I’m finally ready to comment on a moderately controversial 12.2 Huffington Post piece by film critic Thelma Adams about how the older woman-teenage boy relationship in Stephen Daldry ‘s The Reader is basically a case of child abuse, and if the sexes were reversed (older guy, teenage girl) it would definitely constitute child abuse.
Kate Winslet, David Kross in The Reader
I’ve explained this a couple of times since the dawn of Hollywood Elsewhere in August ’04, and I’ll probably have to keep explaining it. If an older man takes a 15 year-old girl to bed, he’s an animal and a scumbag who deserves to go to jail. But if you’re a 15 year-old teenage boy (or 14 or 16 or whatever), you automatically get down on your knees and give thanks to God if an older woman wants to go to bed with you. No ifs, ands or buts — it’s a gleaming gift from heaven.
If a woman in her 20s or 30s or even her 40s had been interested in yours truly when I was 15 or so, I would have turned out a much happier person — certainly a more optimistic one. There’s no way in the world I would have ever been screwed up or even moderately traumatized by such a blessed, rhapsodic event.
Different standards but that’s how it is.