Every person deserves dignity, especially to be recognized as equal creations of God, as we all are. Yet we are created individually and differently, which is a huge part of the challenge presented to us by Jesus in the Second Commandment — to Love our neighbors as ourselves. The only way we are able to succeed is to be truthful and have goodwill towards one another, both with the good as well as the bad.
Unfortunately, for the past many years we have been perfecting a method of communication that seeks to distort issues so that they may be framed to suit political purposes. We call it political speech. Though it may be well intentioned to protect others from facing the unwelcome truth, in the end it temporarily buries the issue, leaving it to be unearthed another day.
Suddenly we are witnessing the beginning of the reversal of this trend. Candid talk, even though it may sound rude or unwelcome seems to be reverberating throughout the country and in one area is causing huge waves.
We have been catapulted into the most perplexing arguments regarding male sexual abuse of women. This issue began with Howard Weinstein, a famous and powerful Hollywood Producer, who was accused of molesting women. This has been followed by a string of accusations towards others – especially men who hold powerful or influential positions in society. Further revelations will surely continue, both publicly and privately.
All agree that this behavior is reprehensible and requires a positive responsive by society. Most look to government to introduce appropriate laws; opinionators scramble to lay blame. Meanwhile we ignore the elephant in the room, and once more endeavor to resolve the consequence rather than the cause.
Anyone who is seventy years or older is able to trace the change in western sexual behavior from a time it was meant to be reserved for marriage, through promiscuity, to the current era where satisfaction is obtained through personal gratification. Everyone knows that sexual depravity is wrong, yet we promote everything to ensure that it exists – under the banner of freedom.
Looking for the appropriate message seems confusing only because we are not instructed to focus on the issue in a way that shows we are willing to find a cure for the cause.
Most people know that pornography is wrong, be we do not advertise that it is an addictive disease that reduces the sexual act to a bodily function and people to objects of depraved desire. Instead, it is allowed by society and labeled freedom of speech.
There are other issues that parallel and reinforce these circumstances — the destruction of God, the Devil and Sin. If there is no sin, there is no shame and therefore one simply has to find the appropriate phrase to absolve oneself of what becomes a mild indiscretion.
Guilt is a natural and good emotion, for it is most commonly used as a means to resolve bad situations. In clinical studies it has been shown that when someone hurts another person it is the guilt that motivates people to make amends.
We have grown accustomed to sidestepping guilt within the church, with a reduction in the use of the sacrament of penance and people receiving the Eucharist in a state of sin. If there is no sin – there is no need for reconciliation.
In an age where gender is becoming meaningless it is easier to overlook the emotional differences between a man and woman. Despite what politicians may say, men and women are created very differently, physically and mentally. Men are built taller, stronger, with thicker skulls and skin, designed to carry heavy loads. They use the left side of their brain, tend to be more dominant and prefer to concentrate upon one task at a time.
Women lack the Y-chromosome, are physically weaker, but use both sides of their brain, are good at multitasking, are more sensitive and social. They are built to give birth and are naturally more nurturing. Men and women suffer different mental disorders.
In the animal kingdom the male sex hormone, testosterone, is important to initiate mating, which used to be the same with men. Recent studies indicate that psychological and social factors are now assuming a more important role, mirroring the increased domineering, aggressive and competitive behavior of some men.
In a more explicitly sexual world the ratio of aggressive men naturally leads to an increased level of sexual misconduct. The incidence is increased even more when women become overtly flirtatious, which aggressive men translate as being available. Adding liquor or drugs exacerbates the situation and may lead straight to the the unwanted sexual harm perpetrated upon women.
Even the most minor sexual assault can cause temporary or lasting emotional disorders, including fear, a loss of trust, anger, self blame, helplessness and a change in behavior. A rape will likely cause lifetime disorders that may include disease, physical and mental injuries, PTSD, sexual dysfunction, Depression and suicidal tendencies.
A rape that leads to pregnancy and either birth or abortion is nearly always a life changing situation. A rape that leads to pregnancy causes all the same natural hormonal changes in a woman, with urges so strong that they can even overcome the revulsion of criminal coitus. Abortion can lead to a lifetime of depression and guilt.
One moment of cruel, dominant, depraved male behavior, often brushed off by the perpetrator can cause a lifetime of misery for another human being.
Most men know other men who prey upon women. They do not protect such men, but avoid controversy and pretend that a problem does not exist. But knowing about such behavior poses a problem for all men, for if we know and say nothing, that is the same as consent and if we consent, we are accomplices, where the sin of one becomes a sin for all. Understanding this principle could change how we deal with the problem as a society.
This could be a moment of opportunity where Christian men and women could make a fundamental behavior change for the good. We are close to reigning in the wanton scourge of abortion, which is been achieved through a conscientious effort to educate everyone about the harm it inflicts upon women.
In like fashion our churches should educate men and women about addictive pornography and the harm it causes to marriage. We should be exposing and eradicating the inhuman and degrading sex slave trade. We should take another look at education and appreciate that one size does not fit all. We should be promoting the differences between boys and girls – not from a purely sexual, but from a humanitarian standpoint.
God has ordained that we are complimentary rather than competitive sexes, which should herald a much more beautiful and beneficial liberation of the roles of men and women within society.
American society always looks to government to impose laws to correct problems. But, proper respect for women must be taught within our families and in our schools. Women must relearn how to be modest and men must now assume their proper role of protectors without domination. God gave us brains and a conscience to know the difference between virtue and evil.