Because I LOVE Countdown with Keith Olberman, I have been watching snippets of Matt Lauer’s interview with Debra LaFave that Countdown has been airing over the past couple of nights. Debra LaFave was 23 years old and the teacher of a 14 year old boy when she pled guilty to lewd and lascivious behaivor. She is currently serving a sentence of 3 years of house arrest. This is muddy water I am about to tread, but I’m game if you are.
Although the actions of LaFave were completely inappropriate and it is apparent that she isn’t the most evolved woman, the fact that she has been labeled a sex offender is a bit much. This is purely a double standard on my part, and if the teacher was a man and the student a girl, I would be ordering for the teacher’s mandatory counseling behind bars. But I can’t help it. It IS different. Here’s why.
Physiological differences, for one. The physiology of the entire sex act is inherently unique in both sexes. A woman would be hard pressed to rape or force a man to enter her, as the man would have to be erect. This is not to say women are not capable of rape, but let’s leave that warm and fuzzy topic for another day, shall we? So, if the student were a girl and the teacher an adult man, his physical ability to have sex under conditions in which the girl was not consentual is infinitely more likely than the opposite scenario in which LeFave found herself. Secondly, the mere fact that a young girl could become pregnant in this type of situation while the boy obviously can not makes an enormous difference in this situation, as in life itself. The line being crossed has more extreme consequences when an adult man pursues a girl.
And realizing this may be setting the feminist movement back some decades, a 14 year-old boy is raging with hormones and his sole purpose in life at any given moment is to convince someone, anyone, of the female persuasion to “give it up”. And while girls of the same age definitely have hormones and sexual appetites, it seems the reasons many act upon their sexual curiosities and interest has more to do with gaining acceptance by boys and falling under the category of desirable, rather than to positively explore their own sexuality and experience orgasm. I will be the one to say it because it seems everyone else is too busy grieving over this boy’s victim status, but I guarantee that this kid was absolutely overjoyed that his hot teacher was giving it up to him. And all of his friends wanted some, too.
All of that said, there, of course, are exceptions. Not ALL girls are sexual at a young age due to just wanting acceptance, and not all boys are walking sperms. The society in which we live promotes an incredibly unhealthy and oppressive image of sexuality, and it is no wonder that crossing the line and being sexually inappropriate is becoming more and more common.
Back in the day, way, WAY back, 14 year old boys used to learn about love and sex through skilled and masterful goddesses who were among the most revered and respected in the community, which ultimately led to a more sexually open and respectful community. This got all twisted up and power shifted, etc., etc., but that, my friends, is also a warm and fuzzy topic for another day.
Mark Buban says
Calling Debra LaFave a sex offender is sort of convoluted from my vantage point. I think your idea of the element of force is the main reason I believe this. Had I been the “victim” in this “crime” I would have been a happy boy. Our country is definitely fucked up when it comes to sexuality and I might have to thank the Puritans for that…punk-ass bastards! I think letting them get on the Mayflower was good for England, bad for the new world…at least in this day and age. Change is hard to come by sometimes…they set sail in 1620 for Buddha’s sake! (Feel free to insert your god into the equation to make yourself feel better) How long will it take to see some positive spin on the beauty of the human body and sexuality? From what I understand, these people were the epitome of today’s “right-wingers.” Didn’t God make the human body? If that’s what they believe, why do we have to hide it? And if having sex produces more of us, why is that a bad, nasty or dirty thing? I think their answer is that it doesn’t produce a human being EVERY time, or at least that should be, according to them, the intention when you engage in sexual behavior. Never mind the nerve endings that we also got at birth and those crazy hormones that trip out and bring out the Satan in all of us, which in turn makes us horny and craving sex! Damn that to hell sinners! Seriously, if I only had sex when I thought about pro-creating, I don’t think I’d ever have sex…and my nerve endings would be pissed! Have a nice day! And if you did already, maybe you got laid.
Love this commentary on gender and sexuality! Thank you for broaching the subject. Yes, the situation changes when the pursuer and pursuee change gender. Gender is the most basic (and dramatic) difference between people. I think that masculine and feminine perspectives should be included in judging right and wrong and victim and abuser. The ‘predator’ in men takes on a different style than the ‘predator’ in women.
Thank you for your direct (of course!) and honest (as usual!) comments!
I love your blog! I just found it today, while sitting at my mindnumbing deskjob, and you have kept me entertained for 2 hours. thank you for saving my boring day with your witty and intelligent commentary.
You should see Notes On A Scandal, it’s great with two of my favourite actresses.