As more allegations against Kevin Spacey mount, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to defend him.
In my prior post about the Anthony Rapp’s allegation, I noted that we would need to see what would happen to Spacey given how forgiving Hollywood can be. Within 24 hours of that post, several young men came forward accusing Spacey of attempting or succeeding in sexually assaulting them. Their ages vary, however, based on what I read, all the young men were either teenagers, in their early twenties, or appeared younger than their age.
This demonstrates a consistent pattern, i.e. Spacey allegedly preferring younger males who either are or can pass as teen boys.
The word to describe a person with such as sexual interest is typically pederast. However, the average person uses pedophile. While this is technically incorrect, as it implies an interest in boys who have not reached puberty, the distinction ultimately does not matter. The key point is that Spacey appears, based on the allegations, to target underage boys, many of whom cannot legally consent to sex in their respective states.
Given the severity of the accusations against Spacey — enough to make Netflix end his popular show House of Cards — one would think the focus would be on Spacey’s victims.
Instead, the left-leaning media fell in part for Spacey’s deflection. As I mentioned in my prior post, Spacey revealed that he is gay in his “apology” to Anthony Rapp. It was a clear attempt to misdirect attention from the allegation. It initially did not work. Several prominent actors and various organizations condemned Spacey.
Yet, as a friend of mine often says, people are people, so it did not take long for some to focus more on Spacey’s admission of his homosexuality over his alleged actions. Most people appear to ignore those articles, instead reacting as they usually do in such situations: mocking the accused as a pedophile.
This does not help the situation either, however, people are people, and this is what they do.
More troubling is the inevitable semantics argument over what to call Kevin Spacey. Enter Slate’s Joseph Fischel and his article How Calling Kevin Spacey a Pedophile Hurts the Gay Community.
I could stop right there because I do not need to read the article to know what Fischel will argue. All of it is a moot point. Spacey, based on the allegations, targeted young teen boys. You may call him whatever you want. His actions are nevertheless wrong.
The reason I want to comment on this article is because Fischel made several points that ignore the actual problem, which is Spacey’s actions. Fischel stated:
Immediately after Kevin Spacey tweeted an apology on Sunday night for allegedly making sexual advances toward a then-teenaged Anthony Rapp in 1986, he was “Milo-ed”—demonized and outcast under the banner of pedophilia—mostly by gay leaders, but also by everyone else (including at Slate and by Milo himself).
There is a distinct difference between Milo and Spacey, the first being that Milo was not accused of attempting to molest a 14-year-old boy. So far, no one has accused Milo of such actions. So the “witch hunt” comparison could not be more off.
Secondly, what Milo did is describe precisely the situation mentioned by one of Spacey’s accusers: that the child could find the situation a “relationship”. Milo also stated that it was possible for it to be a loving, care, non-predatory situation, which is true. This does occasionally happen. Most situations, however, are not that and Milo never stated they were, nor did he suggest or condone anyone engaging in them.
Thirdly, even NAMBLA would find Spacey’s actions as described by his accusers deplorable, and this is an organization that supports adult men having sex with boys as young as eight. There is simply no room for comparison when self-professed “boylovers” would want Spacey locked up for his actions.
Fischel then tries to scrub away the pedophile allegation against Spacey, citing the common use of the label against gay men. That would be fair if Spacey were found to be in a consensual sexual relationship with a 16 or 17-year-old boy. The age of consent in the states Spacey typically visits and lives in — New York and California — is 16. This would be reasonable from a legal standard, albeit questionable from a moral standard given Spacey’s age.
Yet that is not the situation. The situation is that a 14-year-old Anthony Rapp had to squirm free of Spacey. Another 15-year-old at the time claims Spacey tried to rape him. The other allegations paint a similar picture of a man who tries through manipulation, coercion, and force to get boys to have sex with him.
Given those circumstances, calling Spacey a pedophile hardly seems an attack on gay men. Yet Fischel stated:
Unlike former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who announced his “truth” as a “gay American” in part to shut down allegations that he sexually harassed an employee, Spacey is not exploiting gayness to distract our attention from the predatory man behind the curtain. To the contrary, his coming out, he tells us, spurs him to “examin[e] my own behavior.”
Which is why Spacey, a very popular actor with more than enough fame and clout to survive coming out, chose to out himself only when accused of attempted sexual assault on a minor.
Spacey is not trying to examine his behavior. He is trying to deflect attention, and Fischel appears stupid and willing enough to fall for it.
If one wants to argument semantics, very well. We can all concede that the most accurate description of Spacey would be a pederast or molester. According to all the allegations, all the males he went after were post-pubescent. This would mean that Spacey’s attraction is not to prepubescent children, ergo he is technically not a pedophile.
That said, it does not make a difference. Numerous young men have accused Spacey of assaulting them. Some of them may be telling the truth and some of them may be lying. The proper response is to investigate the allegations, verify them, and proceed if the legal statutes allow it, not to argue over whether Spacey meets the clinical definition of a specific type of sexual predator.
Some arguments are worth having, and this is not one of them. Let it go, Fischel, before you make a bigger ass of yourself than you already have.