Monday, September 21, 2009

Double standards on criminal behavior

This weekend in our city a female schoolteacher was arrested for having sex with a thirteen year old student. Today I overheard some colleagues discussing it. Their consensus was that this woman's husband must not be much of a man if his wife needed to go have sex with teenagers.

Can you imagine anyone saying that if the situation were reversed? Did anyone suggest of Elliot Spitzer's wife that she was an inadequate lover? Does anyone ever think to place the blame on anyone but the rapist when the rapist is male? Not that I excuse male rapists in any way, but that's the point. Why do female rapists get a pass? Why do people look for external causes to explain their behavior?

It would be unthinkable to blame the wife for a husband's sexual crimes, but it's entirely too common to blame the husband when the wife messes up. This teacher did not do what she did because of her husband. She did it because she has some deep, serious problems. She made some very bad choices, and she alone is responsible for them.

Or have we merely progressed for far on eliminating sexism against females that we over-compensated and are now sexist against men?

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