Richard Connelly writes that after interviewing prosecutors of child predators,
It triggered an idea about how people have a preconceived notion of what dangerous predators "always" look like — slovenly fat guys in T-shirts asking kids if they wanted a ride — and how best to shake that notion up.
An item on "10 sex offenders who don't look like sex offenders" might have done the trick, but seemed boring.
In an attempt to catch attention (and yes, eyeballs and clicks), I thought of the ten hottest female sex offenders. "Hottest" because it's a Web-headline staple for such listicles.
He says he included the ages of the predators' victims to drive home the point that even "normal-looking" people can commit heinous crimes. "Glamorizing or trivializing child rape? It did not cross my mind that I was doing that. It should have, it now seems clear," he says.
Well, yes. We too are in the business of catchy headlines, but there's provocative and there's blatantly fucked-up. And we're having a lot of trouble buying Connelly's claim that he was making a socially relevant point when he chose to showcase female sex offenders, who make up a minority of the registry, and his intro read in part,
There are females on [the sex offenders list], too. Most of them are not good-looking, true, but who takes a good mugshot besides Tom DeLay?
We combed through 15 of the biggest counties in Texas and came up with the ten hottest women in the database.
How strange that people might have read this as ogling predators as opposed to showing that they look just like other people! We should be apologizing to him.