“French law recognises in 12- and 13-year-olds a capacity for discernment that it can judge and punish,” said a second petition signed by Sartre and De Beauvoir, along with fellow intellectuals Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida; a leading child psychologist, Françoise Dolto; and writers Philippe Sollers, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Louis Aragon. “But it rejects such a capacity when the child’s emotional and sexual life is concerned. It should acknowledge the right of children and adolescents to have relations with whomever they choose.”
Such tracts and manifestos were not just acceptable but fashionable at the time. “A lot of good came out of 68, but we have to face it now, the era was naive,” Roland Castro, an architect who was a prominent figure in the uprising, said yesterday. “We said everything and its opposite, hastily, without reflection. And in trying to break out of all the old barriers, we ended up pulling them down altogether.” Read more»
John Henley, “Calls for legal child sex rebound on luminaries of May 68,” The Guardian (February 23, 2001). HT: Capel Loft
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