I should resign from the boys club.
As a teenager, I never got stumbling drunk, threw a girl down on a bed, tried to remove her clothes and placed my hand over her mouth to muffle her cries.
My fellow boys should have drummed me out long ago. The sergeant-at-arms should have ripped the stripes off my uniform and broken my – um, “sword”– for failing to respond to my raging teenage hormones.
How could I have resisted? After all, I am male.
Such logic apparently compels the lemming-like men and women who have stampeded to the defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the face of sexual assault allegations brought by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a high school classmate. But it’s logic that is extremely flawed.
No one better epitomizes the wrongheadedness of the “boys will be boys” defense than Gina Sosa, one of five Republican women who appeared on CNN last week. Attempting to downplay the seriousness of Ford’s accusation, Sosa said: “But we’re talking about a 17-year-old boy in high school with testosterone running high. Tell me, what boy hasn’t done this in high school?”
Most of them, Gina. Most of them.
Every woman should be appalled; every man should be outraged that a person of either sex could write off sexual assault as the inevitable consequence of a boy’s inability to fight off the evil Mr. Testosterone.
Boys will be boys?
Setting something on fire and peeing on it to extinguish it is an example of a boy being a boy; sexual assault is not.
And if, as Sosa apparently believes, all human males from birth are destined to be the pitiable victims of devilish desires of the flesh, Eve should have run screaming from Eden the second she awoke next to Adam. I’m no biblical scholar, though; perhaps when he formed Eve from Adam’s rib, God hadn’t yet created testosterone.
I don’t mean to come down hard on women here; an equally distressing number of men share the “irresistible urge” theory of dismissing allegations of sexual assault.
“It was drunk teenagers playing seven minutes of heaven,” tweeted Fox News columnist Stephen Miller.
Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota fell back on another common line of rationalization to dismiss sexual assault: “Nothing evidently happened in it all, even by her own accusation,” Cramer said in a TV interview. “It was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere.”
Asked later to explain his remarks, Cramer said: “My point was is that there was no type of intercourse or anything like that … nothing happened in terms of a sexual, um, event, beyond, obviously, the attack.”
It’s the Bill Clinton theorem: There was no intercourse, ergo “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
But let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment and suppose that Ford’s accusations are false. Does this negate her right to be heard? Absolutely not.
Political agendas aside – and no matter what eventually happens with the Kavanaugh nomination – what we witnessed Thursday proves, above all, that the United States is a patriarchal society in which the actions and opinions of women are viewed askance by many men.
But the out-of-hand dismissal by both sexes of a woman’s accusations of sexual assault signals an even bigger problem.
Where do I send my letter of resignation?
If boys will be boys, men should be men.