As I revealed here recently, David Futrelle once chided Victorian social purity feminists (Butlerites) for ‘controlling the sexual behaviour of young girls by coercive means’.
Particularly in the context of the article it was made in, this statement only appears to make sense if Futrelle is implying that either or both of two things were justified – child prostitution and the previous age of consent of 12/13. The Butlerites are famous only for their campaigns against prostitution, and child prostitution in particular, and the raising of the age of consent from 12 to 13, and then to 16, as a means to combatting child prostitution.
David Futrelle is trying to defend himself by claiming that the Victorian feminists used the term ‘girls’ patronizingly to refer to adult women.
Unfortunately, David Futrelle used the term ‘young girls‘. There is also nothing to suggest that he used the term ‘young girls’ to satarize the attitudes of Butlerites to adult women. If that was his intention, he certainly didn’t make it clear to the average reader, and at that time at least, David Futrelle was a fairly competent writer.
Futrelle also has a somewhat disturbing history of minimizing the reality of child sexual abuse in his writings of the 1990’s – including defending the distribution of a film depecting the graphic sexual abuse, torture, and murder of naked children in a gay sex shop, that was directed by a paedophile whose murder was confessed to by a child prostitute he was abusing.
Futhermore, there appears to be no evidence that the Butlerites did use the term ‘girls’ let alone ‘young girls’ to describe adult women prostitutes. In fact, their victorious piece of legislation, the Criminal Amendment Act of 1885, was published with the alternative title – ‘an act to make further provision for the protection of women and girls‘.
Wikipedia gives an interesting background to the Act, which also criminalized homosexuality for exactly the same reason as it raised the age of consent and criminalized prostitution – male sexuality was considered evil. It also reveals how the act was passed – by hysteria and mob intimidation. A majority of parliamentarians were bitterly opposed to the bill, and it was only finally passed after the intimidatory tactic of publishing the names of the members who were voting against it. This was at a period when ‘paedohysteria’ was as rampant as it is now, with society going through a moral panic at the supposed ‘white slave trade’ involving teenage child prostitutes. Much of this has been exposed as lies.
It is a curious fact, therefore, that the age of consent is 16 in the UK, and by consequence, much of Europe, the USA, and the world, because of tabloid lies and intimidation of politicians, all at the instigation of Victorian feminists who were acting under the conviction that all things connected to male sexuality and desire were intrinsically evil, and as a consequence, criminalized homosexuality in the very same bill. These were the very same feminists who would later be handing out white feathers to traumatised underage boy veterens of the first world war.
*Another curious fact is that the tabloid journalist W.F.Stead, who along with the Butlerites led the moral panic over ‘white slavery’, died, in true mangina fashion, on the Titanic….along with Jacques Futrelle, the grandfather of Manboobz.