Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How can we debate serious topics when you can't have an opinion?

I read this article on the statement by Chief Constable Terry Grange that young men who have sex with girls aged 13 or over should not necessarily be classed as paedophiles. Read here.

I thought at the time he would get slated for it but just ignored it myself at the time. Well it seems he is being roundly slated for having an opinion. As a senior police officer his opinion seems to matter. Sadly, in this society it's only people like him that seems to matter.

I think he is right though. If you read what he says it makes perfect sense but in todays world of 'The children, we must protect the children' you cannot say anything that could impact on them or you deserve to lose your job and be ridiculed.

The main point made by our Chief Constable is that there is not point in labelling a 16 or 17 year old a paedophile and thus labelling him for life with all the associated consequences for having sex with a fifteen year old. Now someone of my slightly advanced years having sex with a twenty year old is probably considered outside the norm never mind a fifteen year old. Someone taking advantage of an immature child should be the only ones that have the label and stigma of being a paedophile. Although to be honest I've seen 14 year olds going out who I would have be convinced were at least 18 if I had not known them. Should a randy 24 year old end up being classed as a paedophile because he is lead astray by a 14 year old who looks a lot older?

Maybe we should tattoo women's dates of birth on their foreheads or somewhere else where a randy guy will see. Alternatively, we can discuss it and maybe, come up with alternatives or even decide to do nothing. If we discuss it.

Now in my humble opinion we should set the age of consent at 17. Having been involved in the growth and immaturity of four girls growing up and seeing their friends do the same I think it's only at 17 when they seem to come into their own and start being mature in an adult sense. At the same time I think that regardless of age we will never stop children playing with things they shouldn't and this is one of those things. So we need to consider that we can't make laws that are absolute in this case and still give us justice. We need a bit of flexibility and that can't even be considered in our current climate. Rules are fixed and absolute. Therefore a 16 year old screwing a 15 year old means a crime has been committed. Even if they were born a few weeks apart. Someone mature at 14 is still classed as a child where as someone can be 17 and still immature. It needs debating and discussion. Not rigid dates and rules. And, there may never be a solution. This is one case where one size does not fit all.

Youngsters watch adults, lie, cheat and kill for a bit of nookie and then we hypocritically tell them to save themselves and how bad it is and not worth it. They hear everyone else talking, it's on the films and TV and they think 'Hold on a minute. It must be worth a try'. We will never stop that all we can do is educate them to minimise them trying it and minimise any issues if they do partake.

Regardless, it seems in this land you can't even have an opinion that goes against people bias. I should be OK with my opinion because it looks like it extends the range of offenders not reduces it. Ignore that, I want to make it moral and right. It may be impossible but it will be if we can't even open it to discussion.


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