Part of the outrage over McQueary’s failure to stop the child rape he was witnessing is caused by the sense that he violated the canons of masculinity. A male’s strength is given to him to protect the weak. If he fails to do that, even if he did not technically violate a law, he has violated a code of honor to which most men subscribe.

If a 60-year-old cleaning woman had seen Sandusky raping a child, we would not have been angry at her if she had fled and called her husband asking him what to do. Many women would have acted more forthrightly than McQueary did (at least according to the version he told the grand jury). We would not expect an older woman physically to challenge a male associated with the football team, and we might be disappointed if she did immediately call the police, but we would not scorn her the way we scorn McQueary – a scorn that has begun to sting him and has caused him to rethink his story.

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