Ensconced in the WAPO's editorial pages this morning was this column by Betsy Karasik on how we should rethink the charges of statutory rape when a High School or Middle School teacher has "consensual" sex with one of his or her students prompted by the lenient sentence Judge G. Todd Baugh gave to Stacey Dean Rambold. An excerpt:
I’ve been a 14-year-old girl, and so have all of my female friends. When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us. When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word, even if society would like to embrace the fantasy that a high school student can’t consent to sex. Although some feelings probably got bruised, no one I knew was horribly damaged and certainly no one died.Wow, just wow... However, this outburst earned her take downs by at least 3 influental bloggers:
First Stacy McCain: Washington Post Publishes Jailbait Apologist (Ain’t I Done Told You So?)
...Her rhetoric — “utter hysteria . . . fantasy . . . delusional” — is deliberately dismissive. All who disagree with Betsy Karasik are irrational, or are too stupid to understand that “vast and extremely nuanced continuum” of which enligthened people like herself are aware.Ann Althouse was briefer, and perhaps more concise: "Washington Post’s ‘second look at statutory rape’ click-trolling inspires #WaPoPitches."
It’s not as if you couldn’t predict that such arguments would be made as our culture slid slowly down the slippery slope. In April 2002, I published an article with the headline, “Promoting pedophilia; Attempts to legitimize adult-child sex on rise,” and there were people then who said that such concerns were irrational.
In January of this year, Rush Limbaugh warned about “a movement to normalize pedophilia,” and was mocked by Soledad O’Brien.
Well, here we are in August, and the Washington Post is publishing columns advocating the legalization of student-teacher sex...
"Is the Washington Post getting into Slate’s business of click-trolling, or do the paper’s editors really think it’s time for a national conversation on sex between teachers and underage students?"Finally, she got under Ace's skin, and got a nearly unprecedented two takedowns in the same day:
The Washington Post Adopts Slate's Outrage-Trolling Business Model: Hey, Maybe Teachers Should Rape Their Underage Students
...NAMBLA just emailed me: "She gets it! It's all about protecting the Children from damaging messages about repressing their desires to have sex with adults and society's hypocrisy!And then later in the day, with a little more time to
This is what we've been trying to say!
Finally! Someone has the guts to say it!"
"Many teenagers are, biologically speaking, sexually mature."And hot. Don't forget hot.
And also unspoiled and unschooled in the ways of love. Easily manipulated and shaped into one's preferred sexual forms.
Which, let's face it, are just other words for "hot."
"Pretending that this kind of thing won’t happen if we simply punish it severely enough is delusional."No one pretends this, idiot. No criminal law on the books pretends that if we just outlaw a thing, it will all magically stop. (Except for gun-control laws, of course.)...
Someone pointed out to me her website-- she quit being a lawyer in order to become a painter.
If you don't remember Betsy, she embarrassed herself by fulminating at the Washington Post that statutory rape by teachers of minor children was no big deal and no one dies so why are you being such big meanies about Love, anyway?
Below, most of her page explaining her Art.
At various points in the text, I will intersperse a picture of one of her actual, real, honest-to-goodness paintings.
In 1998 I walked away from a "successful" career as a litigator in order to paint.Also walked away from a "successful" understanding of the proper use of quotations marks.
Nah I get it, whatever, she's trying to say that's what "Society" deems "successful."
But I sorta don't think she was that successful at it, or even that "successful."
I work at my Dupont Circle home/studio in Washington, D.C., in the company of three cats and, on occasion, the elusive and multi-talented EMT, musician and environmentalist, Bob Fener. I am largely self-taught, although I have studied with several very gifted Washington area artists including Annette Polan (portraiture), Patrick Kirwin (realism and illusion), and Mary del Popolo (color).Like most artists, I paint because I have to; the paintings are lined up inside my head demanding to be realized.
Yes, she paints cats, mostly... As they say, read the whole thing. Read all the articles, you know you want to.
My own experience with this issue? As you may know, my father was a High School teacher while I was growing up, and he was had helped to start a law school with several of his fellow teachers (as weird as it sounds, it worked, and the school still exists), so I knew many of them personally. In my senior year, one of the other teachers in the law school and in a position of authority, and coincidentally, my literature teacher, had an affair with a student who was a friend of min, let's call her Wendy. While Wendy may have been 18 (could'a, don't know for sure), this affair did not do her psyche any good. As far as I know, no one knows about this but a small circle of students and the teacher.
Should my lit teacher have gone to jail? Maybe not. But if she had been 14? Damn Straight!