Hopeless love, forbidden love, these themes frame some of the greatest love stories of all time. Laws against incest, adultery, “underage” sex, “statutory rape”—all of mankind’s most primitive laws concern prohibitions on various kinds of sexual relationships. These were the earliest human laws, as I first learned in my introduction to Cultural Anthropology from Victoria Reifler Bricker, teaching the work of Sir Henry Maine, L.H. Morgan and other pioneering anthropologists (mostly jurists) at Tulane, some 38 years ago this Fall. Societies which have no other laws at all have “rules” regulating (or attempting to regulate) sexual behavior and, for the most part, failing. I have long ago concluded that the laws against sex come first in human evolution because nothing takes precedence over sex in the human mind and psyche.
Most of Richard Wagner’s operas concern forbidden love and the triumph of love over normative law and normal life itself. But the leitmotif of forbidden love started long before Wagner. Growing up, the story of Abelard & Heloise was somehow more tangible to me precisely because it concerned a teacher and his most devoted student. I failed to see as a youngster, and now I still fail to see as an (almost, approaching) “oldster” why teacher-student love should ever be forbidden. One of my favorite professors in College, Robert Wauchope, my first professor of Maya and Mesoamerican Archaeology, told the story of meeting and falling in love with his wife as a student, and in that (obviously not so ancient) era, it was apparently considered quite normal. Robert Wauchope was a particularly good old Southern story teller, but I know that many others among my college professors met their spouses as students. I had crushes on several of my female teachers throughout the years and (though nothing ever came of any of them, starting with a certain Miss Pomainville when I was 9 or something), it seemed about as natural as anything could be. These “scandals” come up over and over again and they will obviously never end. In the modern world, I would think that when the two people involved are culturally, ethnically, and socially similar, we just need to leave the alone. Statutory Rape laws need to be modified to the point that intelligent consent is a defense. “Intelligent Consent” needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis where the actual interactions of the parties and (in particular) the behavior of the younger (underage) party and his/her understanding of the nature of relationships is tested. A line drawn at puberty would be much more rational, given the state of sex in TV, movies, and other media. Pre-pubescent sex is biologically unnatural and biologically pointless and so can be called perverted. But the media sexualize even the youngest girls, in particular, in the modern world—and norms are formed through the media. Wagner’s operas never deal with “underage” sex as a taboo—it simply wasn’t much thought about, I would guess, in the 19th century. But his greatest forbidden (adulterous) lovers were probably Tristan und Isolde, and he frames their story with the most sublime music that has ever been written: http://news.yahoo.com/stemme-shines-isolde-wagners-love-story-145656373.html
But Back here in the modern world, we still just have to pray for the redemption of Jeremy Forrest and Megan Stammers, that they might enjoy their love again, before death…..(“Liebestod”)…..ok, after all this crap it will probably never happen.
- By Euan Stretch
Jeremy Forrest trial: Married teacher ‘told schoolgirl, 14, he loved her days before they kissed in classroom’
Forrest allegedly pursued the teenager for sex and researched the maximum prison term he would get if he was caught
Forrest, 30, allegedly pursued the teenager for sex and researched the maximum prison term he would get if he was caught.
After showing the girl his marital home and telling her his marriage was a “hollow sham” the pair began to have sex at the house and at a hotel, Lewes crown court heard.
But the schoolgirl later feared Forrest was not telling the truth about his relationship when she saw “nice” messages his wife Emily had sent him.
The first secret kiss came after Forrest sent the girl a message via social network Twitter saying: “I have something to tell you tomorrow.”
The following day the schoolgirl, who cannot be named, met Forrest before lessons started at Bishop Bell CoE school, Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Speaking in a police interview recorded last October which was played in court today she said: “He said he thought he was in love with me and I said I had the same feeling.
“That’s when thing things became serious. The time we kissed must have been early May.”
The schoolgirl, now aged 16, said she visited his classroom each day but there was always someone around.
She said: “We had spoken about kissing each other. It ended up being in his classroom. I do remember being in his room.
“It was just me and him. He said ‘I really want to kiss you’ and I said ‘I really want to’.”
The court heard how the secret kiss came weeks after the girl and Forrest had been tweeting each other privately and sending increasingly flirtatious text messages.
She told the court sex first became mentioned in text messages in May.
They exchanged intimate photographs, with the girl sending Forrest a topless picture of herself and one of her posed in a hoodie top and her underwear, the jury heard.
Forrest started meeting the girl out of school hours, driving her around in his black Ford Fiesta and taking her to his marital home at Ringmer, near Lewes, East Sussex, in June.
He showed her his 31-year-old wife Emily’s bedroom and watched TV before cooking her dinner.
The court heard Forrest told the girl, who was by then 15, that his year-long-marriage was a “hollow sham” and they talked about having sex.
She told the court he had removed his wedding ring and even said he wanted his parents to meet her.
She said: “He told me he didn’t want to take advantage of me, and I just didn’t have a problem with it anyway.
“It was what I wanted to do because of how much I liked him. Obviously I was worried and I spoke to my friends about it.
“He knew he would go to prison, lose his job and not work with children again, he was aware.
“There was no naivety and it was what I wanted, and I probably encouraged it.
“We would bring it up and I would say ‘Yeah, I really want to’.”
The schoolgirl said they planned to have sex in the first week of the summer holidays in July.
And the teenager described how they had sex twice in the spare room of Forrest’s home in the day while Emily was with her parents in Eastbourne.
She said: “The whole thing was pretty quick anyway, when it came to it.
“I think it was twice but I can’t remember. We just went back to what we were doing before – watching TV.
“It was just normal. I don’t think we spoke that much about it. I remember after, not feeling guilty or that I had done anything wrong.”
The jury heard how the couple also had sex in his car, but often in local hotels booked by Forrest including the Premier Inn at Polegate, near Lewes.
She added: “After having sex for the first time, it was like a pressure off. After a few times we got used to each other.”
The couple’s secret was discovered on September 19 when police and child protection officers interviewed the schoolgirl at home.
The girl said she panicked after her phone was seized.
She packed a bag, told her mum she was sleeping at a friend’s and was picked up by Forrest who drove them to Dover to catch a ferry to France on Thursday, September 20, last year.
She said: “He looked very anxious, very worried and frustrated in a way, because we knew we were going to be caught for something we didn’t think was wrong.”
The court heard Forrest abandoned his car in Paris and they caught a train to Bordeaux in south-west France.
She said they stayed in a hotel the first night, where they had sex, before moving to another.
Forrest was oblivious to the manhunt until he saw a news website.
She said: “He was saying ‘I’m going to go to prison. We are going to be caught’. I had to reassure him.”
Days later they were stopped by French police.
She said: “Before we were taken away I kind of mouthed the words ‘I love you’ and he did it back to me.”
Later she was asked whether she and Forrest had considered the consequences.
She said: “He did look up how many years he would be in prison, not for taking me to France, but for what had previously happened.”
The girl admitted to police it was a “relief” their relationship was in the open.
She said: “I’ve never felt what me and Jeremy have done, or being in a relationship, is wrong, because it feels right.
“I can understand why it is wrong because of the law, but it just didn’t feel wrong. I know my own mind. I know what I want.”
Later the court, attended by Forrest’s parents Jim and Julie, heard the schoolgirl soon suspected Forrest had lied to her about separating from his wife.
In a police interview on November 27 last year, she said: “I was quite suspicious in a way.
“To have a relationship with a teacher, that’s not something I would do usually.
“Because he had a wife it made it 10 times worse. He told me he was separated from December.
“I trusted him but then I started to see Emily tweeting things.”
She said Emily would write “nice things” and refer to him as “my lovely husband”, despite Forrest saying she was “violent and abusive”.
The girl said: “When I was with him she used to ring him constantly.
She also said a friend’s boyfriend saw Forrest in Brighton holding hands with his wife in August last year.
Forrest, of Bromley, Kent, denies a charge of child abduction.
The trial continues.
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