Fight boys-will-be-boys mentality
The allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore involving sexual misconduct, intimidation and coercion are only symptoms of a boys-will-be-boys mentality that pervades our culture, excuses sexual discrimination, degradation and assault, and protects predators.
It is why so many Americans turned a deaf ear to Donald Trump's obscene comments concerning women; why Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby got away with their escapades for so long; why Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Rudy Giuliani and Bill Clinton get a pass when it comes to marital infidelity; why Anthony Weiner's “sexting” scandal was viewed as no big deal; and why college student Austin Wilkerson could rape a woman and serve no jail time.
Every time we rationalize that “innocent” locker-room banter, laugh off that bar-room joke, hand a “pass” to the politician, celebrity or athlete who verbally or physically assaults a woman, or “let it slide” because we're hanging out with the boys, we send a clear message to our sons, nephews, brothers and friends that it is OK to denigrate, objectify and abuse women.
High-profile men like Moore, Weinstein, Trump and Cosby are easy targets for our outrage. However, our moral indignation is hypocrisy if we don't actively challenge the boys-will-be-boys attitude that has infected our society.
If we don't directly confront our peers and purposefully teach our sons differently, then it should come as no surprise when the next women to be sexually abused and assaulted are our wives, sisters and daughters.
Keith G. Kondrich