Kaitlyn Hunt, a girl with the poor luck to be a lesbian in Florida, plea bargained her way into a deal to serve time for having sex with her 15-year-old girlfriend without having to register as a sex offender. It's a familiar story involving statutory rape law but this time applied to a homosexual couple.
Quick legal aside - statutory rape is essentially any sexual intercourse between a legal adult and a minor, even if said minor gives consent. This is generally a good law because no matter how mature some snot-nosed teenager says they are, they're still a damned teenager. So no touchy.
Where it can - and has - run into problems is when it's applied to a teenage couple where one is eighteen and the other is not. In Hunt's case, she was 18 and her girlfriend was at the time 14. Hunt has since moved on to dating a 27-year-old, whom the Daily News tries real hard to portray as a hardened ex-con, despite the fact that being black in Florida is even worse for your future than being gay.
What makes Hunt's case interesting isn't all these sordid details. Well it is, but not for the reasons the comfortable media class would have you believe: Hunt's relationships are reflective of a simple reality of life in America that is only rarely acknowledged.
I'm talking of course about white trash. I grew up in Woodbridge Virginia and got to see this up close. For every kid with two stable parents and a future there were about a dozen from broken homes with no greater ambition than an associate's degree from NOVA and a car built after the 1980s. A couple of them were parents themselves, while still in high school. This one girl in my 11th grade English class was a 19-year-old raver with an angel obsession. And she was Jewish because in modern America even Jews can be white trash.
Relationships with three to fours years age difference was not that uncommon. The Woodbridge kids - like all teenagers - were looking for affection and working off their hormones with whoever was willing. If one was 18 and the other was 14, so be it.
"But the 18-year-old is the responsible party! The law says so!"
That's the common defense of Hunt's sentence and it raises what I thought was an obvious question - Are you lying or just plain stupid? What 18-year-old has ever demonstrated responsibility? Isn't that why we make 'em wait three more years to buy beer?
But this world, this Real America, is stridently denied at all times. Either it's wrong for Hunt to touch her girlfriend because she was technically an adult at the time, or it's wrong to throw her in because fill in your preferred cause. "Love" was the most popular cause on display at the time, as if any teenager is capable of such a thing, and it likely doesn't hold much water now that Hunt moved on to an actual adult (who, at nearly a decade Hunt's senior, is doing even more cradle robbing but hey, legal age and all). The gay cause is sneered at more than it's actually cited, another standard of the flat normal in America. If anything, the popular response at the time was how only a lesbian would be so lucky as to not have to register as a sex offender for, you know, sexing up a minor:
"If this person was male, 20 years, no parole." ~ henrythe8iam
If you go digging through the various other articles from a year ago, you'll find that exact comment by someone. By a disturbingly many someones. This isn't just common misogyny or the bizarre double-standard of the homophobe - guy on guy is evil, girl on girl is hot - but representative of probably the most grotesque brainwave in modern America that nobody ever wants to talk about. It comes up frequently enough, whether in the latest outrage at Reddit for upvoting child pornography or pointing out that sexualizing an adult actress known for playing a minor is skeevey no matter what way you cut it, but the popularity of the sentiment is . When internet commentators like henrythe8iam say these things, it's because they can't say the simple truth of how they feel - "I'm a 30 something loser and I want to fuck middle schoolers!"
That's the dark desire at the heart of so many American men. Far more than we will ever be comfortable admitting. Whether because they never developed emotionally after the age of 15 or because the flat hell that is existence outside the coastalite enclaves has worn down their confidence when addressing fellow grown-ups, it doesn't matter. The result is this atomized culture has ever more lonely, desperate dweebs who will end up on To catch a Predator. Helps you understand why this rotten country needs a Mid-East war every couple years, keep itself distracted from its own miserable reality.