Groping, rape, and all forms of aggressive, non-consensual sexuality are evil. Period. Full stop.
It is a troubling sign of our times that, given accusations of sexual misconduct by a public figure, the knee-jerk reaction of many Americans is to politicize it. If a news headline reads, “Woman accuses politician of rape,” it’s as if everyone holds their breath waiting to see what party the politician belongs to before they react.
A Hollywood star and a Wall-Street big-wig would be equally likely to find defenders, regardless of the veracity of the allegations against them, and the defenders’ political leanings could almost be assumed by the identity of the defendant. No one can seem to believe their guy did it, even if he is caught on camera or tape, but the other guy? “Of course, he did it! He’s a dirty Republican!” or “He’s a dirty Democrat!”
A public figure can, in the same breath, dismiss allegations against themselves, and excoriate their opponent for the same type of allegations, and the only people that seem to notice the inconsistency are his opponents. A religious leader, when speaking about the misconduct of someone in the “wrong” political party, decries the decay of American society and morals, but dismisses accusations against those they agree with as exaggeration, character assassination, or politically motivated.
An article about the rampant sexuality and abuse in our society might be read, and its admonitions might pierce our hearts. Yet, too often, we won’t share it if it comes from a news source too conservative, or too liberal, for our liking. We may notice a provocative headline about rape in our newsfeed, but the URL prejudices us one way or another before we even click the link. If it’s from the New York Times we may pass it by, but if it’s from The Federalist, we can’t click fast enough. Others of us would eagerly share the article from the Washington Post, but dismiss the same as “fake news” if it came from a conservative source.
This is disturbing.
“Groping, rape, and all forms of aggressive, non-consensual sexuality are evil. Period. Full stop.”
It is high time for all honorable men to speak out boldly against these types of behaviors, these assaults on the persons and dignity of women. It is time to dispense with political expediency and strategy, and declare that we will not tolerate these reprehensible acts, regardless of who the perpetrators are. This is not to say that those accused should be seen as guilty until proven innocent, nor that there are never political motives for such accusations. But we ought to err on the side of righteousness, on the side of protecting the vulnerable. Whether the perpetrator is a conservative politician, a Hollywood mogul, or the man across town, the response should be the same: “If you did this, you were wrong. You acted despicable, and you should be brought to account.”
We owe this unequivocal response to our wives, our daughters, our mothers, our sisters, and women everywhere. This cannot be about political gain, it cannot be about “bringing down the other side.” It cannot be about “protecting our own” (politically). Let’s stand up. Let’s do what’s right. LET’S BE MEN.