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  1. #471
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    The only possible way I could see how old she 'seemed' or 'acted' as an extenuating factor is if he genuinely didn't know her age and had reason to believe she was older. If he hooked up with her in a bar or something. As her teacher he knew exactly how old she was, so this should have played no role whatsoever in the sentencing. It's very much a case of blaming the victim, which happens far, far too often.

    It seems like there's this stubborn belief that 'true' rape is actually quite rare. I'm quite sure that if women were able to post anonymously in this thread as they can in ESP there would be a lot of rape stories here too. I think it's far, far more common than most men realise. Which is why awareness needs to be raised. Not that I'm saying accused rapists should be guilty until proven innocent. I think that as matters currently stand accusations of rape are met with a default skeptical attitude based on either anecdotal evidence or urban myth of women crying rape out of a desire to harm some innocent guy, or because she decided afterwards that it was a mistake.

  2. #472
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    I also think it's incredibly damning that the ESP, which was probably intended as a place to collect stories of minor "everyday" sexism stories has instead turned into a massive outpouring of stories of rape and harassment. Clearly there are not enough venues where these stories can be safely told.

  3. #473
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    The only possible way I could see how old she 'seemed' or 'acted' as an extenuating factor is if he genuinely didn't know her age and had reason to believe she was older. If he hooked up with her in a bar or something. As her teacher he knew exactly how old she was, so this should have played no role whatsoever in the sentencing. It's very much a case of blaming the victim, which happens far, far too often.
    I'm very aware that it has that stench. But, I'm persisting with the argument to see if anything can be learned or gained from further analysis of the situation. The flip side of recognizing the maturity of the minor is that unlike other cases of rape and regardless of the position of the offender there is a sense in which you're recognizing the sexual autonomy of the minor. Obviously, states value minors so much and are so inclined to protect them that they criminalize all sex with those that are underage and do not recognize the ability of minor under a certain age to consent. But, given that this is strict liability and the fact that whether you have committed a crime could be dependent on whether you're ten feet to the east or west of a state line it makes sense to recognize autonomy to the extent it is relevant in the given case when it comes to sentencing.

    I'm not sure why there is any correlation between the autonomy of the victim and the knowledge of the perp. They seem like separate issues that stand on their own. Of course in a situation like this the duty of care the teacher had would vastly outweigh the autonomy of the victim. So under better evidentiary circumstances this guy would have gone away for years despite recognition of any ability of the victim to exercise sexual autonomy.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  4. #474
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    In most rape cases those comments would be absolutely reprehensible and I would certainly condemn them. However, those would be relevant issues in a statutory rape case when it came to sentencing (though given the resulting suicide the judge's determination of those issues doesn't make much sense.) While I wasn't able to track down exact court documents I did track down the relevant criminal code where it is clear that the reported charge of "sexual intercourse without consent" includes sex with any minor under 16.
    This definition varies from state to state. Some places it is 16, others it is 18, at least when the adult is ~6 or more years older than the victim. A 19 yo is thus not prosecuted for sex with his 17 yo girlfriend, but a 28 yo would be. And there is sometimes a big exception when the adult - of any age - is in a position of authority over the victim, as teacher, boss, counselor, coach, etc. In my state, 16 yo is the limit for statutory rape, but taking sexually explicit photos of someone under 18 illegal. This means my friend whose 16 yo daughter was raped several times by a family friend can go after him for the photos he took, but not for the actual rape. This is what "states' rights" gets us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Do all boys who who want to have sex with their teachers necessarily suffer from trauma like girls apparently do?
    The (few if any) girls who are actually happy about it probably don't go around making rape accusations. There was a case awhile back where a girl and teacher did their best to keep the relationship secret, then moved in together (maybe even got married?) after she turned 18 and finished school. Interestingly there was a boy in my HS class who married a female teacher after turning 18 and graduating. I don't remember any credible allegations that they wre intimate before that time, so no crimes appear to have been committed, but the teacher still lost her job and was ostracised in the community. I moved away and didn't keep track of the situation after that.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #475
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This definition varies from state to state. Some places it is 16, others it is 18, at least when the adult is ~6 or more years older than the victim. A 19 yo is thus not prosecuted for sex with his 17 yo girlfriend, but a 28 yo would be. And there is sometimes a big exception when the adult - of any age - is in a position of authority over the victim, as teacher, boss, counselor, coach, etc.
    Those are good laws.

    In my state, 16 yo is the limit for statutory rape, but taking sexually explicit photos of someone under 18 illegal. This means my friend whose 16 yo daughter was raped several times by a family friend can go after him for the photos he took, but not for the actual rape.
    That's horrible.

    This is what "states' rights" gets us.
    There are good laws, bad laws, and strings of laws that might be inconsistent, but I don't see what that has to do with state rights. Is the federal government somehow immune from inconsistent and/or bad laws?


    The (few if any) girls who are actually happy about it probably don't go around making rape accusations. There was a case awhile back where a girl and teacher did their best to keep the relationship secret, then moved in together (maybe even got married?) after she turned 18 and finished school. Interestingly there was a boy in my HS class who married a female teacher after turning 18 and graduating. I don't remember any credible allegations that they wre intimate before that time, so no crimes appear to have been committed, but the teacher still lost her job and was ostracised in the community. I moved away and didn't keep track of the situation after that.
    This is very noteworthy and somewhat negates my theorizing about sexual autonomy above. I actually knew a soccer player at my hs who secretly dated her coach during the time she was in school. They got married shortly after graduation and then divorced sometime after.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  6. #476
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Default I've made a huge mistake.

    I apologize to @Ivy and anyone else I might have offended with what I've been posting in this thread. I tend to like to take cases, especially ones where there appears to be more than meets the eye, and advocate a particular position to try to explore concepts and how they work together (and maybe, just maybe, to stroke my own ego where I think I do well).

    I shouldn't have done that here for three reasons.

    1) It was a mistake to not condemn the judge's language. It was insensitive to bring up the character of this poor dead girl during sentencing and totally unnecessary. I knew that it wasn't actually a relevant issue because it seemed clear that the only possibly legitimate justification was hinged on the previous plea deal. So it was lose-lose. Either he was giving the real reason for the verdict which couldn't possibly have justified such a short sentence or he was unnecessarily making disparaging remarks about the victim that had nothing to do with his reasoning in the verdict. I was just too proud to admit that I overlooked the judge's comments in my first post or two and after that I just didn't want to concede the point.

    2) Even if it is appropriate to take such cases and argue them out for both intellectual gain and ego this certainly is not the thread to do it in.

    3) My position on this case conflicts with my overall attitude on the issues of the thread (which I wrote about a while back in the thread) that men need to be responsible for their own reactions to women no matter what a women does and victim blaming is shameful.

    In line with point number three I actually came in this thread to post this article when I started arguing about the case, but as I began to argue about this case I started to realize I wasn't being consistent with what was being argued here.

    All of this is to say, what happened to talk about Robin Thicke from Sunday night? Is he not responsible for letting Miley twerk/grind on him? Surely he knew the performance choreography in advance, no? Why did he decide to do it? See the issue is not that women should or shouldn’t dress certain ways, that’s up to them and their own convictions. The point is men shouldn’t have control over the way women dress to suit their own conveniences; thus men should/will have to function in a society where women dress as they please. Therefore the man has radical responsibility over what he does with how the woman dresses. It doesn’t matter if a woman walks up to a man dressed “provocatively” or not; the only thing that can give the man sexual consent is the woman herself—not her clothes nor her appearance. And Robin Thicke is responsible for the VMA performance as well.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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    So you can let go when you give it

  7. #477
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Thanks, Beorn. I don't really know what else to say about that.

    I posted that link (or one like it, I can't remember) re: Robin Thicke on my Facebook wall and got a lot of "but he was just standing there!" Now his new video has come out that features women as accessories (especially black women) and a whole heaping pile of twerking, including a giant twerking ass float... and a foam No.1 finger. Hmm. Calls to mind questions about Miley's agency in that routine and the double standard of who has gotten the most heat for it.

    http://www.people.com/people/article...728803,00.html

  8. #478
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    On another note, a bit more in line with the OP:

    http://daynaelong.com/2013/08/29/wha...th-harassment/

  9. #479
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    For the record I'm not just approaching this as a legal issue, and so varying laws and cultural attitudes about "age of consent" are IMO irrelevant. (But sometimes a lowered age of consent is itself a sexist practice- when young women are routinely married off to older men, for example). The man was her teacher. She was a vulnerable, sexually precocious student he was charged with guiding and protecting. He did not do that. Instead, he took advantage of whatever traumas she had already suffered that made her so sexually precocious. This is disgusting and predatory any way you cut it. For that to be compounded by a judge who publicly states that the harm was mitigated by her sexual precociousness and that it was "not some beat-up rape" is also disgusting and IMO that person has no business continuing to sit on the bench.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    I'm not saying that rape is not evidence of sexism.
    I'm not saying a decision to comit suicide that occurs after a rape might not be influenced by sexism in society.
    I'm not even saying that there is not sexism within the American justice system.
    All I'm saying is that from the information available about the case I don't see how this plea deal represents systematic sexism in the justice system
    This isn't about one befuddled old judge though. It's institutionalised. Certainly, this is recognised in my country and I doubt yours is very different.

    Many cases never get prosecuted to start with, often because senior figures (including judges and politicians) are themselves implicated in abuse scandals. Where they are, victim-blaming in the courts is routine, even where that victim is a child.

    It's one reason more victims don't come forward to report rape/sexual abuse.

    I posted a similar story earlier in the thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Paedophile walks free, because his 13 y/o victim was a "sexual predator".

    Judge Nigel Peters: “You have come as close to prison as is imaginable. I have taken in to account that even though the girl was 13, the prosecution say she looked and behaved a little bit older…On these facts, the girl was predatory and was egging you on…”
    As a result of the furore over this case, the prosecuting barrister (that's right, these statements were made by the prosecution) has been suspended from working on similar cases. The head of the judiciary (in England) has recognised the problem to be so endemic, that they are setting up a pool of specially trained judges to rule in "complex" child abuse cases.

    You might think everyone in a position of authority would be able to empathise with a child over a sexual predator, but that's simply not the case.

    Here are few more "good men and true" we trust to mete out justice:

    • Judge Peter Bowers refused to jail a paedophile for accessing images of child abuse, saying "he'd have a hard time" in prison.
    • Judge Mark Lucraft refused to send a paedophile who abused children aged seven and eight to jail because it would cause "suffering" for his family.
    • Judge Julian Hall jailed a window cleaner for two years for the rape of a ten year old girl. In his summing up he commented on the ten-year-old's clothing was "provocative" and that she looked 16.
    • He suggested that another victim of child sex abuse could be bought a bicycle "to cheer her up."
    • Judge David Paget handed down a suspended sentence to a paedophile who police believe was part of ring that abused hundreds of children over many years.
    • 80-year-old Trevor Mellis was given two years probation for taking and distributing images of child abuse. Despite having a string of sexual abuse convictions against children, he never served any time in jail.
    • Judge John Prosser freed a 15-year-old boy found guilty of raping a 15-year-old virgin and suggested he could pay his victim £500 for a good holiday to "get over the trauma."
    • Judge Ian Starforth Hill described the 8-year-old victim of attempted rape as "not entirely an angel herself" and gave her attacker two years probation.
    • Judge Sir Harold Cassel QC refused to jail an ex-policeman for indecently assaulting his 12-year-old stepdaughter, who had learning difficulties.
    • He said the man was driven to assault the girl because his wife's pregnancy had dimmed her sexual appetite, causing "considerable problems for a healthy young husband".


    We need anachronistic old white dudes ruling on sex abuse cases like a raped child needs a bicycle.

    The abuse of children is not strictly speaking a feminist issue - it should concern everyone. There are countless male victims of sexual abuse. The most salient factor in these cases is the age, not the gender of the victim. Along with victim-blaming, which is tied up with the adversarial nature of the judicial system. That said, I tried to find examples of female sex offenders being given lenient sentences for the sexual abuse of boys who "looked older", and couldn't find any.
    I did however, find this.
    And at least one study which suggests that female sex offenders are usually subject to more lenient sentencing.

    Which is sexist, of course and so belongs in this thread.

    Tl;dr: the main issue here is that we are failing in a duty of care towards vulnerable children, at every stage of the process.

    However, sexism is indeed apparent in those judgements that reveal an expectation for females (exclusively) to engage in self-censorship so as to minimise risk of harm to themselves. And in the punitive attitude towards those victims who fail to demonstrate the passive timidity that is deemed the only legitimate expression of femininity, which we also see more broadly across society.

    On the flip side, it is also apparent where we fail to take female offenders seriously, or behave as if young males in our society are any less vulnerable to abuse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #480
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Thanks, Beorn. I don't really know what else to say about that.

    I posted that link (or one like it, I can't remember) re: Robin Thicke on my Facebook wall and got a lot of "but he was just standing there!" Now his new video has come out that features women as accessories (especially black women) and a whole heaping pile of twerking, including a giant twerking ass float... and a foam No.1 finger. Hmm. Calls to mind questions about Miley's agency in that routine and the double standard of who has gotten the most heat for it.

    http://www.people.com/people/article...728803,00.html
    man...he's got his kid in a video that has the line i've got a big @#%^ for you. i want to give it to you.
    omg
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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