I was making some comments on a recent article, and the only point I was pushing is that there should be a clearer distinction between statutory offenses and forced ones.
The situation was one in which a man, now grown, has been charged with rape resulting from what the evidence clearly indicates was a consensual relationship when he was 18 with a 14 year old young lady. The encounter was clearly a violation of the law. I stated that I recognized his culpability and that he was deserving of appropriate punishment.
Most of the comments were somewhat vicious toward him, and the word rape was thrown around freely. My comments were focused on the characteristics of a statutory offense and that there should be clearer distinction between such an offense, especially when the age difference between partners was not great, and a forced rape.
I was not well received, and in defense of my position, I revealed the personal information that at 16 I had dated, and before I was 17 married, a man 7 years older than myself. The first comment to this was that my parents should have been jailed for "inappropriate parenting" and that they were "criminals." My only response was, "Not in 1958."
This was when another poster took up the fight. He wrote, "they should have been....to think you are around children is disgusting...and sad...for the children that are exposed to your thinking....i loathe you and the others of your ilk...
Forgetting my self-imposed rule not to argue with an idiot, and in spite of being impressed that he knew the word "ilk," I expressed my dismay that he was willing to be so rude and vicious toward someone he didn't know and that he had no idea what my thinking was. I then wished him happy Thanksgiving and blessings.
That was a mistake.
He next wrote:
Shelly Stow ?....I don't need any happy wishes or anything else from you period....your round about defense of a rapists [sic] tells me all i need to know of you....you can use semantics to try and make your case but you are a miserable human being ....to think you reproduced is disgusting.....i find you STRANGE to say the least....when your generation dies off and your way of thinking is history, then we can all be thankful.....your ancient way of justifying rape will be history...as well....we hope for a better future without the disgusting beliefs of you and your ilk...Ilk again. And all of this because I got married at 16 to someone 23 and because I thought that statutory rape and forced rape should be more clearly delineated.
And he continued...
I finally decided I was outclassed in the idiot category and quit sparring with him. But I was shaken by his degree of hatred, pure vitriol, and his willingness to make assumptions about me and my life that he drew from the air. The man clearly has a problem, but it goes beyond that. It must be the subject matter that renders him not only illogical but irrational; surely he doesn't display such idiocy all the time. In spite of my resolve not to respond to him again, I couldn't stop thinking about it.....one can only hope you have a neighbor like this piece of crap....looking forward to your defense strategy then....I am so thankful I do not live or exist anywhere near your locale....maybe when your granddaughter meets another man like this one you defend?....you will come around to a different way of thinking and come out of the "leave it to beaver" Jim Crow world you came from....have fun at your next tea bigot fox fake news rally....
I was so disturbed that I asked Lenore over at Free Range Kids for her take on it, and she too blogged about it.
So, what is the take-away here? I guess develop a thicker skin. Just accept that what I do and believe will make enemies.
And don't get in comment exchanges with idiots.