Right freaking on. See, we straight males can behave the right way.
awesome. it's good to hear about people doing the right thing in these situations
Dan always impresses me with his ability to be both biting and succinct. There are a lot of people out there who "do the right thing," it just doesn't wind up on the news.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I WAS that girl. I wish the men I was (stupidly, wrongly) hitting on had had the same fortitude as this guy.
To the men of the world: when young girls are discovering their sexual power, they aren't thinking like grown ups. When they hit on you, it's up to YOU to be the grown-up, to say NO, to do what this guy did.
Thank you to all the men out there who do the right thing.
I did the girl like that, but she was 18 and I was 22, so it wasn't that bad, but she had some issues.
I feel terrible about it to this day.
Hang on a minute.
What happened to Dan Savage's approval of younger people having sex with older people? He did a couple of columns on the subject in the past year or two. He even had a set of rules for it and everything— one of which was called the "campsite rule," which doesn't look so great in light of current events.
What's going on, Dan? Have you had a change of heart?
I don't think Dan has had a change of heart - there is a distinct and large difference between a "middle aged" individual accepting (or grooming) the advances of a high schooler, and a 30-something sleeping with a college freshman. It's that (sometimes silly-seeming) matter of "legal majority" that makes a 17 year old/25 year old pairing seem squicky and the 18 year old/30 year old pairing seem more odd than squicky (but arguably still squicky, sometimes).
It's a matter of socially-viewed developmental milestones and just how inequitable the age difference makes the power dynamic. If there is not much of a percieved power inequality for whatever reason, it is much easier (for society) to accept the relationship. One way to help that power balance is to make sure the object of your affection can at least vote (assuming you are older than 18 yourself). But there will always be power dynamics, and the older adult has the responsibility to make sure those dynamics don't *drive* the relationship.
As for the campsite rule, it makes a lot of sense. The younger partner (or less experienced partner) has a choice in the relationship - but greater care must be taken to make sure they are healthy at the end of the relationship.
What does squicky mean?
Just wanted to point out, 16 is the age of consent in Washington (if the older person isn't an authority figure (ie, teacher)). Not saying it's right or wrong. Just saying.
Yo, two cent:
Yeah, I understand how society feels about older/younger relationships. I don't live under a rock, thank you very much.
But Dan definitely didn't make any "over 40" exceptions when endorsing these relationships. He also didn't make any gay/straight distinctions, which at the time I thought was to his credit, because I know there's a different set of mores at work in the gay community with regard to younger/older pairings.
From the tone of this letter, and the SLOG post that prompted it, it sounds as if Dan has shifted his outlook significantly, to "grown-ups with reputations to preserve must always avoid relationships with young adults."
Dan has always been a stickler for the age of consent (and I've always considered that a viewpoint rather inconsistent with Dan's other beliefs, though obviously convenient). But now he seems at a minimum to be adding more restrictions to his endorsement of younger/older relationships, and I'm curious as to what the boundaries are in his new outlook.
The letter expresses conventional morality. Dan has made a point of endorsing relationships that defy that conventional morality, but now he seems to be retreating from that stance.
I am wondering how close he has come to a position like, say, "the younger person must initiate the sexual relationship, and the older person must have no attachments or responsibilities which might be compromised by the relationship," the shorter version of which would be "it's OK so long as it conforms to an unlikely fantasy scenario found principally in pornography."
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