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February 26, 2014

Shocker: Risky Sex Is Risky For *Both* Men and Women

Via another excellent and evenhanded essay by Cathy Young, the Editorial Staff are disturbed to learn that the National Organization for Offended Womyn is calling for the firing of James Taranto:

The subject of alcohol and sexual assault, particularly among college students, has generated much sound and fury recently. A few months ago, there was the outcry over Emily Yoffe’s Slate.com article arguing that we should be more outspoken in warning young women that heavy drinking puts them at risk of rape. Now, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto is under heavy fire, accused of arguing that rape victims who are drunk are just as guilty as their rapists.

Taranto, whose past commentary includes blaming too much female education for the downfall of marriage, is not a particularly sympathetic figure when it comes to gender issues. But on this occasion, he’s getting a bum rap, and his column makes an important (and egregiously misinterpreted) point that needs to be made: A lot of current rhetoric wrongly conflates drunk sex and rape—and perpetuates a blatantly sexist double standard.

The "Ready-FIRE!-Aim" response seems to be NOW's default answer to any argument they don't like. Rather than marshaling their inherently-equal brain cells to craft a reasoned rebuttal, their first impulse is to threaten and intimidate anyone who disagrees with them. Their claim that women can handle anything men can (so long as that list doesn't include drinking alcohol, doing pullups, exercising reasonable discretion in their choice of sexual partners, simple budgeting, or participating in public policy debates in a dispassionate and civilized manner) cannot and must not be questioned.

As it happens, we actually read the offending column the day it came out and - despite previous objections to Mr. Taranto's rhetoric and reasoning when it comes to the mare's nest of "gender issues" - we couldn't see a single thing wrong with what he said or the way he said it. His column was measured in tone, impeccably reasoned, well written, and thankfully avoided the one-sidedness that has landed him in hot water with us in the past. All in all, it was an admirable piece of work that we would have been more than proud to call our own.

It's hard to see how anyone could object to it.

Mr. Taranto did not, as NOW dishonestly alleges. assert that rape victims are just as much to blame as their attackers:

In his Monday Wall Street Journal column, James Taranto stated that in sexual assault cases where both the victim and rapist are drunk -- both parties are equally to blame for the attack.

Taranto even went as far as to compare rape to a car crash involving two drunk drivers saying, "one doesn't determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver's sex."

The point Taranto actually made is lucid, astute, and devastating. In his column, he asks a simple question: "If alcohol consumption presumptively renders women incapable of consenting to sex, then wouldn't intoxication have exactly the same effect on their male partners?"

This point is so clear and compelling that it's not hard to see why NOW - despite their frequent assertions that women are just as intelligent and capable as men - would try to silence Mr. Taranto instead of responding to his argument on the merits.

On the merits, there is no principled rebuttal to Mr. Taranto's point - at least for an organization that claims to support equal treatment of men and women under the law. Ms. Young does a fine job of exposing the lunacy behind the "alcohol incapacitates ostensibly-equal women, but not men" argument:

...if sexual assault is defined as drunk sex that one later feels was unwanted, the gender gap may not be that huge: several studies find that male college students are almost as likely as their female peers to have such experiences. In a 2005 survey of 2,400 students at the University of New Hampshire, 11 percent of women and 8 percent of men reported having sex when “too drunk to consent” in the past six months.

To a large extent, the double standards reflect a decidedly pre-feminist, conservative mindset that lingers despite women’s liberation: sex is something men get from women. Many social conservatives would no doubt argue that this assumption is based on natural distinctions and that trying to get rid of it is both futile and harmful. Some of those conservatives, including Taranto, regard the crusade to redefine rape as evidence that women can’t handle sexual freedom: take away traditional norms of male chivalry and female chastity, and young women will end up feeling hurt and used by sex-seeking men and clamoring for special protections.

Actually, there is little evidence that, outside a dedicated core of activists, college women are demanding special protections from drunk or reckless sex. (Reports of women feeling victimized by the campus “hookup culture” are greatly exaggerated.) Yet the activists, for all their feminist rhetoric, are indeed promoting a disturbingly paternalistic view of women. A man who has too much to drink and wakes up in bed with someone he wouldn’t have chosen to sleep with when sober may feel embarrassed or queasy, but he is generally expected to move on and perhaps learn from his mistake. A woman who has the same experience is encouraged to see it as devastating, traumatic—and not her fault.

Taranto's column was written in response to an excellent article in the NY Times about programs that encourage young people to look out for each other and step in when they see intoxicated fellow students - male or female - endangering themselves. This is good advice, and in response, Mr. Taranto made another point that deserves to be repeated (and not just because we've made that point so many times): men and women who voluntarily ingest large quantities of alcohol or drugs are behaving recklessly. Contrary to what a disturbingly large number of conservatives maintain, this behavior isn't just reckless and harmful when women do it. It's reckless and harmful when men do it, too:

Whom exactly did Martel save from danger? The answer is quite possibly both the young woman and his friend. Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life. Both of them were taking foolish risks, and it seems likely that he as well as she had impaired judgment owing to excessive drinking.

Winerip notes that between 2005 and 2010, "more than 60 percent of claims involving sexual violence handled by United Educators"--an insurance company owned by member schools--"involved young women who were so drunk they had no clear memory of the assault." We know from Sgt. Cournoyer that the accused young men typically are drinking to excess, too. What is called the problem of "sexual assault" on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike. (Based on our reporting, the same is true in the military, at least in the enlisted and company-grade officer ranks.)

The problem with so many identity politics movements who claim to want only equal rights is that over time, it turns out that their real goal is not equality but preferential treatment: delivered via government-enforced "equal outcomes" that limit choice and ignore real world incentives and behavior.

This is not just true of feminists, by the way. We are seeing the same weak arguments from the more radical of the men's rights crowd. Taranto's argument deserves to be taken seriously, not used as a flimsy pretext for shutting down discussion.

If you agree, please link to his column and give him your full support. Thuggish intimidation and heavy handed persecution are not fit tactics for debate in a free society. I believe Mr. Taranto's point is an excellent one that deserves our support, our attention, and hopefully, wider dissemination.

Fair is fair. Or at least it should be in any discussion, the purported goal of which is "equality".

Posted by Cassandra at February 26, 2014 07:56 AM

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Comments

If I link to it......
um
*snicker*

I agree 100% with the post, though, so if I could, I would. I've grown so tired of the 25/8/366 activists that they're quickly becoming as the teacher in a Peanut's cartoon.

Posted by: DL Sly at February 26, 2014 01:48 PM

There was a reddit (I think) thread a while ago asking men to share their instances of being sexually victimized. Several things really stood out to me: first of all the number of men who said they'd been victimized as adults by female perpetrators, second, that when that happened large amounts of drugs and alcohol were very commonly involved, and third that when they told their friends, the standard reaction was "what are you complaining about, bro? You had sex!" *fistbump*

It was very, very, very eye-opening. It also made me wonder how many young men have had experiences like that that that they don't classify as rape or assault because the cultural narrative is that they got lucky.

Honestly, the older I get, the more I thank my lucky stars I didn't drink in college.

Posted by: colagirl at February 26, 2014 01:59 PM

"Honestly, the older I get, the more I thank my lucky stars I didn't drink in college."

*thud*
I never thought I'd *meet* someone who actually did (didn't?) that! But then, I've always thought your moniker was just a cool name, not a true depiction as it now seems.
lol
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at February 26, 2014 02:03 PM

Several things really stood out to me: first of all the number of men who said they'd been victimized as adults by female perpetrators, second, that when that happened large amounts of drugs and alcohol were very commonly involved, and third that when they told their friends, the standard reaction was "what are you complaining about, bro? You had sex!" *fistbump*

I wanted to mention this, but it's a fairly inflammatory thing to say and frankly I just didn't feel like dealing with the reaction. Men are really bad about this. I don't get it. I can't understand thinking that being utterly indiscriminate about who you have sex with is in any way "manly" or "masculine", but that seems to be a fairly mainstream attitude among men. As though it were shameful, somehow, to apply morality or rationality to sex.

*sigh*

It was very, very, very eye-opening. It also made me wonder how many young men have had experiences like that that that they don't classify as rape or assault because the cultural narrative is that they got lucky.

Yep. I guess I have two thoughts on that:

1. In most cases of non-violent, regrettable sex, I'm not sure I understand feeling traumatized. Embarrassed? Regretful? Ashamed that you didn't exercise better self control? Sure. Been there, done that.

But traumatized???? Yikes.

2. Women like to complain that too many men get away with sexual behavior that's borderline coercive, but so do too many women.

More and more it seems to me that a lot of guys really tell themselves lots of flattering lies about sex. There's this sort of twisted narrative in which men are always the initiators, always acting upon others rather than being acted upon, etc.

That view of things doesn't seem to hold up very well to inspection.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 26, 2014 02:13 PM

Yanno, I am crushed... CRUSHED I TELL YOU! that no one has objected to the egregious double entendre in our penultimate paragraph.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 26, 2014 02:49 PM

Well, if you really want.....
I Object!!!
One sentence does not a paragraph make.

Posted by: Evil Twin at February 26, 2014 03:50 PM

It truly is a double standard that almost no one takes seriously. Let a male 30-something teacher have sex with a 16 year old girl, and there will be cries for him to be thrown under the jail (rightfully so in my mind). Let it be an attractive 30-something female teacher and a 16 year old boy, and she will get probation. Worse still, read the comments from readers of news websites respond to the article of a female teacher having sex with a 16 year old boy. "My teachers never looked like THAT." "He should just count himself lucky!"

I understand that Debra Lafave was an extremely attractive woman that most adult men would have considered a "catch". But her victim was a 14 year old boy. The main reason she never did hard jail time was ultimately NOT because "she was too pretty for jail" (though her lawyer DID make that assertion) but because an actual trial was determined to be too traumatic for the victim by psychologists. Now think about that.

To this day, she has served no jail time. Think about that and swap the genders of the two. Do you honestly think they'd let a 25 year old man have sex with a 14 year old girl and serve nothing but probation and house arrest? But I guess because she is a "looker" we're just supposed to assume there's no psychological trauma to a 14 year old victim.

Posted by: MikeD at February 26, 2014 04:08 PM

It truly is a double standard that almost no one takes seriously. Let a male 30-something teacher have sex with a 16 year old girl, and there will be cries for him to be thrown under the jail (rightfully so in my mind). Let it be an attractive 30-something female teacher and a 16 year old boy, and she will get probation. Worse still, read the comments from readers of news websites respond to the article of a female teacher having sex with a 16 year old boy. "My teachers never looked like THAT." "He should just count himself lucky!"

Yeah. It's even more bizarre when you take into account something I've noticed with more than a few guys - that they really seem to imprint on the first time they have sex or the first person they have sex with.

Do you honestly think they'd let a 25 year old man have sex with a 14 year old girl and serve nothing but probation and house arrest?

In all fairness, yes. That has happened way too many times to count, which is why the force of law and public opprobrium shifted in the admittedly unfair way it did.

I suspect it's about to start shifting the other way.

You have to really feel for a kid whose first sexual experience is with a manipulative adult. How is that going to compare with a normal relationship? A lot of guys who go on to abuse women or children were abused themselves as children, but no one seems to take that seriously amid all the "har-dee-har-har", wink-wink nudge-nudge nonsense.

It's a LOT harder for men who are actually raped in the military to come forward because on top of everything else, they are stigmatized. I would think the same would be true for boys who are abused by adult women.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 26, 2014 04:49 PM

One more thought: the real irony here is that women ought to be the most likely to understand all this, and yet you don't hear radical feminists showing the same concern for men and boys who are raped that they do for women and girls. Even when the double standard is pointed out to them, they are so blind they just can't see it.

Incroyable.

I don't buy the whole "well two wrongs make a right - if I can point to one or two completely unreasonable people on the opposing team then I get to be completely unreasonable too!" shtick.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 26, 2014 04:53 PM

"...they are so blind they just can't see it."

Can't or won't?
I suspect it's the latter in the vast majority of cases. Some people just won't let go of their ideologies no matter how many times it's been disproven. I give you the AGW crowd as proof.

Posted by: DL Sly at February 26, 2014 07:13 PM

OK guys, I'll be the reactionary fascist dinosaur defending the traditional notion that young women *are* at greater risk of sexual predation by men / young men than the reverse:

- men are, both on average, and in most individual dating cases, bigger, *much* stronger, and at least somewhat more aggressive (data, science & testosterone; it's real) than the woman on the date.
>>> it is very rare indeed that a man is actually physically forced into sex against his will, except by another man (disgusting on many levels).

- men process alcohol slightly differently. This, plus greater body mass mean most men are affected less/more slowly by alcohol than women. There are lots of female regulars here; surely you've noticed.
>>> that adds up to an individual woman being at greater risk in these drinking/party situations.

Quite agree it's not nearly as cut and dried 'the boy is always at fault' feminist argument; simply that there is good reason to teach young women to be a little more careful that the guys.

May be politically incorrect to mention this, but men have a second line of protection against an alcohol fueled 'rape;' too much booze and the deed goes from less likely to darn nigh impossible . . .

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at February 26, 2014 07:16 PM

I don't disagree with you, but saying that casual sex is riskiER for women than men (physically at least) is not the same as saying that casual sex is risky for BOTH men and women.

Less danger/harm isn't equivalent to no danger/harm. That's what I'm saying.

I agree it is perhaps a subtle distinction, but it's really not that subtle when you have universities lowering the bar for accusations of rape to essentially, "I don't remember last night, therefore I was raped."

Yes, women metabolize alcohol differently. But then young men sometimes drink so much that that's less important than it might be. If you drink twice as much and are only 2/3 as affected, you're still 4/3 as drunk as a woman would have been.

Finally, a guy who gets so drunk that *he* can't remember what happened isn't going to be able to defend himself against an accusation of rape regardless of whether he did it or not. That's a point that gets lost in the outrage. Most young women don't go to a doctor, so physical evidence is irrelevant to the accusation.

...there is good reason to teach young women to be a little more careful that the guys

Actually, I may be a little to the right of you on this because I taught my *sons* that they needed to be a little more careful with a girl than they would if only guided by their own feelings, for all the reasons you cite here.

Good points, Mike.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 26, 2014 07:37 PM

One more point re: this -

>>> it is very rare indeed that a man is actually physically forced into sex against his will, except by another man (disgusting on many levels).

True, but also irrelevant in the vast majority of cases where no force was actually used.

Taranto's point, which I think is an excellent one, is that these women/girls are NOT claiming they were forced at all.

They're claiming they were too drunk to consent. If they can be persuaded against their better judgment to have sex because they've had a few drinks, why shouldn't that be true that men's judgment would be similarly impaired? I would argue that most guys, being naturally more impulsive and less risk averse, ought to be MORE vulnerable to alcohol induced erosion of their inhibitions.

To me, this is all a very good argument for not getting that drunk in the first place. I just want that standard to be applied to both men and women.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 26, 2014 07:42 PM

The primary reactions from my dorm mates to the discovery of my stalker's identity were "fsck her and dump her!" and "I'd bang that!" That's when I really began to wonder if I was human.

Posted by: htom at February 27, 2014 12:19 AM

I would think being stalked would be creepy regardless of whether you are male or female. Few people enjoy being the object of obsessive attention.

Sorry you had to deal with that.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 27, 2014 10:23 AM

"fsck her and dump her!"

Yeah, cause a stalker would *never* react badly to *that*!

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at February 27, 2014 12:05 PM

That's when I really began to wonder if I was human.

I'm wondering if *they* were human :p You, I have no doubts about.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 27, 2014 02:36 PM

"Yeah, cause a stalker would *never* react badly to *that*!"

As visions of the boiling rabbit from "Fatal Attraction" go dancing through my head....

Posted by: DL Sly at February 27, 2014 06:07 PM

Part of it, I'm sure, was that she was pretty and really shapely. She was also smart, at least about jazz. And as nutty as my banana bread.

I've occasionally wondered about her, what was going on in her head, what happened, hoped that she got well. I am NOT looking her up. I have more than a sufficiency of mental problems without adding hers.

We do (in general) such a very bad job of educating youngsters about sexual matters in this country that I mostly just shake my head. Of course some of them are going to act like idiots, that's what they're taught to do! "Monkey see, monkey do." is about people, not monkeys.

Posted by: htom at February 27, 2014 06:19 PM

"Monkey see, monkey do." is about people, not monkeys.

That's a good line.

Posted by: Grim at February 27, 2014 08:50 PM

DL Sly -- The first half of "Play Misty for Me" was much closer (and it's a better movie.)


Cass -- I've been having an "I was really a horrible monster then" day, and that compliment feels so good. Thank you.

Posted by: htom at February 27, 2014 08:52 PM

Hi again Cass,
You are, of course, quite right that men in general, and especially young men make (sometimes frightfully) bad decisions when the beer goggle are on. I'm certain the term 'Coyote Ugly' had an origin in tribal history.

Admit I completely neglected the far too real risk of a potential rape charge. I'm hugely offended by feminazis that try to drum up 'date rape,' from is much more often (?) simply bad decisions (by both parties).
OTOH I'd like to see 'violent rape' treated as a capital offense (like UCMJ!).

and we haven't really mentioned much about the rising incidence of STD's.

After the cheerleader photo caption contest guess it's OK to mention the traditional advice of an earlier time, passed from older to adolescent young men:
'Be careful where you put your dick.'

Very Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at February 28, 2014 01:19 AM

CAPT Mike, do you know what "Coyote Ugly" means?

Posted by: DL Sly at February 28, 2014 03:18 AM

Hi Sly,
Sure!
Coyote Ugly when you wake up w/ a girl sleeping w/ her head on your arm that is *sooo* ugly, you chew your arm off so you can leave w/o waking her!

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at February 28, 2014 08:44 PM

I had a friend in college, a psychologically fragile young man, who got into an affair with a professor in her 30s. She ran him through a first-class emotional wringer, including a pregnancy drama. I wouldn't call it rape, but she sure ought to have known better. He was hanging on by the skin of his teeth, as many freshmen were in that pressure-cooker, and he didn't need the extra craziness.

I wish people could stay a little more alert to the dangers of all extreme discrepancies in power and experience in their intimate contacts with others. That woman was ruthless with her emotional blackmail; she sent my friend nearly around the bend. But I'd be willing to bet she saw the whole episode only in terms of her needs and whether they were being adequately met.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 1, 2014 11:33 AM

"OTOH I'd like to see 'violent rape' treated as a capital offense (like UCMJ!)."

While I agree with the moral sentiment, as a practical matter I'm not so sure that's a good idea -- it's a great incentive for the perpetrator to go on and murder the victim so she can't identify you or testify. "Dead men tell no tales," and all that, although with modern forensic science it may not be as true as it used to be.

"We do (in general) such a very bad job of educating youngsters about sexual matters in this country that I mostly just shake my head."

I think we have too many strongly opposed, and very loud, opinions in this country to form a consensus on what should be taught. Last I recall, there's majority agreement that "comprehensive" sex ed should be taught in schools, but narrowing down the specifics has been near impossible. And that's mostly just dealing with issues of STD prevention and birth control. Trying to get the free love crowd and the hardcore moralists on the same page with regard to what to teach about the emotional impacts of sexuality? Good luck with that.

Posted by: Matt at March 1, 2014 05:20 PM

}}} would try to silence Mr. Taranto instead of responding to his argument on the merits.

1) Because that would not favor them as the defenders of female power, which emphasizes authority and power over responsibility and expectations. NOW is not about egalitarianism -- it's about empowering women while never, ever impacting them with a mantle of responsibility.

2) Because I'd like to see the arguments that validly refuted his comment -- either
a) It would involve some serious logical thinking to produce one, something no NOW-brand Feminist has ever accomplished.
b) There isn't one to be found.

I don't see one offhand -- it flatly places the responsibility into properly egalitarian territory, which I don't see a defense being available from -- but if someone sees an argument I don't see, I would suspect it to require some highly capable mental gymnastics, a quality which is, in my experience, sorely lacking in anyone ascribing to NOW-brand Feminism.


The political genius of the feminist movement was its sense that it could appeal to all women only by emphasizing expansion of rights and opportunities and avoiding expansion of responsibilities. Had the National Organization for Women fought to register 18 year old girls for the draft, it might have lost members. Had feminism emphasized women's responsibilities for taking sexual initiatives, or paying for men's dinners, or choosing careers they liked less in order to support adult men better, its impact owuld have been more egalitarian but less politically successful."
- Warren Farrell, 'The Myth of Male Power' -

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 2, 2014 05:37 PM

}}} This is not just true of feminists, by the way. We are seeing the same weak arguments from the more radical of the men's rights crowd.

Huh?

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 2, 2014 05:50 PM

}}} To this day, she has served no jail time. Think about that and swap the genders of the two. Do you honestly think they'd let a 25 year old man have sex with a 14 year old girl and serve nothing but probation and house arrest? But I guess because she is a "looker" we're just supposed to assume there's no psychological trauma to a 14 year old victim.

The real issue here is the notion that sex is, itself, traumatic.

Really. That IS the point.

I would have to take it on a case-by-case basis, for sure, but introducing someone to sex is an inherently potentially traumatic thing. Having it done by an intelligent, considerate, and thoughtful adult who treats the teen decently is hardly a bad idea, nor is it remotely atypical in human history.

Yeah, I'm making that point.

This modern notion that equates teens as "children" is beyond ephtarded.

For most of human history, the teen is and has been a proto-adult, expected to make a certain percentage of rational decisions on their own. There is always a modicum of "the rashness of youth" which acks that the teen is, indeed, not fully capable of making experienced judgments -- but that there is only one way for them to GAIN such capacity, by behaving as an adult and learning.

Romeo And Juliet -- it always struck me as over the top -- they behave with almost irrational impatience.

But when you grasp that Romeo is 13 or 14, and Juliet is 12 or 13, and suddenly their behaviors make SO much more sense. This is NEVER alluded to in modern commentary, however -- and the players in all modern film versions are positively geriatric --
Lesley Howard -- 43
Norma Shearer -- 34
Dicaprio -- 22
Claire Danes -- 17
Orlando Bloom -- 37
Condola Rashad -- 28
Douglas Booth -- 21
Hailee Steinfeld -- 17
Yuri Zhdanov -- 30
Galina Ulanova -- 45
Leonard Whiting -- 18
Olivia Hussey -- 17

Laurence Harvey -- 26
Susan Shentall -- 20

Only Zefferelli's 1968 film even got close, and there's one hell of a lot of difference between the maturity and patience of a 13/14yo and an 18yo.

Yet despite being Romeo being 13 or 14, he's out cavorting with his buds fighting and skirmishing and defending his family honor.

Despite Juliet being 12 or 13, at the start of the play her parents are talking about getting her betrothed before she becomes an "old maid".

And many well-to-do marriages of the time were between decided adults (>20yo, often much older) and obvious teens.

I'm not arguing in favor of either system -- but the simple notion that teens are traumatized by sex with an older person, or that the notion that they gain nothing from a romance with a mature person, or even that the only component of it can possibly be the older person dominating and manipulating the younger one is itself ridiculous on the surface.

While we certainly, and reasonably, fear the latter -- that the older person is unfairly influencing the behavior of the younger one -- that's not an automatic given, nor is it automatic that, if it IS the case, that it's long-term bad for the teen.

Modern society has this bizarre fetish that teens are just as incompetent as children are, and that's wrong.

That is, I assert, the primary cause of teen angst in our times -- teens SENSE that they should have more say in their lives, and are being denied it unfairly.

And adults should figure this out: Not only is it directly damaging to teens, but the increasing infantilization of ALL people, not just teens, is a key goal of those wishing to extend and promote the power of the Nanny State.

Now you can't even be allowed to drink alcohol until you're 21. At what point do they revert pretty much everything BUT the Constitutionally protected right to vote away from anyone under 21? And raise the drinking age above 21? Yes, there's a steady call for this latter, though it has no traction -- AT THE MOMENT.

"But look how much binge drinking there is in college students!!"

Yeah, so?

Our society has to stop treating teens as unable to learn and develop and make serious choices for themselves. They won't always make the right ones, but they need to LEARN how to make the right ones -- and the only way to do that is to actually mess up somewhat. Half the reason college students "binge drinking" is on the rise is the very fact that they've made it to 18 or 19 or 20 and been given SO LITTLE responsibility that they've not learned to handle it at all, even though they have reached "the age of majority".

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 2, 2014 07:02 PM

OBH:

re: "Huh?"

Some of the MRA crowd use exactly the same flawed disparate impact arguments feminists have used.

Example 1: the fact that the majority of child custody awards go to the mother somehow proves that facially neutral custody laws are sexist.

That's just nonsense. I've written about this many, many times over the years. More mothers than fathers were the primary caretakers before divorce. More mothers than fathers request full physical custody. So it is hardly surprising that more mothers than fathers are awarded full custody. It's quite possible that people are biased in favor of awarding custody to mothers over fathers in general, but there are quite rational reasons for such a bias (just as there are quite rational reasons for thinking men are better suited to combat than women).

Example 2: Complaining that "sexist" academicians are somehow preventing men from going to college (this, despite the fact that MORE men are going to college now than did 50 years ago). If the proportion of men going to college rises over time, but the proportion of women who go to college rises faster, that doesn't prove sexism. Nor - as is so often argued - does it show that colleges are sexist or feminists are somehow preventing men from going to college.

There's a lot of ignorant arguments out there, and it ain't just feminists making them.

When I see conservatives and MRA adopting the same disparate impact arguments and misleading statistics that they rejected when feminists have used them, I'm going to raise the same objections I raised against feminists.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 3, 2014 09:13 AM

OBH:

I agree that teens have far too little responsibility and experience too few consequences when they behave badly, but I'm not quite ready to say that it's OK for older people to have sex with teens.

No, it's not automatically traumatic, but that doesn't mean society should condone grownups having sex with teens. There's something wrong with an adult who can't punch in their own weight class and I have no problem disapproving of that nonsense.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 3, 2014 09:16 AM

While I agree with the moral sentiment, as a practical matter I'm not so sure that's a good idea -- it's a great incentive for the perpetrator to go on and murder the victim so she can't identify you or testify. "Dead men tell no tales," and all that, although with modern forensic science it may not be as true as it used to be.

Bingo.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 3, 2014 09:17 AM

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