I watched Transformers: Age of Extinction yesterday and I was struck by one scene where the father threatens to call the police on an 20 year old boyfriend who is dating his 17 year old daughter. In the scene, the boyfriend was prepared for this reaction and pulls out a card stating the Texas ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Law that apparently made their relationship okay.
I was stunned. Why the fuck is a special law required for a 20 year old to date a 17 year old? The boyfriend is threatened with prison by the father. Really?? Prison? I’m sorry but there is only a 3 year difference in their ages and she probably hit puberty at least 5 years prior — and come on, can a 17 year old not decide who she dates?? (Note: Romeo would actually be labelled as ‘sex offender’ today as he was 16 and Juliet was 13.)
Honestly, when I was 17 there was absolutely no way I could be ‘molested’ by an older person and be completely helpless, confused and crying because I had no idea what was going on. No, far from it! Before I was 17, I had already chosen to have sex with a girl that I was very much in love with at the time. I used condoms and was completely responsible about the whole thing: making sure she was respected, comfortable and felt safe…etc. I knew exactly what was happening, could clearly explain the emotional depths of the situation as well as the biological processes (including how to prevent pregnancy.)
I am honestly baffled by this prudish denial of the ability of teenagers to make decisions for themselves. Worse, the criminalization of sexual acts that are completely natural while
treating teenagers like they are incompetent buffoons who suddenly and magically become ‘mature’ at 18 (and grow breasts the day they reach 18 too)…is offensive to me. I think we are doing far more harm than good in enforcing such ludicrous laws.
I am not saying that raping children or teenagers is any way okay — just to be clear. But the laws that should protect people from being exploited or sexually abused should not be based solely on an age that is 6-10 years after the average girl reaches biological maturity. This is a blunder that teaches kids that sex is WRONG and one of the worst things one can do — you can go to jail for doing it for christsakes. The naked form, which all of us possess…. is also something to be covered at all times and to be deeply deeply embarrassed about. (I know I have written about this before— no one bats an eye at showing a 13 year old a movie where someone has their head blown open with a shotgun but never ever show them a tit or it will completely fuck them up. Either that or teaching them such bizzaro lessons will fuck them up far more. 😉 ) And remember that the average age to start having sex is 15.5 in America
— and I can’t believe that all of those 14-15 year olds have no
fucking clue what is happening or what they are choosing to do.
I wish people that were comfortable with sex and their bodies could be the one in charge of teaching kids lessons about healthy sexuality and not angry policemen enforcing outdated and harmful moral codes to the detriment of all. I also think it deeply engraves ‘age’ into collective psyche of who is appropriate to have sex with…so much so that one of the most common questions in a bar is, ‘how old are you’ like that fucking matters in the slightest.
Meanwhile, I came across another stat from Unicef on prostitution in India and it really made me ponder things. You see, apparently prostitution is rampant in India and the United Nations observers found that 66% of men prefer 10-14 year old prostitutes and that is what they seek out. Let that number sink in a little.
66% of men prefer 10-14 year olds. Granted, this is in India, but the number of men studied was huge so I think it is accurate. Also, I don’t believe that men in India are any different than men anywhere else…this is not some weird cultural thing. It is about preference when given the choice (I am going to assume that the guys who are paying choose who they have sex with.)
So if 66% of men prefer 10-14 year olds, some prefer younger and an even why is it our culturally accepted norm that these men are all ‘pedophiles’ and should be physically attacked and harmed. And it is not just India. Sri Lanka has twice that number of child prostitutes than adult prostitutes. Taiwan has 40% of their prostitutes being 12 or under. (I just found these numbers now searching UNICEF and prostitution.) Indonesia could have as many as 10X the number of child prostitutes than the adult variety. But back to Inida: there are 2.8 million women trafficked for Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CME) in India…the majority of them under the age of 18 and traffickers showing a strong preference for 11-12 year olds. It is commonplace to have a girl married off and then forced in to prostitution by the ‘husband’ because prosecuting such an activity is particularly difficult. The other common avenue for prostitution is religious ‘temple prostitutes’ which exploits prepubescent girls of specific castes (Devadisi, Jogini, Nailis, Muralis, and Theradiyan). Then there is tribal prostition and economic prostitutes…but all in all, the average girl is between the ages of 9 – 13 when they start. Apparently, the value of a girl goes down considerably once she has reached puberty — and she gets sold off to other forms of CME as a less valuable commodity.
Wow, just researching this as I write it…just wow. And the average cost of a high valued girl for sex is $1-$5 for a sexual act or $25 for a whole night. And it is common practice to keep minors in cages. The cost of these trafficked women ranges from $4 (if a broker is buying them) to $500-$1300 if a brothel is making a new acquisition. If you aren’t depressed enough by this, you can get more facts here.
According to the UN, the average age to enter prostitution worldwide is 15 (and so, by definition, 50% are under 15 years old) — so North Americans and Europeans can’t hold a moral ‘high ground’ in any way.
But the UN reports all seem to agree that there is a complete lack of accurate figures from around the world:
“Perhaps the most disquieting aspect of the literature is the generally poor quality of research. The overwhelming majority of publications and ‘grey literature’ in the field of the commercial sexual exploitation of children is characterized by muddled, low level or misunderstood theories, badly thought out and applied research methods, poor data and inadequate analysis. ”
Okay, so to be clear, I am not in any way encouraging the use of young (or any) prostitutes or sex tourism: personally, I have never once paid for sex (and I don’t even like buying girls drinks because of the implied ‘obligation’ to talk to me because of that).
My point is: men who buy sex (I think they are pretty representative of males in general) have a clear preference for girls WAY under the age of 18. So labeling men ‘pedophiles’ and criminalizing any sexual relation with girls under 18 seems to be in stark contrast with the actual preferences of men — and I am going throw this out there: perhaps denying all sexual notions with those under 18 is the cause — because it is taboo and most definitely frowned upon to explore — so instead of actually having healthy relationships during teen years it is heavily repressed and this may just manifest itself in a deep craving for young girls because any healthy desires were never allowed to come to the surface when they were young.
COMMENTARY ON SEXUAL MORALITY IN SOCIETY
I was majorly surprised at the high numbers I found regarding child prostitutes: and the most consent to sex before the age of 18 is amplifying the problem. We are, as a society, denying our very basic sexual urges and this is, not surprisingly, blowing up in our faces. When we label those who find people under the age of 18 ‘attractive’ as pedophiles and ‘sick’ while at the same time putting 16 year old girls on the covers of fashion magazines…the whole situation just lends itself to such extreme and sickening forms of child commercial sexual exploitation.
The most disturbing aspect of underage prostitution is that so much of it is FORCED. Girls are being exploited in large numbers in what seems to border on gender warfare. The problem is both widespread and well established culturally and I would absolutely love to see this changed. Repression of sexuality is my guess as to the root of the problem. The false concept that prostitutes are ‘bad girls who like sex’ and a macho man must protect his ‘good girls/wife/sisters’ who do not like sex — is at the heart of this problem. In Western society’s recent notion that no one can even
I love women and want to see all forms of slut shaming abolished. Women should be free to embrace whatever sexuality they choose…whenever THEY are ready to choose it. Some may embrace it at 12 and others at 21…but I support the individual’s right to choose. I much prefer the girl choosing when she is ready than having that choice forced upon her by a pimp (11 years old?) or the law (18 years old??)
Going back to the Transformers: the girl in the movie (17 years old) has chosen to be with her boyfriend (20) and he is into her too. If laws make this kind of relationship illegal, it is time to change the laws. Any law that prevents people who love each other from expressing their love and being together — while ultimately result in perversion, exploitation and degenerative acts. Instead, let’s just let love run it’s natural course.