== ''' THE BECKII CRUEL SITUATION''' ==
A recent documentary has come to light which has some major relevance to the Minor Attracted Adult (MAA) community, and the global cultural factors which affect public attitudes towards the pedophiliac and hebephiliac attraction bases (in this particular case, the latter), and I believe this warrented an essay.
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The situation discussed in the documentary was adeptly summarized by my fellow MAA activist Joey Bishop in [http://www. annabelleigh.net/messages/509001.htm this post] of his on GirlChat:
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'''I just saw this BBC documentary titled ''Beckii: Schoolgirl Superstar at 14'', and it's probably one of the best documentaries I've seen in a while. It's an interesting chronicle of culture clash and instant Internet fame. It all starts when a cute British girl named Beckii, who 's a fan of Japanese anime, and oddly enough sort of resembles an anime character herself, posts a video online of herself dancing along to an anime inspired J-Pop hip hop song called Danjo, Danjo. '''
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Almost overnight, she becomes a sensation in Japan with her cute looks that resemble an anime character, which satisfies Japan's cultural fascination with both incredibly cute things, known as kawaii culture, and anime characters. Eventually, she ends up landing in the top 20 on the Japanese pop charts and having entire magazines filled up with photos of her. There are even aspirations to stardom back in her native Britain, as well as worldwide, and whether that possibility will prevail is left open ended, but looks at least somewhat promising. Things seem to be on the up and up for this pretty young girl.'''
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''And yet, there is a culture clash and a moral dilemma in place. As Beckii herself admits, despite her appreciation of some aspects of the Japanese culture, she still thinks with a British mentality, and the sexual undertones of her appeal, and the age and gender of much of her fan base troubles her and her family, which includes her policeman father. She's happy to receive expensive gifts from her biggest fan, a ostensibly wealthy middle-aged Japanese man, yet is a bit ambivalent about her relationship with him and whether it should continue despite the gifts he sends which please her. '''
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The above documentary has since been uploaded to Youtube, and can be found here: [video has since been removed from Youtube].'''
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'For those indigenous to the U.K., you can watch it online at the BBC three home page, which can be found here: http://www.bbc.co. uk/programmes/b00tf20x'''
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With the above said, courtesy of Joey Bishop (which I thank him for bringing to my attention), I now move onto my essay, where I have some words to say about this matter.
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One of the major things about the Internet to keep in mind is that it's a global phenomenon. As a result, people from Country A who become overnight sensations as a result of uploading videos of themselves to sites like Youtube are sometimes going to achieve a lot of appeal not just in their native land, but also in Country B. If the latter occurs, then they are quickly going to realize that the values and attitudes of their indigenous culture are not the equivalent of laws of nature. The moral conceits that are so popular in the U.S. and Britain which demonize adult men who openly acknowledge the sexual attractiveness of adolescent girls under a certain arbitrary age are obviously not nearly as extant in certain Eastern nations like Japan, which has a long and solid tradition of Girl Love (GL), much as Greece and Rome had long-standing traditions of Boy Love (BL). In Japan, it's considered completely normal for middle-aged heterosexual or bisexual men to acknowledge the attractiveness of young adolescent girls. Rebecca Flint, a.k.a ., Beckii Cruel and her family may not like this aspect of Japanese culture, but if she chooses to immerse herself in the intricacies of a culture that made her a superstar, she needs to understand that the GL aspects of Japanese culture are a package deal and have been a central part of anime since the inception of the medium (more on that in a minute). Hopefully, upon studying the Japanese culture in greater detail and accepting friendships from the middle-aged fan boys there who adore her on all levels, she will become more open-minded and come to question what she has always incorrectly believed to be the universal nature or moral absolutism of her own Western-based culture's disdain for adult men (and women) acknowledging the attractiveness of young adolescent girls. It will eventually become clear to Beckii that girls of her age group are seen as young adults in Japan rather than how they are most often viewed by the wider culture in Western nations, i.e., as older children. Also, it should be mentioned that true pedophilia, while still stigmatized to a degree in Japan, is nevertheless much more easily discussed there than in the Western nations.
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Another thing regarding the situation discussed in this essay that Beckii should be aware of is this: in Japan, anime is enjoyed by people of multiple age groups, not simply children, tweens, and younger teens. The attitudes towards animated fare in Western and Eastern nations are often quite different. American and British audiences automatically relegate anything that is animated to the "kiddie ghetto," and such shows need to be made ' kid friendly' in order to thrive on U.S. or British television or on the big screen (unless, curiously, those shows are sitcoms like ' 'The Simpsons'' or ''Family Guy''). There are exceptions, of course (note the Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" segment), but they are rare, they are usually not nearly as popular or widely viewed as the animated fare designed for younger audiences, and they are often attacked by parents groups who expect all such animated fare to conform to "family oriented" standards. In other words, in many Western nations (including the U.S. and Britain) the realm of animation isn't viewed as a particular medium where any subject or genre can be depicted, but instead seems to be perceived as nothing more than a genre that is automatically geared towards a specific age group. This is not the case in Japan, where animated fare is geared towards and appreciated by a multiplicity of age groups. Anime is probably as popular among adults in Japan as it is to younger audiences, and as such anime in its original form is often shown detailing themes that are not socially acceptable for "kiddie" fare in the U.S. and Britain, some of which would likely offend adult audiences even if explictely geared towards that age group. As a result, when these anime shows are imported to American and British shores, they are heavily edited and censored, with any themes that may make them "inappropriate" for younger audiences according to Western cultural standards, including anything to do with intergenerational attraction, being excised. There have been several anime series featuring young girls where one of the girls' teachers or some other adult friend had a crush on her, and the adult in question was not automatically depicted as a bad guy, because what is called the hebephiliac attraction base in the Western world is not considered deviant in Japanese culture. But these themes (along with other things, such as scenes of young people smoking or drinking alcohol) are thorougly extirpated from the American and British versions of the anime, which is why Beckii and other anime fans in the West wouldn' t have the slightest clue that expressions of GL are relatively common and something close to mainstream in the Land of the Rising Sun. Girls who grew up in a Japanese culture wouldn' t consider such themes to constitute a "moral dilemma" (at least not in a knee-jerk manner), and regardless to how they may personally feel about adult attraction to girls in their age group, and whether or not they themselves may have a notable attraction to or even a preference for significantly older people or not, they nevertheless accept it as normal and common.
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But Beckii grew up in a Western culture, during a time period when the "pedophile panic" and the resultant infantalization of young adolescent girls is still going ahead full steam, so it's no wonder that her reaction to the adult male attention she has received from her Japanese fan base would come off as morally dubious or "strange" to her. This also explains why she is attempting to put forth an "innocent" or entirely non-sexual image since discovering this adult interest in her despite the fact that the sexual aspects of girls in anime have never been hidden in their original Japanese versions, and also despite the fact that there is ample evidence that this level of "innocence" isn't natural to adolescent girls but is actually an artificial socio-cultural imposition that Beckii feels she must acquiesce to for sake of adhering to an image that is socially acceptable to her particular culture. At one point in the documentary, she acknowledged the cultural differences between Japan and her native Britain in regards to this issue, but she said she still believes that it's morally wrong for adult men to have this type of admiration for young adolescent girls, or for girls her age to exude any sexual appeal. What she doesn't seem to realize is that her belief that this is morally wrong is no different than people of various cultures strongly believing that the homosexual attraction base is morally wrong, yet this doesn't change the fact that homosexuality is natural and pervasive despite some people's moral reservations against it, which is the same situation regarding pedophilia and hebephilia. As such, it's quite clear that moralism is both subjective and culturally relative.
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Further, the fact that Beckii was supposedly so taken aback that a large proportion of her Japanese fan base are older adult males is not because adult attraction to girls in her age group is any less common in Britain than it is in Japan, but the illusion that this is the case occurs due to the fact that the vast majority of adult men in Britain do not acknowledge their attraction to young adolescent girls openly for fear of severe societal backlash. As a result, the many hebephiles in Britain (i.e., those adult men and women with a specific preference for young adolescents) are usually very much in the closet, a state of affairs which is demonstrably not the case in Japan. I think what Beckii needs to do in the future is to get her hands on some of the unedited, Japanese versions of the anime she enjoys so much, so that she can see some of these themes played out and come to the realization that the versions she sees in her native Britain are extremely whitewashed to make them more 'acceptable' to the kid audiences in the West. This editing process is also done to make these animated series palatable to parents groups and polite society in general, who do not want intergenerational attraction depicted in a morally neutral fashion, do not want to see depictions of men with such an attraction base as anything other than predatory monsters in human skin, and do not want to see young girls giving out the implication that it's okay for them to express their natural human sexuality, let alone appear to embrace it proudly as a natural aspect of their being rather than attempting to deny its existence as Beckii is evidently attempting to do so as to appease the moralizing standards of her indigenous culture. Many examples of anime featuring young girl characters display a degree of sexual appreciation for them (note the revealing outfits worn by many girl protagonists in certain anime), and it' s a shame that the sanitized versions of these shows that reach American and British shores leave out these important aspects to such an extent that Western girl fans like Beckii are totally unaware of the existence of such a multi-faceted level of admiration for these young girl protagonists that she admires and identifies with.
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Another thing to wonder about is whether or not Beckii was unduly influenced in her moral dilemma by her police officer father. The police are rivaled only by mainstream media moguls (such as Oprah Winfrey and just about any talk show host you can think of who is more interested in sensationalism-generated ratings than factual and open-minded discussions) as being the absolute worst source of information about Minor Attracted Adults (MAAs) and the phenomenon of adult attraction to minors in general. The police of Western nations do not routinely have mutually amiable discussions with the large number of MAAs who are perfectly law-abiding and decent people, and as such they do not have anything remotely resembling an accurate knowledge of the typical members of this community, nor do they see us as anything other than criminals or potential criminals who "prey" upon the young and vulnerable . To these police officers, arresting adults who engage in mutually consensual romantic/sexual relationships with young girls (and boys) or who view "sexy" pics of them online is their job, and this will inevitably color their attitude towards even the large number of people in this community who do not break the law. This is precisely the same reason why police often develop a strong antipathy towards other marginalized minorities, including black people who live in the inner city ghettos and members of the homosexual community in the past (where they were often arrested for public displays of romantic affection towards each other). As such, it's to be expected that Beckii's father would have such a negative reaction to the attention his daughter is receiving from middle-aged men in Japan as a result of her stardom there, because he views all such men as nothing more than dangerous psychotic deviants who would try to harm his daughter if given the slightest chance. This, of course, is utterly ridiculous, as the vast majority of men who are attracted to minors are decent people who would never harm a youth in any real or demonstrable manner, and the fact that violent crimes against children and adolescents are extremely rare outside of the home even in nations where the majority of adults acknowledge an attraction to minors (such as Japan) should speak volumes about the validity of this hysteria and accompanying moral objections and attitudes to the attraction base. The admiration towards Beckii by these men derive from a culture that is not ashamed of acknowledging the great attractiveness and appeal of young girls on all levels, but considering the political and cultural climate of the nation that Beckii was raised in (specifically, the Isle of Man), it shouldn't come as any major surprise that she doesn't perceive such attention as flattering and affirming to her self-esteem, but instead something to be concerned about. Since the hebephiliac attraction base is readily acknowledged by the great majority of men in Japan, obviously most, if not all, of these men are not psychopaths but normal and well-adjusted individuals who appreciate what Beckii offers to the world on every conceivable level, as opposed to viewing her through the lense of Western cultural conceits, which would insist that she be viewed as "just a cute kid" and have all of her amazing qualities dismissed or downplayed as a result. Instead, her adult male Japanese admirers see her in a far more multi-faceted manner: as a talented and beautiful young woman who exudes a high degree of intelligence, energy, creativity, and sex appeal, and who does the great medium of anime proud by her enthusiasm for it.
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At one point in the documentary Beckii' s mother makes a sincere attempt to be open-minded about her daughter' s great popularity amongst middle-aged men in Japan despite the political and cultural milieu in which she was raised by saying that she doesn't believe the common hype that all men who view her daughter's videos are "pedophiles" or other "seedy" individuals, and that many of these men are fully capable of enjoying these videos "innocently," i.e., appreciating every aspect of her daughter ''except'' for the sex appeal. Has it ever occurred to Beckii's mom that adult men are perfectly capable of admiring her obvious sexual attractiveness without that being the '' only'' reason that they admire her, that they can fully appreciate this in harmony with her other great qualities on display (e.g., talent, energy, a sparkling personality, creativity, a great appreciation for a much beloved medium, etc.), and that such men are not automatically "seedy" or in any way dishonorable simply because they find her physically attractive in addition to their admiration for all her other traits? Clearly, stereotypes about men who hold this natural and common attraction base for adolescent girls continues to abound in the Western mindset despite growing evidence that it's anything but unusual and that having this attraction base in no way denigrates the moral character of any adult who possesses it.
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One other thing that should be mentioned here is that Beckii and her family seem totally unaware of the cam girl phenomenon of the past decade, a phenomenon that is hardly unknown and which has been the subject of many articles and at least a few television news shows ( such as ''60 Minutes'') . It's been well known for a long time now that since the inception of public access to the Internet and the invention of web cams that young adolescent girls (and sometimes boys) from any number of nations, including Western nations like the U.S. and Britain, receive an enormous amount of attention from adult men by putting cam photos of themselves up on personal websites, and sometimes even do real time cam shows for their adoring fan base (usually kept legal, of course). These girls routinely put up wish lists on their sites where they highlight all of the often expensive items that they want, as they know that their many adult male fans will gladly purchase these items for them as gifts. Further, many of these cam girls accept generous monetary donations from their adult male admirers to support both themselves and the operating expenses of their site. Some cam girls and boys have made quite a decent living off of donations and gifts courtesy of their legion of admiring adult fans, and this in a society where younger people are mostly denied any good opportunities to earn their own money and achieve any degree of economic independence from their parents. Do these girls actually believe that it's mostly adolescent boys in their age group who purchase these gifts for them, especially when these wish lists are often created on Amazon.com and most teen boys do not have credit or debit cards that would enable them to make the purchases in the first place, let alone have enough money to do so? It's often made quite clear by these girls that they are well aware that a large proportion of their admirers, both male and female, are significantly older adults. Though a few of these cam girls complain about the "old pervs" who dare to admire them, none of these girls evidently have any problem with milking their obvious sexual appeal for all its worth and receiving literally thousands of dollars worth of gifts from these smitten adult admirers every year, not to mention enough donations in some cases to enable them to make a better living than most of their parents do. There has never been the slightest evidence that the vast majority of these adult admirers are mentally unbalanced or dangerous in any way, and I have yet to hear of any instance where any of these cam girls were stalked and /or murdered by one of their adult admirers (even if they do sometimes receive erotic personal communications from them).
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So while most men in contemporary Western culture are not willing to openly admit their attraction to young adolescent girls due to all of the severe societal stigma against it, they do indeed display their appreciation for these girls' great beauty and attractiveness in ways such as those mentioned above (where they can do so anonomously), so the phenomenon shouldn' t have come to any great surprise to Beckii or her family. Is their professed naivety in this area of knowledge accurate, or are they simply "playing dumb" in an attempt to cater to the expectations of their culture? Adult attraction to young adolescent girls (as well as to children, even if in lesser numbers than hebephilia) is common, pervasive, and quite obvious despite whatever level of moralizing condemnation may or may not exist against it on any level in any given culture. Furthermore, many adolescent girls are well aware of their sexual attraction to people of all age groups, and are readily able to profit from it if they so choose, so Beckii' s claims to being innocently unaware of this aspect of herself is questionable. One must also wonder if she has honestly never seen the multitude of uploaded videos (particularly dance videos) to Youtube from tween and teen girls who are obviously making an effort to exude sex appeal and are well aware that many of their channel' s admirers are adult men. One cannot tell beyond a shadow of a doubt if Beckii is sincerely unaware of both this fairly ubiquitous aspect of Youtube as well as her own sex appeal, of course, but considering all of the obvious facts I mentioned above, I do not think it' s out of line to at least question its veracity and wonder if she is just attempting to construct an image of herself that is acceptable to both her parents and her culture at large.
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I think the friendship that Beckii has established with her biggest Japanese fan, a wealthy middle- aged man who sends her many gifts, will ultimately come to open her mind and expand her cultural horizons if she chooses to continue it. She will come to see that he is most likely not a monster, that his admiration of her is sincere, and that the sexual components of that admiration in no way lesson or taint the emotional and social aspects of that admiration. He likely appreciates her on all levels, and therefore affords her a level of respect that the great majority of people over the age of 18 in her native Britain (and elsewhere in the Western world) would not give her, at least not openly.
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Though I would never expect Beckii or her Cruel Angels cohort Gemma (who also appears in the documentary and expresses many of the same misgivings about the adult attention she receives) to show an interest in adult men that they do not naturally possess--after all, I do not believe that the majority of adolescent girls are gerontophiles, i. e., possessing a pronounced romantic interest in or outright preference for significantly older adults, though I do believe the latter may very well comprise a significant minority of their number--I think they can neverthess still receive a degree of flattery rather than concern or open disdain for a type of natural admiration that, while it may not be their personal cup of tea, was nevertheless responsible for a large proportion of the fan base that rocketed them towards stardom. It would appear that adult men (and likely women too ) have a large influence on the level of popularity that adolescent (and possibly child) stars achieve, whether these youths and their families like it or not, and as such it may not be good form for these girls to publicly disparage this possibly important faction of their fan base, especially when there is no evidence whatsoever that these large numbers of adult fans are in any way dangerous. Gemma said that she thought it was " sad" that adult men enjoy watching young girls dance in videos, without considering that if they didn't, her popularity margin may have been considerably less than it has become, and it's arguably possible that her rise to fame would not have nearly as much support as it did without this faction of her fan base. This doesn't mean that girl stars like Beckii and Gemma should be expected to develop an attraction to these men if they do not naturally possess it to any sizable degree, but at the same time it doesn' t mean that they shouldn' t show this part of their fan base the respect it deserves, and to realize that adult men who have this degree of admiration for young girls are neither rare nor deviant. It also means that the sexual component of these girls' appeal to fans of all ages need not be denied or suppressed to appeal to their native cultural biases, but can be embraced or at least accepted as a natural aspect of their being that cannot be fully stifled or ignored even if they sincerely want this to be the case.
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PERU LOWERS ITS AGE OF CONSENT--MY ANALYSIS
Below is my analysis of this article detailing something rather amazing and extremely refreshing amidst today's global sex abuse hysteria and the continuing Orwellian encroachments on youth sexual rights as a result: the government of Peru actually lowered its age of consent [AoC]. Hence, its currently in-power political party has proved itself to be composed of progressives that are truly worthy of the term, unlike most of their cowardly counterparts in North America, Europe, and Australia. Without further ado, let's begin my analysis of the various excerpts from the article that are in bold face below.
Peru's Congress has voted overwhelmingly to lower the age to 14 for participating in consensual sex, a move some activists said could expose children to sexual abuse.
And who, exactly, would these "activists" be? They certainly aren't activists for youth rights, that much is clear. My guess is that they are the Peruvian equivalent of "child advocates" (CAs), who claim to fight for the "rights" of minors but in actuality fight for increased state and parental control over every aspect of young people's lives "for their own good." They are the main people in this world who have created an entire industry around the sex abuse panic, and they benefit and gain political power and oftentimes a large degree of state funds and lucrative media careers as a result of this dubious industry. So it's no wonder that so many of them push this "concern" past all degrees of reason and protest any type of progress that may weaken the stranglehood the sex abuse hysteria currently has over public discourse in the Western nations.
Lawmakers voted 70-10 on Thursday to approve the measure lowering the age at which criminal law recognizes the legal capacity of a person to consent to sexual activity. It was previously 17.
70-10??!! Holy shit! Peruvian politicians who consider themselves to be progressives are truly and sincerely progressive, and take the principles connected to the moniker very seriously, in contrast to the bulk of the progressives in America, England, and Austrialia who are terrified to approach this subject in any manner other than mindless and reckless condemnation that embraces every single negative and totally inaccurate stereotype aimed at both MAAs and youths without the slightest bit of clarity, objectivity, or serious research.
The Peruvian measure was written by a member of President Alan Garcia's center-left Aprista party and Garcia is expected to sign it into law.
Un-freakin'-believable! There is a major political party in Peru that is actually center-left as opposed to those turncoat Democrats in America who are "centrists" (i.e., center-right) out of fear of being called names by the Republicans, and who base most of the laws they pass or propose in a manner that will appease the Republicans and hopefully avoid invoking their ire [not that it helps, since the Republicans in America hate and loathe any Democratic president or other politician in the Democratic Party regardless of how hard they try to make nice with the demands of the Republicans simply because they are Democrats; note how the Republicans frequently call Obama a "socialist" despite his pandering to Wall Street, the big giveaway to the banks after they screwed up, his insulting excuse for environmental reform laws that irked progressives across the globe, and how outrageously far he capitulated to the Republicans in regards to health care reform, and how the Republicans constantly call Obama "soft on terrorism" and frequently claim that he doesn't take the "war on terror" seriously despite the fact that Obama is initiating military operations in no less than five different Middle Eastern nations, three nations more than Bush did! But that's a whole other topic...]. Obviously the progressive politicians in Peru, including the president, have some spine, unlike their counterparts in North America, Europe, and Australia. They live up to what the progressives and liberalism are supposed to stand for regardless of how much the anti and conservative elements in the country, including within the government, will call them names. They pass laws based upon what they believe in, and do not vote in office for measures that go against their principles as the liberals in American government routinely do. Peru and other nations in Latin America represent hope for an end to this madness in the future, and provide more evidence that the resistence to the global "pedophile panic" and accompanying sex abuse hysteria is far from futile.
One supporter of the measure, lawmaker Raul Castro, said the law will bring Peru in line with "the progress and development of a modern society."
Well, I'll be a primate's uncle. A progressive lawmaker who is actually concerned about progress and having his nation measure up to what he considers to be a "modern" society, which he defines as providing more, not less, rights for youths. Castro and his fellow Peruvian progressives put their political counterparts in America, England, Canada, and Australia to shame by actually living up to the principles of progressivism and liberalism despite the powerful socio-political pressure to do otherwise.
"There are young people who get pregnant but they don't go to health centers, fearing that their partners will be arrested and charged," he said.
This is certainly one good practical reason for lowering the AoC, and in fact this was the same argument used by many youth groups in Canada while opposing the then newly conservative government's proposition to bow to American pressure by raising the AoC there (only to lose, a major blow to sanity and youth rights), which is the exact opposite of what Peru has just done. There are other good and arguably even better reasons to lower the AoC in all nations, including in the general interests of youth rights, but the above reason will certainly suffice for now as it's a perfectly legitimate reason that puts concern for youths above the concerns of those who wish to control their sex lives for what amounts to purely moralistic reasons.
Some organizations cheered the law, saying it would keep young people out of jail on statutory rape charges.
It's even more refreshing to see that there are such organizations in Peru, as there are virtually none like them in America, England, and Australia. And I think it's important to keep older adults out of prison for statuatory rape charges as much as younger people because laws criminalizing any form of mutually consensual sexual behavior are unjust, unprogressive, and undemocratic.
But Virginia Borra, head of the Ministry of Women and Social Development, said that the law will invite cases of "flagrant rape that can be passed off as a consensual relation."
Why am I not surprised that the head of an org allegedly dedicated to the advancement of women and social development has such a negative attitude towards youth rights and believes that young people under a certain age are more vulnerable to acts of rape than adult women are? Is it possible this org's name is actually a cover for some other agenda, perhaps a victimology based agenda? Many orgs which claim dedication to advancing women's rights are actually in the business of pushing the victim mentality, and it's easiest to legally impose laws borne out of such a mentality on youths under 18, since they currently lack the civil rights to resist such measures. How else do you explain an ideology that claims an act of flagrant rape can possibly be passed off as a consensual relationship?
Maria Pia Hermoza, the coordinator of the Peruvian organization Action for the Children, complained that the law will expose children to sexual abuse.
Is it any surprise that an org with a title like 'Action for the Children' is not a youth liberationist org but actually a "child advocacy" org that pushes the continuation of youth dependence on adults while simultaneously pushing the sex abuse hysteria to justify doing so, all the while ignoring the well documented fact that less rights for kids actually expose them to far more potential for genuine abuse of all kinds (including sexual abuse) than does giving them more rights and liberties? Such orgs blatantly ignore the fact that the bulk of actual abuse goes on in the home by parents and other older relatives who have the most direct power over kids, not by older people who live outside of the home and thus have no direct power over kids. Such orgs should be condemned, not applauded, let alone funded by the government, and it's refreshing to see the Peruvian government ignoring such orgs rather than bowing down to pressure from them to pass policies which further encroach on the rights of youths, further harrass adults who are attracted to them, and further the hysteria as opposed to standing behind truly progressive and pro-youth policies.
Rapists will "use consent to evade justice," she was quoted as saying in the Peru21 newspaper Friday. "They will continue using blackmail and threats to rape minors."
This is one of the most common claims used by anti-youth rights "activists" to justify the continuation of oppressive and draconian laws to control the sexual rights of young people, i.e., the idea that there will be hordes of unscrupulous adults who will use blackmail and threats of violence to coerce minors into having sex with them and to subsequently intimidate the minors in question into claiming that the sexual activity was consensual who will come out of the woodwork in large numbers if the AoC laws are lowered or abolished. Youth rights activists and pro-choice MAA activists have heard this tired old "justification" for high AoC laws numerous times before, and it's quite easy to refute.
For one thing, such claims carry the implication that young people, including those who are empowered with their rights, are easier to coerce and intimidate into lying on behalf of adult rapists than other adults are, which is an ageist attitude against young people. Such claims are also invoking negative stereotypes and unreasonable distrust of adults by making the strong implication that adults who have a romantic/sexual interest in younger teens are very likely to be unscrupulous. This is a similar sentiment to what I often hear from anti-choice MAAs when they argue in favor of retaining AoC laws: an extreme, paranoia-laced mistrust for adults, with an accompanying belief that society is filled to the brim with adult rapists and potential rapists who are just sitting back and waiting for the AoC laws to be lowered, and will then emerge in mass numbers to pounce on unsuspecting minors, threaten and coerce them into having sexual relations, and then taking advantage of the AoC laws being lowered to intimidate these minors into saying that the rape was actually consensual. I wish people who make such claims would seriously think clearly about what they say before saying it, because they would look far less foolish and totally out of their minds with paranoia if they did so.
In a democratic nation, misanthropic attitudes that presume the world is filled with evil people, and passing laws based on this assumption, are frowned upon with good reason. We cannot pass laws based on what are clearly assumptions about what people might do based on a cynical dislike for the human race and still remain even a nominally democratic nation that is based upon socially progressive values. Yes, there are some evil adults out there who would indeed try to take advantage of young people, but I challenge anyone to prove that these adults exist in such great numbers that they justify oppressive laws that are based upon totally arbitrary assumptions, and which necessitate throwing large amounts of innocent people in prison to make sure that every single truly evil or guilty person gets punished right away. Yes, evil adults doing such things can happen and indeed have happened before, but I think it's nothing less than totally hysterical and even ageist to suggest that huge numbers of younger people lack the fortitude and strength of will to report to friends, family, and the authorities when an actual case of rape occurred regardless of what threats the hypothetical adult rapist made towards them. And yes, it is possible that if the AoC laws were lowered a few adult rapists (and older teen rapists, of course) will on occasion successfully intimidate a younger person into claiming that an actual rape was consensual, and that this will result in the guilty rapist going free temporarily. However, I strongly doubt that every single young person such a rapist does this to will capitulate to their threats no matter how intimidating the rapist happens to be, and sooner or later (and much more likely sooner) one of the victims of such a rapist will speak up, and this will result in past victims gaining the courage to come out of their silence and do the same, thus resulting in damning evidence against the rapist in court (such things happen all the time with women victims who previously stayed silent for whatever reason). Hence, the occasional rapist who temporarily goes free will not be operating for very long.
Also, young people can be educated into spotting various warning signs of both peers and adults who may be dangerous, and I do not think too many genuine rapists can successfully hide their true natures from every single person in a young teen's life, including the large number of adults who truly care about them, caring adults who would likely not be in their life if the AoC laws were left intact. Further, it should be noted that adults outside of the home or boarding school who target specifically kids for rape are extremely rare (contrary to popular belief), and I see no evidence to suggest that there are huge numbers of potential rapists who are presently invisible to society's radar simply because they are deterred from acting on their sociopathic impulses by the AoC laws. Such a common claim from both the "child advocates" and the anti-choice MAAs borders on non-sensical, not to mention hysterical, and is not backed up by any evidence. It's instead based on a cynical and very negative mistrust of humanity in general.
When I say all of the above, defenders of the AoC laws (both outside and inside of the MAA community) will attempt to counter with a response that is just as hysterical and utterly undemocratic as any previous response I mentioned: they will hit me and other pro-choice activists with the "even one is too much" argument, where they will say that even if one single real rapist of young people goes free as a result of intimidating the youth into claiming a sexual encounter was consensual when it actually wasn't is still totally unacceptable, and such people must be stopped at all costs, regardless of how many innocent people must suffer for it and have their lives destroyed as a result, and regardless of how draconian such laws will be in regards to freedom of choice and personal liberty of youths. When people say such things, they need to take a deep breath and to take a long and hard look at what they just said, and once they calm down and come back to their senses where their reasoning faculties are again operating, they need to do a lot of research on the differences between democracy and progressivism and a police state and tyrannical authoritarionism, and how the latter can easily develop within the former if lawmakers and citizens are not careful. Once doing the latter research, they will find out that sacrificing freedom for perceived security from some sort of menace has always historically backfired in an enormously negative way on the vast majority of people in society who are not part of the ruling elite. It's totally impossible to completely eliminate all types of risks for anyone in society, including young people. And the legal system of democratic and progressive nations have always held to the principle that it's far more preferable to allow rare instances of a guilty person to occassionally go free than to tolerate even one instance of an innocent person being thrown in prison and having their lives ruined by the legal system, let alone the literally thousands of innocent people who would be thrown in prison if every single adult who has mutually consensual sexual relations with a young person under a certain arbitrary age is indicted and thrown into prison just to insure that absolutely no person who may be guilty of actual abuse ever goes free. It amazes me that certain people who were raised in an even nominally democratic society can give into raw emotionalism and support any sort of draconian measure--even when it comes to protecting those who are perceived to be the most vulnerable in society from harm--and thereby risk bringing their society one step closer to a police state.
Also very important to consider is this extremely cogent point raised against the all too often heard justification for retaining a high AoC that I tackled up above, courtesy of my friend and ally CatcherInTheRye after reading the initial version of this essay:
"Regarding their argument that if the age of consent were lowered, some adults would threaten a child into saying it was consensual[...]
"As the laws are now, if an adult has sex with someone below the AoC, what do they think is stopping that adult into threatening a child into not telling anyone that a sexual act occurred at all?
"If they're willing to threaten them into saying it was consensual, they're probably willing to threaten them into total silence.
"Why can't they understand that the AoC is quite irrelevant?"
To use a bit of popular slang...it would appear that my friend just totally pwned the purveyors of that tired old justification for keeping a high AoC by showing how inimical to common sense and utterly useless the AoC laws are for protecting minors from genuine abuse (as opposed to simply denying them their sexual rights by criminalizing sexual activity that is entirely consensual), and why the laws against actual forcible rape and sexual harrassment are more than sufficient to deal with any actual rapists, sexual harrassers, or stalkers on their own, just as they do for people above the AoC.
It can be readily observed that whenever a single draconian law is passed to solve a perceived problem, such a law is inevitably and inexorably followed by more and increasingly greater draconian laws, each one more hysterical, outrageous, and undemocratic than the previous ones. Please note how the various Western governments, in their ongoing endeavors to prevent the sexual abuse of minors, goes from criminalizing all sexual contact between minors and adults regardless of whether it's consensual or not, to criminalizing the mere viewing of pictures and videos of minors in sexual situations, to the criminalizing of viewing pics and vids of nude kids even if they are not in sexual situations because some adults may still get aroused by them, to criminalizing pics and vids of fully clothed minors because they might still arouse an MAA, to criminalizing drawings and CGI generated images of nude minors, to criminalizing sexually explicit pics and vids of adult women who are pretending to be minors, to criminalizing sexually explicit pics and vids of adult women with small breasts because images of such women might be used by MAAs as a proxy for fantasizing about minors, to...I think you get my point. Do we even want to know where these laws will go next? Could all pornography featuring adults be next?
Or, as another example, laws that criminalize online cyber-sex between adults and minors then leads to the criminalization of any and all online communications between adults and minors based on the assumption that such convos might lead to cyber-sex and perceived "sexual exploitation" of the younger person by the adult. Where does it end? What is the logical conclusion of such increasingly draconian laws? How can we ever justify the passing of such a law when we consider the historical precedent of doing so? As the old saying goes, "If you give someone an inch, they take a yard." That is why it's foolish to assume that just one draconian law passed within a democratic framework will not lead to more and more increasingly undemocratic and outrageous encroachments on democratic freedoms, or that any such law can ever be justified as a "necessary evil." No draconian law is ever beneficial to society no matter how great the perceived threat within the society may be. This is why, as I said before, I lost all respect for a former MAA ally of mine that I know from the Girl Lover sub-community when he suddenly and abruply went from one of the most staunch pro-choicers in the community to a shameless defender of the AoC laws and actually said that he supports these laws and doesn't care how draconian they are (yes, he actually used these words). He and others like him seem to feel that the need to protect minors from abuse is so overwhelming that absolutely anything goes in doing so, no matter how many innocent people may suffer, no matter how hysterical and outrageous these measures become, and no matter how many freedoms and civil liberties are sacrificed as a result. There is nothing honorable about such measures to "protect" minors, because they pander to a police state mentality and ultimately everyone in society, including the young people they purport to protect, suffer from these rabid encroachments on our basic civil liberties. This is something that is clearly evident by the current crop of such laws putting young teens in prison and on sex offender registries for taking nude or provacative pics of themselves and sending them to friends via their cell phones, or uploading such pics on socnet sites. Need I say more?
In a democratic society that is based on a system of progressive values, it's unfortunately necessary to allow the occasional guilty person to temporarily go free in order to insure that no innocent people are thrown into prison and having their lives destroyed, and to insure the full freedom and liberty of all people, including younger people. It's totally impossible to create a system (at least within the context of our current class-divided system) where 100% of minors are never abused, even within a police state. Those who are truly concerned about enormously decreasing the number of kids who are abused, as are youth liberationists, should spend their efforts targeting the places and institutions where kids are subjected to genuine abuse in by far the greatest numbers, which is within the home or other instituations (such as boarding schools, particularly religious boarding schools) where kids are under the greatest amount of control by adults, as opposed to targeting adults who do not live within the home or have a great and direct degree of power over kids, and who thus commit crimes of actual abuse against kids only on rare occasions. AoC laws clearly target the latter individuals and sensationalistically overstate the degree of danger to kids posed by adults outside of the home or other authoritarian institutions who may engage in romantic/sexual relationships with youths, and utterly fail to address the places where kids are abused most often. As noted before, the AoC laws also result in huge amounts of innocent people being thrown into prison, not to mention the suppression of the sexual choices of youths under a certain arbitrary age.
In summation, despite the opposition by the typical hysteria-mongering elements that benefit from the proliferation of the sex abuse industry, it's extremely refreshing to see Peru and other Latin American nations take a genuinely progressive stance against the current insanity by actually rolling back some of the draconian laws that spawned and support the sex abuse hysteria rather than adding new laws of that sort to increase the Orwellian encroachments on what few rights youths currently have in modern society, and which slide all democratic societies further towards a police state. Hopefully, the example taken by these courageous and progressive lawmakers in Peru and other Latin American nations will encourage the progressives in America, Canada, England, and Australia to develop some spine and to do some serious objective research (as has Judith Levine and Robert Epstein), and to live up to their principles by opposing the sex abuse hysteria rather than helping to add to it at every opportunity in order to avoid being called names by the conservatives. In fact, the mainstream progressives should be totally shamed by the fact that certain prominent conservatives are actually doing more to advance the cause of youth rights in America than the progressives are, as evidenced by the recent support given to Robert Epstein's work by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, which speaks quite poorly of the current crop of progressives in America and other Western nations.