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NOTE: Is sexual assault ever justified? Never! Do victims carry the memories of those incidents with them forever? Absolutely! Did I ever rape anyone? No. When I was a child, teen and young adult, did I treat every female with the respect she deserved? No. Do I owe some women an apology for my youthful words and behaviors? Yep? Who should be held accountable for their words and behaviors, and when should that accountability take place? That’s the point of this article. My intention is to show how we got into the mess we are in and what we, as a society, must do to get address the problem.
Human relationships are difficult, and they are messy. They always have been and likely always will be. It is because of sin and the problem has been around since the beginning of time.
The Bible mentions the word “lust” 14 times, “sexual” 67 times and “adultery” 45 times. The seventh commandment directs us to avoid adultery. The tenth commandment tells us not to covet our neighbor’s wife or anything belonging to our neighbor.
Those commandments were written around 1,500 B.C. The New Testament was written 2,000 years ago. Problems with sexuality is not new.
But, a crazy thing happened on the way home from the Sexual Revolution. The rules changed and EVERYONE got lost.
Latex condoms have been on the market since 1919, and Playboy began publishing in 1953. Those were just tremors foreshadowing the earthquakes about to come.
When I was a child, societal norms dictated that premarital sex was bad and certain behavior was required when men and women were dating. Were those norms obeyed all the time? Hardly. If grandma thinks so, then she has a short memory. However, if a woman became pregnant out of wedlock, she bore the shame and responsibility – often alone. She was put in a no-win situation.
The rules changed in the late 1960s and by the time I entered adolescence in 1972, the Sexual Revolution had been underway for about a decade. It had been fanned into a full-blown societal revolution by the time I graduated from high school.
Fifty years later, society is in a bigger mess than anyone could have ever envisioned.
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral contraceptive pill for women in 1960, it truly sparked the Sexual Revolution by eliminating all restraints to sexual activity. Finally, women could pop a pill every morning and enjoy sex without consequence, cost, conscience or concern.
Throwing fuel onto the fire, the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that pornography was protected speech and could not be criminalized. That ruling opened the door to all sorts of explicit pornographic images. It wasn’t long before X-rated films were playing in movie theaters all over the nation, and nearly every community of any size had an adult bookstore.
VHS tapes, and eventually DVDs and the internet, allowed that crap to be brought into the home, usually anonymously.
I was 13 when the Miller v. California decision was announced and, within a year, I had so many pornographic magazines in my possession that I was known by my friends as “the librarian.” (For more details, see my book Pornocide: Why Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.)
Ever since, men have been bombarded with images of willing women ready to have sex with them on a moment’s notice. And, judging by the way women dressed back in the 1970s by wearing short shorts, halter tops and tube tops, they were okay with men ogling their bodies. Remember the streaking craze of the 1970s that involved both sexes?
Ogling is not an invitation to, or justification for rape. Women should be able to dress comfortably without being slapped, poked, insulted or pinched.
Still, women remained in a no-win situation. If they resisted male attempts to engage them in sexual activity, they were labeled as prude, old fashioned, frigid and the like. However, the moment a women gave in to the pressure and relaxed her inhibition, she was immediately relabeled a “slut,” “whore” or worse.
That still goes on today. Just walk through any high school – or middle school – and listen to the conversations.
Magazines like Playboy gave way to Hustler, Penthouse and Gallery. They were filled not only with explicit images of nude women for young gynecologists to peruse, but each issue contained stories of male sexual conquests at all ages. Back then, letters were published about sexual encounters with females as young as 15 years of age.
Pornography and premarital sex were accepted and encouraged. There was no shame.
Releasing women from ‘sexual oppression’
Soon, women got their own chance to enjoy pornography when Playgirl hit newsstands and bookstores in January 1973, followed by the launch of Chippendales male strippers in 1979. Victoria’s Secret started shipping sexual clothing directly to a woman’s home in 1977. She no longer had to venture out and risk being seen buying enticing clothing or sex toys.
The Sexual Revolution was celebrated by women who claimed they were released from the bondage of sexual oppression. Stories began emerging in mainstream women’s magazines telling ladies how they could enhance their orgasms and how sex toys could improve their private experiences.
By now the party was on, but not everyone was invited.
Society’s final restraint was removed Jan. 22, 1973, when the Supreme Court divined that the Founding Fathers had intended for mothers to be able to terminate their pregnancies. Since then, the lives of more than 50 million future scientists, musicians, inventors, artists, authors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and others had been snuffed out because they were “unwanted” or “inconvenient.”
Yes, women were “responsible for their own orgasm,” and they became like men in that they, too, could have pleasure without consequences. Even if they got pregnant, the problem was easily “solved,” despite post-abortion depression and other medical complications. Today, women are encouraged to “shout their abortions.”
Despite the pain and cost associated with abortion, men could still walk away from an unplanned pregnancy unscathed and unaccountable. Sure, women could pursue child support, but they had to endure endless personal accusations – in court – as lawyers tried to instill a sense that having a child was a secret desire and her problem.
Homosexuals were still eliminated from the party as well, but that changed in 2003 when the Supreme Court ruled that sexual relationships between consenting adults could not be criminalized, and the gay rights movement charged full speed ahead.
Many people are still stunned that behavior considered criminal just a few decades ago seems to flourish unabated at every level of society. While the first talks about sexuality generally took place when I was in fifth grade – and only involved the pre-menstrual girls – today kindergarteners are exposed to issues of gender identity and sexuality before they can even spell the three-character word S-E-X.
Today, there are more than 60 different gender types and society is at a point of not even recording on birth certificates whether children have a penis or vagina. To do so is considered “assigning” a sex to the child. How unfair!
Even as the Sexual Revolution picked up speed, and men and women could finally enjoy sex whenever they wanted, with whomever they wanted, and without embarrassment or shame, they were still on the hook to support their families.
In the past, while it was easy for men to walk away from their pregnant girlfriends, it was extremely difficult to walk away from a marriage. The Sexual Revolution changed that, too. Now men could walk away from their entire families. In fact, it often takes more legal maneuvering to get out of a cell phone contract than it does a marriage.
California enacted the nation’s first no-fault divorce rules that went into effect Jan. 1, 1970, and soon divorce hysteria swept the nation. Dads could leave their children and sagging wives for women who made them “feel younger.”
Researcher Felicia Lee discovered that divorce actually worked to increase the standard of living for men by 10 percent; however, it lowered the standard of living for women by 27 percent. Still, by the end of the 20th century, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that women initiated two out of every three divorces.
Next, society plunged headstrong into redefining the basic tenet of marriage, which has its roots in Judeao-Christian culture. Not content to allow “domestic partners” to enjoy the benefits of marriage without the label, society had to transform the very concept of a union between one man and one woman.
In fact, if you don’t joyfully, tearfully celebrate any “union” today – even if it is between a man and his phonograph – your business and life must be destroyed.
What about the children?
Despite the freedoms they won, women were still in no-win situations, especially if they had children to raise. But, the children who survived the womb fared even worse.
Today, almost one out of every two kids grow up without a biological father, and half of all marriages end in divorce. Why should that stop the Sexual Revolution? The kids are young, they’ll “get over it.” That myth has been perpetrated for decades. I know. I grew up as a victim of divorce.
The National Center for Victims of Crime today estimates that one out of five girls and one out of 20 boys will be sexually assaulted before they reach their 13th birthdays. I was just 12 years old when I was assaulted by a group of teenage boys in the bathroom of a public library in a small town in southern Wisconsin.
Here is a tough question. If dad is not living in the house, then who is doing the assaulting?
Fathers still do their share of the abuse, as news reports indicate. But it is also mom’s live-in boyfriends who are harming kids. The men endure the women for access to her children. More importantly, today it is often the children themselves who do the abusing. What?!?
The National Center for Victims of Crime reported in 2017 that one out of four cases of child sexual abuse were perpetrated by people under 18. Somehow, I suspect those incidents go beyond the typical childhood games of “playing doctor.”
Thanks to cell phones, web cams, spy cameras and other technology, children between the ages of 9 and 17 are the world’s largest producers of child pornography today. They trade videos and images of naked peers much like we traded football and baseball cards back in my youth. Most parents are oblivious to what is happening.
Let’s not ignore the influx of female teachers who are preying upon students of both sexes as the Sexual Revolution marches on.
And how do we explain why the Catholic church is justifiably vilified for allowing priests to use children as sexual playthings, but then we bash groups like the Boy Scouts and Big Brothers Big Sisters for trying to impose rules and standards to prevent that type of situation from taking place within their ranks?
For centuries, women have been on the short end of the selfishness of their male partners. Now they are in a position to turn the tables by changing the rules so that every single man could find himself in no-win situations. Turnabout is fair play.
It is very easy today for women to accuse men of inappropriate sexual contact, conduct, unwanted touching or even undesired talk. Loving fathers can be accused of “grooming children for sexual activity” even if the kids have never been touched in a sexual way.
Evidence does not need to be provided. All it takes is a phone call or anonymous letter to put wheels in motion to launch an investigation. Children can be removed from homes, and parents denied any contact with them pending the outcome. Sometimes the accusations go public as the police, media and lawyers go on fishing expeditions to seek other possible victims.
We are told that women must be taken at their word. In Orwellian logic, to require evidence and testimony works to “silence” the victims. Is it fair that a sexual crime can take place in private, away from any witnesses? Absolutely. Should we uproot centuries of legal precedence allowing the accused to confront an accuser?
Hmmmm. If we think laws are unfair today, just wait until there are no laws or legal precedence to give people a fair hearing – and the ability to seek justice for crimes committed against them.
We are told victims who follow a specific political doctrine are more believable than others. It seems that, today, all men are guilty by association and must suffer the consequences of their thoughts, actions and behaviors. In truth, I suspect almost all men have engaged in inappropriate behavior at some point in their lives.
I certainly perpetuated that view when I warned my daughters from the moment they entered grade school that “all men are single-minded, self-centered pigs with delusions of godhood – not some, not most, not many, but all.” Just ask them. They heard it so often, they could recite it from memory.
Even in the workplace, the rules of sexual contact are being redefined. Listen in on any human resources presentation to new hires, and you’ll learn that “unwanted sexual contact” is not allowed. But, presumably, wanted sexual contact is still okay? How about ALL sexual contact is not allowed? You are there to work.
That begs a question. How does someone know sexual contact is unwanted until it is first proposed? Today, the simple act of suggesting a date – or a Tinder-inspired tryst – can be considered “unwanted” and the person making the suggestion can be classified as a “predator.”
The Kavanaugh Standard takes this a step further and eliminates the shield for age that allowed youthful indiscretion without long-range consequences. That’s why we don’t consider people to be “adults” until they are 18 years old. It is also why we have juvenile courts and expunge those records when a person turns 18.
Under the Kavanaugh Standard, men in their 50s and older can now be held responsible for their actions or beliefs during their teen years – the starting point of the Sexual Revolution when norms were changing like crazy.
Decades later, we can impose a new sense of morality, and use the new standard to disqualify and punish people based on what was once tolerated behavior.
This signals a seismic shift in societal norms. Men and boys don’t even have to commit a crime, they only need to have been present during a party at which a crime was committed. But, for now, we should ignore the crime of underage drinking by both sexes which impedes judgement and fogs memory.
Who is teaching they boys?
Today, we proclaim that even though norms have changed, the men – or boys – should have known better when they were young. Good manners are always a commendable trait. But, it is even more important today.
Why? Because most boys today are growing up without fathers. They are being raised by adults who are enjoying the benefits of the Sexual Revolution in that they can have relationships without commitment. But it also means exposing boys to men who have no commitment at all to an unmarried woman.
Men and women can bring their “partners” into their homes while children watch as mom and dad share their bedrooms with other adults who can easily be replaced when the relationships become difficult. It sends a very bad signal to young boys and teenagers. It is also sending a horrible message to girls.
Pornography is far more prevalent and degrading in 2018 than it was in 1972 when I saw my first Playboy magazine. Back then, NOBODY ever told me that pornography was wrong. Not my mother who caught me with a magazine. Not my father who had his own stash. Not my uncles, one of which bought me a Playboy calendar for Christmas when I was 16. Not the leaders of my Scout troop who borrowed magazines from the kids during camping events.
Who is training boys to become solid, honorable men? Better yet, who is telling boys and girls of all ages that lust is wrong and that sexuality should be confined to a committed marital relationship that isn’t easy to wiggle a way out?
If we are holding 50-year-old men responsible for things done decades ago at drunken teenage parties, who is teaching boys today to become responsible, respectful men? I know fathers bear most of the responsibility for the situation we are in today, but do moms share some of the responsibility? They have been raising boys on their own for decades.
For those boys raised by fathers, nearly 70 percent of dads have a problem with porn. For those kids raised in a church environment, 33 percent of pastors have viewed porn in the past 30 days. Statistics now show that one out of four women view porn regularly.
Who is instructing boys today that girls are not sexual objects when the boys witness their parents enjoying multiple sexual partners, and their classmates are willingly taking off their clothing and exchanging sexually explicit videos and pictures?
The answer is crystal clear.
Are we now – finally – ready to admit the Sexual Revolution was an all-out failure? Is it time for us to embrace Godly standards for relationships between men and women?
Human relationships are messy. They always have been and they always will be. Why? Because men and women are prone to sin and selfishness. We more easily gravitate toward sin than we seek righteousness. Liberating men and women from sexual morals does nothing but further exacerbate the problem.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” – Proverbs 14:8,12
Thanks to the Sexual Revolution, the evidence is clear that our society is dying, if it is not dead already.