Sex is an equal opportunity destroyer.
Very few people don’t have significant sexual desires. That isn’t meant to be dirty or shocking. When controlled by self-discipline and confined to a committed relationship, those desires are a normal part of a healthy, happy life.
Unfortunately, while everyone has sexual desires, not everyone controls those desires.
History will not look kindly on 2017. The new president’s administration is known mainly for lying spokespeople. The deadly racist Charlottesville rally, terror attacks and now serial sexual abusers are being found on both sides of the political spectrum and across several industries.
For years, those in authority had all of the power. No matter what they did to women — or very rarely men — their position and their powerful friends protected them.
Rumors abounded that John F. Kennedy was a scoundrel in office. It was a different time in the media and many reporters left those tales untold. The rise of the internet changed that by the time Bill Clinton was in office. His dalliance with Monica Lewinsky may have been consensual, but not many corporate human resource manuals would look favorably on the CEO "having sexual relations" with a female subordinate. Clinton also faced multiple charges from women who say his sexual advances toward them were anything but consensual.
Why would a man who was governor of Arkansas and president of the United States risk those positions for fleeting gratification? Obviously, because he thought he would both enjoy it and get away with it.
He was right.
Even George H.W. Bush is now accused of groping women during photo opportunities as his age advanced and his health declined.
President Donald Trump was recorded bragging about his sexual impropriety.
Al Franken is a senator on the Democratic side of the aisle who has been accused of forcibly kissing a comedy tour co-star and getting handsy while getting cozy with women for photos.
Franken has apologized in generalities and claimed that he never intended to be sexually inappropriate, but I wonder how many people have grabbed, patted or groped women’s backsides while being photographed? That’s hard to defend even though many are defending him.
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore married a woman who was 15 years his junior but his supporters would have us believe there is no truth to a handful of women recalling being underage girls molested by Moore when he was about 15 years older than them. I don’t know how you believe that those women lied when his marriage is basically proof that this is the age group he preferred to "date."
Add to all of these alleged abusers Texas Congressman Joe Barton. Barton isn’t accused of abusing anyone, but he did send some of the least sexy photos to extra-marital romantic partners and believing they wouldn’t be made public. That was an incorrect belief.
Beyond politics, some of the most powerful people in Hollywood and in several other industries are facing their reckoning for horrible things they did to women over whom they had some power.
I have no problem believing any of these women. I want to believe some of them are lying, but I don’t know many women who want to become famous as "that woman who was raped by ..." And when they do come forward, supporters of the men in power attack the victim in every way possible in an attempt to discredit her.
That just isn’t a position I would put myself in if I weren’t telling the truth.
This is a long overdue reckoning. There is no party line it won’t cross. There is no industry it can’t touch.
Women finally have a weapon to use in the fight. There is strength in numbers and, due to the number of men who have abused their position and the people who work with them, there are a number of victims who are no longer forced into silence.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.