Last week I came across a post on an anti-feminist blog which dismissed "garden variety" aggressive sexual behavior by boys and men from the list of possible acts of sexual violence for no reason other than how common that behavior is.
That line of rape denial is so familiar and so blatant that I didn't bother highlighting it.
However, I was reminded of the twisted logic in that post by an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about protests from the parents of a boy who they acknowledge grabbed girls at his school.
In a case his parents consider prosecutorial overkill, a 14-year-old Mequon boy has been charged with five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and faces the prospect of being tagged a sex offender for touching several girls in what his parents admit was an inappropriate manner.
So, last week in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, the boy's parents said no when Ozaukee County District Attorney Sandy Williams offered to reduce the charges to two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and, if he pleaded no contest, to expunge his conviction if he stayed out of trouble for a year.
The parents said their son was guilty of nothing more than disorderly conduct. [...]
Two girls at Steffen Middle School in Mequon told officials June 6, a Friday, that the boy, 13 years old at the time, during class had grabbed the buttocks of one girl, 14, and unhooked the bra of the other girl, 13.
Under questioning by police, officials learned of other unreported incidents going back to October 2007, when the boy was 12, when he grabbed other girls' buttocks or their breasts, licked a girl's neck and tickled another girl in the stomach, according to the petition.
This boy's parents sent their son to Utah for 2 months where he was enrolled in a wilderness camp for troubled teens, but if they continue to minimize his actions they will only help their son wrongly feel that he's the victim in this case.
The parents of this boy are choosing to ignore that those girls had the legal right not to be grabbed or groped irregardless of the motives of the boy who did so. The mother described her son's alleged crimes as "numskull friendliness" which utterly fails to acknowledge the impact of his method of "friendliness." That failure is dangerous to those around her son and it is dangerous to her son.
The story claims that the girls don't want this boy charged with a crime, they just want his behavior stopped by the school. The parents of the boy seem to take this stated position as proof that their son didn't commit the crime he's accused of, but that is wrong. It makes sense that the top priority for the girls who were grabbed is for the school to not tolerate students who grab and grope other students because that action protects those girls and other students from more than just an individual offender.
Twisting the girls desire to put stopping this illegal behavior above their desire for criminal punishment into support for the illegal behavior is nonsense.
These parents are attempting to use a so-called positive motivation to position their son as wrongly accused. By doing so they are teaching their son a dangerous way of thinking about the law and his behavior toward girls.
State law says fourth-degree sexual assault occurs when someone intentionally touches another person to gratify himself sexually, or sexually degrades or humiliates that person.
This boy's actions, which his parents don't deny, clearly fit this description. Their argument echoes the anti-feminist argument which seeks to dismiss all "garden variety" sexual aggression as normal.
The logic seemed to be that if sexual aggressiveness on the part of boys and men (refusing to stop at "no" or not bothering to get a genuine "yes") is common then it is normal behavior and therefore should be treated as if it were legal behavior even when it is not legal.
This twisted logic puts the target of that aggressiveness in danger, but it also sets up "normal" boys and men for rightful criminal convictions.