#MeToo

27 Sep

The #MeToo movement ….

Stories of sexual abuse of power by religious are of biblical proportion.  Is there any other import to 2 Samuel 11 – the lust of David, the seduction of Bathsheba, and the murder of Uriah?  Little has changed. Stories abound of religious seducing, raping, or taking advantage of

  • Altar boys
  • Children
  • Penitents
  • Church secretaries
  • Employees
  • Parishioners

Stories of sexual abuse by those in the entertainment industry are historical.  How long have there been stories of the casting couch?  This theme has even found regular play in the industry itself through television programs like How I Met Your Mother and in a variety of movies some of which are captured in The Casting Couch in Classic Hollywood Movies.  So, the escapades of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Asia Argento, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, and others are far from new.  To believe otherwise is to be terribly naïve.  To believe that these things could not happen to you means that you don’t have a firm grasp on reality.

Stories of sexual abuse by those in government have been around for forever.  Was there the practice of jus primae noctis (a noble’s right to take the virginity of peasant women) in medieval society?  Members of Congress had (have) a practice of abusing congressional pages.  Presidents of all parties have abused power for sexual purposes.  To believe otherwise is to be terribly naïve.  To believe that these things could not happen to you means that you don’t have a firm grasp on reality.

Stories of sexual abuse in business and education equal those of religion and government.  The AARP magazine chronicled a law firm’s senior partner unreported rape of a summer intern.  The 10 examples of harassment describe behaviors that can result in complaints and litigation.  (Since off-color stories are included in the 10 examples, a former colleague regularly told off-color stories at department meetings without recrimination.  That pretty much set the tone for the institution.) However, it still continues today.  To believe otherwise is to be terribly naïve.  To believe that these things could not happen to you means that you don’t have a firm grasp on reality.

Isn’t the resurrection of alleged events that occurred 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, or more years ago troubling?.

  • Was it consensual?
  • Was alcohol involved?
  • Were drugs used?
  • Was it rape?
  • Was it sexual battery?
  • Was it groping?
  • Was it petting? (Anything that happens between the neck and the knees.)
  • Was there a “relationship”?
  • Was it consensual until the “relationship” ended? (The jilted lover?)
  • If it was consensual, was there regret afterwards? (A college student’s sexual harassment complaint admitted to consenting to fondling and cunnilingus but became remorseful because good, Christian girls don’t.)
  • What was the situation?

So many questions ….

Admittedly, a double standard exists.  However, a double standard doesn’t excuse the behavior, and “no” means don’t even begin and if it has begun to stop, cease, desist, discontinue, halt, end ….

Simply because these things have occurred since the beginning of time doesn’t make them right.  But … hiding in everyone’s past is an encounter that probably shouldn’t have, and could probably be classified as some category of sex crime and/or sexual harassment today.  Should every one of those events see the light of day to be investigated, prosecuted, explained, and defended?

The #MeToo movement ….

 

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