Monday, December 13, 2010

Dad To The Bone

"I received a phone call anonymously that my daughter was involved with a guy 40 years older than her. You said you couldn't stop him – so I did.

"I saw it as my duty as a father."


I neither condemn nor condone this action.


Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Statutory rape apparently isn't illegal in Germany?

Or they draw the line in a different spot... oy.

tully said...

Women are sexual beings at the age of 17. I know it's not as simple as that: They are somewhere between childhood and womanhood, but they are sexual, and they are not necessarily passive to the sexual advances of older men, nor to the protective measures of their fathers. This father is reinforcing the chastity-myth with his excessive measures of retribution. Should a father be protective? Of course, but as a friend, not as the guardian of chastity.

Some "duties" should be condemned, Gino! A duty which perpetuates the passivity of women rather than dealing with the reality of an individual woman...that duty should be condemned, as should the action that sprung from it.

tully said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Uh... letting your 17 year old child be used by someone her grandfather's age isn't promoting "passivity." It's pretty obviously wrong.

Gino said...

waiting for somebody to come along and tell me how this is an example of fathers in a patriarchal society... blah blah... which is ALL societies blah blah blah... expressing ownership over their daughter's vagina and... blah blah blah... diggity blah blah...

or some other blah blah they were fed in the fem studies...

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Meh, I'm sure to be called sexist.

Not like that's anything new, I was called sexist for joining the Navy for non-revolutionary purposes.

tully said...

Foxflier: Of course the geezer is in the wrong. That is not the issue. The issue is whether he ought to be castrated. And it's pretty obvious that the specific measure of castration is more than just an indication that it is wrong.

And my point was not that he was promoting passivity by letting her be used. It was that he is perpetuating the myth of passivity by taking such drastic measures on her behalf. I condemn the myth. The father I do not condemn. The father is doing the best he can with what he is given. So in that sense I'm with Gino.

And yes, Gino, it is trite. Is it wrong? You can be dismissive and speculate about academic force-feeding all you want, but that is in avoidance of an argument...or better yet, a viable alternative in which this castration does not warrant these trite condemnations of patriarchy.

tully said...

I should add, by the way, that I would probably identify with you if I were a father. That is, what I suspect is, for you, not so much an argument as a protective feeling for your own daughters. But clearly there's protective and then there's protective. At what point does protectiveness become patriarchal? Sometime between taking a phone call and looking long and hard at that bread knife. It is a matter of degree.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I wouldn't say the question is if he ought to be castrated by a vigilante dad; I'd say WTF is wrong with a culture where a guy goes to the cops and says "hey, this guy who's older than me is bonking my minor daughter" and gets told "tough lucky, buddy," and it's also not acceptable that he takes action on his own.

A culture is sick when there's no resolution for a problem like this-- I don't care if you'll call "grass on the field" about it, we're not mere animals so there's more than sexual urges involved.

At what point does protectiveness become patriarchal?

At some point after we're talking about a minor, and ESPECIALLY after we're talking about a minor with an authority figure type adult.

my name is Amanda said...

Overall, older men preying on teenagers is disgusting to me, even if the teenagers are consenting. But...

Tully's 1st comment - Completely agree, actually!

Foxfier - Um, "letting" her "be used?" Used?

I mean, aside from how offensive the idea of someone else deciding when you, a consenting adult, should be allowed to have sex is, where in the story does it indicate that the woman was being used? If she was acting of her own volition, the "using," if that is how you would like to refer to getting off, with all its physical and possibly emotional benefits, was happening on both sides. Therefore, it wouldn't be significant to point out that one party was used, since both parties were using. Or is "using" how you refer to any woman who is not you having sex with a man under terms of which you don't approve?

And I am saying "you" to refer to both people and you, specifically, because I think humans have a lot more respect for the autonomy of others when they can imagine how they would feel if their own rights being similarly stripped.

So yeah, that was a sexist statement. I don't see how joining the Navy for non-revolutionary purposes would be sexist. But I do see being disingenuous because of that, about the validity of other's definitions of sexism, as they apply to any other situation.

Unless you're going for a "Sexist and Proud of It" thing, in which case, I retract the previous sentence.

Gino - You clearly already know what I would say.


Tully's 2nd comment - I disagree that the man was doing the best he could with what he had. If she is adult enough to consent (and a cursory Google search indicated that she is), then he had no business interfering, unless she was being abused - and even then, he would need to do that by helping her get legal/police help - not by taking matters into his own hands.

Tully's 3rd comment - I am a big fan of nuance and I think many things can hinge on the degree of feeling or action. But if we're talking about protectiveness because of patriarchal allegiance, where a father is a guardian of a daughter's chastity, versus a father feeling protective of his child, who is possibly being emotionally manipulated by this older man, because this is his child and he doesn't want her to get hurt, then there is a difference is in the motive, not the degree.

Foxfier's last comment - She's not a minor if she is a legal consenting adult. Let me know if I read the law incorrectly. (In which case, I still wouldn't condone vigilante violence, but I would condemn the authorities for not acting on statutory rape, and the father for not trying harder to bring attention to the abuse legally.)

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

It would be only be sexist if I wouldn't say the same thing about a grandparent aged predator going after a 17 year old boy, Amanda. Not being one of those folks who thinks it's just so cool when teachers just 10 years senior to the boys take advantage of the authority, that's not the case.

And I am saying "you" to refer to both people and you, specifically, because I think humans have a lot more respect for the autonomy of others when they can imagine how they would feel if their own rights being similarly stripped.

Ah yes, let's stand aside and let a teen be used for sex by an authority figure, because it's stepping on their rights to do anything to protect them.
Amazing how that argument doesn't hold for, say, a 19 year old that wants to binge drink... or just not wear a seatbelt at any age....

I don't see how joining the Navy for non-revolutionary purposes would be sexist.

Because to disagree with the one stating it that the navy was both horribly woman-hating or that the correct action was to join up and change it was "sexist." I've noticed "sexist" tends to cover disagreeing with someone who considers themselves a feminist.

Finally- "it's legal" has no bearing on "it is right." If it did, we wouldn't have any of those moronic laws started because someone found a way to horrify the population with something legal.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

If I had a daughter that age, and she was being banged by a geezer, I would castrate him too. Not because I have ownership of my daughter's vagina, but because that's the only way to stop a sexual predator.

I'm a biased on this issue, however. A fifty-two year old was banging me I was in my mid-to-early twenties and desperate for food. "Don't tell anyone was his mantra." As it turned out, he was doing the same thing to thirteen through seventeen year-olds too. Lots of them. I only vandalized his storefront, with a public warning. I retrospect, I should've done the right thing and called the cops, but I was pretty sure that he would turn me in for drugs and prostitution in retaliation. I was a coward and it bothers me to this day. At least he no longer has a business.

However, if I had done the right thing, and the cops would not have been of any help, you bet that I would've done the same thing the guy did as well. I have no problem with legal inter-generational relationships or a woman's right to choose her lovers. Hell, I can even deal with a legal adult doing a young adult, as long as there's parental consent. I have a MAJOR problem with a geezer having sex with an underage person on the sly. Call me a prude, but that just screams exploitation.

Bike Bubba said...

I hope I never understand what this guy, his daughter, or for that matter, Vanessa went through, but Vanessa makes a great point about this. The guy who goes after one underage girl is probably not confining--or at least will not confine--his attentions to just one girl.

(and for that matter, when predators find one willing girl, they tend to share her name.....)

In this case, it's creepy but not against the law. 16 is the general age of consent in Germany, and in some cases, 14.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

The table is incorrect-- it lists Washington as 16, but we're a 16/18 state-- it's not rape if you're less than 60 months older, not in authority over them and and it's part of a "significant" relationship. (To avoid the "they were dating all through high school and then it became illegal" thing.) Been that way for over a decade.

This chart is also a decade old, but it notes consent with parental permission and without.

I know a lot of states have additional laws about minors not being able to consent to sex with anyone with positional authority, and age tends to be in that category. (IIRC, because of the boyfriend-dumped-mom-for-her-teen-daughter phenomenon; they have no authority per say, since they were just dating the parent.) I seem to remember Washington State recently started on the issue of sex with teacher's assistants under the can't-screw-professors angle....

Brian said...

More comprehensive and presumably up to date info here, with all the usual caveats about referencing Wikipedia:

17 is still legal in the majority of US states.

Brian said...
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Mr. D said...

Legal isn't proper, of course. I once saw a mathematical formula that makes sense to me concerning the relative ages of people in a relationship:

(Your age/ 2) + 7.

Anything below that number is creepy.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Look at the reference linked. 22 of those with age of consent under 18 specifically have age limits where it's still rape, and that was 2004.

It seems a lot of the problem is that more than half the states don't *HAVE* strict consent laws, as of the date of the report. They have laws that say you can't have sex with anyone under X age. (Probably a hold over from child marriages.)

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Mr. D- that's a good rule of thumb.

Bike Bubba said...

So an octogenarian could marry someone aged 47......sorry, that's starting to get creepy. Somehow a rule of thumb of "no more than 20 years age difference" sounds like a welcome addendum. :^)

Brian said...

Look...I'm really not interested in beating the details to death across 50 point is simply that there isn't much of a qualitative difference here between how the sex in question would be viewed in Germany versus here, from a legal standpoint. So whatever conversation can be had here, it isn't one about decadent Europeans and their libertine views on (late) adolescent sexuality.

I have no doubt that transitioning from complete responsibility for another human being to recognizing their autonomy is one of the most emotionally taxing things a person can go through. But it doesn't give you the right to be violent asshole if you turn out not to like how it goes.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Where on earth did you get the idea it was about "decadent Europeans and their libertine views"? All I said is that they draw the line in a different spot-- and, from your own research, they do.

Brian said...


FF--and I am being completely serious and complimentary here--if you haven't considered a career in the litigious arts, you should. You'd be great at it. I'd want your tenacity and dedication to detail on my side, if I needed it.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*throws her hands in the air*
Oh, COME ON! I try to respond to you like you're a reasonable, adult, intelligent person-- and you throw a hissy fit? If you don't want actual information, why did you start looking for links with the age laws?

What is your problem?

Is it really such an insult for someone to give you more accurate information? I already said that legal isn't directly related to moral, so it's not a challenge to me.

You linked some data, and I knew a part of it was wrong off of the top of my head. I pointed that out. You link to wiki; I look at the wiki, click the bloody citation, and read what it actually says-- which took less time than typing the resulting information.

I didn't even have to read the entire bloody report, because it's got the chart right there, listed with page number and all.

You then go off on some stereotype about Europe, out of the blue.

Brian said...

I was really trying to bring an increasingly pointless conversation to a friendly close. Really. Sorry the joke fell flat.

Please take the compliment...I meant it.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Then thank you, and I'm sorry I didn't catch the joke. I actually am working on a legal/constitutional research site with some IRL computer and internet folks I know, so I can hope to be helpful.

my name is Amanda said...

Foxfier - Sexism is not "doing the same bad things to both men and women." Any older person who goes after teenagers is gross, whether the older person is male or female. I said that your statement about her"getting used" was sexist, because that's a pretty classic attitude about women who have sex with men they are not married to, within the grand misogynist tome of ways to oppress women.

You didn't address that part of my comment, though - and then you go on to state AGAIN "let a teen be used." Using, has nothing to do with it! Although before I commented, I couldn't have any way of knowing whether you would refer to it as using in the case of either gender - it was up to you to clarify (instead you argued with something I didn't even say).

What is legal absolutely does have a bearing on what is right, because for anything outside the sphere of what is legal, its "morality" is matter of opinion. (Which isn't to say that I personally don't find some laws oppressive and abhorrent.) As to how that doesn't hold for a 19 year old binge drinker or the seatbelt law?! These are laws! We have to make a certain age be the age of consent. If you don't like the laws, then try to change them.

Other stuff:

To disagree with someone who says that the Navy is woman-hating is not sexist in and of itself. To hear examples of how the Navy is woman-hating, and completely write them off because you accuse the person of being a Feminist, could be sexist, and is definitely obtuse. To say that one wants to join the Navy to help change it - STILL not sexist. I don't know the details of that conversation that you've had with people, but it sounds like their understanding of sexism is crappy as well.

(For the record, "sexist" tend to cover disagreeing with someone who considers themselves a feminist WHEN YOU DO IT IN A SEXIST WAY OR PERTAINING TO SEXIST TOPICS. Otherwise, you're just being a so-and-so who says that everything a Feminist or Liberal has to say is a lie simply because they are a Feminist or a Liberal.)

Finally your opinion that the age of consent should be higher? NOT SEXIST. And OMG - I consider myself to be feminist!!! However, saying that the age of consent should be higher, but only for girls (which you did not say) - now that would be sexist.

See the difference?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I said that your statement about her"getting used" was sexist, because that's a pretty classic attitude about women who have sex with men they are not married to, within the grand misogynist tome of ways to oppress women.

Aaaand... still has nothing to do with what I said. (or believe, for that matter)

You want to make assumptions, fine, but it's not my job to cater to your biases, especially not when I respond to explicitly say that flipping the sex of the victim wouldn't change that it's wrong.

You're assuming that I'm sexist, which is rather what I predicted would happen....

my name is Amanda said...

Feel free to re-read my comment, if you didn't happen to see that I wrote that I had no way of knowing either way, when I wrote the first comment, and how I ackowledged that you believe that.

Also, I have repeatedly called your statement/s sexist - not you.

There's a pretty good rule for people who say things like "I know this is bad, BUT..." or "I know this *sounds* sexist/racist/whatever...", including something like "People will probably call me sexist..." - and that is, if you comprehend enough to know that, then whatever you are saying probably is bad/sexist/racist/whateveryoupredicted.

For goodness sake, please do not reply, telling me that I am now calling you sexist and racist by saying that and what does that have to do with anything?! - I am just making a general statement about THOSE kinds of statements.

Also, I am totes amused to find myself being lectured about assumptions and biases by someone who just wrote that Feminists only use the sexist card because they disagree with...anything, apparently. Yea, irony!

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Also, I am totes amused to find myself being lectured about assumptions and biases by someone who just wrote that Feminists only use the sexist card because they disagree with...anything, apparently. Yea, irony!

What I actually wrote:
I've noticed "sexist" tends to cover disagreeing with someone who considers themselves a feminist.

You're not the only one being amused by someone proving a point.

tully said...

So bored!

W.B. Picklesworth said...

A bread knife?

Gino said...

of course!
you read the story... he's an ethnic german, from russia.
castration with a bread knife shows his german heritage of angry violence combined with his russian heritage of inhuman cruelty for the sake of it.

i know, that is racist.
i said it, anyway.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

At least he didn't use a spoon.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...


Gino said...

and foxfier displays her ethnicity: nerdness. :)

you have company among my readership. rest assured.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*sniff, nose in the air*
We prefer "geek," thank you.