The following are some preliminary thoughts of mine concerning the development of the cult of childhood in the West and its ramifications.
I recently came across the “To Catch a Predator” videos on YouTube and I must admit, they are very entertaining – in a sad sort of way. I watched several of them and then I got to thinking: There sure are a lot of these guys – and they certainly represent only the tip of the iceberg of men who would take advantage of an underage girl; most such men are smart enough (one would presume) to avoid getting caught in such a predicament. Moreover, men who would take advantage of an underage girl are certainly only the tip of the iceberg of men who would have sex with the same girl if only it were socially acceptable to do so. I would add that the very fact that underage girls are forbidden fruit probably makes them that much more alluring to some men.
Other bloggers, such as Human Stupidity and Robert Lindsay, have already pointed out that it is perfectly normal for men to be attracted to underage girls. Prepubescent girls, on the other hand, are a different matter. I am reasonably certain that the vast majority of men, if they found themselves stranded on an island with a well-developed 14 year old girl, would eventually break down and consummate this relationship.
Coincidentally, I’ve been reading “Selections from Protagoras, Republic, Phaedrus & Gorgias” by Plato. At the very beginning we read:
Companion: … I saw him the day before yesterday; and he had got a beard like a man – and he is a man, as I may tell you in your ear. But I thought that he was still very charming.
Socrates: What of his beard? Are you not of Homer’s opinion, who says, ‘Youth is most charming when the beard first appears’? And that is now the charm of Alcibiades.
We may, or may not, interpret the above as homoerotic or ephebophilic in nature. Either way, it is well documented that both homosexuality and ephebophilia were widely practiced in Greece during that era. As for the latter, it was certainly the norm in practically every society on Earth until very recently. If Chris Hanson’s ancestors were held to his standards, he would never have been born.
Granted, there is a huge difference between a middle aged man seeking thrills by having sex with a 14 year old girl who he almost certainly has no intention (or possibility) of ever marrying, and a courtship whose main goal is marriage and the founding of a family. The union between my own father and mother would be highly illegal today. Even back then people murmured that my father must be some sort of pervert – and maybe he was – but they’ve been together for about 55 years now. As a result, I sit hear and maintain this blog.
Like so many other things in life, it all comes back to unity versus “diversity”. It used to be acceptable for 25 year old men to court 14 year old women (or whatever you want to call them) because there was an intact culture in place. That culture demanded that they marry and start a family. Marriage was a commitment to be taken seriously. Today, there is no intact culture; only a mishmash of confusion held together by ever more numerous laws. In this environment, there is no expectation of marriage/commitment. Therefore, a middle-aged man having a fling with a 14 year old girl is most likely abusive. Their “relationship” can be reduced to its rawest component: Sex. And it’s a shame because, in other circumstances, that man might have turned out to be a great husband and father – just like my own father.
The cult of childhood in the West, and its extension, has gradually reduced even adults to children. An adult takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes. A child is rarely held accountable. When a woman spills hot coffee in her lap and then sues the restaurant that sold her the coffee, is she truly a “woman”? Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe her as a child. Childhood has become so cherished and fortified that it has escaped its own boundaries and its tendrils reach out across what used to be “adulthood” all the way to the “second childhood”.
The Left, by and large, does not recognize the biological concept of race. One of the reasons it rejects this concept is that there are no clear boundaries between one race and another. This is, of course, a flawed argument but perhaps it is this same mentality that forces leftists (and conservatives) to insist on rigid age-of-consent laws. After all, if there is no clear boundary between childhood and adulthood (and there isn’t) then neither concept has any validity according to them. If so, there would be no basis for “statutory rape” laws. Even leftists will admit that ages of consent are arbitrary but “we have to draw the line somewhere” they say. I would agree that a line must be drawn in individual cases, but there can be no single line that makes sense for everybody – even within the same city or town. We all mature at different rates* and we all have different family situations. We also have different cultures (see “diversity” above).
*I remember visiting a family of Hassidim in Jerusalem who were good friends of mine. One of their daughters was around 13 or 14 years old and her older sister mentioned that perhaps it is time for her to start dating. The mother looked at her skinny frame and said, “No, she’s not ready yet; she needs more time” or something to that effect.