Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's not MY fault!

Ever since Mary Kay Letourneau gained infamy by sleeping with a 13-year-old student (and then having a baby with him and later marrying him), it seems that stories about older women in positions of authority abusing teenage boys are becoming more and more frequent. I'm assuming this is because our society is beginning to recognize this as the statutory rape it is instead of the "nudge-nudge-wink-wink lucky kid got laid by his teacher" reaction of days past. So I (sadly) wasn't surprised to read this story about a female corrections officer having sex with a 15-year-old prisoner.

According to court documents, [Amy Lynn] Barker was 21 when she met the boy at the Catalina Mountain School in 2002. The two progressed from kissing to oral sex.

When the boy was later sent to a halfway house, authorities say, Barker encouraged him to run away on two occasions so they could have sexual relations. The boy didn't return after the second time he ran away, and Barker rented an apartment for the two of them.

When the boy moved to Mexico, authorities say, Barker visited him to continue their affair.

What does continue to surprise me is the complete inability of perpetrators like Barker--and Letourneau before her--to recognize that they've done anything wrong. It's almost shocking the lack of responsibility Barker takes for her actions:

"I'm not a sexual offender. I'm not a sexual predator," Amy Lynn Barker told Judge Charles Sabalos at her sentencing hearing in Pima County Superior Court.

"I don't feel like I had anything to do with it; I just allowed it to happen," Barker said.

But wait! There's more!

Although what she did was wrong because of her position of authority, Barker said, she didn't think she should go to jail, because "it's not like I have a lack of empathy" with the victim.

Anyone else get whiplash from trying to follow that line of reasoning? Letourneau's response to her crime was similar: she didn't do anything wrong, it was twu wuv!

Excuse me while I locate the nearest airsick bag.

It is wrong for adults--especially in positions of authority--to have sex with minors. Calling it "love" or saying you don't "lack empathy" doesn't make it okay. The fact that the adult is a female and the minor a male doesn't make it okay or sexy. It's an abuse of power, full stop, and that is always mutually exclusive from both love and empathy.

The apostle Paul gives us a beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (emphasis mine):

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

Ladies, take responsibility for your actions. What you did was wrong. And it was neither loving nor empathetic and your victims deserved better.


At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Lorna said...



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