Yup, you read that headline right: a British lawyer has called for the age of consent to be lowered to 13 because a dirty old man touching 8th graders’ boobs should be totally OK.
London lawyer Barbara Hewson penned an impassioned piece for a contrarian British publication called Spiked in which she wrote about the Jimmy Savile trial, or Operation Yewtree. Simply put, Yewtree investigated multiple allegations that a late British TV host had sexually abused many, many underage girls and boys. The whole trial has reignited concerns in the UK about adult sexual abuse of children and young adults
But now Hewson — A WOMAN!— is concerned that the UK is conducting its own witch hunt, falsely accusing adult men of being sexual predators. ”[T]he goings-on at the BBC in past decades are not a patch on what Stead exposed. Taking girls to one’s dressing room, bottom pinching and groping in cars hardly rank in the annals of depravity with flogging and rape in padded rooms,” she wites. “Touching a 17-year-old’s breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one’s hand up a 16-year-old’s skirt, are not remotely comparable” to rape or gang rapes. And since that’s supposedly the only really bad way a young woman can be violated, she now advocates that they “remove complainant anonymity; introduce a strict statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil actions; and reduce the age of consent to 13.”She continues, ”Adults and law-enforcement agencies must stop fetishizing victimhood. Instead, we should focus on arming today’s youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid drifting into compromising situations, and prosecute modern crime.” Let me translate that for you: prosecuting sexual predators is “fetishizing victimhood” and instead youngsters themselves should learn how not to get abused. Uh huh.
I’m not entirely convinced that Barbara Hewson isn’t a so-called “men’s rights activist” hell-bent on blaming slutty little high school freshmen for tempting grown-ass adult men into sexy sex. She truly cares more about the “persecution of old men” than the sexual assault of teens and tweens. That plays directly into the rape culture myth that there are “good” victims whose sexual abuse was “bad enough” to be taken seriously and everyone else is just whining or being a feminist killjoy. Hewson, in particular, blames “moral crusaders” for being a bunch of wet blankets.
To be clear, I don’t disagree that — at least in America — age of consent laws can have some problems, say, when there’s a 15-year-old and a 18-year-old having consensual sex. They’re peers on a somewhat equal social level; they’re of roughly the same maturity/development level. But an adult who is by definition in a power role (such as Jimmy Savile, who hosted a music show) is in a position to abuse and manipulate the youngster. That is why age of consent laws exist — not to be, like, a totally anti-sex bummer, dude.
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