Some thoughts on sexual harassment

Is it any surprise that we’re hearing so much about sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood and Washington, D.C., when 25 years ago many in our country turned a blind eye to the very serious allegations against candidate Clinton? Or when those same folks pretty much dismissed what he did with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office?

I know what many of you will say: “What about what Trump said?” Yes, what he said was deplorable and the fact a man in his position at the time felt like he could say such a thing, much less do such a thing, shows just how sick our culture has become.

And let’s also be clear that Clinton didn’t invent sexual harassment and abuse. It’s been going on for millennia (just think of David and Bathsheeba), sadly, and is one of those blights on human nature that we have struggled against from the beginning.

But what’s different now is that we have a toxic combination of sexual libertinism (the result of the Sexual Revolution) and political hypocrisy that fosters and then enables sexual abuse on a scale not seen in Western civilization since the fall of Rome.

Here’s what I mean: before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, I know there was sexual abuse, but it was likely more limited than today. There were more societal norms against such behavior and sex was supposed to be limited to the bedroom of a man and wife. And there wasn’t the proliferation of pornography and entertainment which condoned and even encouraged pre-marital sex.

In other words, there were stronger restraints against acting on one’s sexual urges and men and women were expected to channel those urges responsibly, wait until marriage, and remain faithful.

Today, those restraints have been largely removed. The only kind of sex which isn’t permitted by today’s mores is non-consensual sex. Every thing else is game on. And I mean every thing.

When you put men, especially, into this environment and tell them that they can give unfettered expression to their sexual urges as long as it’s consensual, sometimes those urges overtake reason and result in abusive situations.

And, in cases where men have power — and here’s the real problem — the sex may even seem to be consensual since the woman feels she can’t say “no,” or gives a false “yes” to avoid the consequences of refusal.

And so you have an explosion of non-consensual and falsely consensual sexual abuse, whose victims are primarily female, but male as well (e.g., Kevin Spacey).

And here’s where politics comes in. Somebody like Bill Clinton was completely and totally given a pass by the liberal interest groups who are supposedly the champions of women’s rights. Why? Because his views on issues like abortion, especially abortion, were “correct.”

He and others like him are essentially allowed by the mainstream media and Hollywood to abuse women to their dark hearts’ content as long as they support a woman’s right to kill the life of a child that may result from that abuse.

How sick is that! That is what has happened to our society. The same elites in academia, entertainment, and journalism who helped to foster the sexual revolution and its destructive consequences also help to cover up for and enable sexual predators.

And when someone like Trump talks about abuse, in the end, the hypocrisy of the left undermines their attacks on him. How can you excoriate a man for talking about doing something lewd when you gave a pass to a sitting president for doing worse?? And why, then, do you feel it is necessary to have a massive rally against sexual abuse aimed at Trump when these same people were silent about Clinton?

A controversial yet daring answer may be found in returning to a standard for sexual relations that defines it as only appropriate within marriage. Of course this is the standard in most religions, but it is also the best way in terms of reason and natural law.

If the purpose of the sexual act is to will the good of another, it really can only be done licitly within the confines of marriage. Otherwise, the purpose is subverted as it becomes one done primarily for the pleasure of the self and at the expense of another.

I know this is crazy talk in our time and culture, but really, what good has come about from pre-marital sex (once called “fornication”)? Aside from a few fleeting moments of physical pleasure, the bad effects are legion in quantity and scope: STDs, AIDs, rape, deaths, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, emotional and psychological damage, divorce, sexual harassment, online shaming, pre-teens sexting, etc. etc. etc.

Just imagine if sex once again returned to the exclusive realm of marriage: no more date rape, no more out-of-wedlock births, an end to STDs, an end to AIDs, far fewer divorces, no adultery, etc. Would abuses of the sexual act continue? Of course, but they would decrease in number and degree.

But, you say, sex is a natural urge. How can we resist it? Well, we control our natural urges all the time. Just because your body or mind might want to do something doesn’t mean you can’t and don’t use your reason to NOT do that thing. In fact, that is the very essence of being human: using our reason and will to channel our urges into productive, virtuous action and thought.

In the meantime, let us to continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard of behavior and to protect the innocence and dignity of women and men by insisting that not only are sexual abuse and harassment damnable offenses, but that any sexual act which does not contribute to the betterment and good of another should be avoided.

Trey Hoffman
Peachtree City, Ga.