It’s happening again. Another powerful man has been accused of sexual misconduct. The latest to be accused is Senate candidate, Republican Roy Moore of Alabama. This time, a growing number of people are beginning to eschew the typical kneejerk reaction of disbelieving the women. At least five women have come forth with accusations against him.
Of course, Moore has his supporters, but more and more people are beginning to take the allegations seriously. Some are calling for him to drop out of the Senate race, but at press time he hasn’t made a move in that direction. If he wins the Alabama senate seat, it will say a lot about the nature of our society, and it would NOT be a surprise.
Since the Harvey Weinstein allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, there have been at least 18 other prominent men accused of sexual misconduct, besides Roy Moore. These are: George H.W. Bush, Bob Weinstein, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Dustin Hoffman, John Besh, Mark Halperin, Jeremy Piven, Roy Price, Kevin Spacey, Chris Savino, Andy Dick, James Toback, Lockhart Steele, Andy Signore, Rick Najera, Terry Richardson, and Dave Portnoy.
You can rest assured that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Women have been sexually abused for centuries, and the reason for this is simple: male entitlement coupled with its consequent sibling, misogyny.
For a long time, women were considered property, could not vote, and had to work for less pay doing the same jobs as their male counterparts. Men have not taken women seriously, and have had sexual control over them. This is certainly true in America, but the women’s movement, hated by men and interestingly, by a lot of Black women (!), has caused cracks to develop in this paradigm. Women are rising to great heights and are taking control of their destinies. But this has not yet stopped people from disbelieving them when they assert that they have been sexually mistreated.
To be fair, there is another underlying issue that impacts the fate of women who claim to be abused: it is that some of them have lied about it, and have destroyed the lives of some men in the process. One very strong case in point in the African American community is that of the late Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered in Mississippi where he was accused of whistling at a white woman. Another scenario that comes to mind is the destruction of “Black Wall Street,” a community in Greenwood, OK, a suburb of Tulsa, which started because a Black man was accused of molesting a white woman in an elevator. The result was the destruction of an entire, thriving Black community. So it is understandable why there are those who are hesitant to believe every allegation of sexual victimization that comes from women.
Though the foregoing is true, it is also true that our society is steeped in a type of toxic masculinity when it comes to gender equity.
We still have a long way to go in that regard. But we may be in the process of experiencing a major paradigm shift: men are beginning to be held accountable for their actions; people are actually causing society to question the propriety of masculine dominance and to realize that a lack of gender equity can cause sociological earthquakes.
Recently, in an online article written by Alex Portée, it was said that former first lady Michelle Obama had a conversation during the Obama Foundation’s Inaugural Summit. She asked families to look at the way they raised their sons and to recognize how that contributes to a world where men and women are not treated as equals. She basically said that when we rear girls and boys differently, the boys turn into men who believe that they deserve special treatment and exploit others. She goes on to talk about the notion of strong men, but questioned what that strength means. Does it mean respect? Responsibility? Compassion?
Whatever we see as the answer to this question, it is important to understand a need for positive change in the area of gender equity. The legacy left to us by cavemen, wherein women were forcibly taken and treated brutally, needs to end. A society that does not recognize and embrace balance is bound to topple! A Luta Continua.