For many old white male culture warriors, such as myself, the daily streams of sexual harassment allegations are “I told you so” moments. For over 30 years, we have forecast the consequences of family breakdown and the Sexual Revolution. Today, we have every justification to ask, “What did you expect?” Nearly every male accused of sexual harassment and assault is either a long-time defender of women’s rights or gay rights or both – champions of sexual liberation.
Of course, to be fair, some male Hollywood and media stars that champion liberal causes are also happily married and monogamous. But they are so comparatively few to be rightly celebrated as novelties. We admire the morality of Hollywood elder statesman Tom Hanks, on screen and off, but his marital fidelity is the exception to the rule in the star-studded entertainment industry.
And, speaking of Tom Hanks, he said he is not surprised by Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal saying there are “predators absolutely everywhere.” Somehow, unbelievably, Hanks has yet to ask and answer the question why.
No doubt Hanks would argue, and not altogether incorrectly, that there is no cause and effect between political and social beliefs and these sexual allegations. Again, there are too many examples where this is not true. He might argue that any belief does not give one human being the right to sexually abuse another human being – unless, of course, what you believe does afford you that right.
To be clear, I am not saying there is ever a right to abuse another human being. I am saying I am not surprised by all of these Hollywood-related allegations. Nor am I saying that these victims are culpable in the abuses inflicted upon them. They are not culpable. These abuses lay solely at the feet of the abusers. I do not question or indict the victims in any way. I do, however, question and indict the abusers and go on to ask if a culture in which women are regularly sexually objectified and regularly cast in cinematic situations of sexual objectification or roles defending progressive culture, somehow encourages the abusers?
Certainly, these alleged abuses are about power over another human being. These abuses are about power in the eyes of the victims and probably as much about power as it is sexual for the perpetrators. But enlightened people need to honest with themselves. Defenders of the Sexual Revolution, in all of its hues and colors, cannot honestly say with a straight face that important aspects of a free society, such as self-determination, individual rights and self-expression, alone are sufficient deterrents to withstand all of the relational nuances arising from an anything-goes culture.
Rational Americans believe in and sustain the rights of women and abhor physical and sexual abuse against them and anyone else. But if your worldview or social philosophy simply revolves around the utility of pain and pleasure, as do all belief systems that begin with the prefix lib, should you be surprised if one person’s pain is another person’s pleasure? Should you be surprised, under those specific conditions, that men process the quest for female beauty different than women? And, when men do see female “liberation” differently than women, should you be surprised that sexual abuses will occur? Call it the “Hugh Hefner Syndrome” if you will. Why be surprised when men who champion women’s rights as a category of the Sexual Revolution objectify women and treat their rights as justifications for bad behavior?
Every one of these alleged abusers has been a champion of women, especially their sexual liberation. Are we surprised at that?
Tom Hanks is living proof that a Hollywood man can view women’s rights separate and apart from the Sexual Revolution or gay rights as human rights. But, again, Tom Hanks is not your average Hollywood man. He does not fight for such rights in the context of the Sexual Revolution. He seemingly sees such rights as matters of human dignity. But what allegedly has happened in these cases of abuse is undignified and he and others like him would do well to add their voices to the choir asking why such undignified behavior has become some sort of norm in Hollywood. Are there really this many otherwise upstanding Hollywood men who just happen to choose to be perverts? Or have their perversions been encouraged? And, if encouraged, but not by the women abused, by what?
Sexual abuse is about power over another human being. But we would be negligent to ignore why this abuse is predominantly expressed sexually in Hollywood.