Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

I'm not linking to the DM, but Barrister Barbara Hewsin suggests lowering the age iof consent to stop the scapegoating of old men accused of abuse.

(141 Posts)
INeedThatForkOff Thu 09-May-13 08:15:54

I've been very glad to see that times have moved on since my teachers husband tried to assault me on a Year 9 camping trip. I'd be outraged if what happened to me 20+ years ago happened to my DD now.

However Barbara Hewson suggests that 'misdemeanours' such as Ms Hewson argues that 'touching a 17-year-old’s breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one’s hand up a 16-year-old’s skirt' could be addressed by lowering the age of consent to 13.

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before views like this were reported.

Dawndonna Thu 09-May-13 09:08:54

metro article
Disgusting woman with vile ideas.

There must be a mistake, surely this woman is a barrista, not a barrister?

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 09:11:06

No, she could be a barrister.

After all what she's calling for is no different to what Harriet Harman espoused while working for NCCL.

CheerfulYank Thu 09-May-13 09:13:08

Thirteen? Thirteen?!

For fuck's sake. angry

ryanboy Thu 09-May-13 09:13:45

That quote actually makes no sense beacuse a 17 yo is over the age of consent!

Actually I have no objection to lowering the age of consent for partners of the same age.Whilst I really wouldn't want my 12 or 13 yo DD shagging a boy in her class.I don't think this should be a criminal matter. On the other hand an 18 yr old having sex with a 13 yr old.NO NO!

Floggingmolly Thu 09-May-13 09:18:46

She needs to be quietly sectioned; before she does any more damage.

EauRouge Thu 09-May-13 09:19:31

Yes, let's lower the age of consent so those poor defenceless 'old men' can get away with molesting children hmm For fucks fucking sake. How can she actually believe the bullshit she is spouting?

Those 'old men' (thanks for the casual ageism btw) are not being persecuted, they are being charged with crimes.

MrsKoala Thu 09-May-13 09:23:32

I have spoken to many people who have similar views to Hewson - not the lowering of the age of consent, but that it's not too bad to grab someones arse and that young girls can be temptresses etc. So all she is doing really is echoing that opinion and in a democracy representing what a LOT of people think. (not me btw)

I wont get worked up about the lowering of the consent age as it's never going to happen.

I also think some people who had their opinions formed in the 60/70/80's have a very different interpretation of appropriate behaviour. And i do think touching someones bum in the 70's would never have been considered as bad as it is today, so to then go back and project todays cultural standards is wrong. However, i don't think it is acceptable in any way. I think we need to say the dark days of those opinions are gone, re-educate people (like my mum, who thinks you owe a man sex if you go out with him) and say whatever you did before was what you considered acceptable (not talking about rape or anything serious) at the time. It is not now.

A bit like the drinking and driving campaign, or voting for New Labour, it worked because accepting that people used to do it/vote tory but that it was now considered wrong. It's sad, but if we want to change opinions you aren't if people cannot say 'i used to think that was okay, and now i don't' otherwise that type of people dig their heels in and refuse to be budged or go underground. I'm not apologising for it, but merely trying to think of the most effective solution, rather than getting very frothed up (which the left wing often do to its detriment) and alienating people on the fence, or ignorant of the facts. We need to think of the long game here.

I like Spiked, as it does give a voice to opinions, often ones i disagree with, but i think having a platform is important as we need to get all these opinions out in the open and then collectively decide whether we agree as a society or not.

not sure if that makes sense, i'm a bit tired!

comelywenchlywoo Thu 09-May-13 09:24:21

Dear or dear. It sounds like she's spent so long infiltrating "the old boy network" that she's become one of them.

Her views really are so, so wrong. Girls under 16 should be protected by all the clout the law can muster. I'm hoping the recent spate of arrests will encourage men to utilise their self-control, not produce a change in the law to legitimatise what they've been doing.

SirBoobAlot Thu 09-May-13 09:26:11

Fucking hell.

I hate people.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 09-May-13 09:28:53

<hands SirBoob a puppy>

Melawen Thu 09-May-13 09:31:48

At the end of the day it doesn't matter how old/young you are - if you haven't given permission then it is wrong and the younger someone is the less likely they are to understand the ramifications of letting someone grope you.

This so-called barrister is quite simply wrong and if she had girls (font know if she does) then I'm quite sure she'd feel very differently.

Melawen Thu 09-May-13 09:33:19

Font? *don't

Asheth Thu 09-May-13 09:38:36

Somebody needs to tell this woman that no one is scapegoating men. They're investigating and hopefully punishing criminals - you'd think a barrister would know the difference.

INeedThatForkOff Thu 09-May-13 09:46:49

thanks for the casual ageism

I was paraphrasing the headline.

SirBoobAlot Thu 09-May-13 09:47:31

Thanks, Snatch. Think that might be a safer option.

sue52 Thu 09-May-13 09:48:09

She calls Hall's assault on a 9 year old a misdemeanor. Wow. So it's a bit like dropping litter then. angry

mrsdinklage Thu 09-May-13 09:50:11

Hardwicke Chambers are saying they are shocked by her remarks.
Ineedthatforkoff - I don't think Eau meant you were saying casual ageism, but that Hewsin was.

INeedThatForkOff Thu 09-May-13 09:51:23

MrsKoala, that is the kind of argument that's used to excuse racism, sexism and various prejudices 'of their era'. It doesn't make the attitude, or the crimes in this case, right.

I can see that the men accused might have thought they could get away with what they did at the time because it was more commonplace. Doesn't credit them with any decency though. Absolutely right that their behaviour should catch up with them. And if it isn't right that justice should be pursued after the event, how does it make sense to lower the age of consent to retrospectively decriminalise their actions!

INeedThatForkOff Thu 09-May-13 09:53:20

Sorry that last sentence reads as if I think you agree with Hewson. I realise you don't.

UseHerName Thu 09-May-13 09:54:37

The Mail seem to be on a roll today, as another one of their headlines is

'We fought for equality. So why do greedy wives still sponge off their ex-husbands?'

I mean wtf?!

LineRunner Thu 09-May-13 09:58:25

She's crackers.

I was a teenager in the 1970s and I can assure the mad old bat that it was bloody horrible being touched up (yes, assaulted) and luridly propositioned by men then, just as it would be now.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thu 09-May-13 09:58:47

Yes. I suspect there were many men around at the time who wouldnt have dreamed of sexually molesting or raping anyone or having sex with supposedly consenting thirteen year olds. Despite everything that is happening id still like to think they were the majority. So the culture or everyone did it arguments are quite frankly self serving bollocks. Said by sex criminals and paedophiles to try to convince themsekves theyre not that bad.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thu 09-May-13 10:00:06

Line unfortunate x post. Sorry that happened to you

EauRouge Thu 09-May-13 10:01:15

^thanks for the casual ageism

I was paraphrasing the headline.^

Yes, I realise that- I didn't mean to make it sound like I was having a go at you, sorry. I was mocking her original quotes in the article.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now