I met this man who is well respected in my field. It turns out that he had heard of my own work and had been promoting me to some of his colleagues. We quickly became friends, spending much of one day and evening together, the activities gradually escalating in terms of personal intimacies shared and substances consumed. As I saw his professional mask begin to drop around me I was suddenly struck with the thought, this man is like me. I almost wanted to talk to him about it, at least feel him out about it. But then I was struck with another thought -- this man does not believe he is like me. If I started asking him about it, he would vehemently deny it. He would be horrified to hear me describe my own thoughts on the matter. I might be outted and shunned.
This second train of thoughts was triggered by one realization -- this man thinks that the concept of exceptionalism aptly applies to him. The Wikipedia definition of exceptionalism is the perception that something is exceptional in some way and "thus does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles." In the context of my conference, people would refer to things as being part of a particular group, but despite that inclusion, they warranted special treatment from other members of the group. A quick and dirty example is a baby. Let's say the general rule is that citizens of a country should carry their own weight. Let's also say that babies are unable to carry their own weight because they're by their nature relatively helpless. Exceptionalism would apply to that baby to excuse it from complying with that particular rule.
This guy's version of exceptionalism was more like the classic ubermensch mentality that (I have found) is still quite popular amongst people who consider themselves to be intellectuals. Morality is for the bourgeoisie. They do not need to actually adhere to those moral standards because they are exceptional.
When this man that I met was evidencing his clear lack of moral standards about things that I think are pretty clear, societally speaking, I got excited, thinking that I had met another someone like me. On second thought, I realized that although he doesn't believe morals apply to him, he believes they apply to everyone else.