There is a great difference between what Al Franken admits doing and the actions of Roy Moore. There is even a greater difference, however, between the actions of these two men and the rest of us who shake our heads and collectively ask, WTF? Why would a man touch or kiss a woman without her permission, much less masturbate in front of them?
For the record, I’m not perfect. Over the years, I’m sure I’ve said inappropriate things to a lot of people. But I always knew the line. You don’t touch people unless you have their permission. Of course there are non-verbal permissions between those with an already established pattern of intimacy, but if that confuses you, DON’T fucking touch someone!
Henry Kissinger once famously waxed, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” I don’t think he understood just how creepy that line of thinking is to people who aren’t in power. When Louis C.K. masturbated in front of women, young comedians who were hoping he might somehow help their careers, I’m pretty sure that “aphrodisiac” was the farthest thing from their minds. He was telling them, in no uncertain terms, how insignificant, at least in his mind, they really were.
Remember in “When Harry Met Sally,” when Billy Crystal’s character says, “It’s impossible for a man to be friends with a woman because he’s always sexually attracted to her and wants to bang her?” Well, that’s fucked up, and that’s the problem.
There are a lot of men, most men actually, who treat women with dignity and respect, and now it’s our responsibility to stand up to those who don’t. Shout them down, shame them, tolerate their behavior no more. We need to teach our sons, not with our words, but through our actions these simple lessons; to gain respect, you must show respect.
And for the record, these women are not Democrats, Independents, or Republicans. They’re our mothers, our sisters, and our wives.
It’s time for men to be men.