To what extent does twitter age gap discourse actually represent the general public's opinion?

We’ve alread kinda talked about it here. As everyone knows there is a very strong age gap discourse on twitter. Very recently, this discourse has been more present out there because of two news; the singer Olivia Rodrigo(18) is dating a guy named Adam Faze(24) and it was discovered that actress Millie Bobby Brown (16, at the time) had a relationship with tiktoker Hunter Echo(20, at the time). Obviously, both guys(mostly Hunter, although he actually looks/acts like an asshole) are being called pedophiles, predators, groomers and being attacked on social media at the time. Anyways, my purpose here is not to discuss these two specific cases, although you are obviously free to discuss this if you wish to. My main point is, I’ve seen a lot about this age difference discourse online. Including things that have really scared me a lot, for example people saying that a person 20 year old person dating a “freshy 18” person is pedophilia, predatory, inappropriate, grooming etc. And I’ve been thinking about how much this kind of speech really represents the opinion of the general public. In my country, this speech has been very popular lately, but I can say that I feel that it is not very representative of how people in general actually think and act here. But this whole thing comes a lot from the US. So I always wonder if in fact people in the US, in the UK etc, actually have that thoughts in real life. On social networks, especially on twitter and apparently on TikTok too(not sure about it), this discourse is really strong and definitely the majority, with tweets with an absurd amount of likes spreading this discourse around, while I’ve never seen any critical tweet to all this pass a thousand likes right. Anyway, what’s your impression on this subject? Does it represent or does not represent the opinion of the general public in your countries or it depends?

I believe most people are okay with, 18 year olds dating 20 year olds. But 16 year olds dating adults being acceptable is a minority position.

I coined a word yesterday that seemed to express a connection in the way I’d been looking for for a long time. Pruderient. A mash-up of prudery and prurient. Many people have a pruderient interest in obsessing about relationships with various not-so-dramatic age gaps involving people above the usual age of consent (i.e, 16, though I realize it’s higher in some American states). They get their basic high level of energy by being sexually excited by these relationships, but reconcile with the moral and ascetic concerns of their controlling culture by switching to moral opprobrium mode, yielding a high level of fascination coupled with intense disapproval. A tendency to see the younger one as a (not just socially but also) sexually valued ‘sweet young thing’ then leads to the idea that this precious teen idol is being victimized by a gross, cynical victimizer. Any victimization that the pruderient person has ever experienced, ranging from sexual assault to bullying to poverty, is then projected onto the older one. The intense fury this produces may be violent, since every bully and nasty powerful person the pruderient one has ever met has now become involved in their reaction. Their defense of the teen idol involved is the closest they’ll ever come to hugging such a person with passion themselves, and, though being outraged on the internet is not the most consummating gesture of love, it will do.

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It’s purely an internet phenomena. People see such relationships all around them in real life and never say a thing. Keyboard warriors.

That 16 and 20 or 18 and 24 is now considered an “age gap” shows why we can’t give antis an inch if we choose to have discourse with them at all. I’ve seen them swear that a middle aged man attracted to a woman in her 20s is pedophilia because “she’s young enough to be his daughter”, don’t you know. :roll_eyes:

Also, why is this TikTok idiot getting all the publicity about Millie Bobby Brown? He isn’t even really part of the entertainment industry, and there is no evidence they were ever anything more than platonic acquaintances.

In 2019, MBB was asked by a reporter at a Q&A if she was dating me! (She giggled and changed the subject.) YouTube removed the video, but you can still see some echoes around online if you know where to look. I suppose I was too much of a gentleman about the whole thing, hmmm?

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Sorry. What?Why would she?Do you guys even know each other?

I can only surmise it was because I had mentioned her name in an interview about the hypocrisy of adult men being afraid to admit they find her attractive. This was around the same time I was first in talks with Tim Chizmar (a producer in Las Vegas) about doing a film adaptation of my sci-fi stories, so the two things may have been confused by gossip seekers. The deal Chizmar offered me included actor Eric Roberts (Julia Roberts’ brother, himself known for roles in Doctor Who and The Dark Knight) being cast as the villain. This led to Eric Roberts being asked by a reporter if he was working with me. The video of that can be found on YouTube by searching my name and his together. I won’t link it here as the individual who uploaded it wasn’t terribly complimentary, to put it mildly.

I ended up rejecting the Tim Chizmar deal. He is a proud nudist. Nothing wrong with that, but his “Nudist moms will offer you their daughters, man!” come-on shows he didn’t really get what I’m about. The film is being made (“The Girl From Beyond”, starring actress Carly Huberman in the title role), but he is not involved.

Searching your name online I saw a lot of people saying some pretty bad things about you, apparently. I didn’t even know you were so “known” like that

Actually, it is. A 16yo can drive, have sex in most states, fly a plane and get married in many states. Come join us in the 21st century and leave the 19th behind. :rofl:

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I didn’t compare the relationships at any time. But you definetly should look for the definition of pedophilia and maybe acknowledge the fact no one wakes up on their 18th birthday like a totally different person than they were a couple of months before

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You seem to be saying that intercourse is the same as dating. That’s not very conservative of you.

By that logic children cant date each other either.

…huh?

I didn’t get any of that. I agree that teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to enter relationships of that kind with adults, but you need to actually read what people are saying instead of flying off the handle like this. You’re clearly just looking for stuff to attack or criticize people on, rather than engage with the discussion in a legitimate manner.

I don’t believe anyone on this forum believes that adult-child or adult-teen sexual relations are appropriate. Even in countries where the supposed age of consent is below 18, they still outline restrictions to address specific age-gap requirements.

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Nobody will disagree with your points, but you need to calm down.

The hostility in your text is already winding down my patience with you, and quite frankly, with the way you addressed the legal situation regarding dolls, I doubt we would have much to discuss.

This is a forum child sex abuse prevention charity, not one of those fabled forums where abusers discuss grooming tactics or pedophiles to share abuse material.

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31 states allow 16 year old’s to consent and another 6 allow 17 year old’s to consent. Only 13 insist on 18. And 25 states have age of consent as low as 11, under special circumstances. You ought to do some research. It isn’t rape when it’s legal to consent.

:ok_hand: This sign traditionally means okay. It is also the American Sign Language for asshole. Try to guess which I mean. :rofl:

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Hey flower maiden, i’m glad your enjoying the anon feature.

I cant be fully sure your not someone differant, but you write exactly the same.