The Labour MP Simon Danczuk is in hot water over send sexy texts to a 17 year old. There is nothing unlawful in what he has done but it is a questionable way to respond to a job application. It is totally ethical for him to flirt with a 17 year old and indeed copulate with her. He could wed her for Pete’s sake. However, it exposes the nonsense that surround this paedophilia hysteria. If this girl had been 2 years younger Danczuk would have been committing a crime and many would have denounced him as an ogre. There would have been a small moral difference if she was two years younfer. Danczuk is one of the moralistic witch finders general on this issue.
Molesting children is illegal and unethical. When it comes to someone just under the age of consent the degree of turpitude is small. There are sveral factors to consider such as the age of the older party, the nature of what happened, who initiated it and so forth. Sexual contact with a teenger under the age of consent is ephebophilia which is different from paedophilia. This is not hair splitting. People should regain some perspective. They should stop putting people whi kiss a 15 year old in the same category with those who commit an unutterable crime aganst a small child. Ephebophilia is so little know that even spell check does not recognise the word. We need an age of consent but people should not over react to minor breaches thereof. The trouble ios te slippery slope. If one turns a blind eye to someone breahcing it by one year why not two, or three or four? I am aware that this shades into tolerating grave crimes. The law must have balance and not be unduly harsh. These days tyhe lynch mob wants an overly simplistic and cruelly punitive attitude
Danczuk has been hoisted on his own petard. He has been holier than thou on thos issue. Now his career may be over. I do not want it to do. It does not bother me one jot if he sent explicit text messages to someone whom he can legally have sex with. There is a ludicrously puritanical attitude to such conduct.
In some jurisdictions Danczuk would be branded with the foulest name for what he has done. There is nothing infamous in his conduct.
SOme peopel such as Melanie Phillips want to raise the age of consent to 18. This sort of alarmist bigotry is revolting. She would have the likes of Danczuk labelled a monster and locked up.
Danczuk claimed there was a nefarious child sex abuse ring at Westminster. Real abuse of those who really are children is a crime and rightly so. The worst forms of abuse are abhorrent. This is not something to be belittled or exploited for partisan gain. It should not be confused with adult repartee or misjudged sexual advanced between adults. It is not something that should be misused by neo Victorians to deprive people of their sexual freedom with regard to prostitutes or porn.
So much fear, wild emotion and nonsense surround this vexed question. Many people need to calm down. Panic and fury never lead to fair laws. We should be tough on this issue. The tough thing is to regain a sense of proportion and a level head.
There is no obvious or logical reason why the age boundary should be drawn at a particular age. There needs to be an age boundary but it is an absolutist fallacy to pretend there is some moral principle at stake in setting it at 15 or 17. Tabloid inflamed morons and demagogues will raise a fury against anyone who makes that very basic point. Danczuk has reaped what he has sown. His estranged wife posted sexually provocative images on the internet all the time. This does not bother me one iota. She claims it is her way of reacting to her having been abused as a child. I have no idew a wthere this is true or not. Yet it underlines the point that adults are and should be free to manifest their sexuality. She likes to publish saucy snaps and we boys should be allowed to make suggestive remarks to her.
The puritanical paroxysms on this issue are unedifying. So much drivel is talked about this. I would like us to become tranquil and sensible on this question. All crimes shall always exist. One can reduce crime to a certain level. Some anti crime measures are over the top and end up being worse than the crime since the deprive good people of too much freedom. That is what the puritans would do bu raising the age of consent too much or framing laws that prevent adults from being adult.