"In the Congo, women develop quickly, both physically and emotionally, due to the substantial responsibility society places on them from early childhood," Nachman wrote. "In Kinshasa, the vast majority of teenagers are sexually active with men that are substantially older. ... Their main concern is marrying young girls to men with financial stability, a concern dating thousands of years and cutting across cultural lines.

Those are the words 42 year old U.S. Diplomat (and prominent nudist) Gons G. Nachman used in defense of his indefensible act of having sex with underage girls during his overseas postings. And that's not all. It is alleged that he even pressured young women applying for visa to have sex with him, ostensibly to smooth the process for them.

There are so many issues that are dredged up by this case. The sexualization of children, for example. Or stereotypes about the promiscuity of women and girls from "other" cultures (read, non-White). However I won't get into all of that right now.

U.S. prosecutors are seeking a 20 year maximum sentence in their case against Nachman, and suffice it to say I hope they get it. Our reputation around the world has been tarnished enough during the past 8 years. We definitely do not need to send the message that our diplomats are above our own laws, based on their "perceptions" of foreign culture and norms.

Because the fact remains that no matter where in the world you do it, its still child abuse.

And here is the rest of it.

5 comments
  1. msladydeborah July 13, 2008 at 12:47 AM  

    I hope he gets 20 years too.

    When I read this post, I got instantly angry because that is the excuse that is always given about females of color. We always "more mature" their eyes.

    But a child or a young teenage girl is just that. Even if the perp wants to believe otherwise.

    It is just their justification for committing a crime!

    I am glad to know that U.S. officials are not letting this ride.

  2. Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T July 14, 2008 at 12:58 AM  

    foul folk

  3. Angie-in-Japan July 14, 2008 at 7:41 AM  

    DP: you mentioned the stereotypes about promiscuity regarding women from "other" cultures. You should have seen how foul non-Japanese men treated Japanese women when they came to our city for the soccer World Cup games years back. Of course, the 'soap land' businesses (prostitutes) were happy...it was business 'better than usual' for them. Really disgusting.

  4. DP July 16, 2008 at 2:06 PM  

    Hey y'all, sorry for the delay in responding. Life intruded.

    msladydeborah - Folks have trotted that old line out for centuries when it comes to the sexual abuse of children, especially those of color. I hope he gets 20 years and then some.

    Torrance - Foul indeed. That's not the kind of representation we need on the international front. We have enough problems as it is.

    Angie - I've heard (and seen) Japanese chauvinism, particularly regarding their own women. They have some truly ugly episodes in their national past (Nanking, Comfort Women, etc.), but then I guess, so does America.

    We're supposed to be above all that though.

  5. ShAĆ© - ShAĆ© July 29, 2008 at 4:37 PM  

    Disgusting, scary, sad... this post makes my heart hurt.