Sexual Abuse by Powerful Men:
Men on social media mourn their favorite news show host’s firing after his accusers began to come forward. They ask, ‘Why should his life be ruined after so many years?” They blame the women who did not come forward at the time.
Rep. John Conyers resigned today. Candidate Roy Moore should withdraw his bid for the Senate. What do these two old men have in common with some other prominent men in politics and entertainment fields? They are holders of power over others and are accused sexual abusers. How long have they supposedly been committing this wrong? Oh, a mere forty years each, give or take a year or two.
Who would have listened to the sexually abused women without blaming them for the terrible mistreatment done to them by a powerful TV/movie personality? Not a majority, that’s for sure.
In truth, public censure would have been piled upon the women and the perp would have received titters behind amused men’s hands. This is as true as it is typical. Remember Billy Bush’s subservient position as second banana to Trump, the “star,” on that fateful bus? Also remember the subject of raucus laughter in the bus? (An aside: Only the second banana lost his job. Think about the injustice in that.)
The Times – They are a-Changing:
And today another sex abuser’s life is “ruined” after he has been caught out.
Oh, my. Gee whiz. I’m sure when he committed the abuse he knew he was doing wrong and he knew his actions were socially unacceptable. He also knew it was hurtful to his victim. But, he didn’t care. And, not being obliged or willing to take responsibility at the time of the offense, he felt exempted from having to account for his misdeeds. And so he slid into very bad habits.
However, sooner or later karma will catch up to everyone, and on a rare occasion, we will see it happen.
Some recently accused abusers are popular and have numbers of devoted followers who sympathize with their favorite. Colleagues are concerned for that accused public figure in the Senate or the House who may lose his job and not be available for the next critical party vote. They have little or no concern for the damaged women left in the wake.
These devotees seem to feel sexual abuse done to a woman by a man some forty years ago should have faded away like it didn’t happen. No man should lose his career or that important job he does today over something he did forty years ago. Or thirty years ago. Or… But not one of these hero worshipers asked the victim of the assault if she has forgotten the violation of her person or if it hurts less after such a long time.
As a female who struggled with employment issues in a man’s world, and as a septuagenarian, I have considered the questions. I have added a few of my own, and I have made conclusions.
Where do we draw the line regarding punishment for sex abuse that happened many years ago?
Who should and who should not be harshly punished by loss of career and severe chastisement for abusing someone such a long time ago? Water under the bridge. Right?
Do we give those we like or respect a free pass and thus exclude them from accepting responsibility for their long ago actions? If so, what should we tell their victims?
Will an offender we don’t like be thrown to the wolves and be punished to the maximum?
Who is worthy of getting away with abuse and who is not, and how would you explain the differentiation to your children? Or to your grandchildren?
As I am sure you are a thinking person, I hope you will see that the line between right and wrong was drawn straight and true a long, long time ago. In questionable areas, laws have been passed to clarify. More laws certainly will be passed as they are needed.
The horrible abuses recently brought to our attention were wrong. They were just as wrong forty years ago as they are today. Period. No ifs, ands or buts.
Think about the sexual predator as someone who runs a red light. He knows it is wrong, but he gets a kick out of tempting fate. He makes it through one intersection, then another, and by-and-by running red lights becomes a fun, tantalizing, even titillating habit.
Then, one day, a loaded semi cannot stop in time to avoid smashing into and killing the thrill-seeking offender.
Unlike the now dead red light runner, the predators in powerful positions who have been called out for sex abuse are alive. One by one, they are being forced to face the subjects of their abuses and are being held to account for their actions, past and current. This is as it should be, and it is long overdue.
Public airing of the gross abusiveness by some powerful men may deter others from such offenses. If not, the abused will see growing public support. They will increasingly have the courage to come forward, and together we will call a halt to such offenses.
Enough is enough!
p.s. Don’t forget to add Donald J Trump to the growing list of old sexual predators. He was left until last to keep attention on the issue of predation and not the shortcomings of our President. (Pun intended, even though unknown if true.)