Sunday, August 14, 2005


In the crazy world of PC, real rapists can get a slap on the wrist and consensual sex gets branded as rape

In Vermont, Sandra Beth Geisel would not be a rape suspect. Sex there between an adult and a 16-year-old is not a crime. But in New York State, the former teacher faces four years' jail if convicted of third-degree rape for having sex with a Christian Brothers Academy student. The revelation that Geisel, the estranged wife of a prominent local banker, allegedly had sex with at least four teenage students shines a light on a controversial area of law and social norms. Rape laws presume teenagers under a certain age - which varies from state to state - cannot offer informed consent.

In New York, people younger than 17 are victims of rape if they have sex with someone older than 21, regardless of whether it is forced or desired. Prosecutors say such encounters are inherently traumatic and likely to cause long-term harm. But interviews with experts, research on adult-teen sex and the Geisel case itself complicate that analysis, raising questions about the appropriateness of the very words at the heart of the case: rape, abuse, trauma, victim.

A US Department of Education report last year estimated 10 per cent of students were victims of what is called sexual abuse, which includes everything from suggestive remarks or leering glances to forced sex. It is not clear how often the perpetrators of such misconduct are women.

An Albany lawyer, Paul DerOhannesian, has more than 20 years' experience as a prosecutor, defence lawyer, consultant and textbook author on sex crimes. The public and media are too quick to sympathise with women who commit sex crimes, he said. "Many of the same dynamics are at work, regardless as to whether it is a male or female," he said. "Usually, it's individuals using a position of power to charm a child, providing a child with what they most want, attention or affection." Mr DerOhannesian said that young victims of sexual crimes still face psychological problems when they grow up. "Contacting them 10 to 15 years later, I've been struck by the intense betrayal they feel - shame and guilt," he said. "Both men and women."

Yet this anecdotal evidence is not supported by the most rigorous examination of the impacts of sex with adults on children and teens, a review of 59 studies published in 1998 in the journal Psychological Bulletin. The study found that victims of child sexual abuse, a term that includes consensual and forced sex of children and teens, tend to recover more quickly and have fewer long-term problems than is popularly believed. This is especially true when the victims are male: 37 per cent of boys characterised their experiences as positive even at the time they occurred. Fewer than one in 10 said their lives had been hurt when interviewed years later. The most harmful abuse, researchers found, typically takes place within the family and is accompanied by physical violence.

The type of sex crimes that are the least likely to lead to trauma, the study found, are precisely those that appear to have occurred in the Geisel case: the victims were boys, the encounters were not apparently forced, and the adult was not a relative.

Some authors and researchers say society should rethink how it deals with relationships between adults and teens. In her 2002 book Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, Judith Levine argues sexual activity is not necessarily harmful to teens, even if it is with adults. Levine argues the criminal justice system is not the best place to deal with relationships between teens and adults. "Oftentimes, more trauma is caused by the legal prosecution and the media attention than the sexual experience itself," she said. Levine suggests the US instead adopt a child welfare model used by some European nations. Social workers and therapists determine whether such relationships are abusive, coercive or not wanted by the teenagers before prosecuting, rather than defining all such encounters as rape solely because of age difference. "It recognises that minors can have a chosen sex life, but it also recognises that they are vulnerable to sex exploitation," Levine said. "It seeks to protect them from harm."



Dear ASU Women's Center (

Hello ladies. I am writing to initiate negotiations for a legal settlement that I think will be in the best interests of ASU feminists. When I saw your website, I felt immediately sexually harassed as I read the following quotes:

"A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." - Gloria Steinem

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton

"Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece." - Anonymous

"If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?" - Gloria Steinem

"Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women." - Nicole Hollander

"A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't." - Rhonda Hansoms

"Behind every successful man is a surprised woman." -Maryon Pearson

According to the examples of sexual harassment listed on the ASU website, you have clearly sexually harassed me and, in fact, every other man who has logged on to the Women's Center website. For example, ASU claims that "telling racist, sexist, homophobic jokes that demean people because of their protected class membership" is sexual harassment.

The only way that your website's feminist quotes cannot be considered harassment is by excluding men as a "protected class." However, the ASU website also says that sexual harassment can take the form of simply "stating that people of one sex are inferior to people of the other sex or can't perform their jobs as well as a result of their sex; labeling people and jobs due to sex or other protected class membership." The word "or" may be your biggest problem.

As you can clearly see, this is an open and shut case. You are all - according to your own examples - guilty of sexual harassment. And I am obviously a victim. Of course, I now want what all victims want. In other words, I want a lot of your money.

So, please, make sure that you send a check to the mailing address posted at the bottom of my website ( And make sure that the amount is at least six digits. Otherwise, we may have to go to court and risk a lot of nasty media exposure.

More here

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