Alien in America: Always ask her age

In Columns, Opinion


By Isa Ghani

Daily Titan Multimedia Editor

Here’s a tip I have for all foreigners and immigrants coming to America for the first time: always, always ask for her age.

I’ve been here for nearly a year, and there have been more times than I would care to admit when I’ve tried to hit on a girl who has been (ranging from slightly to extremely) under the legal age of consent – which in California is 18 years old.

Here’s my disclaimer though: I haven’t done anything wrong (yet). I always figure it out in time (barely). And it honestly is very hard to distinguish the age of teenage girls in America (at least for me).

I’m Asian and from an Asian country. I didn’t know many Caucasians, Latinos or blacks growing up; thus, my age-judging skills are lacking. To this day, I would honestly not be able to tell you off the top of my head how old I think Nicole Kidman really is because she does not look 42.

Or how old Brooke Shields was when she appeared topless in “The Blue Lagoon.”

She was 14 at the time the film was shot. Only four years until she was of legal age when she appeared half-naked in a Hollywood film (though she did later testify that body doubles were used for some of the scenes).

For someone who didn’t grow up around here, it’s hard to play “Guess her age,” especially with Caucasians. It’s especially hard when so many girls dress, let’s be tactful here, “mature” for their ages.

I have approached, or been approached, by girls who looked 18 to me. I will admit I made advances only to find out later that she, or on one memorable occasion, they, were only 15 or 16. Of course, I immediately backed off and insisted we become platonic friends. Crisis averted.

But some people don’t see anything wrong with taking a 13-year-old to bed. Perhaps Roman Polanski could give us tips on what not to do in that situation; or depending how you look at it, what to do.

When I first read about Polanski, I scoffed and said to myself, “What an idiot.” Now, I’m not so sure.

I do not approve of pedophilia.

What I mean is that I think it’s just wrong to have sex (consensual or not) with an underage girl. If you’re underage too, well that’s kind of a gray area – but regardless, I’m just about to turn 21, so there should be no reason for me to eye 16-year-olds.

Yet, I do. Why? Because they look so damn mature and … well-developed.

In the course of doing research for this article, I came across a surprisingly large amount of controversial, yet legal, Web sites that showcase pictures of teenage girls – in semi-nude and provocative poses – with models who range from 13 – 17 years of age.

In all cases, parents had given legal consent to let their daughters be photographed and put on the Internet for leery old men to drool over, all for the price of $24.99 a month.

The loophole allowing this to take place is that if the girl’s aren’t completely nude, it’s legal – but, to me at least, still morally wrong.

*NOTE: All this was done purely for the purpose of researching this article. I swear, I do not have these bookmarked in my browser, nor do I frequent these Web sites.

What disturbs me is that there obviously is a demand for these Web sites. Someone out there is forking over $25 a month to (presumably) jerk off to photos of 13-year-old girls. I personally doubt that people buy these photos to put up on their mantel.

OK, so perhaps human beings are just that depraved. What disturbs me even more is that, although some of these girls are listed as being 14 or 16, they definitely do not look it; they look much older. Therein lies the problem.

It’s all well and good if everyone had an age disclaimer on the back of their heads, telling the world how old they are.

It would be great if the world were like Facebook, but it’s not, and sometimes we guys have to learn this lesson the hard way.

I am often shocked when I find out people’s real ages, and I guess Caucasians age differently than Asians. I’ve also made the mistake of under-guessing people’s ages because this is California, the land of cosmetic surgery.

Maybe I’m going about this all wrong.

Maybe I should stop guessing and start every conversation with an attractive girl with: “So, how old are you?”

Or maybe I just haven’t been around enough girls to learn the difference between “jail bait” and “fair game.”

If you have some tips, I would love to hear them.

But for now, I think I’ll start going to bars. At least there I’ll know that every girl inside is at least 21, or if she isn’t, that’s what those handy-dandy X’s on the back of their hands mean, quite literally: No Entry Here.

2 commentsOn Alien in America: Always ask her age

  • Even though Isa finds himself attracted to females under the legal age of consent in California, he can rest easy knowing that he is in fact not a pedophile. Pedophilia refers to the sexual attraction of prepubescent children, which generally refers to youths under the age of eleven or twelve. Ephebophilia on the other hand, does refer to the attraction Isa experiences, that is a preference for girls in mid-to-late adolescence (14-19) that have undergone puberty. If he was attracted to girls in this range that had not undergone puberty then it would fall under Hebephilia.

    The easiest way to avoid awkward situations like you point out in the article is to not hang out with girls that are in high school. Also, the more time you spend with people in your age group and above– the college scene. You will find it easier to distinguish between the legal girls and those who have to wake up early for band practice and to bake cookies for the Key Club bake sale.

    I’ll admit that I had trouble early on in college being completely sure how old a few girls were, but now that I’m a teacher I find it to be the opposite. I had these college age kids come into the class the other day for AVID training in a middle school classroom and they honestly didn’t look like they were out of high school.

    Then again, a large number of states have the age of consent set at sixteen.

  • Roman Polanski has comitted a crime and he should be punished in one way or another. You cannot just forgive someone who abused an underage girl.

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