We’ll need another scapegoat now

So Jeffrey Epstein is dead by “suicide,” and the sighs of relief in high places are audible all the way over here in flyover country.

That’s all I’m going to say about my suspicions. There will be no shortage of conspiracy theories, and considering Epstein’s list of celebrity bros, I’ll be all-too-tempted to go down one or more or those rabbit-holes.

Judging from the uproar, most of us would like to see Epstein spending a very long time upstate, as we New Yorkers say about the state prisons. At the same time Teen Vogue -target audience girls, 11 to 17—publishes an article on the pleasures of anal sex: “It is often described as a feeling of fullness, which can be delightful…It’s NOT a big deal.” Do we condemn Conde Nast, or applaud them for “empowering … young adults to do what they want with their bodies” or pretty much ignore the whole thing as, with a few exceptions, seems to have happened. Similar questions apply to Desmond Napoles, a pre-teen “drag kid” who has performed in gay bars and has been the subject of an admiring profile on “Good Morning America” as well as a celebratory blog post by a convicted pedophile. When is a child fully capable of autonomy? Age of consent is inevitably arbitrary—you may have in mind a mature, thoughtful 16 year-old and her long-term 17 year old boyfriend while someone else is thinking of a manic-depressive, boundary-pushing girl with a daddy hang-up of that age. How, in this post sexual-revolution era, do we etch out laws and policy, not to mention norms, that apply to both?

Most people are not ambivalent about Jeffrey Epstein’s case. The same cannot be said about the many questions it puts before us.

Kaye Hymowitz, Jeffrey Epstein and All the Others: An Explainer.

One of the things that makes me want to puke is the coastal progressives who hear racist dog-whistles from Red America but who avert their eyes from Teen Vogue and deny that pre-teen drag queens like Desmond Napoles, valorized of gay bars and network TV, are in any way sexualized. Pas d’ennemis à gauche.

So Jeffrey Epstein is dead. We’ll need another scapegoat now.

* * * * *

You can read most of my more impromptu stuff at here. It should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.

I highly recommend blot.im as a crazy-easy alternative to Twitter (if you’re just looking to get your stuff “out there” and not pick fights).

2 thoughts on “We’ll need another scapegoat now

Comments are closed.