Today brings the latest story of a female teacher sleeping with one of her male students, and as expected, it brought on the usual salacious promotion of the story by the media because the female teacher in question is hot. And, once again, it brought on the commentators asking the question: Why is she being charged? After all, the student probably considered it the luckiest day of his life.
These sorts of comments are inherently sexist, because they carry the unspoken assumption that only male teens could possibly consent to sex with their teacher.
When stories emerge of male teachers sleeping with their female 15-year-old charges, the condemnation is universal and the criminal charges have zero controversy. The beast forced himself on her, we say. Or he used brutal psychological manipulation on her tender mind. Whatever the case, there is no question he deserves to burn in hell for unleashing his filthy desires on a pure and clean teenage girl.
What these comments always ignore is why we need a separate criminal classification of “statutory rape” to begin with. After all, if the male teacher really did force himself on the girl like a brute, we wouldn’t need the qualifier of “statutory.” Simple “rape” would suffice, right?
The whole point of “statutory” rape is that it involves a consensual sex partner who is not yet mature enough to really consent to the act, especially not to a person who is supposed to be their elder.
And 15-year-old girls are often more eager to get into the act with their male teachers or other adult authority figures than we are comfortable admitting to ourselves. To deny this fact is to deny ever knowing a 15-year-old girl in real life. I say this as someone who went to a high school of some 1600 students. Teenage girls are often, how do I put this delicately… randy… and while there are plenty of horrible cases where teachers brutally rape unwilling girls… there are plenty of others where the girls are very willing, or even initiating contact themselves.
Does that make it ok? If your 15-year-old daughter came home one day and told you her new boyfriend was her science teacher at school, and how she started it and loved him, would that somehow make it ok in your mind?
No, it wouldn’t. But the traditional definition of “rape” isn’t accurate, since she was willing. Hence, the concept of “statutory rape.” And every young man knows it is as serious as “regular” rape, and to avoid high school girls like the plague… hence the rise of the term “jailbait.”
Right. And so it is here. I have no doubt that the 15-year-old boy in this story was more enthusiastic than imaginable, and might have initiated contact himself. But her participation in the act with a male piece of jailbait is still the “rape” part of “statutory rape.”
And she deserves every last day she is going to spend in prison.