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OK, let's say a 30-year-old male teacher meets a 2nd-grade girl and feels a "special bond" with her. Four years later (when he's 34 and she's 12), he rapes her repeatedly for two years, and she gets pregnant just before he's hauled off to jail. He says it's OK to rape this girl because she has "the soul of a poet." A couple years into his sentence, he's released for good behavior, and immediately starts raping the girl again. She gets pregnant again, and he goes back to jail to serve the rest of his sentence. When he's finally released, the girl is 21. They get married the following year, their two children serving as flower girls. Would anyone find this romantic? Or would just about everyone in the world think the teacher is a creepy, predatory, sick bastard who should be kept as far away from this poor girl as possible, that she needs extensive therapy to get over the years of abuse and exploitation at this man's hands, that her mother must be fucking insane to celebrate their "relationship" and help the girl raise these two children?

So why is it, when the genders are reversed, that "Entertainment Tonight" covers it like it's a storybook romance?

Replies: 9 Confessions

She was punished according to the law. He's of age to make his own decisions. What they do now is their own business and none of anyone else's.

Entertainment Weekly is rather disturbed to cover the story with such a positive spin, but Entertainment Weekly is a crappy magazine on a good week.

twig @ 05/21/2005 01:57 AM CST

Entertainment Tonight is a TV show, twig, not a magazine. That's not the only thing you're wrong about.

Amy C @ 05/21/2005 07:24 AM CST

Oops, yes, I thought you said 'Weekly,' not 'Tonight'. My mistake.

As for the rest of it, though, I really don't see what you're arguing for as an option. Who steps in and says he can't get married, because it's obvious to the rest of us he should have therapy? I mean, when he was underage they prosecuted this, put her in jail, did what the law said to do. But he's an adult now, and has the right to make his own decisions, good or bad.

twig @ 05/21/2005 09:39 AM CST

You think a 30 year old male would only be put in jail for a couple years for having sex with a 12 year old girl? She's sick, and our media treats it like the next Princess Di wedding. Ish.

Poika @ 05/21/2005 02:24 PM CST

I'm sorry, I'm afraid I'm not making my point very cleary at all.

The only thing that bothered me about what was written was the inference that something still ought to be done - that his decision wasn't his to make simply becuase it was a disturbing one. Unfortunately, he's an adult, and I have to support a society that allows adults to make their own choices, whether that means returning to abusive spouses, making self-destructive choices or making the choice this young man did.

Maybe that wasn't the point being made, and if so, I'm sorry I cluttered up the comments section with my giant misunderstanding.

twig @ 05/22/2005 12:02 AM CST

Perhaps I should have been clearer, too -- I'm not suggesting there should be government or police intervention at this point (although I bet if the genders had been reversed, those restraining orders and the conditions of the rapist's parole would have been enforced a little more stringently). I'm more interested in the role of gender in the social perception of this whole sad situation. Why is there a lot less outrage about this wedding? Why would a silly celebrity show even think to cover it like it's the next Brad & Jen?

This young man (even if he is now an adult who can legally make this decision) has been sexually exploited by a pedophile for most of his life. Yet because he's male and his abuser is a good-looking blond, I think society has a less visceral reaction than if he'd been a girl abused by a man. I'm interest in why that is.

Amy C @ 05/22/2005 12:45 PM CST

Yes, it is definitely discriminatory. Equal opprobrium for women pedophiles! Do you think it will make a good bumper sticker?

elavil @ 05/23/2005 12:06 PM CST

First of all, the story you started with is nothing like the story you compared it to.

Secondly, it's very difficult for a woman to "rape" a man. He pretty much has to be in the mood, especially since he was of the size and weight to kick her ass if he really didn't want to sleep with her.

Thirdly, it's only lately in our history that all these age rules were part of the mating game. In the past, people married and had children at a much younger age. Putting moral judgements on two people who are in love, however screwy their story is, is just getting on your high horse.

Lastly, if everyone paid as much attention to keeping their own life in order as they do to whoever is on the television, then we wouldn't even HAVE shows like "Geraldo" to watch, and the world would be a better place.

Elysia @ 05/26/2005 01:58 PM CST

Wow, that last comment sure was ridiculous.

A woman certainly CAN rape a man, when it's a CHILD in the eyes of the law. She had sex with a minor - that's illegal and generally deemed WRONG by society.

So what if the "rules" are the way they are now? People are happy with that, for the most part, if they're not sickos. What's wrong with protecting our kids?

"Putting moral judgements on two people who are in love, however screwy their story is, is just getting on your high horse."

I'm astonished. I have a feeling the poster is in love with someone NOT their age at all.

Anyway, I'm halfway between laughing and crying. Sick.

Anna @ 05/27/2005 09:32 AM CST

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