We are supposed to be living in a heterosexualist culture which leads men to “patrol sexual boundaries” involving sexual contact between males. This was lacking at Penn State.
Alfred Doblin of The Record asks:
For starters, what the hell was wrong with Mike McQueary? A 28-year-old man allegedly sees a 10-year-old boy being sexually assaulted and walks away and calls his father? He should have called his father after he pulled Sandusky off the boy, after he made sure the boy was not in need of immediate medical attention, after he called the police, and, from my perspective, after he washed away the alleged sexual predator’s blood from his hands because he had thrown Sandusky violently across the locker room when he pulled him off the boy. Calling Daddy is not a priority for a grown man.
And there we have the heart of this sad, pathetic tale occurring in a sea of testosterone: a lack of men. Penn State’s football program, revered because it supposedly molds men, is nothing but a sham. Men do not watch children being sexually abused. Men do not wait or fail to report allegations of sexual abuse regardless of the consequences to their beloved institution.
It sounds strangely familiar if you switch out helmets and pads for white collars and black vestments. Many have likened what allegedly happened at Penn State to the sex abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church. The timeline of events is equally disturbing. The church scandals were at their height in the winter of 2002, the same time that Sandusky allegedly abused a 10-year-old boy in a locker room shower. That makes it even harder to imagine grown men failing to recognize the dangers of not bringing in police to investigate the possibility of a predator on the loose with unfettered access to sports facilities.
There is a good chance more alleged victims may come forward as this scandal continues. It will take more than a few high-placed firings to clean house. It also will take more than firings to right priorities at Penn State.
In an interview in USA Today, McQueary’s father said his son “did what he was supposed to do and all of this has been very hard on him.” Somehow, I don’t think this has been as hard on Mike McQueary as it must have been for the 10-year-old boy who allegedly was being sexually assaulted by Sandusky and left with him after McQueary walked away to call Daddy.
For all the bravado over a football dynasty, for all the sights of large, muscular frames pounding at each other on stadium turf, and for all the closed male ranks of failed leadership at Penn State, when it mattered most, there was a singular absence of men.