05/19/2014 Jonathan Taylor

Why does Barbara Ellen at The Guardian condone the sexual assault of schoolboys?

Barbara Ellen is a writer at the prominent British publication The Guardian. She is a staunch Feminist, and is quick to inform us how using sexist slurs against women should be taken seriously. I only wish she took violence against men and boys as seriously as name-calling.

A title of a recent article of hers makes a bold statement in its headline: “It’s simply not the same if a man is hit by a woman.” One might think that, being a Feminist, she would support the idea that men deserve equal rights too! She clears up any confusion with her article titled/subtitled “Get your grubby male hands off my equal rights: sexual discrimination laws are for everyone – but it still jars me to see men using them.”

So I suppose you could say she has some “issues.” But don’t worry – we haven’t seen her at her best yet. In this article, again at The GuardianBarbara Ellen lays out her case as to why older women who commit statutory rape should be given a free pass, even when they are nearly three times the age of the boys they sleep with. She begins:

Looking at the case of Madeleine Martin, the 39-year-old RE teacher and mother of two, jailed for 32 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for sleeping with a 15-year-old male pupil, do we seriously think that a female teacher sleeping with a male pupil is on a par with a male teacher sleeping with a girl pupil?

Yes.

I don’t. 
Color me surprised.

Certainly, she has been severely punished for her nine-day tryst with the teenager, who, his mother says, has been mocked by peers. If anything, one would have thought they might be jealous.

Curious question: by saying “one might have thought,” does she actually mean she thought? Of course she does.

The internet is awash with sites dealing with ‘older woman teacher-pupil’ fantasies. And there lies the rub – should the law be treating male and female pupil victims equally when male and female teenagers are so different?

You know what the internet is also awash in? Women’s rape fantasies. Anyone can see them amassed on erotica sites, right in the nonconsent/reluctance section. If you actually like reading erotica (and I have occasionally), there’s so much of it out there that you practically stumble across it trying to reach anything else.

Barbara Ellen is right – men and women are different. But that doesn’t automatically make her argument work. If society predicated legalities upon fantasies that far are removed from their flesh-and-blood social context, they wouldn’t just be condoning the sex of teenage boys with “MILFs,” but also women’s rape fantasies – which would no longer be just fantasies.

Something tells me that if a man were to seriously advocate such a thing, making arguments similar to Ellen’s, he would (A) not have a position at The Guardian, and (B) Barbara Ellen would be writing about how evil such a man is. Continuing down Barbara Ellen’s moral contortions:

There are always exceptions, but surely one of the essential differences between the teenage sexes lies in the onset and manifestation of sexuality. Which is a posh way of saying that teenage boys mainly want sex, while teenage girls mainly want attention. Likewise, while teenage boys are usually sexually driven, teenage girls tend to be validation-driven.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that her statement here is completely true. Because again, I’ll show you how her argument fails, even if circumstances were most favorable to her (which they aren’t).

So teenage boys want sex and teenage girls want attention. Therefore, based on Ellen’s reasoning, teenage boys can’t be raped because they always want sex. But based on that same logic, teenage girls can’t be sexually harassed by anyone because they always want attention. They always “want it.”

Right, Barbara?

Again, reverse the sexes. We know well what would happen if a man were to walk around saying such things. As they say in Britain, he would be sacked!

From here, it is not too much of a leap to surmise that sexual contact with a teacher would have entirely different effects on the teenage sexes. For most boys, it would be the score of all scores, for girls, the ultimate exploitation of their genetic vulnerability.

Not so fast. Actually Barbara, in case you haven’t noticed, older women aren’t exactly high on the sexual totem pole. Having sex with a woman who is well past her prime isn’t a grand “accomplishment.” Furthermore, in the world of students, teachers can have incredible status – which is the primary criteria upon which male attractiveness is determined.

But again, even if that was true, it really doesn’t matter. Ol’ Barbie misses the big picture by a kilometer, and reveals that she really is quite ignorant – willfully ignorant – about the law. When it comes to statutory rape, whether the younger party “wants it” or not is irrelevant. In legal terms, statutory rape is a “strict liability” offense, a crime where mens rea (intent, state of mind) is irrelevant. The crime hinges not upon desire, but upon an age difference which negates the ability of the very young to make decisions that could impact their lives in the long term.

For example, a boy may indeed desire sex at 15, or 14, or even 13. But he is not ready to be a father at 15 if his partner becomes pregnant. He is also certainly is not ready for an STD at 15. And the older people are, the more likely their chances that they have contracted an STD – something that should give anyone over 25 pause when they consider having casual sex with someone in their age cohort.

But Barbara just doesn’t get any this. She just keeps going:

While a large proportion of teenage boys may not have the sense to make the best choices, they are “up for it,” none the less. This is why, in my view, a male teacher sleeping with a girl pupil amounts to statutory rape, whereas a female teacher sleeping with a 15-year-old male is a far greyer moral area.

…maybe it is time for society to address this issue honestly. Why do we blithely accept that “men and women are different”, but refuse to acknowledge that the teenage sexes are also different?

Again, let’s remember that this is a Feminist. And now that treating the sexes the same works to her disadvantage, she is all of a sudden demanding that we “be honest” and treat the sexes differently. Something tells me that Barbara Ellen is one of the last people on earth who should be lecturing others on honesty when it comes to gender issues.

And here’s something else, in case it isn’t obvious: yes, both Feminism and the Men’s Movement have their extremists. I have never denied this. But the question of “are there extremists” is really quite irrelevant. The real question is “where are the extremists in the movement.”

I have never seen a member of the Men’s Movement in such an influential and mainstream position like Barbara Ellen’s, making the kind of extreme claims she is making. The extremists in the Men’s Movement are (thankfully) isolated and marginalized on the corners of the internet.

The Feminist extremists, by contrast, are in our mainstream institutions. They are in academia, the mainstream media, our legal system, and increasingly in our military. It’s long past time for everyone – both men and women – to clean house.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (27)

  1. “For most boys, it would be the score of all scores, for girls, the ultimate exploitation of their genetic vulnerability.”

    What is she even talking about here? Is she asserting that women have some kind of innate, genetic disposition to being vulnerable? Sounds pretty sexist to me. Or is she talking about pregnancy, of which women, even girls, have a choice and boys, even underage statutory rape victims who don’t yet fully comprehend the implications of dropping their sperm in a mid/late 30’s women, don’t. Seems to me boys are the more vulnerable ones to having their genetics exploited.

     
    • To be fair, it should have been noted that the article in discussion is from 2009. Still a disturbing article, but hardly recent, and her views “may” have changed since (doubt it, but who knows)

       
      • Yeah, I almost didn’t do a writeup on it since it was from 5 years ago. But two things convinced me to. First, this is (to many people) a very clear-cut case of institutional misandry. Second, she has written some other anti-male articles, which I linked at the top of mine.

        It’s possible she may have changed her views, although I think it’s improbable. Her article is still up, so (to me) the only thing that would really help is for her to issue a public apology from the same publication, or another very prominent one, and tell the world how wrong she was.

         
        • Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the write-up completely, and the reasoning’s. I just know when I read a critic of someone else’s articles, I usually assume it’s a recent article (as I did with this one, until I went to post, saw it was closed and checked the date) unless stated otherwise. I just think a (2009) beside the link (possible the year/date for each of the articles she wrote) could go a long way to clarifying this is a long-standing position of hers… rather than a recent development.

          I also agree she isn’t likely to have changed her position, and think she could use getting called out on this pattern, to show just where she has come from and where that is headed.

           
    • Jan

      Saying that women have some kind of innate, genetic disposition to being vulnerable IS sexist, but only with feminist logic.
      I’d say such a disposition could exist, as well as a disposition to ‘want sex more’ in men. Similar genetic dispositions HAVE been proven already. So to a degree, she’s sort of right.
      However, this contradicts most things that feminists stand for, so the argument still makes no sense.
      And I agree that said dispositions, if proven, shouldn’t be relevant in a court of law as everyone is different and we can’t base justice on sweeping generalizations.

       
  2. Malcolm James

    The argument generally advanced to support not criminalising sexual activity between older women and younger boys is that the boys don’t see it as harmful and that they brag about their conquests. Well – teenage girls often don’t see relationships with older men as harmful either. However, they view them differently, regarding the man as their boyfriend. This was the case, for example, where Jeremy Forrest (a 30 y.o. teaching from Sussex) ran off to France with a 15 y.o. female pupil, for which he is now serving a 5 1/2 year prison sentence. The girl was at the time (and according to some reports, still is) every bit as besotted with him and he was with her and didn’t seem the harm in the relationship. In both cases society needs to intervene because the minor is too young to appreciate the potential harm.

     
  3. Roy Wybenga

    Why does Barbara Ellen at The Guardian condone the sexual assault of schoolboys?
    Just goes to show; not all losers work in home made labs cooking pills.

     
  4. Laurie A. Couture

    As a mental health professional and mother of an adolescent son, I am so enraged by Babara Ellen’s disgusting, hateful and anti-boy, anti-male statements! In my work with youth, I have seen the emotional distress, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, self harm and shame that boys suffer when sexually assaulted and raped by women and girls. Not only is Barbara ignorant, she is a danger to public safety. She should also be held accountable for making a claim that child rape is acceptable. She just gave the female public a free pass to rape and sexually assault boys, and she should be held accountable for what I consider to be criminal behavior.

     
  5. Rob

    John, you answered your in question in your second sentence “She is a staunch Feminist”

    You also wrote “One might think that, being a Feminist, she would support the idea that men deserve equal rights”
    Not at all. I would expect her to practice gender double standard SINCE SHE IS A FEMINIST.

     
  6. Caroline

    I agree with the main thrust of your write up that Barbara Ellen’s statements about men always being “up for it” are wrong and very objectionable. Men can be abused, assaulted and raped just as women can. As a feminist who believes in men and women being actually treated equally (including women being sentenced as harshly as men for the same crime) she certainly doesn’t speak for me.

    But she does raise a valid point, albeit in the wrong way. If a male pupil and a female teacher are having a consenting relationship that they both enjoy, what exactly is the problem? There was a case recently where the female teacher was prosecuted and her boyfriend (because yes, in my view that’s what he was) read a statement in court saying he disagreed with the whole case because it was a mutual relationship that he was entirely happy with. What harm was done to him? Except, you could argue, by the court case?

    Sorry, but this isn’t a black and white issue and I don’t think painting it as such is helpful to your main point which is, presumably, the minimisation of harm done to men / boys who are victims of sexual abuse.

    Unlike Barbara Ellen, though, I would ask the same question about a female pupil and male teacher. If everyone is happy, what’s wrong with it?!

     
    • “There was a case recently where the female teacher was prosecuted and her boyfriend (because yes, in my view that’s what he was) read a statement in court saying he disagreed with the whole case because it was a mutual relationship that he was entirely happy with. What harm was done to him? Except, you could argue, by the court case?”

      Well, harm isn’t always the only thing that is reasonably criminalized. Consider that conspiracy to commit fraud without actually committing fraud (yet) and driving while drunk but not hitting someone (yet) are two examples where no harm has been done, but the public generally sees a reason to criminalize such behavior.

       
      • Caroline

        True, but in those examples there is still either the intention to commit harm (eg conspiracy to commit fraud, or attempted murder or similar) or reckless behaviour that the perpetrator knows is likely to commit harm but doesn’t just by luck (eg drunk driving without hitting anyone). So the absence of harm is thanks to luck or getting caught. In a consenting teacher/pupil relationship, it’s hard to see how there is any greater likelihood of harm than in most relationships. If anything, the only harm likely to be done is if they do get caught and then have to face the law.

         
        • “True, but in those examples there is still either the intention to commit harm.”

          In the fraud case yes, but not in the drunk driving case. When people get drunk and get behind the wheel it’s usually to recklessly indulge in their passions without regard to the potential long-term implications of their actions.

           
    • “Unlike Barbara Ellen, though, I would ask the same question about a female pupil and male teacher. If everyone is happy, what’s wrong with it?!”

      So long as your position is consistent with both sexes, I don’t have a problem with it, though I do think it is an entirely different discussion. The issue here is more about the double standards. As a complimentary example to your own, was there not a case recently where a girl was dating an older man, the police found out, and as he was being dragged through court and villainized as a pedo, the girl felt so responsible for what he was going through she killed herself. The courts actually did more harm to the girl than he did… yet he was blamed for her death too. There are arguments both for and against lower age of consent. But one of the big ones for the double standard (pregnancy) is, ironically used to “protect” the one sex that already has protections and options with regards to pregnancy, while dismissing the very real vulnerability young boys have to older women suffering baby rabbies.

       
      • Caroline

        Fair point – the rights or wrongs of such a relationship is a different discussion to the double standard. I guess I was responding to the fact that the tone of the write up seems to take it as given that all such relationships are basically sexual assault. So whereas normally I’d be cheering on the point about double standards (I’ve been lurking appreciatively for a while!), I couldn’t cheer on this post because it would mean accepting the premise of all pupils being victims in these situations.

        You’re absolutely right about the pregnancy argument which is completely illogical. A girl getting pregnant has a choice on whether to become a mother but a boy getting a girl pregnant has no choice on whether to become a father. Not only that, but a girl is just as likely to get pregnant having sex with a boy her own age, which wouldn’t be criminalised even if underage. More so, if anything, because older people are more likely to use contraception.

         
        • ” Not only that, but a girl is just as likely to get pregnant having sex with a boy her own age, which wouldn’t be criminalised even if underage.”

          Good point. But it also needs to be considered that a guy and girl of the same teenage age are both less likely to want to be parents at the age than a 30 year old woman seeing her reproductive years dwindling away. This is generally not a motivation men seeking such young girls has, but it can be a motivation for these women, as convincing such a young boy he can trust her is far easier to do than an older guy who knows more about sex/reproduction/contraception.

           
        • Not buying it

          Hey Caroline , a 15 year old molested by his teacher in her thirties , he was 14 at the time of molestation , had been sentenced to pay child support to the free female sicko ( his parents pay until he is 18) , talk about double standard and how awful patriarchy is.

           
    • Minerverse

      “If a male pupil and a female teacher are having a consenting relationship that they both enjoy, what exactly is the problem?”

      As long as you’re okay reversing the sexes in that statement, you at least have the virtue of consistency. The problem comes from the fact it’s statutory rape. The law doesn’t make exceptions for sex, it applies to all equally. Unless you’re a man, and you want reproductive rights. Then you’re fucked. But that’s another argument. :/

       
  7. Trevor Smith

    funny this Caroline should use the suggestion of consensual sexual relationship between the older female teacher and the young boy. why not an older male teacher and young girl? Actually, they are both illegal, and both represent an abuse of power, and if you imagine there is still some consent from the child with those power and legal issues at play then your scenario needs some review. And I didn’t read in the article where the boy was “happy” about it, not that it matters in the context of statutory rape.

     
    • Caroline

      I used the female teacher / male pupil example because that was the scenario in the main post. As I said, my opinion would be the same in a male teacher / female pupil example, like the Jeremy Forrest one that Malcolm James mentioned upthread.

       
    • In all fairness, Caroline does assert she thinks the same for both sexes. She waited until the last paragraph to do so, but she did say it.

       
    • Emilio Lizardo

      The power differentials idea is something Feminists concocted to justify everything they want. All relationships are asymmetrical. Nature does not tend to equality, it tends to advantage.

       
  8. Harry

    It all depends on the case. Really. When I was 14 I would have loved to have had sex with a couple of my hot older teachers. Another huge difference is that boys CANNOT get pregnant!!! Girls can.

     
    • Right, but girls aren’t the ones enslaved to the child support system at a young age (which persists through bankruptcy), and threatened with fines and jail if they don’t have the resources to pay once they turn 18, resources most young boys don’t have.

      I’d rather be the girl and be pregnant. At least I know I could opt out if I wanted to.

       
    • “Another huge difference is that boys CANNOT get pregnant!!! Girls can.”

      Correct. But girls can get abortions, boys can’t. When a teenage girl gets pregnant, it is incredibly unlikely the man she was with will get custody of the child and require her to pay support, when it is an older woman (who’s more likely to be looking to get pregnant, since women’s reproduction has a shelf life. Older men can still wait), it is VERY likely she will get custody and force the boy into indentured servitude.

      So what is it about pregnancy that makes it worse for girls?

       
  9. Mohammed Ahmed M Muniser-saleh

    whats the differents is both male and female students are ok with it, but the law is not

     
  10. Emilio Lizardo

    Like a broken clock, she’s right twice a day. For boys, it IS the score of scores. I suspect girls approach the issues from some other perspective. At issue though is her hypocrisy on the topic of “equality”.

    Here we run into the real problem, “Equality (of the sexes)” is an unobtainable goal without the destruction of at least one sex, or the construction of a Harrison Bergeron world, or the the total elimination of gender.

     

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