What kind of person forces themselves onto another? I mean, how does that mind work? To force another person to comply… It amazes me how often I see it. I am not talking about the crime of rape. That is only one of the obvious and relatively rare examples of this phenomenon.
I am wondering how many times you’ve seen a so-called “strong personality: dominate the workplace, school ground, or anywhere else? They use coercion, implications, subtle or sometimes not-so-subtle threats. How often do the religious zealots demand we follow their holy writ? Or conversely how often does, say, the BLM demand that we obey their standards?
(Now as a minority I am certainly not knocking my team’s philosophy, only the delivery.)
So it shocks and horrifies me when I see the Governor of New York being accused of sexual misconduct. It makes sense of course. A big important man, wielding power and influence, doesn’t care about the little people, their thoughts, their feelings. He wants what he wants when he wants it. It happens all the time, doesn’t it?
As I was watching CNN go over the events and the timeline of Cuomo’s saga, some nagging thought occurred to me. I will summarize the Saga and perhaps it will occur to you also.
It all started with the covid pandemic. You’ll probably remember that there was a serious issue in New York nursing homes. A lot of the elderly were dying. Governor Cuomo was taking heat but as most skilled politicians do, he danced around culpability. Then a local state representative started looking into Cuomo’s part in those unfortunate deaths and he got political backlash for his efforts. Then allegations of sexual misconduct arose and the Governor was forced to resign. Not because of dead bodies but just allegations of sexual misconduct.
Does anything occur to you?
Okay. His brother, the CNN host, was trying to help him, as it’s only to be expected. He apparently defended his brother and criticized his accusers. He came under a lot of fire for that. People complained. People didn’t want him to do that but he continued. Then accusations of sexual misconduct are made (from 2005) and he gets fired.
Any thoughts now?
All righty. Remember when Trump was still in office? He nominated Judge Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court Justice. Obviously, the Democrats were against this conservative pick but the GOP had control so it was a done deal. Or was it? Allegations of sexual misconduct came about and nearly toppled the apple cart. It ultimately did not stop the appointment and it turned out to just be a big hack attack on the Judge’s reputation. But it could have turned out differently. It usually does.
Please tell me you can hear a bell ringing?!
Okay, then one last history lesson. In the late 1980s to early 1990s the Feds were working on shutting down a dozen or so super militant separatist militias. But the groups are closely knit. With no way to infiltrate these groups with an agent or turn one into an informant. The Feds were stuck. Then by some amazing coincidence, the leaders of these groups were all, separately, accused of some kind of sexual misconduct. Suddenly the groups broke open like overripe melons. The members all turned on their leaders.
There must be something now!
It happened to Joe Biden, Clarence Thomas, and dozens of hundreds of other famous people. At the point when someone was about to do or get something big and perhaps controversial an accusation of sexual misconduct would come up to ruin it or try to ruin it.
Perhaps my own life story allows me a certain perspective that many others lack. When I was 10 years old my mom remarried. My siblings and I hated our new dad he was a strict disciplinarian and I’m pretty sure stepdads are never welcomed by the kids in any case. After a couple of years of failing to convince our mom to get back together with our dad, we were stumped. Lost.
Now, this was in 1986 and child abuse was just starting to garner national attention. Teachers, counselors, parents, and they were constantly telling us to report touching and the like. So one day my sister comes home and tells my mom that her stepdad inappropriately touched her. He was instantly gone. No questions asked. We were all devastated about my sister’s abuse. It was a tragedy and we all felt it couldn’t get any worse. That’s what we thought.
A year later my sister confided in me and my mom that she had made it up just to make our stepdad leave. At the time I didn’t care, I had no moral compass. I was glad he was gone but my mom was rightfully horrified. That was the first time I had witnessed the accusation used as a weapon. My sister became a master of it. My step-dad turned out to be one of the best people I’ve ever known, had his life ruined by falsely malicious accusations.
So perhaps it is my own personal experience that allows me to see the possibility, even the inevitability of these allegations of sexual misconduct as being weaponized like tactical nukes. Kavanaugh, Biden, Cuomo, the list is long and sad. Much like the list of the victims of the witch trials around the world. I have two comments about it and neither are very popular.
First, we as a people, have become so entitled that we are willing to force our ways, our agendas, ourselves onto others. Like rape. I have been raped as a child and in prison. I know how horrible it is, the powerlessness, the hopelessness The sense that happiness is being destroyed forever. It is a feeling that never truly goes away.
I have been forced to do things, upon the threat of terrible consequences. Coercion. It is the same feeling, minus a shame that the element of sex introduces. When we are willing to ruin a person’s life if they will not do something that they don’t want to do. What do you call that? Doesn’t that make you a little sick?
Now, I’m not talking about the normal relationship between a boss and their employees or a teacher and their students, or a general and his troops. That’s a normal part of society, all societies. But to accuse someone of a crime, one our culture abhors, because they won’t do what we want? That’s just plain evil.
My second comment is that our society has declared a Witch Hunt. It is this mania, this witch-hunting mentality that has allowed for this whole descent into madness. Our society has always had a love-hate relationship with sex. We spend billions of dollars on it but if someone talks about it we get embarrassed, angry, we stammer, bluster or blush.
This psychosis extends into the legal system as well. If someone punches someone else and knocks them out they will get at the very most 7 years. If someone grabs someone’s “junk” they can get up to 20 years plus have to pay money (registration fees), for the rest of your life or go to prison. I know of one guy who strangled his girlfriend to death and got 15 to 30 years. I know of another person who slept with a drunk woman and got 14 to 28 years. Something seems a little skewed. How can physical injury and death be a greater crime than humiliation?
In my time I have met hundreds of people in prison for murder, many of them would have been charged with rape instead. But since you get the same amount of time they killed the victim. It’s crazy thinking. Why rape anyone to begin with? But our phobia of sex makes us prefer being a killer to a rapist. I’m sure some of you feel the same way. That’s crazy.
We are unbalanced, our judgment is skewed and, unfortunately for each of us, we are irrational. Just like during the witch-hunts.
If you doubt my words just ask any criminal attorney or look it up yourself, sexual misconduct requires no substantiating or corroborating evidence to convict. By law, an accusation is sufficient for conviction. Only ever has this been true during the witch hunts. Google it.
We have weaponized allegations of sexual misconduct.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, it really pisses me off. It demeans my own actual pain and suffering. You who falsely claimed to share my agony, mock me with your lies. I imagine those of us who have been abused feel similarly.
To stop the weaponization of rape allegations we must end the Witch Hunt. If we normalize sex offenses so that they are just a crime, like drug possession or assault, then the knee-jerk reactions regarding them will begin to ease. In time we can live in the relative safety of not living during the burning times.