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Old 6th February 2020, 07:29 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Scottish minister has been "caught" messaging a 16 year old. The implication is heavily that it was not "innocent" messaging, one of the messages called the 16 year old "cute" and that seems to be the most salacious one as that is what the newspaper that broke the story has led with.

He has now resigned.

Should he have resigned? He has never met the 16 year old, all the mentions of meeting are in public places and even at public events, and nothing that would seem to be clandestine. Is this Is this a case of "no smoke without a fire" and the Minister just being a tad stupid rather than anything malicious?

Link to story : https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...nce-secretary/
Sounds like he was grooming him.

Stick to people of your own age, Mr. Mackay.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:30 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That we're naughty and wicked and need to be punished? By spanking?



Channeling Zoot? Got a grail shaped beacon in your tower..?
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:36 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Why the hell is it so difficult for some people to just behave themselves? Especially when in a position of public view and responsibility.
Possibly because people with personality disorders such as narcissism, sociopathy and general over-confidence and conceit are more likely to put themselves up for public office to satisfy their desire for attention and adulation.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:37 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's not just about the age. There's a second creepiness factor here, which is that this flirtation was one-sided and persistent. If the 16 year old had been flirting back it wouldn't be so creepy.
Indeed. A person more experienced with romance might have recognized this one-sided behavior and done more to cut contact. You know, someone who isn't 16.

It's almost as if creeps target people they suspect will be less able to identify and mitigate their creepy tactics.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:43 AM   #45
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The minister revealed himself to be an idiot. Whether he's a kiddy fiddler, and whether he did anything illegal doesn't alter the fact that he's an idiot - he should have known that his texts were likely to become public knowledge and that it would be embarrassing for him and his party.

We don't want idiots in public office, so he should stand down as an MSP and make way for someone less idiotic.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:44 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
It is about judgement - in this case, very poor political judgement given the easily anticiapted furore.
Yes what with those concerned parents, who don't want their naive and innocent 16 year boys to be seduced by some filthy homo perv...
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:47 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Yes what with those concerned parents, who don't want their naive and innocent 16 year boys to be seduced by some filthy homo perv...
Yeah, parents tend to be thrilled when some middle aged person tries to romance their teen children, so long as it's hetero.

This is ridiculous. Homophobia is not what makes this seems gross to people.


Or is my sarcasm meter broken?
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:48 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Yes what with those concerned parents, who don't want their naive and innocent 16 year boys to be seduced by some filthy homo perv...
In this particular case it looks like the 16 year old himself did not want to be repeatedly pursued by a middle aged stranger. Was he wrong to not want that?
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:49 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
The minister revealed himself to be an idiot. Whether he's a kiddy fiddler, and whether he did anything illegal doesn't alter the fact that he's an idiot - he should have known that his texts were likely to become public knowledge and that it would be embarrassing for him and his party.

We don't want idiots in public office, so he should stand down as an MSP and make way for someone less idiotic.

Agreed. He's an idiot.

I'm hearing from someone who has known him personally for a long time that he has been in the habit of sending not dissimilar text to activists of all ages and both sexes to flatter and encourage them into getting out leafleting and so on. "Salty and cheeky" were the words used. A style of banter that people were used to, including older women who were on the receiving end.

But for him to have approached someone he didn't personally know like this, a boy only just over the age of consent, a boy who indicated that he wasn't gay and that this wasn't going anywhere romantic, and to ask that the messages were confidential, well, just no. It's beyond the pale. And for the avoidance of doubt, the person who was telling me all this thinks so too, he wasn't trying to defend him.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:58 AM   #50
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Little weird and inappropriate but given the lack of obvious sexual come ons, I'd say, let him stand for re-election and see what the voters think.

General questions about age of consent and wide age disparities. I am generally amused by the folks that refuse to see the obvious differences in maturity between a teenager, young adult, and actual adult. Seriously makes me question their motives, I wonder what the overlap is between folks that don't like age of consent laws or general social stigma with relationships with wide age gaps and those that think 16 year olds should be treated the same as adults in the justice system is.

The science is pretty clear, we don't mature into our adult thinking until about the mid 20s. As I understand it, the pre-frontal cortext doesn't fully develop until then. This area of the brain is linked strongly to decision making. This suggests strongly that societies should attempt to balance protecting young folks from themselves while still giving them autonomy to develop.

That being said, if you are going to have an age of consent law, which I think you should, it is necessarily going to be somewhat arbitrary. I favor some sort of romeo and juliet type thing that becomes less and less relevant as the child ages. The tongue in cheek, half your age plus seven years actually works out pretty well after about 15. Most US states have laws to the effect of: No sex under 15-16, under 18 is ok if you're close in age and older than 18 is fine for anyone.

Other than that. Socially I think generally sex with someone young enough to be your child is generally stigmatized, even more so if its an actual relationship. I think its generally perceived as a sign of immaturity on the part of the older person and if the younger person is younger than thirty, its generally perceived to be at least a little creepy and exploitative.

That's at least way better than some folks willingness to protect a guy who drug and forcibly raped a 14 year old because, Americans are prudes.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:03 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Yeah, parents tend to be thrilled when some middle aged person tries to romance their teen children, so long as it's hetero.

This is ridiculous. Homophobia is not what makes this seems gross to people.


Or is my sarcasm meter broken?
Almost certainly not sarcasm based on conversation in another thread. It seems in some places its considered criminal for parents to express dissatisfaction with their children's choices, especially if its in their choice of romantic partners and nobody would think a someone pursuing a romantic relationship with someone else young enough to be their child is in anyway creepy.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:06 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Yeah, parents tend to be thrilled when some middle aged person tries to romance their teen children, so long as it's hetero.

This is ridiculous. Homophobia is not what makes this seems gross to people.


Or is my sarcasm meter broken?
So it's not homophobia, it's some other form of bigotry based on fear and ignorance. That makes it so much better.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:07 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Almost certainly not sarcasm based on conversation in another thread. It seems in some places its considered criminal for parents to express dissatisfaction with their children's choices, especially if its in their choice of romantic partners and nobody would think a someone pursuing a romantic relationship with someone else young enough to be their child is in anyway creepy.

The lad isn't gay and he wasn't choosing to have any sort of romantic relationship. The persistence was entirely on Mackay's side. The lad didn't tell him to go away, but then if a cabinet minister is making friendly overtures to you, at that age you're likely to be a bit overawed and not to break off the conversation.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:07 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
So it's not homophobia, it's some other form of bigotry based on fear and ignorance. That makes it so much better.
Continuing to pursue someone who is not interested is bad. Do you disagree with that statement?
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:09 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The lad isn't gay and he wasn't choosing to have any sort of romantic relationship. The persistence was entirely on Mackay's side. The lad didn't tell him to go away, but then if a cabinet minister is making friendly overtures to you, at that age you're likely to be a bit overawed and not to break off the conversation.
Learning to more strongly rebuff unwanted romantic and sexual solicitations is often something comes with age and experience.

This guy is leading a parade of red flags and anyone with more experience in dating would recognize it immediately. Now a 16 year old kid...
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:14 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
In this particular case it looks like the 16 year old himself did not want to be repeatedly pursued by a middle aged stranger. Was he wrong to not want that?
Not at all. I'm pretty sure that I explicitly qualified my point on the assumption that his conduct did not tend towards sexual harrassment. If he was told to stop, was blocked or otherwise went out of his way to avoid receiving any messages from him, then his behaviour comes off as constituting harrassment which is acceptable irrespective of the age of the people involved.

If Scottish 16 year olds can't handle receiving unsolicited messages or conversations from someone trying to court them, I don't know how they justify making it legal to have sex with them.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:17 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
General questions about age of consent and wide age disparities. I am generally amused by the folks that refuse to see the obvious differences in maturity between a teenager, young adult, and actual adult. Seriously makes me question their motives,

And this is why we can't discuss these things rationally.

After a while, someone always turns up with an implied accusation that simply having the discussion implies one is an apologist for child abuse.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:17 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Not at all. I'm pretty sure that I explicitly qualified my point on the assumption that his conduct did not tend towards sexual harrassment. If he was told to stop, was blocked or otherwise went out of his way to avoid receiving any messages from him, then his behaviour comes off as constituting harrassment which is acceptable irrespective of the age of the people involved.

If Scottish 16 year olds can't handle receiving unsolicited messages or conversations from someone trying to court them, I don't know how they justify making it legal to have sex with them.
It's almost as if there's a grey zone between behavior restricted by criminal code and behavior broadly seen as honorable in society. hmmmm.

There is a broad set of creepy behaviors that aren't illegal. Doesn't mean they aren't creepy.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:18 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Not at all. I'm pretty sure that I explicitly qualified my point on the assumption that his conduct did not tend towards sexual harrassment. If he was told to stop, was blocked or otherwise went out of his way to avoid receiving any messages from him, then his behaviour comes off as constituting harrassment which is acceptable irrespective of the age of the people involved.

If Scottish 16 year olds can't handle receiving unsolicited messages or conversations from someone trying to court them, I don't know how they justify making it legal to have sex with them.
Ah. The boy is to blame. I thought we'd get there eventually.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:30 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's almost as if there's a grey zone between behavior restricted by criminal code and behavior broadly seen as honorable in society. hmmmm.
Yes, prudish ***** love to set up arbitrary standards for human behaviour to show off just how decent and normal they are.

Quote:
There is a broad set of creepy behaviors that aren't illegal. Doesn't mean they aren't creepy.
You have a very strange conception of what "creepy" means. Seriously what do you get out of maintaining that judgemental attitude of yours?
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:36 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Ah. The boy is to blame. I thought we'd get there eventually.
He lost his right to not be considered a potential romantic and sex partner when he came of age, tough ****. Maybe his parents should have taught him to stand up for himself and say no. He's 16 years old for ***** sake.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:37 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
He lost his right to not be considered a potential romantic and sex partner when he came of age, tough ****. Maybe his parents should have taught him to stand up for himself and say no. He's 16 years old for ***** sake.
Seems like he stood up for himself and said no pretty well. Blasting out these texts from a 40 year old creeper seems like a pretty robust response. Good for him!

Wish this was the outcome more often when middle aged people came sniffing around high schools for romance.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:38 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
He lost his right to not be considered a potential romantic and sex partner when he came of age, tough ****. Maybe his parents should have taught him to stand up for himself and say no. He's 16 years old for ***** sake.
I thought parents weren't supposed to impose their judgment on their children's sex lives? Isn't that what you argued before?
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:43 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Almost certainly not sarcasm based on conversation in another thread. It seems in some places its considered criminal for parents to express dissatisfaction with their children's choices, especially if its in their choice of romantic partners and nobody would think a someone pursuing a romantic relationship with someone else young enough to be their child is in anyway creepy.
At no point have I said that it's illegal for ones parents to be, or voice, their concernes about their children's private lives and relationships in Sweden. Why are you lying about that?
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:50 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I thought parents weren't supposed to impose their judgment on their children's sex lives? Isn't that what you argued before?
Do you understand the difference between giving your children the tools that are required to assert themselves and their own wishes and desires (this includes the ability to tell others to stop harassing them), and telling them that they are not allowed to have sexual relationships?
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:54 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Seems like he stood up for himself and said no pretty well. Blasting out these texts from a 40 year old creeper seems like a pretty robust response. Good for him!
Yeah it only took a couple of months (EDIT: half a year actually) and hundreds of messages. If someone keeps sending messages to you that you don't want, I'd suggest being a little more proactive about it.
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:55 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Do you understand the difference between giving your children the tools that are required to assert themselves and their own wishes and desires (this includes the ability to tell others to stop harassing them), and telling them that they are not allowed to have sexual relationships?
Yes. In this case that doesn't seem to apply. No mention was made of his parents telling the boy he couldn't have sex with anyone. The boy didn't want to have sex with a persistent unwelcome pursuer. You apparently feel he was wrong in this? Should he have simply put out, to avoid both the appearance of bigotry and to strike a blow for the sexual freedom of teenagers?
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Old 6th February 2020, 08:55 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Yeah it only took a couple of months and hundreds of messages. If someone keeps sending messages to you that you don't want, I'd suggest being a little more proactive about it.
Probably. Next time this guy might see things a bit more clearly. It's almost as if he was a bit naive and inexperienced.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:08 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yes. In this case that doesn't seem to apply. No mention was made of his parents telling the boy he couldn't have sex with anyone.
The mother sounded less than thrilled to what could have happened if he had responded favourably to his advances, as if that itself was something horrible.

Quote:
The boy didn't want to have sex with a persistent unwelcome pursuer. You apparently feel he was wrong in this?
I'm not sure how exactly you got that impression. I already told you that I explicitly qualified my point on the assumption that his conduct did not tend towards harassment. I also explained that harassment is bad.

Why are you acting as if I haven't already explained that to you? Why do insist in mischaracterising me?



Quote:
Should he have simply put out, to avoid both the appearance of bigotry and to strike a blow for the sexual freedom of teenagers?
Now you are just trying to brow beat me into leaving the thread. Why?
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:08 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yes. In this case that doesn't seem to apply. No mention was made of his parents telling the boy he couldn't have sex with anyone. The boy didn't want to have sex with a persistent unwelcome pursuer. You apparently feel he was wrong in this? Should he have simply put out, to avoid both the appearance of bigotry and to strike a blow for the sexual freedom of teenagers?

"Lie back and think of Sweden Scotland."
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:17 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I mean, sure, the law is clear.



I will always find 40 year old people trying to spark up a romance with a 16 year old very creepy.



I don't know if this is something that should spark resignation, but it absolutely would damage my view of that person's character.
But is there evidence that he was trying to "spark up a romance"?
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:20 AM   #72
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What do you think, based on the published texts?
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:22 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
The mother sounded less than thrilled to what could have happened if he had responded favourably to his advances, as if that itself was something horrible.
Are you saying she has no right to even have an opinion about her child's sex life? Before you argued she shouldn't impose her opinion on her child, but now you seem to be finding her at fault for even having an opinion at all. And of course she's "not thrilled". What mother is ever "thrilled" with the notion of her child as a sex-having person?

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I'm not sure how exactly you got that impression. I already told you that I explicitly qualified my point on the assumption that his conduct did not tend towards harassment. I also explained that harassment is bad.

Why are you acting as if I haven't already explained that to you? Why do insist in mischaracterising me?
Sorry if that's what I did. I consider sending a stranger multiple flirtatious texts despite no positive responses to be harassment, regardless of the ages of those involved.


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Now you are just trying to brow beat me into leaving the thread. Why?
I never do that. I do find it amusing that you imply opposing viewpoints are motivated by bigotry. That is extremely not the case with most of us.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:26 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Probably. Next time this guy might see things a bit more clearly. It's almost as if he was a bit naive and inexperienced.
Being able to assert and stand up for yourself is something very important. My mother has problems with being able to ignore telemarketers for example, as well as other kind of telephone calls that she should ignore. She is the one who ends up suffering from that when she allows herself to become worked up and agitated.

Kids need to learn how to deal with things like this. Girls learn far earlier than at the age of 16 how very aggressive and persistent some men are, and that's something that they have to live with. Guys are for the most part spared this kind of sexual harassment, and even in this case it was by all accounts quite tame compared to unsolicited dick pics or being asked wheter they want to suck dick, but parents and schools can't ignore them.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:36 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
What do you think, based on the published texts?
I really don't know. I've read a lot about grooming and most of the reports into sex abuse that have been published in the UK and a lot of the evidence collated in those reports and his behaviour seems odd compared to those abusive predators.

I think the info Rolfe supplied is the missing bit of the puzzle for me, I suspect this is his usual behaviour regardless of who he is talking to. Usually it wouldn't be seen as terrible or creepy, probably just a bit crass, it's the age of the other party that makes this seem especially creepy.

Given the lack of sexual content in the texts at the moment I'm of a mind to give him the benefit of the doubt: he was being stupid to not realise how this would be perceived.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:41 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I really don't know. I've read a lot about grooming and most of the reports into sex abuse that have been published in the UK and a lot of the evidence collated in those reports and his behaviour seems odd compared to those abusive predators.

I think the info Rolfe supplied is the missing bit of the puzzle for me, I suspect this is his usual behaviour regardless of who he is talking to. Usually it wouldn't be seen as terrible or creepy, probably just a bit crass, it's the age of the other party that makes this seem especially creepy.

Given the lack of sexual content in the texts at the moment I'm of a mind to give him the benefit of the doubt: he was being stupid to not realise how this would be perceived.
I don't see Rolfe's context as helpful to him. If anything, it's more damning. Seems this guy has a history of sexualizing situations in which it is totally inappropriate. He shouldn't be subjecting his colleagues and volunteers to his weird flirty comments.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:48 AM   #77
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For the last year I've been working with a wide group of people of different ages, including quite a few 16 to 19 year olds and I have to admit I am very conscious of my interactions with them to ensure I don't say anything that could be deemed inappropriate. But thinking about it I probably am overly careful given I am a homosexual man in his fifties, perhaps that is wrong but it is the way of the world, so I've no sympathy for his stupidity but I don't think he was grooming the 16 year old.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:49 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Are you saying she has no right to even have an opinion about her child's sex life?
Of course she has a right to have opinions. The fact that her opinions are mentioned as if they mattered is the problem. It's his life, not hers. Her opinions on his sex life shouldn't be of any consequence anymore than those of his neighbour.

Unless we are to suppose that a 16 year old being in a sexual relationship with a 42 year old is by itself harmful, which makes you wonder why it's legal in the first place, her concerns come off as homophobic or otherwise bigoted.

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And of course she's "not thrilled". What mother is ever "thrilled" with the notion of her child as a sex-having person?
I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of parents out there that would be more than happy at the thought of their child being in a sexual relationship, where they have sex. What can parents wish for their kids other than a enjoyable and pleasurable experience?


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Sorry if that's what I did. I consider sending a stranger multiple flirtatious texts despite no positive responses to be harassment, regardless of the ages of those involved.
The news stories focused not on the fact that his behaviour constituted harassment. They primarily focused on the ages, which is what I found very infuriating.

Was his behavior bad because the target of his affection was a 16 year old boy, or was it because he refused to take a hint and stop sending unwanted messages? Maybe it was both?

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I never do that. I do find it amusing that you imply opposing viewpoints are motivated by bigotry. That is extremely not the case with most of us.
Maybe, but I don't really care what the silent majority thinks quite frankly because they are silent.
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Last edited by Arcade22; 6th February 2020 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:50 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
And this is why we can't discuss these things rationally.

After a while, someone always turns up with an implied accusation that simply having the discussion implies one is an apologist for child abuse.
To be clear, I don't think arcade is but there was a dude here a while back who really seemed to be trying to justify his proclivities. And I've seen similar folks elsewhere.

Edit to add, its a totally fair criticism. I apologize to Arcade specifically and any others I may have tarred with the implication.

Last edited by ahhell; 6th February 2020 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:51 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
At no point have I said that it's illegal for ones parents to be, or voice, their concernes about their children's private lives and relationships in Sweden. Why are you lying about that?
Exaggeration for humorous effect, mostly because I think you have exagerated the differences between Sweden and elsewhere for rhetorical effect.
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