Eddy Shah and the age of consent

So, I saw this. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23653172

Eddy Shah claims that girls below the age of consent can can be “to blame” for the abuse they receive. Which made me so cross I needed to rant.

Where to start? Sigh. There’s a reason that there’s an age of consent. It’s not because we presume that people below that age won’t want sex. If that was the case, they would never consent, and we wouldn’t need the age limit. We could just say “no sex without consent”.

The law has an age limit because we presume that below the age of consent, young girls don’t necessarily know what they’re agreeing to, and are likely to end up damaged or exploited. They may lack the knowledge of what they’re getting into physically, they may lack the knowledge of what they’re getting into emotionally. They may be unable to withstand emotional pressure, or they may simply have no consideration of the consequences. They may well ask someone older for sex, and that someone older is not allowed to say yes.

“But these girls were going out with pop groups and becoming groupies and throwing themselves at them.”

Yes, that’s true. They’re probably dreaming that the lead singer of that group will meet them, fall in love with them, and they’ll get married and have a perfect life together. They’re probably not thinking they’ll have a quick one-night stand, maybe be expected to sleep with multiple people, and then get ditched, possibly (if they’re really lucky) with an interesting new disease. They’re probably not expecting that it’ll hurt and they’ll lose all their dreams in one night – because not only did the guy of their dreams not fall in love with them, but they’ve discovered that he’s not even a nice guy.

“Young girls and young men have always wanted a bit of excitement when they are young. They want to appear adult and do adult things.”

Also true. Of course, my five-year-old wants to use sharp knives in the kitchen and do rock climbing without ropes, because “I’m sure I can, Mummy, I’m old enough and I’m really good at it”. You know what? I say no.

Eddy Shah, fuck off. You fail basic logic, and you fail basic humanity, and you are exactly the sort of person that made this law necessary.

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