Monday, May 10, 2010
and Happy Birthday Yolanda!
RIP Lena Horne :-(
By now I'm sure you all have heard that Lawrence Taylor, a former NFL star, was arrested and charged with the alleged rape of a 16 year old girl - a reported runaway who hooked up with a pimp who beat her and forced her into prostitution. Supposedly, the girl told Taylor that she was 19 years old. Reports also say her pimp had her enter the hotel room in the dark so that Taylor couldn't see her.
We still don't know if all of this is true, as details of the alleged rape continue to surface. It's messy nonetheless, but some question what the actual charge should be - rape or prostitution?
It would definitely be considered statutory rape since the girl is 16 and the legal age of consent is 17 in NY. Even if the sex was consensual, rape is rape...right?
Some have argued that the age of consent should be lower than 17, since teenagers who are WAY younger than 16 are engaging in sex every day. I hear kids on the train talking about who they hooked up with, smoking weed and drinking all the time - and most of them are 13, 14, 15 years old. And the ones who ARE 16 or 17 LOOK like they're 20 years old - easily. Kids today are NOT like the kids I knew growing up. I don't feel like I'm old at all, or that the 80's were that long ago - but I simply don't remember my peers being so open about sex, drugs and other grown folk stuff.
Although I don't believe teenagers should be having sex, it's a fact that they do. And they're doing it younger and younger these days. I certainly don't believe that teenagers should be prostituting themselves, lying about their age and having sex with grown men. But if a 16 year old has sex with an 18 year old, should that be considered rape? Remember the case of Genarlow Wilson - the 17 year old who was sentenced to serve a mandatory 10 year prison term for having consensual sex with a 15 year old girl? He was found guilty of felony child molestation, and that case sparked so much public outrage that Georgia lawmakers changed the law which now makes consensual sex between teens a misdemeanor.
Of course, lowering the age of consent makes it easier for adults to prey on teenagers who are not ready for premature sexual activity. It's a slippery slope. Oversexed teenagers who have crushes on college aged men and women may willingly want to have sex - and may lie about their age to do so. How many men and women go around asking to see an ID nowadays? If you don't...you may want to start if you like 'em young.
The other issue here is the sad state of runaways being forced into prostitution. The pimp should face harsher charges than Taylor if you ask me, because he preyed on the vulnerability of a young girl to do unthinkable things for his gain - all while putting her in harms way, beating her and depleting her spirit. This story is sad all around.
So my question to you is - should Taylor (or any adult) face statutory rape charges even if he thought the girl was of the age of consent? Do you think the age of consent should be higher or lower than it is now between teenagers? And lastly, do you think prostitution should be legalized so that it can be regulated better - or is it a bad idea no matter the age? Share your thoughts on this, if you have any!