Friday, November 23, 2007

Social Morality

There are so many things that have evolved regarding social morality. Some even believe that it derives from religion itself, when in fact, man has been using the ‘evolving social morality’ to change certain things that they feel to be inappropriate, and/or to make “new laws”. People want ‘what’s best’ for their children and family. They want to stop human nature and become more reserved, self-disciplined and robotic. The stigma on “human nature” seems to correlate with “animalistic behaviors”. But, what was man really like 2,000 years ago?

People back then, with various cultures practiced rituals on their children to become “men” or “women”, when hitting puberty. At the age of 13 years old, a lot of cultures would cast their children off after their rituals to become men- to provide for their new wives. Isn’t that sort of young? To us, it seems very young and senseless to put a child out there to provide for his wife and produce babies. But if you really think about it, God made our bodies in such a way, that at the age of 12 or 13, we hit “puberty”, which means we can reproduce, therefore, marrying and having children. It was sociably acceptable. They started very early.

Now, we call it, “babies having babies”, and people aren’t allowed to get married unless they are 18 and over. Kids aren’t allowed to even vote until after the age of 18—and there are highly intelligent kids out there who know their political b/s. Then again, most kids would probably vote for whoever’s the “coolest” candidate or who had a nicer cleavage… You get my drift.

Let me get into this a bit further. Personally, when I was younger, I dated people 10 years or older, above my age. I never, ever dated anyone that was younger than me. Back then, I was still “in the closet” as a homosexual and dated guys who were more mature than myself…or on the same level. My mother was sick of the 'heavy metal head bangers' that were closer to my age knocking on my door. I dated a couple of them, but they were more like my ‘buddies’ than anything else. I went for the more mature man----I’m talking being 15 years old with a 25 year old. I had so many relationships with that similar age range. Let me first explain this: I was not your average “15 years old”. I had the mentality of a 25 year old and carried myself in a mature manner. (Don’t ask that happened to me in my later years—that’s a whole other story in itself!) I had a lot of friends, but very few close ones, because the ones that were in my grade didn’t intellectually stimulate me. Of course, they stimulated me in other ways, but we won’t get into that now. They were just “crushes”. My close friends were also mature and well mannered, beyond what a 15 year old could manage.

A lot has to do with the fact that I am 7 years younger from my next sibling. I have 3 older sisters who I basically “mimicked” all my life. (In the sense of growing up.) So, when they got older, so did I, unwillingly. At the age of 15, my friends became the same circle as my next older sister’s friends. She didn’t take too well with that, and I began dating someone who was even older than her. He was 25 years old. This actually brought my sister and I closer together as friends- because most of the time we were busy fighting and wrestling over the Nintendo. Now, instead, we were hanging out and smoking up in her room gossiping…

Here’s the kicker that most people gasp at. My mother wanted what was best for me. When my mother and I would go shopping or just go out somewhere, she would stop at this local gas station & mechanic’s shop. My dad was friends with this guy named Nick who owned this shop. He was also an aspiring musician for a famous orchestra in New York City. He had light blonde hair, gorgeous blue eyes and seemed to take pretty good care of himself. He must have been in his mid-twenties- so I thought... He always glanced over at me while I sat in the passenger’s seat of my mother's car. I gawked at him, because he was so cute and friendly. He didn’t know my age either. It was very hard to tell with me. When he went to grab the cash from my mom’s hand for the gas, he looked over and asked my mother if he could take ‘her beautiful daughter out to dinner’. My mother, knowing Nick, said, “That’s up to my Debs. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?” I looked over, smiled, and he gave me his card.

My mother informed me Nick was 30 years old. I was given the ‘maturity advice’ and told not to do anything but to go out to dinner with him only. Again, I am guessing my mother was frightened of the boys around my own age. They were reckless and only wanted one thing. That evening, Nick arrived at my door to pick me up. He sat down, spoke to my family before whisking me away to some fancy schmancy expensive French restaurant. I remember him going on about the taste of good cognac being swirled, as it warmed the glass by his hand.

I’m thinking Bud Light. I’m thinking, which pub can we play pool at?

I was able to get into bars, but if I were to get into a place, it surely wasn’t a French restaurant with a wine list. There we were, eating duck cherry with a bottle of Boudreaux that tasted like dry grape acid from God knows where. Our conversation consisted of how much cholesterol was in the buttery appetizers he ordered and what politician was doing what with who. I was already deciding if I was going to buy the Guns & Roses cassette tape. He already purchased the complete Bach collection. The owner of the restaurant came to our table and asked Nick if he could be so kind to play a piece on their grand piano for their customers, since he was ‘well known’. He played some classical piece along with…”Feelings”. Enough. Obviously this guy wasn’t “it” for me.

Soon after, I dated a 25 year old that lasted for a few years. It was a great match, except for the culture difference that tore us apart due to his mother wanting him to be set up with a woman of his own culture for marriage, since in their eyes, he was getting “old”.

At the age of 20 years old, I started dating a woman who was 30 years old. (This being my current girlfriend now.) And no, these people had nothing wrong with them, other than not knowing my real age at first, because my maturity level was equal to theirs. The people I dated who were either close to my age or just a bit older never, ever worked out worked out for me. But who’s to say who matches up and who doesn’t, basing it upon the age factor?

I want to delve into the issue of “hebephilia”. The term is used to describe adult sexual attractions to adolescents who have reached or gone beyond puberty. Due to various maturity levels, how can we ever determine who’s right and who’s wrong for them in terms of marriages and unions? Naturally “hebephilia” still exists, but it’s muffled down due to social morality. Even if actions aren’t taken, these people are looked at as “sick” or “perverted” if thought to be attracted to an adolescent that seemed to have matured faster than the rest. Personally, if I had a daughter, I wouldn’t want her to date anyone 5 years or older than her. I’d be scared, naturally. Why does this guy take such interest in her? Will she get pregnant? Will he hurt her? If I had a son, it wouldn’t be so alarming, other than, “protect yourself so she doesn’t get pregnant!!!”

What is it to be “perverted”? That’s a whole concept that’s been twisted around as social morality has evolved into this major conservative tight box. If you think about it, people can pervert food: those who eat flowers, cow’s tongue, head cheese and chicken feet. Of course, these “extra goodies” were used for when people didn’t have enough money to buy food many years ago. They went for anything---including lobster and crab (which is now too expensive). They were repressed. Now, some of us ‘desire’ these types of delicacies. God knows I don’t want to eat a flower that tastes much like my grandmother’s cheap perfume, or gnaw on a chicken's foot, but people are willing to try new things. Who am I to judge what someone else eats?

Nowadays, “perverted” means “kinky”, or used for anything that’s desired sexually in a strange way---or not the way “man and woman” produce babies missionary style. Anything beyond that is just plain perversion to some people with strict religions. Age has become one of them. I’m not advocating pedophilia or hebephilia, however, I do ask this: what if a mature 17 year old woman wants to date somebody who is 21 years old? Now, believe me, there’s more of that happening now than ever. What are your thoughts? Does this guy need to be put in jail, because he’s dating a beautiful 17 year old woman who looks and acts as if she’s 25 years old (and probably more mature than he is), or are people making a huge fuss over something that has been socially evolved? The “law” says it’s bad…but is it? It's consdered "statutory rape".

I wonder why people even bother to have a bar/bat mitzvah for their child.


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog you posted....
I agree with you, because I also always dated men and women that were much older then me. However, I would be uncomfortable w/ my (if I had a child) 12 yr old dating a 25 yr old. At 12 or 13 yrs old yes, you do hit puberty, but the majority of kids, at that age, are still not (in my opinion) mature enough to understand or handle a rlshp w/ a 25 + yr old. An age like 17 + is a different story. Just b/c a 13 yr old may have a fully developed body doesn't mean that the mind has caught up w/ the body, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I don't think that you can have a definitive answer for your question. Instead, it should be judged on a case by case basis. You aren't dealing w/ machines, but instead w/ humans and we are complicated creatures!

~Deb said...

Astrid: Yes, I totally agree that it should be judged on a case-by-case basis. We're definitely complicated humans, which is why I posed the question in the first place... each one of us are so different and with age and maturity or the lack thereof, I raise the question of what's right and what's wrong---in special cases that aren't as alarming as some.

Thanks for commenting!

kathi said...

I'm thinking about it now. What if Casey came home and told me was dating a 23 year old woman? I dunno, I dated guys when I was that age that were a lot younger than me. The only thing would be that they may teach him things(or expect him to do things) that would be more their age than his...if you know what I mean.
When I was 25 I met a guy at a bible class and we started dating (okay, we started a lot of things, but they all fall under the heading of dating), he worked at his dad's business and we had a lot of fun together. One day he called me at work and asked me to go to his PROM with him. Seriously. Apparently he'd graduated a year early (he was brilliant, that must've been why I was attracted to him...yeah, that was it) but he still wanted to attend his class prom. So, I'd been 'dating' an 18 year old. When I was 18, between my freshman and sophmore year of college, I'd taken time out and hitched around the country. I'd ended up living in Florida for nearly a year with a guy I'd met there and was crazy about. I was 18, he was 30. He had money, stability, and was hot, hot, hot. Every one thought he was 'lucky', when I tell my story of the 18 year old boy, they think there must've been something wrong with me. Double standard.

Wait...what was the subject again? Did I stray? LOL, gotta love me, huh???

Jay Cam said...

screw the law!
ok, maybe not..

but happy late thanksgiving!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

You make some excellent points, Deb. From my understanding, to be perverted means to deviate from the norms or mores of the rest of society—i.e., to be “different” from the majority. Without getting into sexual deviance or perversity—which also throws any subject into a different level because of our western societal hang-ups about sex—what if the norms and mores of the majority are unethical, unjust, or immoral? Examples could be slavery or racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice. The majority may approve of slavery; that makes those who oppose slavery perverted. The same is true with the other prejudices of the majority.

Palm Springs Savant said...

hi there..first time visitor to your blog....and glad I found it. What a breath of fresh air!

I'll be back for sure.

People in the Sun said...

There's a lot there...

Frankly, I think a parent should be equally worried about a teenage boy going out with an older woman. I don't think my father would have high-fived me if something like that happened to me. My friends probably would have, though.

But as for the law--it is broken. A slightly older person having sex with a teenager will be ruined for life because registering an an offender doesn't differentiate between child molesters and 16yo-20yo lovers. So I'll give you that.

When I was thirteen I would have dated my Commodore 64. It took me a while.

And finally, it's a good thing people don't vote for the biggest cleavage or Fred Thompson would be the next President.

Tai said...

While I think that a case by case basis is a good idea, the question arises as to who gets to decide!
And the law in place is (mabye I'm wrong, but bear with me) designed to protect those who AREN'T able to decide for themselves in a mature and reasonable/responsible manner.
All it takes is one bad apple, and thus a legal system the works to prevent children from being abused.
At least, that's my take on it!
Thought provoking post!

Enemy of the Republic said...

LOL at People in the Sun on Fred Thompson.

I agree largely with what Nick says. Basically there are two definitions of perversion: the DSM IV and social norms. Neither one can completely capture the picture. Is it perverted for a 40 year old man to date a 20 year old? I don't think so, but it may not be wise. When a girl reaches 17, her legal status changes and what was once considered rape can now be seen as consent. If she dates men much older than herself, I would not call it perversion, but she may be looking for a father figure. I just don't know. Let's go further: in the privacy of their bedroom, some people engage in sexual practices that are not mainstream, be it dominance, role playing, acting out fantasies. Is this perversion? To me, sexuality is a fluid thing and generally what others choose to do is not my business. I think it becomes perversion when someone is hurt or it clearly suggests a maladjustment like some fetishes. But the word perversion is used way too often to describe sexual behavior that is by no means out of acceptable norms. That addresses the speaker of that term, not the act they are describing.

Helen Taylor Little said...

Interesting POV. Reveals keen insight into your character.
For one thing, it shouts of your maturity, willingly and naturally @ such a tender age. You were born an ol' soul, or so it seems. Already knowing the basics of life and ready to get on with business. Hungry for enlightment. Thirsty for knowledge.
For another, your attraction for older partners draws a line of distinction. It magnetizes your soul's power in a loving and respectful glow.
How fortunate are those that have bathed in your light. Bright rays bouncing over the shadows of time like the sun with experiential consonance.
You've got style, wit and talent for opening some hidden doors.
And you don't need the porch light...your heart lights your way.
God Bless you, my friend.
Peace and Light,

Art said...

Very interesting. I'm 5 and a half years older than my wife and we met when I was 23... hmmmm. Laws about such things are good but they don't take into condsideration every possible scenario.

Aayush Bhatnagar said...

Nothing wrong with dating someone older. Whats age got to do with attraction anyway?(unless u r 80 and looking to mingle) The laws however..are sometimes framed to serve the general populus keeping the worst case scenario in mind. Thats the reason the law does not differentite between a molester and a 20 yr old lover.

Blu Jewel said...

Know why I like your blog Deb? Because you always articulate your point with real talk as well as facts.

In reading this post, I recall all the times I preferred the older guys. I base some of my attraction of my too, being rather mature for my age, having older sibs, and for wanting something my dad wasn't giving me. My first crush was on my sibs friends who were upward of 5 yrs older than me. My first real bf was 3 yrs older and the trend has pretty much continued. I've dated a man 18 yrs older than me and had no qualms with it save for when I wanted him to be a part of my social circle and then realized he'd not be able to pull it off. It's funny how woman can integrate better in a higher social circle, but a mature man can't digress as well.

There is a crazy grey area on statutory rape and it drives me crazy because if a parent is accepting of the relationship (17 y/o girl & 21 y/o guy), what's the problem?

Great post!