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Jail Bait. please help me articulate why is it such an offensive phrase please.

(37 Posts)
Ormirian Sun 07-Nov-10 20:43:28

DH used it about a young DD of one of our friends. I spluttered and got cross. He looked embarrassed. All I could say was 'she's just a child, if anyone touches here they are disgusting' but I don't think it clarified things much.

It just made me see red.

SleepingLion Sun 07-Nov-10 20:45:25

Because it suggests that a girl under the legal age of consent is sexually attractive/sexually provocative/sexually precocious.

Which is just icky.

grannieonabike Sun 07-Nov-10 20:48:18

Maybe because it implies that anyone who goes for a young girl is baited, ie tempted, and so it's not their fault ...?

It's the classic paedophile/rapist line: 'She was leading me on' or 'Just couldn't help myself - temptation beyond my control'. All rather nasty.

NOT implying that your husband is any such thing, obviously! He probably just meant that she was attractive and young or precocious/well-developed?

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Sun 07-Nov-10 20:50:04

I had no idea what it meant, never thought about it, but now I have eeeewwww. It does imply that she so something that she'd tempt someone into raping her. How the fuck anyone can ever be measured in that way is disgusting.

Ormirian Sun 07-Nov-10 20:50:05

Yes grannie - he was using it as shorthand. The child in question is 13 and without a doubt is well-developed for her age and dresses in a quite adult way. But you only have to speak to her for a few minutes to see that she is just a child.

scurryfunge Sun 07-Nov-10 20:51:02

It transfers blame for any illegality to the victim.

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Sun 07-Nov-10 20:51:09

Or does it mean 'fuckable' and therefore statutory rape. (excuse those terms)

Ormirian Sun 07-Nov-10 20:53:03

Thanks.

That is it. It makes it her responsibility and it isn't.

OptimistS Sun 07-Nov-10 21:10:13

I think the reason it bothers me is because it firmly places the role of a female solely in terms of how she affects men. It implies that she wouldn't be worth mentioning or even thinking about in her own right and her only interesting feature is how she may be perceived by the men around her. sad

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sun 07-Nov-10 23:14:08

It implies that she's a "snare" to otherwise right-thinking chaps who might be lured by her fearsome 13 year old body into acting like paedophiles/statutory rapists. Which they aren't otherwise. Honest.

It's similar to the way that "lolita" has been transformed from the name of a girl who is a victim of rape and child abuse in a book, to mean "a tempting underage girl who knows what she wants [sex with 40 year old men]".

Vile.

HerBeatitude Sun 07-Nov-10 23:19:03

Yep agree with all the others, it's offensive because it justifies paedophilia and it takes on the mindset of a paedophile - "I can't help raping children when they look so good."

Disgusting.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Sun 07-Nov-10 23:21:48

I agree with all that has been written above,

almost suggesting it was known that jail was waiting but that the prize of raping a child would be worth it.

It makes me feel physically sick, but that is probably due to my baggage of being raped when I was 11.

dittany Sun 07-Nov-10 23:45:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

booyhoo Sun 07-Nov-10 23:49:37

agree dittany. like prison is the only reason they shouldn't have sex with a child.

DinahRod Sun 07-Nov-10 23:55:40

In Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men', Curley's wife (never named in her own right, always an appendage) is termed "jail-bait", not because she's underage, but because she is trouble waiting to happen, seeking out liaisons with other men, and her husband is a nasty piece of work. But the term now is synonymous with being under age. Implied is there not, also a critique of the parents as either they have okay-ed or even chosen the clothing. It's very loaded.

EvilEyeButterPie Mon 08-Nov-10 00:00:47

I remember one weekend away when I was 15 with a gang of older blokes (it was a festival) and they were constantly calling me and my friend (also 15) jail bait as some kind of compliment. We giggled and squirmed and felt uncomfortable but couldn't place why.

madwomanintheattic Mon 08-Nov-10 00:21:04

mmm, i see that. but i have to say i have heard it used in a less offensive manner when the young ladies in question are deliberately dressing up in order to pass as much older teens/ twenties in order to get served alcohol in bars and pick up older guys... so the girls are going full out 'i'm 18 and i'm in this bar drinking' and flirting with guys to get sonsensual sex - and later turning out to be 14 or 15.

interestingly, it happened to a female friend of mine when she was picked up by a bloke in a bar... after two months of dating him - and several instances of consensual sex lol (although to this day she claims she didn't sleep with him on the first date)and having him drive her car several times (he said his was in the shop) she found out he was 15 and about to take his gcses... she was 21 shock

i think she was visited by the police, although she was very quiet about it (i only know because i was out with her when they first met, and asked her how they were getting on periodically).

classic jail bait, really. i think originally the term was used because the young people genuinely were out on the pull, trying to get kudos by picking up older guys/ women. it's still a bit grim, but if you have consensual sex with a guy or girl you honestly believe to be over 18 and meet in a bar, and then get called by the police, then i sort of lose sympathy with the underage 'victim'...

i think it's 'GI bait' if you happen to live next door to an american air base though...

SkeletonFlowers Mon 08-Nov-10 00:47:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoralDefective Mon 08-Nov-10 01:23:04

Horrid terminology.
Implies the girl is responsible for their desires.
My friends daughter has a problem with boys and men(she is 16) because she has (like her Mum)really big boobs.
She gets awful comments from men who should know better and gets very upset by them to the point where she wants to have them made smaller surgically.
This has been going on since she was about 13.
She HATES her tits and who can blame her.sad

dittany Mon 08-Nov-10 01:31:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nooka Mon 08-Nov-10 04:33:04

If you are a great deal older than whoever you pick up then it is entirely your responsibility to be absolutely 100% sure they are old enough to really know what they are doing.

We used the term 'baby-snatcher' when we were students of people who had much younger girlfriends and I'd use it in the reverse too. It makes it totally clear that it is the older person fucking up the younger person and not the other way around.

There may be a few naive people out there who are totally incapable of seeing the difference between a young adult and an older child, but I think they are the minority. Most people who pick up/date those much much younger and less mature than themselves are deliberately going for vulnerability.

There's nothing new about teenagers trying to pass as old enough to drink - most of those who "just didn't know" did exactly the same thing themselves after all.

madwomanintheattic Mon 08-Nov-10 05:28:29

oh, i dunno - a group of hot young women in a bar getting leathered, then all going off clubbing until 3am? i think i'd assume they were old enough to shag, if that was what i was after, tbh, even if not legally old enough to drink.

it's really gross when there is an obvious age difference - i'd wonder about the bloke's motives anyway. 'jail bait' has always been used to warn off those not old enough to be discerning - those who are only after a quick fumble in any case, because it's friday. etc, and are used to girls/ women looking for the same, and offering it.

i think we're talking about two different things though - much older guys perving about much younger girls, as opposed to those of much the same age who happen to be on opposite sides of a legal boundary, despite the younger party making enormous efforts to appear 'legal'.

no idea how much effort a 19yo bloke with the horn makes to check id though. grin

i know my 21yo friend didn't check his id, lol. but she was so mortified i don't think she dated for a year after that, and it was always someone she 'knew', never anyone she met in a bar lol.

nooka Mon 08-Nov-10 07:35:52

I guess it depends on your definition of same age range really. I'd say that 21 and 15 were in two totally different realms. But that's more about 15 year olds really. I had a friend at university who at 22 dated a 16 year old and we thought that pretty disgusting. Just couldn't fathom why he thought of her as anything other than younger sister territory really (ie to be mentored not fucked).

SkeletonFlowers Mon 08-Nov-10 09:59:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

booyhoo Mon 08-Nov-10 10:02:08

nooka i agree. when i was just turned 16 i started at college and had a few girls that were 18/19 on my course. one of them set me up with her friend. i went ahead thinking he was her age. he was 23. i obliged and went to the cinema with him and then told him that my dad wanted me home for midnight. he kept asking if we had time 'to stop along the way'. i felt sick, (bearing in mind the legal age of consent in northern ireland was 17 at the time). when i spoke to my friend afterwards asking her why she did that she said she never even considered it a problem as she had been friends with him since she was 14 and he had always dated girls around her age shock. when i think about it now i really do think he was disgusting. what 23 year old has an interest in a 16 year old?

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