The fact is, a 14-year-old girl may be capable of agreeing to sex with a 49-year-old man, but she doesn’t have the emotional and mental maturity to consent. I was 25 before I realized that every man I’d slept with as a teenager was a pedophile. It seemed to me that since I’d courted the attention, that I was fully culpable. What teenager believes she is not mentally or emotionally capable of full consent? I thought I was an adult, although when I look at the picture of myself from the time period above, I see a child.
I thought I was the exception for these men, the girl so precocious and advanced that it superseded social norms. I thought that I was “older than my chronological age.”
It never occurred to me as a young sexually active teen that the adult men I had relationships with may have been manipulating me, that they had designs and motives I couldn’t see from my limited child’s perspective.
Everyone should read this article if they haven’t already. The anecdotes are upsetting and carry major TW (pedophilia, graphic depictions of sex), but the message is just so on point.
Shark with Napoleon hat
Meet a medieval shark with a hat on. However, there is much more to this funny 13th-century decoration. Medieval decorators often got it wrong when they drew exotic animals like this. Elephants, for example, looked like pigs with big ears. We can’t blame the artists, as they had never seen these animals, which lived far away - and they had no internet or means to travel that far. This is why the image of the shark is so special: it is realistic. It shows its gills, the row of pointy teeth that stick out, and the typical round opening near the tip of the nose. In sum, this decorator had likely seen a shark in real life. For the book historian this is interesting as it may help localize where the book was made. Given that it was produced in France, we may potentially place its production near the ocean, or perhaps even in the south of the country, near the Mediterranean. All that from a bunch of pointy teeth - and some healthy guess work.
Pic: Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, MS 98.