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Some bad deeds are so shameful that there isn’t much to say about them really.
Such is the case with the crimes of three American men, Ronald Boyajian, 49, Erik Peeters, 41, and Jack Sporich, 75, who were charged this week under a new international law initiative, Operation Twisted Traveler, that specifically targets Americans traveling to Cambodia to sexually abuse children. U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said in a statement:
“The men charged in this investigation apparently thought they could pursue their abhorrent desires by leaving the United States to prey on children in another country, but they were sadly mistaken. We are now working closer than ever with officials in other nations and concerned private parties to take every effort we can to identify and prosecute sex tourists, as well as to provide every protection we can to the world’s children.“
CNN reports that two of the three men sexually abused children as young as 10 and 12 years old abroad. All three face a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Which is just fine by us. We only have one quibble with this story, and it’s semantic. What Boyajian, Peeters, and Sporich are accused of isn’t “sex tourism.” When we think of the word “tourism,” we think of Disney World, comfortable sandals for long days of sightseeing on foot, hundreds of generic snapshots of monuments/state buildings/waterfalls, our very cute mothers in not-so-cute visors and fanny packs on a package-tour to Europe.
But “sex tourism”? There’s no such thing as “sex tourism.” Sex tourism is human trafficking. Sex tourism is sexual abuse. Sex tourism is rape. Let’s not let “twisted travelers” like Boyajian, Peeters, and Sporich off the hook in another way–by twisting our words about their crimes.
Filed under: Alleged Child Molesters, Child Rape, Deplorable Crimes, Forms of Child Abuse, Human Trafficking, Operation Twisted Traveler Could've Been a Great Band Name, Sex Tourism, Tourism, Unfunny Stuff
Y’all know how much we like to joke about how hardass our people are, and how we were disciplined as children. Yeah, we were spanked with hairbrushes, flyswatters, and belts, and sometimes we got slapped in the face (Diana’s sister did for receiving a love note from a classmate…in the 2nd grade). Our moms read our diaries and punished us for our private thoughts. We were told we were failures for bringing home B’s and low test scores, and our parents rarely approved of our friends, who they tended to think were dumb, ill-mannered, disrespectful, and bad influences. Minor infractions like wearing a too-short skirt or missing curfew were judged as major flaws in our character. And the threat of disownment hung over us constantly, like a thick, sullen storm cloud.
The older we get, however, the more we get it. Our Hardass Asian Parents grew up in worlds devastated by war, poverty, deprivation, displacement, and loss. They wanted us to succeed because they didn’t ever want us to “go back to where we came from.” There was a method to their hardass-ness, even though that method was sometimes wack and didn’t easily jibe with our growing up in America. It wasn’t, to paraphrase Phil Collins, a groovy kinda parental love. But it was a kind of love.
When we read this week about a teacher in China who ripped her 5th grade student’s cheek off for not doing his homework, our Hardass Asian Alarm Bells went off. After 10 year-old Chao Qun Zheng told his teacher, Ms. Guo, that he hadn’t completed his homework, she grabbed him by the face, lifted him off the ground, and didn’t let go until she tore his cheek off. It was reported that Ms. Guo then “picked up Zheng’s cheek skin, put it on his face, and instructed the boy go home immediately.”
While it would be easy to chalk this up to Hardass Asian Whathaveyou (one commenter on the story wrote, “I’ve been abused worse than that by my own mother. Asians are hardcore when it comes to schoolwork. This boy just had weak cheeks”), and DISGRASIAN’s not exactly about cutting people slack–especially when it comes to not doing your homework–we also know that there’s a real difference between being a hardass and being a violent, twisted, abusive sick fuck.
And this isn’t hardass, funny, or some sort of intergenerational conflict-anecdote to grow on. This is just wrong.
Thanks, Irwin and Cathy!
Filed under: Chao Qun Zheng, Chinese Teacher Tears Student's Cheek Off, Disownment, Forms of Child Abuse, Hardass Asian Parents, Hardass Asian Upbringings, Sick Fucks, Teacher Guo, Unnecessary Violence
the young lassie offshoot of Beyonce’s House of Deréon clothing line
LITTLE BLONDE GIRL: Pay attention to me!
LITTLE GIRL WITH RED HAT: Hell to the naw. Nobody likes you.
[Little blonde girl runs off, crying]
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: I think I’m the star! I look just like Big B!
LITTLE GIRL WITH FEATHER BOA: Girl, Miss Beyonce told you never to call her “Big B” again!!! She hates it when anyone calls her big. Don’t call her “Cankles,” either. Or “Thunder.”
LITTLE GIRL WITH RED HAT: I call her “B for Beautiful.” That’s why she’s going to make me the star of this ad campaign.
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: I thought I was the star! I look just like her!
LITTLE GIRL WITH FEATHER BOA: Woo ha! You’d look just like her if you wore a mini skirt and ankle boots, even when your legs would call that an inadvisable choice.
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: But I play piano. I have real musical talent.
LITTLE GIRL WITH RED HAT: B doesn’t play piano.
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: Oh.
LITTLE GIRL WITH FEATHER BOA: Yowza, girl! I wouldn’t be talkin’! You’re starrin’ in this here campaign looking like you’re rocking some of Jessica Simpson’s discarded cowgirl boots.
LITTLE GIRL WITH RED HAT: Hmph. They are a little a big.
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: They’re a little wretched, too.
LITTLE GIRL WITH RED HAT: You’re just jealous!
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: No I’m not! Has your mommy even seen you in your line-dancing, ghetto-fabulous digs? I guarantee she’ll think you’re crazy.
LITTLE GIRL WITH FEATHER BOA: Or a hoooooligan!
LITTLE GIRL WITH RED HAT: [to Little Girl With Feather Boa] …Oh! So says the reincarnation of Rick James? Are you supposed to be little Blondie’s pimp or something?
LITTLE CURLY-HAIRED GIRL: I want a pimp!
LITTLE GIRL WITH FEATHER BOA: Girls, I think we all already have one.
LITTLE BLONDE GIRL: [from the corner of the room] Somebody should just take some pictures.