He was at Stanford, in peak feminist times — post-Anita Hill, pre-Monica Lewinsky — and the column was titled "So Much for Stealing Second." In the manner of the time, he told his "own personal story" to "make a point" and "make people think":
“When grandiose statements entrenched in politically correct terminology are made, many may listen but few will hear,” Booker continued. “When I hesitated in writing this column, I realized I was basking in hypocrisy. So instead I chose to write and risk.”Booker the 15-year-old may have been awkward, but Booker the college student is slick, speaking to his female peers the way they wanted. Eschew abstractions and grandiosity. Confess your male transgressions. Within the 1992 feminist environment, getting personal — "risking" — was the inroad to favor. He expresses regret about his susceptibility to "messages that sex was a game, a competition," and he'd seen getting the hand onto the breast as reaching "second base." Ironically, he was still trying to score with women, this time the college women, and admitting that he thought of sex as a game was a way to compete in the new game.
The Daily Caller writer, Charles C. Johnson, was probably a child when Booker wrote that column. Johnson doesn't seem to understand the context at all. Or maybe he understands and he's just shamelessly appropriating this material to launch the rumor that Booker is a sex offender. Is Johnson dumb or malicious? The result is malicious, but I suspect Johnson is dumb, because look at this:
"After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my ‘mark,’” Booker wrote.His "mark" was obviously the breast. The column is titled "So Much for Stealing Second." I know these kids today have relabeled the bases, but how can you not understand what "mark" means in that context? Or does Johnson understand but maliciously intend to insinuate that Booker reached some other part of the woman? Clue to Johnson: Third base was fondling the genitals, and to get the penis into the vagina was to reach home.
Booker didn’t elaborate on what his “mark” was, but whatever happened, it was enough to haunt him for years to come.
I got to Johnson's nonsense via Instapundit who teased it with "Reverse the sexes and there's no story here." But there is no story here! Instapundit quotes 2 sentences of Johnson's and repeats the words "groped" and "grabbed" to refer to what the 15-year-old did to the girl's breast. But Booker writes of a very slow and gentle move of a hand toward the breast of a female who had intruded on him with "an overwhelming kiss" when he'd offered her a hug at midnight on New Year's Eve. So actually, the sexes were reversed, and Instapundit — in the midst of his sarcasm about how we overlook female sexual aggression — overlooked female sexual aggression.
If anyone was assaulted, it was Booker: "As the ball dropped, I leaned over to hug a friend and she met me instead with an overwhelming kiss." Then: "As we fumbled upon the bed, I remember debating my next 'move' as if it were a chess game." He was 15, fumbling, and thinking about chess. How old was she? How did they get to that bed? Booker was using what he had to make his feminist points to Stanford women in 1992. He had nothing, but he made something out of nothing for rhetorical purposes to lecture college men about how they ought to behave toward women.
If he did anything wrong, it's that he sought so earnestly to please women, adapting to the preferences they seemed to express, first, by trying to perform appropriately for the woman who imposed "an overwhelming kiss" on him and, then, by trying to talk the talk of the college feminists.