Kevin Spacey has come under pretty close to universal fire for attempting to mitigate his alleged attempted sexual assault of then-14-year-old Anthony Rapp by coming out as gay. But according to Joseph Fischel, Yale Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the real outrage in the wake of the Spacey scandal is the unfair rap that grown men who lust after adolescent boys are getting.

Slate kindly gave Fischel a platform to explain his thinking:

Let me be as clear as possible that Spacey’s alleged conduct, imposing himself unwanted on a 14-year-old boy, is in no way defensible, nor is closeted queerness an excuse that authorizes bad behavior. (Spacey’s statement doesn’t dispute either of these points.) However, we can condemn the alleged events of Rapp’s story without falling into the trap of fueling moral panic around the specter of the pedophile. And in its pitchfork-and-torches response, that’s exactly what the gay community is doing. It used to be straights who “pedophiled” gays to deny them civil rights and social inclusion. Now we apparently pedophile our own for moral purification and self-satisfaction.


So, Rapp, at 14, was too old to be a victim of genuine pedophilia? Which makes it wrong for people to suggest that Spacey had (or has) pedophilic tendencies? Is that really what Fischel wants to argue?

Wow, indeed.

We’re just … what does one even say when they read something like that?

Actually, that’s pretty much exactly what one says.

Not in any respect whatsoever.



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