Me Too

Sexual scandal runs rampant among our nation’s leaders

Some phrases I’ve heard around campus include: “Your crotch is not that interesting,” “Women are stupid,” “Wrong! Saying it again just makes you more wrong!” and “Americans need to do better job of minding their own business.”

Sexual harassment and assault are example of how we, the self-proclaimed, most intelligent species on earth, cannot get past our Neanderthal behaviors. Carry these two quotes by Edmund Burke with you through this article, unless you have the memory: “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it” and “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

One area where accusations of sexual harassment have been prevalent is in the realm of politics. What is it that women want in leaders? This author cannot speak for the multitudes of women, but personally looks for someone who epitomizes the positive aspects of the 14 basic leadership traits: JJ DID TIE BUCKLE: justice, judgment, dependability, integrity, decisiveness, tact, initiative, enthusiasm, bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty and endurance.

One has to ask, how does a person work in any government job – elected, appointed, hired, enlisted, or commissioned – and not be aware of the law as it pertains to protecting a person from sexual harassment. Shouldn’t a thorough knowledge of this portion of the law prevent a person from committing these illegal behaviors? Laws that supposedly protect victims also seems to enable criminal behavior by reducing the fear of prosecution and accountability. For people whose jobs are directly drawn from the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other legal documents/decisions, playing by the rules/laws should not be that difficult.

First off, let’s be clear: sexual harassment is not a one-way street, it is not crime just against women. Any crime that erodes basic human dignity, respect, safety is a crime against humanity.

When looking at the situation with politicians, a chicken-egg argument is posed. Did the artistic temperament of Hollywood permeate all parts of our government, or is it the other way around? Is it possible that those inside the Beltway led the limbo dance in violating the rights of fellow citizens? Of course, there is another possible permutation that we often find in nature, birds of a feather flock together, or it takes one to know one.

Dear reader, did you know that one can be elected to Congress or even the presidency with a criminal record? To be nominated and seated in the Supreme Court one need not be a lawyer, only trained in law.

What is going on in Washington, D.C. with the sudden opening of the floodgates in reports of sexual harassment/assault? This is the headquarters for our military, legislature, treasury, cultural epicenters and the seat of our elected officials. Also, what is it with the women in D.C. who do not report these crimes when they are so empowered to walk down the National Mall wearing larger than life vaginas, labia minora and labia majora on their heads? If women are so strong, empowered, vocal and want a woman to reside in the White House, they should be speaking up and leading in their current roles of employment within all branches, limbs and twigs of our government agencies.

Bringing accusations upon someone after four decades or more, long after you were able to bring it up on your own is clearly just mudslinging. After four decades, the statute of limitations usually has expired. Parading 40 years of history on social media is not a cry for help nor a cry for justice, but a cry for attention. After 40 years; speaking up is no longer courageous; it is cowardly! A delay in speaking up means your silence let another person be violated because you were too much of a coward to stop the predator.

Historically, lack of reporting comes from a source of fear: losing one’s job, position, respect, status, and so forth. However, there are protections against this to prevent retaliation. How can we have these women in leadership roles in D.C. controlling the day to day dynamics and interactions between our military personnel if they cannot keep their figurative and literal houses, chambers and offices in order? Is there some facet in the nature of these women where they want to be perceived as the victims in the workplace, so they can play both sides of the fence, and run to whichever side they want to hide out in when convenient? Any type of harassment, discrimination, assault, bullying or any unprofessional behavior does not make our world better, does not advance our civilization, nor does not enrich our communities. No one should make any excuses for this immoral and unethical behavior.

On a different note, where are these men who supposedly love, honor and respect women? Why are these men not speaking up, behaving and leading the workplace in manner that is consistent with the environment in which they would want their spouses or children to live and work? Is the issue that men are so afraid of strong, capable and brave women they try debase women sexually via subtle behaviors, overt acts, language, or all-out assault? If women behaved towards men in the manner some men behave toward some women, they would be deemed aggressive and very likely whores or sluts.

Overall, I believe society should leave the adults to battle with their own perversions in the workplace and stop littering the newsfeed with things that should be handled privately within the workplace by human resources. No organization can impose its standards and culture on another, thereby outside input is moot. We should turn our concerns toward children and the momentum that is being aimed in an effort to legalize ultimately aimed at violating the lives, rights, bodies, and futures of children.

Let us reel this topic in a little closer to home with an arena the reader may be more familiar. Here at Virginia Wesleyan, we have seemed to address sexual harassment/assault at the student level with the mandatory training/test required before being able to register for classes. One student during her Port Day presentation said she had never experienced sexual discrimination before going on her study abroad trip to a country in South America. Surprising! If true; awesomely remarkable! Maybe the women of history paving the way for other women is finally taking root in elementary schools, high schools and maybe even on college campuses. Yet, it seems we have a long way to go as a society.

As a young adult and college graduate, you may find yourself in a position where you have to deal with the issues that require the finesse of soft skills, to ensure people are treated with respect in the workplace. What are you doing now to make sure you are not the one acting too familiar with a co-worker, subordinate, or superior? What will you do if you are subjected to demeaning behavior in clear violation of company policies and laws? What will you do if you witness these behaviors/actions or someone one confides in you? Not everyone may have the suave and velvet hammer methods of Elle Woods to deal with a predator in their workplace. Never stop adding tools to your toolbox as you go through college and find your place in the world as a wage-earning-tax-paying-citizen.

Sabrina Lemons