And here was Prudie's answer:
Jeffrey Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal has written some disturbing pieces recently about the insidious trend of assuming all men are predators unless proven otherwise. Society—particularly our children—pays the price for broken homes and for families that have never even had a father around. Now we're supposed to run screaming in the night because a father actually lives with his own wife and children? Obviously, it is up to the parents involved to handle this situation, but I think yours must take a firm stand. (And I'm taking at face value that there is no reason for Sara's objection beyond the one stated.) Your mother should speak to Tammy's mother and explain that while she's nice to offer her home, her daughter has been looking forward to being hostess for this event, that they want to go ahead and have it at your house, and she hopes her daughter will attend. Then call Sara's mother and explain that while she is sensitive to her concerns, it's unfair that her daughter can't have a planned sleepover just because both she and her husband will be home. Tell her they're going ahead with it, and hope she will let her daughter be included. Contact the other parents to let them know they're back to the original sleepover plans. I hope that is the end of this ugly situation. We look back with horror at witch trials; let's hope we're not embarking on warlock hunts.
(If you have a chance to read the article she links to, it's really good also. And it's short.)
Just in case you're reading this and you aren't a guy or don't have guy friends, I'll tell you this is not an uncommon situation. I've had men I know tell me they shy away from volunteering with kiddos--even at their own child's school, church, and other activities--because they're afraid one misconstrued word or action, or one kid who gets ticked off and makes a false accusation could ruin their lives.
But at the same time, who hasn't read a newspaper article or heard through a friend-of-a-friend about some man--whom everyone thought was good and upstanding--molesting his daughter's friends at a slumber party or similar?
So, for this week's Wednesday poll:
How would you have answered this letter? If you had or have a daughter, would you let her go to this slumber party? Why is this different than sending your son to stay the night with a mom present (especially in light of recent teenage boy/teacher scandals)? What about the impact this has on the interaction of children and good male role models? In our culture of heightened fear of sex predators, are all men suspect?
Comment and discuss.