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NEWS QUIZ: Which of the following comment(s) about pedophilia garnered downvotes in the Men's Rights subreddit

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry

Popular British TV personality Stephen Fry recently complained to BBC’s Newsnight that he thought the Jimmy Savile scandal has led many to unfairly assume the worst about other 70s era disc jockeys and “light comedians.” He went on to say:

If you want to talk about rock stars, do we have to name the rock stars that we think almost certainly had sex with 14-year-old children? But those 14-year-old girls were so proud of it that they now in their 50s wouldn’t for a minute call themselves ‘victims’.

So here’s a little one-question news quiz:

QUESTION: Which of the following comments about Fry and his attitudes toward “historical” pedophilia – sorry, ephebophilia – were downvoted in the Men’s Rights subreddit?

A) I agree with him. It’s probably the one place where I diverge with the MRM. I think the age of consent for both men and women needs to be lower, and accepting the inevitable sexuality of high schoolers would do everyone some good. Equality is my top concern though. If we are jailing men for having consensual sex with 16 year old “girls”, I guess we need to jail women who have sex with 16 year old “boys”. I would prefer to see the insanity end though. I’m not so sold on 14 though. I think every year there is a percentage of people who are ready, and through the puberty years the percentage changes drastically. At 14 it’s probably kind of low. Yet, I have met men and women who gave up virginity at 14 with a positive experience and no regrets. More unbiased research would be nice here.

B) It’s almost like young people can seek out and enjoy sex with older people.

C) I can’t really argue, my parents mention that it was how things were back then, my mum knew a good few ”good girls” who would be playing celebrities for drink/drugs/clothing, it’s only become unacceptable now.

D) Once again i find myself asking why people think so much of Fry’s intellect. He has made some reasonable points in the past, but nothing brilliant — and this one is just plain dumb. And hey, if a woman had said this shit about 14 year old boys this sub would be up in arms! …

BONUS QUESTION: Which popular British rock star sent a roadie to kidnap a 14-year-old girl, informing her “[Name of rock star] told me that he’s going to have you whether you like it or not,” then adopted her as his “girlfriend” and hid her from the public for three years so he wouldn’t get arrested?

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ANSWER: The only downvoted answer was D, a comment from ThePigmanAgain.Yes, the guy behind this bizarre and terrible web comic is practically the only voice of wisdom in that thread.  All the other comments above had positive karma at the time I wrote this.

They are truly human rightsing it up over in the Men’s Rights subreddit!

BONUS ANSWER: Jimmy Page. Yeah, that Jimmy Page. Read more of the sordid details here.

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fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
7 years ago

I think people should wait until they are in their 20s to have sex when their brains are fully developed.

I don’t completely understand on why anyone would want to have sex with children but one thing that I do know is that I’m sick on hearing people comparing gay/lesbians to pedophiles.
“Pedophiles are misunderstood like gay/lesbians!” Eww.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I am not going to read that link about Jimmy Page.

I need kittens.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Awwwww.

AcidTrial
AcidTrial
7 years ago

Anyone who doesn’t realize that Jimmy Page is a complete shithead can’t be particularly well-informed. Not to say anything about his band or his music, but I think it’s pretty clear what kind of person he is.

greyskye
greyskye
7 years ago

I think what Fry is saying that when you’re dealing with old sexual abuse cases about celebrities, there’s a real issue in the media for inflating and validating every “victim” who comes forward. You find they almost always happen after the celebrity has died and can no longer defend themselves. Additionally, social culture in the UK was very different back in the 70’s & 80’s. I was patted on the bum may times when I worked as a waitress, and even by teachers going back a little further – you would never say you’d been sexually assaulted, the police would have laughed at you… and if you were underage and had consensual sex with someone older than you, it wasn’t ever called rape or even punished beyond a slap on the wrist. And groping wasn’t taken seriously at all.

So I do kind of see his point (if you read his whole interview) – all of a sudden with the Jimmy Saville & Rolf Harris thing, light entertainers are basically being viewed with deep suspicion and are sweating bullets freaking out that every teen they patted on the bum will now suddenly file charges (even tho 30 years have passed) and they’ll be roasted alive in the media. For things which back then were simply not taken so seriously, and were practically encouraged. (I remember when I was a teen girl, my friends and I would try and get as close to the front at concerts as possible in hopes of being noticed, and hang around the back exits at the end of shows. I had one very pretty friend who got taken to hotel rooms several times before she was 16. Technically, I suppose I could file underage sexual assault charges at several celebrities, and she could file rape charges, even though it was all consensual.

Now, I’m not for one moment condoning rape – don’t get me wrong. But I do see where Fry is coming from, I just think he’s doing it clumsily and in a way that is very easily mis-quotable. But it’s a dangerous time in the UK to be voicing this opinion, and he could well be the next target if public opinion turns against him and the tabloids decide he’s ripe for picking.

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

If we are jailing men for having consensual sex with 16 year old “girls”, I guess we need to jail women who have sex with 16 year old “boys”.

Except we do jail women who have sex with 16-year-old boys. The only people who try to justify things like that are middle-aged dudebros high-fiving the victims because they think that their adult desires and adult minds are identical to the minds of the 16-year-old boys in question.

It’s almost like young people can seek out and enjoy sex with older people.

Except in these cases it’s rarely the young people seeking it out. It’s almost always the older people, as it is in the cases of Jimmy Savile and Jimmy Page. Also, it’s not so much older people “seeking out sex” as it is older people “manipulating and coercing young people into having sex” or “kidnapping them and coercing young people into having sex.”

But those 14-year-old girls were so proud of it that they now in their 50s wouldn’t for a minute call themselves ‘victims’.

Didn’t the entire Jimmy Savile case start because one of the 13-year-old girls called herself a victim?

serrana
7 years ago

I had sex for the first time when I was 16 and he was 19. He was a pretty decent guy and it was fine. We met when we were in the same math class. I was a freshman and he was a senior when we met, and I’d help him with his homework. Then we dated off and on the next year. So, yeah, we were pretty much intellectual equals.

I also got creeped on a lot by older guys starting when I was about 14. It was just ewwww. I always looked young for my age and and it didn’t stop until I was about 22. These guys are confusing the two situations, and probably on purpose so they can justify their own creepiness. THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITUATIONS.

thoushaltbemocked
7 years ago

>I don’t completely understand on why anyone would want to have sex with children but one thing that I do know is that I’m sick on hearing people comparing gay/lesbians to pedophiles.
“Pedophiles are misunderstood like gay/lesbians!” Eww.

You just described what most of reddit believes regarding pedophilia. It’s pretty ignorant and shitty, TBH.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
7 years ago

What I said sorry I didn’t mean to judge or offend anyone I’m just stating my opinion.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

A 15 or 16 year old having sex with a peer is entirely different from a kid that age having sex with an adult. It’s about the power dynamic. It’s too easy for the adult to take advantage of the kid. Even if a teenager who had sex with a much older person doesn’t consider zirself a victim later on, that doesn’t make what the adult did right. It doesn’t infantilize teenagers to acknowledge that power dynamic any more than feminism infantilizes women (as anti-fems like to claim).

If any older, British entertainers took advantage of teenagers in any way a few decades ago, they should come clean about it, apologize and state exactly why they now realize it was wrong. They would most likely be forgiven by the public for that. If they just want to complain about victims coming forward, they deserve to be afraid.

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

A 15 or 16 year old having sex with a peer is entirely different from a kid that age having sex with an adult. It’s about the power dynamic. It’s too easy for the adult to take advantage of the kid. Even if a teenager who had sex with a much older person doesn’t consider zirself a victim later on, that doesn’t make what the adult did right. It doesn’t infantilize teenagers to acknowledge that power dynamic any more than feminism infantilizes women (as anti-fems like to claim).

I think that this sums it up best. There’s nothing wrong with teenagers having sex with other teenagers. There is something wrong with adults in a position of power taking advantage of teenagers’ not-fully-developed brains, relative immaturity, and (probably) relatively limited life experience, and lack of experience with getting help and outside support when needed.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
7 years ago

thoushaltbemocked
I know -_- I see that in reddit, youtube comments and other comments in articles.

Gay/lesbians- attracted in the same gender

Pedophiles: attracted to children

Totally not the same! if pedophiles would get therapy that’s great but just… ::sigh:: this ^ post up above. Just wow.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

I think this is as good a place as any to ask about something I’ve been mulling over for a while, specifically about how to reconcile preventing adults from taking sexual advantage of kids, and allowing teens to experience healthy sexuality. What do you people think, would a high general age of consent combined with lenient close-in-age exemptions work?

gilshalos
7 years ago

In Britain they wouldn’t be jailed for /consensual/ sex with 16 yr olds. 16 is of age.

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

Shh…
Facts and math are misandry.

andrea harris
7 years ago

I know what Fry was saying. He was saying that there are women who were underage girls back then who saw nothing wrong with having sex with older men, and didn’t consider themselves victims and might not now. And I knew girls like this when I was that age, back in the 70s when this was all happening. However, that doesn’t make what those older men were doing right, or that those underage girls weren’t being taken advantage of (if you don’t want to use “victimized”). And the problem is, I didn’t want to have anything to do with older men, or sex, or any of it when I was that age, but thanks to the sexist men-get-whatever-they-want, look-away culture, I spent most of my teenage years hiding in my room, or hurrying through the streets as fast as possible to get away from catcalling, disgusting, leering males who thought I was “ready to go” because that’s what they were always told teenage girls were like.

I understand the hesitation to make someone feel bad about what they may consider an enjoyable part of their past, but whether you like it or not, there is an age of consent for a reason, and adults who prey on underage persons (that’s what they’re doing, preying) are garbage, and people who make excuses for them really need to shut up and question themselves before saying another word in public.

bodycrimes
7 years ago

The Jimmy Saville and other cases that have gone to court aren’t about teenage girls with crushes on stars, who willingly had sex with them, when the star may or may not have realised they were underage.

Who knows? Maybe there is a whole cohort of 50-something women out there who still cherish the night they spent with the crush of their youth.

These cases are about cold, scary predators who preyed on girls because they could, because their celebrity status protected them. At the time, the victims were badly affected by what happened and have carried that into adulthood. This is the first chance they’ve had to seek justice.

katz
7 years ago

Stephen Fry? Nooooooo!

Potoon
Potoon
7 years ago

It’s worth remembering that Fry, in his fifties, left his 40-something long-term partner for a 26-year-old. Obviously well within the age of consent, but also well outside that ‘half-your-age-plus-seven’ guideline. So a slightly touchy subject for him, one imagines.

There’s a lot to like about Stephen Fry, he’s wonderful as a comedian, actor and writer. But it’s never a good idea to transfer celebrity-worship into serious issues. Even when I agree with Fry his arguments are often specious. I know one can’t be blind to the fact that some artists are problematic, but if you look carefully enough everyone has their darker side. (And I can’t pretend I don’t love the songs of Morrissey, the scripts of David Mamet and the novels of Joseph Conrad – I just hate some of their views.) Anyway, perhaps it’s my age, but when I see eager youngsters squee-ing over Fry or Jon Stewart or whoever, I expect them to be let down sooner or later.

Kakanian
Kakanian
7 years ago

Did people forget that Jimmy Saville used his activism to abuse orphans and desecrate the dead?

This is on the same level of duplicity as the crew of the Rainbow Warrior holding whale meat fondues while wearing silly hats made of the fur of seals they clobbered themselves.

booburry
7 years ago

Greyskye, your comment reminds me people that are defending Dawkins because he is older and grew up in a different culture. Just rubbed me the wrong way.

Master of the Boot
Master of the Boot
7 years ago

Why did my beloved Stephen fry turn out to be such a shithead!

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
7 years ago

If you did shit back then that “was okay for the time,” that someone is still upset about now, years later, all that fucking means is that it was NEVER okay, and your damn society was lying to itself.

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