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Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sun 17 Sep - 16:26
I have been somewhat troubled by the exclusion of a few recent would-be members based on their admissions that their consang relationships started before they reached the age of majority. I'd like to understand the rationale for this rule.

In 12-step groups, the tradition is that the only requirement of membership is the desire to recover from addiction. Nobody has the right to draw distinctions between 'respectable' vs. 'unrespectable' addicts, particularly since excluding the 'unrespectable' may amount to a death sentence, if they can't get support in dealing with their addictions.

While the consequence of denying someone membership in this forum is perhaps not quite so dire, it still seems harsh. Imagine living with the secret of a consang relationship (past or present), coming to this forum for support and understanding, and being told: sorry, we don't approve of how your relationship started. It doesn't matter that this is all in the past. It doesn't matter who was the instigator. It doesn't matter whether or not the parties have processed and come to terms with what happened, or acknowledge that they made mistakes. There is no forgiveness in Kindred Spirits. Why?  

I'm just an ally here. It seems to me that these people have a much stronger claim to membership in this forum than I do.

I understand that the moderators are trying to draw a clear distinction between adult consensual relationships and child molestation. But I should think the relevant criterion would be: are the parties AT PRESENT adult and consenting? What happened between them in the past, it seems to me, is for them to sort out between themselves, not for us to judge.

If there are countervailing considerations supporting the current rule, I'd like to hear what they are. If there are no countervailing considerations, then perhaps this rule should be reexamined.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sun 17 Sep - 18:27
I realize that it may seem quite harsh, but the reasons for it are as follows:

If we allow people with underage histories to become full members, it could be interpreted by some as an endorsement of underage sex in general, and at worst it could be interpreted as endorsement of child abuse by relatives. Now, you and I know that isn't the case, but look at it from the perspective of an outsider who is not an ally looking in. What are they supposed to think? Such people would take it as confirmation that we're pro-pedophilia because that is what they want to see.

We have an equal rights movement in it's infancy here, it is essential that we set the moral bar high enough that our movement does not become tarnished. As one of the admins of the forum, and as one of the leaders of the community, I have the responsibility to make sure that I do everything in my power to protect the movement. Sometimes this means I have to make tough choices, choices that some people might dislike or disagree with, but I would not do so if it wasn't necessary to ensure the prosperity of the movement for the future. I'm looking at things not just months, but decades ahead.

While allowing one user on the forum with underage history might seem insignificant, if we changed the rules to accommodate that, then how do you think the culture of the forum would change if we allowed several in with underage history? What about if it was a hundred or more? Think about it. Somebody with underage history is not likely to be against underage sex.

Thank you for raising your concerns though, it's always best to ask if there is something you're unsure of. I hope you understand my reasons even if you do not agree with my conclusion.

Jane



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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Mon 18 Sep - 1:32
I don't think there is a problem if, say, siblings close in age started when they were both minors and they're now 30 & 32, as long as they don't write about the underage sex. Most therapists don't consider it abuse if minors close in age have sex if there was no coercion. But we don't want descriptions of it here.

The person in question who'd applied here was likely going to talk positively about sex between adults and minors.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Mon 18 Sep - 12:30
I've seen this person post on another forum, and, presuming that any of it is true, she does not write positively about what happened to her.

Long story short, she was raped by her uncle at a young age. She describes what happened as rape.

Her consensual relationships began much later, though I don't know for sure how old she was.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Tue 19 Sep - 20:13
Personally I feel she deserves a chance, if OtherHans isn't wrong. I agree we have a moral bar to set, and because of prevailing public opinions it leaves us in an awkward position. We're a rights movement, and safe haven too. If she doesn't condone underage behavior and doesn't feel a need to discuss it in length here, maybe we should reconsider.
She left her contact info. So if no one objects, I'll drop her a note & see if she's willing to explain things further.

I'm sorry for otherwise being judging or unforgiving, that's not my intention. I never forget there isn't another place like KS. Jane's not wrong either though, we have to consider long-term community building. Not mentioning legal risks - consensual adult incest isn't illegal in France (forum host), but underage is another matter.
No one is 'just' an ally. I appreciate you being here Willendorfer, you've helped us, and I hope we've helped you too - in ways other forums couldn't have. Maybe you feel others may need KS more than you do, I'm not sure. You're here and that makes me grateful.
peace & be safe

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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Thu 21 Sep - 13:46
Thanks for your kind words, Sleepingrain. I'd also like to reiterate my admiration for Jane Doe's work. I'm pleased that the question I raised is receiving some consideration, whether or not I end up agreeing with the final decision. You all seem to be thoughtful and empathetic people, and I salute you.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Thu 21 Sep - 14:34
Agreed. Thank you so much to Jane, Keith, and all the rest who maintain this forum. It is truly unique and I am very grateful to have this resource. Human sexuality certainly does not begin at 18 years of age, but it is clear to me that great pains have been made to keep this forum beyond the reproach of law enforcement. Thank you for that. Might a reasonable compromise be for an individual to say, "in my youth", or something to that effect?
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Fri 22 Sep - 6:00
i, myself, in the beginning was very bewildered by the strict position and persistence in the age limits of our dear Jane.
as Kelly says sexuality does not start at eighteen.

some days before i payed some expensive visits to a psychiatrist to clear and regain my normality status. success, but do you know what this professor said to me?
"if any of your kids was not adult i should right now pick up the phone and call the cops".

so indisputably the "exclusion" is the right choice.
by for now, my love and greetings to all. keep up and be safe.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Fri 22 Sep - 18:19
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You're quite right that human sexuality does begin before eighteen, most teens are somewhat sexually aware from the time they're going through puberty, and it's usually around this time that they will discover masturbation and sexual arousal. That said, at such young ages, they are quite vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation. This is the reason that the age of consent is set as high as it is. Usually, most countries set the bar at 16, 17, or 18. This is quite reasonable, because it allows the young person to explore their own thoughts on sexuality, and to get some life experience before delving into sexual relations and all of the complications that may come along with that. The letter of the law may sound harsh to some, but we must always remember the very good reason that it's there, to protect the most vulnerable members of society from abuses. It's this position that I bring to the forum.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sat 23 Sep - 17:06
So, what exactly is the rule if someone has an underage history? Are people who were involved as a minor with another minor excluded from the forum? What about people who as a minor had involvement with an adult--then, what if they consider it abusive, and what if they don't? And, of course, what about people who as an adult had involvement with a minor?

I feel like the last of those is the only clear-cut case for excluding someone from the forum. And I think it would be wrong to exclude someone who was abused; that seems like punishing the victim.

I wanted to ask because I am not aware of the rules being clearly articulated anywhere, and there is quite a bit of nuance.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sat 23 Sep - 17:43
In my opinion, we should not allow any advocacy of adults being with children, nor descriptions of sex involving a minor. People can say they started "young" and leave it at that.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sat 23 Sep - 19:30
J.S. Money wrote:So, what exactly is the rule if someone has an underage history? Are people who were involved as a minor with another minor excluded from the forum? What about people who as a minor had involvement with an adult--then, what if they consider it abusive, and what if they don't? And, of course, what about people who as an adult had involvement with a minor?

I feel like the last of those is the only clear-cut case for excluding someone from the forum. And I think it would be wrong to exclude someone who was abused; that seems like punishing the victim.

I wanted to ask because I am not aware of the rules being clearly articulated anywhere, and there is quite a bit of nuance.

In the case of a couple both being minors when it started, they can say that they started seeing each other when they were 'young' but leave it vague. In these cases, they shouldn't mention the underage sex... so it's a policy of don't tell us how old you were. We don't condemn or condone, we simply advise against underage sex for all the usual reasons, untimely pregnancies for one.

In the case of somebody being a minor at the time with an adult... depends on the context. If we're talking about a 17 year old sister with her 18 or 19 year old brother, we can still apply the 'don't tell us' policy since they're of similar age. However, if we're talking about parent/offspring relationships, then the waters become much more murky. Parents still have legal powers over their children until they turn 18, and for this reason it would be a potential abuse of power, therefore we can't allow it on the forums.

Anyone who feels that they have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse should seek professional help, this forum is not for them anyway and we cannot provide the type of support they need. To my knowledge, none of us here is trained to deal with victims of sexual abuse, and it's a very sensitive topic. This forum is NOT the right place for them, and we should be redirecting those people to the correct type of organizations who can give them the right support.

As for adults who have been with a minor, we cannot do anything but ban them. They don't belong here.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sat 23 Sep - 22:10
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Thank you both for your replies. Everything you said sounds sensible. I definitely agree with what is and isn't appropriate to talk about regarding minors.

It sounds like there is no bright line regarding the acceptance of people who, as minors, had relations with an adult. It's dicey, but I would encourage accepting such people. I don't know why we would exclude them unless we found them somewhat accountable for what transpired between them and the adult. I think that's messed up; the adult should always be held fully accountable. If both parties could have accountability, that means there could be circumstances where adult-minor relations are permissible. I know we strongly do not believe that!

While this is definitely not the right place for people who have been abused to seek support for it, someone who was once abused by a relative may separately be or have been involved with a different relative by choice, or wish to be an ally.

I know this is a pretty marginalized community that is just beginning to assert itself more widely, so I don't imagine that it can be very easy to make any of these decisions, not just for the betterment of this community and its cause, but for that of society overall, and which may be at the expense of certain individuals. So thank you for making these difficult calls.
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Re: Exclusion of those with underage histories

on Sun 24 Sep - 13:31
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Thank you too J.S., for your consideration & thoughtful input. No, some decisions aren't easily made; a movement's early stages are particularly crucial in that regard. Or it feels like it to me.

As for accepting people who had relations with an adult as a minor, a problem arises when people who were abused normalize their treatment & advocate for such relations to be legalized. It's not uncommon. I don't fault them for it; they don't know any better. It's a long lonely road recovering from that - some people don't.
As individuals, I accept & care about them. I want to help them but don't know how. They won't find what they need here, and wouldn't be good for us either.
People who were abused & know it's wrong may need therapy, but not the same kind.
Hopefully my words are helpful for you. Take care, be safe
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