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Breastfeeding and Blow Jobs | The Nation

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Breastfeeding and Blow Jobs

Yesterday was one of those days when, having read the paper you are quite certain it is full of misprints and mistakes--either that or you've slipped down Alice's rabbit hole into a logic-free world.

Are Muslim clerics really issuing salacious fatwas by ordering Egyptian working women to breast-feed their male colleagues five times in order to "establish family ties" and to enable unmarried men and women to work together without the usual Koranic restrictions?

Are young people in this country really serving 10-year prison sentences for consensual oral sex?

I'm referring, of course, to the highly-publicized case of Genarlow Wilson who is in his second year of prison in Georgia for having received oral sex at a high school New Year's Eve party from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. While it is true that drugs and alcohol were being used. (What?! You're kidding! At a high school party!?) It is also true that the girl never contended that it was anything but consensual.

Four others at the 2003 party, which was videotaped, pled guilty in order to serve less time. But in the 2005 trial, Wilson stated that he did not want to enter a guilty plea and spend his life registered as a sex offender--precluding him from living in the same home as his 8-year-old sister, among other things--and successfully fought a sexual assault charge. But he was found guilty of aggravated child molestation for the oral sex. This carried a 10-year-minimum sentence in Georgia.

The Georgia law originally included an exception. Dubbed "The Romeo & Juliet" clause, it clarified that teens who engaged in consensual intercourse would be excluded from the 10-year-minimum sentencing requirement. Instead, these offenders would be guilty of a lesser misdemeanor charge. But they forgot to include language about oral sex.

In 2006, state legislators amended the law so that teens engaging in intercourse and/or oral sex could only be charged with a misdemeanor--and serve up to 12 months in jail for the "crime."

When I read about this case, I have an evil fantasy.

I envision a slew of creative activists spreading out across the state of Georgia--with a special emphasis on the home districts of this law's proponents and hey, maybe even the lawmakers' own teens--and collecting the tens (no, wait a minute) hundreds (no wait a minute) thousands (no, wait a minute) tens of thousands (no, wait a minute) hundreds of thousands of teens who have broken the law by having oral sex or intercourse in their "tender years" and flooding the courts with their cases. (Remember, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of teens are sexually active by the time they reach 19; the average age of first intercourse is 17; 59 percent of sexually experienced female teens had first sex with a partner who was 1 to 3 years their senior; 13 percent of all 15-year-olds have had intercourse.) I would like to see all these cases stacked on the desk of the over-eager district attorney who has so vigorously pursued this absurd case. And I would like to see state legislators buckling under the cost of these investigations, trials, and long prison sentences.

Some residents in the state have worried that African-American Genarlow Wilson was selectively prosecuted because of his race. I believe the state of Georgia would do well to allay these concerns by pursuing, in a fair and equitable manner, each and every case involving sex among consenting minors. After all, it's a crime, right?

Or have I fallen down some rabbit hole?

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