We all know rape is wrong. We all know that when an adult has sex with a minor it's wrong. But do we think of it the same way regardless of which gender is perpetrating the crime on which gender? I've begun to realize that in general, we don't. But we should. What got me started on this path was this story on ABC News.
It's a story about a former NFL cheerleader accused of having sex with a 15 year old boy. The article itself is decently written and gives the facts. That's not the part that bothered me, it was the comments. People posting about how the kid screwed up a good thing by telling, and how if they had been getting action from her they wouldn't have said anything. Even comments such as "poor...lucky kid". I was simply appalled by them all. When I tried to post something reasonable about it I was called a turd and a prude.
Here's the thing though, if the roles were reversed...if it was a 47 year old man, even if he was a good looking former GQ model, and it was a 15 year old girl...these same people would be calling for him to be hung up by his testicles. They would want him beat and castrated. They would want him beat maliciously, if they even wanted him living at all. There wouldn't even need to be a trial he would be found guilty in the court of public opinion just from an article being ran and his life would be over.
Women sexual predators historically are handed weaker sentences in the courts, they are given more excuses from their families and friends that are then accepted by the public. They were lonely, they were depressed and unhappy, they needed help and this was their cry for it. But male offenders often are given the maximum sentence, excuses are never acceptable and even if it truly was a misunderstanding they are labeled an offender for life with no chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of the public. They have forever lost our trust.
Now I'm not saying we should trust sex offenders, but I am saying we should treat them equally and look at the circumstances of all cases both of male and female perpetrators. There are some scary psychopathic women out there too that I wouldn't want my kids around. We need to start realizing that women are capable of horrific things too. And we need to hold them accountable.
The current sexual offender registration system is flawed, and needs to desperately be reexamined. It needs to come with some sort of grading or category system that is easy to understand so the general public will know exactly what type of offender they are looking at. Is this some dumb kid who at 18 slept with his 16 year old girlfriend and her parents pressed charges, or is this some sicko that molested dozens of kids and got out on good behavior?
The important thing to remember most of all is that not only can men and women be the bad guys here, but that both men and women, and boys and girls, can be the victims. And males may need even more support than females when they are the victims of a sexual crime than females because of the way our society does view sexual crimes and that we don't typically think of males as the victims. So before you post something stupid about a male victim, stop and think, what would you say if the roles were reversed.