December 22nd, 2017

Never trust a man over 30

The saying became a cliche (see above), but the idea that you shouldn’t trust anyone over 30 was coined during the Berkeley Free Speech movement of the mid-1960s. Those who said it, and believed it, have now been untrustworthy (over 30, that is) for many a long year.

I was reminded of the saying when I saw the headline to this article about Jodie Foster’s recent comments on the sexual harassment accusations in Hollywood and elsewhere:

“It’s every industry,” the actress said Wednesday. “It’s not just one socioeconomic bracket or one complexion. Pretty much every man over 30 has to really look and start thinking about their part. And I guarantee, lots of it is unconscious. When you’ve been in a privileged position where you haven’t had to look at your part, you didn’t 100 percent understand you were in a bubble. It’s an interesting time for men.

Oh, it’s an “interesting” time, all right.

And why the exception for those under 30? Foster added:

“I have two sons (ages 16 and 19), and I know their perspective,” the 55-year-old told the newspaper. “They go to a great school that has put them through the wringer about what consent is, what is humanism, what’s integrity. I just wish my generation had the benefit of that, and that everybody had the benefit of that.”

Perhaps some day we all will have the “benefit” of being “put through the wringer” of PC education or re-education. Till then, though, we’ll have to rely on our moral betters such as Foster.

And yes, yes, Foster is a lesbian. But I don’t think that’s so strong a factor here. What Foster said is non-controversial—maybe even mild—compared to the more strongly anti-male statements of some women who are quite heterosexual.

And then there other factors unique to Foster that may have been more relevant. I happen to basically like Foster as an actress, and remember her as an exceptionally talented (and precocious) kid actress. And because I remember her as a kid actress, I wonder what things she was subject to back then.

For example, you may remember (I certainly do) that Foster played a child prostitute in the 1976 film “Taxi Driver.” The prostitute was supposed to be twelve years old, and (unlike with many such situations, where the child is played by a somewhat older actor or actress) Foster herself was only twelve years old at the time.

That seemed like a bad idea then and it still seems like a bad idea now. Foster appeared to be a tough and mature kid, but twelve is twelve. It may have made for a better film, but (according to something I found by Googling it just now), Foster says it was very uncomfortable during the making of that film:

“They were very uncomfortable about my character. Nobody knew how to direct me.

“Scorsese would say something like ‘unzip his fly’ and just start laughing and not know what to do so he would hand it over to Robert De Niro and then Robert would tell me what to do.

“And he was even more ‘Robert De Niro’ then, even quieter and more strange.”

Just to be clear—this was all done in service of the script, not as some private exchange. The men seem to have been uncomfortable with it, too, and yet in the atmosphere in the 70s (this was roughly the same era as the Polanski rape, for example), it probably seemed tame and harmless enough. But I think the role itself was a form of institutional child abuse of a mild sort.

Child actors have been exploited in Hollywood for a long time—just look at the life of Judy Garland if you aren’t aware of it. But the roles they used to play back in the 30s and 40s and 50s were squeaky-clean. That certainly wasn’t true by the time Foster was acting.

Foster also was the target of another incident that must have been confusing and terrifying, at a still-young age. You may recall that Hinckley, Reagans’ would-be assassin, became obsessed with Foster in that movie:

Hinckley was suffering from erotomania and his motivation for the attack was born of his obsession with actress Jodie Foster. While living in Hollywood in the late 1970s, he saw the film Taxi Driver at least 15 times, apparently identifying strongly with Travis Bickle, the lead character portrayed by Robert De Niro. The arc of the story involves Bickle’s attempts to protect a 12-year-old child prostitute, played by Foster. Toward the end of the film, Bickle attempts to assassinate a United States Senator who is running for president. Over the following years, Hinckley trailed Foster around the country, going so far as to enroll in a writing course at Yale University in 1980 after reading in People magazine that she was a student there. He wrote numerous letters and notes to her in late 1980. He called her twice and refused to give up when she indicated that she was not interested in him.

Hinckley was convinced that he would be Foster’s equal if he became a national figure. He decided to emulate Bickle and began stalking President Jimmy Carter. He was surprised at how easy it was to get close to the president—he was only a foot away at one event—but was arrested in October 1980 at Nashville International Airport for illegal possession of firearms.

There’s much more—but the gist of it is that Hinckley turned his attention to Reagan and was nearly successful in killing him. What effect this all had on Foster can only be imagined; at the time, because Reagan and others were so gravely injured, it was not the focus of the story. In addition, Foster hasn’t spoken much about it publicly, and here she suggests that she has had to employ some survival techniques to stay grounded.

I would imagine that’s very true; she’s been through a lot. But blanket statements about whole swaths of men probably shouldn’t be one of those coping mechanisms, and it’s always a bad idea to think you know all that much about what’s going on inside a teenager’s mind, boy or girl.

38 Responses to “Never trust a man over 30”

  1. Surellin Says:

    Jodie Foster is a lesbian? I didn’t know that.

  2. neo-neocon Says:


    She came out in 2013, but I think she’s been actively lesbian for much longer than that.

  3. TommyJay Says:

    I knew Hinckley was a stalker type, but I did not know he had been diagnosed as an erotomaniac.

    I discovered the existence of erotomania behavior when I was trying to figure out the inscrutable movie Mulholland Dr. The lead character is an erotomaniac (I think) and we see everything through her eyes. There is also the film “The Story of Adele H.” by Francois Truffaut, the true story of Victor Hugo’s daughter, also an erotomaniac.

    The movie “The Brave One” is one of Foster’s better performances and tends to be overlooked perhaps because it is quite violent and/or politically incorrect.

  4. F Says:

    “she has had to employ some survival techniques to stay grounded.”

    And what makes anyone think she is grounded?

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    It’s not about distrust of men over 30.

    It’s about “fundamentally transforming” the culture or failing that… settling for it’s destruction. Western civilization’s ‘sins’ can only be absolved… by it’s extermination. Peacefully if possible, violently if necessary.

    “the erasure of the American republic is the core agenda of the democrat party.” David Horowitz

    “Speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the American people, Republicans in Congress be forewarned: any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated.” Eric Holder

    “As painful as it is to hear Donald Trump talk and as embartassing as it is as an American to hear him talk, I think it’s good. We get to know who people are and now we get to cleanse it out of our country.” Actor Will Smith

    “Your vote is public record and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore” leftist “Highway 31 Super PAC” youtube ad run on Google. The PAC reportedly has ties to former Obama presidential campaign associates and is rumored to be funded by George Soros

  6. neo-neocon Says:


    I think in her personal life there’s every indication she’s grounded compared to the possibilities for someone who was a child star, and someone who had something like the Hinckley thing happen to her.

    There have been no big scandals about substance abuse or suicide attempts or anything of that sort. She was previously in a 20-year relationship and now is in another stable-seeming relationship. And she had some interesting—dare I say “grounded”?—things to say about Mel Gibson when he was going through his troubles.

  7. Manju Says:

    What’s the issue here (with Foster)? As far as I can tell she’s simply saying that sexual harassment is a generational issue.

    I’m not sure if that’s true or not in regards to this issue, but I know it’s a genuine sociological phenomena. The most famous example is racism. Recently, same-sex marriage followed a similar pattern.

    Basically these issues have a heavily correlate to age. So, for example, take support for laws against interracial marriage. In 1963, this support was at 62%, compared to 32% in opposition (whites only).

    But when one goes out to 1980, the numbers flip. 31.2% – 68.7% (support, oppose , whites only again).

    What happened was old people died and were replaced by newer more enlightened people. I guess this sounds a little offensive and patronizing (toward out elders) but what to do? That’s what happened.

  8. Manju Says:

    I happened to have these states handy, but I could find the original source and link you guys up if you are curious.

    (The fist stat is from some Harvard scholars and the 2nd one is from the General Social Survey… there’s a massive amount of data there).

  9. blert Says:


    Foster made extreme anti-male statements when she was artificially impregnated decades ago.

    Basically that she’d NEVER sleep with a man. Artificial was her only option for motherhood.

    Ironic that both were male.

    She had a ‘significant other’ even then. Not much of a secret.

  10. blert Says:

    Manju: you meant to post ” more indoctrinated. “

  11. neo-neocon Says:


    Actually, if you look at the charts on that, a great deal of what happened was that the older people mostly changed their minds on it. Not everyone, but tons of them. For example, Boomers are nearly as supportive as Millenials and Gen X. Even the Silent generation made a big switch.

    By the way, I doubt that Foster (or anyone else) knows what her sons really think of all the indoctrination they’ve been through. It wouldn’t behoove them to speak up if they disagree with it, would they? There is a large backlash among young men to the overreaction to even the slightest flirting and joking about sexual matters. I’m not sure how far or deep that backlash goes, but it exists, and the people who feel that way may largely be in the closet about it.

    There is no reason—none—to tar one generation with a sweeping brush as Foster has done, and to absolve another generation with a sweeping brush as she has also done. And it probably would be a good idea for her to leave her sons out of the discussion entirely.

  12. neo-neocon Says:


    If a woman is a lesbian, I see nothing anti-male in her saying she would never sleep with a man. If a heterosexual woman says she’ll never sleep with a woman, does that make her a woman-hater? I don’t get your point at all.

  13. Oldflyer Says:

    Manju, it sounds more than a little offensive and patronizing.

    What a perfectly arrogant and supercilious statement. I must tell you that this octogenarian, and the peers with whom I associated, treated every person with the courtesy and respect the individual deserved. That is what enlightened people do. I wonder if that can be said of your generation?

    Jody Foster’s statement was simply ignorant on its face. But, given given her celebrity, her words receive more attention than they deserve. She apparently associates with the wrong men.

  14. parker Says:

    Mom and dad raised me to respect and protect women and children. Our sons were raised likewise. Our grandsons are raised the same. It is old fashioned to believe this, but it is the foundation of a stable society.

    Waiting for an artfldger rant…. and in this case, it is needed. Females who lack a male they can trust are in a sad place. BTW, Jodi Foster s a really great actress.

  15. AesopFan Says:

    “They go to a great school that has put them through the wringer about what consent is, what is humanism, what’s integrity. I just wish my generation had the benefit of that, and that everybody had the benefit of that.” — Foster.

    The Left is paging the 1950s, asking for their social policy back, after trashing it in the sixties and seventies (and going downhill since then).

    We used to call that “wringer” conventional morality and respect for women. We were taught the details at home and in church, and to some extent in school.
    It’s a culture where everyone knew the rules which served to protect the sexual integrity of both sexes (there are still only 2), cads were shunned in polite society, and women were encouraged not to have relationships with them.

  16. Frog Says:

    Yeah, Foster’s been through a lot, almost as bad as taking a bullet for Reagan, and enough to make her a lesbian. She sure has.
    Ahh, the comfort of your own sex, makes you feel safe.

    Good grief!

  17. vanderleun Says:

    More and more I care less and less about the trials and pain of people who have earned scads of money and fame by reading other’s words and pretending to be other people.

    Jody Foster is, to me, another marginally intelligent freak of the 21st century. But she’s no rocket scientist no matter what wormhole she’s pretended to drop through. No matter how much Contact she had with other freaks.

  18. neo-neocon Says:


    I never indicated anything “made” her a lesbian. I said she’s been through a lot, and she has. And that fact—that she’s been through a lot—has zero to do with her being a woman. If a man was stalked by someone who turned out to be a presidential assassin (or would-be, almost, assassin), I would say the same. If a 12-year-old boy was asked to do sex scenes that seemed inappropriate for a boy that age, I would say the same.

    You really need to think more before you insult me in ways that don’t even make sense, given what you ought to know about me by now, having been a reader and commenter here for many years.

    The comfort of my own sex makes me feel safe??? What a bizarre statement, considering that I’m actually criticizing Foster in this post.

  19. TommyJay Says:

    Here is an article by Robin of Berkeley called “Male-splaining” that is related to the Foster/Neo commentary. I’ve heard it called Man-splain’in. I guess it is more about male superiority and condescension rather than sex harassment, but I was amused and heartened by it.

  20. The Other Chuck Says:

    Here’s another freak for Herr Vanderleun, one who had more talent in old age than a pathetic writer for Penthouse ever had as a young man:

  21. Dave Says:

    Hitler blamed Jews for all problems in society.
    mao blamed capitalists for all problems in society.
    progressives blame white men for all the problems in society.

    Progressives are on the wrong side of history, anyone who blames a group of people for being the causes of every problem in the world is on the wrong side of history.

    Liberals like playing straw man and claims conservatives blame problems on illegal immigrants too. No, we don’t, most of conservatives don’t give a darn about illegal immigrants, we just don’t like democrats bribing criminals to convince their relatives to vote for them in exchange for giving criminals citizenship.

  22. Matt_SE Says:

    I don’t find anything unique or original about Foster’s position. It is plain vanilla academic feminism. She appears to be somewhat moderate in application, probably as a result of having two sons.

    Still, she admitted to basically indoctrinating both of them and she’s proud of it.

  23. Matt_SE Says:

    Manju Says:

    What happened was old people died and were replaced by newer more enlightened people.

    The younger generations I’ve seen are inferior to mine in every way.
    They aren’t “enlightened,” they’re fools who don’t understand how the world works. They invite ruin constantly.

  24. Dave Says:

    How do people grew up with everything handed to them more enlightened? They are spoiled kids who were born in the third base thinking they know everything about the world and fantasise being oppressed by the previous generations who gave them everything but have absolutely no sense what the world has gone through and how much the previous generations had gone through to put them in this comfortable position, so lack of worries that they have to manufacture injustices so they can pretend they have something to fight for. Funny how they like to criticise trump for being a rich kid who had everything handed to him pretending to be a self made man, millennials are exactly like that in a sense.

  25. Dave Says:

    Enlightened people do not think they are superior than someone else. Liberals have a sense of superiority that is very dangerous, that is how supremacies are formed

  26. Dave Says:

    Enlightened? Give me a break, try ignorant, old people die and replaced by newer more ignorant people, that is why all dynasties eventually fall, the successors don’t have the experience of building up a nation and the know how to sustain a nation. It is not necessary a bad thing though, the fall of old dynasties give rise to new dynasties, but it does not necessarily mean new generations are better than old generations , they have the head start of utilitiing the legacy left behind by the previous generations, is mark zuckerburg greater than newton, Nicola Tesla or Thomas Edison or whatever great inventors you want to name?

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Trusting in rocket scientists was no more guaranteed to be correct than trusting in humans or Leftists.

    An easy way to get a sight see tour of the newer generations, born in the 80s or 90s, is to watch youtube conflicts between the conspiracy wings and the various blogs of the Alt Right.

    Demoncrat through and through, even though their ideologies have “backslid” quite a lot. Their basic personas and conflict resolutions are straight out of Alinsky or Gramsci. And in some ways, they are even more paranoid than people said I was back in 2012.

    They are dysfunctional, even though they are no longer of the Left. Doesn’t stop the effects of the Left.

  28. William Graves Says:

    Foster asserts as factual a number of easily verified falsehoods. This is at least borderline schizophrenic. The events of here life, referred to in this thread, are enough to understand how she got there, but obviously not enough for a real psychoanalysis. But the worst of it, playing a 12 year old prostitute when 12, was voluntary on the part of either herself, her parents, or both.

    So it’s most troubling to have to listen to a borderline unstable individual with a very troubled past instructing the rest of us like one of Socrates’ philosopher kings on our own behavior and our relationship to civil society.

    Recently, it has been revealed that Hollywood is in all probability a psycho factory filled with predators turning out a steady stream of psychotic young women for the purpose of amusing the rest of us. Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV and stop watching their ‘works of art.’

  29. n.n Says:

    Transgender… Anyway, she paints with broad, sweeping strokes. A character flaw common to people who judge others by the “color of their skin” (e.g. diversity), and not the “content of their character”.

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    William Graves:

    I don’t see Foster as the least bit psychotic.

    However, I do think (as I wrote in the piece) that she’s had a number of major traumas in her life.

    I do want to point out, though, that her consent to making the movie is not really possible. She was 12, below the age of informed consent. She could not have consented in the way an adult could consent. It is her parents and the director who are responsible, not Foster.

    I wrote a piece on that very topic—not as it relates to Foster, but on the issue of childhood consent—here. Please read it, if you haven’t already.

  31. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Recently, it has been revealed that Hollywood is in all probability a psycho factory filled with predators turning out a steady stream of psychotic young women for the purpose of amusing the rest of us.

    Right. But hey, Last Jedi came out and a bunch of Disney movies, let’s all pay them money to “entertain” us, humans say right afterwards.

  32. Ymar Sakar Says:

    one of Socrates’ philosopher kings

    As for Socrates, while there were kings during his lifetime, Socrates usually told people to question authority and to question the wise to see if they truly are wise: which included himself as well. The Athenian assembly saw this as a kind of treason against the teachings of the State, so voted by majority decree to sentence him to death, because. The State is always Right, and you an individual is always wrong.

    Plato, as a reaction to this and to his inability to save Socrates, determined that democracy sucked and wisdom could only be produced by the State if an oligarchy of philosopher kings like his mentor/father Socrates, was put in charge.

    Thus Plato is known for his Republic and laws, which some of the Founding Fathers imitated via the creation of the Senate.

  33. William Graves Says:

    Childhood Consent

    Thanks Neo,

    I read your piece on consent, and find your argument compelling, if a bit on the legalistic side. But every author has to adopt a POV.

    The problem as I analyze it isn’t consent per se, although that’s very important, as breaching it removes a major piece of protection. Every thinking entity with free will, including probably AIs, holds the perception that in fact they retain the freedom of consent. It’s inherent in Cogito Ergo Sum. It’s also why children desperately need parents. Probably, mom or dad asked for her consent (mistake) thereby empowering her to give ‘consent.’

    Then she internalizes approval, takes personal responsibility for the results, and assumes that she’s just special because the parents are treating her like an adult. In fact, she’s being manipulated into a position where she will become conflicted, be unable to cope, and blame herself. Not a very nice situation, and in my opinion significant child abuse.

    The second associated problem is that they now immerse the kid in a world of commerce, normally not accessible to her, and of adult goals and methods. With no background to interpret this world, the kid is easily deceived by those with goals other than her best interest.

    So it’s a witch’s brew, what the French call a remugle!

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    William Graves:

    Foster was a child actress and model from about the age of 3. She was an “old” pro by the time she made “Taxi Driver,” but I don’t think she’d ever had a role with as much sexual innuendo in it. She was, I would imagine, acquiescent (agreeing), for the most part with the decisions her parents (I think it was actually her mother) made about her professional trajectory, but that is nothing like informed consent because of her age.

    And “consent” is not just legalistic (although it is a legal term, of course, and in that sense it is legalistic), it is also philosophical, moral, and psychological. The legal and the psychological and the moral all blend in this particular instance into a seamless whole. Children are not able to have informed consent in any of those senses; it is one of the realities of childhood.

    Now, it’s also the case that sometimes a 12-your-old child has better sense than his or her parents. But that doesn’t do away with the principle that the adults are in charge and that by their maturity and the child’s immaturity the adults are assumed to be able to do what’s in the child’s best interests. The child may be bright and have good intentions but just doesn’t have the knowledge and depth and life experience to make decisions of that magnitude for him/herself, and can be exploited unless the parents protect that child.

  35. William Graves Says:


    Thanks Ymar,

    Your recollection of Socrates is better than my own. But my favorite Plato is the Allegory of the Cave. As a physicist, this applies admirably.

    Greeks formulated the fundamental problem: What happens if you divide matter into two pieces repeatedly without limit. Leucippus and Democritus developed the concept of atomos, but Aristotle opposed it. Since Greek Science was largely non-experimental, the two views persisted into the early renaissance.

    An early indication that the atomic model was correct was Mendelev’s periodic table. Applying occam’s razor, scientists of the time admitted that an atomic model was useful for explaining phenomonelogical results, but as unproven. Later, when experimental results kept piling up, Ludwig von Boltzmann had the temerity to suggest that atoms were real, only to be rediculed by his contemporaries, including Ernst Mach. Boltzmann became so despondent that he committed suicide over the issue. This occurred about six months before Brownian Motion, the first experimental evidence of the existence of atoms was discovered.

    In my own lifetime, we were taught in grade school that although atoms existed, you couldn’t see them. Now, in my wife’s lab, they see them every day.

    The cave allegory is useful philosophically and scientifically. But so far, every time we build a marvelous instrument, and look beyond the shadows, we find ourselves in a new cave. Whether that will continue is part of the adventure.

  36. William Graves Says:


    The term ‘consent’ suffers from problems that all high-level abstractions do in semantics and semiotics. Ogden and Richards were early students of these problems. ‘Informed Consent’ probably entered the lexicon of legal terms in medicine. A physician has to disclose all significant risks associated with a procedure before recommending it. In contact law, this evolved to full disclosure of risk in a contract. Since the abstraction was there, our legislative brain trust wrote it into the child safety laws. What it means would be up to a jury, but it is a very high level abstraction. Is it unconstitutionally vague…beyond my pay grade?

    To a prostitute, this risk is disclosed by her (or his) pimp. “You will do this or I will maim or kill you.” Now this risk is well defined, so although there is full disclosure, it isn’t very nice. So to play a prostitute in a movie, was this concept in the disclosure package? If it was, would it mean anything to a 12 year old? It would to an actual 12 year old prostitute, because she would probably be whipped with a coat hanger if she refused. But would it mean anything to a 12 year old actress (term used advisedly)?

    So we get back to the crux of the matter, if your parents cannot or choose not to protect you, despite your assurance that you don’t need them, is there really any effective secondary line of defense? I would suggest not.

    How is portrayal related to actual? Subject of another discussion.

  37. The Other Chuck Says:


    I hope you, and your wife and family, have a blessed Christmas and the most splendid New Year. You have been one of the many voices of sanity and reason here, but one of a few with genuine empathy. I’ll be away for a while. The world won’t stop, but maybe be a little less confrontational.


    Thanks for great articles. Enjoy the holidays and watch out for icy roads.

  38. William Graves Says:

    Actually, I arrived in Berkeley in1968 to study for my PhD in physics. I remember the actual quote:

    “We have a saying in the movement that we don’t trust anybody over 30”

    So you see, it was sexually non-discriminatory?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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