The thing is even if dongho did something he was fourteen, you're a completely different person when you're fourteen and when you are an adult. I would still feel terrible if it turned out to be true but I don't think it's nearly as bad as if he'd done anything more recently. Rather than being something evil it would have been the actions of a stupid kid, like minhyun and the bicycle.
Okay. Listen, I know you may be trying to separate Dongho now from Dongho then (if it’s true) to help you process things because this topic is very conflicting. It looks like there’s more evidence coming out that supports his side and for that I’m relieved that we’re at least getting a clearer story.
But that being said, you cannot compare “stealing a bike” to sexual harassment and qualify that with ”actions of a stupid kid”. I’m not even speaking about Dongho right now because he may be innocent. In general, the logic that you’re using is very disheartening because it is dismissing the actions of sexual harassers. I’m not even going into go into the bike thing but also keep in mind, Minhyun said he stole the bike (and it was proven to be exaggerated) because he needed money to eat. There is a huge disconnect between that and the motivations behind sexually harassing someone. And the bike never suffered for what they did to it. Again, I’m not saying Dongho 100% did- I’m not even talking about him right now. I’m talking in general about what your logic is implying because it leans toward the “boys will be boys, teens will be teens” logic that many use to dismiss these things or to lessen their importance.
Sexual harassment involves 2 people (or more) and there is a level of threat felt on the part of the victim. Even if done on impulse, a person in their teens still knows enough right from wrong to realize that what they do is very very wrong. Even if it happened during their teens, people who sexually harass others need to be held accountable for their actions. Yes it is a wildly stupid decision to do it, but that doesn’t make it any less a terrible thing to do and people should not be given leeway just because of their age. Sexual harassment is sexual harassment. And your logic is leaving out the victim: is their suffering “not nearly as bad” just because it happened when they were a teen and they might also be “a completely different person” when they’re an adult?
If a person, for example, harassed someone when they were, say, 5 or 7- then you can start considering their cognitive maturity in regards to the situation- but even then you do not dismiss their actions as “kids being kids”. The teenage years are the time when the prefrontal cortex of your brain is developing the fastest- your cognition and metacognition are expanding which gives you the ability to consider all possibilities and allows you to grasp abstract concepts. Yes, making decisions is hard during this time, but it does not mean the person cannot grasp the abstract concepts of morality. And this is all on their side of the story- on the other side you have someone who is a victim regardless their age and who may have to live with the trauma of the actions on top of people dismissing it as “teens being teens”. It stops being teens being teens when one party does not consent. And even then, consent can be revoked after an action.
I’m also uncomfortable with the “you’re a completely different person” logic because you’re not- you may be a better decision maker, less impulsive, etc because the prefrontal cortex is finalizing development but you’re not a completely different person. The prefrontal cortex actually doesn’t finish complete development until around age 25- when you finally reach full maturity. So anyone who is 21 is actually a lot closer, cognitively, to someone who is 14. Even your reward system (the mesolimbic pathway, i.e. the emotional system) at 21 is closer to what it was at 14. Your brain is not wildly different. You are not a completely different person, though you might be better at thinking things through.
Also the “rather than it being something evil” is making me uncomfortable because it’s painting things in black and white- someone can be a “good person” and still harass someone and their being a “good person” does not make their actions any less “evil” regardless of their motivations and cognitive skills at the time. The motivations of the perpetrator are never as clear cut as that and so it shouldn’t be reduced to “good” vs. “evil” because it just implies that people who are one thing can’t commit the other. Sexual harassment is sexual harassment and it is wrong. At any age. At any time. Committed by any one.
Again, I’m not saying Dongho 100% did it in this response so please don’t jump to conclusions about my intent. My intent was to pull apart your response and give you the reasons why it disheartens me to hear you think that way about sexual harassment in general.
I am very very very very very relieved that there’s more concrete evidence supporting Dongho. Very very very very relieved. But I am equally disheartened that many are using this situation to dismiss sexual harassment in general (especially at that age when it is prevalent and not taken as seriously). If the girl is lying, it really fucking sucks for real sexual harassment victims and I would be the first to be so angry at her, because people then use it as an example of why to dismiss other cases. I want you to please think through what you sent me and please be more careful when applying statements like that in any other instance of sexual harassment you may come across.