Mar 13

Utah Congressman resigns among allegations of sexual misconduct

A couple days ago The New York Times published an article about Utah State Congressman Kevin S. Garn and his alledged hot-tub affair with a 15-year old girl over 25 years ago. The girl, Cheryl Maher, was paid off once before in 2003. Now, it seems, the crushing weight of this secret has forced her out in the open.

15 years old is indeed still a minor. But I think 15 is old enough to decide if you want to get into a hot-tub with someone twice your age. Getting naked with said person is a pretty adult decision too. Our society likes to think a 15 yr old girl is completely innocent, and even if the young girl is flirtatious or even seductive that could only have been bought into the situation by the older party. And, of course, the onus is completely on the older party to back off and flee the scene. I think we’re trying to shoehorn generalizations into situations that are much deeper than that.

With that being said this girl is either a gold-digger – having already made at least $150,000 off the situation – or the society that she has grown up in has so programmed her against sex and sexuality that she has convinced herself this was the devil’s hand at work.

She claims that this ruined her life, has caused issue with substance abuse as well as various forms of psychiatric issues. Yet, with all this bearing down upon her every day for the last 25 years, she still managed to hold multiple leadership positions and other jobs within the Latter Day Saints Church. She was able to marry, have children, and then initiate a divorce (She’s still invovled in the custody battle, I wonder if that has anything to do with her trying to make her self more known as a victim). She had the wherewithal to extort money from Garn. She’s also had some sort of regular contact with Garn, and apparently his son, over the last few years. All of this is according to the Salt Lake Tribune, a conservative paper in Utah.

I see that all as adding up to one thing: Golddigger.

Even so, assuming my cynical take on the situation is mistaken… this gray area of 15-17 can really cause problems. No one knows what to do with kids in this age group, especially when it comes to sexuality and especially when it comes to religious groups. Most girls I knew when I was 15 would probably not be very effected by getting naked in a hot-tub with an older guy that they liked.
So, whether or not this act is such a bad thing might be for another debate, but its pretty clear this ultra-religious ultra-conservative society is what ruined her life. She hates herself because she was taught that anything outrageously sexual is more then enough reason to hate yourself.

But in the end, I can’t get TOO upset about a conservative political figure from a very religious state loosing his job.


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