Written by Olivia McGarth
Don’t tell her to shut up with the tape torn off of your mouth. By the time she enters college, she has heard her fair share of cat-calls, glancing behind her as she walks, because she could’ve sworn she’d passed that same person twice. But while she is old enough to be stared at for far too long on the subway; she is still too young to make her own decisions and for her opinion to be taken seriously- if it ever is. Young and innocent is how you like them, but she’s not so innocent when you’re touching her like that- she tells you she’s only seventeen through clenched teeth and you laugh. The word ‘tease’ comes out in a hiss.
The age of consent in the United States is most commonly eighteen, dipping as low as 16 in some states, and pop culture has not hesitated to seize on this fact all while playing it up to create an image of girls that is like a “magical teen Lolita dream,” according to one twitter user. It is a myth that womanhood begins when you turn 18 and before this age it’s common to not be taken seriously. Girls are often taught when they are questioned that they should not fight back to “stay out of trouble”, and keep to a more submissive role. Before this age, both boys and girls are minors and in most cases still under their parent’s roof, but this problem goes far past not being able to convince an adult to change your curfew. This problem lies with the question- what is so attractive about youth?
Or, what is so attractive about young girls is the better question. Songs such as Girls by the 1975, 17 by Metro Station, and Norgaard by the Vaccines (given to me as examples by twitter user @Rosie_McNiff) tell different stories but all seem to have the same theme- a girl and an older boy, sometimes just a day over 18 and oftentimes far older, who are stuck in a “wild and scandalous” relationship. The girls in these songs are often described the same too: as heartbreakers, naive, and not aware of their own decisions. But, they are somehow old enough to be objectified and sexualized- such as the all too famous Delores in Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, which Lana Del Rey has used as the subject in one of her songs even; causing it to become more of a mainstream thing.
A quick google search also confirms that one of the top ten most searched porn catagories in over 20 countries is teen, and it is number one in Canada. (as found on the Chive) These videos often depict a small-framed female and a far older, bigger man in multiple sex acts. All of the girls in the videos are, hopefully, 18, but why is dressing and acting like a young teen so attractive to the people who watch these videos? Porn may be (very poor) sex education for some people depending on where they live, and if over 18 million people are searching up the term “teen” on the daily, what kind of problems will that bring?