August 13, 2013

Young Cory Booker — groping women or appeasing women?

The Daily Caller, apparently hungry to make Cory Booker look bad, has an article with the headline "In college column, Cory Booker revealed time he groped friend, and she resisted." I think we're supposed to find it significant that when he was 15 and making out with a willing partner, on a bed, he put his hand on her breast and she rejected the move. This is nothing, of course, but it's something not because he "groped" a girl, but because he used the incident, years later, to score with women.

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.

Booker didn’t elaborate on what his “mark” was, but whatever happened, it was enough to haunt him for years to come.
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.

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.


Meade said...

An overwhelming kiss IS first base. Offering a hug doesn't even put you in the batter's box. Maybe the on-deck circle. Or in the hole. More likely - still on the bench.

damikesc said...

This is a lame attempt at appealing to women. "At least, I didn't rape her" hardly seems like a promising slogan. That college girls bought into this nonsense belies the need for higher education.

The article is a nothing burger outside of Booker's pathetic attempts to get in the pants of college chicks.

Damn, did the 90s ever suck? I almost want to than Clinton for showing how little most major feminists bought that nonsense.

You know, Fen's law and all.

Shouting Thomas said...

My step-daughter attended Antioch College during this era. The Antioch Rules codified the bizarre and hilarious sexual harassment hysteria of the 90s.

One of my gay friends dragged me out to a Warren Farrell "workshop" during this same era, where much of the discussion was about how to conform to the Antioch Rules. Farrell is the Men's Movement "sensitive and caring" leader.

I attended with my late wife, Myrna, who found the proceedings funny as hell. After about an hour of listening to wimpy men complaining that they didn't know what the hell to do, Myrna said:

"Why in the hell don't you just ignore these crazy bitches and do what your fathers did?"

She could have added that she had a dozen Filipina relatives back home earning their RNs and eager to find a nice white American husband.

Antioch College exists no more, destroyed and abandoned by its own students and faculty. How appropriate (to use the favorite word of the 90s)!

Heartless Aztec said...

Never listen to what women say they want. Always pay attention to what they do and how they act. There in are the tells.

Peter said...

regret about his susceptibility to "messages that sex was a game, a competition"

Umm, isn't it? If it's not a game then what is it, work?

And, surely, biology 101 notes that sexual competition is a significant part of the lives of all creatures that reproduce sexually?

David said...

There was also the strikeout. Gone after three pitches. Never made contact.

Matt Sablan said...

Two teenagers negotiated what could have been an awkward situation to their mutual acceptance.

That's... a lot better than we can say about some adults.

Jake said...

Isn't just about everything men do to get women to have sex with them?

Tank said...

surf-ed said...

Never listen to what women say they want. Always pay attention to what they do and how they act. There in are the tells.

A pretty good rule for judging women, men and those who are uncertain.

Hat tip: Richard Nixon

NCMoss said...

Good luck with trying to get instapundit to downplay the bs that exists behind the contradictions of politics.

Anonymous said...

Why is anyone taking Cory Booker's teen hits and misses as a worthy topic of discussion anyway or as a news article?Why does instapundit see it as an opportunity to make Booker look like a near rapist?

Booker told the story to pat himself on the back for his restraint after rejection, partially and to impart a lesson. There should be no story here either. It should be understood by college age men that no means no, without Booker's tale.

Matt Sablan said...

"Why is anyone taking Cory Booker's teen hits and misses as a worthy topic of discussion anyway or as a news article?"

-- For the same reason looked into a rock at a ranch no one related to politics owned, tried to determine if Romney gave someone a haircut, brought up aqua Buddha, etc., etc. Booker is very likely a presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024. It's... pretty basic, really.

If Booker were a Republican, we'd sort of expect a hit piece like this. Since he isn't, it is kind of novel, but otherwise pretty meh as far as political hit pieces go.

ron winkleheimer said...

Apparently Cory Booker is not far enough to the left for some elements of the Democrat party.

The elements that believe that Dominionists are plotting to over throw the government so that they can rule US as a theocracy.

And believe that this is a real and imminent danger.

Anonymous said...

Groping women? As long as he is a pro-abortion male feminist and a Democrat, it's cool.

William said...

I like Cory Booker. He's really sincere. I just don't understand how such a simple, honest man could be involved in such Byzantium pay off schemes with law firms and tech start ups.

damikesc said...

William, there is a simple maxim:

If you're tied into a bunch of really sleazy stuff --- then you aren't a good, upstanding person yourself.

I smoked pot for about 2 or 3 years. Lo and behold, for those years, I knew sources. Now? I couldn't score a dime bag if I tried.

The people you associate with reflect HEAVILY upon you. I doubt the Professor is friends with blatant misogynists, for example.

Mountain Maven said...

Booker is a looser, writing this piece of trash proves it. No serious man would humiliate himself like that. He's the Charlie Crist of the Dem party.

MayBee said...

Isn't this all an attempt to detract from the idea that Booker might be gay?

I'm a fan of his, btw. But I believe that question is out there. What better way to smother that talk than to portray him as a totally forgivable teenage Lothario?

Charles Johnson said...

Or perhaps Booker is gay and he's merely making up the whole story in the first place as part of his column.

It seems odd that someone I used to read with regularity is attributing motives to me that I didn't know I had. I guess I must be dumb rather than malicious.

Ann Althouse said...

@Charles Johnson The fact that you may have once been a regular reader of this blog is completely irrelevant to the issues I have raised. Either deal with them or don't. All you've said is that I've attributed motives to you that you don't have. Specify where you think I do that and explain why these are not motives of yours. What, then, is your motive?

Charles Johnson said...

Why don't you ask me next time before writing that I'm either malicious or dumb?

That's an ad hominem attack, not an argument.

My job is to entertain and to instruct people.

mccullough said...

The proper baseball terminology is that Booker tried to stretch a single into a double. He was thrown out. He didn't steal second base.

Ann Althouse said...

@Charles Johnson You attacked Booker. You can't turn around and whine about being attacked. Either deal with the issues I raised or keep avoiding them, but you're distaste for hearing attacks is ridiculous!

And look up what ad hominem means. Not knowing makes you look dumb.

Even if you take "ad hominem" to mean a personal attack, my questioning about whether you are dumb or malicious comes after my raising various specific issues. So how about addressing them?

I will assume you have no better defense than to whine about being attacked, which, as I've said, is lame, since the attack is about your attack on someone else.

Ann Althouse said...

What I've said here is actually the opposite of ad hominem, since I had no thoughts one way of the other about Johnson, whose name meant nothing to me.

I looked at his argument, showed how bad it is, then turned to him and wondered why he said it.

Thus, my argument was against the idea, and then I used the idea against the man.

Ad hominem argument entails a negative view of the man which is then used against his idea.

khesanh0802 said...

Give him hell Ann!

The article was stupid, indeed.

I love the holier than thou my job is "to... instruct". The guy looks and writes like a 15 year old. I am surprised he wasn't cheering Booker on for making it to second!