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It was commendable of Greg Stacy to write "Of M.I.L.F.s and Men" [Jan. 21], perhaps the most sympathetic take on intergenerational love one might expect to find in the mainstream media. Stacy is less to be commended, but forgiven perhaps, when he throws out words such as "creepy" and "shameful," as if to stroke the anti-sex hysterics, regarding men who lust after young girls. He also apparently assumes lust is the only dimension to intergenerational love, at least as far as man/girl love is concerned. This would be incorrect—and I speak from both the heart and experience. Yes, we men often seem mere penises with legs, and while it is always somewhat of a struggle to be more than that, we always have choice. I love young girls. I hate that my love—and lust—is smeared as synonymous with and inevitably leading to child rape and worse. There is no shame in my heart or my head for my feelings and desires. I don't feel creepy. I am aware of the social stigma, however, and thus keep it to myself.
My own sexual interaction with a man when I was a teenager was neither overly pleasant nor terribly interesting. I don't obsess about it. He wanted me, but his approach was gentle and restrained, as I believe most adult/kid sexual interactions are and should be. Am I traumatized or damaged? Should I sue the man? Should I have him hounded and sent to jail? No, no and no. Was my experience typical? Perhaps not, but neither was it, I believe, all that extraordinary.
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My view is that adult/kid love, including but not exclusively defined by sexual interaction, should be carried on in the same spirit as an adult/kid football game. When adults play football with kids, they don't play the same way they would if they were playing with adults. This relative gentleness and general appropriateness involves the physical part of the game as well as the seriousness of the play. Vaginal or anal penetration of a young person by an adult male, for instance, is generally but not always a bad idea. This crucially depends on a number of factors, including the age of the kid, the size differential and, more important, the wishes of the kid. What we call sex with kids is generally a bad idea for the same reason an adult male punching a kid in the face in a play boxing match would be a bad idea (thoughtless, not "perverted"). Other adults and even other kids would look at an inappropriately rough adult as nuts, perhaps more than chastising him or her. But no one would suggest we should ban adult/kid football games. On the contrary, through such games (both kinds), the adult will learn what the kid is, if anything, capable of, desirous of, ready for, etc.
It is an open secret that kids are sexual and romantic in their own way, at their own level. The hysteria against adult/kid love makes a sometimes-gray world grayer—and not just for the adults who love kids, but also for the many kids who may harbor a curiosity and desire of their own kind for particular adults or adults in general. Pedophiles may be in the closet for fear of scorn or worse. But kids are much more vulnerable to the hysteria. Kids that may grow up harboring desires and feelings they are forbidden to understand, and thus they appear dark and frightening and, perhaps ultimately, beyond their control.
Grover Ruskin (a nom de plume)
(I cannot provide my address for reasons
that should be obvious. I know it is a
long letter, but I had much to say.
It could have been much longer.)
I would like to start by saying how rather obvious your observation is that an older woman having intercourse with an underage male in film or reality is more accepted in society. A couple of things about your article perplexed me as to your motives in writing it, though. I was wondering if you were trying to shed light on what you think of as an injustice or hypocrisy. If so, it seemed a bit odd to me that you would end the article suggesting the "amazing art form" of film provides an outlet or release for humanity and actually helps people with heinous tendencies like rape or murder. I would call it contradictory unless you would say that you believe a movie depicting an adult male in a sexual relationship with a female child would be a healthy release for a pedophile. I personally don't condone any film that glorifies statutory rape or believe for a second that it can provide a healthy release for anybody, although I would certainly tolerate it a lot more when a male is the "victim." Male predatory sexual behavior is extremely pervasive in society, rendering it impossible to compare to female predatory sexual behavior, which is not.
San Juan Capistrano
Greg, let me make this simple for you: it's all wrong. Man/girl, man/boy, woman/boy, woman/girl. All of it. Wrong. Got it?
Greg Stacy, after a good scrub during a long shower, responds: Everyone, please go back and read the piece. I was NOT endorsing actual romantic relationships between adults and underage persons of either gender. Ick. But I was questioning our assumptions and hypocrisies about such relationships—in the movies and in real life. Obviously, movies and other art forms do help people explore (and hopefully vent) their dark sides . . . but if you're not getting all the Lolita action you need out of Lolita, it's time to seriously consider therapy.
Department of Corrections
In Gustavo Arellano's "Battle of the Boondoggles!" [Jan. 28], it was incorrectly printed that the CenterLine's original length was nine miles. The correct length was 90 miles. That may not sound like a lot—especially since the CenterLine will never, ever, EVER be built—but imagine if you were going, say, someplace nine miles away and, having read our story, announced when you got on the CenterLine—that will never exist—"Take me to the end of the line!" And the driver, who doesn't appreciate your tone or haughty manner, says, "Okay" and 90 miles later dumps you in some God-forsaken place—Placentia, for instance. And there you are, doomed, thinking to yourself, "Well, there certainly is a difference between nine and 90." And we'll be there, too, laughing. Ass.
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