But unlike many insane European laws, this isn't some medieval hangover from a time when people were supposed to marry at age 12 and die at the ripe old age of 12 1/2. This messed-up worldview only came along in the late '60s, when apparently the Sexual Revolution eased taboos a wee bit too much. Certain folks started arguing that children, most of whom can't even be in charge of a lemonade stand, can be considered in charge of their own sexuality in their relations with adults.
"If a 13-year-old girl has the right to take the pill, what is it for?" read one creepy petition signed by many prominent intellectuals, including an incredibly old Jean-Paul Sartre (to the surprise of no one, he remained an a*****e right up 'til the end). Suddenly "pedophilia was considered a sexual orientation ... It was all part of a vision of freedom," according to psychiatrist Muriel Salmona. Anything to stay ahead of the perv curve, we guess.
After several protests, the French government promised to codify the age of consent in 2018, but did a 180 at the last moment, leaving France's children up for grabs. They must've suddenly remembered their favorite Sartre quote about high school girls.