The Penetrating Thoughts of Phil Kline

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Over the course of a federal trial that so far has lasted two weeks, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick notes, Kansas officials have offered at least five different interpretations of which sexual activity among teenagers must be reported to the authorities. The case stems from Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline's demand that abortion clinics report the pregnancies of teenagers younger than 16, which he says constitutes evidence of rape. Kansans under 16 who have sex are breaking the law, even with mutual consent. But what sort of sex qualifies is a matter of dispute, not only between officials but between Kline and himself.

In a 2003 advisory opinion, Kline said reportable offenses include "any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires." Yet during the trial he said kissing and petting might be legal, and he sided with Bill Clinton–a brave stand for a conservative Republican–by agreeing that fellatio may not count as sex, although cunnilingus definitely does.

Addendum: The male/female oral sex distinction seems to be based not merely on most boys' preferences but on a definition of rape requiring genital penetration. Hence according to Kline's (latest) interpretation, two under-16 girls who performed oral sex on each other would be breaking the law, while two boys in the same situation would not.

[Thanks to Kenneth Wagner for the link.]

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  1. fellatio may not count as sex, although cunnilingus definitely does.

    Has he explained why he made this distinction?

  2. I must say, that’s not a logical distinction.

  3. (read below in Barry White tones)

    ?Cause, you know baby? when I ?. Kiss yoooooooooo?. It?s not the same as when yoooooo?..are kissing me??Oh lawdy?.?

    I think the short answer is, in their view Woman is more inviolate than man.

    Unless it?s a guy doing it, in which case both go to jail, hell, etc.

  4. fellatio may not count as sex, although cunnilingus definitely does

    WTF?!

  5. I don’t usually see patriarchal plots everywhere I look, but I actually wonder if he made that distinction because he’s a man? “Yeah, baby, you can do it to me and it’s not considered sex. Perfectly non-sinful. But oh, no, I can’t possibly return the favor!”

    I’ll admit I’m not being objective here; I have an instinctive distrust of any middle-aged man who spends this much time thinking about teenage sex.

    I’ll bet he wrote that report with only one hand, too.

  6. Hot Karls, and Dirty Sanchezes, presumably, are right out.

  7. Jennifer I’m totally with you here. How can that NOT be sexist?

    Anyway, cute ‘head’line.

  8. And how exactly would one classify a good old fashioned Cleveland steamer.

    If it is Man-on-Dog, does the sex of the dog matter?

  9. Addendum: The male/female oral sex distinction seems to be based not merely on most boys’ preferences but on a definition of rape requiring genital penetration. Hence according to Kline’s reading of the law, two under-16 girls who performed oral sex on each other would be breaking the law, while two boys in the same situation would not.

    Uh-huh. So it’s legal for boys to have orgasms, but not girls. Not to mention that it doesn’t necessarily involve penetrating anything. . . oh, never mind. Christ, what a perverted little fuck this guy is.

  10. It seems quite simple to me. Getting head is good. Munching carpet is bad. And as we all know, Good things aren’t illegal while Bad things are. That’s why we make the law…to help people who might not know any better to distinguish Right from Wrong.

    What’s not to understand?

  11. What if the two boys are tossing salad?

  12. two under-16 girls who performed oral sex on each other would be breaking the law

    Are these Gene Simmons’s daughters?

  13. The male/female oral sex distinction seems to be based not merely on most boys’ preferences but on a definition of rape requiring genital penetration. Hence according to Kline’s reading of the law, two under-16 girls who performed oral sex on each other would be breaking the law

    What if they only licked each other’s clitoris? (clitorii ??) How can that be counted as penetration? Could that be used as a defense?

  14. I recommend a large 16-and-under tantric spoon-in in front of Kline’s office. Chaperoned, of course.

    Call it “Cuddles for Justice.”

  15. I grew up in Kansas. I didn’t realize until I read this post that I was a criminal. 20 years for a little coat-room making out. Add a few spin-the-bottle episodes, and I’m an incorrible felon.
    Good thing I no longer live in that black hole of semi-conciousness.

  16. How can that NOT be sexist?

    Why? Sounds about right to me.

  17. The case stems from Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline’s demand that abortion clinics report the pregnancies of teenagers younger than 16, which he says constitutes evidence of rape.

    My understanding is that the average age at which women have sex the first time is 16, which, if true, would mean that there are as many that have sex for the first time at 14 as there are first timers at 18. The average age for first timers among men was supposed to be a little higher, as I recall, but still, there should be a good round number of females who have had sex before they were 16 with men who are also under 16.

    …which would suggest that pregnancy under the age of 16 may be less evidence of rape than a preoccupation with underage sexual activity is evidence of being a dangerous pervert.

  18. linguist,

    Its part of a long tradition of female chastity being the property of men. Which is why today in rural Pakistan women who are gang-raped are expected to kill themselves.

  19. Hakluyt, I hear ya. It’s just, umm, I thought this was America.

    You’re right, it’s all going down the shitter. This really pisses me off.

  20. I remember when Kline started this, that many people wondered why he wasn’t questioning maternity wards and obstetricians about their 16 and younger patients as well as abortion clinics. The cause of pregnancy is the same, whether the woman carries to term or not. That action, however, wouldn’t win any points with Kansas’ population of wingnuts.

    Also, I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor 25 year old first year assistant AG who got stuck with doing the research on this one. (I don’t actually know that there was such a person. I’m surmising based on having worked as a government lawyer. The big shots don’t do research.) Weeks and weeks of reading case law on what can be stuck where by whom, written in language so dry it could turn the average inebriated frat boy off sex. The judges should either dismiss all these cases or hire a Judith Krantz-clone to write the opinions.

  21. What’s so downright goddamn depressing is that rather than be lynched for such a colossal waste of taxpayer money, the citizens will probably re-elect him for doing such a good job of protecting their values.

  22. What. the. fuck.

    This man either thinks a woman’s clitoris is up near her cervix – meaning he’s either a virgin, gay, or a retard – or he automatically assumes that oral sex on females necessarily involves [pardon my language] finger-fucking or strap-ons – meaning he’s a total pervert.

    Either way, what. the. fuck.

  23. “I’ll bet he wrote that report with only one hand, too.”

    LOL.

    is anybody surprised that the fucking fundies are sexist, too? Hak might be onto something with that repulsive concept of “female chastity = male property”. shudder.

    fucking freaks.

    lottery for who gets to deflower the captain’s daughter? i vote for Mr. S. C.

  24. Karen pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of this perverted wingnut. Kline only requested records from abortion providers, he is not interested in obtaining information from hospitals and other health care providers about live births involving a mother under 16. This has nothing to do with protecting children or enforcing the law, it is just a way to intimidate abortion providers and make it even more difficult for a women to exercise her right to choose.

  25. This man either thinks a woman’s clitoris is up near her cervix – meaning he’s either a virgin, gay, or a retard

    Lol!

    – or he automatically assumes that oral sex on females necessarily involves [pardon my language] finger-fucking or strap-ons – meaning he’s a total pervert.

    seriously.

    Pretty nasty stuff.

  26. This man either thinks a woman’s clitoris is up near her cervix – meaning he’s either a virgin, gay, or a retard – or he automatically assumes that oral sex on females necessarily involves [pardon my language] finger-fucking or strap-ons – meaning he’s a total pervert.

    It’s A, considering he’s never done B.

  27. Under Kline’s definition, a female under 16 going solo [masturbating] is guilty of rape. What wonderful people.

  28. VM, I’m a busy man!

    I can’t be deflowering every captain’s daughter that comes along.

  29. Does this mean that all those times in junior high that I was talking with my friends about trying to get laid I was commiting conspiracy?

    Why is it that prosecutors, like televangelists, are out to prove their seriousness about their jobs by trying to one-up everybody around them with how bat-shit-insane they can be with the law?

  30. I can’t be deflowering every captain’s daughter that comes along.

    “Deflowering” always seemed a harsh term to me. Why not, “harvesting” or, better yet, “augment”?

  31. If the law is an ass..and it is..would a penetrating analysis of this case be illegal?

  32. Does this thread qualify as cybersex?
    Over the years I’ve talked up cybersex without being aware of any cybersex Kama Sutra.

    I guess, to summarize my experience, verbiage ain’t cuttin’ it, while images do.

    The saw about a picture being worth a thousand words needs to be recalibrated.

  33. Hakluyt, I hear ya. It’s just, umm, I thought this was America.

    That’s right Linguist, the good old, sexually repressed and confused U-nited States of America where we condemn Victoria’s Secret Ads in public, and jerk off to their catalog in private.

    Of course, that said, I’m sure we’ll be inundated with lectures from H&R’s resident Christards on the difference between being a “libertarian” and a “libertine.”

    Before that happens, let me just send them preemptive “Fuck you.”

  34. This man either thinks a woman’s clitoris is up near her cervix – meaning he’s either a virgin, gay, or a retard.

    Or a bible-beater. This IS Kansas after all.

  35. I’m as in favor of “Brokeback Kansas” as the next guy (maybe more, in fact), but isn’t homosexual activity illegal in the South? Seriously, aren’t there laws against men having sex with men?

  36. “Or a bible-beater.”

    For some reason, I read that as Bible-eater. And in terms of this thread, it made sense!

  37. “What’s the Matter with Kansas”

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