Yes, I was a boy. I did stupid, youthful "boys-will-be-boys" things -- drinking, smoking and blowing up dog poop with firecrackers, just to name a few -- but never did I lead a group of boys to hold another boy down against his will and cut off his hair.
Like John Lauber, the highly-publicized object of Mitt Romney's teenage scorn, and the victim of a violent assault led by Romney during the end of his high-school years, I wore, as a proud symbol of my outsider status, a distinctly non-normative hairstyle.
Every time a student hears a sexist joke or a racial slur, every time she hears the words 'faggot' or 'slut' or 'fatso' or 'retard,' she must make a decision. Will I be a perpetrator, a victim, a bystander or a human rights defender?
I agree with those who argue that a 65-year-old man should not be judged on actions he took as a teenager. We've all done stupid, callous things during our youth. But that 65-year-old man does not deserve a pass for the way he's behaving now.