Is the age gap in the movie Call Me By Your Name problematic, predatory or pedophilic?

Hello eveyone,
I recently sent a message to Prostasia asking about what they thought about the controversy surrounding the Call Me By Your Name film and asked what they thought about it
"Hello,
I have been following you guys on Twitter and I like your organization a lot and I would like to know, if possible, your opinion about a specific film. What do you think about the movie Call Me By Your Name? I really like the film, but I see a lot of people saying that the film is predatory, pedophilic, prblematic and so on, due to the age difference between the two protagonists. . I already read a lot of points of view about on the internet. As I see you guys always talking a lot about this type of subject on your site and social measure, I was curious to know if you would have any opinion or any reading material to indicate on the subject. I don’t know if this is the right place to talk about it, but it was the only way I found to contact you, I hope I’m not bothering you. Thank you very much in advance. "
Jeremy gave me a good answer in my opinion, but he suggested that I ask about it here on the forum to have more useful responses
"I have not seen the movie but in general an age gap between partners does not make a relationship“ pedophilic ”and neither does it necessarily make it abusive or predatory. Although an age gap does create a power imbalance, a successful relationship between older and younger partners can exist if the younger partner is above the age of consent (which I understand would have been the case in this film) and if the older partner does not abuse their power. worth much since I haven’t seen it, you might get more useful responses by posting about the film in our forum: "
So, here I am on the forum (for the first time) asking you guys what are your thoughts about all thiscontroversy around this film, I hope someone here has seen the film, but if you don’t, you can give an opinion talking about the subject of a general way I guess.

Society always overreacts to age gap relationships. I think there are two important things:

  1. An age gap does not inherently mean a power imbalance
  2. A power imbalance, however large, does not make a relationship inherently abusive

Nearly all relationships have power imbalances but are not abusive because those power imbalances are not abused. Even when there are significant power imbalances a relationship is only abusive when that imbalance is abused.

This kind of controversy is extremely america-centric, given that most of the rest of the world (and most of the US for that matter) has AoCs lower than 18. It just seems like typical overreaction and ignorance of context, not the kind of thing I typically would pay any attention to.

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Yes, I noticed that most of the people who complain so much about it are americans. And even when they are told that he was about the age of consent, they yell things like “legal does not mean moral” etc. And also say that countries or states that have age of consent like 16 or 17 are runned by pedophiles, what I think it’s totally absurd thing to say…but a lot of americans think this way, I recently saw a tweet saying this and the tweet had more than 200k likes, that’s why I don’t ignore this type of thing.

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Well, if they bark, then just ignore them. If they take physical action, then remind them that vigilantism is a crime. Best to operate like Vampire the Masquerade. There is only 1 law of the land, but as for personal morality, that business is purely within the soul of the individual.

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I had to look this movie up on Wikipedia…

Especially in the United States, where the age of consent is higher than in Italy, there was a discussion about the age gap.

I stopped reading at that point.

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Lol, it was because of the “especially on the United States” or because of the the term “age gap”? Or both?:joy::joy:

It was definitely the former.

Not sure why they have this weird obsession with other countries needing to have the same insane AoC rules they do.

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Pedophilia is sexual attraction to prepubescent children. The younger partner in the film is 17, which is not prepubescent, so it has nothing to do with pedophilia. It’s an Italian film, and the age of consent in Italy is 14, so it has nothing to do with any crime either. Outside of these criteria, whether a relationship is “abusive or predatory” is a moral judgement I’m not prepared to make for others (much less for a work of fiction).

So, 17 and 24 is considered an “age gap” now? Good Lord, why must people keep trying to make this world such a miserable place?

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I forgot to mention this in my answer, guess I’m tired of saying it 50 times a day :sweat_smile:. Yeah, people just call everything paedophilia now, it’s just become a huge buzzword.

I haven’t seen the film and didn’t look far into so didn’t see the older man’s age, just that he was an older man. Seriously, 17 and 24, that’s controversial?!

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Yes, it is very controversial. I’m even in a discussion on twitter at the moment. It’s been an irritating and funny discussion at the same time

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General FYI on this subject: I have addressed age gap relationships and some of the power imbalance issues involved in a couple of articles for Prostasia’s blog. If you’re interested in my take, you can check them out here:

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The unsettling thing about Call Me By Your Name is that the story toys with the old ‘same-sex relationships as an early stage for heterosexual life’ trope, even though the storyline is vague enough that this framework doesn’t definitely apply. There’s no issue in Canadian law, or any major popular controversy with the plot vis-a-vis the ages of the participants, or their power status, since the older one is not in a ‘position of authority’ like a teacher or a doctor. The feminist extension of Marxist power analysis that would automatically credit the older Oliver with corruption due to deemed additional power is a thought that shows how leaden reductionist ideas can be. The guy is a grad student and field assistant - he’s an academic underling, albeit with dignity. Power shmower. We can’t read his mind, so we don’t really know how much hedonism, charity or love went into his geographically doomed fling with Elio, but at least he honoured it as a treasured memory. That somewhat softens the blow of seeing the young gay – or is he bi – romance seeker getting his heart broken.

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I don´t agree with the first ting you said, but that´s another discussion. Other than that I found your position very good. Thanks

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I developed a philosophical scheme I call ‘lectics’ in which some issues related to power can be analysed. Power is defined in this system as ‘control of destiny,’ that is, ability to implement your wishes in real life. Power that can be exerted without appealing to anyone’s newly volunteered cooperation - termed resuspensive power - is generally mightier than power requiring use of such an appeal – i.e., influence. Both Elio and Oliver can only appeal to one another’s cooperative will in this story. If Oliver could, theoretically, pull strings and deny Elio a scholarship, for example, he would have some resuspensive power to be a potential manipulator with. (The metaphor of ‘resuspending’ implies being able to pick up someone’s life as if they were a marionette and making them do what you want whether they like it or not). But he doesn’t have any of this. So any spectre of resuspensive power drops out of this story for most of us. In areas where the age of consent is above 17, though, Oliver’s age group is held to have social authority to subject Elio’s age group to obedience, or overwhelming social competence that can subject Elio’s age group to undetected emotional fraud. That is a vision of resuspensive power, and it leaves us having to decide if it’s so realistic for 17 year olds that they must be de-adulted as a precaution. (Much pseudo-scientific straw about neurological development is often adduced at this point in the discussion). Most jurisdictions have not been this fearful about Elio’s age group and have let them take their training wheels off.

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So, 17 and 24 is considered an “age gap” now? Good Lord, why must people keep trying to make this world such a miserable place?

Well, 17 is still a minor. I’m not going to go out of my way to harass a 17 and 24 yo couple, but a 7 year age gap in which one of the partners is a minor is going to be considered an age gap. Now if one was 18 and the other 26, than yeah I wouldn’t call that an age gap since they are both adults. But with minors, even 17 year olds, anything beyond 4 years I’d call it an age gap.

In the book/movie he was 17 and he had a few months to turn 18, what is the difference that these couple of months could make? As someone said here is not pedophilia (since pedophilia refers to the attraction to children of pre publescent age) and not to illegality because he is within the age of consent in Italy where this story takes place. The rest is moral judgment under a fictional film.

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It doesn’t matter a minor is still a minor

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There is not much difference between a person at the end of 17 and someone who’s 18, no one wakes up at 18 and magically becomes an adult capable of doing everything. This is just not how things work.:roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

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Then it’s not the “age gap” that’s the issue for you, then. A 19-year-old is not a minor, but there would be an age gap for getting together with someone in their 40s. Perfectly legal, though.

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I don’t really care if an adult has an age gap as long as no one is taking advantage of anyone. 19 year old nurse taking advantage of an elderly with Alzheimer’s disease is bad. Same if a 40 year old takes advantage of a 19 year old.

PedroHPF

There is not much difference between a person at the end of 17 and someone who’s 18, no one wakes up at 18 and magically becomes an adult capable of doing everything. This is just not how things work.

Congrats on proving YOU don’t know how things work. The by far biggest gap in maturity I ever had was between I was 17 and 18. I went from knowing literally nothing about how sex work to knowing what consent, affirmative consent is, what is rape and what isn’t, what is grooming, signs of grooming. Additionally, they taught us porn literacy, including that a lot of it is fiction and that it’s for entertainment, not education. I learned all this in the second half of junior year to the first half of senior year of highschool before anyone turned 18.