MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

More Double Standards

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,Domestic Violence,Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 12:25 pm Fri 14th September 2007

An article in the Herald yesterday entitled “Teen, 16, in violent tiff with lover, 42” highlighted the gender double standards and female privilege applied by police, Courts and the media. Police treated the case as one of domestic violence by a male and charged him accordingly. If the young person had been female and the older person male we could expect a very different story. The police would have treated the situation as one of sexual abuse, avoided charging the girl and instead referred her to Women’s Refuge. The man would be facing at least domestic violence charges. The girl’s violent outburst would be understood as a reaction to being sexually exploited in a relationship under massive “power imbalance”. No way would the girl be bailed back to the man’s house! The media would never refer to the 42-year-old male as the girl’s “partner” with whom she had a “tiff”. Media would attempt to identify and expose the older male and his occupation. Louise Nicholas supporters might march to denounce him as a rapist protected by the system. Instead, this case reflected ingrained male-blaming double standards despite developmental differences causing boys generally to be less emotionally mature than girls of the same age.


  1. There is a quote – I wish I had made a written note of it. Someone may be able to post if here. It referred to an older man having a relationship with teenage female and steeling the beauty of her youth.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Fri 14th September 2007 @ 12:34 pm

  2. It referred to an older man having a relationship with teenage female and steeling the beauty of her youth.

    HaHaHaHa! The creativity of these sales pitches grows ever more wondrous! And here was me thinking that Time was the thief.
    Next time I’m looking for a beauty I’ll check out all the old gals at the nunnery, all unsullied by relationships with men, and therefore ravishing!

    Comment by Rob Case — Fri 14th September 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  3. Hans – It Must be a mis print – a joke – Surely not – they must have misprinted the disproportionate age difference. Our system is balanced consistent and unbiased… isn’t it ?

    Comment by Rick Johanson — Fri 14th September 2007 @ 6:20 pm

  4. Thinking further about my post, I want to make it clear that I’m not suggesting this case should have been dealt with as the feminist state would in the older male / younger female situation. Some punishment for a 16-year-old’s inappropriate behaviour is sensible regardless of gender and in most circumstances. Regardless of gender, if a person is above the age of consent that means that his or her choices (if made freely) concerning whom they have sex with need to be respected and the State should not interfere. Nevertheless, if the police had used common sense instead of their robotic feminist, male-blaming “domestic incident” procedures, things would have been done differently. The boy might initially have been given a chance to talk about his distress and issues rather than being blamed, arrested and treated as the male abuser, causing unnecessary escalation. The boy might have been given police diversion on the condition that he make good his damage and attend counselling to consider his decisions. Police might have evaluated the actual risk presented by his foolish threats made in the height of anguish, rather than immediately charging him criminally for them. The “couple” might have been encouraged to attend counselling to explore the relationship dynamics and challenges.

    I have serious reservations about the “power imbalance” argument and how far this is taken. History is full of examples of marriages involving large age and other differences and many of them appear to have been at least as happy and successful as any other. The “power imbalance” concept is a feminist theoretical formulation and most of its claimed implications are no more than assumptions that I don’t think have ever been tested. The concept seems mainly another tool to demonise and disempower men, and reluctance to apply the concept when gender roles are reversed supports this. Of course, power imbalances may have some relevance but it’s taken way too far and used too conveniently as in the Louise Nicholas case where it was seen to remove her personal responsibility at age about 20 for her own decisions and actions. If relationships are to be acceptable only when the parties’ “power” is equal, then we should have laws accordingly. For example, only people with the same financial wealth, educational level, age and height should ever be allowed to have sex.

    The police deserve the strongest criticism for allowing themselves to be captured by the feminist propaganda they now routinely apply to domestic incidents. One can’t blame the frontline officers as much as the police administration and its political masters. “Blame the male in all circumstances”, “zero tolerance” and “prosecute even without a complainant” are all exactly the policies that feminist crusaders have pressured the police to adopt. But even the frontline officers showed themselves to be stupid and lacking ethics when they abandoned common sense in favour of feminist robotism in this case as I’m sure in many others.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 14th September 2007 @ 6:41 pm

  5. So consent is 16, but guardianship is 20.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Fri 14th September 2007 @ 7:12 pm

  6. The COC Bill report on its inconsistency with human rights highlights this inconsistency as if consistent and rejects for its non- qualitative definition to describe the human child slips habitual back into its expectation that none will take an exception to the extraordinary inconsistencies it describes.

    In my opinion sex with a 16 year old for an adult of 42 is of no value to either the child of that union, where the mother would be too young to regard as an experienced and effective care giver, and the burdon of that responsibility which would therby fairly fall on the greater life experience of the male, would create an extraordinary gap for the child exposing difficulties to test emotional stamina, as dad is likely to die pretty early and mum is like my sister.

    That, if I am responding as if feminised may be over thinking a problem, yet for me it seems logical. Yet this is freedom. This is what the freedom we say our fathers before have died to protect. Is this what they died so to pretect?

    If there is a problem to be fixed by an incoming and power changing administration, this rationalising of difference in age, where such an act would promote a debate on what it means to be a “child” is surely the first stop. Why not just make the age of a child, for eveything, (economy included( 18. We would be consistent with a general principle of international regard and we would have a place from where to start. Then more clearly than we have in the past define the principles for exception to the rule and make that exception consistent to those principles, based not on the economy but on the child?

    Before we can do anything to interfere with the exploitation of children, we need to define precisely what it is to be a child. Then we reconfigure how we go about applying those protections by determining what the child needs by studying those needs.

    Does a male child need; and thereby benefit, from being in a loving as sexual (thereby of relative to child centred) relationship with a 42 year old woman?

    And doesn’t that question in reply to the original post, thereby expose the difference between men and women where the woman of 42 may not be able to bare children, allowing her a reasonable exemption to have sex with whomsover she wants – other than (as protected from) to exploit or damage emotionally a “child” for having sex with that child during the period that they are legally capable of baring children years.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Sat 15th September 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  7. Benjamin – of course it is responsible to debate the laws and norms that society has previously decided on concerning such things as the definition of “child” vs “adult”, the age of consent and what kinds of sexual liaisons are to be permitted. There may well be some merit in defining acceptable age gaps for sexual partners, allowing sex for mid-teens only with similar-aged peers or such other rules. My point was that the police etc need to respect the rights the law provides people as it stands at any particular time. Currently, feminist ideology finds police treating age-gap sexual liaisons as unacceptable, only when the younger party is a female, even though the parties are acting according to their current rights and freedoms. This extra layer of restriction based on politically-correct ideology rather than law presents a fundamental risk to the population’s freedoms through undemocratic powers assumed by the state and its agents. Such trends are all the more dangerous for discriminating against one group.

    I don’t go along with your gender distinction on the basis that only girls can become pregnant. What about the situation where the older male has had a vasectomy? Birth control methods are widely used and perfectly easy to obtain. Further, as I stated earlier, teenage males tend to lag behind their female peers somewhat in maturation so a case could equally be made that young males deserve more protection from sexual exploitation than do young females. Personally I think there are important reasons for avoiding gender discrimination at all in such considerations.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sat 15th September 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  8. Personally I think there is a point here that has been completely missed: Why would a 16 year old boy want to be in a sexual relationship with someone old enough to be his mother? (likewise girl / father).
    This is not normal, and either or both the woman and boy must have a cognitive distortion in normal relationship to intimately engage in each other’s company. Can they both be on the same wave length in conversation? emotional maturity? financial stability?
    What was lacking on either (or both) of their lives that they cannot relate as partner to someone much closer their own ages? What if the relationship started before the boy was 16? Would there be a prosecution of the woman for statutory rape? Has the boy had active fathering in his life? An emotionally distant mother?
    Studies have clearly shown fatherless girls engage sexual relationships earlier than their peers: Is that the case with this boy (motherless son?)?
    To focus on the boy’s treatment as a domestically violent young man is to condone him being in an (very probably) inappropriate relationship. It raises the same sexually discriminatory stereotype that if a many seduces a girl, he is a dirty old man (pedophile), but if a woman seduces a boy, he is a lucky bastard. This is a hop skip and jump from the boys can sow their oats, but girls must stay chaste stereotypes of yesteryear.
    The woman, as the older and supposedly more mature partner, must wake up, see the exploitative relationship for what it is, grow up, and find someone much closer in age to herself. The boy should get himself back to school, and prepare for a real future.
    And yes, I’d be just as damning of the man, if the sexes were reversed. 16, even if legally consentable, is still kiddie material. They should be at home, and in school.

    Comment by Frank & Earnest — Sat 15th September 2007 @ 7:49 pm

  9. I think Hans covered your point, Frank & Ernest although more specific to his observing, as did you, that the condition of age disparity itself constructs conjecture. You argued directly. He argued indirectly asssociating the paradym (if it can so be called) into a consistentcy for its manipulation of gender discrimination, that which is discriminatory against the male. I figured I had covered your point but only by degree in subjectivity, saying that if my view that the widened age disparity is harmful as in (any) form considered as feminised then so be. I can live with that. And likely over a while I would argue for many the same points as you F&E, but wouldn’t feel confident to debate upon them, where for their unresearched and my possibly coarse nature, I could be caught into an argument of chauvinism. I’m male – and as I have laboured on in other strings, I believe males are tend to think differently from females, spiritually, genetically or biological, which so; or for whatever.

    Yet my point is slightly different and I finished with a cluttered end that wasn’t clear enough to determine the primary principal of its value, even if Hans picked the gist.

    I am not separating men and women, or for that matter boys with girls. I am looking at the function of our law and its implication societally on how it is applied in New Zealand. The age of consent is 16. I advocate that it should be 18. We do, but I believe we sexualise girls too early. 16 is to early. Not because she isn’t beautiful or able for her body to be sexually active, it is that her mind has not been given adequate social affect to translate maturity to child raising. My point here wasn’t about the sexuality of the individual. It is about the maturity of the child to raise the child. In the situation of a wide age break, I believe that the older partner is logically more likely to have the greatest experience in order to provide the infant with focus, that focus most consistent to comprehending the primacy of the term “the necessities of life”. So this is a bit different as to how I think you answered Hans, although I do appreciate that the debate has raged for an age, over an age on top of an age and likely highly detrimental for those under such an age.

    I was attempting to be very specific with my last comment and it probably ended as quite clumsy. When an adult engages in sexual activity, that activity of heterosexual functionality “can” produce young. I advocate, whether or not for the existence of methods to compete with that function, they be contraception or any other form, that what we are amiss, (probably for the existence of such means) is the loss to respect that function. It is the meaning of our lives. It is how we advance. It is our primary form in growth and development.

    So this is the first position, if we have lost respect for ourselves, as witness for our societal dysfunctions, whatever they are, however they are found and wherever they take us, this is the first direct discrimination against oursleves. The woman of my example, even if she no nonger could have children would be acting in a manner directly to compromise the role and responsibilities of the other, in the example, the 16 year old boy. It won’t seem like much – and it is looks as if it may be an interference with freedom, and this is my point. Isn’t this the most logical area, where in applying limits in sexuality we apply the best limits we could apoply because they are directly related to our function as a species. At the moment, in the most obvious example, (where I have labelled it an emergency) we have the COC being smuggled into women to remove for the infant born the comprehension of the male. Being cynical, and I have every right and responsibility to be cynical in this particular event because I have all of the evidence to prove that this is exactly how the public interest should respond, not paying attention to this breach of rights, rites, lore or law is as about as fool hardy as a species could ever want to be.

    I still appreciate the points you make though Hans, if as others would agree they proscribe limitations that interfere with freedom, and that these limits empower our duly elected politicians to effect law, as it is their prerogative – but to know out men? Is that freedom? And if so who is free?

    So while your accounting in this holds authority over mine, where my reply is (presently) only conditioned to complain where I’m not happy (and I am sure most present readers are of the same view) and we could talk about htis for some longer period – how ever long it takes the moderate view to appreciate that the more extreme view (mine) has fair and necessary licence to affect the same intellectual, the link between the ages of sexual companionship is my limited hope that those more moderate to view can comprehend what I am saying.

    Now all of that was long, and leads me on to what I was going to write to continue, where I suggest we use direct age limits as a broad goal and implement under the instrument of tolerances, exceptions to the rules. 18 becomes the universal age for a child’s age to present maturity, one that we respect (as a general goal) as functional to adulthood. If that is to be agreed then obviously a wide range of change needs to be implemented. Bevan’s comment was as succinct as I hope he will always be. Consent versus guardianship. Wellington we have a problem!

    Peter Dunne this morning wanted the age for driving taken up to 16, which is useful to look at an immediate example and apply it to what I am suggesting. The age is 18 not 16. The rural folk who are complaining have fair ground to complain their economy is dependent on their youth as much as for their hard work. People on farms have an extraordinary and non complicated life. Vehicles are fundamental. So you have an exception.

    Sue Bradford just went Green I am sure, but not for envy or party but because the age recognition slices through her presently affecting extreme liberalism; liberalism I suggest that has evolved to go simply balmy.

    The driving age change is also a good example because (as a good friend emphatically points out, it is the event where in the city all of the trouble begins in families: have car will get moving). SO: if there is an extreme reaction to this cohesion in legislation to bring consistency on age for something as commmon as driving, then the conclusion is to broaden the exceptions (exemptions maybe) as well. A provisional licence in whatever category can do that to whatever end it is sought to be achieved, but the full licence is only accesible by age. We tell our young that you can reckon your old enough at 18 to drive, go to war, be a guardian and have responsible sex at 18. At 18 we give you freedom.

    Now for those others who would read this far, (hopefully a few will think there is merit enough to read this far) and optimally can recognise that there isn’t much different to what I am saying as to what can be recognised in today’s society rather than for how it is organised, that organisation can broaden yet again, both pre 18 and well as post. From 18 to 20 let’s help our young to prepare for that freedom. Do you want to carry on learning? COOL – we will help you. Do you want to get into work? – COOL we will help you. Do you want to abandon everything – c ause its all pretty tough? That’s OK, we are responsible adults, we can help you find some self condidence through self discipline to get trough these next to years. And guess what. As a mature society we will set our fiscal policies to pay you “in” to do any of these things – no matter your choice.

    And then what about the younger than? Same policy – say “teen”. Once you turn 13 we have the same kind of assistance – but through school. We help you to learn what’s going to meet you when you get to 18. What might it be like to be an adult with a child. If you have problems? This is our last opportunity to work hard with you to get yourself into the 18 – 20 age bracket to which you want to travel.

    So what about sex then between an adult of 42 and a child of 16? As F&E says, why? Why would anyone need to? We are not desprately seeking Susan.

    The above was researched in an ancountable number of conversations with Wellington and Auckland citizens -whether they were drunk/s, business folk, professionals, academics, bureaucrats or in quite a number of other cases – alien.

    Benjamin Easton
    The Political Busker.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Sun 16th September 2007 @ 2:14 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar