I found quite an interesting post over here relating to age differences between online friends, and how the author felt 'weird' to be friends with people ten years or more younger than him.
At my old age of 31, were I to be a "real world" friend of any 20 year old girl, people should be asking questions. If I were palling around with some 14 year-old boy geek, they would be asking other questions. Yet, the occasional eyebrow-raising invite hits my e-mail box, and makes me wonder if somebody just might get the wrong idea.
Isn't it a sad state of affairs when we have 30 year old men believing that people should be asking questions if they have friendship with 20 year old women (interesting that he calls her a girl…) And he would expect people to be suspicious if he was friends with a 14 year old boy. And he worries about what people would think when he gets invites from young people in his email….
This is one of the problems I've seen happening with political correctness (PC) gaining such a horrible foothold in society. Media, along with the vocal and fearful minorities, have encouraged a social expectation that all men are potential paedophiles (I'm wondering when being a father will be banned or 'only under supervision'…), and that large differences in age between two people actually means one is predator and one is victim.
My parents had an age difference of about 20 years, with dad marrying mum when he was 40. Her being 20 was once normal and accepted. Today it seems to imply that the older man is a predator or desperate, and the woman is either a money-grabber or a victim.
Society has become cynical and callous, seeming to believe that every person is either a criminal or a victim in some fashion. Gone are the days of mentoring, helping young people grow, to become responsible adults. Nowadays, if you want to help a young person, people think you have predatory and 'evil' motivations.
You know, I think that something is happening here which is really sad.
It's a common psychological theme that we see in others what is in ourselves. We expect others to do as we do. If we think people are essentially good it's because we are essentially good. And the opposite is also true, that if we think people are essentially evil, it's because we are essentially evil.
We see in others exactly what we see in ourselves.
There was recent controversy here in Australia about artistic photos being displayed of a young, naked teenage girl. It inflamed the nation, inspired discussion and 'righteous indignation'. Quite a number of people decided that the photos were pornography, and the artist / photographer should be arrested for pornography, and the girl's parents should be arrested for the same thing, as well as exploitation.
An interesting comment I read from some blogger at the time (whose blog eludes me right now) was based around the following concept: what kind of people look at a young, naked teenage girl and automatically think of sex?
The accusations people make about what others do, and the opinions they share of various politically correct concepts that they wholeheartedly support, simply shows what goes on in their own minds.
And this shows it's not a coincidence that some of the major proponents of child pornography laws engage in child pornography themselves.
The judgements we have of other people only show the judgements we have about ourselves. Before you judge others for their actions, make sure that you're not making it obvious what you think about yourself.
And back to the original topic of this post… I wholeheartedly support people of all ages coming together to assist each other or be assisted in the pursuit of various interests and goals. Young people need guidance from adults as they become adults themselves, or they appreciate an adult helping them find success in a shared interest.
When you help people grow, you're helping yourself grow. When, in fear or ignorance, you do what you can to prevent growth relationships, you say more about yourself than about others.
I think people should be charged for crimes they commit, rather than on the fearful suspicions going on inside the head of their accusers. What do you think?
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