Litmus Tests

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Litmus Tests

While I agree somewhat with Frederick's it's-not-really-pedophile argument-- a 16 year-old is not a "child"-- I don't think Foley can fairly blame alcoholism, the stigma towards homosexulity or the sexualization of minors in our culture. I also hestitate to see this as some variant form of (homo)sexual expression, or that somehow Foley living in a culture (or being a member of a political party) that demeans homosexuality has resulted in him being "arrested" sexually and having interest in young men.

Maybe what we are really lacking here is a litmus test for defining asexual predator-- in such cases context and details are EVERYTHING. I personally view a 50-something person expressing exclusive interest in much, much younger people, especially if their interest appears to be piqued if the younger person seems resistant or hesitant, is behaving like a sexual predator. Not to mention that the relationship is inherently unequal when one person is a teenager and the other person is 5 or 10 (or more) years older. I concede that teenagers are sexual beings and that there is such a thing as a positive sexual/romantic experience between a teenager and a somewhat older person-- think Romeo & Juliet laws. But that is clearly not the case here.

For me there is a real bright line in cases like these-- adults, especially adults who are WELL into adulthood, doing anything *beyond* fantasizing about younger adults are expressing a sexuality that is inherently, well, dysfunctional and wrong. Was the 16-year old boy dancing at a gay club on a Friday night? No. This was on the internet and the boy has obviously uncomfortable with his advances, which did not appear to deter Foley in the slightest. He didn't even know what the boy looked like, he wasn't coming onto him in person, he was knowingly coming onto a young person, not someone he mistook for being of legal age.

The fact is that if we are going to treat homosexuality and heterosexuality as equal than the sex of Foley's young victims doesn't really matter, his behavior is not excusable no matter what. Would a 50-something man get a "pass" for sexually pursuing a 16-year old girl? No, everyone would quickly see her as a victim of an overly aggressive, inappropriately sexual adult man.

I personally don't think the type of sexuality has much to do with it, frankly. Although I can totally see why the GOP and their supporters want to make this case about homosexuality, they want to NAMBLAize the whole thing, so they can claim it's all part of the real "homosexual agenda"-- you know, our desire to "recruit" and have sex with children. (Marriage equality is all a big smokescreen, dotcha know.)

Sorry, but this isn't about whether or not Foley is gay-- it's about wholly inappopriate sexual advances towards a minor by a 50-something year old CONGRESSMAN.

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