The Men Who Never Have to Grow Up

The family’s crisis team drafted a statement for the young man to give and, crucially, a strategy to shape the public’s perception. If America saw this married man in his late 30s as a boy — handsome and high-spirited, mischievous, not a criminal — he’d be able to squirm out of his misdeeds with minimal punishment.

.. If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s how, in the summer of 1969, the Kennedy camp managed the fallout after 37-year-old Teddy drove his car off a bridge off Chappaquiddick Island, and his young female passenger died.

.. We’ve all been having a good chuckle watching our president and his surrogates characterize Mr. Trump’s 39-year-old son, the married father of five, as an “honest kid,” a wide-eyed innocent

.. Those misdeeds were waved away by Rio Olympic officials, who defendebd the 32-year-old athlete and his partners in crime by saying, “Let’s give these kids a break.”

.. Readers who studied John Updike are conditioned to find those kinds of admissions adorably annoying, charmingly childish. Rich and his fictional brethren, from Alexander Portnoy all the way back to Peter Pan, are the man-boys we love to hate.

.. Women and nonwhite men don’t have it quite as easy.

.. If boys will be boys, then girls must be grown-ups, whose job it is to protect men from their worst impulses. Witness every administrative body, from middle school to Congress, that has decided that it’s easier and more culturally acceptable to police girls’ and women’s clothingthan it is boys’ behavior.

.. Brock Turner, once a promising Stanford swimmer, was convicted of sexual assault, his parents thought that even a six-month sentence was too much. “He will never be his happy-go-lucky self,” Mr. Turner’s father lamented

.. People of color, of course, never receive the leeway that “good kids” like the 39-year-old Trump son seem to get.