It's about time for a resounding "Shut Up!"

Roman Polanski might have something to answer for. There may be a defensible argument that he should be punished in some way, perhaps even beyond what he has already served. Contrary to what the bloody alarmist screamers will tell you, it isn't really amoral motivation to rise in defense of the alleged behavior of people like Polanski that causes people like me to come to his defense. Contrary to what my critics would argue, defending people like Polanski is not tantamount to "defending child rape." What really causes me, and many people like me, to come to the defense of people like Polanski is an acute understanding of a peculiar madness rampant in our current social situation. It is our awareness of how rationality, truth and justice are mutilated beyond recognition when it comes to accusations of sex-related crimes by males.

Morality, particularly moral reasoning about male sexuality, is distorted toward insanity. Occasionally, it spills fully over into obvious and actual insanity, treating us to a brief full frontal view of the nonsensical, viscous misandry that innocently masquerades as a "healthy vigilance" for sexually predatory behavior. Eric Williamson, in comparison to Polanski, doesn't much seem to have anything to answer for -- by a long shot. But if someone like Eric can be arrested, publicly humiliated and destroyed based on what happened inside and outside his private residence at 5:30 A.M. last Monday, I'm not sure any male is safe from this army of rampaging lunatics. This makes me absolutely sick.

For various reasons at various times, humans are naked. It happens to the best of us. Clothing is something we have the right to occasionally shed. It is necessary for bathing. Sometimes it is just needed for comfort, and sometimes the logistics of grooming and meeting contemporary standards of cleanliness require brief periods of nudity. If it were legal, I would challenge anyone to walk out late at night or early in the morning and make an effort to gaze into other people's homes. If you are successful (and you don't get arrested), I'll bet you will see some skin. And if you did, it seems the fault (presuming there is any fault in making such observations) would most likely lie entirely with you -- the gazer violating other people's privacy.

Our homes are very special places under our laws and traditions. I reserve the right to be naked in mine, and I don't even have to give a reason. That is at least partially what my home is for. It is a place for privacy and sanctuary from the demands of public life -- such as the requirement to be clothed at all times. It is a place where I can be comfortable, in whatever stage of dress or undress I so desire, for whatever reason I want.

Hyper-vigilance gone mad regarding male sexuality and exposure of the male body is quickly approaching a level of insanity under which the social order cannot be preserved. What happened to Eric could happen to most any man (a woman would never have been attacked), and if we stand by without protest we are aiding and abetting the emergence of a social order that isn't going to work for anybody.  This is getting out of hand. It is crazy, and it is unnatural. This poor guy is looking at being on a predator list and losing his right to function freely in society because he chose to get coffee before he got dressed.

It has to stop. It's time we start telling these people to S.T.F.U., rather than validating their neuroses about the human body through silence. Misandry, sexual repression gone insane, and bizarre anxiety and anger about male sexuality is making our world into a very difficult place. Most of us tend to go silent and let these incidents pass, mainly because of the effectiveness of the lunatic's accusation that we are "defending rape" whenever we call their behavior what it is -- insanity. It is mental illness at it's worst -- when it masquerades as reason.

The arrest of Eric Williamson is absolutely despicable. It is absurd. How much more of this are we going to be able to take before somebody has the guts to say enough is enough?

< Afghanistan is the Taliban is Afghanistan is the Taliban | Evil, and the Liberal Vocabulary >


What should happen to Eric Williamson?
He should be exonerated and awarded damages for libel and false arrest. 66%
He should be exonerated, but should alter his behavior. 0%
He should be convicted of something, but not placed on the offender list. 33%
He should be convicted of a sex crime and placed on the offender list. 0%
He should never get out of prison...ever...ever...ever...ever...ever 0%
He should be castrated. 0%
He should be executed. 0%

Votes: 3
Results | Other Polls
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    Excellent diary James.... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 11:47:23 AM EST
    and once again I am utterly flabbergasted by an arrest...it is insanity, no ther way to explain it.  Ya can't be in naked in your own house...good grief.

    What I want to know... (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 11:56:19 AM EST
    ...is why this wannabe Gladys Kravitz isn't facing charges for being a Peeping Tom.  Just happens to out walking with some kid at 5:30am and just happens to glance in the window?  Riiiiiight.  

    Gladys Kravitz... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 12:01:55 PM EST
    well played sir...nail on the head.

    No worse neighbor than a nosy neighbor...I almost wish there was a nosy neighbor database a la the sex offender database so we could identify and shame these people...but then I'd be just like this sick lady.


    Sometimes... (none / 0) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 12:19:45 PM EST
    ...that knowledge of 60's sitcoms pays off!  

    Of course, back then, a person's home was their castle.  The old man had a habit of running around the house in his jockey's.  Nobody had the gall ever be peeking in our huge living room window and ratting him out the the Man.  

    Although I may have wanted to when I had friends come over, I never did either.


    Yours too? (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 01:06:44 PM EST
    Too funny...my old man loved to sit at the kitchen table in his boxers...and it was not unheard of for his junk to be hanging out the trap door...luckily no one called child services.

    Because she is (none / 0) (#6)
    by JamesTX on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:00:53 PM EST
    married to a local cop.

    This stinks (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by JamesTX on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 08:46:10 PM EST
    with a capital S. Nothing was mentioned about having to register. I hope that isn't part of the deal. If it is, men everywhere should be outraged. This guy was an unlucky outsider -- a long-haired single male -- in a small community where he was fingered by a cop's wife and didn't have a chance. Her and her young companion were not only peeping, but trespassing (they were on the property of the house Williamson was in). If they don't want to see people in compromised states of dress and undress, perhaps they should stick to the public streets and sidewalks, and perhaps they should keep their eyes out of other people's windows. That is what a man would be told if he reported seeing a naked woman in a window.

    If Williamson were female, everyone knows this would have never happened. The incident would have never been reported. If he were female, it is much more likely that a man walking by who saw the same thing would be charged and convicted of peeping. In fact, it happens every day.

    I don't begrudge people who are disgusted by male nudity, but that shouldn't be Williamson's problem, or any man's problem, so long as he is in the privacy of his home. I am tired of seeing males punished simply for being both male and naked at times which others find inconvenient. I am tired of institutionalized misandry. This man didn't do anything, and I'll never see it any other way.

    Did you miss this part? (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 07:25:48 AM EST
    However, a judge said since Williamson was seen by more than one person over the course of several hours, the judge considered the behavior "indecent".

    I consider... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 08:08:58 AM EST
    the judge indecent myself.

    Hi jbindc, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by JamesTX on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:44:40 AM EST
    I realize you have brought this up before, and I am not sure I can offer any counter argument to the claims that he was "seen by others". Since the "others" who saw him are never detailed in the stories, and the precise nature of the "seeing" is not described, it simply means more than one, or more than two, allegedly looked in this guy's window (which is precisely the way the incident would be described if the male was outside and the female was inside). Two who "saw" are accounted for. But being "seen by others" can be the result of many things, including complete random chance and accident -- if not due to active spreading of the word by a neighborhood busy body (hey, go peep in on that long-haired guy down the road that doesn't go to work at 8 AM like men are supposed to -- he's naked in his house! I told you he was weird!).

    No matter what, "being seen" is a passive activity, not an act. Much more contextual information is needed to accuse him of anything, and such information is conspicuously absent from reports. To me, the missing information suggests it doesn't favor the local law enforcement side of the story. His attorney seems to suggest that. The judges statement seems to suggest the idea he was trying to be seen was pure opinion. "Being seen" raises real questions of negligence if one is walking around in one's birthday suit in the mall or at the park. I could follow you on that. I really could. I am not insane! But. the. guy. was. in. his. house. Period. If he was female, everyone would be piling on the peeker instead of him. I have to draw the line, because I respect my own gender, and I am enraged about the bizarre way that we have been targeted during the last twenty years as being natural born perverts, with the only good males being those who are strong enough "control their impulses". Quite frankly, I am very, very tired of that.

    We can agree to disagree.


    Need to know the rest of the story (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:39:46 PM EST
    Apparently, someone else said she saw him twice standing in a glass door, and then a window at 8:30 in the morning as the woman was taking her kid to school (there is a school bus stop right across the street) - and him being naked in the doorway seemed to be deliberate, enough that the police arrested him.

    Police also believe there were other incidents.

    We need to wait and see how this plays out before tagging this guy as a victim.

    I can understand the lure (none / 0) (#8)
    by JamesTX on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 07:46:05 PM EST
    of the notion of "other victims", if there had been any other complaints. In fact, it sways thinking about the issue, because it suggests there are others, when there are none as of yet, and that makes the sole complaint appear more credible. But the fact is, there weren't any other victims known, and the sole accuser is the spouse of a cop (something they have conveniently left out of many reports). When they have to start looking for the "other victims" after the fact, and after the accounts have been published and hyped by the media, I am suspect of what they might "find". The insanity driving sex offender mania tends to distort memory heavily in favor of arrest and conviction (just to be on the safe side), and I am not sure I am very much swayed by an effort to "search for victims". Victims generally don't hide, but people who ride this bandwagon tend to have creative memories.

    No (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 08:31:28 AM EST
    There were at least two separate complaints registered.  The first was allegedly took place at 5:30 am.  The next one allegedly occurred some morning at 8:30 am, and then it was 2 separate times - one where she claimed he was standing naked in a glass door, and then he moved to a window that faces a school bus stop.

    Now, maybe they are all full of malarkey, but I would be ticked if this happened in my neighborhood and the police didn't investigate it.


    Investigate what? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 09:01:10 AM EST
    the guy is in his house, he can do what he wants in his house...if anybody in the neighborhood don't like it, stop peeking through the windows and doors for christ's sake.  

    No (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:44:35 PM EST
    you aren't allowed to stand naked in front of a picture window with the curtains open, for all the world to see.

    I find that hard to believe... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:00:20 PM EST
    but I'll defer to your superior knowledge of the law... but isn't it also illegal to be a Peeping Tom?  Whats the ruling on that?

    Don't know the exact law (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:35:29 PM EST
    But I don't think it would be considered being a "peeping tom" if you were walking your kid to school on a public sidewalk and your neighbor was standing in a full picture window naked and not trying to sneak around.

    Not even for a couple of seconds? (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:27:54 AM EST
    what if you're just briefly walking by the window?

    The real secret of all this is that we need taboos and hysteria about "indecency" in order to keep the titillation and marketing of sex in the hands of the Jehovahs of the marketplace and the mega-church pulpits.

    And the garden is strictly off limits. So dont even ask, kids.


    I apologize (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by JamesTX on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 10:15:09 AM EST
    by default for my oversight, and I may be wrong, but I can't find any report that even suggests there were two separate incidents. There are conflicting reports of the times involved (5:30AM versus 8:30AM), but that appears to have resulted from misunderstanding by Mr. Williamson of when the alleged offense occurred, or perhaps just a typo. There is no report that I can find of any other complaining party other than the spouse of the police officer and her son, who were cutting through the Williamson's property when they saw him. They were on his property without invitation.

    Of course, the normal media hype about how there was a school bus stop near his house is just that -- fright-hype. There is no allegation of anyone at the bus stop being involved, or of anyone even being at the bus stop. It just makes for a good scary story. This is especially true with regard to his "moving" in the house. Everyone knows that naked people are supposed to remain perfectly still. They should never move about in their homes, because that is a sure sign of culpability.

    I think it is ironic and appropriate that this occurred in the context of Halloween! Perhaps these people didn't get enough entertainment out of the festivities.


    Guilty of indecent exposure (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 09:49:49 AM EST
    But no jail time

    SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Erick Williamson says he thought he was just having an early morning cup of coffee in the buff. He got more than coffee.

    On Friday, he got a criminal conviction for indecent exposure. A Fairfax County mom says Williamson made eye contact with her and intentionally exposed himself while she was walking her 7-year-old son to school one morning back in October.

    Yvette Dean says she and her son were walking on this path. She says she first saw Williamson over there at the door by the carport. She says they then walked down the path and she saw him again at the front window.

    "You're not moving around as if it's Martha Stewart's kitchen that's 20 by 30 with a 50-foot ceiling and Viking stoves. It's a very small kitchen," said lawyer Dickson Young.

    All witnesses testified that Williamson never stepped outside his home and made no gestures. However, a judge said since Williamson was seen by more than one person over the course of several hours, the judge considered the behavior "indecent".

    "Most people have done it or do it on a daily basis. I think it's a common thing to be naked in your home," said Williamson.

    Young acknowledged it may have been foolish not to close the curtains. The judge responded: "I don't fine people for being stupid. We'd all be in jail."

    Dean, the wife of a Fairfax County Police officer, told Fox 5 she is pleased with the conviction, but didn't want to say anything else.

    "I feel the exact feelings that they're speaking - I've put onto other people. They're looking into my home. I live in a fishbowl, an ant farm. Everyone's looking inside my house now. That's ok," said Williamson.

    The judge is not requiring Williamson to serve any jail time. He and his lawyer say they will appeal based on principle.

    Thanks for the update... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 09:53:20 AM EST
    hopefully the conviction gets overturned on appeal...but at least no jail, that's a relief.

    More to the story (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 08:44:12 AM EST

    Two women said they saw much more of Williamson than they cared to in October, even though he never left the confines of his home. He received neither jail time nor a fine but is appealing anyway, saying a larger principle is at stake.


    The first woman, school librarian Joyce Giuliani, said she heard some loud singing as she left her home and drove to work. As she drove by Williamson's home, she saw him naked, standing directly behind a large picture window.

    A few hours later, Yvette Dean was walking her 7-year-old son to school along a trail that runs by Williamson's home.

    She heard a loud rattle, looked to her left and saw Williamson standing naked, full frontal, in a side doorway.

    "He gave me eye contact," Dean said, but otherwise made no gestures toward her or her son.

    As she turned the corner, she looked back at the home, in disbelief at what she had just seen. Again, she saw Williamson, naked in the same picture window.

    One of Williamson's housemates testified that Williamson had been nude well before dawn. Timothy Baclit testified that he woke up around 5 a.m. to go to work and saw Williamson walking around "naked ... with a hard hat."

    He said he warned Williamson that he would be visible to passers-by but that Williamson did not respond.

    Williamson, 29, said the conversation with Baclit never occurred and that he never noticed that two women had seen him. He said "it did not occur to me" that people outside the home might see him naked.


    Kent Willis, director of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said there is no line that defines what is acceptable in these types of cases.

    "How you define public and private space depends on the behavior that's taking place," Willis said. He said that if the case is pursued through appellate courts, it could potentially provide more clarity on what constitutes indecent exposure in Virginia.

    Thanks for the information. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by JamesTX on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:09:29 PM EST
    I see that you did find some actual stories about the other person (1) who "saw" him -- a school librarian. I wonder if she turned up during the after-the-fact "victim search"? She wouldn't be, like, motivated to concur with the local cop's wife, now, would she.

    The cop's wife had this story:

    A few hours later, Yvette Dean was walking her 7-year-old son to school along a trail that runs by Williamson's home.

    She heard a loud rattle, looked to her left and saw Williamson standing naked, full frontal, in a side doorway.

    "He gave me eye contact," Dean said, but otherwise made no gestures toward her or her son.

    The "...trail that runs by..." was actually on the property on which the house sits. They were cutting through the private property rather than using public passage ways. He made no gestures. Whether or not a person is "making eye contact" is purely perceptual. It isn't objective. Heard a loud rattle? I'm not sure why it was so important to remember that. That isn't a rationalization for why she was gazing, now, is it? Why does she need to have a rationalization if he was so obvious?

    As far as the early bird librarian:

    The first woman, school librarian Joyce Giuliani, said she heard some loud singing as she left her home and drove to work. As she drove by Williamson's home, she saw him naked, standing directly behind a large picture window.

    Again, here we have "singing" being offered up to perhaps explain why her eyes weren't on the road?

    So, the after-the-fact "victim search" turned up another local government employee. I'm not impressed.


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:21:37 PM EST
    Thecop's wife saw him twice - in the window, and then he moved around in front of the door (or the other way around).  I've never seen anything (except from your posts)that said the trail was on private property (which, by the way, isn't Williamson's property either). I'm not clear on the law, but if it was a trail that was commonly used by the public, and the owners/renters never complained, then my guess is the law would recognize a public right-of-way there, so it would be technically "public".

    And the fact that his roommate told him to be careful walking around naked because someone might see him was pretty telling and shows he was on notice that people could see him(although Williamson, of course, denies it).

    And I guess it doesn't really matter that much what you or I think -  he has been found guilty in a court of law by 12 citizens.  Now, he says he's going to appeal and that's his right (although, since he has a suspended sentence, if he decides to appeal and loses, he could face a more serious sentence).

    Hey - even the ACLU doesn't really have an opinion on this.  I think that's very telling.

    Moral of the story - shut your d@mn curtains if you want to walk around naked.


    I think you are (none / 0) (#25)
    by JamesTX on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:43:55 PM EST
    right about shutting curtains. I am not taking a "real strong baby-shaking stance" here, to quote Ron White's humor on a different topic involving reasoning about deviance. I am not saying men should be able to intentionally expose themselves for some psychological sexual thrill or otherwise.

    Also, reminding me that he lost is sort of moot in terms of my purpose. We know he lost. We knew he would. I don't deny that he was overpowered by the system. But that doesn't make it right. And I will talk about things that aren't right even if juries disagree. And I will talk about it even if the ACLU doesn't see the point. History is full of evil perpetrated by juries and judges. The first step to correcting those problems is to talk about them.

    No, I wouldn't expect him to win. And the fact that he couldn't win is at the crux of the ethical problem I am trying to expose. As I have mentioned, I am not so much defending Williamson's behavior in this incident as I am condemning certain aspects of the reaction to him (which is a typical reaction). In fact, there is no behavior to defend, because he isn't even accused of doing anything. He is only accused of failing to conceal himself -- a passive omission. Williamson would also most likely be on the other side of the argument if he were female under the same circumstances. That is, Ms. Williamson would be viewed as the victim of a peeping male, rather than being viewed as a flasher. No part of Williamson's behavior under question was active. It is all about omission. He didn't "protect others" from their viewing of his body, which is a responsibility that is relatively unique to males in our culture, at least in terms of the legal consequences.

    It might help others to understand my position by looking at a similar injustice based in ancient social organization and outdated norms. Consider the recent controversy over the burqa in Islamic society. Women are responsible for hiding themselves from the view of others, and they are punished if they falter. Few people in the United States seem much inclined to defend this tradition, and there is particularly much anger expressed about the unfair burden it places on women in that culture. Here we see the same kind of problem with the role reversed. Are men in the United States somehow less deserving of the same protection? Naturally, I can easily accept that men should cover themselves while women should not have to wear a burqa, but there is still a bizarre twist on the way men are treated on this issue that makes the comparison somewhat valid. I will elaborate.

    To me, it sounds like Williamson could very well have simply been drunk. That would explain unresponsiveness and seeming unawareness of his surroundings. In fact, I think that was alluded to in some of the other reports -- at least I think he was drinking the night before. But that doesn't really matter, either, in the least. It doesn't matter because it suggests he needs a reason to be unresponsive in his own home. It isn't unreasonable or uncommon for a person to psychologically disengage in the privacy of their own home. Even without any explanation, being somewhat unresponsive in one's home is, I think, almost a basic right. A female wouldn't need an explanation for forgetting to close the blinds or not erring on the side of caution in her assessment of the risk of being seen. She would need only to have just forgotten or misjudged, and no other assumption would be imposed (nor any Draconian punishment).

    The issue here with me is that men are assumed to be sexual aggressors in the absence of evidence to the contrary. That is a presumption of guilt, and it is wrong. It may be based in powerful social norms and historical tradition, but men are losing all the assumed benefits that came with that archaic tradition, while still being subjected to all of its costs and its hazards. The times they are changin'. Knee-jerk reactions to male nudity resulting in prosecution for serious crimes -- with no warning and no opportunity to correct the omission -- should be changing to. It should be going the way of all the rest of the gender role artifacts of prehistoric social organization that are finally being discarded. If not altogether, then surely you could agree that men could have at least the right be served notice and given an opportunity to correct any failure to conceal themselves in their own home. This would seem reasonable even if we kept up the "shoot on sight" rule for male nudity in public?

    We are losing our privacy. That is partly due to crowding, partly due to technology, and partly due to a more advanced understanding of human behavior which is driving more openness. It is also, unfortunately, partly due to the emergence of an attitude that we don't deserve it. As all of these layers of protection are peeled back from a variety of angles, it leaves men in a very hazardous position with regard to nudity. My argument is simply that the automatic presumption and prosecution of sexual aggression with which male nudity is met should, at the very least, be tempered with notice when a man is in his own home. At the very least, the police in this instance could have served him with notice that he was visible and that others considered him indecent. He would have then had an opportunity to do something about it. But that isn't how men are treated in this situation in our society.  That isn't how our society reacts to male nudity. The guy was prosecuted with no opportunity to correct his oversight. That sounds to me to be not so different from beating a woman for not wearing a burqa -- without even giving her an opportunity to put it on.


    On the "path". (none / 0) (#26)
    by JamesTX on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 12:44:20 AM EST
    This video provides some information about the "path". I also read about it in one of the early reports which I can't search up right now, and it is on the property. I concede it isn't his property, but I don't see how that matters. It was his residence.

    I don't deny the path could very easily be an easement. For that matter, the sidewalk may be on the property, too, and even half the street. But it sure isn't the sidewalk where these people were, if the reporter is being honest. They had an unusually close view -- something Williamson may very easily not have expected.

    The windows also appear partially occluded and relatively small. I can't find any images of anything that pops into my mind when I hear the term "picture window" (like, say, the display window in a store). This raises questions about how close to the windows Williamson might have expected others to turn up, at what angle, and his judgment about the likelihood of being observed.

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