Age of Majority


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Bob Godfrey

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Thanks for the link, Paul - something for everyone there. Now, about the upgrade. Is it only for Internet Explorer? I'm using Firefox and I'm still puzzled by some of the postings in the South Pole thread.
 

Paul Rogers

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Haven't you finished yet, Mon? There are only six Harry Potter books out so far, after all.

Bob, I think you'll need the Insanity '98 v2.4 plug-in to make any sense of that thread at all. It's not freeware, unfortunately. I'll ask my Mum for a copy; I'm pretty sure she's got it installed on her cooker, given the number of smoke alarms she's worn out.
 
May 3, 2002
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Mark,
thanks for you comprehensive response to my post.
I do appreciate the destictions you raise about Pedohilia and Ephebophila. I was really drawing arttention to the abitrary nature of AoCs in all areas of life hence my 75+ snipe at society.
thanks for your efforts and for me, back to Titanic.

14 year old boys having to go down with the ship does seem harsh by today's stds.

Martin
 
Jun 12, 2004
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MARTIN:

I was really drawing attention to the arbitrary nature of AoCs in all areas of life hence my 75+ snipe at society.

You won't get any argument from me on that. The arbitrary nature of the AOC has been a conundrum for a long time and continues to be, although I can understand the need to establish some area of transition, like Monica's age 30. The AOC is not necessarily based on actual psychological or sexual development, but on society's view's, beliefs, and values regarding sex and youth. And as we know, the views of those in society are not always or primarily logical or rational.

14 year old boys having to go down with the ship does seem harsh by today's stds.

The idea of 14-year-old boys having to go down with the ship might have even been considered harsh at the time of the Titanic. I think Bob Godfrey or someone else can elaborate more on this in detail. The thing about those under 18 during Titanic's time is that they were not as likely to have been coddled as much as they are now. What I mean to say is that, although they were under the AOM (21), as long as they were over 14, the youth might have been viewed as being independent in thought and action and deemed capable of taking care of themselves. Case-in-point: 17-year-old Jack Thayer, who left his father and struck up his own efforts to ascertain the seriousness of the situation and then [calmly] determined his own means of escape: He and his shipmate, Milton Long, who was 30, jumped together from the starboard boat deck (or sun deck, as it was also known). However, where Jack jumped out, which was the wiser method of descent, Milton dropped straight down into the water and was never seen again. Today, the 17-year-old would probably behave much differently and would likely be held under his parent's constant supervision and insisted into a boat along with the women and young children. At least this would be American practice; Europeans would likely hold a different attitude, as teens over 14 or 15 living in the European continent are generally deemed more mature than those in America. I will contend that this state of adolescent transformation is due to societal attitude and how that society fosters the influence of its youth. This is why the AOC and the AOM are not the same in every country, state, or society.
 

Bob Godfrey

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I can't add much to what I've already posted, but I'll sum that up by saying that in England in 1912 there were three points of transition in a man's life. At age 12 he was no longer regarded legally as a child and was no longer required to attend school. At age 16 he was no longer a 'young person', and legal prohibitions relating for instance to availability of sex, drink and tobacco no longer applied. In the eyes of the Law, that was the end of his period of personal vulnerability. But restrictions remained to protect society from his lack of experience. He could not, for instance, vote for a political candidate, or set up a business, or marry and raise a family without the approval of guardians older and (hopefully) wiser than himself. Finally, at age 21, he was by any definition an adult with the right to do all of these things.

These considerations based on age were a matter of cultural tradition allied to practicality. A young person of 12, at which age most had done with school and entered the adult world of work, could for instance hardly expect to travel on a half-price child's ticket. And, at a time when working class wives commonly had their first child at or near the age of 16, it wouldn't have made much sense to set the Age of Consent any higher.

In the boat deck scenario, any considerations of vulnerability, whether in terms of the Law of the Land or of Lightoller's 'law of human nature', would be limited to those aged no more than 15. Beyond that it was a matter of personal judgment by those on the scene and in control, but most of the crew loading boats would have looked twice at any male passenger who appeared to be above the age of 12. Keep in mind that there were crew members aged as young as 14, not one of whom was considered as having any right to a place in a lifeboat.

Back in 1912, acceptance of the validity of a 'women and children first' policy was in any case by no means universal. There were suffragists who believed that women who demanded equal rights should be prepared to accept equal risks. And there were those who believed that selection should have been based not on gender or even on age but on usefulness to society. It was reasoned, for instance, that a Captain of industry or a surgeon or a great writer was more valuable than an unskilled immigrant who happened to be young or female. Some even thought that a place in the boats should to some extent be restricted to those who'd paid for it. When the Republic went down 4 years earlier, the Captain's orders were said to have been women and children first, then First Cabin, then the rest.

In some other cultures, the 'women and children first' policy was considered to make no sense at all. An officer on a Chinese vessel of the time was said to have commented that his lifeboat priorities would have been men (ie breadwinners) first, then children, and women (supply exceeds demand) last. I make no further comment on that!
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