Thursday, June 5, 2014

Men are Not Helpless

A local teacher was arrested for allegedly sleeping with his student.

I read the story and curled my lip in disgust at a 30-year-old man having sex with a teenager. Then I did what one should never do on the internet.

I read the comments.

My disgust quickly turned to red hot, boiling fury.

There were comments blaming the student, comments wanting to hear "his side" of the story, and comments justifying his actions.

And these comments were made by women. Some of whom are mothers with daughters in his class.




Excuse my language. But it's going to get worse because sometimes, every now and then, something deserves an F-bomb. And this is one of those times. Because:
Whoever the parents were shouldn't have let their 16 year old open her legs. Parent your kids better. Yeah he should have known better but it's the girls fault too. She let it happen as well as him. It's a two way street. But she isn't gonna have to answer to her choice only he is. 
...a 16 year old knows whats she's doing, that is no child. given, a 30 year old shouldn't want anything to do with a 16 year old, but if you talk to young adult males, some of them are very easily spell-bound by teenage "women" and it isn't so much their fault. it was not rape. in a way, yes, in a way no. yes-- because she is young he took "advantage" of her. in a way no- honestly, this guy is pretty good looking, she probably came on him 
Maybe if the "little girls" had consequences as well this wouldn't be happening so often ....little girls now days look like older women and try to act like it it pretty sad in my opinion trust me hes a grown man and should pay for his sickening actions but I think the "children" involved in incidences like this should have consequences as well 
My daughter goes to paso high and this is her teacher everyone is so quick to blame him their is two sides to every story we haven't heard his yet 
He should have known better, but it is both of their faults! It is sad when things like this happen but to blame him fully is wrong. Girls at 16 have the body of a 20 year old sometimes and men are attracted to that!
These comments are not anonymous. They are not worldwide. They are the comments of local residents from their personal Facebook pages. They are comments being "liked" by other people. A lot of other people.

And they are causing my blood pressure to shoot through the roof.

Fact: Men are not helpless to their desires.

Fact: The age of consent is 18. Sex with a minor, even if consensual, is statutory rape.

Fact: Men are not helpless to their desires.

I don't care if she sent him love notes and stalked him in his classroom after school.

I don't care if she dresses in mini skirts and tank tops and doesn't wear a bra.

I don't care if she slept with half the football team.

I don't care if she walked into his classroom buck naked and said, "Hey man, want a blow?"

As an adult man, fully aware of the law and the fact that he was her teacher and a person in position of authority, he says no. Because men are not helpless to their desires. 

This idea that the way a girl - or woman - dresses, the shape of her body, or the size of her breasts somehow mitigates a crime is so completely ridiculous I can't believe it's still a part of the conversation. The fact that it's being used to dismiss culpability is enough to make my head explode.

Even worse is this idea that men are helpless to their desires and that is justification to condone this sort of behavior.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been watching the #YesAllWomen threads on social media. I've read some blog posts, finding myself nodding along to shared experiences.

Yes, I've walked through a bar and felt a stranger's hand slide under my skirt or grab my breasts under cover of the crowd.

Yes, of course I'd never leave my drink unattended because the risk is too great.

Yes, I remember dancing with a man I met moments before and him trying to put his hands down my pants.

Yes, I've been a part of a "rescue team" who gets between a girlfriend and a man who has danced up behind her and used the excuse of music to run his hands all over her body.

Yes, I always carry my keys in my hand while walking to the car - even now that I'm "middle aged".

Yes, I prefer gyms without men after too many times looking in the mirror only to see a guy standing and staring at my boobs.

Yes, I've come between a strange woman fending off a strange man and then helped her repair her make up after she retreated to the bathroom to have a good cry.

Yes, I know more women who have experienced some form of sexual assault or molestation than I do who have not.

Yes and yes and yes. All of those and so much more.

And yet...


A teacher has sex with his teenage student and the vast - vast - majority of commentors - male and female - put some or all of the blame on her.

I repeat...





Roxanne Piskel said...

That's disgusting. Men are NOT helpless to their desires.

Kim Holmes said...

Wow, woman. Way to whoop on 'em!

mandyland said...

I had to dust off my soap box, but it was still there. Like I said this morning, seriously irritating.

mandyland said...


Julie Gardner said...

Agreed on all counts here, Mandy. And as the daughter of an almost 15-year-old who (through no fault of her own) has recently acquired a full 34 C-cup, it terrifies me that people use the fact that a teenage girl can "look like a twenty year old" as justification for having sex with her.

Let's set aside, for a moment, the fact that at TWENTY, I wouldn't have been prepared for a relationship of depth with a 30-year-old man.

The truth is, teachers are people in authority; children, teens and young adults look up to them, admire them, and yes - even have crushes on them - and it's the ADULT'S responsibility to put a stop to it. No matter what.

When I began teaching high school, I was turning 23 years old - only five or six years older than some of my students. Guess what? Some of my 18-year-old male students not only looked like grown men, but they were legal.

And yet.

I didn't have sex with a single one of them.
Imagine that.

p.s. I had a few female students with crushes on me, too. And I didn't sleep with any of them, either.

John said...

When betting on the stupidity or the morality of humanity in general, you'll never lose money betting the under.

This is a sad, sad commentary.

A few years ago, I was teaching, regularly, at a technical institute. Every semester would end, and all of the night classes would be covered by tenured, full-time instructors, leaving the adjuncts like me out of luck.

But I never actually sat out a semester until I wanted to. See, like clockwork, some instructor would get caught having an inappropriate relationship with a student, and I'd get the phone call "hey, could I cover x or y". And I would. To say this made me sad would be an understatement . . . but it is the reality.

I don't get many of my own sex.