TW: At the bottom, I talk about sexual assault and predators, specifically in the school context of female teachers and male students.

So, last week I applied to an open position on the Board of Trustees for my local town. Yesterday, I got an email from the local newspaper asking for headshots. I said that I’d rather wait until I know if they’re going to interview me before I agree.

Also, I saw the newspaper today and an article about the applicants is on the front page (but below the fold). My name is right there, all bold and stuff, with parts of my 750 word essay included and summarized. I kind of eeeeped! when I saw that, although I should have expected it, I suppose.

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HOWEVER, the newspaper guy who sent the email about headshots cc’d all applicants, so I was able to see who else applied. And like ya do, I googled all of them. One of them, an older woman, wrote an op-ed a few years ago concerning a local teacher-student sex scandal. The teacher had sex at the school with her student, who was 17 or 18. In my state, 17 year olds can consent to sex with adults, but having sex with her student violated school policy as she was in a position of trust. This woman’s op-ed, however, argued that male students having sex with older women is not that damaging, and not as bad as a girl having sex with her male teacher. She said the teacher did something stupid, but it was not “assault.”

I disagree with her premise, but I do know there are people who think that. Maybe I live in an echo chamber, then, where most of the people I know and the kind of media I consume agrees that boys can also be victims of sexual predators in this kind of situation, because I was surprised to see someone write to a local paper arguing that this boy was not a victim.

ETA: The woman who wrote the op-ed worked for a sexual assault organization. I don’t want to say which, or where, but this is coming from someone who works with victims and offenders.