The Sexist

Sexist Comments of the Week

On It’s Not Rape If The Sex Offender Is Hot, my response to Gunaxin's list of its 25 favorite female sex offenders (because it couldn't choose just 24):

From David:

This is sort of odd, ’cause their list… the women are really really hot.

So why would women, who can get their pick of the lekking order, want adolescent boys?

The lonliness excuse doesn’t fly, ’cause they can get whoever.

i don’t think it’s fair to call them pedophiles if they’re not pursuing pre-adolescents, but…

and the whole “tenderoni” thing implies it’s not exploitative and/or predatory…

From Amanda Hess:

David, I agree with you that neither “pedophile” and “tenderoni” seem to fit here. I also agree the women are attractive, and at least socially adept enough to be hired as schoolteachers.

So why do they want to have sex with underage boys? Remember that these women are risking their jobs, reputations, and free lives in order to do it. In Letourneau’s case, she even served time, was released, and returned to the boy again (they’re now married). How do we account for this compulsion to do so despite the consequences?

I’m not going to venture to say that what sexual predators do can ever truly make sense. But when a woman preys on a young man, I can’t help but think that some of the compulsion here lies in subverting the traditional gender dynamic. Sure, many of these women could probably have their pick of men of legal-age. But while those men might want them, would they need them like an underage kid does?

From Eleanora D'Aborborera:

“I’m not going to venture to say that what sexual predators do can ever truly make sense. But when a woman preys on a young man, I can’t help but think that some of the compulsion here lies in subverting the traditional gender dynamic.”

Amanda! This is why I almost never read your column. You are sitting there with the entire internet at your fingertips, and the opportunity to share actual information with many people.

How about you (1) do a search to see what has been written on the topic, and (2) call a few experts to ask their opinions and then (3) write up a few of the things you have learned? Is that too much to ask of someone who writes the only news/culture gender-conscious feature in the City Paper?

Sigh.

I'll double that Sigh, Eleanora. I wish that I had time to thoroughly report out all the conversations that go on in the comments section of my blog. For better or for worse, though, the blog mostly functions as a venue for myself and others to share, opine, and argue. Some of the sex and gender issues I care about I'll open for discussion on the blog; others, I'll report out fully (and I would be honored if you would look for my reported column in the newspaper every week!)

That being said, I'm probably not going to write a reported column on adult female sex offenders, citing experts and victims and perpetrators—it's just not my main area of interest, and I'm a local reporter, not a national one. Even if I did spend a day making phone calls, is that going to conclusively determine why some women sexually abuse underage men? Still, I don't think that precludes me from sharing an opinion that I've formed by following the media coverage of these cases—that these women are acting from a position of power that they can't claim with men of their own age and status; that they are often themselves victims of male dominance (either culturally or explicitly through their own sexual assault experiences); and that her actions are often downplayed specifically because she is a woman, and doesn't fit the abuser profile. Does any of this mean that I can truly understand the abuse of a minor? No.

I can't write a newspaper story for every blog comment, but I can open the conversation on this blog, and I encourage anyone and everyone to share their own insights and information and links and opinions on the phenomenon. Maybe someone else, like you, will take an interest in the subject and write a story on it. If you do, I'll link!

In the meantime, you can check out my reported work here.

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