Fair warning – my position on this may not agree with you ~
Rape. A heinous crime indeed.
A New Hampshire college graduate, spotless record, conducting himself inappropriately with a too young girl has made national news. His guilt has been levied by a number of people simply based on the accusation. The fact that he is the male confers upon him an automatic entry of guilty. Comments abound that this girl is so brave for coming out. But no one is listening to the circumstances, the facts, the emails, the Facebook posts or the friends testimony. The one-sided, single minded mentality refuses to consider he might be innocent not just of rape but of assault.
He claims that there was no sexual intercourse. Well, where is the rape kit test? What is the girl’s sexual history? An accusation IS an accusation until proven true or false. The media and the bloggers and the commentators should follow this innocent until proven guilty adage right now. Because the harm they do in assumptions could be even more damaging.
Rape, by definition, requires sexual intercourse. The boy claims there was none, that it was consensual touching, but that actual intercourse did not occur.
Was the girl tested? Did she go to a rape crisis center immediately afterward? Did her parents file a police report immediately? If she knew the culture of the school, why did she go? Is she a virgin? If in the US a 13 year old can be tried in a case as an adult, why is it that a 15 year old is under-age? With the media and entertainment and music cultures that pervade and invade, why are we surprised? Why is the age of 18 an adult, but under 18 is sometimes a legal adult and sometimes not? And just because younger girls are targeted, by no means makes them all ‘virgins’. In fact, 1 out of 4 girls age 15 are not virgins.
So many questions, and not enough answers to make an absolute decision. Obviously the girl was not a virgin or that would have come out in the media already. A rape test report has not been released. She laughed about their encounter online, but now she says that was just protectionism. She shared details with her friends. They both stated that intercourse did not occur on their emails.
What could she gain? There are multiple potential factors – her mother’s empathy, a tale gone wild that she doesn’t know how to retract, attention, hiding the lapse of virginity with another boy, or even retribution because he didn’t want a relationship.
Why are specifics important? Because our culture is not puritan. Because this type of encounter is very prominent globally. Because we need to look at the entire context instead of the poor girl victim scenario. Nothing is quite that simplistic any longer. And the boy’s entire future could be completely and irrevocably ruined if the girl is not the sweet virgin she would suddenly like to portray herself as.
This is a bigger issue – and rape may be a very inappropriate charge in these circumstances. Morality is the issue. And Hollywood has absolute responsibility for altering perceptions of morality into a completely topsy-turvy value. Hollywood routinely shows couples slapping and kicking each other, battling aggressively, screaming, hitting, punching, and yet in real life everyone would be in jail. Hollywood shows young people engaging in sexual activity, oral sex is viewed as non-sex (just ask Bill Clinton), and it is even framed in a fantasy of flowers and meadows and purity. Even at the age of 15.
These are facts and must be considered when putting the value of life on display in a trial for rape. Even Google gets on the bandwagon with articles like; What’s the Right Age to Lose Your Virginity? And, What’s the Normal Age… These articles have nothing to do with legality – they are offering up a new morality of ‘when’ – 16, 17… Why is 16 okay but 15 is not? How can a blogger possibly justify such a statement? Cosmo says a good age is 15. A 13 year old wants to know if she is too young…
This is the reality we live. Any one who pretends it is anything less, anything more moral or ethical is living in an alternate universe. We created this! Us. All of us.
The ideal of taking your 16 year old son to a brothel to allow him to come of age is still routinely done, thought of, processed and considered. Where will he go the next day? Next month?
I imagine half of all eighteen year olds could be brought up on rape charges if we really wanted to know the Truth. But we don’t, we hide and shrug and hide some more, we don’t want to talk about it, we don’t want to think about it, and suddenly it is blaring us in our proverbial arses. What can we possibly expect?
The legal age in the US actually varies by state from 16 to 18. In Central America it is 15 to 18. In Canada it was raised from 14 to 16 just seven years ago. And in the UK it is 16. This is not as simple as 18-15 rape. Badabang!
The discussions after numerous articles and blogs constitute a “he said – she said” legality that is not proof, it is conjecture. Although there are text messages and facebook and other friends whose testimony gives a far different picture than one of purity and ‘innocence’, the media has already convicted the boy.
Despite the fact that she apparently had stated that a blow job was on the table before she even went to meet the boy, this is subtext because it would indicate that rape was possibly NOT a viable criminal charge.. This does not mean his actions were right, it means that his actions were in line with the social attitude of the school, and society in general. Her claim that she said ‘no’ is also met with his claim that they did not have sexual intercourse. More – he said, she said.
Her claim that she told a friend of hers she would go as far as a blow job was met with – I have no recollection of saying that. We have outdated ideas of the teenage culture and pursue vengeance without considering the entire context. In a culture in which pornography is considered a natural outlet for teens, why would sexual intercourse be unnatural? According to an article published by Family Education, boys between the ages of 12 and 17 are the largest consumers of pornography. And who is crying foul? No one – in fact psychologists are espousing its normalcy.
Did this 18 year old boy rape the 15 year old girl? I don’t know – and neither do you. To make the assumption is a dangerous road. Was there consensual sexual stimulation – actually yes – she knew exactly what would take place, she was willing to go so far as oral sex, and that is documented. We do not know if she was a virgin, nor do we know the results of the rape kit that she took home with her days after the event. All we know is that she was pressured by the school counselor to take this to the police.
Is this attitude in this school abnormal? Unfortunately – no. It is common in our culture of easy sex, casual sex, sex for fun, pornography unlimited, sex by consent. Ask Amnesty International – they are a leading proponent for legalizing consensual sex globally. And therein lies a new legal definition – what constitutes consensual? Hollywood tells us – no means yes if you three times…
DO NOT condemn a boy child simply because he is a boy – his life has value too – and if you are wrong, shame to you for judging. And while we don’t know all the facts, all the Truth, we do need to consider Both as potential victims until the Truth is known.