Birds of a Feather

[Trigger warning.]

You may recall that when the news of Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland first broke, France's minister of culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, was quoted as saying: "In the same way as there is a generous America which we love, there is also a certain kind of America which is frightening, and it is this America which has now shown us its face."

He was not talking about the part of America in which men who have raped thirteen-year-old girls are allowed to flee the country and remain fugitives from justice for three decades.

He was talking about the part of America that actually wants to hold those men to account for their crimes.

And this certainly sheds some light on that rather extraordinary position.
France's Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand is facing intense pressure over a book he wrote that described paying for "young boys" in Thailand.

The book was written four years ago, before he joined the government, but is back in the headlines following his impassioned support for Roman Polanski.

…In his 2005 book The Bad Life, he wrote: "I got into the habit of paying for boys," saying his attraction to young male prostitutes was not dimmed despite knowing "the sordid details of this traffic."

"All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously... the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire."

Mr Mitterrand, 62, has denied being a paedophile, saying the term "boys" was used loosely.
Oh. Well that's all right then. As long as you engaged in "sex" tourism with adult "sex" slaves, everything's fine and dandy. (And, gee, what makes me think that they weren't adults, anyway?)

Henri Guaino, senior aide to President Sarkozy, has defended Mitterrand, calling the fuss over his admission "excessive and quite undignified."

He's got a point. If there's one thing I always say about advocating against sex trafficking and sexual assault, it's that the conversation should be minimalist and dignified—because there's nothing more bourgeois than getting your panties in a twist about child rape.

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