CHARLOTTE, NC, November 21, 2017 – There is a new national pastime. groping, in the United States that has taken on pandemic proportions. What used to be seen as a “no holds barred” culture in the workplace that has become a call for “illegal use of the hands” almost overnight.
The Harvey Weinstein story isn’t the first example of the age-old battle among the sexes, but it has been a catalyst for what has become the 9/11 of sexual harassment.
The casting room couch has long been a well-known, yet unspoken, source of abuse by mostly powerful men taking advantage of women striving to make their way in a male-dominated business environment.
Today, however, new charges are being hurled every day from suddenly emboldened accusers who are no longer willing to remain silent.
So rampant have the charges become that it is, in its own way, a form of “grope therapy.”
It’s unfair to blame the media for reporting each new accusation, however, the story lingers because it is easy to understand and does not involve complex issues that can only be comprehended by a handful of people.
The “wrath of gropings” has become the latest American fad.
Probably the best-known case in recent years was that of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Even that was not the beginning, however. The story got legs because Clinton was the sitting president at the time making it a scandal even the traditionally left-leaning media could not ignore.
Certainly, there were others including President Eisenhower, though Ike had the advantage of being a World War II hero, More important, he was president during a day when the press largely ignored or overlooked such transgressions.
Even the great New York Yankee slugger, Babe Ruth, was able to elude bad press for his sexual sins and heavy drinking.
In today’s environment, John Kennedy would have taken a beating for many of his dalliances, most famously of which was with Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy came along during a period of transition where such coverage was slowly beginning to become fair game but was increasingly difficult to cover up such activities for very long.
The house of cards came crumbling down with Richard Nixon and Watergate. Though it was politics rather than sex that brought Nixon to his knees (no pun intended), the door for investigative reporting opened wider than ever before. Journalism and reporting have not been the same since.
Justice Clarence Thomas encountered sexual harassment charges that almost cost him his seat on the Supreme Court during his confirmation hearings.
More recently, Bill Cosby’s comedic career was ruined by numerous women who came forward against him.
The story is not new. If anything it is, for the moment anyway, simply more abundant.
The groping of Rose McGowan
Actress Rose McGowan has begun a movement on Twitter called #MeToo which is now bringing previously silent individuals out of the woodwork to exert revenge on their abusers by publicly humiliating sexual predators from all walks of life. Naturally, the better-known personalities rate greater attention for the sexual “Hall of Shame.”
All of which then begs the question “Has our free-spirited culture that accepts so many other facets of previously unacceptable behavior led to a situation that gave men a false sense of power to follow their natural testosterone urges?”
Consider the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage in many states. What about cohabitation which was once considered taboo? How do we reconcile the abundance of sexual activity and profanity on network television and, even worse, the programming offered by cable systems?
Have we lost all sense of common sense?
Does it mean we have to revert back to puritanical ideals or is there some way to compromise?
While it is by no means justification for male behavior against women. These freedoms” loosen mores to such an extent that they might be seen as “cute” or “playful” when they are not.
No doubt the numbers do not lie. That said, there may also be a bandwagon effect where a completely innocent gesture was mistaken as a sexual misconduct. Chances are, as with anything else, the truth lies somewhere in between.
Finding a solution is magnified because the country and the media are so polarized today that is going to be impossible to make legitimate borderline judgments leveled at people who had no ulterior motives whatsoever.
Political correctness has run amok. Hopefully, the exposure from this latest slimy uprising will punish those who are truly guilty while establishing new standards of propriety within social circles.
Don’t count on it. As long as men and women are different and the media gets increasingly desperate for viewers and circulation, the cycle will be repeated again and again.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people, and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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