Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Respectably-Dressed Sensible Demure Lady Stroll

457 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 13 14 15 16 17 19 Newer→ Last

  • nzlemming, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    I once touched a boy’s knee. It didn’t lead anywhere, though maybe my hand was facing the wrong direction

    I suspect there will be a scarlet letter in your mailbox soon. You could wear it to Slutwalk ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Deborah,

    I’m sure that many 14 year olds are

    And some 18 yr olds aren't. So should we have a "maturity exam" :). I probably wouldn't have passed 'til I was about 25.

    This is one area where the law will always struggle, I'd prefer to have law in place that allows judges considerable discretion to decide whether 16+14 is true teen lurv or innocent experimentation or abuse of power. Bags not have that job though.

    And yes I now look at young lovers at university and think you're too young! Very sweet, but too young.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to recordari,

    I can talk sensibly about consent and rape and slutshaming and all kinds of things. Frankly, given the tone of these conversations everywhere but here, I need a little levity on occasion. It's kind of why I love PAS.

    I suspect there will be a scarlet letter in your mailbox soon. You could wear it to Slutwalk ;-)

    Pfft. Like I haven't had one pinned on my door for years now.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    So if 13 or 14 is ” way too young”, then almost certainly, there is no issue with the current age of consent, with perhaps a margin of one year. And perhaps where children are engaging in sexual relationships before 16, the answer is education, not prosecution.

    And the establishment of the defence in the amendment bill was intended to provide a means for doing all that. I do understand your initial reaction, and it was that kind of reaction the Star Times played to with its shock-horror story. But it's just a shame what happened.

    There's a French-made documentary about the sickening and awful lengths the "moral" and criminal approach has reached in the US, called Outlawing Indecency.

    Some counties are saddling kids with mandatory 25-year listings on state sex offender registers, at the age of 18, for age of consent breaches. I was basically incandescent with (futile) rage the first time I watched it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Russell, when was the last time a couple of underage teenagers went through the courts for underage sex, I know it is still on the books but I am not aware of it happening in my neigbourhood
    The court action I mean, I am pretty sure human nature hasn't changed since I was an underage teen although there is always the hope as a parent

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    The issue of education has made me think. Isabel and Jackie made the points that occurred to me, and are often considered by feminist parents, gentle parenting proponents and child development experts. There's a whole continuum of behaviour concerning how we learn to relate to other people. I am trying to teach my children from very young about how to play with others. How to tell when someone isn't enjoying something, to stop tickling when someone says no, or stop. This is the beginning of empathy and understanding that other people are not objects that you do things to.

    Another important element is of modelling that behaviour. So from birth parents need to respect their children's bodies and personal boundaries. It is very accceptable to force your child to sit somewhere, put something on, brush their teeth, comb their hair etc. But these even these little things all take away from a child's feeling of autonomy and control over their body. So imagine, a child who has been controlled even more than that is likely to internalise that kind of approach and treat other people the same way, once they have the power.

    I am worried that unless changes are made to how we treat children from the beginning of their lives we cannot expect to see change to how they treat other people once they are older.

    Of course, that does not mean we shouldn't do all we can to change they way rape and consent are treated in our culture, as everyone has been discussing. However, if people are raised to believe they are entitled to control other people's bodies then even if they are not rapists themselves they are going to resist attempts to change victim blaming and other elements of rape culture.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Russell, when was the last time a couple of underage teenagers went through the courts for underage sex, I know it is still on the books but I am not aware of it happening in my neigbourhood

    It's only been possible for both to be charged since the 2004 amendment bill removed all the gender anomalies. Till then, only males could be held responsible.

    Age of consent breaches are rarely prosecuted when the age gap is narrow. The 2004 provision was intended to provide a formal basis for that practice -- it's always better to have the thing you want done supported in law rather than rely on prosecutorial discretion. And that's all it did.

    The Star Times deliberately and deceptively misrepresented it as "lowering the age of consent to 12", purely to sell newspapers. Sometimes I really have misgivings about being part of journalism when that's what it becomes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Just wondering if I am the last to hear of this but I have been in contact with some European exchange students and they have a system where everyone is ranked out of ten (not quite sure how the ranking is done but they all knew their ranking) and you cannot date anyone who is more than 2 below or above from your ranking

    Madness, and as for an age difference, twelve months was the max, I asked about someone my age and they would allow 4-5 years anything else was eeck
    How about their parents? All were within their (the students) self-imposed rules

    Is this common in NZ, anybody else heard of such a thing?
    I have never been comftable with noticable differences in power, status or age between couples so I guess this could help but but

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    This is the kids making it up themselves?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Russell, I thought the change was the correct way to go at the time

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Um, yeah, okay... I went to a school where, if you didn't ask, it was quite difficult to tell how old someone was. Not only did we have vertical forms (so your "home room" was a mix of forms 3-7) but our 5th form was about... a third? people having their second go-round. When my age came up in conversation with the guy I was sleeping with in 5th form, he fell off his chair. And I couldn't work out why he was so appalled I was 15. That's how much the legal age of consent impinged on my consciousness, and how much of a pressuring bastard he was.

    What I wonder is... how much of the idea that it was Wrong for me to be having sex at 15 is tied to the idea that Sex is Bad?

    Sex education that's framed around Enthusiastic Consent starts with two basic ideas. One, sex is awesome. Two, teenagers are going to have sex. Then it focusses on how to get the sex you want, not so much how to avoid the sex you don't. I mean, the sex education we had when we were teenagers? Pretty much never mentioned pleasure, right? It also avoids the idea that all boys are dirty horndogs and no girls actually want sex.

    What appears to happen (though for I think obvious reasons it's really hard to get this program into schools) is that, given the idea that sex can be really great, they have a basic right to pleasure, and they really want to get it right, teenagers have sex later. As they do when they come from households where sex is discussed openly.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    I asked about someone my age and they would allow 4-5 years anything else was eeck

    Well, sure. It's gross that old people even want to date in the first place. We are all supposed to be off knitting and hanging out with our cats and drinking cups of tea. Instead of, not as well as.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    We've probably all heard of the half-plus-7 rule of thumb. Popularly, but erroneously attributed to Hugh Hefner - it was mentioned in the 1953 David Niven film The Moon Is Blue.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    It's kind of why I love PAS.

    Me too. Hope you don't think my redacted comment was a slight on you. It was actually about how I met my partner of 20 years. Best shared over a wine though I decided. Nothing too sordid, or even much relevant to this thread, but it did involve my saying 'Yeah, nah' at one stage.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Tamara,

    But these even these little things all take away from a child's feeling of autonomy and control over their body. So imagine, a child who has been controlled even more than that is likely to internalise that kind of approach and treat other people the same way, once they have the power.

    I'm a child of the seventies, so I saw quite a lot of progressive parenting. The kids who weren't made to brush their teeth? They were little shits, by and large. Big generalisation, I know, but I'd like to see some empirical proof that gentle households in fact equip their children to be with others in situations where, yes, sometimes you have to sit down when everybody else is sitting down, or eat while everyone else is eating.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My first sexual partner was 16 and I was 20. We were intellectual equals, and I'm damned sure it made her feel grown up and wise to have such a boyfriend. But I came to realize over the years we were together that she would never really be as "mature" as me (well OK maybe now when such things begin to fade to irrelevance), because we both kept growing, and you can't just inject the missing 4 years. It's no slight on her, but it was actually extremely costly to me that I made the mistake of presuming she had my level of maturity because we loved each other.

    We don't really need to inject the idea of maturity into explanations of why girls are attracted to older boys. It's quite a deep criticism of the other children the same age who simply haven't got an older partner. It came across as super smug when I was at school, a quite explicit put-down of everyone around you to lord your older boyfriend at others, akin to lording wealth, Emma I'm not accusing you of this, nor am I saying you weren't mature beyond your years. It was just such a common claim is all I'm saying, and these girls who claimed maturity were much the same as they had been 6 months earlier when they didn't have an older sexual partner. They were still 14 year old girls listening to Wham, sneaky-smoking behind the school, giggling uncontrollably, reading poetry at the same level as anyone else their age, bitter on their parents, no clue about their future, etc, etc.

    The way I see it, the reason it happens is because each has something the other wants. Both want companionship and intimacy. But we usually also want more than that, we want partners that enable us to do things we want to do, and older boys enable younger girls. Love is a highly competitive business, we're all seeking to maximize things in life. Boys are willing to pay a much higher premium for sex, so they're willing to take partners much younger, and just put up with the immaturity. They might want one their age, but the older guys have in turn taken up all those slots.

    And this is why I think it does set up a power dynamic. But it's not totally one sided - the bargain is fair, the girl can withdraw herself from the man if he is abusing it, and he will suffer from that. However, I think the age gap gives men a lot of advantages - they are simply more free and powerful.

    *Edit, please note, these sweeping generalization are NOT meant to deny the existence of women who are attracted to men the same age or younger, or boys attracted to older women. I was one such boy, but there just weren't any that weren't going out with doctors, etc. I didn't even come onto their radar.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to BenWilson,

    listening to Wham

    Some of us still listen to Wham!, you know.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Holy fuck!

    NB: Both the quotes below and the story may be TRIGGERING

    A win for women at the Supreme Court of Canada last week in the J.A. decision also had a worrying subtext: All three dissenting justices who argued in favour of decriminalizing sex with unconscious “consenting” women were men.

    The three dissenting justices argued that it would further women’s right to autonomy to create a new doctrine of “advance consent,” so that unconscious women can have “sexual adventures."

    Consent ruling sends a welcome and clear message

    At least the overall decision was good i.e. that an unconcious ‘consenting’ person can’t actually consent. But I am astounded that some of the judges thought otherwise.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Well, I have read a bit about this and also seen comments like yours. And of course, my family is a work in progress! But I suspect that what you often saw was what looked like progressive parenting but was just lazy parenting! If the approaches are implemented properly you should suceed in raising sensitive, considerate people, not "little sh*ts". A lot of it comes down to modelling, as I've said. If I act considerately towards my children and other people, and they see me doing that with pleasure and satisfaction, then they will emulate that. I want my children to treat others well because it makes them feel good, not because they have to or I will punish them. You can't treat people properly if it doesn't come from a genuine place.

    As for sitting down/eating with everyone else, aside from the question of whether that is reasonable for a particular age of child (how long can a 2 year old sit for?), the approach with gentle parenting would be this: children naturally want to belong in the family and participate in its social life so if the mealtime is enjoyable and social then they will respond positively (in age appropriate ways).

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    They were still 14 year old girls listening to Wham, sneaky-smoking behind the school, giggling uncontrollably, reading poetry at the same level as anyone else their age, bitter on their parents, no clue about their future, etc, etc.

    You did put a generalisation disclaimer, but yeah, that must be some kind of record.

    I read this yesterday. It seemed apposite.

    etc, etc.

    ETA: And, just incidentally, did you know my first girlfriend?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Popularly, but erroneously attributed to Hugh Hefner

    He'd be a real hypocrite if he claimed that now. He doesn't have 49 year old girlfriends.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to BenWilson,

    Ben, obviously I wasn't clear before. The point of the whole "difficult to tell how old someone was" thing, was that you would be attracted to someone, and THEN find out how old they were. So, at least with the people I knew, it wasn't a conscious point-scoring thing, it just happened.

    Also... I don't want to get too deep on this, but your list of "immature" things? Is a list of feminine things. I still do all that stuff, thanks.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Is a list of feminine things. I still do all that stuff, thanks.

    Umm, I do quite a few of them too. Just sayin'. I don't smoke.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Re: age of consent. This is a fraught issue, something I find big parallels with drug policy on. We might very well accept that it's not a good idea to take some drugs, but progressive thought has at least accepted that people will do it anyway, and using a criminal justice system on people who essentially have a health issue has been a major cockup in policy for decades.

    Similarly, it's probably not a good idea for very young children to have sex with anyone, but they sure as hell will do it anyway, and in any sense except the strictly legal, they will very often consent, probably enthusiastically. To my way of thinking, rather than prosecution for this kind of thing, far better would be counseling, probing the older person in particular for their reasons. Facilitated by an experienced counselor, the younger person might see the motives of the older one much more clearly, and find they don't like them after all. Or, they might very well prove to be harmlessly in love, at which point the best possible advice about protection would be very, very helpful to a hell of a lot of children. This puts a huge onus on the counselor to detect sexual predators and abusive relationships, but I'm inclined to think this could be quite easy, for an experienced person with psyche training. Their recommendations could possibly have the backing of law, rather like mediators. I think this sort of thing happens anyway, but in a highly haphazard manner, that kids seek out advice from experienced people they know and trust. Unfortunately, some kids just don't have anyone like that in their lives.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Also... I don't want to get too deep on this, but your list of "immature" things? Is a list of feminine things. I still do all that stuff, thanks.

    Yeah, I think it's not a very helpful concept at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 13 14 15 16 17 19 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.