Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jennifer Teague -- New Photos on Police Web Site

Recently, the Ottawa police posted 24 new photographs of potential witnesses in the Jennifer Teague case. 18-year-old Jennifer Teague disappeared from her home in Barrhaven, Ontario last September. Her body was found about 10 days later and police are still trying to track down her killer.

They have posted new photographs on their web site of people who were in a convenience store on the night that Jennifer disappeared. The police have received 38 calls in response to these new pictures. Let's hope that some new witnesses come forward to shed light on this tragic situation. Her family deserves answers and closure.

If you have ANY info about potential witnesses, please call the Ottawa Police Jennifer Teague tip-line at (613) 236-1222 extension 5477 or contact police by e-mail at infojennifer@ottawapolice.ca.

Sigrid Mac

** Update: By June 1st, 8 of these people have been removed from the list because police have already interviewed them.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Younger Men Pursuing Older Women Online

Lately, there's been a lot of press about the number of predators on Internet web sites, especially My Space.com. According to Andrew Keen, My Space is a gathering for approximately 98 million users, many of whom are in their teens and twenties. Dateline and CNN both ran specials on police officers who pretended to be peers and were able to gain the trust and confidence of many ignorant teens on My Space.

Of course, this is very disturbing and as a member of My Space, I lament the lack of discretion that so many young people use on their web pages. They put their age, their pictures, the name of their town, their sexual preference and post provocative pictures of themselves. They do just about everything except draw a map to their house because they feel secure and think that they're just chatting back-and-forth with their virtual friends. That is not safe Internet behavior; however, the vast majority of people on My Space and the Internet in general are not perverts and are not trying to take advantage of teens. (My Space itself has a policy where it won't allow anyone under the age of 14 to join and those under 14 or 15 must set their profiles to private so that they can only be read by their friends.)

So, freaky pedophile adults are a problem on the Net, even though they're not in the majority BUT little has been said about another unusual, yet far more benign, phenomenon -- that of young men propositioning older women online. I've been on My Space for a couple of months now and on a daily basis, I receive about 5 --10 notes from men, or should I say boys. Some of them are innocuous. Others are off the wall (e.g., I literally can't count the number of marriage proposals that I've had in the last couple of weeks from both men and women! Who are these people who write love letters to total strangers? Is it the online version of the Jerry Springer audience?) Yet others are vulnerable teenage boys telling me that they're dying to lose their virginity to an older woman (I quickly refer them to the local single's group for teens!)

But the e-mails that interest me the most are the flirtations and propositions that I receive from men half my age. They tell me that they're turned on by older women. They think older women are more experienced sexually -- true! -- and that they know what they're doing. (Not necessarily!) They say that girls their age are missing something. (Osteoporosis? Senior discounts at the movies? Orange flavored Metamucil in the cupboard?)

The attention of these young men is very flattering and it forces me to rethink my earlier statements about the way society views couples of different ages. It's always been acceptable for an older, especially wealthy, man to take on a younger wife or mistress but this has not applied to an older woman taking on a younger male lover unless she's Catherine the Great or Demi Moore. In fact, I wrote extensively about this in my book D'Amour Road, where my main female character, 39-year-old Tara Richards, falls in love with a 24-year-old man and is ridiculed for doing so.

Maybe I'll have to eat my words. Things may change if young men are now actively pursuing older women and feeling more confident about it because of the relative anonymity of the Internet. To quote from the song Stacy's Mom by Fountain of Wayne:

"Stacy's Mom has got it goin' on.
She's all I want and I've waited for so long.
Stacy, can't you see, you're just not the girl for me?
I know it might be wrong but I'm in love with Stacy's Mom."

Move over, Stacey, girl -- you can't compete with your mom!

Clearly, these young men who contact me are not alone. There is an acronym that guys use to indicate that they're attracted to their friends' mothers by referring to them as MILFs : Mothers I'd Like to ... (let's be polite here) Fondle? This suggests that a social movement is underway.

Sigrid Mac