Ivy Mazzola

2799 karmaJoined Jan 2019Seeking workMariposa Dr, Austin, TX, USA

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Participation
9

I'm experimenting with "norms-pledges" to help reduce forum anxiety. Maybe it could be a good social technology IDK. Click [Show More] to read them all:

🕊 Fresh Slate After Disagreement Pledge: I hereby pledge that if we disagree on the forum, I will not hold it against you. (1) I will try not to allow a disagreement to meaningfully impact how I treat you in further discourse, should we meet in another EA Forum thread, on another website or virtual space, or IRL. I know that if we disagree, it doesn't necessarily mean we will disagree on other topics, nor does it necessarily imply we are on opposing teams. We are most likely on the same team in that we both wish to have the most good done possible and are working in service of finding out what that means. (2) Relatedly, I pledge to not claim to know what you believe in future, I can only confidently claim to know what you wrote or believed at a given time, and I can say what I think you believe given that. I know that people change their minds, and it may be you or me who does so, so I understand that the disagreement may not even still stand and is not necessarily set in stone.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 No Gatekeeping Pledge: I hereby pledge that if I am seeking a collaborator, providing an opportunity, or doing hiring or anything akin to hiring, and you would otherwise be a top candidate if not for the following, I will try not to gatekeep: (1) If  an opinion you've shared or broken-norm you've done (on the EA forum or elsewhere) is relevant in a potentially negative way to our collaboration, that I will ask you about it to gain clarity. I will not assume that such an incident means you will not be  suitable for a role. I will especially try hard not to make assumptions about your suitability based on old or isolated incidents, or if your digital footprint is too small to get a good picture of who you are and how you think about things. (2) I will not penalize based on someone being a social or professional newcomer or being otherwise unknown to me or my colleagues. If the person is a top candidate otherwise, I will do my due diligence to determine cultural fit separate from that. 

🤔 Rationalist Discourse Pledge: (1) I hereby pledge to try to uphold rationalist discourse norms as presented here and here, and comedically summed up here.

🦸‍♀️Preferring My Primary Account Pledge: (1) I hereby pledge that this is my main EA Forum account. I will never use multiple accounts to manipulate the system, as by casting multiple votes or stating similar opinions with different accounts. (2) I also pledge that, although I can't be sure what comes, I strongly intend to not use an anonymous or different account (alt or sockpuppet), or any account other than this, my primary account. I pledge that I am willing to take on some reputational risks on this, my primary account, in service of putting truth, transparency, integrity, and a complete narrative over my own anxiety, and to give ideas I think are worth advocating for the best chance at adoption. Therefore I pledge that I will not use an alternate account out of general anxiety around personal or professional retribution or losing clout. CAVEAT 1: I reserve the right to use an alt account in cases where *specific* retribution or other  danger can be expected in my  particular instance. As example: I reserve the right to use an alt account out of concern about riling up a suspected stalker, specific known bad-faith actor, specific known slanderer, etc. CAVEAT 2: I also reserve the right to use an alt account for the benefit of others. Example:  in cases where revealing my own identity would reveal the identity or betray the privacy of some other party I am discussing. 

🙇‍♂️Humility in Pledging Pledge: I hereby pledge that I take these pledges for my own self-improvement and for altruistic reasons. It's okay to disagree that pledges are useful and important for you. (1) I don't expect others should necessarily take a norms pledge. I believe the pledges only work if people take them after deep consideration, and I don't expect I can know all the considerations for others' situations. Therefore I understand there may be situations that it is actually right that a user avoid taking a pledge. Therefore I will not judge others for not having taken a pledge, including that I will not dismiss other's character if I see other accounts without a pledge. (3) Additionally, I don't presume that others not taking a pledge means they would even necessarily act differently than that pledge would imply. I don't assume their intentions are even different from mine. Perhaps a person is new to the idea or just trying to protect their energy by not opening themselves to criticism. (3) I won't automatically dismiss a user's reasoning if I see the user violating norms pledges I've made. I still will give their claims a chance to stand on their own merits. (4) If you see me violating a pledge I've taken, I will always appreciate if you bring it up to me. 

Comments
222

Fair, that is a mock incident, but I don’t see that aspect as being dramatized or anything. Fwiw I have known multiple people whose experiences basically matched Steve’s.

I just think if we are going to talk about doxxing Alice and Chloe we might want to think what it might look like if they had gone elsewhere, or what it might look like in the future if they unduly report others. And as a community I think it must be reckoned with why some people feel upset right now at the protection that reporters face when accused get so few protections, not even the protection to know details of the claims against them. And a cultural standard where names of people who make provably false accusations are revealed could protect all of us. So I think it is worth reckoning with. Even though I came out supporting non-doxxing in this case

Hm I guess that’s true. I guess I thought it went without saying that it would be when people want anonymity, I didn’t imagine there could be an alternative where CH removes names even if the complainant doesn’t request it. That would indeed be worse and a true “default” and I hope no one took that as what I meant.

But I think CH asks complainants what degree of anonymity and detail-sharing they are comfortable with by default. And I think a lot of people ask them to not give details, and by default CH does defer to that preference to what might be an abnormal extent, such that anonymity may be functionally the default in our culture and their dealings. But yeah I guess I wonder about hard numbers. It is striking to me that not one person was willing to have the details of the incident shared with Steve though

Sorry, but I have (re)read that link and I don’t see how anything we said was in conflict with each other. Perhaps I didn’t word it well. Or am I misunderstanding you? If you could give some hard numbers like, only X% of complaints end up being handled anonymously, and of those, in Z% the complaints end up being unactionable and we just give a listening ear, and only in Y% do anonymous complaints end up being held against the person and meaningfully effecting their lives, then maybe I can agree I made the extent of the dilemma sound overblown. I’m also aware that other tactics come with their own dilemmas. I just wanted to acknowledge that there is a dilemma and that I am not a “never deanonymize” type of person before I made some other points.

Reading your link I felt it was not in conflict because: In the case where many people give complaints about Steve, not a single person was willing to have their concerns discussed in detail with him (out of fear that details would reveal them I suppose), let alone be deanonymized by name. So it does sound like EAs like to make complaints in (what I’d call) “extreme anonymity” by “default” and tbh that matches my social and cultural model of EAs. And in the next section you say that your policy is to be even more protective of confidentiality than some communities like universities. And you do make some decisions based on those things you might never fully discuss with the other party. You call them “compromises” but some are major reactions which could be EA-career-ending. Actually I find it hard to consider what other worse actions remain other than calling the police, writing a public expose about them, or messaging their employer out of the blue. So I don’t think it is going too far to say that maybe CEA could be too protective of anonymity, as you acknowledge your behavior can, at least sometimes, be abnormal or counter to what people would expect in other institutions.

In my view, it might be one of those cases where general society or others landed on the right institutional practices, but we EAs are naive in our tradeoff considerations by trying to use different systems, or draw the line of deanonymizing at different degrees. I don’t think this is a bold possibility. I expect you disagree with the idea that CH could be too protective of anonymity. Maybe most EAs would. But it’s a natural thing we can look at and not avert our eyes from that possibility. That’s all I wanted to say.

I’d also like to clarify that I was not trying to be harsh on CH and drag you all in with what I wrote. These are hard problems. I was merely trying to write an introduction I felt took seriously and related to the feelings of people who do want Alice and Chloe doxxed, and show how I understand and sympathize with that perspective very much, and then go from there to discuss why I wouldn’t be in favor of doxxing even in this case that so many are shocked by. I am mostly bullish on the CH team which is why in my “short answer” section, I claimed that EAs should mostly defer to the CH team on this issue.

Just wondering if you can acknowledge that EA is not for everyone? I guess I feel a lot "safer" about these types of critiques to change the culture and overt focus when people acknowledge that. There are ways I would tweak EA culture in some places to lead to a bigger and broader community. There also ways I would not, and there are people who I think would never be happy with EA's values unless it already described what they are already interested in and already believe, which is very far from and conflicts with EA. And those people will never like EA until we forsake the effectiveness focus at all.

For example, this person:

In an introductory discussion group we ran (in our university group), one of the participants perceived some of EA's ideas as "cold-hearted" and was very critical of the abstract, sometimes detached way of trying to calculate how to do good most effectively.

(Not saying you didn't do this but) If it were me leading that group I might poke at that a little and help them think differently. Because I think often people like that have picked up a slight mistaken impression along the way. And based on where that misunderstanding was, it would be great to be able to replace or augment parts of the curriculum, even if it is just with your own disclaimer. You could ask them what would prove them wrong about that conception? You could ask them if they think there is ever a way to compare interventions and how they would do so?

But I also might just say something like, "okay well this group and movement might not be for you then and that's okay. You would meet plenty of warmhearted people in EA, and I think by definition it might be wrong to call altruistic tactics coldhearted. But if you have such a strong reaction, you probably won't ever be happy with the goals and tactics of the movement. And that's fine. Good luck in your altruistic endeavors"

I wonder if you think that person would ever really be a good fit for EA?

It is frustrating to see people bounce off the movement saying it is too cold. And it might be a reason to tweak the intro curriculum or work on the culture in your group. There is something going on there, and it does happen often, and I don't like it either. But I don't think it warrants coming to EAs and saying anything approaching "you guys actually are cold and need to work on compassion". I actually don't think they* are? EAs are the warmest most compassionate people I know. (*I had said "we" originally but removing myself from this as I'm one of the colder ones in writing style. But even I have cried many a tear for animals, minorities, people in poverty, etc)

[Edit: I accidentally flowed into a bunch of suggestions, but originally I wanted it to have a questioning tone and just wanted to know what you think]

I agree with all this, and I also think the OP might be speaking to some experiences in EA you might not have had which could result in you talking past each other.

Short answer: I think Ben should defer to the community health team as to whether to reveal identities to them or not (I'm guessing they know). And probably the community health team should take their names and add it to their list where orgs can ask CH about any potential hires and learn of red flags in their past. I think Alice should def be included on that list, and Chloe should maybe be included (that's the part I'd let the CH team decide if it is was bad enough). It's possible Alice should be revealed publicly, or maybe just revealed to community organizers in their locale and let them make the decision of how they want to handle Alice's event attendance and use of community resources.

Extra answer: FWIW I already have bad feelings about CEA's hardcore commitment to anonymity. I do feel EA is too hard on that side, where for example, people accused of things probably won't even be told the names of their accusers or any potentially-identifying details that make accusations less vague. The only reason NL knew in this situation is because the details make it unavoidable that they'd know. But otherwise the standard across EA is that if you are accused of something via CEA's community health team, you will never know who makes the critiques, and therefore will never be able to properly rebut them. And if that is how this had gone down, it would have been Kat and Emerson getting their names on CEA's blacklist. I think this default justice system of this community is messed up, and there should be some exceptions in theory.

That said, I'm not sure this is one of those exceptions. I feel kind of conflicted about revealing their names even in this extreme case, because I have also had a weird employment experience in EA with an atypical structure, after which I felt emotionally wounded, and if someone had come to me and said "We suspect your ex-employer may be unethical and causing repeated serious harms! So I am asking you and others for all the details they can remember that made you feel bad in that situation" there is some likelihood I would share my experiences, rather than say my actual thought-through POV which is "No I actually don't blame or hold ill will to my ex-employers and I won't participate in any investigation against them. It was a complex situation and we all made mistakes". In most cases I would not "sing" per se, but in some universes I surely would. Just because I was asked. Incidentally this parallels how I feel about the women in the sexual misconduct TIME piece too. It's gotta be hard to not add to a (maybe false but also maybe true) narrative when you are literally asked to and commended for doing so? Most of us trust people who put themselves in that sort of investigator position.

I'm sure many readers who are shocked at Alice or Chloe now would, if asked, start singing if they had been in their position, thinking they are doing something useful as they are being so encouraged, after all, even if at first they felt conflicted. Even if they had felt conflicted about it for a year prior. Even if they were almost over it, and their mental health and humility were improving, wouldn't being suddenly told "no you really might be a victim, please share, in fact I'm talking to another victim too" sort of.. undo that? Especially if they are working on mental health problems, I imagine it would feel soo temptingly cathartic and be hard to say no to a narrative that just might make you the hero, just might help someone else, for everything else you feel you lost. Does that make it their fault that they bit the bait? Or is it more the "fault" (or simply, "result") of how the investigation was done?

I do agree that orgs should be able to factor this whole debacle into their decision if they end up about to hire Alice or even Chloe. CEA's private list should mostly solve that problem. But my opinion on revealing names publicly beyond that hinges a lot on how the investigation kicked off. How much did Ben have to search and push to get them to say all that? What framing did he use? How much were they slandering NL before Ben even reached out, and was it about egregious or very important things? Was NL's reputation unfairly damaged by Alice or Chloe before this investigation even kicked off? I would like to hear more of his thoughts on that.. with no judgement toward him for the past, because it is so critical that the community come together and discuss honestly and collaboratively what happened here.

You and I don't disagree. Which is why I ended my prior two comments with calls for patience and links to a survey so we can get better data. I feel like I touched on that throughout but my point wasn't to make an active claim about the community, it was to get someone else to stop making active claims backed up with tripe. 

Honestly, I am frustrated by this comment. It reveals to me that I'm not sure what I can say to keep from being misunderstood. I added in that edit you quote as a way of trying to say something very similar to what you have just said. I was acknowledging that there still could have been a problem, despite all my talk about 17yo consent. And I was acknowledging that things can take years to come out, that is how these things can happen, so even though it has been a decade, I would support if something came out. I added in that edit out of raw fear that people would misunderstand me and I would get cancelled. But somehow you have taken that edit as proof of something very different, almost the opposite, the opinion that "if we haven't heard about an incident for ten years, that means that a group doesn't still have a problem." That is an opinion that I don't hold, and yeah which I could be unduly cancelled for, so I guess my edit got me into hotter water. Sigh.

Again, I don't think it's impossible that something bad occurred. But if you read the FB thread, the one now-27 yo (then 25 I think) remarks on it in a very unperturbed fashion and also claims they were the only minor. That was the more important thing that made it "not damning". And less so the time gap, although the two bits look strong put together I guess. IMO at this point it is violating privacy to assume bad things happen and go spreading such links.

And again, I don't think it's impossible there is a current problem worse than other communities.[1] Or that the group doesn't "still" have a problem.[2] I agree, there could be "a [bigger than average] problem". I just think there is very, very poor proof of this. And I think you and I would agree that a problem ten years ago, if it was a problem, when you don't even know who it was or if they still at work at the same org or in the movement, is generally very bad proof that there is a noteworthy problem today. You might say "sure but it would be weak proof if it was reported as a problem retroactively!" Would it? Because I promise you I can walk into any longrunnning large social community and ask them if they had a problem with any man doing messed up things to women in the past ten years, and the answer will be yes. Especially if that community is tens of thousands of people, and especially if you go back to the founding most-casual years of that community before systems inevitably get put in place. Honestly, I'm having a hard time imagining that even, say, Rotary Club, has been exempt in the past decade. They just don't have a culture of airing grievances publicly, which is EA's bread and butter.

So nothing I have seen, in the density of complaints I have seen over time, including even if that consensual statutory incident was actually problematic, proves or disproves the idea that EA could have a big problem. Thomas was making a positive claim of a big problem, which is why my focus on trying to bring back neutrality could perhaps be misconstrued as arguing for the opposite claim. People are used to seeing two opposite claims duking it out, not just someone trying to return neutrality. So, to make my position abundantly clear, I am not arguing for any particular claim except sharing my own experience as a data point, and I am trying to get other people to stop using bad evidence to back up claims. And using bad evidence naturally means that the claim won't hold up well when you look close, if that poor evidence is all or most of what you have. That doesn't mean I'm trying to prove the opposite of the claim, it means they set up their argument that badly.

Does EA have a big problem? It's hard to prove one way or another, and it has not been proven. But we will have more data soon. Until then, I would like to remind critics of what definitely matters if they are going to make claims about our community today as though their claims are the unobjectifiable truth: women's safety today. That is essentially the only evidence that definitely matters if the claim is not "EA or rationality used to have a problem". We should use 5 years past, 10 years past, suspicion of problems to do more digging into whether EA has a current major problem and if so, how our recent systems that focus on sexual misconduct have been inadequate. Which is indeed what is being done.

Please keep in mind, it is extremely stressful to write the types of comments I wrote above. I do it to try to protect real people and our very real movement from unwarranted hasty kneejerk cancellation, which derails lives, waylays futures, and causes emotional health crises for those effected. Unfortunately, I am well aware that while doing so, I risk such cancellation myself, which is very scary and necessitates (IMO) me writing a cringe novel so people can fully understand the context of my words and not come after me/ruin my future. But the more words I write, the more sentences I create which also demand perfection or risk being nitpicked And people interpret things in different ways, or forget points I make if I haven't revisited it in the last few paragraphs. It would be a lot nicer if people on this forum would afford some grace to those of us who take on this reputational risk for the good of others in the community (and under our real names, so it actually means something). If I saw someone share a letter that was proven to falsely accuse Titotal, I would step in for you too. And wouldn't it annoy you, perhaps even greatly concern you, if, after a defense of you had been mounted, saying validly "we don't know there was a problem here", then someone comes in and says "but there still might be a problem tho"? Like, yes, but I just want it to sink in with an audience that attacking others, posting proven falsehoods, and making grand unsupported claims about these things is not okay, and let that stand on it's own. I really think EAs should stick up for ourselves and each other here. 

A note to forum readers in general: Instead of trying to pick everything apart on the defensive side, where I/people like me are simply trying to add neutrality back in and police interpersonal decency so as to prevent slander and privacy-violations, you could pick apart the other side. The side that initially tries to make active (not neutral) claims which they "prove" with blatant falsehoods, outlandishly farfetched speculation, and uncalled-for judgements on people/the movement who are multiple steps removed from theoretical or actual bad situations. I wait a good bit of time usually from when I see an unacceptable comment, but hardly anyone ever steps in. If anyone thinks they can do it better, please do. But right now I have to wonder if I'm one of the few who notices and cares that journalists and people with pitchforks sometimes hang out here, and based on noticing that risk, does time-urgent comms in response to potentially-damaging comments.[3] We should not expect downvotes and disagreevotes to stop journalists or people with pitchforks--they can just DM the person who got downvoted or copypaste anyway. They can easily use that as proof that EAs just don't want to hear "valid" critiques. The truth was that the critiques were not valid, but people will never know unless EA Forum users like you and me respond. Journalists can share the truth if they want, but I can't be the only one who no longer expects journalists to figure out what is true let alone what true things are relevant to a grand thesis. In that case, someone needs to do the factchecking and, frankly, critical thinking for such comments/posts on the spot before gish gallops and the like snowball. This is why I responded to the Kathy Forth stuff and so on and so on to whatever might have slanderous aspects or I see as unfair to others. You can do this too. Please.

I am sorry for going off here Titotal, but I really don't need the feedback that "we need to be more careful with statements like this" or "X does not mean Y". I was very careful. And I know that X does not mean Y. It is already nightmare fuel for me that I had that conversation with Thomas all through the weekend, and I tried very hard for many hours, and I only did so for the good of others. Maybe focus on the other side to be careful with their statements. If you want to add or highlight another point, it would be nicer if you check for what I think in the thread, or ask a question of what I really meant, or frame it as a heads up to the audience, rather than (apparently) try to correct me on the one thing in thousands of words you think I might not have gotten.

  1. ^

    Okay I admit I do have strong expectation that EA does not have more assault than other communities, which was the original claim I was pushing back against, but that is still just my belief and I'm still trying to focus on data and wait for more to come out

  2. ^

    Although I will say that if we have a Bill Cosby in our community, someone who would be doing ongoing bad things for many years and still today, it was probably Brent Dill or Michael Vassar. People are looking for these types now.

  3. ^

    I'm sure some people notice and care but don't have the time. I'm more puzzled that lots of people do seem to have the time to comment on community drama, but don't seem to notice or care enough to comment when blatantly unreasonably negative claims about others (and our movement) get made that could very easily end up as another hit piece or viral twitter thread that meaningfully makes lives worse, both our lives (EA's) and the lives of the people/animals we try to help via our movement, while being unwarranted. We could find out claims are unwarranted, but it would be too late to take it back after people's reputations are trashed

I'd say Vassar was a primary source for the salaciousness of the wording of the whole situation. Which is what matters if you are going to say it is damning. Because, surely you don't think a 17yo who consented and is still in the community 10 years later who has shown no apparent problem looking back on it, is that big of a deal?

Did you know that in every European country and 38/50 US states the legal age of sexual consent is 17 or below? 

Don't you think this makes 18 more of a legal quirk than a boundary on which to park your moral disgust reactor? Now I personally like the age of consent being high because it makes taking legal action extremely easy in case people behave badly. It means people should behave carefully. And I think it is dumb and often emotionally risky to have sex with a 17 yo. But dumb is not the same as unethical, and often emotionally risky is not the same as always emotionally risky. From what I have heard elsewhere, that person was one month from turning 18, and they weren't like, plucked off the street for having a sexy body or something. It seems everyone knew each other and had been friends/friendly for months. I'm not seeing proof of abuse of power or objectification going on.

FWIW you can literally ask people for details as I have done before now. These are real people who had the experiences you are gossiping about. 10 years ago. I have never understood this desire to gossip rather than actually do something meaningful to root out and address problems. I think if you wouldn't have the guts to approach the now-27yo or someone else you think might have been involved, that is probably your conscience telling you "ah tbh you are overstepping and you know it isn't really a real issue" in which case you shouldn't have the guts to spread their private info on internet forums. It really reads to me as pretending something was a big deal that you really know was not. If you really think someone was abused there (and especially if you think that risk remains today!) please reach out to some relevant parties. I would applaud you for putting your effort where your mouth is. 

So anyway I still think it is not damning. And even if it were damning, you have no idea who it was. You have no idea if that person whoever it was still even works at MIRI. It almost def wasn't Yudkowsky according to that thread. So why are you using that to support to your thesis that EA has problems today? Very strange. I'm all in support of rooting out bad behavior toward women or minors. But your chain of reasoning does not hold to support such a grand conclusion about a community of tens of thousands of people across dozens of cities. It does not even hold to support the claim that MIRI has an issue. It's been 10 years. In case it isn't obvious, I'm not dying on the hill that nothing bad happened. I have only even responded to you again and again because I am under the impression you are trying to prove that EA has a problem with sexual misconduct today.

As for the rest of your comment... It's super weird you are tracking this all down about Yud. It has absolutely nothing to do with your original thesis and it is moving the goalposts, for a new goal which I'm not even sure what it might be. If you don't like Yudkowsky, just say that. You are free to say that. You can say you think Yudkowsky is a dick, or a jerk, or is wrong about things.* What you are not allowed to do is take your feelings about someone, feelings based of of cherrypicked pieces from an extremely prolific writer, and use those feelings for motivated reasoning to share those cherrypicked bits as suggestion that that person has abused children or teens, and then even further, use that as proof that the community he is a part of has a drastic sexual assault or harassment problem. TO MAKE THOSE CLAIMS IS SO WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE AND FAR-FETCHED IT IS ESSENTIALLY SLANDEROUS. And if you aren't making those claims, I have no idea what you are trying to say tbh. 

If I were you I would really ask yourself what you are trying to do here. Is it help women? If so, how is what you are doing helping? What could you do that is more helpful for women, that doesn't just leave a bunch of chaos and misinformation in your wake about people (EAs, including EA women who try to address sexual misconduct) who don't deserve it? 

I will not be responding to further comments. I only expect more gish gallop from you. I warn everyone reading this to significantly downgrade their trust in what you write next in this thread. To the extent a reader can agree I have refuted your first-choice arguments, and your second-choice, and then your third-choice, I highly doubt your 4th and 5th choice set of gish gallops will suddenly be intellectually honest and prove your original thesis. Which again, is all I'm here for. Not dying on the hill that nothing bad ever happened, obviously. I actually view that claim as an impossibility, because I think crappy men occasionally do bad things to women in every coed community. 

*FWIW Yud is right though that pedophilia is different than ephebophilia. [[Edit 1: IDK why he wrote that and neither do you. For all we know, he could have been saying "Inb4 any edgelords reply that pedophilia isn't inherently harm-causing. If you believe that, you must be thinking of ephebophilia and regardless of what I think, I refuse to have this conversation today. Reminder that I'm talking about pedophilia, not ephebophilia." And we don't even know if he meant ephebophilia in the sense of "an insatiable fetish" or "the possibility to feel some attraction for some teens."

But no matter why he wrote it, or in what sense he meant that term, I agree with his statement. E and P are NOT the same.]] It's disgusting to speak as though attraction to or sex with a 17yo is the same as attraction to or sex with a 12yo, 8yo, or 4yo. Ephebophilia even includes 18 and 19 year-olds so you aren’t even necessary venturing into illegal territory. If you equivocate E with P, then I claim you are nothing more than a moral relativist robot who bases morality on the letter of whatever local law you happen to exist under, and doesn't understand what is truly twisted about sex with children. I'm actually angry that you'd try to corner me in this discussion as being the one with the unacceptable opinion if I agree with Yud's obviously correct opinion there. Everyone agrees with that around the world. Which is why 17 and even 16 years old are very, very common legal ages of consent. Much more so than age 18, which is a relatively uncommon legal age of consent. About 25% of countries/states have a legal age of sexual consent that is 18 or older. And the remaining 75% have 17 or under. I think there are valid reasons to have the law at 18 or higher, but they are not that potential sex with, let alone attraction to, a 17yo is objectively wrong. They are more to add strength to a potential victim's toolkit. I don't think it makes sense for someone else (you) to yell statutory rape regarding a consenting 17 year old. Only the victim themselves doing so makes sense to me, if they are that old at time of consent. If someone thinks they were taken advantage of at 17yo, when reflecting years later, let them take it to court or their community under statutory rape. And let everyone in our culture be aware this is a thing that can happen. I want everyone to be careful and screw them if they were careless enough to cause a problem for someone down the line. Support people if they come forward, but if not, mind your business I'd say, and don't go imagining coercive cultures that you've got no proof of. I realize it might sound salacious in a PC culture, but please get yourself together and realize that once in a while a 17 year old will strongly desire to have sex and be able to meaningfully consent to sex. Most other countries, states, and people understand that.

[[Edit 2: I just want to make it very clear that if someone came forward unhappy with their 17yo experiences at the hands of older people, I would support them in taking retributive action. Problems can obviously occur in those types of arrangements. But I still don't expect a case from 10 years ago to be proof of broader problems today. I have seen and experienced way too much sexual misconduct by men to believe that episodes ten years ago (and prior to the Me Too Movement too, when I witnessed a lot of men "wake up" about this stuff and become better at policing their communities) should prompt us to typecast and trash an org, community, or subculture today. I'd have to throw the whole world out, and I promise I'm not overdramatizing when I say that.]]

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