Men who prey on women not only deserve public scrutiny, but also the full force of the law. Society, meanwhile, should deal truthfully with the impacts of the so-called sexual revolution, which has in some circumstances served as cover for predation.
This week, an investigation by The New York Times documented Hollywood juggernaut Harvey Weinstein’s sordid history with women. Allegations of unwanted advances, brazen propositioning and using his position as a blockbuster producer to promise career advancement in exchange for physical intimacy spans decades and includes at least eight documented settlements, according to the Times.
Yet, when Weinstein visited Utah for the Sundance Film Festival and people in Park City took to the streets to participate in January’s National Women’s March, Weinstein participated.
Weinstein took issue with the specific allegations noted in the Times but has nevertheless offered an apology for his past behavior.
In a similar shade of hypocrisy, this week U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, announced his resignation after revelations that the married, pro-life congressman encouraged his paramour to carry out an abortion during an unfounded panic about a possible pregnancy.
Add to this the news surrounding the death and depressing life details regarding Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner’s self-indulgence and servitude to smut, and one cannot help but think America needs a conversation about the often overlooked ill-effects associated with the so-called sexual revolution.
“The men’s sexual revolution, in which freedom meant freedom to take your pleasure while women took the pill, is still a potent force, and not only in the halls of Fox News,” Ross Douthat recently observed. “From Hollywood and college campuses to rock concert backstages and Bill Clinton’s political operation, it has persisted as a pervasive but unspoken philosophy in precincts officially committed to cultural liberalism and sexual equality.”
By supporting popular progressive causes — Hefner funded a major “First Amendment” award and Weinstein endowed a “Gloria Steinem” faculty chair at Rutgers University — there seems to exist a quid-pro-quo self-justifying philosophy in which one offers a sacrifice at the altar of social liberalism in exchange for a multitude of sins such as objectification of women and preying on others to satisfy prurient desires.
The Supreme Court has largely held that consenting adults have the right to make personal decisions regarding physical intimacy. However, the enthusiasts of the sexual revolution have too easily dismissed the genuine costs to women and men from the push to invent a sexual ethic entirely unmoored from the social bonds of committed marriages and engaged childrearing.