The Other McCain

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No Mercy for @KevinSpacey? Welcome to the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse

Posted on | October 30, 2017 | 5 Comments

 

First, the news:

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, [Star Trek Discovery actor Anthony] Rapp is publicly alleging for the first time that in 1986, [Kevin] Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.
For years, Rapp, now 46, told no one about his experience, and he has never spoken with Spacey since. But as Spacey’s star began to rise through the 1990s and 2000s — including a Tony Award, two Oscars, a decadelong run as the creative director of the Old Vic theater in London, and six seasons and counting on the hit Netflix series House of Cards — Rapp’s frustration, anger, and incredulity with the sexual boundary he said Spacey crossed with him grew as well. Seeing Spacey now, “My stomach churns,” Rapp said. “I still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me.”

Needless to say, this is what you’d call a “troubling” accusation. And the reaction from Spacey could also be called “troubling”:

Kevin Spacey is being criticized for “hiding under the rainbow” after he came out in the same statement in which he apologized for alleged unwanted sexual advances towards actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was just 14. . . .
After apologizing for the alleged incident — “if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey, 58, wrote — the House of Cards star came out as gay.
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life,” Spacey’s statement continues. “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closes to me know, in my life, I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic relationships with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.”

Translation: “I was too drunk to remember and, now that I’ve cleared that up, you can applaud my courage for being homosexual.”

The Internet was not buying that story. Not at all.

Gabriel Malor, a gay conservative, was particularly merciless:

The “stereotype for the gay predator” is arguably the worst of it because, if you believe everything you read on the Internet (which I don’t) this wasn’t just a one-time drunken mistake on Spacey’s part. There is, and has been for a long time, much chatter about Spacey’s predatory habits. While it is impossible to know whether any of this chatter is accurate, there are those who say Spacey more or less routinely solicited oral sex from young guys who worked on the House of Cards crew. These were reportedly guys in their 20s and, while it is alleged that many of them were willing to accommodate Spacey’s requests (in his trailer on the set, or in the back of his limo), it’s still a pattern — if this chatter is true, which I cannot verify. However . . .

In general, the chatter suggests that Kevin Spacey is promiscuous and that he likes ’em young. Not necessarily illegally young, but young. And if you will recall the comments that got Milo Yiannopoulos thrown under the bus, this is not an uncommon pattern among gay men. Many of them had their earliest sexual encounters as teenagers with older partners, and didn’t mind the experience, and don’t consider such “intergenerational” sex harmful. This aspect of gay culture has never been secret, although we’re not supposed to mention it because . . . “stereotype.”

Well, the term “chicken hawk” didn’t just invent itself, did it? Nor was it anti-gay bigots who coined the term “twink.” However, it would be hypocritical of me, as a heterosexual, to overlook certain facts, inter alia, that some Playboy centerfolds were mere teenagers. Dorothy Stratten was 18 when she moved to L.A., posed nude in Playboy at age 19, and was murdered by her deranged ex-boyfriend when she was 20. Many other would-be starlets have been chewed up by the Hollywood sex machine in similar fashion, and our culture in general doesn’t mind objectifying and sexualizing young women, as the feminists would say.

Having offered these caveats — because I am neither a prude nor a Pharisee — there are nonetheless problems specific to the gay male subculture which give rise to what Gabriel Malor calls a “stereotype.” Feminists have called attention to this. In her 1990 book Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution, Sheila Jeffreys devotes 22 pages (pp. 188-210) to pedophilia advocacy among gay men. She cites a long list of names — Roger Moody, Eric Presland, Daniel Tsang, Warren Middleton, Tom Reeves, Gerald Hannon, Richard Green, Jeffrey Weeks, Tom O’Carroll — of those who argued in defense of “man-boy love.” Not all of these were marginal “fringe” figures. Presland, who openly admitted sexually molesting boys, was a Labour Party activist in Britain described as a “leading light in the Organisation for Lesbian and Gay Action (OLGA).” Weeks was, and still is, a widely praised gay academic who was honored with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2012.

It would be unfair to impugn all gay men as complicit in this, in the same way as it is unfair for feminists to imply that Harvey Weinstein is representative of all heterosexual men. In the 1970s and ’80s, however, gay “chicken hawks” were quite open about their preferences, and many advocated the abolition of the age of consent. Michel Foucault signed such a petition in 1977. Foucault died of AIDS in 1984, and the AIDS epidemic exposed how shockingly promiscuous many gay men were:

In 1982, the CDC reported that that the “median number of lifetime male sexual partners” for gay men diagnosed with AIDS was 1,160.
Repeat: One thousand one hundred sixty.

This mind-boggling statistic was the median number of partners — this was typical behavior in the urban gay subculture at the time. These were the prevalent norms in that subculture when Kevin Spacey (b. 1959) was a young gay man in the 1970s and ’80s. (And let’s not kid ourselves by pretending to take seriously any discussion of Spacey’s “bisexuality,” OK? He’s gay, he’s been gay the whole time, and if he had some “relationships” with women along the way, this was either incidental or deliberate camouflage for his gayness.) While it is wrong to generalize too broadly, or to speculate without specific evidence, I’d hazard a guess that Spacey’s sexual history was typical of many gay men his age. He was almost certainly “sexually active” before age 18, and he probably had sex with older men while he was still a teenager. Ask around among survivors of the pre-AIDS gay scene, and you’ll find many of them nodding in recognition at this pattern. How many gay hookups had Spacey scored before that night in 1986 when he (allegedly) made a move on 14-year-old Anthony Rapp? Lots, I’d bet. Dozens? More than 100?

“Well, so what?” you may ask. “What does it matter how promiscuous Kevin Spacey was? The point is, this kid was only 14.” Indeed.

Let me answer with a question: Do you think Kevin Spacey doubted the existence of horny gay teenagers? Do you think Spacey simply imagined that Anthony Rapp might be sexually interested in him? For the sake of argument, put aside your concern for morality and the law.

This was New York City in the ’80s, when people were openly snorting cocaine in discos, when mob boss John Gotti was a sort of folk hero, celebrated in tabloid headlines as “The Teflon Don.” In that time and place, the voices of law and morality were neither numerous nor popular. Jerry Falwell or Ed Meese might have been concerned about gay men preying on teenage boys, but nobody in Kevin Spacey’s 1986 world of Broadway theater was listening to those guys. In 1985, Democrat Ed Koch was re-elected to his third term as mayor of New York with 78% of the vote. Say what you will about New York City in the 1980s, but it was definitely not a bastion of the Moral Majority.

“But Stacy, the kid was only 14!” Yeah, I heard you the first time.

How many 14-year-olds were having sex in 1986? We don’t know, but there are certain definite data points. According to the CDC, in 1985, there were nearly 3.8 million children born in America, of whom 0.3% — more than 11,000 babies — were born to girls under age 15. There were many thousands of 14-year-old mothers in 1986, and how many of them were impregnated by adult men? Probably quite a few. That CDC statistic does not include whatever number of pregnant 14-year-olds got abortions rather than give birth, which also was probably quite a few.

The forces of Sexual Anarchy unleashed in the 1960s were still raging in the 1980s — indeed, they are still raging to this day — and gay people have never had a monopoly on perversion and decadence. The destruction of Kevin Spacey’s career for what he did (or allegedly attempted to do) in 1986 must be put in context of this pervasive decadence. How many 14-year-old hookers were turning tricks in New York in 1986? Have all their pimps and johns been exposed and put in prison? No, because most of those hookers probably died from drug overdoses or disease or violence long ago, and the men who abused them for cash weren’t famous enough to get a headline anywhere.

Far be it from me to defend the (alleged) behavior of Kevin Spacey, a Hollywood liberal and close personal friend of Bill Clinton. Nor is it my intention to endorse moral relativism as a defense of (alleged) behavior that was so clearly wrong. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to denounce Kevin Spacey and demand that he be banished from polite society, at a minimum, and perhaps prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But before the mob seizes Spacey — tall tree, short rope, some assembly required — I must ask, why should this one man be made to suffer grievously for his alleged wrongdoing, when so many other wrongdoers have gotten off scot-free? Because he is famous?

Because he is rich? Because he is “privileged”? Because we are experiencing belated remorse about the Sexual Revolution? Because the Harvey Weinstein scandal has reminded us of other rich, famous men who got away with worse than what Kevin Spacey allegedly did?

Nicole Brown Simpson could not be reached for comment.

Welcome to the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse. In every corner of elite society, powerful men are sweating with fear that their ex-wives or ex-girlfriends or some random chick they met in a bar will jump out on the #MeToo hashtag and destroy their careers and reputations.

Kevin Spacey was no doubt sincere in saying he was “beyond horrified” at being publicly accused of “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” in 1986 with a 14-year-old boy he had forgotten about until he decided this would be a good time to “choose now to live as a gay man.”

Or whatever. As recently as November 2016, Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, like every other liberal, were going all-out to elect Hillary Clinton president, to continue the merciless Title IX regime on university campuses, where more than 100 males students have filed lawsuits claiming they were falsely accused and denied due process in kangaroo-court hearings imposed at the behest of the Obama administration.

Karma is a deeply ironic bitch.

Mark Halperin of MSNBC? Doomed!

Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi? Doomed!

Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic? Doomed!

Movie director James Toback? Doomed!

Ken Baker of E! News? Doomed!

New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish? Doomed!

The ruined reputations and torpedoed careers are piling up faster than anyone can keep track, and where will it end? Nobody knows, but what we do know is why this Apocalypse is happening.

Because Donald “Grab ’em by the p***y” Trump got elected.

There are layers and layers of irony here. Feminists had staked their hopes on Hillary Clinton to vindicate the wrongs they had suffered, and none of them believed she could lose to a foul-mouthed misogynist bully like Donald Trump. Alas, they hoped in vain. Driven mad by despair, they decided it was time for some vigilante justice. So they started naming names and — mirabile dictu! — these turned out to be liberal men who never expected to be targeted for the kind of merciless treatment that college boys had been facing for years.

Rose McGowan reportedly turned down $1 million in hush money rather than keep quiet about Harvey Weinstein. No mercy! Not at any price!

The excrement has truly hit the rotary ventilation device.

Did I mention that Kevin Spacey’s name shows up, along with his friend Bill Clinton, on flight logs of the “Lolita Express,” the nickname of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet? Because hanging around with known sexual predators might be just one more dot in the general pattern of behavior that is the subject of so much online chatter about Kevin Spacey. Also, in Spacey’s apology/coming-out message, you might perceive how he hints (“stories out there about me . . . examining my own behavior”) that his 1986 “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” with a 14-year-old was not an isolated incident.

When it rains, it pours, and Spacey seems to expect that there will now be a veritable deluge of accusers rushing to tell their own stories about his inappropriate behavior, a lot more recently than 1986, and without the excuse of drunkenness to explain it away. Criminal prosecution? Probably not, but even if he is never charged with a crime, the damage from Anthony Rapp’s accusation has been enough to cancel House of Cards and, in all likelihood, Spacey’s acting career is finished.

Why? Because Hillary lost and Trump won.

This is not my fault. Yes, I voted for Trump, but I am not responsible for the feminist rage behind the Sexual Assault Apocalypse. The vindictive spirit of reprisals without mercy? Not my style. Also, I don’t give a damn about degenerate celebrity freaks, male or female. Any woman would be a fool to be alone in a room with Harvey Weinstein. His predatory habits were an open secret in Hollywood, in the same way Kevin Spacey’s homosexuality was an open secret. There are some disturbing little details in Anthony Rapp’s story that deserve scrutiny. He was 14, and had moved from Illinois to New York with his mother after he was cast in a Broadway role. Rapp met Spacey, who was appearing in another play, at a show-biz party, and the 26-year-old Spacey, uh, befriended the boy:

Rapp said he encountered Spacey again at one of those post-show functions, when a 17-year-old friend from Joliet was visiting him in New York. “And he was like, ‘Hey! Hi! Come join us!'” Rapp said. Spacey then invited both boys to join him at the popular nightclub Limelight, even though, as Rapp explained, “I looked younger than 14.”
“I don’t know how … We got in through the front door,” Rapp continued. “We didn’t have to show ID. And we sat with him in some VIP area.” Rapp noted that he had no memory of being offered alcohol — “It was just a fun night just talking and hanging out,” he said — and at some point, Spacey invited him to attend a party he was hosting a few days later at his Manhattan apartment.
He went, gladly, and alone. Rapp said he honestly cannot recall what he told his mother — who died from cancer in 1997 — about the party, but he stressed that the idea of him attending a party held by an adult Broadway actor did not seem like a cause for concern. “I imagine that I might be opening my poor late mother up to some criticisms for how she parented, but, you know, it was a different era,” he said.

Indeed, it was a different era, when the doorman at a Manhattan disco wouldn’t even bother to check the ID of a 14-year-old, so long as the teenager was with a young, popular (and gay) Broadway actor. This was what New York was like in the Ed Koch years, when Times Square was full of porn shops, hookers and dope dealers. The city’s parks and sidewalks were plagued by the “homeless,” a liberal euphemism for drunks, drug-addled moochers and deranged psychos like “Billie Boggs.” New York City is not a safe place for a 14-year-old now, but it was far more dangerous back then, and certainly we should wonder why Anthony Rapp’s mother let him walk the streets alone. Who can even imagine this?

“Hey, Mom, you remember the 26-year-old actor who took me and my buddy to that disco? Well, he invited me to a party at his place.”
“Sure, son. No problem. Have fun.”

The word for this is “negligence.”

It was the ’80s, and it was New York, a city out of control, lawless and corrupt, and what did Kevin Spacey think when Anthony Rapp came to his party and stayed after all the other guests had left? Was he worried about the law? Don’t be ridiculous. Cops in New York in 1986 were dealing with an annual murder rate (1,907 victims, 10.7 per 100,000 residents) more than triple what it was in 2016 (630 victims, 3.2 per 100,000 residents). In an average week of 1986, more than 35 people in New York were murdered, not to mention the more than 5,000 rapes and 90,000 robberies that year. What were the chances, amid this carnival of violence, that the NYPD would find time to investigate a popular young actor for inappropriate behavior with a teenager? Approximately zero.

Fast-forward 30 years. The crime rate has been vastly reduced. There has also been a reduction, perhaps not coincidentally, in teen motherhood. Last year, the teen birth rate in the U.S. hit an all-time low. Remember that in 1986, more than 11,000 babies were born to girls 14 or younger? In 2016, according to the CDC, there were just 2,246 births to girls 14 or younger — a reduction of 80%. However the experts may explain this, it is evident that our society has become quite serious in its effort to protect young people from sexual exploitation. Laws have been passed to register sex-offenders after they serve their prison terms. Technological advances — particularly DNA testing, video surveillance and computer forensics — have made it easier to prosecute sex offenders. And law enforcement agencies are vigorously prosecuting pimps.

Just today, John Dickerson of Wichita was sentenced “to more than 15 years in federal prison for trafficking a 17-year-old girl for sex.”

Fifteen years in federal prison. That’s serious.

The crackdown on crime has helped produce a cultural shift. Back in the mid-1980s, when New York City was averaging 35 murders and 1,700 robberies a week, people there got used to tolerating crime and other social disorder. When there are psychotic “homeless” panhandlers on the street corners, when hookers and dope dealers are allowed to do their business in broad daylight, who has time to worry about such things as a young actor’s “inappropriate behavior” with a teenager? But when the cops take control, when crime rates go down and the streets are safe and clean, citizens become less tolerant of lawlessness. This is how the “Broken Windows” theory of law enforcement pays dividends. And this is one reason why, in 2017, Kevin Spacey’s career has been destroyed because of his (alleged) “inappropriate behavior” during the Bad Old Days of the 1980s. Also, Donald Trump is president.

Layers and layers of irony . . .

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

 



 

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