Double standard?  

mtnscribe 66M
41 posts
3/8/2006 5:56 pm

Last Read:
6/2/2006 9:24 pm

Double standard?

I am in the law biz, so things about the law in the news naturally perk me up. Was watching Keith Olbermann on MSNBC tonight, and he had a story about a truly beautiful female teacher who had seduced and had sex with a 14 or 15 yr old boy in her charge. The story was about her criminal case in Florida. The prosecutors had offered her a plea agreement which called for her to plead guilty to sexual abuse of this child, in exchange for which she would be placed on supervised probation for a couple years. The question the story raised is whether such a deal didn't represent a very unfair double standard, since, as seems generally true, such a favorable deal would have been out of the question had the genders of the offender and the victim been reversed. A male teacher who had seduced a 14 yr old girl would likely not be given such a favorable deal, and would likely be locked up for some period of time in the local prison.

The question is whether such different treatment is fair. Now, let me say I do not have a "dog in this fight" (that is, given the nature of my work, I would not normally come into contact with such a case either way). But I have to say that, given the pictures of the woman teacher who was being prosecuted for this crime, my very first, and very male reaction was, "damn......why couldn't I have signed up for being the "victim" of such a crime?" That seems so stereotypically "male", and I am sure that it is. I am also sure that my visceral reaction is not exactly a fair one. But I also do think that, in terms of the damage to the victim, a case might be made that the harm to a young girl in being taken advantage of sexually by a 30 yr old male might be a whole lot worse that the damage to a young male violated by a gorgeous 30 yr old female teacher.

so what do we think, gentle reader? Is this or is this not "fair" and "just"? I am genuinely very interested in feedback on this, if anyone is reading



3/8/2006 6:34 pm

Great post. And while I am not going to post on the law aspect of it.....the fairness of the gender thing brings to mind one of my biggest pet peeves. Being a "mature" single female (not going to say old here cause I don't feel it)....I come up against the same unfairness gender issues with members of the opposite sex. And my 32 year old daughter is my biggest nay sayer.

In our is not frowned upon when men date women young enough to be their offspring. However...let the roles be reversed...and it is frowned upon for the older woman to be with a younger man in an offsprings age. Many of us and many of my friends feel that it is just not right to be with men our offsprings feels out of place.

What I that men my son's age are interested in older woman...while men my own age want the younger women. I often ask them why...and they say that older woman know what they want and like.

Just another reflection on the gender issue.

mtnscribe 66M

3/8/2006 7:08 pm

GMURN: Thanks for the comment. I actually have a thought on what you wrote. It is this. I am a contemporary of yours, age wise. Personally, I really prefer women your age/my age to younger women in their 30s. I think maybe that is because I have this fantastic idea that we would have lots more to share and to talk about, and having borne the vicissitudes and tribulations of way too many decades on this good earth, might be just a bit more forgiving of each other's honestly accumulated warts, scars, etc. But, having said that, I do agree that lots of women our age are seeking (and very likely finding) younger guys. I am not so sure, however, that whatever men my age might wish, there are many younger women who are interested in 50+ guys like me. At least, that has been my experience. I much appreciate your thoughtful reply!

douxetlent 66M

3/8/2006 7:53 pm

I know the case of which you speak, and I've also seen this young lady's photo. I must admit to having the same thought. To me, in any sex crime, the damage to the victim should really be the issue. I really don't understand how this young man was injured. Nor do I think that it is fair, for instance, to send an adult male to prison for having consentual sex with with a girl of 17 who is otherwise sexually active and not seriously aggrieved by the act. I am absolutely not suggesting here that there should ever be a question when there has been forcible . I just think that our society has to take a serious look at the reality of it's older children and their sexual activity.

mtnscribe 66M

3/9/2006 4:39 am

DOUXETLENT: Thanks for the thoughts. One thing about this that makes me quite unsure. It is this. While for sure it must have been every 15 yr old boy's "fantasy" for something like that to happen to him, one cannot discount the possibility that the actual reality of it might now be every bit as damaging to him in the long run in terms of how he views himself, women, sexual relations, etc as it might be for a similarly situated girl. That aside tho, it sure seems like society and the legal system treats these cases differently. I am just not so sure that they should be treated differently. I think the judge in the most recent Florida case who is balking at endorsing a very charitable plea deal for the beautiful blonde teacher defendant deserves a healthy measure of respect for at least bringing the issue to the forefront.

ProspectorsPlace 68M/65F

4/7/2006 3:31 pm

Scribe, et al.. mayhap I can bring a little light to the table about the FL. justice system.. Having worked both sides of the Law (DoJ) and private practice.. Most of benches in the FL court system are filled by popular election and then a yea or nay vote every two to four years, unless that particular bench is challenged.. When Jessica's law was passed, thing's like we just saw were supposed to be a thing of the past.. after all, Justice, as we learned in Law School is supposed to be blind and by being blind, gender neutral..Alas such was not the case with this particular incident.. I feel that this case will open up the proverbial Pandora's box in future cases where the accused is a male..



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