.  d.  Web.  17  March  2013.   Valgerðardóttir,  Sunna.  “Þrjú  ungmenni  beittu  Karl  Vigni  líkamlegu  og  andlegu  ofbeldi  heila   nótt:  Bundu  Karl  Vigni  við  stól  og  píndu.”  Fréttablaðið  9  January  2013.  Web.  17   March  2013.   Van  Niekirk,  Jason.  “The  Virtue  of  Gossip.”  South  African  Journal  of  Philosophy  27.4  (2008):   400-­‐412.  Print.      

Essay 3  

Paedophile essay 3 fsu

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