Bill Cosby’s persona had previously held a finger in the dyke of public opinion on a vice as old as prostitution — the harassment of women. The public now peaks at the vile exploitation of women who engage in sexual behavior from Mary Magdalene to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s required high school reading about Hester Prynne of “The Scarlet Letter.” Enter Harvey Weinstein of Hollywood who flung open a door for parts on the big screen via casting couch in every sense of the word. When Minister Joyce Meyer spoke of her rape by her father which went on for years while her family went quiet, how was she to speak out when she didn’t have political nor personal economic power? The system of justice has often been stacked against women when issues of our virtue come to the fore for reputations, past history, and the like are pejoratively used against women while the same are often considered a badge of honor for men.
Sexual harassment is unfortunately reported more often in women against men but is too often one person’s word against another. Men previously may have been given a pass and women not believed, particularly if the man has some prominence in the community. The statute of limitation on prosecution will likely prevent many such acts from being criminalized but won’t stop the damage to one's good name. Religious teachings, in asking submission of women to men, may also set us up for difficulties which have allowed men of the cloth to cover sins of sexual exploitation. The abuse of young boys by religious men, particularly priests and supervisors of activities of them, has been hidden and not prosecuted, challenging the use of a First Amendment cloak to hide religious crimes.
When Tavis Smiley protested about people being allow to engage in consensual relationships without scrutiny, I couldn’t stop thinking we need to raise better men and women. Men who engage in workplace dalliances in the age of “Wonder Woman” are subject to the Hephaestus' Lasso of Truth from which there is no escape. It now looks like if she says you did it, the man is guilty without a trial. Women are sometimes given a pass, especially when dealing with men who are married, e.g. Monica Lewinsky, who was equally wrong.
My father, the preacher, used to tell his sons and men in his congregation, don’t sleep where you work; don’t sleep where you aren’t prepared to stay; and if she says no, believe the N and the O no matter at what point in an act you may be engaged. Men have no right to dictate the sexual behavior of women, married or not. Don't forget that at any point people may change their minds.
The dynamics of the relationship between men and women has been irrevocably broken by acts of sexual harassment. The shoe is now being placed on the other foot and beastly behavior will not be tolerated by society. Carelessness in using social media subjects you to workplace scrutiny and other acts which jeopardize not only your reputation but your work prospects. Keep it in check and don’t set yourself up for the fall.
Dr. Ada M. Fisher was the first black woman to serve as the Republican National Committeewoman. She was a candidate for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina, a candidate for U.S. Congress, and a candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives. She is the author of "Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Solutions for What Ails Us, Book I." For more of her reports, Go Here Now.
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