When a loss is a gain

In a post which touches on a basic difference between the sexes, Dr. Helen notes an irony:

"Pretty sad when something all teen males fantasize about happening to them is considered a crime."

This is a typical response to a story linked by Drudge about a mother and daughter who both abused the same teen boy who is now 17 years old (but was 14 when the abuse started)...

The woman in these cases is legally a child abuser, although the boy sees it as not only desirable, but as a rite of passage.

A step towards manhood.

Few of them seemed to consider the abuse a crime, just a privilege that a teen male had two women showing him the ways of the world.

But as a commenter, pointed out, the standard vis-a-vis girls is completely different, and we are supposed to be fair:

Plenty of 14 year-old girls dream of having an older male lover, and would greatly enjoy the experience. Yet society will condemn a male that takes advantage of that fact. Why should the consequences for a woman who violates a 14 year-old boy be any different?

Because society demands that the sexes be treated the same, that's why. What is a rite of passage for a boy is often a cheapening, degrading, and traumatic experience for a girl. It's not fair, and it must be made fair.

In Mexican culture, it is relatively common for a father to take his teenage son to a prostitute so she can show them the ropes (I have heard that in the Mideast, widows provide a similar function) and while the custom is not unheard of in this country, in the unlikely event that the son complained, the prositute could be arrested for pedophilia and the father might face conspiracy charges. But whether that's a desirable way to ensure that a boy learns how to be sexually functional or not, it is very hard to imagine any normal mother taking her daughter to a hired male prostitute to have sex. For a boy, losing virginity means gaining experience; for a girl it means being damaged.

Traditionally, the sexes simply don't see the "loss" of virginity the same way. What is gain for a man is loss for a woman.

Whether calling it sexist and treating the sexes equally will change this, who knows? 

Glad I don't make the rules.

MORE: Speaking of rules, RH Hardin points out in the comments that while "a young girl is not expected to understand the bargain, a young man has no such constraint to start with."

And Frank notes that because a new revision in the California Penal Code criminalized even a "come on" by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson (of The Graduate) would now be a criminal.

Hmmm...

Does that mean that in the hands of a clever prosecutor, maybe Playboy centerfolds could be charged with "raping" the fifteen year olds who get all hot and bothered when they look at them?

Maybe not. But I find it ironic to the point of ridiculousness that if a teenager actually managed to hook up with a Playboy centerfold who had been the subject of his masturbatory fantasies, she would be the criminal.

 

posted by Eric on 01.01.11 at 05:42 PM










Comments

Respectability for a woman is in how good a deal she makes for herself.

A young girl is not expected to understand the bargain.

A young man has no such constraint to start with.

The difference is in the need for a good deal; and that comes from finding a male that will take care of you, usually.

Though a very high priced prostitute comes out respectable as well.

rhhardin   ·  January 1, 2011 7:13 PM

In California a new revision to the Penal Code makes even a "come on" by an oder woman to a teenager boy a crime:

(1) Any person who commits an act described in subdivision (a) with the intent described in that subdivision, and the victim is a child of 14 or 15 years, and that person is at least 10 years older than the child, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for one, two, or three years, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. In determining whether the person is at least 10 years older than the
child, the difference in age shall be measured from the birth date of the person to the birth date of the child.

Subdivison (a): (a) Except as provided in subdivision (i), any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act...

Mrs. Robinson now goes to jail!

Frank   ·  January 1, 2011 8:40 PM

From Dr. Helen's comment section:

Blogger Cham said...

I read the article. I came away from it thinking the fine state of Arizona needs to put these two women in prison for several years. They did something immoral and criminal. I don't really care what any commenter thinks.

The key here is the inclusion of "immoral" in the condemnation. This seems to be the driving force in a lot of laws now, and it's not just conservatives who are leading the way. MADD, Mayor Bloomberg, even Michelle Obama are all crusade leaders trying to stamp out one form of sin or another. Since we're on this road, why don't we go back to a time when we had appropriate punishments for sin. I'm thinking Colonial Virginia. We could take a lesson or two from them.
Here's a link to what they did:
http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/spring03/branks.cfm

The Ducking Stool sounds about right for these two women.

Frank   ·  January 2, 2011 1:09 AM

Frank

All law is but a mere subset of morality. It comes down to whose morality and how much of it will be codified.

Murder? Theft? Fraud? Adultery? Age of consent? All behaviors which fall into moral decisions made by the individuals involved.

What may be accepted behavior in one culture may be abhorrent in another. This requires honest evaluation and debate.

If Mexican culture supports a father taking his minor son to a prostitute, it can be argued that is wrong in light of how Mexican men treat women (ie very poorly).

Darleen   ·  January 2, 2011 12:17 PM

All law is but a mere subset of morality

Only if you define it that way.

Laws that keep people from hurting each other aren't about "morality", they're about performing the govt's major role of keeping us from hurting each other.

Stealing, assault and murder are all about hurting each other, not "morality".

Now, blue laws are, by definition, all about "morality". Global warmmongering and other eco-wacko laws are also morality.
SS, medicare, welfare and all those sort of services are probably about morality too, we don't want to let people starve in the streets.

But the core laws are about hurting each other and that's why we need a govt in the first place.

But if you want to define making laws to keep people from hurting each other as about "morality", well.... yes.

Veeshir   ·  January 2, 2011 12:47 PM

Laws that keep people from hurting each other aren't about "morality"

Of course they are. Trying to divorce it from our basic morality that "All Men are Created Equal" is silly. There are all manner of cultures (past and present) where killing/hurting The Other isn't only acceptable but encouraged.

Morality is but a set of rules for living - from macro societal behavior to micro personal behavior.

Anonymous   ·  January 2, 2011 2:25 PM

Laws that keep people from hurting each other aren't about "morality"

Of course they are. Trying to divorce it from our basic morality that "All Men are Created Equal" is silly. There are all manner of cultures (past and present) where killing/hurting The Other isn't only acceptable but encouraged.

Morality is but a set of rules for living - from macro societal behavior to micro personal behavior.

Darleen Click   ·  January 2, 2011 2:26 PM

I do understand the whole unexamined "You can't legislate morality!" thing. It is/was an attempt to draw a bright line between behaviors such as murder and rape, and other things that are immoral but should not be illegal like adultery and fornication.

But it misses the point of America's moral foundation - that our Founding Fathers felt we only needed to codify some morality and left other moral codes to private and religious institutions to carry on - and for local communities to set their own standards.

Haven't you noticed with the decrease in American population in regular church/temple attendance accompanied by a popular culture that either mocks or is openly hostile to religion that we have quantitatively more micro-behaviorial laws/statutes/codes on the book? Everything from university speech codes, to office "sensitivity" training.

Darleen Click   ·  January 2, 2011 2:37 PM

Striving for the rule amid the cases: what if the 14 yr old boy (adam) were introduced to his sexuality by an 18 yr old boy, (bill) and bill's 40 yr old father (charles)?

Or if adam, bill, and charles were instead arlene, brenda, and charlotte?

Or adam, brenda, and charles ; or arlene, brenda, and charles?

Simple as a,b,c? Is age the only issue? Is the relationship between any young "b" and parent "c" a part of the problem?

pouncer   ·  January 2, 2011 5:51 PM

Veeshir is right. The Founding Fathers did not codify religion in The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. In fact they separated it out of government as much as possible. They were men of The Enlightenment who had studied ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the religious monsters of the Dark Ages. The Eighth Amendment is a perfect example. No more branding, cutting off peoples ears, or hanging them along side the road from gibbets until the flesh rotted off. Christianity never had a problem with that.


Frank   ·  January 2, 2011 7:14 PM

Frank

our Founding Fathers codified some religion ... "All men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ..." is a profoundly religious statement. There is absolutely no empirical evidence to support such an assertion. It is an assertion of faith based on their understanding of what they decided would be the best way to realize a civilization based on individual rights; a bottom up rather than top down heirarchy. But they not only didn't reject religion and morality, but understood their the form of secular government could not survive without a vibrant societal morality AND religion.

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other." ~~John Adams

You operate on an internally adopted morality every day, whether you have articulated it or not. To abandon talk of "morality" to those that would shape it to their progressive/leftist/statist ends rather than to stand and defend the American morality of individual responsibility with its concurrent ethics of voluntary duty & honor to one's family, friends and neighbors is to do exactly as the Left wants you to do -- leave morality entirely up to them.

Darleen Click   ·  January 2, 2011 7:36 PM

Of course they are. Trying to divorce it from our basic morality that "All Men are Created Equal" is silly. There are all manner of cultures (past and present) where killing/hurting The Other isn't only acceptable but encouraged.

That's not relevant.

We're not talking about the "other" here, we're talking about laws about "us".

We're talking about people not being able to hurt their neighbors, that has nothing to do with an "other".

Anonymous   ·  January 2, 2011 8:55 PM

DAmmmmmmmmit. I keep forgetting this blog refuses to remember my name.

The previous comment in response to Darleen by "anonymous" is from me. It's in moderation right now.

Veeshir   ·  January 2, 2011 8:57 PM

DAmmmmmmmmit. I keep forgetting this blog refuses to remember my email too. Two comments in moderation.

Veeshir   ·  January 2, 2011 8:59 PM

Darleen: I would have said that ""All men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ..." is a perfunctorily religious statement, especially when coupled to the equivocal "nature and nature's God." That Adams, Jefferson and other of the founders were in favor of encouraging what often gets called "civil religion" I don't doubt, but the end of that sort of religion (and the point of Adams' statement) is civility, not worship.

HMI   ·  January 2, 2011 9:57 PM

Darleen Click, while it is true that the Founders paid lip service to religion, and assumed a society based on a somewhat Christian religious framework, the reality of our country from colonial inception through 400 years of secular development is not one of religion ruling the roost. The frontier and its freedom was THE driving force.

The make believe small town, go to church on Sunday world isn't what created the wealth, factories, inventions, and until now, fantastic standard of living. That world of ethics of voluntary duty & honor to one's family is fine for those who want it. But I think our history demonstrates that is not what this country is about.

I'm not taking sides here. You are right about the left trying to legislate morality. At the same time, it's amusing to watch a confluence of interests like leftist Women's Rights advocates and social conservatives get together and pass a law like the one I quoted above. And those evil women, mother and daughter no less, who molested that 15 y/o in Arizona -- what hussies!

Frank   ·  January 2, 2011 10:24 PM

Veeshir

We're not talking about the "other" here, we're talking about laws about "us".

Oh for heaven's sake (you should excuse the expression) .. you were talking HUMAN BEINGS and if you accept that ALL individuals are born with inalienable rights that means ALL. Again, we are talking about a moral code based not on any empirical evidence but faith. It is a beginning assumption as it cannot be "proved" (see E. Kant). But one must assume free will if one is to talk meaningfully about morality. Every human individual on this earth is either born with free will (individual rights) or they are not. The Founding Fathers didn't say "All Men are Created Equal, except those guys over in China"; indeed, many of them knew they were kicking the fulfillment of their own stated morality down the road without addressing slavery (both chattel and bond) right then and there.

HMI "civil religion" vs .. what? religion-religion? Is that like rape-rape? The purpose of Judeo-Christian religions has been to impart to their adherents maps by which to live aka morality. Does this mean that people who are not regular attendees are immoral? Of course not. Morality isn't about one's belief system but about one's behavior. But I find it amusing that people who adopt a morality rooted in Judeo-Christian religion refuse to acknowledge it. As if they'll get cooties or something. I suggest you examine your premises.

Frank

I can't help but come to the conclusion you are very hostile to religion and refuse to acknowledge even the most modest of its positives in history; even coming up with such a self-serving canard --

the Founders paid lip service to religion

as if they were sitting around snickering up their sleeves about putting one over on the bitter-clingers they wanted to liberate from King George.

and Frank, you're dishonest. You didn't provide a link to PC288, only quoted part of it and it doesn't apply to a "come on" at all. The full statute deals with lewd and lacivious acts committed upon the bode of the minor.

You're a bigot, I get it, and I'm done with you.

Darleen Click   ·  January 3, 2011 8:02 PM

oh crud PIMF

"the bode" should be "the body"

Darleen Click   ·  January 3, 2011 8:04 PM

From the revised California Penal Code, the law is informally known as "Chelsea's Law" and the full subdivision (a) is:

288. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (i), any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by
imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.

So yes, Darleen Click, you are technically correct that I omitted the full context of that subsection. But it was not done to purposely deceive, but to simplify, since that subsection (a) that was referred to applies to children less than 14 years old, while the "acts" are the important part.
You tell me what constitutes a "come on" since I didn't specify. The law says "commits ...upon or with the body...of a child". That implies to me they are making a difference between a lewd act "upon" and "with the body". I'm not trying to weasel out of this, but really, we're talking about an older person who comes on to a 14 or 15 year old. Is contact the defining element here that makes the crime? If so, I was mistaken.

I had such an experience as a teenager, and it would definitely qualify under this law. I was a paperboy in a small town. While on the route one afternoon my former 3rd grade, unmarried school teacher stopped me when I got to her house and asked if I would do her a big favor by changing a light bulb on the 12' high ceiling of her old Victorian kitchen, since she was deathly afraid of heights. As a 15 y/o I didn't have a clue. While climbing down the unsteady ladder, the woman reached up to help me, and groped my crotch like a TSA agent. It was no big deal for me, since I didn't respond like she wanted. I figured what the hell, give the old gal a thrill. (She was then probably in her 40's.)
Now the poor, lonely, love starved woman could go to jail.

Mellow out, Darleen. And that goes for all the rest of the uptight socons.

And Darleen, I'm no more a bigot against religion than were most of the Founding Fathers. For those with an OPEN mind, try reading "The Founding Fathers Were Not Christians" at this link:
http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

Frank   ·  January 3, 2011 9:18 PM

The summary of Thomas Jefferson's "Virginia Act for Religious Freedom" 1786:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

Nothing in there about Christianity, but a lot about "natural rights".

And this was the basis of the 1st Amendment.

Frank   ·  January 3, 2011 11:31 PM

Darleen:
From Longman Dictionary of Informal English:

come-on [countable usually singular] informal
"Something that someone does deliberately to make someone else sexually interested in them."

This seems to leave a lot of room and is rather vague wouldn't you say? Maybe it's a look, an accidental but inappropriate touch, a lewd pose or gesture, an innuendo, or something more lascivious and explicit. The definition neither excludes nor includes overt action or physical contact.

I stand by my earlier comment that the law criminalizes a come-on instigated by an adult with a 14 or 15 year old.

Frank   ·  January 4, 2011 2:29 AM

Oh for heaven's sake (you should excuse the expression) .. you were talking HUMAN BEINGS and if you accept that ALL individuals are born with inalienable rights that means ALL. Again, we are talking about a moral code based not on any empirical evidence but faith. It is a beginning assumption as it cannot be "proved" (see E. Kant). But one must assume free will if one is to talk meaningfully about morality. Every human individual on this earth is either born with free will (individual rights) or they are not. The Founding Fathers didn't say "All Men are Created Equal, except those guys over in China"; indeed, many of them knew they were kicking the fulfillment of their own stated morality down the road without addressing slavery (both chattel and bond) right then and there

I'm not going to go around the maypole anymore. That's a total non sequitur.

While obviously murder, stealing and assault are "morals" issues, laws against murder, stealing and assault are not about "morals", they're about the gov't performing its major function, keeping people from hurting each other so we can all prosper.

The purpose of those laws isn't about morality, it's about gov't performing its function.

Veeshri   ·  January 4, 2011 9:18 AM

-1'

Anonymous   ·  March 4, 2011 11:27 PM

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