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Reply #3: Women who are under age under the terms of the rape statute are called children. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-26-12 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Women who are under age under the terms of the rape statute are called children.
In fact, the charge is often technically called "rape of a child."

If, however, the state statute says consensual sex is okay after the age of 15, calling the 15 year old a child is not only legally incorrect, but is saying the accused is GUILTY of statutory rape. By definition, statutory rape is a crime, whether or not the female consented. So, if the accused's defense is "consent," calling the victim a child may be libeling him by saying he is guilty of a crime before a jury has had a chance to rule on it. So, it is legally impermissible. For that reason, rape is very different from other contexts.

For example, if the female had entered into a contract at age 16, she would be excused from the contract because she entered into it when she was "a minor child," or simply "a minor," which means child. Ditto if someone sold her liquor, they would be guilty of selling liquor to a minor child.

Trayvon had turned seventeen a very short time before his death. Legally, he was very much still "a minor child" when he died.

That said, I do believe the term "child" is being used to make a point about Zimmerman's choices. If we were talking about Trayvon's graduation, I feel fairly certain he'd be referred to as a "young man." However, the intent of calling a murder victim a child is not sexist. And the term is being used in a legally correct way and not in a way that could expose anyone to a libel suit if Zimmerman is found not guilty.

Not to mention that, in most situations, many females who have turned 17 would find it sexist to be called a child, as opposed to a woman or a young woman. After all, the biggest imposition of sexism on women by statute was to treat them like minor children under the law. No matter how old they got, if married, they had to have the consent of their husband before their contracts were valid, they never got old enough to vote, etc.
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