Blather

Blather

Artist – Steve Sack

We’re running out of publications that couldn’t be described as a disgusting rag.

The Washington Post published an editorial today arguing that the 50-year-old teacher who raped a 14-year-old student shouldn’t be punished at all. Because she was asking for it. Because she consented. At 14 with a 50 year old.

Just last week The Daily Beast ran a column suggesting that Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning may actually enjoy or willingly participate in prison rape.

It’s hard not to think that this is where we’re headed. A place where we abandon all decency and editorial integrity for page-clicks. Maybe we’re already there. It’s quickly becoming the only thing that’s profitable.

Update... It's an Op-Ed, not an editorial. See comments for why that doesn't matter.
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  • dbtheonly

    JM,

    “The Washington Post published an editorial today arguing that the 50-year-old…”

    Wrong.

    The article appears on the Op-Ed page & was written by Betsy Karasik.

    You should know that the Post takes no editorial stand on the Op-Ed articles they publish & they publish those articles to encourage discussion by the community. I didn’t bother to read the article, but if you did & wish to rebut Ms. Karasik’s points, go for it. But I’ll stand for the proposition that Ms. Karasik has the right to try to make her points & that we than can discuss them, rationally.

    Hope the plumbing repairs went well & cheaply.

    • formerlywhatithink

      But I’ll stand for the proposition that Ms. Karasik has the right to try to make her points & that we than can discuss them, rationally.

      Her “points” are nonsensical.

      I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized.

      Is she fucking serious? Just on the basis of age of consent, this is statutory rape. She further states that she knows that “Throughout high school, college and law school” students had sex with teachers. Again, she ignores the issue of age of consent. If the students were above the age of 16, in Montana, then it would be, as she says, consensual. Cherice Morales was 14. That is rape. Period.

      Trying fritter it away with by saying “I’ve been a 14-year-old girl, and so have all of my female friends. When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us.” again, doesn’t take into account the age of consent law. That is why consensual sex between a professor and a 18 year old student isn’t prosecuted as rape, because both parties can legally give assent.

      She tangentially touched on age of consent with this:

      Laws related to statutory rape are in place to protect children, but the issue of underage sex, and certainly of sex between students and teachers, may be one in which the law of unintended consequences is causing so much damage that society needs to reassess.

      Unintended consequences? WTF? Catching teachers having sex with underage</b students is an unintended consequence of statutory rape laws? She’s a former lawyer and she writes this with a straight face? That is one of the reasons for having statutory rape laws.

      As the Think Progress article points out, she also completely left the issue of the huge power gap between an underage student and their teacher.

      From Think Progress:

      Laws related to statutory rape are in place to protect children, but the issue of underage sex, and certainly of sex between students and teachers, may be one in which the law of unintended consequences is causing so much damage that society needs to reassess.

      snip

      And, of course, all of this ignores the power teachers have over the students in their classrooms to set their grades — a power that can potentially shape the remainder of the student’s future.

      That’s a tremendous amount power that can used to influence or coerce underage students into sex, yet Betsy Karasik just completely ignores that.

      Betsy Karasik can have whatever opinions she wants, but for the Washington Post to publish her ridiculous, extremely short sighted and student opinion is outrageous. If “the Post takes no editorial stand on the Op-Ed articles they publish” (which I don’t buy) then they deserve whatever vitriol is thrown their way. Saying they take no stand on Op-Ed articles is like Ron Paul saying he didn’t know about the racist articles in his newsletter.

      So, good on you JM Ashby for calling out the asshattery for what it is.

    • JMAshby

      Oh, it’s an Op-Ed, not an Editorial. I guess that makes it okay.

      Actually, no. It doesn’t.

      And I call bullshit. They chose to feature that Op-Ed. An editor saw it and ran it. It was an editorial decision. There are no clean hands.

      I’m not going to take the time to go through and rebut every single point because frankly, this is beneath discourse.

      I’m not going to fucking debate the merits of relationships between 14-year-olds and 50-year-olds. That is lunacy. And it should not be encouraged. It shouldn’t be debated.

      I’m not going to fucking play Devil’s Advocate on a 50-year-old teacher taking advantage of a 14-year-old student who, by the way, killed herself over it 2 years later at the age of 16. ‘Fuck outta here.

      Besides, others have already thoroughly done so. I don’t care to, as I said. For obvious reasons.

    • ThePanicMan

      It’s an article, not a letter to the editor.

    • D_C_Wilson

      But I’ll stand for the proposition that Ms. Karasik has the right to try to make her points

      Of course she does. I don’t think anyone disputes that. She can shout her beliefs from the rooftops if she wants. What she doesn’t have the right to, however, is for the Washington Post to provide her a platform. That was entirely the call of someone who edits the Op-Ed page and when they made the decision to publish it, they became responsible for its content.

      I’m really getting tired of this idea that anyone who criticizes what another person says is somehow implying that they didn’t have the right to say it in the first place. That’s bullshit. We can criticize her words and we can criticize the Washington Post their decision to run it. Neither of which is an implication that the don’t have to right to say or publish foolish things in the first place.

      that we than can discuss them, rationally.

      It’s hard to rationally discuss ideas that are completely irrational. Statutory rape laws exist to protect young people from exactly the kind of predatory behavior this 50-year-old man engaged in. This is doubly offensive because, as a teacher, he has tremendous authority over teens and can abuse it by coercing sexual favors in exchange for a higher, for example. That she argue that this predator should not be punished by abusing his status as a teacher, just defies every sense of decency.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Wow. Completely unexpected from you.

      And dead wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    Fucking hell.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I wish I could say I’m surprised, but then, the Washington Post has been running Op-Eds from Judith Miller for years now. Her columns are such blatantly dishonest and inconsistent examples of partisan hackery that an eighth grader could rip them apart. Their standards for quality Op-Eds has been non-existent for a long time now.

    • imavettoo

      Funny, I’m almost positive Judith Miller was a New York Times hack, not WaPo.

    • imavettoo

      Maybe you’re thinking of Jen Rubin.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Yeah. Jen Rubin. I got my rightwing hacks mixed up. Sorry.

  • Kerry Reid

    Anne Applebaum wrote a WaPo column defending Roman Polanski when he was arrested in Switzerland and failed to disclose that her husband is a Polish politician who was working for Polanski’s release. Oh, and she totally slut-shamed a 13-year-old rape victim — and doubled down on her “it wasn’t rape-rape” line when called out. So it’s not the WaPo’s first time at this putrid rodeo.