Look, people…

I’m not saying that a 32-year-old teacher sleeping with her 12-year-old student is healthy, wise or ethical. If I found my [step]son had slept with his teacher I’d be first in line to have her fired, prosecuted, and kept the hell away from him. My points are as follows:

  • Regardless of the crime that was committed years ago, and the possible inadvisability of their getting back together, they are both consenting adults who have served out their obligations under the law. Last I checked the restraining order was not a valid punishment under US jurisprudence. It’s a legal device for keeping someone from harming or harrassing another person against their will. If you think she wasn’t sufficiently punished, fine, argue that she should still be in prison. Arguing that they should be prevented from seeing each other in perpetuity is to argue for a significant, and IMO frightening, expansion of the government’s power to arbitrarily control people’s lives.
  • Taking sexual advantage, even if they are willing, of an immature person is wrong. But it isn’t necessarily pedophilia. Pedophilia is being attracted to immaturity. If you’re too dumb to see that someone isn’t old/competent enough to make responsible decisions for themselves you’re not a pedophile, you’re just an idiot (dangerously so).
  • Having read various stories on the subject, I highly doubt that, in this situation, the boy thought as a competent adult when he first met her. But I dispute the idea that any 12-year-old is automatically unfit to make those types of decisions. Adolescence is a fiction, a modern luxury. Just because American kids are not usually raised to be responsible at 12, doesn’t mean that he couldn’t have theoretically loved her, committed to her, and taken good care of her given the right combination of upbringin with natural precociousness.
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  1. so it’s ok if it’s not ur children?

    1. where the hell do you get that?

      1. u said if it was ur son…I’d be first in line to have her fired, prosecuted, and kept the hell away from him but then said the current news couple should be allowed to get back together.

        1. I wouldn’t try to have her kept away from him for all time.

    2. The ok-ness of it, legally, morally, and mental health-wise doesn’t change, whether it’s my child or someone else’s.

    • Agreed
    • Agreed
    • I do not agree that adolescence is a fiction. To read you saying that runs contrary to what I’ve heard you say privately with regard to some anime we’ve watched and its intended audience. Furthermore, I believe you are projecting a bit here because of your own experiences growing up (you’re 1st love in India comes to mind; having to take care of a dependent father when your parents were no longer together also comes to mind).

      It is highly doubtful, in my mind, that a 12 year old boy could have loved in a committed way a woman of 34 years nor do I believe he could have taken care of her. How would he have taken care of her had her “crime” gone unpunished? Would she continue teaching and he move in with his teacher-common law-wife while she supported him until he was old enough to get a job flipping burgers? Or better yet he could bring in money by delivering newspapers on his bike and/or mowing the neighbors’ lawns.

      Regardless what you think, that “adolescence is a fiction, a modern luxury” the law still steps in and regulates things like when a person can hold a job, can vote, can get married without parental consent, and so on. So, if adolescence is a fiction then the law is too. And the sky is naturally green and grass is naturally black.

    1. Ah yes, I forgot. Law dictates reality.

      1. The reality is the law exists.

      2. In this case, the law is a reflection of the societal approach that we have chosen to take. We made our reality, and reinforced it with laws to keep it that way.

        You can see in another hot potato issue right now where that dynamic is being challenged. Once upon a time (and in some places it is still this way) being gay will get you run out of town, kept unemployed, perhaps even arrested, imprisoned or executed (lynched). The reality of societal norms was reflected in laws that forbade sodomy and outlawed homosexuality. Experts in the past condemned homosexuality as a mental illness, a sickness, a perversion, a wholly unhealthy approach to life, mentally and physically. But much of what made homosexuals unhealthy was society’s unwillingness to treat them as normal people. Social pressures and realities made being gay dangerous, that was the reality that is reflected in those archaic anti-gay laws.

  2. The issue regarding keeping them separated may well relate to his feeling afraid of her, which they may be keeping private to avoid making her even more obsessive, and in anger, with him. You may not be giving the system enough credit.

    I believe she has kids by him – if I am correct, why is forcing that kid to become a parent so much less offensive just because he’s male? he still got saddled with a lifetime responsibility he did not understand when this happened.

    “If you’re too dumb to see that someone isn’t old/competent enough to make responsible decisions for themselves you’re not a pedophile, you’re just an idiot (dangerously so).”

    umm many pedophiles suffer from the delusion that the child wants their sexual attention or will benefit from it. they are still pedophiles. I think there are extraordinarily rare exceptions where the delusion in no way revolves around the age of the victim, but I don’t think this is one of them.

    1. The issue regarding keeping them separated may well relate to his feeling afraid of her

      He’s specifically stated he wants to see her, and he’s the one who has initiated a legal motion to have the order lifted.

      I think there are extraordinarily rare exceptions where the delusion in no way revolves around the age of the victim, but I don’t think this is one of them.

      What makes you think that about this situation? From reading articles about them, this seems a lot more like the girls I’ve seen who have fallen in love with 30-year-olds who had the mental maturity of 12-year-olds, than a case of her specifically desiring a child.

      1. ok i reviewed and updated my info

        sorry but this isn’t about “society’s prudish archaic laws”

        this woman slept with a student. she abused her position of authority as well as her responsibility as the adult. they had sex on the school grounds. the kid hasnt even earned his GED yet, probably bc of her damage to him. he is struggling and low intelligence and in NO way an example of someone who miraculously could make an adult decision about having a child with someone at 12.

        she is a sick fuck. she already got a much lighter sentence than any man wouldve gotten if convicted. she should be kept away from him whether he ‘wants’ her there or not. at this point i’d consider him essentially brainwashed and quite possibly permanently psychologically damaged and i am amazed you’d suggest it was in any way acceptable to abuse him like that.

        1. Re: ok i reviewed and updated my info

          And I don’t see where I’ve suggested any such thing. See the sentence that began this thread: I’m not saying that a 32-year-old teacher sleeping with her 12-year-old student is healthy, wise or ethical

          1. Re: ok i reviewed and updated my info

            “Society’s prudish ideas about propriety have brought enough misery into this couple’s life. Let them have a chance at a happy ending.”

            granted from your previous post on this, and perhaps i am missing some connection between the two posts, e.g. that you no longer stand by that statement.

            this is abuse, and it is, without a doubt, pedophilia. she met him in a context completely and absolutely serving as a constant reminder of his age and their relationship. and fucked him on the same property. and as frightened as i am of a million things the govt does or wants to do i hope they keep her as far away from him as possible.

  3. If adolescent males are having sex with older females, the punishment for the crime is *way* less than if it were older males having sex with adolescent girls. MJL’s sentence was *extremely* light for *second degree* child rape, and she didn’t actually even do hard time until she was caught having sex with him *again* while on probabtion. A man would have been immediately put away for a long time, a second offender would be looking at life behind bars.

    Society knows (but won’t say it out loud) that most adolescent males are jumping at the chance to be sexual, older women aren’t off the list of potential playmates to a horny teen boy.

    While I am in agreement that she was in the wrong, and anyone else in her shoes, I really think it is only because it is “socially wrong”; society has set up the rules of the game (how to grow up, how to make relationships work, how to express sexuality and when), and deviating from that can and will have bad social consequences, but only because we have set it up to do so.

    On a desert island, in an African Tribe, on the other side of the world, this might have worked just fine.

    1. a 12 year old boy could also get whipped, beaten, killed, worked in mines and fields to the point of death, or chained to a bed in a singapore “pleasure” house. just because some cultures allow certain things doesn’t make it a standard to live up to and emulate.

      I really don’t think this is just about something being defined as “socially wrong”. The more I read about this, even in unbiased factual details, the more disgusted and angry I am. Again, if the boy had been some remarkably developed person who might have made an adult decision – well he wasn’t. If it wasn’t a student of hers – well he was. If she as the adult hadn’t been so amazingly cruel as to put him in the position of becoming a father by 13 – but she did. No mitigating factor I would possibly look at applies to _this_ case.

  4. a few thoughts…

    From what I’ve seen of this..

    1. What she did back then was illegal.. and most probably not very healthy for either of them…

    2. Her prison term was remarkably light in comparison to a situation where the sexes would have been reversed.. but this point is moot now.. It was what was handed down by a jury of her peers.. If we don’t like this kind of legal system we should change it..

    3. She has served her time and now the former 12 year old is 21. He is old enough to get himself killed in Iraq, to go out and get himself plastered at a local bar, and he is most likely expected to pay his way in the world…He is also the one trying to get the restraining order lifted that his mother had placed on the woman for his benefit.. Thus.. there is no legal reason to get in the way of what these two adults want to do..

    If people want to get on with/fuck up their lives in this manner… they have the power to do so in our country.. because that is what it means to live in a liberal western society…

    Doesn’t matter what we think about the situation.. It is actually none of our business…

    1. Re: a few thoughts…

      ok i ask this sincerely – if that were your not very bright child sexually abused, forced into fatherhood, and psychologically damaged, saddled with a high profile trial of a very painful nature and now struggling at 21 without even a GED – would you say hey son youre 21 if you wanna see her again now that shes out of jail, go for it? or would you be getting a restraining order too?

      1. Re: a few thoughts…

        If it were my child–then even if I might want to get a restraining order.. I would also know that I do not have the right to do so…

        The child is an adult… I can support and love him and tell him what I think.. but I do not have the right to make his decisions for him…

        If I am adamant on this, it is because I have had a parent who has always–and who continues–to try and make my decisions for me and to tell me what is good for me and what is not good for me..

        If your mother or father decided that someone you loved was terrible for you–whether this person was good for you or not–and then went and got a restraining order to keep them away… How would you feel?

        How would you ever get to learn from your mistakes? Of course, some people never do learn from their mistakes.. but that is their own business as long as they don’t inflict it upon the rest of us…

        1. Re: a few thoughts…

          “If I am adamant on this, it is because I have had a parent who has always–and who continues–to try and make my decisions for me and to tell me what is good for me and what is not good for me.. “

          I can understand that. But it isn’t one-sided – many people have parents who never ever interfered enough or put enough limits in place.

          I would absolutely seek such a restraining order, and would not feel any worse about that than I would preventing my adult child from killing himself.

          I also think I’d already feel a lot of guilt as the parent, that I ‘let’ the original abuse happen somehow by not figuring it out soon enough. I’d probably be thinking the least I could do to even faintly make up for it would be to keep the abuser from further harming my child, even if its my adult child.

          1. Re: a few thoughts…

            The Question I would ask is.. where does personal responsibility ever start ?

            As a parent.. at least as a parent in training and despite my basic control freak tendencies–I have realized that there are certain things you can and cannot do with children..
            You can guide them, you can discipline, you can encourage, you can console…You can love on them.. kiss them… hug them.. try to make them laugh and squeeze them when they cry…

            But what you cannot do.. is you cannot control them.. and you cannot protect them 100%…
            Shit happens…

            Also.. On a theoretical level.. I think such steps would lead to problems… for example, by your justification.. what is to stop your children from getting restraining orders against you? From their perspective.. you are intruding into their lives and causing–in their minds–emotional pain and suffering..
            thus.. such steps would quite possibly lead to the prevention of parental input into the life of an unstable child…
            In addition, if we go with this, on a practical level, I don’t think it is entirely possible to accomplish your goals… If the parent has a restraining order on them.. how are they going to tell whether the lover stays away from the child or not.. Will they hire private detectives?? if so.. doesn’t that tend to portend a kind of creepy level of control over the child.. that they cannot let go?

            Back on a theoretical level.. the whole idea of third parties taking out restraining orders for other groups or individuals strikes me as entirely inappropriate… (if these people are all adults…)

            It goes entirely against the foundation of a liberal society.. a society where we are all considered as sovereign autonomous individuals who have certain rights and responsibilities….
            To allow others–whether they are biologically related to us or not–to infringe upon these rights is to deny the very foundations of our society.. it is to go back to a time prior to the enlightentment–to a time when people were not considered equal under the law.. a time of privileges and hierarchies…

            thus.. in the end.. despite how I personally might feel about the entirety of this situation.. (and I have lots of feelings about stuff…. like.. how I know that the Republican party is destryoing this country and how the heads of this party should be all thrown in prison and censored etc etc..), but because there are distinct limits to the power that I have over other individuals.. I know that these feelings are not compelling.. I can work for change.. but I cannot impose my feelings upon the world and expect the world to adhere to my feelings.. It is not healthy for the world to do so.. and, in actuality, it is not healthy for me for the world to do so..

          2. Re: a few thoughts…

            I suspect the issue here is that you are looking at the “slippery slope” (a tactic i heartily approve of) and I am more speaking to this case specifically.

            I would say that the vital difference is between the presumption that someone will harm the person (or thmselves) and the guarantee and existence of previous abuse.

            To try to keep your adult child from a gun because you *think* they might use it to kill themselves, versus trying to keep them from a gun when they have 1) tried to kill themselves before and 2) just said “I am going to go shoot myself”, are two very very different situations.

            There are precious few things I’d actively try to prevent an adult child from doing. Joining a cult I truly believed posed an absolute threat to their life or sanity. Killing themselves. Returning to the company of a psychopathic pedophile who already abused them.

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