We are certainly in an era of change. New technology surprises us every day. New fashions bewilder us at every moment. Social media has taken over as truth and being liked is the most important commodity you can collect.
We are also in an era of social revolution. Behaviors are changing before our eyes. What was once accepted and often legal behavior is now seen as socially unacceptable and often times illegal behavior. This is most popularly brought out by the Me Too Movement that has erupted over the last two years or so. We are finding that chauvinistic behavior is no longer being tolerated. What happens to your sister and your mother matters. Women are finally being heard and recognized for many past behaviors that went ignored or under reported. A "boys will be boys" attitude is no longer tolerated.
This revolution in our culture has brought much relief and redemption for some as they are finally having their stories heard. Justice and compensation are some of the side effects of this fluid movement. However, while many might relish in the success of the Me Too Movement, there is also a very dark side to it all. While the Me Too Movement might have been one small step forward for women, it has also been four giant leaps backward for humankind.
First off, while many women are feeling like they are being heard these very same women are denying a fair assessment to those who are being accused. Social media, the mainstream media and society in general are the judge, jury and the executioner in many cases. An accused person is not granted any fairness and is found guilty before any evidence has emerged. Employers and advertisers are quick to fire someone just from an unsubstantiated allegation. Allegations, whether truthful or made up, often tarnish and destroy someone's reputation. Once a reputation is destroyed there is no pathway back to redemption. It is not like a normal convicted crime where you might do a hundred hours of community service and then you are forgiven of your sins. This sin is like the Catholic sin of "original sin"—it never goes away.
If the allegations are proven to be false it is very difficult to get one's reputation back which often includes gainful employment. If the allegations are true and either a criminal proceeding ends in a verdict or a public apology ensues, there is no "mia culpa" and let's move forward. The scarlet letter of MT (Me Too) remains emblazoned across your resume and public persona and you are considered poisoned. Nobody should go near you or should be seen associating with you. Long-time friends just seem to disappear.
We are no different than Spain and much of Europe in the times of the Great Inquisition of the Middle Ages where a woman might be burned at the stake just for owning a cat or for drinking herbal tea. Over 32,000 people were tortured and killed in Spain alone. Today's witch hunt is not much different. It is not a time of justice but of revenge and hysteria.
We are judging yesterday's behavior by today's morality. An incident that occurred years or decades ago when it might have been more accepted and even legal is being criticized by a new wave of political correctness. While rape is still rape and a horrible behavior, whether it happened yesterday or twenty years ago, it is bewildering how someone could keep a secret for that long and finally one day blurt it out. It becomes problematic when an allegation is made but most of the witnesses have died, the evidence has gone missing and memories have faded. It then becomes a "he said, she said" moment.
While many of these incidents seem horrific by today's standards (like groping, butt pats and fondling), they were very common and to a large extent accepted behavior. While still being an abuse of power and offensive to the victim, they were just normal "bad" behavior for the time.
Imagine if we judged everything from the past by today's politically correct standards. Automobile executives would be in prison for not installing seat belts into cars until it was mandatory in 1968. The families of slave owners would be penalized today for the acts of their relatives nearly two centuries before. While a legal and accepted practice for several hundred years, slavery is today considered one of the worse crimes against humanity. Imagine if we punished the families of those who hunted and killed animals for thousands of years in order to wear their furs to stay warm in winter. By today's politically correct standards of not wearing fur for any reason, we would be judging yesterday's behavior by today's moral code. We are doing the same thing with the Me Too Movement.
Not surprisingly, we find that many women too have been accused of abusing their power and have crept over that magical line of decency. We have found that not just heterosexual interactions are involved but so are homosexual interactions. This is not just a war of the sexes issue but an issue of power.
The sad notion about the Me Too Movement is that it misses most of its most important points. It is not an issue of men versus women or bosses versus employees as the mainstream media wishes us to believe. It is really about the inappropriate use of power and manipulation in our society. Only half of the issue is men physically abusing women. The other half falls on the behavior of women who often manipulate for power by seduction and coercion. This we can see in the "gold-diggers" of life and those who willing sleep their way to the top. Seduction is as powerful a weapon as a physical presence forcefully "manhandling" you. When will we begin to speak of this element?
The Me Too Movement has created a sense of mistrust among people. Men refuse to get into an elevator with a single woman. Men are reluctant to be seen in a room alone with a woman, especially with the door closed. Men might refrain from saying hello or making eye contact for fear of being accused of flirting. This mentality has set us back several decades where all men are now assumed to be some sort of abuser and women should be on guard.
Society is on edge. If you take your child to a park playground you are not allowed to push another child on the swing for fear of inappropriate touching. You certainly are not allowed to take pictures at a park for fear that you are a pervert. Office managers are no longer allowed to enter work and say "hello girls" to the office secretaries. This phrase is now considered demeaning and belittling. Each secretary must now be addressed by her name.
HR (human resource) departments cannot keep up with new trainings and the signing of new documents. Employees are constantly having to be retrained and spoken to about updates in behavior. No hugging or touching fellow employees. No "high fives" or pats on the butt. No rubbing of shoulders when someone has a headache. No condescending speech. The end of the office party or Christmas celebration is near as companies are leery of their responsibility when employees get together outside of work and alcohol is involved. The employer is still responsible even though it is outside of work hours.
Dating someone from the same office is forbidden because that could lead to an ugly mess that the company might somehow be responsible for. The office has become just a sterile environment where we come to work. Do not socialize here because there are too many risks. Go to a dating app and find someone but keep your eyes closed and your pants on when you come to work.
It seems that the only ones benefitting are ambulance chasing feminist lawyers. At every turn these vultures have found another victim willing to sue someone in hopes of vengeance (and financial gain).
Yoga teachers might be forced to wear body cameras as they fear being falsely accused of inappropriate touching. Known for touching and adjustments of students, what was once a whole hand touching a student's hip might be just a finger or two. Teachers are reviewing their anatomy and asking these simple questions "Where does the hip end and the buttocks begin?" A teacher might be more inclined to just stop adjusting his students for fear of any possible misunderstandings. Maybe students should have different colored yoga mats. If you want the teacher to adjust you then use a blue mat. If you wish to be left alone use a yellow mat. Is this what things have come to?
A teacher might be given a spontaneous hug by a student in the hallway and he quivers in fear. Has he crossed over a line by giving (or receiving) a hug? If accused of something will his yoga studio use their resources to defend him or is he left out in the cold to fight for his own reputation?
Many professions go through this same shake-up in behavior. A dance instructor might have to be very thoughtful about where he places his hands on his female students. A hand on the hip might now be seen as a buttock caress. A hand on the should might now be perceived as a breast intrusion. Barbers might stop giving shoulder massages. Manicurists might end the foot massage that comes with the pedicure. Athletic trainers might not actually touch their clients as they work them out. A golf instructor is no longer allowed to get behind a student and touch him or her for fear of inappropriate touching.
You might start seeing security cameras at children's birthday parties so that adults are not accused of inappropriate touching of their children's guests. We have already seen how many celebrities will fold their hands in front of them when taking pictures with fans. Never put your hands around the shoulder or the backside of fans where they cannot be seen. You might receive a subpoena in the mail from an ambulance chasing feminist lawyer accusing you of inappropriate touching of a woman's backside.
Being a predominantly Judeo-Christian country we have forgotten one important thing. We have forgotten how to forgive. People do stupid and inappropriate things in life. Somehow most people hang on to those events and never let them go. Forgiveness is a fundamental aspect of our culture but it seems to have long disappeared along with the ninety-nine cent double cheeseburger.
The good news is that with technology and A. I. (artificial intelligence) we will all be replaced by a robot soon and we will not have to interact. A robot will cut your hair and give you a manicure. A robot will teach you your yoga class and will be assigned to be an office assistant for you. We won't have to drive our own car to work as an automated car will pick us up. You won't have to interact with a school teacher as all your classes will be at home on a computer.
The Me Too Movement has exposed many dark secrets that lay hidden in our culture. Many are celebrating this new revelation and freedom. The Me Too Movement has also brought out the worst in us. We have become a very cold and hostile culture that is suspicious of each other. Where we go from here is just anyone's guess. For me, I am choosing to play it safe and keep my hands crossed in front of me when taking pictures with my fans and taking the stairs when confronted with having to be in an elevator with a single woman. Playing it safe and being on the defensive have become the new game plan.
Power: Domination or Seduction, Jon Burras