The Key West Mystique

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Just “horsing around”? Have Paterno, Penn State folks lost their minds?

By Linda Grist Cunningham, editor and proprietor

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

11/08/2011

Since when does this become “horsing around”?

“As the graduate student entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and showers on. He then heard rhythmic, slapping sounds. He believed those to be sounds of sexual activity. … he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be ten years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked (former Penn State defensive coach Jerry) Sandusky.”

If that image, that SOUND, doesn’t make your stomach wretch, there’s something wrong with you. And, that’s just a snip-it from the 23- page grand jury report that’s going to bring down a football dynastic legend, a university president and one of the country’s few relatively blemish-free university campuses.

All because those in charge, the ones with the power, decided a naked adult raping a 10-year-old was just a case of “horsing around.” Horsing around. Just like Herman Cain’s “fooling around; Herman being Herman.” Boys will be boys, and all that.

None of this is about sex. It’s about power. Pure, unadulterated, angry, controlling power. And, because women and children as a rule have so little power, they’re wonderfully convenient targets for those who live out their power fantasies by suggesting a little oral sex in turn for an upgraded room and a job recommendation and a bit of anal sex in the locker room showers.

Power.

I’ve listened broken-hearted to dozens of women over the years who have run flat up against that wall of power in the workplace. Men who think nothing of suggesting a drink, dinner and a “date,” as a prelude to a job interview. Any woman ever offered the three Ds knows what kind of a date that would be.

Then, there are the ones who cower in the corner at work, terrified that a boyfriend or husband will stalk through the door or wait in the parking lot, despite the restraining order.

Power.

We’ve allowed ourselves to be convinced that boys will be boys, that as long as “nothing happened” it’s OK and we shouldn’t get all ruffled and upset. We’re perilously close to believing that a naked adult sodomizing a 10-year-old is just “horsing around.”

Before you start finding ways to make this all about my liberal, feminist soapbox rhetoric, scroll up and re-read that second paragraph. Can you HEAR THAT SOUND?

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Linda Grist Cunningham

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

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