was a teenage babysitter.
I started babysitting when I was
ten. I needed Guess jeans and Benetton
sweaters and ballet lessons and
Aveda products and that was the
only was i was gonna get ‘em.
I babysat probably twenty hours
a week from ten to fourteen. That’s
more than I work now. I was richer
than I’d ever be again. I
was saner, too. I’d say the
last time I had my wits about me
I was fourteen. Then the hormones
hit. But before that I was cute,
I was smart, I had tits, and I was
sane. How irresistible is that?
I remember the palpable awkwardness
when the dads drove me home. I remember
doing everything I could not to
encourage any kind of misbehavior.
I remember the shock four years
later when I was hit on by my geology
professor and my calculus teacher.
And I remember feeling the pressure
drop when I started stripping and
finally PERMITTED the boys to look
A writer for this magazine wanted
to know my thoughts on former governor
Neil Goldschmidt’s babysitter
scandal. Truth is I feel quite conflicted.
But I’ll say for the record
that everyone should mind their
own goddamn business, that we are
all fucked up hypocrites. Let he
who is without sin cast the first
People! We are all just people.
We are all fucked up. Each society
invents rules a majority feels everyone
should live by. But some of these
rules are wishful thinking, like,
for instance, America’s fundamental
rule that sex should be fair, honest
and good. WHATEVER! We are animals.
We have sex because we are bored
and it feels good. Womyn who think
that the playing field should be
level in terms of power and money
and age are living in a fantasy
world. They should date their vibrators.
But you can’t sue a vibrator....
So our former governor fucked his
babysitter. Who was fourteen. That
is sex abuse. As defined by our
society. Whose rules we must live
by. Gov. Goldschmidt obviously felt
himself above the rules. But ain’t
we all? And though I might find
his relationship with a girl so
young kinda gross, I know it’s
all part of our programming, that
we all fuck up, that he was and
I can’t help but smell the
familiar scent of “sex is
bad.” America is very naive
and optimistic to believe that we
can pass legislation to protect
us from ourselves. Fifty years ago
fourteen year olds were acceptable
mates. A hundred years ago girls
were over the hill at eighteen,
old maids at twenty. But now a fourteen
year old girl is absolutely inviolable,
a precious impenetrable virgin beyond
reproach or approach. And really,
I agree. Fourteen is NOT fair game.
Fifteen is a bit fairer. Sixteen,
almost. Seventeen—fair enough.
And at eighteen, have at it!
is a screwed up adult. But who screwed
her? Her grandfather, who sexually
abused her before Goldschmidt? Goldschmidt,
who at least stuck around for three
years and evidently evinced some
trust from the girl? Or did we—society—by
preaching that what happened is
unforgivable, life-destroying and
beyond-the-pale front page scandal
fodder, requiring the guv and the
girl to keep this secret for twenty-five
years, poisoning both of their lives?
Fourteen year olds are sexual beings.
Four year olds are sexual beings.
I was rolling around naked with
a girl from church when I was seven.
At ten I was masturbating to John
Taylor from Duran Duran. At fourteen
I fell in LOVE. With, lucky for
me, a fourteen year old.
Neil Goldschmidt performed extraordinarily
as a public servant but only ordinarily
as a mammal. He knows what he did
was wrong. He’s apologized.
He cannot do anything more. The
families and the Fourteen-year-old
Babysitter now need to try and forgive
him. The rest of us should mind
our own goddamn business.