Wednesday, August 7, 2013
To the observer, there is rarely anything as entertaining as sitting back, coffee and cigarette in hand, watching a bunch of people working themselves up into a mouth-frothing state of outrage. As a general rule of thumb, I measure these things in my own way – that the level of outrage exists in direct inverse proportion to coherence. Such is the situation with a Prosecutor labelling a 13 year old girl as being sexually "predatory". That she was the victim in a case involving sexual activity with a 41 year old man only poured fuel onto this bonfire of stupidity.
The wall of loathing – and censure – that has crashed upon this prosecutor is disturbing on many levels, mostly because it rests on the assumption that 13 year old girls cannot be sexually predatory. To insist on this is to descend to such a depth of stupidity that I cannot follow the "argument" without excising a fair chunk of my cerebellum. To insist that no 13 year old girl wants sex, makes up her mind and initiates it, even enjoys it, is to spit in the face of experience, biology and history. It is to be so blinded by ideology as to deny reality – a worrying place in which people can find themselves.
Obviously, to point out that 13 year olds can be sexually predatory is to invite comment. Most of it based on straw-doll arguments. To say that such children can be sexually predatory is not to defend the men who succumb. It is not to argue for a lowering of the age of consent. And it is not to argue that "she was asking for it" (though she literally did, it seems). It is no more, and no less, to state a fact – that people under the age of 16 can have a sexual will and act to achieve it.
This is repellent to some minds. It flies in the face of their world-view, it is to challenge the sometimes twisted ideology that inveigles some crevices in the child protection movement. They cannot encompass the idea that children can be sexual, let alone predatory. I find this worrying, even frightening, that such a denial of reality can take such deep roots that to challenge it is beyond civilised discourse. Such stupidity craves challenge.
It is possible to advocate child protection whilst accepting that some children are sexual beings. It is possible to admit that some people under 16 can have sex willingly, without trauma, and yet not be advocating sex between them and adults. In short, no matter how sexually predatory a child may be, it does not excuse – even implicitly – the adults involved.
Once this is accepted, even slightly, then the Outraged move on to their ultimate argument – that children (even if sexual) are not sufficiently endowed with emotional or moral reasoning to be allowed to make sexual choices. This may or may not be true; it is largely irrelevant to my argument. For the very same people who heap abuse on anyone who dares throw the reality of biology into the faces of the po-faced are the ones who cheerfully insist that children who have sex with other children are abusers and should be thrown in prison.
Interesting.... So kids are not sexual. Or even if they are, they are not responsible. Ever. Unless we decide they are. Then we throw them before the courts and hold them accountable for the very sexuality we deny they are capable of being responsible for.
Unravel that. Then get back to me. But feel free to park your outrage and engage your brain first. If you dare.