Kristen StewartI have a lot of sympathy for Kristen Stewart at the moment. I think it sucks that her personal flirtations with an older, married man are being tossed around in the press and blown into some huge, horrible ordeal. In general, I think it’s obnoxious that anyone feels like her private relationships should play a part in her professional career, which random news outlets have been dooming in the past week. By the way, how is not being in Snow White & The Huntsmen 2 a bad thing? Personally, I think it’s about time that we all hop off the K-Stew slamming bandwagon and find another thing to be outraged at.

But there’s just one bit of business I’d like to clear up before we say goodbye to Twilight-turned-reality forever. There’s one bit of this whole cheating nonsense that has gotten under my skin. It has nothing to do with Stewart or her response. It has nothing to do with all the “Poor Robert Pattinson” sympathy stories. But those are getting overdone too, guys. I’d just like to clear one little thing about this whole mess up. Kristen Stewart is a fucking adult.

In the backlash to the backlash on Stewart, a whole lot of people have been standing up to support the actress. Jodie Foster shamed the world for ruining people’s childhoods, all while supporting her Panic Room co-star. Jezebel recounted the many possible affairs of pity party Robert Pattinson. Mediate weighed in on the “colonial-era slut-shaming.” The Gloss‘s own Editor-In-Chief Jennifer Wright asked “Why Is Kristen Stewart Apologizing?” And each defense mentions this little thing about Kristen Stewart’s age. She’s 22.

The overall impression is that a 22-year-old is just a big child, one who should be expected to make mistakes without much consequence. She can’t be held accountable for making a mature decision! She’s only 22-years-old! 

I don’t know how to break it to everyone, but 22-years-old is still a legal adult. They can vote. They can drink alcohol. And they can make life choices that have a lasting impact on their careers or personal relationships. Kristen Stewart owned a home with her boyfriend. They lived together. She was making big-girl decisions long before she dry-humped a married man.

I’m not saying that 22-year-olds can’t make mistakes, or that they shouldn’t be forgiven for those mistakes. But I think it’s intensely condescending to act like we’re talking about a child here.

22-year-olds make life-changing decisions all the time. I had a child at 22-years-old. My life was forever changed, fortunately in a very positive way. But that was a responsibility that I took on at the exact same age as poor Kristen Stewart. I got to be a grown-up and deal with the fact that I was pregnant. A friend of mine went through a tough time in college after a difficult personal experience. At 20-years-old, she failed out of her scholarship and got a DUI. She spent the next several years putting her life back together, but those choices significantly impacted her life and where it went from there. For one thing, she’ll have a criminal record for the rest of her life. Choices you make in your early 20s are still adult choices that you have to be responsible for.

Kristen Stewart is not a child. She is an adult. She made an adult choice to make out with another adult in public. She now faces adult consequences. Now, I’m happy to debate what the severity of those consequences should be. In my book, absolutely nothing that has to do with the viewing public whatsoever. It doesn’t need to be our business. But I won’t sit here and pretend that she shouldn’t be held accountable for anything because she’s too young to understand her own actions. That’s ridiculous, and it’s insulting to every 22-year-old who has the sense to behave maturely.