In a recent news story: “A Montana judge is under fire for sentencing a 54-year-old former teacher to just 30 days in jail for raping a 14-year-old girl who later committed suicide.”
The judge made statements about how this wasn’t rape-rape (or, as he puts it, “forcible beat-up rape“) and how the teenager was old for her age and as much in control of the situation as the man. The judge has said his statements were “stupid” but the sentence stands. The Billings Gazette has complete coverage.
In response to this, in a news article I won’t link to because it seems click bait, someone argued that “I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized.”
I was going to write up something about how a teenager is, well, a teenager, and an adult is an adult. Luckily, I found a post that explains it so much better than I ever could: The Myth of the Teenage Temptress: Or Why A Young Girl Can Not Consent to Sex With an Adult Man: “The fact is, a 14-year-old girl may be capable of agreeing to sex with a 49-year-old man, but she doesn’t have the emotional and mental maturity to consent.”
And “It never occurred to me as a young sexually active teen that the adult men I had relationships with may have been manipulating me, that they had designs and motives I couldn’t see from my limited child’s perspective. ”
And “What I needed, and what she needed, were strong male role models in my life who knew how the f*** to say “No thanks” to a little girl’s come-ons. Because it doesn’t matter if a young girl is saying yes, it’s an adult man’s job to say no.”
Edited to add: Acting Older Isn’t Being Older, which includes the following: “when young girls are raped—especially young girls of color—they’re frequently blamed for “enticing” adult men or painted as complicit in the attack because of their supposed sexual maturity”
As you may remember, one reason I liked Sara Zarr’s The Lucy Variations is that the teacher there was fully aware of that.
And one of the reasons I like Boy Toy by Barry Lyga is it shows how a young teen is manipulated by an adult and doesn’t realize it. Yes, it’s also an adult woman’s job to say no.
What other books out there address this?