Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The MET Refuses to Remove Balthus' “Thérèse Dreaming” | Art or Teen Sexualization ?

Balthus' “Thérèse Dreaming” (1938) @ The MET

I wrote in Nymphalis carmen: Nympholepsy in Nabokov’s Oeuvre that Nabokov shared in Strong Opinions: "A contemporary artist I do admire very much, though not only because he paints Lolita-like creatures, is Balthus." (167) 

And Balthus shared in Balthus the Painter (1996), in reference to Nabokov: “I think we feel the same thing in the presence of young girls.”

We've done a number of posts on this blog about the debate between art and (teen) pornography.  Coincidentally, Peter Libbey reported in the New York Times that, despite over 8,000 virtual signatures on an online petition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), is refusing to remove Balthus' “Thérèse Dreaming” (1938) where a nymphet reclines with her hands behind her head with her left foot resting on the chair, which causes her panties to be exposed below her petite jupe.

According to the petition's website: "The Met is, perhaps unintentionally, supporting voyeurism and the objectification of children." And Mia Merrill, the petition’s author, opined that the painting is: "[...] blatant objectification and sexualization of a child [...]"

However,  Ken Weine, the MET’s chief communications officer, responded: “[...] visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.” 


Peter Schjeldahl wrote in The New Yorker (Jan. 1, 2018): Thérèse was the daughter of a [...] a neighbor of Balthus's in Paris. At the time, she was twelve or thirteen years old, and Balthus was about thirty. He had been making paintings of her since she was around eleven [...]" 

Schjeldahl opined that the painting has an "erotic charge" and, as a side note, related that Balthus: "[...] had an affair with a teen-age daughter of Georges Bataille."

Sunday, November 26, 2017

BLIND FAITH & VIRGIN KILLER: Nude [Pre-Teen] Nymphets on Albums Covers

Blind Faith & Virgin Killer: [Censored] Album Covers

Just like (some) publishers use the allure of nymphets to sell books, (some) record companies use nude pre-teens to sell albums.

For example, Blind Faith (1969) is a certified platinum album by the English band Blind Faith. Unsurprisingly, the album cover sparked controversy due to the topless nymphet who is holding a very phallic toy (airplane). The cover was designed by photographer Bob Seidemann - Eric Clapton's friend and former roommate.

Per Feelnumb, here's Seidemann's rationale for the concept:
“I could not get my hands on the image until out of the mist a concept began to emerge. To symbolize the achievement of human creativity and its expression through technology a space ship was the material object. To carry this new spore into the universe, innocence would be the ideal bearer, a young girl, a girl as young as Shakespeare’s Juliet. The space ship would be the fruit of the tree of knowledge and the girl, the fruit of the tree of life.”

“The space ship could be made by Mick Milligan, a jeweler at the Royal College of Art. The girl was another matter. If she were too old it would be cheesecake, too young and it would be nothing. The beginning of the transition from girl to woman, that is what I was after. That temporal point, that singular flare of radiant innocence. Where is that girl?”
Initially, Seidermann planned to use a 14-year-old Brit but was smitten by Mariora Goschen, her 11-year-old sister.

Unsurprisingly, the album was released with a different cover in the US.

An 11-year-old nude nymphet posed seductively on the album cover of the Scorpion's Virgin Killer (1976), which was designed by Steffan Böhle - the product manager for the West German branch of RCA Records. Wait. Virgin killer?

Here's an excerpt from an interview on Blabbermouth with Scorpions' guitarist Rudolf Schenker:
Blasting-Zone.com: In hindsight, do you regret releasing the album Virgin Killer with the original uncensored cover?

Rudolf: "No. .We didn't actually have the idea. It was the record company. The record company guys were like, 'Even if we have to go to jail, there's no question that we'll release that.' 

Once again, unsurprisingly, the album was released with a different cover in the US and per AllMusic, Virgin Killer was "[...] quite popular in Japan." 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

High School Summer Reading List: LESS THAN ZERO | Teen Rape & "Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage"

This is an actual summer reading list from a Manhattan high school, which is located in the Riffs' old neighborhood near the Drummond's street. 

Over a third of the students are white, 15% are Asian and according to Great Schools: "This school is rated above average in school quality compared to other schools in the state." 

It's what we would call a public\private school since only 10% of the African-American students were submitted after a review of their applications.

We could have written this post about any of the books on the summer reading list except for maybe Jay Z's Decoded. For example, in Junot Diaz's, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Ana Obregon is, " [...] a pretty loudmouthed gordita who read Henry Miller [e.g. Sexus] while she should have been learning to wrestle logic problems."
13-year-old Ana was introduced to Henry Miller by her 24-year-old boyfriend before he left the east coast to join the military. "He used to read passages to her all the time: That made me so hot," she said.

However, Ellis' Less Than Zero peaked our interest based on the teacher's disclaimer: "Note that this novel contains some disturbing content, including rape and drug use.

But we never would have imagined that there was not one, not two, not three but four nymphets who were raped in the novel!

18-year-old Clay, the novel's protagonist, who is visiting his hometown of Los Angeles during a winter break from his east coast college, attends a party in Malibu where: 
Everyone in the room is looking up at a large television screen [...] There's a young girl, nude, maybe fifteen, on a bed, her arms are tied together above her head and her legs spread apart, each foot tied to a bedpost [...] The camera cuts quickly to [...] this fat black guy, who's also naked and who's got this huge hardon [...] he has sex with the girl and then walks off the screen.

It's a snuff film, but the viewers at the party debate whether or not the Black man really killed the nymphet with "an ice pick, and what looks like a wire hanger and a package of nails and then a thin, large knife".
After Clay visits Daniel's house, Daniels tells Clay about a girl he knows but he doesn't share her name:
"She's pretty and sixteen and [...] she goes to Westward Ho on Westwood Boulevard and she meets her dealer there [...] And this guy spends all day shooting her full of smack again and again..."
"And then he feeds her some acid and takes her off to a party in the hills or in the Colony and then...and then..." Daniel stops.
"And then what?" I ask, handing him back the joint.
"And then she gets gangbanged by the entire party."
Subsequently, Clay describes a visit: 
"[...] to Rip's apartment in Wilshire, he leads us into the bedroom. There's a naked girl, really young and pretty, lying on the mattress. Her legs are spread and tied to the bedposts and her arms are tied above her head. Her cunt is all rashed and looks dry and I can see that it's been shaved. She keeps moaning and murmuring words and moving her head from side to side [...]"
Rip says something.
"She's twelve."
"And she is tight, man," Spin laughs. 
"Her name is Shandra and she goes to Corvalis" is all Rips says.
Clay declines to have sex with the nymphet but her later shared:
"A young girl from San Diego who had been at the party [in Palm Springs on the desert with kids from L.A and San Francisco and Sacramento] had been found the next morning, her wrists and ankles tied together. She had been raped repeatedly. She also had been strangled and her throat had been slit and her breasts had been cut off and someone had stuck candles where they used to be. Her body had been found at the Sun Air Drive-In hanging upside down from the swing set [...]"

Interestingly, Clay's blond younger sisters (approximately 13 and 15) enjoy listening to Killer Pussy's "Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage". Admittedly, the younger nymphet does cocaine, and both nymphets watch porn with the sound off but one of them "hates it when they show the guy coming".

Here's an excerpt from the lyrics to "Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage":
Teenage, green age, awkward in-between age
(Teenage enema nurse)
I turned fifteen, thought it was a teen scene
(Teenage enema nurse)
Thought it would be easy, but it makes me queasy
I'm a teenage enema nurse

They told me, "Stick the nozzle in
There's really nothing to it
It's not a very pretty job

But someone's got to do it"

Saturday, November 4, 2017

[Update] Harrower's BLACKBIRD: A Nymphet's Affair with Her Neighbor

A Play by David Harrower

David Harrower's one-act play Blackbird was inspired by U.S. Marine Toby Studebaker's relationship with Shevaun Pennington - a twelve-year-old British girl. 

Studebaker met Pennington in 2002 on Neopets - a virtual pet community. Pennington was eleven-years-old, but she told Studebaker that she was seventeen. Pennington told her parents that she was going shopping, but she failed to inform them that she was going with Studebaker and that the store was in Paris. Studebaker and Pennington stayed in a Parisian hotel for two days before relocating to Strasbourg were Studebaker was arrested.

In the play, Ray gets a surprise visit from Una. During the visit they discuss their age-discrepant relationship that began after Una's father invited Ray to a backyard barbecue. Ray was forty and Una was twelve.

As typical, the nymphet, Una, initiated the relationship by flirting, hanging around Ray's car, and leaving notes under his windshield wipers. Even Ray's girlfriend noticed that Una was "after" Ray. 

Una confessed, "I'd done anything you said. I wanted you to be my boyfriend. I wanted to sit beside you in your car and be driven into town. And for people to see me. See us. I took a Polaroid of you and with my friend we kissed it we put it on my pillow and slept beside it. And I [used] any excuse. Brought you cookies and brownies that my mother made. Asked you to sponsor me for a walk-a-thon [...] I was shameless." 

However, Una went on to blame Ray for the affair that led to his imprisonment. "You didn't stop that. All you had to do was tell my parents. A stupid girl who had a stupid crush. But you didn't. You let it start." By "let it start", Una was referring to the time she summoned Ray into the park bushes where they subsequently fondled and made love several times. 

The relationship ended after Ray and Una "got a room at a guest house" where they had sex, twice, on a twin bed. Ray left for cigarettes, but after he took longer than expected to return, Una searched for him, but that quest exposed their affair to her parents after she was discovered by a couple walking their dog.

Consequently, due to age-of-consent laws, Studebaker and Ray should have told the nubile nymphets, "See me when you're legal. If you're still interested."

Jeff Daniels played Ray in a 2007 Manhattan Theater Club production of Blackbird and Daniels reprised the role in a 2016 Broadway revival at the Belasco Theatre. 

Una (2017), a close adaption of the play, starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, has been released. Here's IMDb's plot summary: A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbor, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship when she was thirteen.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Famous Teleiophile: Ottoman Empress Roxelana

The Briefly Noted feature in the Oct. 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker noted Leslie Peirce's Empress of the East, which is a biography of Ottoman empress Roxelana. 

According to Encyclopædia Britannica, before Roxelana became the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

She was captured as a young girl by Crimean Tatar raiders and taken to Constantinople (now Istanbul), the Ottoman capital, where she was sold in a slave market to someone connected to Süleyman, who became sultan in 1520. She [...] entered the harem, the royal household in which hundreds of women were held in sexual servitude to the sultan. 

Roxelana was a fifteen-year-old nymphet when she entered the Sultan's harem, and she was not the only nymphet "held in sexual servitude".

Saturday, October 7, 2017

[WTF] Sexting Nymphets is Illegal, But Sexing Nymphets Is Legal

An Indiana man is facing up to three years in prison for sending nude photos to a 16-year-old girl. But if he’d had sex with her instead, he would get off scot-free, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Monday.

High school teacher [...] began chatting with a then-16-year-old girl sometime in January 2014, reported the Indy Star. At some point, after about an hour of discussing the girl’s age online, in which she told him she was not yet 18 and wished she was, he sent her lewd images of himself.
[...], who was in his first year of teaching, was charged with one count of felony dissemination of matter harmful to minors, the Indy Star reported.

But he argued in court that the law didn’t make any sense. That’s because in Indiana, it is legal for 16 and 17-year-olds to have consensual sex with adults. At the same time, it’s not legal for adults to send those same minors nude photos.

The court originally agreed with him and tossed the charges, calling it “patently illogical” that an adult man could legally expose himself in person but could face jail for doing it digitally, according to the ruling.

But the case was appealed all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court, which vacated the lower court’s ruling and upheld the charges. Even though the law was “inconsistent,” the court said in a 5-0 decision, that [it] was a matter for the state’s lawmakers to sort out, not the courts.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Famous Teleiophile: The 'First Supermodel' Teen Evelyn Nesbit's Old\Young Sexual Affairs

Here's the thorough headline for Anna Hopkins' Daily Mail piece: Inside the Crime of the 20th Century: The 'mad millionaire' who shot dead New York architect as revenge for sexually assaulting his teenage model wife – before continuing his life of luxury behind bars (21 September 2017)
  • Harry Thaw, a railroad heir worth $40 million, assassinated revered architect and socialite Stanford White on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden in 1906
  • Thaw said he did it because White 'ruined his wife' - the 'first supermodel' Evelyn Nesbit, who was the 'it-girl' of the early 1900s
  • Nesbit had revealed to her husband that White sexually assaulted her when she was 16-years-old in his West 24th Street playhouse
  • [White met [...] Evelyn in 1901 – she was 16 and he was 47, with a known proclivity for young women.]
  • Despite this, she and White went on to have a years-long affair and just before she died at the age of 82 in 1967 she described him as 'the most wonderful man I ever knew'
  • Thaw was found to be criminally insane after two trials, due to the high profile nature of the case
  • It was the first trial in United States history that a jury was sequestered for, and became known as the 'Trial of the Century'
The following excerpts will serve as a fitting summary of the age-gap love scandal:
In the investigation that ensued, a tragic and bizarre 'love triangle' was revealed between the architect, the millionaire, and his model wife – New York City's first 'it-girl' Evelyn Nesbit. 

Evelyn was just 15 when she began modelling in New York City, and she looked even younger. She quickly skyrocketed to popularity in the magazine industry, and graced the covers of Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar in the early 1900s.

Her often sexual poses earned her the title of the world's first pin-up girl [...] 

No one was more invested in Evelyn's success than Stanford White, an architect whose firm constructed the second Madison Square Garden, Washington Square Arch, and mansions for the Vanderbilts.
Teen Evelyn Nesbit

White met for the first time Evelyn in 1901 – she was 16 and he was 47, with a known proclivity for young women. 

White convinced Evelyn's mother that it would be a good idea for her to visit friends back in Philadelphia. While her mother was away, [16-year-old] Evelyn came back to White's West 24th Street flat.

Again, the two made the tour of the apartment drinking champagne, and this time adjourning to the 10x10ft room with mirrors installed entirely around the walls and on the ceiling. This time, the alcohol made her lose consciousness. The last thing she remembered was changing into a yellow kimono, and when she regained consciousness, she was naked in his bed and no longer a virgin.

Thus began the teenager's years-long affair with the architect, who had a wife, Bessie, and son Lawrence. At the time, Evelyn was still 16 [...]

However, Evelyn was not White's only mistress [...]

In her memoir, Evelyn wrote: 'When I was robbed of my illusions by Stanford's continued interest in other women, love had died in my heart. And I did resolutely put him out of my mind too. I went on adoring Stanford for his kindness, his thoughtfulness, no more.'

Eventually Evelyn met Harry Thaw, the multi-million dollar railroad heir who was known to be mentally ill – but piqued Evelyn's interests by delivering her roses encased in $50 bills.

While on a trip to Europe, Evelyn decided to come clean about her past with White, and told her husband to-be about being drugged and raped in the Mirror Room [and the rest his history].

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hrafnhildur Hagalin 's “Guilty”: A Teen Sex Scandal | A Nymphet, Her Mother & Their "Lover"

I saw Guilty [Icelandic: Sek], which was a part of the 8th annual Dream Up festival, last Saturday at the Theater for the New City in the East Village with about nineteen other theatergoers. Here's the plot summary from the theater's website:
“Guilty” by Hrafnhildur Hagalin Gudmundsdottir is based on the trial transcript from an 1837 criminal case, “the nastiest in Icelandic history” in the words of the young judge who presided there. A twelve-year-old girl is sexually abused on a remote farm, Rifsaedasel, in the moorlands high above the barren north coast of Iceland, 66°32' N, 16°11' W. 

The mother’s love affair with the abuser, the hired hand on her husband’s subsistence farm, drives her to testify against her young daughter during the trial in a desperate attempt to conceal her lover´s crime. The crime of adultery, to which the mother confesses, is at the time of the trial a capital offense. What punishment will the judge mete out?

The playwright works from the actual testimony, which has been preserved to this day in the handwritten Thingeyjasysla County court records. “Guilty” focuses on the love triangle; on Jorunn, the mother´s, sexual obsession; and, consequently, on the eternal questions of innocence and guilt. 
Bailey Newman

The plot summary of the play, that ended Sunday, doesn't make it explicitly clear that the mother desired to continue her affair with her daughter's "abuser" after she knew that he had raped the nymphet who was played by Bailey Newman - a non-nymphet but passable in pigtails.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pre-Teen Orgy in Stephen King’s IT

E. Alex Jung's September 8, 2017 post, "How Does the New It Movie Deal With Stephen King’s [Pre-teen] Orgy Scene?", on Vulture relates:

Since its publication in September of 1986, It has enjoyed a long shelf life, first as a book that spent 14 weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list [...] This week, It hits theaters for the first time as a feature film [...].

But one controversial scene from King’s novel has dogged the book and subsequent adaptations. After defeating It, the kids get lost in the sewer tunnels on the way out; this is attributed in part to the fact that they’re losing their “connection” to one another. The solution is to bind them together, which Beverly — the only girl in the story’s main group of protagonists, called “the Losers” — says can only happen if each of the boys has sex with her. Where they’re timid and unsure, she’s confident and maternal [...]The sex is a “consensual” gang bang, with each of the boys losing his virginity, and thus entering manhood, through Beverly.

[...] critics and readers looking back at it have called it everything from “disturbing” to “sick” to “insane.” A Reddit reader from last year simply asked, “WTF?” and generated over 500 comments. For almost ten exhaustive pages, King describes each of the boys having sex with Beverly and their orgasms as a version of “flying.”

Although, Beverly doesn't have sex in the adaptation, Jung relates that the film: "sexualizes her several times, like when she flirts with a middle-aged cashier at a pharmacy to help the boys steal some supplies."

Here are two excerpts and the complete section from Chapter 22 sections (11) Beverly and (12) Love and Desire/August 10th 1958:

"You have to put your thing in me."

"Mike comes to her, then Richie, and the act is repeated. Now she feels some pleasure, dim heat in her childish unmatured sex, and she closes her eyes as Stan comes to her and she thinks of the birds."

Monday, August 28, 2017

Famous Ephebophile: Serge Gainsbourg | Teen Oral Sex, "Lemon Incest" & French Schoolgirl Seduction

Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

Serge Gainsbourg, the infamous French songwriter, poet, artist, actor and director, had a famous age-gap relationship with Jane Birkin, but their affair didn't fit the strict definition of ephebophilia, because Birkin only looked like she was 18; however, their eighteen-year age is close enough to warrant a honorable mention. 

Interestingly, in 1966 Serge wrote “Les Sucettes [Enlgish: Lollipops]” for 18-year-old blonde songstress France Gall. 

The song is about Anna, a young girl who is in paradise every time that “stick slides down her throat”. Gall emphatically claimed that, even after shooting the video while seductively holding an ≈ 12-inch long lollipop, she didn't know that the song, which admittedly on the surface appears to be a children's song, was about oral sex. Unsurprisingly, “Les Sucettes” was Gall's biggest hit.

In 1971, Serge released the ephebophilia themed French concept album, Histoire de Melody Nelson. The theme of the album explores an affair between Gainsbourg and nymphet Melody Nelson. 

The song “Melody” reveals that the age-gap couple met after Gainsbourg accidentally knocked Melody off her bike with his Rolls Royce. As Gainsbourg exited his “Silver Ghost from the nineteen hundreds”, he noticed: “Melody Nelson has red hair\And it’s her natural colour.” And he noticed: “Her skirt pulled over her white Knickers.”

“Ballade de Melody Nelson” informs that Melody is f15-years-old: “Fourteen autumns\And fifteen summers”. And Gainsbourg describes Melody as “such a delicious child.”

It's implied in “Hotel Particulier” that Gainsbourg and Melody made love in room forty-four, the Cleopatra room, of the private hotel: 'While above us a mirror reflects our image\Slowly I embrace Melody.'

The album concludes with “Cargo Culte” and the conclusion of their age-discrepant relationship with Gainsbourg hoping for a miracle: '[t]hat would bring me Melody back\Juvenile girl veered off the disastrous attraction.'

The February 2010 French edition of Rolling Stone ranked Histoire de Melody Nelson the 4th finest French language rock recording of all time.

Lemon Incest (1985)

In 1985, “Lemon Incest” was released on the Gainsbourg's album Love on the Beat. The duet, which was written by Gainsbourg, was performed with Charlotte, his 12-year-old daughter. The song was controversial, because it contained lyrics with, you guessed it, incenteous themes, and Gainsbourg was (incorrectly) accused of promoting pedophilia. And it did not help that in the music video the father and daughter frolicked in bed while Gainsbourg was topless and Charlotte was in panties. Despite the controversial aspects of the song, it reached number 2 on the French charts.

However, ≈ 14-year-old Charlotte appeared topless in a number of scenes in Charlotte for Ever (1986) while her father, the film's director, caressed her in bed.  And it's worth noting that 13-year-old Charlotte appeared topless in Claude Miller's L'effrontée (1985) as well.

Serge Gainsbourg wrote the screenplay for Stan the Flasher (1990) - in seven days in Paris' Hotel Raphael. In the film, which Gainsbourg directed as well, Stan Goldberg, an English teacher, attempts to seduce Natacha, his English tutee. 

Natacha rejects her English teacher's aggressive advances (e.g., a hand under her skirt and down her blouse). But in the end, she appears to be intrigued by his flashes.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Calvin Klein, Lulu & Sexualized Children in Advertising and on Social Media

We recently received the new issue of Vanity Fair (September 2017), and the photo below got our attention due to the youthful look of the model. The caption reads: "Lulu, the new Calvin Klein jeans model." Besides the picture of Lulu, the article, "Capturing Calvin Klein", included a reference to the book The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes and related that nineteen-year-old Paris Jackson has been named the face of Calvin Klein.

A Google search revealed that Lulu's last name is Tenney, but it did not reveal her exact age. Model agencies do a great job of keeping that a secret; however, she is at least eighteen-years-old, because an underwear model has to be at least eighteen in Britain. 

However, that didn't prevent Rachel Ashby, a concerned parent of an eleven-year-old, from complaining about a Calvin Klein advertisement outside of the House of Fraser boutique. The advertisement pictured Lulu tugging on her black Calvin Klein bra. Ashby posted on her Facebook wall: "This huge billboard outside Cavendish House advertising women's lingerie...It's 2017 ffs and Calvin Klein are [sic] still using what look [sic] like 12 year old girls in their campaigns. It is just  me..??!!"

Ashby told the Daily Mail, “The fact that she looks underage in terms of body shape and somewhat vulnerable facial expression, combined with the fact that she is wearing very little and is adopting a strangely provocative pose means it could be deemed to sexualize children.”

We agree 100% with Ashby. There is absolutely no doubt that Lulu was chosen by Calvin Klein, because she looks like a nymphet.  However, orthodox Muslims and Jews would argue that no one, no matter the age, should be on a billboard modeling underwear. And Ashby missed another point. Her very own eleven-year-old daughter probably has more provocative pictures, videos and snaps on her social media than Lulu's underwear advertisement.

For example, here's the text to a link next to Ashby's article on the Daily Mail': "Cindy Crawford's model daughter Kaia Gerber shares candid [Instagram] images from the family's fun-filled vacation in Canada, as they play host to A-list guests like Harry Styles and singer Madison Beer"

But the above pictures of fifteen-year-old Kaia Gerber and eighteen-year-old fellow model Charlotte D'Alessio, which were posted on the Daily Mail, are tame compared to some of nymphet's other Instagram photos. For example:

Instagram / @Kaiagerber
Instagram / @Charlottedalessio

Ashby is correct to complain about what she refers to as "sexualize[d] children" in the advertising and modeling industries, but "children" "sexualize" themselves on social media far more often. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A History of the Age of Consent & Ramifications

A History of the Age of Consent

I related in The Allure of Nymphets that Mary E. Odem shared in Delinquent Daughters that until 1897 the age of consent in California and in most states was ten. It was twelve in seven states and, even more shocking, it was seven in Delaware. How did the ages get so low? Our early age of consent laws originated over the pond. And how did the age go from ten to seventeen in most states? Feminists are to blame thank.

Odem wrote that after the 19th century, many young women started working outside of the home and consequently became more promiscuous. Feminists blamed the raunchy behavior on "dirty old men" who paid for the services of nymphet prostitutes and successfully lobbied to have the age of consent raised. However, it backfired, because a number of young women became even more licentious.

To give an example of how raunchy things got, Odem related that during World War I, when the problem of female sexual delinquency assumed national proportions with the spread of prostitution and consequently venereal diseases among soldiers, a five-mile radius moral zone was implemented around military training camps. In those moral zones, alcohol and prostitution were prohibited. Surprisingly, the military discovered that it was not professional prostitutes who were loitering around military bases - it was thousands of teen prostitutes.

Consequently, feminists realized that issues like abuse, education, and poverty had more to do with the nymphet's erratic behavior than "dirty old men", but it was too late. The damage had already been done. The age of consent laws had been changed. However, there were two unsuccessful attempts to lower the age of consent.  In 1889, there was an effort in Kansas to lower the age to twelve, and in 1890, there was an attempt in New York to lower the age fourteen.

"Childhood" in New York

New York magazine had a April 8, 2013 cover story on "Childhood in New York" and printed Jennifer Senior's article "Little Grown-ups and Their Progeny". Senior's report was consistent with the research that I related in The Allure of Nymphets about childhood being a relatively recent invention.
Senior related that up until the end of the WWII, children were expected to contribute to the family financially. Particular to New York City, newsboys were rampant, but delivering newspapers wasn’t their only source of income. They "blacked boots, scavenged for junk, and shuttled messages and goods.” But “child poverty, child abuse, and exploitative labor practices” lead to an effort by reformers and the government (e.g. Children’s Bureau) to protect children.

However, Steven Mintz, the author of Huck’s Raft: A History of Childhood in America, said, “They [reformers and the government] viewed kids smoking at 10 and 12 and having independent money and walking into bars as the worst thing in the world. It reminds you that "child" is a label, not a reality.

Clearly, prior to the end the WWII and before the American economy prospered, young people (i.e., children) were expected to behave as adults in terms of earning a living wage. And their adult behavior, in terms of vices, was condoned. It was even common to see ten-year-old prostitutes in New York City.

Just like Neil Postman related in The Disappearance of Childhood, things have gone (almost) full circle. Today, children\teens behave like adults. For example, they drink, smoke, take drugs, have sex, and are (virtual) teen strippers. The Internet has broken the barrier that the invention of the printing press once erected after The Renaissance. In Porn Before Puberty?, an ABC News feature, Winnifred shared that when she was in eighth grade, "boys mostly, were watching porn during school [...] during independent reading, they would do that." In addition, the feature related that nine out of ten children between the ages of eight and sixteen have viewed pornography on the Internet. However, age of consent laws and high school continue to keep (most) "children" and adults separated. 

"Children" and Adults

"Why You Truly Never Leave High School" was printed in the January 20, 2013 issue of New York magazine. The article is about how high school is a sadistic institution and how new research suggests that high school may be worst possible place for a vulnerable sixteen-year-old mind. Here's an excerpt:
Until the Great Depression, the majority of American adolescents didn’t even graduate from high school. Once kids hit their teen years, they did a variety of things: farmed, helped run the home, earned a regular wage. Before the banning of child labor, they worked in factories and textile mills and mines. All were different roads to adulthood; many were undesirable, if not outright Dickensian. But these disparate paths did arguably have one virtue in common: They placed adolescent children alongside adults. They were not sequestered as they matured. Now teens live in a biosphere of their own. In their recent book Escaping the Endless Adolescence, psychologists Joseph and Claudia Worrell Allen note that teenagers today spend just 16 hours per week interacting with adults and 60 with their cohort. One century ago, it was almost exactly the reverse.
Something happens when children spend so much time apart from adult company. They start to generate a culture with independent values and priorities. James Coleman, a renowned mid-century sociologist, was among the first to analyze that culture in his seminal 1961 work, The Adolescent Society, and he wasn’t very impressed. “Our society has within its midst a set of small teen-age societies,” he wrote, “which focus teen-age interests and attitudes on things far removed from adult responsibilities.”

Anne Rice's sixteen-year-old Belinda had an affair with forty-four-year-old  author and artist Jeremy Walker after she had a fling with her step-father. Belinda exemplifies that a consequence of "children" being separated from adults is that when they do get together it's often done illegally due to age-of-consent laws - whether it's consequential, like in the case of Belinda, or non-consequential like in the case of incest. Belinda expressed her frustrations with being considered a child:
"Look, I had my first period at nine. I was wearing a C-cut bra by the time I was thirteen. The first boy I ever slept with was shaving every day at fifteen, we could have made babies together. And I found out the kids here are just as developed. I wasn't any freak, you know? But what is a kid here? What can you do? Even if you're going to school, even if you're a goody-two-shoes who hits the books every night, what about the rest of your life?"

"You can't legally smoke, drink, start a career, get married. You can't even legally drive a car till you're sixteen, and all this for years and years after you're a physical adult. All you can do is play till you're twenty-one, if you want to know. That's what life is to kids here - it's play. Play at love, play at sex, play at everything. And play at breaking the law every time you touch a cigarette or drink or somebody three or four years older than you."
Interestingly, the age of consent is still low in most of countries across the pond. For example, in Germany it's fourteen, in France it's fifteen, and in Spain it's a whopping thirteen. However, this shows that lowering the age-of-consent is not enough to remove the barrier between "children" and adults. The author's of Escaping the Endless Adolescence and The Adolescent Society may have surmised correctly that an additional culprit is the invention of high school.