Two young women about the age of consent laws

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I want to see the consent laws abolished for both heterosexuals and homosexuals because if two people want to have sex then no-one has the right to say at what age they can. If you believe that people can't give their consent freely in this society because of power imbalances between men and women and between adults and children, then no-one could do anything.

You can't talk about the consent laws in isolation - you can't just look at this law and say it should be abolished, and not look at all the other laws and oppressions that surround it, and at all oppression of young people. For a start, we have got to rethink completely the whole idea of childhood and adulthood......

We can't wait until we have the perfect world before we abolish the consent laws. If you think that this law protects young women, then you're living in cloud cuckoo land, because the largest number of sexual assaults on young girls occurs in the family, and this law can do nothing to protect them.

Although it may be older men and not teenage boys who are prosecuted for having sex with minors, the law is used as a treat against young people. Just to argue for young people's sexual liberation is to challenge the whole way society is constructed.

source: Two young women; Quote taken from < Girls are powerful: young women's writings from 'spare rib >; Editor: Susan Hemmings; Sheba Feminist Publishers, London; Quote used in 'The oppression of the young: An inside perspective' by Jeff Vernon; From the book 'The Betrayal of Youth - Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People'; Edited by Warren Middleton; CL Publications, London; 1986; Book by Hemming from 1982