#MeAt14 Reveals An Ugly Truth That Needs To Be Voiced
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Health and Wellness

#MeAt14 Reveals An Ugly Truth That Needs To Be Voiced

When I was 14-years-old, I did not have the final word.

#MeAt14 Reveals An Ugly Truth That Needs To Be Voiced
Ariana Puzzo

The Washington Post’s explosive article on Nov. 9, where several women accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of initiating sexual encounters while he was in his 30’s and they were teenagers, prompted the latest social justice hashtag, #MeAt14.

According to CNN, #MeAt14 “sparked conversations on social media over the weekend about the age of consent”, and highlighted how vulnerable individuals are at 14-years-old while they are still developing. While some have used the hashtag to shed light on their own experiences with abuse and others have used it to express solidarity, it reveals one universal, ugly truth:

Consent as a child is not possible, and anyone who claims otherwise is complicit with the horrid act of pedophila.

While reading through the different #MeAt14 posts, I began reflecting on my own life at 14-years-old, and what I could and could not do. The following list that I compiled made me realize the power of context.

When I was 14-years-old, I was not old enough to drive.

When I was 14-years-old, I was not old enough to be gainfully employed.

When I was 14-years-old, I was not old enough to purchase alcohol or cigarettes.

When I was 14-years-old, I was not old enough to vote.

When I was 14-years-old, I was ALLOWED on social media for the first time.

When I was 14-years-old, I was TOLD to go to bed on weeknights at 9:30 p.m.

When I was 14-years-old, I graduated middle school and entered high school.

When I was 14-years-old, I was intimidated by 18-year-olds, never mind someone 18 years OLDER.

When I was 14-years-old, I only had a cell phone for two years.

When I was 14-years-old, my friends only just started dating or had never dated anyone before.

When I was 14-years-old, I only began menstruating one year prior.

When I was 14-years-old, I still believed that inequality was largely a vague, historical concept.

When I was 14-years-old, I was painfully shy around boys and not in a position to offer consent.

When I was 14-years-old, I did not have the final word.

When I was 14-years-old, I never imagined anyone justifying sexual advances on a child.

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