When acceptable becomes unacceptable

By Joe Rector

Former Vice President Joe Biden was taken to the woodshed for allegedly having placed his hands on a woman’s shoulders, smelled her hair, and kissed her head. The outrage came swiftly, yet some women came to his defense to declare the man was not a sexual abuser or predator.

We’re in a world where too much sexual abuse does occur. Men, and women, on rare occasions, take advantage of others in their lives. They treat them like possessions instead of humans. The pain that they inflict lasts lifetimes. We have no place for that kind of thing in our world. I am the first to denounce such vile behavior by individuals.

What I wonder is when did acceptable become unacceptable? It appears that our world has lost all semblance of common sense. The slightest show of affection is considered intrusive and abusive. Joe Biden has not been a sexual abuser during his life. Yes, he’s been a “hugger,” something that didn’t used to be improper. For years, men were accused of being incapable of showing any emotions or affection. During those years, males were encouraged to let go of the “macho” image and to become sensitive, to be in touch with their feelings. Women wanted them to be able to cry or to physically show affection with hugs or pats.

Fast forward to today. Men who display those kinds of things now are abusers. Accusers claim males are overstepping their boundaries. Women feel uncomfortable when a man gives a quick hug or kiss on the cheek. The “Me Too Movement” has achieved great things by making the world aware of the sexual assaults from years ago. However, some folks have taken things too far by stereotyping all men as gropers and predators.

I blame much of this overreaction to the politically correct turn our society has taken. One group decides what is appropriate behavior and then damns anyone who doesn’t act as they like. Here’s a newsflash: most men aren’t the terrible life forms that some label them. Yes, some men take advantage of women, and they should be called out. The rest of us are attracted to women, love their company, and search for a partner with whom to share their lives. We are visual creatures who appreciate beauty. Women know this because they spend time, effort, and money to look nice. Yet, some cry foul when a man acknowledges that beauty by smiling, looking, or touching an arm, shoulder, or hand.

I hope that this world doesn’t go back to that time when a man had to ask permission to hold a woman’s hand, to put his arm around her shoulder, or hug or kiss her. Most guys already are nervous when they attempt these things with dates and don’t need to be scared to even bump into a female.

I know things are much different than they were when I was a young man. Women are equal partners in all phases of life. We men must respect them and their wishes. Any man who makes unwanted sexual advances toward a woman should be dealt with harshly. At the same time, women must realize that not every hug or kiss can be considered a sexual assault. What is important is that we don’t become so rigid in our thinking that all kindness and affection become suspect.

I will offer a couple of comments on the Lucy Flores interview. She managed to comment on how she believed that other Democratic presidential candidates would be better representatives in light of her accusations. In a single line, she managed to make an accusation look more like a political move than a complaint. At the same time, a photo later revealed that she had her arm draped around the neck of Bill Clinton. Is she committing the same act for which she condemns Joe Biden?

 

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