I’ve received a few asks regarding a question I answered where a teenager was being abused by a partner 3-4 years older than her. You can find it here. I’ve received a number of messages from adolescents with older partners who disagree with what I said and feel that characterizing all relationships with an age gap are abusive. I feel this is a misunderstanding of what I meant to say, so I’d like to clarify.
- It’s common for relationships to have an age difference; most people are not the exact same age we are. Depending on the age of the people involved, this can have virtually no bearing on the relationship, however, the younger the people involved are, the more significant the age gap is. This is supported by various psychological studies and specifically relates to brain development; the brain continues to develop into an individuals early and perhaps even mid twenties, and with every year we gain more life experience. Therefore, a 30 year old and a 35 year old are going to be fairly equal in emotional development, maturity, life experience etc. If that same couple met fifteen years earlier where one was 15 and the other was 20, the age difference would be much more significant.
- Most teenagers who are dating older people do not feel that they’re being abused at the time, however in retrospect, many - though not all - look back and can see how much they’ve grown, developed and matured since then and conversely, the difference in themselves from the age they were to the age their partner was. With this new perspective and more information, they’re able to see differences in development, maturity and experience that they couldn’t when they were in the relationship. They may see areas where they were still developing emotionally and see how these were exploited by their older partners.
- In addition to the age of the people involved, the size of the age gap is very significant. Most people would probably agree that a year is a reasonable gap between teens and not a great cause for concern. At that point, the differences between the pair will be minimal. As the age gap increases, so too do the differences in experience, emotional development etc. It’s difficult to establish a cut-off point where an age gap becomes a problem since the differences are gradual. We have age of consent laws to attempt to institute protection for younger people against abuse by older people. It’s an imperfect system but it’s the best we have currently.
- The larger the age difference between the people in the relationship, the greater risk there is for abuse to occur. An older person likely has more experience in romantic partnerships (and relationships in general), sex, as well as emotional and cognitive development and life experience. This can enable them to take advantage of the younger person.
- In situations of large age gaps (this is difficult to define, for arguments sake, lets say more than two years in couples where one party is under 18 since this is the maximum age gap that’s considered legal in Australia by my knowledge) we have to wonder, knowing what a significant difference a few years can make in adolescence, why does an older teenager seek out a younger partner? Most people agree that its healthy for people to seek out partners who are on a similar level that they are. It’s simply not possible for a 15 year old to be on the same level emotionally and psychologically as an 18 year old. Most 18 year olds would find a 15 year old difficult to relate to and would want a partner who’s on equal footing. The fact that someone this much older would choose to date someone so much younger than they are suggests that they’re deliberately seeking someone who will look up to them, who will admire them, who they will have control over. This is one aspect that contributes to the risk of abuse to the younger person. There are situations where a relationship with this kind of age gap continues past adolescence and leads to a long term, happy, healthy relationship. These situations are however, in my opinion, less common than the former scenario.
- In sum, age differences do raise several issues regarding the potential for abuse. It’s difficult to draw a line in the sand between what is healthy and what isn’t since there are many external factors and people are individual. This is not to say that every relationship with a significant age difference is abusive, only that the potential for abuse increases. When an age gap becomes abusive, e.g. grounds for statutory rape varies from place to place. While I don’t mean to offend anyone and to label every relationship with an age gap as abusive, it is true that there is a greater risk for abuse to occur and this is what I was trying to convey in my message. In this specific scenario that anon was discussing, however, the older partner was abusive by their own admission and so I discussed it as such. If you feel that anything I say doesn’t apply to you, please disregard it. I am not God and I am giving my opinions; you don’t need to agree.
I hope this clears this issue up a little bit.
Steven Moffat has said that calling Peter Capaldi’s incarnation the ‘Twelfth Doctor’ is wrong.
Speaking in SFX magazine #251, Moffat said: “I’m just going to throw this continuity grenade back at Doctor Who fans and say, ‘You are all wrong!’ He has never called himself the anything-th Doctor in the show.
“If the Doctor was a real person and walked in here, and you said, ‘Which incarnation are you?’ he’d have to think, just as you’d have to think about how many houses you’ve lived in. He never thinks of himself as a numbered Doctor. The Twelfth Doctor means the twelfth actor to have played the lead in Doctor Who. That’s all it means. There is no such character as the Twelfth Doctor and never has been.
“It’s a long time into the show before any such nonsense ever comes up. It’s purely us lot, us fans, wittering on about calling him the Third or the Fourth Doctor – which is actually quite an unpleasant thing to do. It doesn’t feel right at all when you type that. I had to do that for the [50th Anniversary] special. It was the Tenth Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor, and it felt like a betrayal, in a way. But what else could you do?
“Out of curiosity, I looked at what they did in ‘The Five Doctors’. They didn’t number them at all. Do you know what they called them? The Hartnell Doctor, the Pertwee Doctor…” x
From “The Lodger”:
(The Doctor head butts Craig.)
(There is a very rapid montage.)
CRAIG: You’re a
CRAIG: You’ve got a Tardis.
DOCTOR: Yes. Shush. Eleventh. Right. Okay, specific detail.
Admittedly not written by Moffat but IN HIS SEASONS, so you’d think he’d remember it.
Actually, even better, HE LEGIT REFERRED TO HIMSELF BY NUMBERS IN THE MOST RECENT EPISODE,when he’s explaining to Clara why he can’t regenerate and bullshits: Well, number ten once regenerated and kept the same face. I had vanity issues at the time.”
From The Five Doctors, where Davison and Hartnell (well, Hurndall)’s Doctors first meet:
SUSAN: Is he really-?
DOCTOR 1: Me? Yes. Yes, I’m afraid so. Regeneration?
DOCTOR 5: Fourth.
DOCTOR 1: Goodness me! So, there are five of me now!
Didn’t look very hard, did ya pal
can he just get fired already
Doctor: I can only regenerate 12 times, I already have done so four times.
Doctor: Don’t you see? Eight of them, Eight of me!
That’s not the point Moffat is making! Not at all! The point he’s making is that the Doctor doesn’t walk into a place and go “hello I’m the Twelfth Doctor” or “hello I’m the Eleventh Doctor”… it’s just “hello I’m the Doctor”.
Sure when he’s talking about his different faces he’ll number them… Yes… he says he’s the Eleventh facein the Lodger (he actually points to his face when he’s saying it!).
In his most recent episode (Time Of the Doctor) he actually uses the word “regeneration" when he’s talking about his different selves, not Tenth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor etc. "I didn’t call myself the Doctor during the Time War but it was still a regeneration."
Then the Five Doctor’s example given really throws a pointless thing in the works, since Liam Dryden apparently thinks that the Fifth Doctor saying he’s the fourth regenerated incarnation is somehow him calling himself the Fifth Doctor.
tl;dr… Moffat is not saying the Doctor doesn’t recognise there are a number of different faces or incarnations… it’s that he doesn’t call himself the First Doctor or the Second Doctor or the Third Doctor or the Eleventh Doctor or the Twelfth Doctor… they just call themselves the Doctor. Eleven wouldn’t meet Ten and go up to him and call him Ten. He’d just call him Doctor.
All of what thefourteenthdoctor said. This is seriously reaching - and I say that as someone who really dislikes Moffat’s writing, to the point that I don’t watch DW any more because I’m just waiting for the next sexist/homophobic/racist ‘joke’.
He’s horribly messed up the DW continuity in countless other ways, but here … it’s true, the Doctor never refers to himself as ‘the nth Doctor’. I think that’s literally the only point he’s making?
ETA: still see he couldn’t resist a bit of ‘YOU’RE WRONG I’M RIGHT’ snark at the fans, though. Ugh.
Women around the Player seem to get angry at each other a lot, rather than at him, and sometimes get into physical confrontations. These tensions work out well for him, diverting attention from his infidelity and dishonesty. He sets up this dynamic with some combination of the following tactics:
1. He knows how to make each woman feel that she’s the special one and yet at the same time keep her off balance, so that she never feels quite sure of where she stands with him.
2. He tells each one that the others are lying about their involvements with him because they are jealous of her, or because he turned them down, or because he used to be involved with them but isn’t anymore.
3. He tells each one stories about how other women have mistreated him, or shares other bits of information—largely invented—to make previous, or current, women in his life sound conniving, vindictive or addicted to substances.
4. He breaks up with women and gets back together with them, so that no one can keep track of what’s going on.
5. He includes one or two women in his circle who feel unattractive, because he knows he can have more power over them, and manipulates them into hating the women who are see as more attractive.
If this is your partner’s style, you won’t necessarily ever be sure whether he is really having sex with other women or if he just flirts because he enjoys the attention and likes you to feel threatened. He may hotly deny that he ever cheats and try to turn the tables by accusing you of being too suspicious. But even if he’s telling the truth—which he probably isn’t—his constant flirtatious behavior can be as damaging as actual affairs. Either way, he will damage your other relationships, because you will start to perceive any woman as a potential threat to you. If he has a history of hitting on women who are close to you, such as your sister or best friend, you can end up isolated from the women you care about most, because you’re afraid he will have affairs with them unless you keep them away."
— Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft (via thechocolatebrigade)