The Delaware County Fair was a few weeks ago, and in the aftermath, a statutory rape accusation that allegedly took place between a 20 year old fair worker and a 14 year old attendee.
In the aftermath of the story breaking in one of the local papers, I happened to remark that it was creepy to think that this happened at the fair…a place that up until then, I felt fairly confident was employed by non predators.
After I made the comment, I was “reminded” that the alleged rape was “statutory”, therefore implied that it wasn’t really a rape because the 14 year old child said yes. Allegedly.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I was 14 I was pretty naive and my self esteem at that point was all but non existent. I’d love to say for sure that I would not be tempted by an older guy paying attention to me, but I very well may have fallen into the same situation. A teenage girl’s psyche is a very delicate thing and the word yes is sometimes, often, the easy word to say when put into a situation that has somehow gotten out of control.
A person’s brain is not developed at 14. It is prone to make rash decisions, that carry dangerous and life altering consequences. At 14, it is difficult to detect those risks in the moment. This is why there are laws against smoking or voting before age 18, why its illegal to drink in the US before 21 (and 18-19 in many other places). This is why there is such thing as an age of consent, here in the US…it’s to try to allow time for brains develop before having to face adult decisions such as deciding whether or not to have sex.
The 14 year old was not mature enough to say yes. The 20 year old, however, was mature enough to know better. Statutory or not, rape is rape.
Hubby and I spent the weekend in New Jersey with my parents. My Dad was scheduled for (minor) surgery on Friday and as this is something like surgery number seven since 2006-I felt that I should be close for moral support.
Fortunately the minor surgery was just that, minor, and despite the surgeon’s prediction that Dad would spend the night in the hospital Dad was returned to us by lunch time the same day. Predictably sore, but in high spirits.
That evening, Mom and I went on a much needed and much overdue Mother Daughter Date. Unfortunately we did not plan it too well. Mom wanted to go see If I Stay, a movie based on a popular YA novel so the theater was teeming with loud and obnoxious teenagers (most who, based on the comments I overheard) had no idea what the movie was suppose to be about). Several times I thought about suggesting to Mom that we should just leave and ask for our money back. It was that noisy. But we stuck through it. It was an okay movie, it had some really good moments, but the (distracted) impression that I got was that it was lacking something.
Saturday Hubby and I took the puppies on an easy hike in the state park near my parents house. I think the puppies enjoyed themselves. We recently bought retractable leashes for them and they loved that little bit of freedom it allows them. They were mostly well behaved until they came across some runners. That could have been messy, sorry about that! That night I cooked dinner and my one sister came home for a visit. Both dinner and the visit were a success.
Sunday Mom took over the dogsitting so Hubby and I could have a little time to ourselves. We checked out a local brewery that opened recently. It was very barebones, operating out of a former airport hangar but the beer was good. Then from there we visited a winery where we each enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio.
Like always, I left my parents house feeling conflicted. It’s so hard saying goodbye to them, especially with Dad’s health being so precarious at times. I do not care for the area of NJ they live in, nor do I relish the thought of uprooting my life yet again to move and start all over again…but just for a little while I played around with the thought.
I haven’t blogged in almost a month.
At first I was focused on wanting to complete a 101 in 1001 project. It was something I had been interested in a few years, but when it actually came time to complete the project I realized that it probably was not going to happen. As much as I want to, it’s just not going to happen right now.
Maybe when things are a little more secure around here. Maybe. Maybe I’ll rework my list and focus on goals that aren’t dependent on money. There are plenty of goals I can come up with that don’t cost money.
But the main reason I haven’t blogged is because I have been suffering from a dual case of writers block and feeling underwhelmed. It’s not been a good combination.
I just don’t feel like I have much to contribute.