Friday, October 06, 2006

Foley Firestorm, Part Deux

(Or, "Don't Blame it On The 'Mos")

Far be it for me to get in the way of a roiling, broiling, bonafide Republican self-immolation extravaganza, but one thing is bothering me about this whole Foley mess: the rank hypocrisy.

Yeah, it's gross and yeah, it's a breach of trust, and yeah, Hastert should have dealt with it sooner and (pardon the pun) harder. But I'm wondering if we are perhaps all a little wee-wee'd up due to the same-sex factor of the graphic instant messages? I ask this only because I sense a tone in the coverage and in statements from the GOP about the "homosexuality" element of this drama.

Can we be clear? People who like to have sex with people under 18 are legally classified as pedophiles, not homosexuals. Men who like to have sex with MEN are homosexuals, just as men who like to have sex with women are heterosexuals. Men or women who are attracted to children under the age of 18 are pedophiles, whatever their sexual orientation with adults may be.

The hypocrisy factor: Remember Bob Dole doing that commercial with Britney Spears back when she was still the catholic-schoolgirl-icon? Or Natalie Portman getting all that, as she termed it, "creepy" attention from men when she was 13? Or the much-ballyhooed countdown till the Olsen Twins turned 18? Or the poll during one year's Olympics asking men who they'd rather sleep with: 23-year old Rebecca Lobo or 15 year-old Dominique Moceanu, where you can guess who won in a landslide...?

My point is not that what Foley did was okay, or that what anyone does with someone under 18 is okay. It's that we seem to find it less okay if it's a guy with boys, don't we? What if Bob Dole did a sort of jokingly sexual commercial with, say, the adolescent heartthrob at the time Jonathan Taylor Thomas? You know that commercial would never have aired, much less been created.

My point is that we should find the sexualization of minors to be offensive no matter what that minor's gender. Guys in their thirties should not be jacking it to Natalie Portman at 13, no matter how old she looks. And (congress)men in their 40's should not be jacking it to pages at 17, no matter how willing they may seem.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

Don't you worry about Foley - he's going to come out of this okay. He's promised that as soon as he gets out of alcohol-rehab, he's going to turn over a new page!