Rant City

The horror the horror! I'm reading it all over the internet (in places like Bam's beautiful blog**) and it is just silly. All of the sudden people are scared to death of teenaged sex and teenaged love. It's as if TS is a newly discovered disease and we have to do all we can to stamp out the insidious, horrible thing.

Excuse me?

As the mother of teenagers, I'm not ready for them to be boffing anyone. But:
1. It hardly matters if I'm ready or not.

2. What's the deal with acting as if it were gross? (I mean honestly, don't you guys remember--that's PARENTS having sex that's gross.) Underage sex has been around since long before Romeo and Juliet and the whole idea that it's Unnatural is going to get more than the teens in trouble. The entire society is going to suffer.

It's not so much discouraging sex that I hate. That's fine with me as long as people encourage sublimation, masturbation, keeping them busy or other constructive methods. But people can't seem to stop there.

And now authorities are stepping in to stop the young'uns, using The Law. Okay, okay makes some sense because some parents of teens are entirely uninterested and God knows we don't need any more unwanted babies or abortions or diseased or dead teenagers. But somehow the idea that cops and lawyers are way into this age of consent thing (in matters other than abuse and child porn) is scarier than the image of grandparents boffing because it turns a private matter into something public. And it's fundamentally unfair ageism--they're being punished for natural reponses because of their age? Some people are ready for joyous, loving sex at 15. Others are a disaster with sex at 30.

The law stuff = complicated and potentially evil in the wrong hands.

This part is easy. What we don't need:

We don't need to go back to the dichotomy of good girls/bad girls any more than we need to have the You're not a Man Until You Screw a Girl nonsense. The pressure of sex sex sex is happening in their bodies and they don't need dumb messages from the outside world.

For God's sake, don't tell them Sex is Evil. It's fun, dammit! It's wonderful! Even for (some) teenagers! Stop saying it's across the board Unnatural and Just Icky for young people.

This "Before 18 Sex is Just Horrible" attitude is not going to help anyone, not for the ones who go at it like rabbits, not even the kids who buy into the attitude. They're supposed to undergo a full abrupt shift. What happens when they turn 18 or get married, depending on the grown-up in charge's perspective?

All of the sudden something that has been treated as horrendous will overnight turn lovely and appropriate? You wake up one day Mature Enough To Enjoy it At Last? Hmm. Well, maybe it does work for a lot of them. I don't know and I bet now I'll hear from people who kept their virginity until their marriage night and it was great. For them. Don't you decide that has to work for everyone else, okay? Including your own kiddies. You don't want to be sitting around waiting for AIDS test results with them because you knew they'd be "strong" like you were.

Sure, teenagers make stupid, tragic mistakes, but to try to stop them USUALLY can only be done in constructive ways. Sure, go on talking at them about how serious it is--as long as you make sure they're protected from disease and other disasters.

Bah.

I find the whole "underage sex is gross" trend nearly as depressing as the slutty Barbie doll clothes [have you checked out the toy aisle and seen what that woman wears?] and, worse, grown ups who dress little girls like street-walkers and teach them to do butt and hip-wiggling come-hither dances when they're tiny. I mean LITTLE girls, not the girl/women whose bodies have actually awakened and for whom it's a natural thing. Eventually they're going to dance like the rest of us. Might as well teach them not to fall on their faces--not that they're doing something wrong.

(edited a bit after I had coffee)
_____

** You'd bet right. I'm a suck up.

Comments

  1. Amen.

    Word verification: gluzsoy. I've found my new home-based business! Soy-based glue! I'll make millions.

    *cough*

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  2. You rant exceedingly well. I have two girls. Ten years from now, I will have two teenage girls. My chances of keeping one of them from running into the wrong guy and making dumb mistakes are pretty low, let alone both of them. It will make me sick and vicious. I did it to my mom. They'll do it to me.

    And I actually like teenage love as a plot device because it's so damn uncomplicated (from the adult world looking back to rosy times, even if it wasn't rosy). Just passion and impulse and sponteneity, which makes for damn good reading. Sigh. Lighten up, readers. And let the kids enjoy themselves -- safely, responsibly, and in moderation like we grown ups are supposed to do!

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  3. Amen, Miskate. Abstinence is not the be-all and end-all. Yeah, it'd be just peachy for everyone if all kids kept their legs tightly crossed until they are Of Age, but please. Reality, anyone? I plan on leaving condoms in my sons' underwear drawer once they hit puberty, to be replenished as needed, no questions asked. Their protection is more important than my embarrassment.

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  4. I hate to repeat aimlessbat, but AMEN!! Let's not give our young adults the same hangups many of our parents gave us!
    Man,... don't even get me started!

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  5. and on that note:
    Have y'all heard about the backlash from Harry Potter fans over Daniel Radcliffe's nudie stage scenes?

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  6. Anonymous2:26 AM

    Oh, rant away - please please. I can't stand the uptight religious right. They give me hives. I went to Catholic school and it wasn't half as strict back then as it is now. What gives???
    I mean, we all knew our priest was having a torrid affair with one of the nuns - and so what?
    All this talk of moral and uprighteousness makes me a wee bit nervous. I mean, like Jesus said - let he who is without sin cast teh first stone. And I'm expected to believe that the loonies preaching abstinance and arresting teens for sex are without sin??

    Sam - who loves a good rant.

    (Oh - check out the links I found on my blog - Scary!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think this rant comes from the FINDING HOME book, no?

    I suppose I can see their discomfort with the idea of making a hero a boy-whore, but I don't understand why it's such a big deal in relation to his relationship with Megan. Some readers are all squicked out because she's 23 and he's almost 18 (and she's immature!) I guess I don't understand the mentality of saying you can't "handle" something without ever trying it. If you hate it after you start reading, never buy that author again. But if you never try, you're limiting yourself incredibly and restricting your own experiences in a way I find incomprehensible. Then again, I'm the person who will take the bite somebody offers me, even if it looks gross and I don't know what it is. I fell in love with a sludgy looking Indian dish that way. It looks utterly disgusting, like a dark green slime, but it's way tasty.

    I reviewed a book tonight that had m/m in it and I've NEVER read anything like that. I was fully prepared not to like it but I gave it a try and it turned out to be way better than I expected. Good writing sells itself.

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  8. I don't really get this panic about underage sex in the US. Especially when the supposed "children" to be protected are 16 or 17 years old and yet people react to the idea of them having sex as if it were just one step away from paedophilia. In Germany, the age of consent is 14, and while I'm not particularly comfortable with the idea of 14-year-olds having sex, I don't think making it illegal changes anything.

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