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Mem Fox's Husband Guilty
Of Child Abuse


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#51 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE
Maybe you - and clearly Fox - don't consider 17 year olds children. However, the rest of society does so that's simply tough lucky I'm afraid. You live by the laws of our society.


I'm calling bullsh*t on that. Society views a 17 year old as a child when it suits them to. Take for example, the 17 year old who commits an awful crime - they are seldom viewed as a child then, and are sometimes not even legally treated as a child and are tried as adults. In this instance, legally, they are a child, but otherwise I agree with this:

QUOTE
But I do think 17yos are a grey area between adulthood and the age of consent, and it probably isn't that simple.


And for all your pontificating making it seem as though I am excusing Fox's behaviour, did you not notice the numerous times I said he deserves to be punished and did the wrong thing? I just do not necessarily believe this is quite the same thing as clear cut 'child abuse'.

I think way too many people are naive about what 17 year olds are capable of thinking and doing  - sure later they can live to regret it and realise they have been taken advantage of or made bad decisions - but at the time they could very well be completley into it.

I have had a 17 year old make sexual suggestions and advances to me many years ago now (way back in the dim, dark past when I was a young teacher) - I can well believe it would happen. Any adult or person in authority who acts on it though or coerces a young person deserves everything they get.

Edited by Jemstar, 09 July 2011 - 10:39 AM.


#52 ~Sorceress~

Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:41 AM

QUOTE
Wow, even Fox didn't think to explain away the circ knowledge with peeing in public. He said the kid forcibly masturbated him. His lawyers could have used your help Sorceress.


I don't think all men who are accused of sexual abuse are automatically guilty. I think they're guilty if a jury finds them so ... but I might still believe my husband, particularly if I knew the other party and felt them less likely to tell the truth.

I still think it's quite likely that many men would know which other men are circumcised - isn't that why so many parents slice bits off their sons' foreskins? Because other men will ostracize them for looking different?


#53 BetteBoop

Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 09/07/2011, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think way too many people are naive about what 17 year old's are capable of thinking and doing  - sure later they can live to regret it and realise they have been taken advantage of or make bad decisions - but at the time they could very well be completley into it.


Not naive. We just understand that what the 17yo thought or did is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

A teacher having sex with a 17yo in their care is breaking the law. No exceptions or exclusions.

People twisting the story with implications that 17yos can be nefarious and sexually aggressive are adding unnecessary complexity to a straightforward scenario.

So what is the point in repeatedly raising irrelevant information? It seems designed to muddy the waters and imply complexity where none exists.



#54 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE
We just understand that what the 17yo thought or did is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.


I agree with you - I also understand this. I've not once said I disagree with the way Fox has been dealt with. As for whether the complexity exists, I suspect it does because otherwise I very much doubt the judge would have said the situation was 'consensual'. And before you jump on me again, the fact that it was consensual in no way excuses Fox's actions.

#55 purplekitty

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:05 AM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 09/07/2011, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think way too many people are naive about what 17 year olds are capable of thinking and doing  - sure later they can live to regret it and realise they have been taken advantage of or made bad decisions - but at the time they could very well be completley into it.

I don't think 17 yr. olds are as mature as you think and the research tends to prove this. They do adult things ,it doesn't mean they have the same capacity and wisdom as adults. Under coercion by someone they trust and have been taught they should  respect it becomes an unfair contest.
17yr. olds are nowhere near as mature as we remember ourselves as being at that age through our retrospectoscopes.
QUOTE
As for a "grey area" this has to do with authority over children. In many professions, if you have sex with people in your care whether they are adults or not, you are breaking a professional code of conduct and in some cases, the law. At the very least, you will lose professional registration, at worst, you will face prison.

This is the way it has to be and when people start talking about grey areas you open up a whole world of trouble..



#56 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:12 AM

I didn't say 17 year olds are mature - I said they are capable of making choices at 17 that they are totally into (probably out of immaturity actually) and then regretting it later or realising with mature hindsight that the situation was not what they really thought it was at the time. They are not a child no, but they are not a mature adult either - hence the 'grey area'. And hence the reason why it so importatant to have those laws that protect them from people in positions of power - I 100% agree with you on that.

QUOTE
They do adult things ,it doesn't mean they have the same capacity and wisdom as adults. Under coercion by someone they trust and have been taught they should respect it becomes an unfair contest.


I completely agree.

I have a pretty good grasp of what 17 year olds are like - I've worked with them for the last 15 years. I've read the research, I completely understand that the brain has not completed development and they make flawed decisions - that's one of the things that can get them into so much trouble - and the same thing that can make them realise later that a situation was not what they thought it was at all.

Edited by Jemstar, 09 July 2011 - 11:14 AM.


#57 TwiceTheWoman

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:24 AM

18yo is still considered the "age of consent" as anyone under that age is seen not to be able to make rational, adult decisions.
Many people may seem "mature" making decisions at 17yo and believe that they have every right to make those decisions - and may even be quite eloquent in their reasoning.......... only to reflect at 27yo and say "I really regret those decisions.  I don't know what I was deluding myself about.  Why didn't someone say something."  
Many of us also could reflect and say the same thing with our hind sight.

Research studies in neuroscience - particularly over the last 10 - 15 years have proven that the frontal cortex is not fully developed till around 20 years of age.

Given that, I believe is is reasonable, for the protection of young people, to maintain the age of consent at 18yo No one should be deluded into thinking that a 17yo person always makes rational decisions for themselves, as quite plainly, they very often don't.

A teacher is in a position of respect, trust and authority in our community and I hope our courts continue to communicate that there should be absolutely no breach of that trust when it comes to a vulnerable younger, and misguided person, under the age of consent.

#58 Guest_mariokart_*

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:28 AM

Jemstar, as the mother of a 17 year old boy I find it a bit disturbing that you have these views about 17 year olds and yet you teach them.
I don't think there is any 'grey area' at all. It's the law and that is that.

Edited for clarity

Edited by mariokart, 09 July 2011 - 11:30 AM.


#59 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:29 AM

I agree with what you're saying TwicetheWoman. However, the age of consent is 18 only in particular circumstances - otherwise it is 16 or 17 depending on the state you live in.

#60 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:33 AM

What views Mariokart? That they can make decisions that they later regret, or realise later in life that a situation that they thought was one thing as a 17 year old was really not what they thought?

And for the last time, I have not ever said that there is anything wrong with the law - I 100% agree with the law!

You might be the mother of a 17 year old - but let me tell you that a parent's view of a 17 year old is usually vastly different to a teacher's. We see and hear things that most parents would be shocked by frankly.

Edited by Jemstar, 09 July 2011 - 12:24 PM.


#61 Guest_mariokart_*

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:39 AM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 09/07/2011, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What views Mariokart?


this
QUOTE
I doubt this is as cut and dried as some people would like to think. Unquestionably,  Fox did the wrong thing and deserves to be punished as he was an adult  and in a position of power in relation to the 17 year old. But I suspect  the 17 year old probably was involved in making advances too - after  all the judge found that it was 'consensual'. And a 17 year old is  hardly the same thing as a 12 year old or even a 15 year old. I wouldn't  even classify a 17 year old as a child in any other way than a legal  sense.


They are, in this case, as it was a student and teacher.
ETA, in this case it is the same as a 5 year old.

And no, it is not the same as say, a 21 year old uni student and a 17 year old.
I think why people are having problems with your posts is that you can't seem to see the difference.

Edited by mariokart, 09 July 2011 - 11:42 AM.


#62 purplekitty

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:45 AM

QUOTE
. I wouldn't even classify a 17 year old as a child in any other way than a legal sense.

You seem to be contradicting yourself.



#63 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:45 AM

In that instance I was talking outside the law - hence the bit where I said that in a legal sense they are a child.

And yes, legally in this case they are the same, and I support that - it's as it should be. But the reality is, outside the law a 12, 15 and 17 year old are very different and capable of different things.

But you know, go ahead and ignore all the bits where I've said that I agree with the punishment of Fox and that people in responsibility and positions of power know the law and must abide by it - after all it suits your purpose better to do so.

#64 Guest_mariokart_*

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 09/07/2011, 11:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In that instance I was talking outside the law - hence the bit where I said that in a legal sense they are a child.

And yes, legally in this case they are the same, and I support that - it's as it should be. But the reality is, outside the law a 12, 15 and 17 year old are very different and capable of different things.

But you know, go ahead and ignore all the bits where I've said that I agree with the punishment of Fox and that people in responsibility and positions of power know the law and must abide by it - after all it suits your purpose better to do so.


I hear what you are saying Jemstar but it is this bit
QUOTE
outside the law a 12, 15 and 17 year old are very different and capable of different things.


that I and maybe others are struggling with. It is the law and that is that. There is no grey area as PP said.

#65 *Grumplestiltskin*

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE
Imagine if your daughter or son confessed to you that their teacher encouraged
them to give them or a head job or w**k.


Exactly. I wonder how much you would care about the 'complexities' or the 'grey areas' then.

#66 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:55 AM

I honestly can't see what's so difficult about that TBH.

They are capable of different things - it is up to the person in the position of authority to ensure that they themselves are upholding the law and give due respect to young people.

In this case someone hasn't done that, and regardless of what the 17 year old did or didn't do, did or didn't think, the person holding the power in this situation did the wrong thing and fully deserves to be punished.

Edited by Jemstar, 09 July 2011 - 11:57 AM.


#67 GWTW

Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:57 AM

For those who may not understand, a person under consensual age, which this boy was, cannot give consent. So whilst the boy may be saying "give it to me" the adult should not do it. END OF STORY. There is no grey in the law.

Also, the fact this boy confided in him about abuse means the sexual contact is even more abusive as the man has clearly taken advantage of a "damaged" person.

I've had experience with confiding in a teacher in my teens about being abused and they then taking advantage of you. It is horrible and such an abuse of trust.

Oh and as for the inference that this boy is chasing Fox due to the notoriety involved made me feel sick inside.

The thread reads, "he did something wrong and should be punished...but" and that but means "I don't think what he did was all that bad in reality after all the boy was 17 and did come onto him".

Threads like this make me want to hit something...it really does.

#68 GWTW

Posted 09 July 2011 - 12:03 PM

I also will tell you a story about a teen in my family who went into her step father's bed and started orally pleasuring him. She did all the initiating and he let her do it. He did not stop it. He came in her mouth.

He did eventually get put in jail, but most of the family have excused him by saying, "yes what he did was wrong...but she came onto him and initiated it. It's not like he asked for it". And that is essentially what all you people are doing in this thread, minimising the seriousness of the person's actions.

And just a the kicker, what others in the family didn't know was that this girl had been groomed by the stepfather by him making it seem normal for him to watch them shower, having porn around the house, making sexualised comments.

These things rarely happen in a vacuum. Even if this boy did "come onto" Fox it probably didn't happen for no reason at all. There was probably some kind of indication of impropriety prior to the time the boy decided to "come onto" him.

Oh and lastly, Fox had the power to say no, and he didn't use it. That was his responsibility and he failed miserably.

#69 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 12:57 PM

QUOTE
And no, it is not the same as say, a 21 year old uni student and a 17 year old.
I think why people are having problems with your posts is that you can't seem to see the difference.


Of course I see the difference. Stop trying to make it sound like I am saying that Fox wasn't in the wrong or I somehow support his actions. FGS - for the last time - I agree with the law, I agree what Fox did was wrong - completely, totally and utterly.

However, I will stand by what I have said about 17 year olds - they are capable of acting in ways that many of you, frankly, seem to think they aren't. However, that does not excuse in any way Fox's actions.

#70 RichardParker

Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:07 PM

Everything zombie Shakespeare said.

#71 GWTW

Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:17 PM




QUOTE (Jemstar @ 09/07/2011, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course I see the difference. Stop trying to make it sound like I am saying that Fox wasn't in the wrong or I somehow support his actions. FGS - for the last time - I agree with the law, I agree what Fox did was wrong - completely, totally and utterly.

However, I will stand by what I have said about 17 year olds - they are capable of acting in ways that many of you, frankly, seem to think they aren't. However, that does not excuse in any way Fox's actions.


Can you not see how it is not a normal 17 year old situation when the 17 year old involved confided to an adult in power about being sexually abused and then the adult had sexual interactions with him?

#72 Guest_mariokart_*

Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:01 PM

I think this is a really interesting discussion.

Let me put it another way-
17 YO son and his GF 17, giving him a BJ-both morally and legally OK, IMO
17 YO son and 21 year old uni student- both morally and legally OK IMO
17 YO son and his school teacher- both morally and legally wrong IMO.

Highlighted word is what I am getting at.

I know what 17 YO's are capable of and do, I have another kid of 20, but I really don't think that is part of the argument.

Jemstar, I am not having a go at you, I love these kind of discussions, my mind likes to nut it out original.gif

#73 BetteBoop

Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE (Zombie Shakespeare @ 09/07/2011, 01:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can you not see how it is not a normal 17 year old situation when the 17 year old involved confided to an adult in power about being sexually abused and then the adult had sexual interactions with him?


It's the equivalent of going to the police to complain about being assaulted and being bashed for your efforts. I can't think of a worse violation because it would remove any sense of there being safety in the world.

ZS, as usual, you are my compadre in these threads. I have a dream that one day, a report of a famous man raping or abusing someone will not be met with disbelief and every second poster won't be trying to minimise or excuse his actions or denigrate the motives of the victim.

I don't see that day happening any time soon. In the meantime, I always value and respect your insight on this subject.

#74 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:11 PM

QUOTE
Can you not see how it is not a normal 17 year old situation when the 17 year old involved confided to an adult in power about being sexually abused and then the adult had sexual interactions with him?


Yes, I see it. Yes, it is not a normal 17 year old interaction - I haven't said it was! All I have said is that there is potentially more to the story - and again, this does not change that the actions of Fox were wrong. I don't know how many ways to say that. It is what I have consistently said throughout this thread.

QUOTE
Let me put it another way-
17 YO son and his GF 17, giving him a BJ-both morally and legally OK, IMO
17 YO son and 21 year old uni student- both morally and legally OK IMO
17 YO son and his school teacher- both morally and legally wrong IMO.


Agree, and at no time have I said otherwise.

#75 ikeaqueen

Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:24 PM

QUOTE (aluminium @ 09/07/2011, 08:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, child abuse is bad and Mem's actions in supporting her convicted husband seem wrong but I don't understand why you would throw her book out?

The books were written before any of this came to light. They don't reflect a view that child abuse is ok...

No, they don't.  But now I have the association that Mem Fox is a d*ck with these books and I won't read them to my children without having this entire story played out in my head.

Her comments on childcare were bad enough but kissy faces at her husband who has just been found guilty - so freaking wrong.




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