What Went Wrong This Week For … Underage Girls

Scaachi Koul is a senior writer at BuzzFeed Canada, formerly the managing editor of Hazlitt. Her debut collection of essays, The Pursuit of...

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Welcome to Well, That Sucked, our weekly compendium of exactly what it sounds like. Thrown in this week’s garbage: anyone under 18 who doesn’t feel like getting raped today.

There is no shortage of reasons to hate high school teachers. They make you read To Kill A Mockingbird once a year (I get it, RACISM), they give you extra math homework (What is cosinus? Do I need this? You know what, don’t even answer that), and they get July and August off while you go to summer school to make up for not knowing what cosinus is.

The average offender, however, pales in comparison to Montana’s Stacey Rambold, who is probably the worst high school teacher in the world. In 2007, then-49-year-old Rambold repeatedly raped 14-year-old student Cherice Moralez. While the case was pending, Moralez shot herself in her mother’s bed, a few weeks before she was to turn 17 in 2010. The judge for the case, G Todd Baugh, stated in his ruling that despite being just 14, Moralez was predatory herself, in control of the situation, and was “older than her chronological age”. Baugh presumably just finished Lolita and has a lot of feelings about how things ended for poor Humbert Humbert.

It’s unclear how something like non-chronological age is calibrated—did you cut her arm off and count the rings? Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that she was indeed wise beyond her years, there is virtually no decision that could be made at 14 that is redeemable. Almost everything you do at 14 is a bad idea. Do you know what I did at 14? I got suspended for punching a girl in the head on my third day back at school, I prank-called my Social Studies teacher and left a voicemail, and I once got my period for 15 consecutive days. Nothing good happens at 14.

Baugh argued that her age was basically a technicality, but it’s the entire problem. At 14, you can barely consent to washing your hair on the regular, never mind sexually engaging with a man 35 years your senior.

Rambold was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the entirety of which was suspended minus 31 days, with one day already served. Baugh reasoned that, since Rambold lost his wife (too old, probably), his house, and his job (I can’t believe parents didn’t want him around their kids—hover-parenting at its worst), he had been punished enough. Rambold raped a little girl and drove her to shoot herself in her mother’s bed, but he got fewer days in jail than it takes for me to get my passport renewed.

The judge now says his own ruling may have been illegal. But whatever—that’s probably just a technicality.

Meanwhile at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, frosh week led to a chant about rape and underage sex, spelling out the word young. “Y is for your sister … U is for underage, N is for no consent … Saint Mary’s boys we like them young.” SMU: Go Fightin’ Rapists!

Considering that first-year university students are usually 17 or 18, though, it’s unclear exactly how “young” they want to go. Can you have sex with an ultrasound? Or are they just hoping that whichever underage girl they pick will also feel older than her chronological age?

More than 80 students have to undergo sensitivity training because, apparently, we have to explicitly teach people that you can’t go around singing about fucking children, namely on a university campus, namely on camera. I imagine the sensitivity training consists of gathering the SMU students in a room and making them watch Nickelodeon for 48 hours while screaming, “REALLY? THAT? COME ON.”

What this week has taught us, however, is how easy it is to get away with raping underage girls, or chanting about raping underage girls. Rambold got a month in prison. The SMU students are basically being told to go to class instead of being roundly dismissed from the school. It’s easier to talk about molesting children on a university campus than it is to trick Turnitin into thinking your essay hasn’t been plagiarized.

But don’t get me wrong: there’s no reason to ruin all these lives on what Baugh called a technicality. Judge not, lest ye be judged! I mean, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve done something that just felt legal, even if it might not have been.

The heart wants to rape what it wants.

Well, That Sucked appears every Friday.

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