There’s a lot in the article below to consider, but I think this paragraph is a good starting point:
Part of that answer has to do with the clubby collusion that comes naturally to the rich and powerful, of course. But part also has to do with the mind-set of Epstein’s generation around sex. The sexual revolution gave Americans much, most notably the precious ability of women to control their reproduction and civil rights and marriage for gay and transgender people. But in other ways its legacy has been destructive: insidious, pervasive, and long-lasting. The sexual revolution gave the elites and the circles orbiting them intellectual permission to downgrade sexual violence to a matter of taste.
I’m a little younger than the author of this article, but I’ve read enough, and saw enough, of the 70’s to know that there was a certain “coolness” to men, especially wealthy, artistic, or otherwise “brilliant” men who had no limits when it came to sex, including, and maybe even especially, sex with young teens.
There are multitudes of stories about rock musicians, writers, painters, and young girls, and there are multitudes of stories of the very rich with underage girls, that have gone way beyond the free and easy 70’s. Some of them have become public, and the legacy of those men has been forever tarnished, while others haven’t been tarnished at all, because, I guess it’s too difficult to view our artistic heroes as rapists.
What we see with this story is something very similar. Jeffrey Epstein violated a large number of underage girls, and it’s going to come out that a whole lot of people knew, or suspected, and did nothing, because rich men are just “eccentric”, not dangerous, and the girls, well they are just girls looking for attention from rich men. Much the same way many 13-14 year olds in the 70’s were “just groupies”, not victims of sexual abuse.
Except they are victims of sexual abuse, because rich, famous men, and anyone else from all backgrounds, male and female, can be dangerous.