Rape and Consent 3: Teenagers have Sex too

I’m very concerned about rape laws and teenage sexuality. Teenagers often do have sex, whether we like it or not, and often, teenagers have sex with people who are legally adults. In these types of cases, the parents of the teenagers in question have the legal recourse of having the adult arrested on some type of sexual assault charge, and the adult will be a registered sex offender for life. While I definitely think a 50 year old should not have sexual relations with any minor, I’m very concerned about the law interfering with two young people having consensual sex.

A typical argument for prosecuting a young adult for a sex act with a minor is to say that teenage minors are not old enough to consent. However, this country seems to have no problem trying and sentencing teenage criminals as adults, and this country has no problem with 17 year olds joining the military. No, they don’t vote. They can’t drink, and they can’t smoke. Still, it seems we are picking and choosing which adult acts we allow teenagers to consent to. Even if we want to prevent teenage sex, how is prosecuting and ruining someone’s life, who is barely an adult, the right thing to do?

To be honest, I think what we should be concerned with is whether or not the teenage minor has been taken advantage of. Is there some indication that the teenager’s consent was diminished? A relationship between a 20 year old and a 17 year old is hardly an in balance of power, at first glance. We might want to be concerned with a high schooler dating a 21 and up person, but this would mainly be a concern, if the 21 year old was supplying the high schooler with alcohol. Nevertheless with the 20 year old and 17 year old, they may have shared some of the same time in high school together. Why would we ever want to ruin someone’s life over having consensual sex with someone they went to high school with? (I’m really asking. I don’t know.)

We all know teenagers can be immature and irresponsible, but they are soon going to be adults. They make choices we don’t like. Legally, when it comes to prosecutions over serious things like rape, we need to be damn sure there really is reason to convict someone, and what should we concerned about the most? Rape. Rape always implies that there either was no consent given or that the victim had a diminished capacity and COULDN’T consent. We may not or should not give teenagers adult status with regards to consent, but 18,19, 20 year old are also barely adults. It’s not like when someone turns 18 someone waves a magic wand in the air and all of a sudden they become a fully formed adult. That’s just not how development works.


Rape and Consent Post 2: Maybe I shouldn’t have sex with that drunk person

The laws need to be clear about sexual acts, where drugs or alcohol are involved. Two people who are wasted having sex with each other might be unfortunate, but it cannot be rape, since neither could consent. Someone who is not drunk (maybe only had a couple of drinks) having sex with someone who is throwing up and can’t stand up straight is in my opinion a rapist. There is just no telling whether or not the wasted person would have wanted to consent, if they were in their right minds. They cannot consent. We shouldn’t still be in the days where “getting someone drunk” is just considered sneaky or even romantic. It is wrong.

Sadly, many people think it’s the victim’s fault where alcohol or drugs are involved. It may never be smart for someone to get that inebriated at a party. That’s a given, but that does not give the sober/slightly buzzed person a right to take advantage of someone. If you wouldn’t have sex with someone in a coma, paralyzed, or otherwise, you shouldn’t sex with someone as drunk as I have described. It is not just bad sex. It is abuse. The only person with the power of a sound mind in this situation is non-inebriated person. The wasted individual may not even be capable of remembering the event. What does that say about the individual who has sex with them? Well, it tells me they’re immoral. It tells me they are okay taking advantage of people.

Look, I understand there are gray areas, but as far as I’m concerned, their needs to be some standards here. A person who has had two drinks, or no drinks, should not have sex with someone who has had 20. I, also, no some people have ahigh tolerance to drugs or alcohol. Perhaps, and I’m not devoted to this, their should be a set limit on how many drinks a person can have before being labeled as unable to give consent. Even if I’m wrong on setting a limit, we owe it to our men and women to be clear on consent and rape where drugs and alcohol are concerned. Tell me what you think!

Rape and Consent Post 1: Should you actually have to ask?

Rape is a terrible thing, and I hope I didn’t need to tell anyone that. The laws on what’s consider consensual or not need to be reformed. They need to very specific, very clear, and the law needs to understand normal sex practices. We need to be able to distinguish clearly what constitutes rape. I find it very disconcerting that current laws are either ambiguous or stupid or even absent, so I will be writing a series of 3 posts on consent and rape. This first one is simply the background for this conversation.

When I walk around my campus, I always see signs saying, “Ask for her consent every time.” I’ve heard other people say that this is ridiculous. Sex happens in the heat of the moment. The woman (or man) should say no, if things get too heated. Let me be clear. I think it is the responsibility of both parties to make sure they both want to have sexual contact. It may be a hassle. It may not be very romantic. Well, neither is making sure your partner is on birth control/using condom, but I hope most of us do that anyway. The fact of the matter is some people are not very assertive. Situations do happen in the heat of the moment. I’m not saying this should be considered rape under the law, but sometimes with passive people, they don’t feel like they can say no. They might not even have expected sex. All of sudden sex is just happening that they didn’t ask for. They end up having unwanted sex. Thus, to the passive person, it is like being raped, even if a “no” was never uttered. It is clearer for everyone involved, if you verbally ask for consent. Please, guys and girls, ask for consent, especially if it is your first time with a particular partner.

Are the Police Overstepping their Authority?

Although, there is an obvious racial component to the recent viral situations of the overuse of force by police, I will refrain from discussing it in this post. I do not feel prepared enough to dissect that ball of wax, so I will keep mum about that, at least for now. So why am I posting at all? I think there are various strains of issues, regarding the police, that feed this fire, and I would like to examine them. I suppose I risk unpopularity, but do try to bare with me.

Everyone when being pulled over or stopped by police should be respectful and polite. People should know to keep their hands where the police can see them, and people should, in most circumstances, do what the police officer asks them to do. Just as well, they should respond to the officer’s questions and not be stubborn about it.

However, not everyone is going to do this. Maybe the person is oppositional by nature. Maybe some people just don’t handle having a rough day well. (Anytime you’re pulled over or stopped by police, you are probably having a bad day.) Just because someone is nasty or rude is not license for someone to be arrested or asked to step out of their vehicle. Police officers are professionals, and they should know how to deal with irritated, rude, or downright nasty people. In fact, they really should expect it. Even though, ideally, they shouldn’t have to deal with bad behavior, especially from grown adults.

My point? I’ve known officers, who have been talked backed to over a traffic citation, who threaten the individual with arrest. I’ve known cases where people were charged with extra crimes simply because they yelled at an officer. I’ve known places where this was a common issue. (Yes, I know crime is bad.) This is not okay. While, people should respect officers. Officers should not over step their authority. Speaking, insulting, yelling, or whatever the case is, like it or not, is free speech.

Furthermore, non-lethal violence should always be met with non-lethal force. Legally, where I’m at, I cannot use lethal force against someone unless they are using lethal force against me or someone else. I think this law should apply to officers. By all means if a police officer is chasing a suspect and the suspect is reaching for his pocket, taser the person. He could have a gun, and I’d much prefer no one die.

Now, I’m not trying to demonize most police officers. I do admire police, and I have respect for the police. You better believe I’m the nicest person a police officer will ever meet, who is pulled over for a one day old expired registration tag. Still, I think there are police who have let their authority go to their head, and that’s an issue we keep seeing over and over again. It’s a legitimate concern, and I think it needs to be addressed. Even criminals shouldn’t have their rights violated.

Planned Parenthood and the Selling of Body Parts

Rational thinking is important, especially for emotionally charged issues, and the abortion debate is certainly emotionally charged. Pro-life people see an unborn fetus just as deserving of protection as a grown adult. Most of them use soul-talk to support their views.( Although, there are other more philosophically sophisticated arguments they could use.) Pro-choice people, however, do not see an unborn fetus as a life, at least in the sense of being the same as an adult or a child. Due to this, pro-choice people see abortion as a women’s rights issue. So, as anyone can see, these groups could not be further apart. When they argue, they might as well be speaking two different languages, and outrage ensues. All of this, makes rational thinking all the more important; because, the outrage is clouding everyone’s thinking.

Now that the Planned Parenthood videos have been leaked to the media, the outrage is all over the media, but let’s remain objective and rational. Yes, fetal tissue is being used in research, and perhaps, planned parenthood really is selling body parts. However, using fetal tissue in research and the rightness or wrongness of profiting from body parts are separate issues. I submit to you that no matter what one’s position is with regards to abortion these fetuses (or babies) are already dead. Why not allow them to benefit research for illnesses? There, surely, is an ick factor anytime some discusses using body parts in research, but it is no different than allowing one’s body to be used for science or organ donation after death. Even for those who are strictly pro-life, there is no bringing these fetus back into existence, and those of us who are alive could greatly benefit from this research.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if the various investigations reveal that Planned Parenthood is actually selling body parts. If they are, that’s illegal. Still, we need to look at whether it is right or wrong for adults to sell their body parts first. Some people think people should be allowed to sell their body parts. I, think, the idea is that there would be more body parts available, which would be good for sick people, but then again, I would worry the free market would take over. Then, only rich could afford organs. So, I’m undecided. You tell me.

Will Same-Sex Marriage Kill Religious Freedom?

With the new Supreme Court ruling, many are worried about religious freedom. What if someone doesn’t want to sell a same-sex couple a marriage cake? The argument is that if the baker is a Christian, then forcing them to sell marriage related items would hinder their religious freedom. Of course, this argument ignores, importantly, that many Christians have no problem with homosexuality.

Well, let’s examine religious freedom vs. the social conservative Christian baker. Better, let’s make the baker Catholic. Catholics do not believe in divorce, and they definitely don’t accept remarriage. I want to know how many Catholic bakers have refused service to couples who had been previously divorced. Where’s the outrage? After all, this has, surely, happened at least once. Surely, there are Catholic bakers. No outrage? That’s a little suspicious. I know, maybe, there’s no outrage; because, Catholic bakers don’t, normally, turn down previously divorced couples.

Listen, I do hold religious freedom as something important, and I offer a solution. The Christian baker not serving a homosexual couple and the Catholic not serving previously divorced couples share something in common. They were not preforming the action they considered anathema and against their belief system. They were merely preforming a public service. They just didn’t like what the purpose of their products represented. Now, if a person was forced to actually preform, say a marriage, by all means they shouldn’t be forced. A minister shouldn’t be forced to administer a marriage. The minister’s situation is different. The minister is actually doing the action he/she thinks is immoral. Similarly, religious institutions should not be forced to do things, within reason, that is against their beliefs. I don’t think a Southern Baptist church should be forced to allow a same-sex marriage reception on their premises. However, places open to the public are just that. They are places where the owners and employees are supposed to be servicing those who order services or products without checking off anyone whose way of being in the world is in disagreement with the owners world view.

Many say that the homosexual couple should just go to a different baker. Well, they certainly could. Unless of course, they live in a small town with only one bakery, or they can’t find a non-Christian bakery within a reasonable distance. (Imagine if the couple doesn’t have reliable transportation.) Even if the prior example never happened, what would happen is technically segregation. What if a KKK member said they didn’t want to serve non-whites, because it interfered with their religious world view? I, for one, don’t want to live in that kind of world.

Quick Post the Poor and Welfare

Many have the tendency to demonize those on any kind of welfare. I submit to you this wrong. There are some poor people who are lazy. The poor are like everyone else. Some of them are wonderful people, and some are not. Despite the previous fact, it shouldn’t matter. A person who isn’t nice still deserves food and other basic needs.

Welfare is not the problem. The problem is lack of work rehabilitation. We need to do more to help the poor find a way to learn skills. Then, they will be able to take jobs that pay enough, so they no longer need assitance.

Many come from poor or broken families and may need life coaches to help understand how to interview for jobs and how to hold on to them. They need training on how to handle work related stress such as a bad boss. No, being poor doesn’t make one stupid, but depending on the family they come from, some things just aren’t common sense.

No one is a queen on welfare. No, instead, finances are so tight some are a candy bar away from over drawing the bank. No one, I’m their right minds, wants to be on welfare, when they could do better being independent.