by Victoria Wojciechowski
Jared Fogle is a man made of money, sandwiches, power, and lust.
Now, if you don’t know Jared Fogle by his given name, you probably know him as “the Subway guy,” you know, that guy that is constantly telling you to eat Subway because he lost a ton of weight by eating their sandwiches? Yeah, that guy.
He may look as innocent as can be when he holds his old 60-inch waist sized pants in The Reporters 2003 cover story on him, but his ‘love’ for Subway only scratches the surface of who he actually is.
According to The Washington Post, police raided Fogle’s home earlier this summer in search of evidence related to the illegal purchasing of child pornography. According to court documents published by The Indie Star, Fogle plead guilty in August to 14 counts of inappropriate sexual acts with 14 different minors. One of these minors was paid by Fogle to have sex with him while he was in New York City for a business trip. Subway cut ties with Fogle instantly.
Immediate responses from the public led to disgust and disdain towards Fogle. I followed along with these sentiments especially when I began to think of how sick of a man he must be to get aroused by young girls, but then, something hit me; yes, most people may find it disgusting for an adult to lust over a child, but action is the clear defining point that separates the moral and immoral decisions.
My thoughts directly led to Vladimir Nabokov’s 1962 novel, Lolita. In this novel, Nabokov depicts a man who lusts over a young girl. When I began to read this book a few years ago, I almost empathized with the man. It made sense to me that he was attracted to young girls because they exhibited innocence, though I knew it was on shaky moral grounds. Because the man’s thoughts and feelings were unabridged, I was able to understand where he was coming from as a man attracted to minors. Now, I don’t know if Fogle is attracted to minors for the same reason, but attraction, in some sense, can be understood; what can’t be understood is action.
This leads me to ask if Fogle’s own lust was more important than respecting the sanctity of a child’s integrity. Apparently for Fogle, it was.
Fogle was not led to perform such heinous actions because he necessarily wanted to; he did so because he could.
To me, the man seemed to enjoy attention; he lived for the stardom that came over him. He craved the power that came along with the fame even more.
A wealthy and relatively famous man such as Fogle, in theory, has no problems bedding a woman, but bedding a minor is a completely different story; it’s a challenge that requires power.
It’s possible that the thrill of walking a thin line of being America’s favorite sub guy and enjoying child pornography was really what he was after. It wasn’t enough for Fogle just to be attracted to minors; he had to have them for himself. The power of being able to do whatever he felt like, whether it be morally sound or not, led him to believe that he would never be caught. He continued to degrade minors and neglect his position that Subway bestowed upon him as a role model so that he could feel in control. Just like with the Stanford Prison experiment, Fogle’s actions seemed to be driven by a lust of power.
Though Fogle has been sentenced to pay $100,000 to each of his 14 victims, this does not take away from the pain he has brought to these minors. The 14 victims can be reassured, though, that a man of power was taken down.