The last few months have been rife with news headlines reporting on numerous allegations of sexual misconduct by notable male figures in the realm of Hollywood, the business world and political sphere. Yesterday, The Financial Times released a series of articles shedding light on multiple instances of highly successful men groping and sexual harassing women at the Presidents Club 33rd Annual Dinner held at London’s Dorchester hotel.
What does all of this mean? My mind is immediately drawn to the sense these allegations put on display what we've been reticent to acknowledge:
"We've treated human sexuality too lightly and are reaping the effects."
For years we've taken our sexuality and given certain entities including Hollywood, the porn industry, the music industry and more a pass to normalize the objectification and exploitation of human sexuality for the sake of entertainment, pleasure and profit. We've rationalized this exploitation as a part of a broader means of sexual freedom and expression, yet cared less about the very real emotional, relational, neurological and cultural consequences that follow.
In this sense, are we really surprised when we hear a clip of male "locker room talk" or learn of women accusing men of sexual misconduct? Honestly, we should be, because in our conscience we know it's wrong. However, if we say it's wrong, are we willing to tolerate the ongoing devaluation of male and female sexuality in any domain?
In the end, our actions will tell the truth of what we really believe.
Update: On January 24th, The Financial Times released an article stating the "President's Club...announced it would close after being denounced in parliament and disavowed by the charities it supported."