Once again, the liberty community is divided, this time over the issues about age of consent that have been raised by the recent arrest of state representative Kyle Tasker for allegedly soliciting a 14-year-old teen for sex.
Purported libertarians are on the warpath against those of us who believe teens are humans who can make decisions. The opinions that people in the community seem to hold are one or more of the following:
- People under some arbitrary, government-selected age are just children, and cannot consent. Anyone who is attracted to teenagers is a pedophile and deserves to die, go to prison, or be severely beaten.
- Kyle, like any accused, deserves the presumption of innocence. Reactionary libertarians should know better than to believe the police.
- If the allegations against Kyle are true, what he did was inappropriate, but he did not create a victim and does not belong in jail.
The first group is driven by emotion and fear and have dropped all pretense of being principled libertarians in favor of piling-on against Kyle and anyone else who doesn’t jump on their violent bandwagon. Their belief that teens are children is insulting to young people everywhere who are mature enough to make decisions for themselves. Further, they equate attraction to teens with pedophilia, which is just plain wrong. It’s an emotional, ignorant viewpoint. Here’s more on the difference between ephebophilia, hebephilia, and pedophilia.
We discussed the issues of age of consent and relationships with people under the legal age of consent on Friday night’s episode of Free Talk Live. It got real when Rich Paul revealed his first relationship was at age 13 with a 23-year-old woman. Not only did he consent but he pursued having the relationship in the first place, something that the ageists do not believe is possible. They would tell Rich that he was a victim and that his partner belonged in prison or worse. Calling teens children is a true insult that disempowers young people who just want to be respected as equals.
Here’s the full archive from Friday night’s show if you want to hear a rational, calm discussion on these matters. This link will jump you to the beginning of the second hour of the show where we began the discussion in earnest, though the first hour covers some ideas of independence for young people: