Power corrupts in many ways…

A priest, a politician, and a Hollywood director walk into a bar. What do they have in common? If this is the start of a joke, it’s a very bad one, because there’s nothing good or funny about sexual perversion and exploitation. Is the reason found in our institutions? Maybe. But it’s surely found in powerful men taking advantage of their position, men who lust for victims and use their power to dominate them.

Jimmy Swaggart, Bill Clinton, Weinstein, Franken, Spacey, Donald Trump, Ailes, O’Reilly, Roy Moore (no relation, thank God), and many others have abused their power by sexually harassing and molesting victims…and more. Men doing that (it’s rarely women) aren’t uncommon, historically speaking—it’s been going on since Ugh the caveman clobbered another tribe’s cavewoman and hauled her off to his cave. Maybe it’s a manifestation of male human beings wanting to be the alpha male in the pack, which would make it even older…but that’s an oversimplification.

The men named above embarrass me. All men who do this embarrass me. Of course, they’re just as likely to harass and exploit other men who they consider inferior—I’ve seen and experienced a lot of that—but sexual exploitation makes it worse. Other men are just seen as competition by these jerks; the victims of sexual exploitation, all too often women, are treated as sexual objects to be dominated as an expression of their narcissism and virility. I’ve had it with them!

I’ve seen enough of it in my lifetime, to be sure, here and abroad. I’ve written about it in my stories because I find these actions deplorable and take some comfort that many of my readers share that view. The Texas killer had a domestic dispute? That’s man-talk excusing assault and battery and rape. How many killers start that way? One thing leads to another as a weak person thirsting for power finds exploitation and violence as an outlet. A boss offers to help a woman’s career if she’ll put out for him? Even the phrase “put out for him” is disgusting! A gang leader decides to have sex trafficking as a side business. A thug mugs and rapes a woman walking home from work. A DA babysits a fourteen-year-old and molests her. The same DA trolls shopping malls looking for teenagers and calls one out of her trig class, forcing her to date him. A comedian exposes himself and masturbates in front of women. Another comedian forces himself on a woman and has a pic taken of him groping her breasts. All this kind of behavior is sick and criminal. The list goes on and on.

And let’s not blame the victims, for God’s sake! One of Roy Moore’s defenses is to ask “why now?” In other words, why are these alleged victim coming forward after so many years? This alleged perpetrator (I hate the use of “alleged” when the cases are clear cut) continues with accusations of political attacks, making money from a lawsuit, or something else that is tantamount to blaming the victim. Let’s not do that! Let’s understand how the victim feels after such an event instead. Shamed, violated, unclean, exploited—all these words often mean the victim just wants to put the whole thing behind her and get along with her life, especially when she sees the perp is a man of power. Now wonder these women are afraid to come forward.

When one brave victim of the same pervert comes forward, the dike breaks and the pervert is justifiably swamped by a flood of his own creation, because, generally speaking, the perpetrator continues his sleazy ways if he gets away with the first abuse. And because he is often a powerful man, it takes courage to come forward, and that often happens when the victim sees she’s not alone. And, to top it all off, the pervert brags about his perverse behavior, as a certain president did on a video tape. His daughter came out against Roy Moore. What about her own father?

Much of human behavior is animalistic and irrational. Men’s behavior toward women or young men all too often shows how close we are to bestiality—there’s a thin veneer of civilized behavior that’s all too easy to strip off and expose the animal underneath. People often have trouble controlling their emotions, but men’s actions often go far beyond that: their actions are well thought out aggression to dominate and control. We all know histories about warring armies pillaging and raping. Some powerful men think they can be an army of one and feel empowered when they get away with it.

I don’t know if male human beings can ever get beyond this. But that has to happen. And excusing this kind of behavior has to stop!

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Rembrandt’s Angel (a mystery/thriller from Penmore Press). To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece? Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone goes the extra mile. She and paramour/sidekick Bastiann van Coevorden, an Interpol agent, set out to outwit the dealers of stolen art and recover “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a Rembrandt painting stolen by Nazis in World War Two. Their efforts lead to much more as they uncover an international conspiracy that threatens Europe. During their dangerous adventures, their relationship solidifies and becomes a full-blown romance. This book is available in ebook format at Amazon and Smashwords and the latter’s affiliate retailers (Apple, B&N, Kobo, etc). It’s also available as a print version at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore (if not there, ask for it). See the review and interview at Feathered Quill.

And so it goes….

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