So now we’re at the point where former President George Herbert Walker Bush admits to grabbing the butts of numerous women and habitually using a line so bad that it can’t even be fairly called a dirty grandfather joke? (Update: Mark Halperin is on the harassment board now … but he’s always looked creepy to me.)
Okay, male humans of planet earth, now is a good time to take a breath and consider hitting the reset button. All of us should be outraged by now, because we’ve read enough MeToo posts and tweets from women we love. That anger is good.
But I want you to mine another emotion for a moment. Think of these wealthy, powerful men … and then consider how absolutely ridiculous these acts are. Donald Trump reaching under. Harvey Weinstein yanking it out. Bill O’Reilly in the shower. It’s all so stupid. Yes, it damaged women through force of power.
It also, however, revealed the powerlessness of these men, whose self conception of irresistibility led them to horrifying actions that repelled their objects of desire.
Men, we now have a golden opportunity to purge ourselves of this creepiness. I’m not suggesting we stop lusting. Actually, I think a lot of male bad behavior springs from guilt about our own lusts and a sick male need to bond through shared sexual demeaning. To covet sexually is human. What you choose to do with that desire is where problems occur.
When you feel the urge to talk sexually about a woman behind her back, imagine yourself being in the Access Hollywood bus with Trump and Billy Bush.
If you ever feel the need to cup an unfamiliar woman’s breast or ass, or to rub up against someone on a train, think of pathetic old George Bush in his wheelchair telling terrible jokes to cover his creep.
And if you ever feel the need to pull a Harvey Weinstein … actually, in that case, just do the world a favor and cut your penis off.
What all men need to consider about this avalanche of sexual harassment stories is the outcome of these incidents. None of these men ended up having consensual sex with any of these women. That’s because sex requires some actual human communication and understanding and mutual desire. And, wouldn’t you know, the vast majority of female humans like having their private parts grabbed about as much as male humans do.
So, don’t stare that extra second. Don’t hit on work subordinates. And for God’s sake, don’t grab. Put your desire to a positive end. Start a conversation and listen.