Ian Freeman’s shunning from the Free State Project, if considered in one way, can be considered an egregious case of victim blaming, if you apply to it the stated beliefs and values of the attackers. Let us review the situation here, and note that I am stipulating some things that I do not personally believe, in order to allow a hypothetical conversation. I shudder to wade into the morass of this discussion, which in some quarters is conducted as a witch hunt, by zealots and by those who are terrified that if they don’t cry “faggot, faggot, faggot” as loudly as the other boys, the other boys might think that they are “faggots”, too. I have to wade in, though, because by one possible interpretation of the facts, what is happening is a monstrous abuse of a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
I reason as follows, using my own experience of sex with a 23 year old woman, my first girlfriend, Denise when I was 13 years old, who is the primary reason I am unwilling to name a particular number as an “age of consent”. I am willing to disclose more about this because I have recently learned, to my sorrow, that she has passed away, so nobody can hurt her now. Please note that the interpretations given here are not my interpretations, but a possible interpretation.
1) I still have very warm feelings for my first girlfriend Denise. When we were together, she was 23 and I was 13. For a number of reasons, including loyalty to Denise, I am not willing to define that encounter as rape.
2) According to the Ian Haters, what happened between Denise and I was rape, despite the fact that I pursued her from the moment I met her. That means that by Ian Hater logic, I am her victim.
3) If I am Denise’s victim, and yet I have warm feelings for her, then I am suffering from Stockholm syndrome. If that condition prevents me from naming a concrete number that should be the Age of Consent, I should not be banned for this reason, I literally cannot reconcile naming a magic age with my own experience, without either calling Denise a rapist, if I set that age above 13, or implying that sex with 13 year old is always ok, when in the VAST MAJORITY OF CASES, sex with somebody that young is completely wrong. My case was unusual, and I am aware of that.
As a mediator, I cannot choose a specific age at which all sex is automatically rape. But I can tell you the sort of questions I would ask the alleged victim if I were called to mediate such a case. My judgement would depend on the evidence. My questions would include:
1) What is sex?
2) Where do babies come from?
3) What is a condom?
4) What is a sexually transmitted disease?
5) Do you know what Death is?
6) Do you know that some sexually transmitted diseases can kill you?
7) Did you pursue sex with the accused, or did she pursue you?
8) Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
9) Did the accused threaten you in any way?
10) Did you ever ask the accused to stop what they were doing, and if so, did they?
11) Was this your first sexual relationship?
I have met very few people of 13 who could have answered those questions well enough to cause me to find that an adult who had sex with them was weak, rather than criminal. But at 13, I can say that I would have been able to answer them. If I were asked to rule on the case of Denise and myself, I would not find that she was criminally liable for a number of reasons:
1) She was of average intelligence. I have an IQ of 146.
2) I pursued her, in part, through dishonorable means, including fabricating a story of a previous sexual relationship specifically concocted to prevent her from knowing that I was a virgin. Sorry about that, Denise, I was a little bit hormone driven in those days.
3) At no time did I hesitate to continue enthusiastically toward a sexual relationship.
4) She was in a very vulnerable position, having been raped 6 months before the beginning of our relationship, and therefore was probably drawn to the fact that I could not as easily overpowered her as easily as a man her age could.
5) My seduction of her continued over the course of several months.
Disclaimers for the witch hunters:
No, nothing said here means that I am interested in or in favor of sex with children. The witch hunters will interpret it this way, but I am not willing to call my first girlfriend a rapist to escape the fires. I am an engineer. I don’t frolick. I don’t play much. I don’t interact with kids by choice, ever. I tend to like women at least 30 years old, and put a hard limit of 19 below which I will not go. But that does not mean that I would be in favor of imprisoning anybody who does go below 19. There are a great many standards I hold for myself that I would not impose on others.
As for Tasker, I do not know what happened in that case completely, but from what has been said, it seems likely that what he did was wrong, I cannot rush to judgement without seeing the evidence, because for all I know these accusations are a frame job. I’m not willing to throw him under the bus until I have reached a conclusion as to the truth and nature of the accusations against him. Innocent until proven guilty is good policy. More will be revealed, and when I know more, I will denounce him if such denouncement is due.