So yesterday I was feeling really overwhelmed by all the backlash against me for writing about the really disappointing and inappropriate fact that Paul Walker started dating his girlfriend Jasmine when she was 16 and he was 33 (and a girlfriend before that, Aubrianna, when she was 16 and he was 28), so I wrote a post that included some of the most discouraging responses I’d gotten about the whole situation.
But I think we can all agree that that’s not a great attitude to have, and today I’m trying to be a little more optimistic. In addition to the rude, mean, and threatening comments that I got from people about my posts, I also got some really great feedback from people who were really listening to what I had to say. Specifically for a story I shared about my own similar situation — being in a relationship with a 24-year old when I was 16 — I received an outpouring of supportive, intelligent, encouraging comments thanking me for bringing attention to the issue, and even sharing their own experiences.
So instead of getting mired down in the negative of people yelling at me for being an idiot or a slut or whatever just for being concerned about a young girl’s welfare, I’ve decided to appreciate the positive aspects that came of me giving a shit about maturity gaps and age of consent and all that jazz instead. And in the process, to thank you, Crushable readers, for being some of the best commenters on the internet.
Always important to remind yourself how young 16-year olds actually are. They’re kids.
Like I said, a lot of people shared their own experiences, which were difficult to read, but really rewarding as well. A lot of people getting perspective on tough situations from when they were younger.
And don’t forget that a lot of the people involved in these relationships feel at the time that there’s nothing wrong with them and only realize it later. That’s part of the problem.
This made me feel so great, and it’s so smart.
There were also a lot of people who provided terminology I wasn’t aware of going into this, like ‘ephebophilic’, which is adult sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, typically age 15 – 19.
It’s scary how much of this stuff is the same across the board — the same techniques to reel young people in and the same to keep them around.
And just because a relationship lasts a long time doesn’t mean that it’s okay.