What’s Current: Canadian pop band Hedley accused of sexually assaulting young fans

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • Members of the Canadian pop band Hedley stand accused of sexual harassment and assault. Many of the band’s accusers are young teens.
  • Trump’s lawyer finally confirms rumours that he paid $130,000 to a porn star to secure her silence around a sexual encounter in 2006.
  • Defence lawyers for a sexual predator in France argue that his 11-year-old victim is “not a child.”
  • Olympic snowboarder Shaun White dismisses allegations of sexual misconduct, calling them “gossip.”
  • Paul Ryan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, addresses the fact that a known domestic abuser made his way into the White House. He said:

“Clearly we should all be condemning domestic violence…

… And if a person who commits domestic violence gets in the government then there is a breakdown in the system,” the speaker added. “There’s a breakdown in the vetting system and then that breakdown needs to be addressed.”

Jess Martin
Jess Martin

Jess Martin is a public relations professional, an aspiring writer, and an assistant editor at Feminist Current. She prefers to write about feminist topics, disability, or environmental issues, but could be persuaded to broaden her horizons in exchange for payment and/or food. In her spare time Jess can be found knitting, gardening, or lying in the fetal position, mulling over political theory that no one in their right mind cares about.

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  • Silly Birch

    I’ve been reading this site for a bit now, but am new to comment. As there seems to be a real sense of community here, I feel like I should introduce myself, rather than just beginning to comment at random, so, hello! Thank you all for your part in opening my eyes and getting my head straight. I’m kind of a lost cause, but I’m raising a daughter and she needs her mom to be a real feminist, even though she doesn’t know it yet.
    Anyway… *ahem*
    So, am I to understand that the (unofficial) age of consent in France is FIVE?! IS THAT REAL? Kinda puts a weird spin on the whole “Paris is for lovers” thing but ok…

    • Meghan Murphy

      Welcome <3

      • Silly Birch

        <3

    • FierceMild

      Welcome. I have a daughter too, and you’re right, they do need us to be real feminists.

    • Rachael

      Hi Silly! Nice to meet you. 🙂

    • lk

      Welcome sister!!

      “I’m kind of a lost cause.”

      No, you’re not!

      This site (and the commenters on it are the BEST)…I stumbled on this site about 2 years ago and I love it.

  • lk

    “She was 11 years and 10 months old, so nearly 12 years old…It changes the story. So she is not a child.”
    In what freaking universe is a 12 year old not a child….

    She said as soon as children have “sexual expressiveness and you have an attitude of putting yourself in danger” then “it doesn’t necessarily mean the person on the other side is a sexual predator”.

    What?!!
    If you are a grown-ass man doing sexual things with a child you are a sexual predator. The fact that a child has sexual feelings or curiosity during puberty is completely irrelevant.

    “the suspect – a father of two”
    Sigh…so this man has children but he is okay sexually abusing other people’s children. I have to wonder how he would feel if a 28 year old man was doing sexual things with his 11 year old daughter…

    “France does not have a legal age under which a minor cannot agree to a sexual relationship – although the country’s top court has ruled that children aged five and under cannot consent.”
    So in France, the age of sexual consent is basically 6..because of course a 6 year old can grant consent to sex..while we are it, lets allow 6 year olds to vote, drive, sign legal contracts, use drugs, drink alcohol, get married and own guns.

    “Defence lawyers say the man and the girl had met in a park and the girl had voluntarily followed him to an apartment and consented to intercourse. They have also said their client, then 28, thought she was at least 16.”
    No, this is not what happened. Your client raped a child…good try, though. Also, I call bullshit on him thinking she was 16. And for the sake of argument, let’s say he did think she was 16..why the hell is a 28 yearold man having sex with a 16 year old? Is there some reason he can’t have sex with someone his own age…..I know people always blab on and on about how age is just a number but it is much more than that-age indicates your mental, physical and emotional maturity level. A 28 year old and a 16 year old are at completely different maturity levels….I honestly find it creepy when older men want to date very young women (even if they are legally adults)….

    • Jani

      Crazy. It reminds me of the case in Scotland where a man was found not guilty of the statutory rape of a girl aged 12 years and 8 months because she was ALMOST 13 years old, the age at which an adult man can use the defence that the girl consented to sex and LOOKED over 16 (the legal age of consent in Scotland). After all, this was a young man with a bright future ahead of him, and he had NO IDEA (??!!!!!!) that he was doing anything wrong because he couldn’t tell the difference between a 12 year old girl and an adult woman.

    • Silly Birch

      When I was about that age, we learned about the stages of development in class, and I discovered that I was semantically an “adolescent,” as opposed to a child or infant. The next time I fought with my mother, I proclaimed “I am NOT a CHILD.” It was such a ridiculous claim in practice that she still tells that story laughing. I’m 40. Doesn’t hold up. Your client raped a child. “But she was this many and a HALF” would sound stupid coming from a child, it sounds monstrous coming from men of the law.

  • The only breakdown in the system is that women are speaking up and it’s not okay at the moment to ignore us. Shall we place bets on what percentage of American politicians engage in domestic violence? I’ll go first. 75%?

    • Can’tUnseeIt

      I’ll go second: 95%.

  • Maureen

    Clearly we should all be condemning Paul Ryan.

  • Blazewarrior

    Same old male lies – wherein the innumerable male sexual predators are the innocent victims and hey presto female children are the sexual predators!’ Obviously minute a female child is born she is ‘sexually available to the males because this is why females exist – to service men 24/7 in whatever capacity the women-hating boys demand.

    Now I wonder if male sexual predators will claim this: ‘wah I thought the boy child aged 6 years old was really 16 years old and anyway he “consented” to my raping him because he didn’t resist!’ I don’t think mens’ male supremacist system endorses this male claim because of course males accord other males ownership and control over their bodies and punish males who sexually prey on boy children. But women and female children aren’t human – hence males cannot commit sexual violence against a non-human female!

  • Candice Smith

    I would suggest reading the full article on the France case, rather than just the headlines. Here’s the link: https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/14/french-girl-11-not-a-child-say-lawyers-for-man-29-accused-of-sexual-abuse
    Also, there’s been numerous articles on Macron’s commitment to halt religious extremism. Not saying Macron is perfect (he’s an apologist for teacher-student romantic relationships) — but the government isn’t just made up of Macron.

  • Kelan Fox

    It’s worse than that. They’re in their 30s.

  • GerryJCapone

    As I recall, one of her close friends/lovers wrote an angry book about de Beauvoir, exposing much of this. I guess you could say that she made many errors in the realm of love and sexuality. But I’m sure to the pro-sex feminists, these were not errors.

    The men mentioned, though, are real advocates for lowering the age of consent.

  • GerryJCapone

    The U.S. law states that the age of consent must be between 16-18. I think most states opt for 18. PA.’s is 16, so I’m not sure where the 13 comes from.

    • HR

      The laws vary from state to state. The age of consent for statutory rape have to do with being younger than 18 with someone 4 or more years older–in that scenario even a 17 year old cannot legally give consent to a boyfriend who is 21. Surprisingly thirteen year old can legally consent to have sex with another 13 year old.

  • Can’tUnseeIt

    “…making France the Pedophilia Capital of the World.” I think this distinction has already been claimed by Rome.

  • Tobysgirl

    Wasn’t a story posted on FC about German men crossing the border into Czech Republic and buying sex with pre-adolescent girls? Our Czech exchange student said his English teacher had deliberately gone to Czech Republic so he could have sex with his students. And this realization from a boy who had been sexualized by his mother (she thought it was cute when people asked if her son was her lover).