Sexual Assaults are about power

These sexual assaults accusations aren’t new. They’ve always been happening. I don’t think there are more of them happening these days. I just think Trump’s election was the point where women finally said “We’re not going to take it any more.”

Do not discount how angry women are that a proud molester is in the White House.

sunday-hot-takes-sexual-harassment-edition-2-581

illustration by Matt Bors

The bottom line though is that this isn’t really about sex — it’s about power.

No woman is impressed when you send her an unsolicited dick pick, or grab her without her consent, or perform a sex act in front of her. That’s not how you start a relationship. That’s how you show your power over her.

In a sense, it’s like rape, which is an act of violence more than an act of sex. It’s when the abuser treats the victim as less than human, less than deserving of respect. Yes, the abuser may be getting his (or her) jollies off, but the fact that some people get excited over abusing another against their will doesn’t make it just about sex.

The other problem is that for many generations, this was just the way things were, and few people questioned it.  TV shows and movies had bosses chasing secretaries around the desk and it was played for laughs. And men grew up thinking that was just the way things worked.

But society has changed. It was never right but now people know that.  And the men who refuse to acknowledge that change are the ones who are getting caught and are surprised.

But that’s no excuse. It’s like when people say, “You have to excuse grandpa’s racism, because he grew up in a separate era.” No, grandpa’s inability to change with society’s norms is inexcusable. Plenty of other people his age were able to adjust just fine.

And many men are surprised at these new revelations, because they have apparently never spoken to a woman before; every woman I know can give examples of where this has happened to them.

“But there’s so many!” they say. “We can’t just fire every man who has abused his power in a sexual manner!”

To which the rest of us reply, “Why not?”