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#MeToo might make a difference but nothing will change unless our the way we manage our sexuality changes.

#MeToo might make a difference but nothing will change unless our the way we manage our sexuality changes.

Are things going to be different for my daughters?

It seems like something might actually be shifting in the relationship between men and women.

In a world where the moral compass has felt like it was spinning out of control, the hashtag #metoo has become a vehicle of protest that seems actually to be heard…

It is almost like each story of men using women as objects to gratify themselves hit a little bit harder and Harvey Weinstein was the tipping point where women around the world began to speak up.

I was fascinated to see CNN host Jake Tapper blurt out his shock at what he saw on social media.  With a stunned tone,  he told the latest victim of abuse he was interviewing that it felt like every woman he knew was sharing a #MeToo story.

Initially, commentators were saying it couldn’t last and nothing would change. Too often we have seen public outrage dissipate within a week no matter how outrageous the story seemed to be.This time, however, it seems that just as one story began to fade, another took its place. A single wave has seemingly turned into a tide… at least I hope it has.

I have two beautiful daughters who are getting ready to make their way in the world.  I hope and pray for their sakes that things actually are changing.

There is one major concern for me as I watch these stories unfold.  It seems that we are rewarding those who cover up and deny their historic actions and punish those who come clean.

Senator Al Franken and Louis CK both declared their own guilt and remorse in response to allegations. Both have been hammered by commentators and CK has already paid a stiff penalty in lost career opportunities.

An Alabama Senate Candidate and the current President responded quite differently. When presented with charges that seem significantly more serious than Franken and CK, both Roy Moore and Donald Trump have issued denials in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Louis C.K. had a movie cancelled. Donald Trump became President.

There is a real danger that men all around the world will be learning the wrong lesson. Rather than facing their own tendency to objectify women, men will be seeing that they can get away with horrible abuse as long as they are not honest.

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I might not love everything that Mike Pence stands for, but I’m impressed at his self awareness and choice to recognize his own limitations.

I might not love everything that Mike Pence stands for, but I’m impressed at his self awareness and choice to recognize his own limitations.

Vice President Mike Pence has been causing a stir with his strategy to maintain his committment to his wife.

Apparently Vice President Mike Pence has a policy to never eat alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her either.

Pence’s policy is very similar to one adopted by Billy Graham at the start of his ministry (which came to be known as the Billy Graham rule). The revelation of Pence’s strategy in a Washington Post story last week has caused quite a stir. The Post article was simply re-stating something that was printed 15 years ago however publications like Fortune and Newsday have slammed Pence, and, as the Atlantic pointed out some celebrities have responded very strongly.

What’s the big deal you might ask?

From time to time I listen to an Australian radio program called “The Minefield” in which two guys (usually with a guest) try to tackle some of the most complex moral issues. Waleed Aly is a Moslem and Scott Stephens obviously has some kind of Christian heritage, but they try to tackle the issues from a secular/philosophical framework.  This week they were talking about Mike Pence’s policy.

Something Waleed Aly said got me thinking. He suggested that Mike Pence’s strategy to manage risk in the area of his sexuality is so offensive because it challenges the myth that “sexual desire and even sexual behaviour is something that is entirely at the mercy of our own self control.”

Aly points out that we all know that “sex sells” and works at a level that is “pre-logical,” yet as a culture we have a deep economic interest in objectifying people and the belief that there is no moral effect in this approach to sexuality.  He suggested;

I wonder if what Pence is doing is articulating, just kind of, a radically different view of these things that doesn’t fit with the conceit of late capitalism and we don’t like it very much so we strike out against it in these kind of virulent ways.

I was fascinated by the dialogue and the insight into one of the big lies that seems to go unchallenged in our society…

What Mike Pence did in putting in a structure to avoid the possibility of temptation was actually an acknowledgement of the fact that all of us can be put in situations where we don’t make the choices we would ordinarily want to make.

The myth of self control is that a person is able to make fully rational choices at all times. We can’t, and we don’t. 

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