Ailes, Weinstein, Bush41, Moore, Franken, and the list goes on. An epidemic of sexual assault allegations continue to permeate the evening news. Most of these incidents apparently took place years ago, but the accusations have recently boiled to the surface now that the victims feel more comfortable speaking in numbers. I can only imagine many more celebrities are nervously reexamining their past actions, hoping no accusers comes forward.
What does all of this say about our society, I ask rhetorically? Are all men just naturally crude? Maybe most of us think these things, but do not act for fear of rejection or getting out faces slapped. Is the definition of sexual assault somewhat fluid? Does current publicity bring to mind past incidents that may have been ignored at one time, but now seem out of line? With all of the “me too” proclamations on social media, will some women begin to wonder what is wrong with them if they have never been sexually assaulted? These are just thoughts that cross my mind.
Gene Simmons, of KISS fame, created some controversy when he suggested that women invite trouble by the way they present themselves. He is quoted as saying, “Women have a choice. They can dress in potato sacks, (but) as soon as they pretty themselves up with lipstick, lift and separate them and point them in our general direction, they’re gonna get a response.” Let me preface this by saying in no way do I excuse sexual assault in any way, but I think Simmons has a valid point. When women present themselves in a provocative manner, men are going to react, maybe not in action, but certainly in thought.
The latest accusation against Senator Al Franken comes from a woman whose bio includes modeling for Hooters and Fredericks of Hollywood. She also appeared nude in Playboy magazine. This future senator, with whom she was appearing in a USO show, forcibly kissed her eleven years ago. Now he finds himself the target of a sexual assault allegation by a woman who sexually exploited her own body for attention. What he did was certainly wrong, but she should not be surprised if a morally depraved man succumbs to her seductive prior behavior.
Women need to understand how men think. Men with a strong sex drive are easily stimulated by visual images. Most men exhibit enough self-control to maintain decorum, but morality in our society has deteriorated to the point where crude behavior is more commonplace. We hear so much about it today because certain individuals in prominent positions have been allowed to get away with it for years.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2521): Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.