Throughout the summer and fall of 2017, it seems that every day a household name is being accused of (and generally admitting guilt to) sexual assault. On display has been an entire constellation of illegal and inappropriate behavior, from forcibly kissing someone to predatory child molestation.
Senators, members of Congress, entertainers, and business leaders: and this is just the famous people who warrant front page coverage. The vast majority of sexual assault is unreported and perpetrated by people who will never rise to national fame.
Women (and men) are not responsible in anyway for being subjected to sexual assault. We do not blame homeowners if their homes get burglarized. We do not blame businesses when they are robbed. If your car is stolen, we do not assume that you are basically at fault in some way: an undercurrent of assumption that you tempted the thief with your vehicle. We understand that these crimes are committed by criminals who need to be caught and subjected to an effective criminal justice and reform program.
Somehow in our society we have a tacit acceptance that sexual assault is different. It is not.
Men and women are people, and people deserve to be treated with basic human dignity. No one has a right to your body as they have no right to your home or vehicle. Worse, sexual assault tends to leave deep emotional trauma that is in a class of its own.
Sexual assault is a crime, and no one is above the law. We need to incise and discard the deplorable aspect of our culture and look at ourselves in the mirror with a hard stare.