I’m astounded and saddened by the ongoing stream of revelations of sexual abuse and harassment that are bringing down powerful perverts in various corners of public life. Is it OK to say that this behavior is foreign to my experience and that I wonder why it seems to be so common in some areas and micro-cultures, yet so uncommon in others? Because really, truly, #notme.
Is it also OK to ask, why now? Throughout my lifetime American society has largely preached that we should be free to be who we are, whatever that might mean. Impact on society has never even been a consideration of the left when it comes to deviant sexual behavior. We have been repeatedly told that if we’re opposed to the rampant sexualized nature of the garbage being dumped into our society, we should simply choose not to engage and, btw, keep our prudish ideas to ourselves – as though there’s never any cultural consequence for the utter trashing of society. We’ve been told that sexual expression in all its many forms is freeing (especially for women, remember?) and progressive, and ought to be pursued on a whim and as nothing more than a mere recreational activity.
In this process, all longstanding norms of male-female interaction have been stripped away and men have been told not to treat women differently, that to treat them with what is traditionally thought of as respect, is insulting and demeaning.
Furthermore, sex, rather than occurring in a loving, committed relationship, has become transactional and based merely on consent. Tell me, if consent is the only prerequisite for any sexual fantasy you might have, what is the problem with mere propositioning—the very action of which so many men have been accused and for which they have been vilified?
The leftist consent culture teaches that until you’re rebuffed, your behavior is acceptable. So, except those accused of actual assault, what did any of these men do wrong if they were never told no, if a woman chose to go along with bad or demeaning behavior because she saw some benefit in it for her at the time or because all the leftist rah rah-ing about empowerment didn’t actually make her stronger or more empowered?
And here we find ourselves today, engulfed in a sex-saturated society, absent the structural norms of respect, either for self or others, seemingly shocked that bad behavior and victimization rule the day.
Frankly, I find it all disgusting.
But fixing it requires values. Not lists of rules that are here today and change tomorrow (see Bill Clinton) or applied inconsistently based on who you are (see Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy). Fixing it requires changing who we are as a society. It means rethinking and reevaluating. It means asking honestly if the sexual revolution has been good for women, for families, for children. Because really, this isn’t getting better anytime soon otherwise.