Thursday, January 31, 2013

Skepchicks want to lower age of consent

Something happened in an episode of "Glee", and since we're such philosophers it's going to determine what secular bloggers are talking about.

Turns out that some Skepchicks think Glee supports 'rape culture'. Other Skepchicks think statutory rape is one big joke. (Crossposted here)

Following that logic, the majority of times I’ve had sex, I was being raped. I’m 18 and I became sexually active when I was 14, two of my partners were over 18 while I was a minor. However, I’ve never been the victim of sexual assault and not a single one of those encounters was rape. This is just one example, but there are probably a substantial number of young people who engage in completely consensual sex with their peers, give or take a few years.

From the comments:
I hadn't really considered that end of it, but yeah, it's definitely insulting to rape survivors to have completely consensual sex labelled as ‘rape’ when there are true victims out there.

And then Elyse chimes in to clarify her disagreement with the show:
The issue isn’t about whatever age the consent laws state. It’s that the writers made it a point to determine that she wasn’t able to consent. They set that up. Then immediately turned around and had her “consenting”. It’s the show blurring the lines of what is okay and not okay.
I’m not giving absolute moral authority to local bureaucrats. I’m calling out the creators of a story for the way they use that story to trivialize consent. Is establishing ability consent important to their characters? Apparently yes, because they went through the trouble to ask. But that consent also doesn’t matter because regardless of their characters’ established inability to consent, they’re writing them having “consenting” sex. 

Wow. It's as if a modern drama has created an episode outlining how the law doesn't accurately describe what is always right and always wrong in human relationships. Perhaps we could burn some neurons imaging a scenario wherein someone is obviously breaking the law, but any rational human being would recognize that the criminal justice system would be applying an especially blunt instrument. And perhaps the show could be describing a specific situation that a great percentage of the population have experienced themselves.

It's interesting to see how this debate emerges within a community that both drinks a lot and somehow believes drunk sex pretty much never establishes consent. "If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape."

Perhaps it is difficult to reconcile the law, or one's own moral pronouncements, with the sexual history of many "regular" individuals that don't feel victimized as often as we think they should.

That is, my sexual history is strange but somehow acceptable, yet everyone else is a drunk innocent being taken advantage of by old pervs.

Parallels exist with the frequent drug user in college that somehow grows up to have extremely conservative opinions about drug laws.

Do as I say, not as I did.

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