The “me, too” movement is a grand gesture that illuminates our awareness of sexual objectification in our culture and alerts us to how personal cravings, desires and the gratification of sexual pleasure empowers us to abuse our treatment of others. However, it only scratches the surface.
This is a social phenomenon that has existed from time immemorial perpetuated by a value system handed to one generation by another, century after century. We read about sexual exploitation and objectification in novel after novel, we see it in movies, on television, in advertising, magazines, video games, etc. We hear about it in our music, where men gather with men and where women gather with women, where ever bragging and gossip are the norm…and the list goes on. It’s as if such behavior warrants a “badge of honor.”
There is no doubt that one’s inflated ego and the need to exercise power and control over others is a dysfunctional use of our human potential and a by-product of life’s endured vicissitudes. Sadly, these individuals also suffer the absence of self-respect, an often neglected aspect of individual growth and development. Although their behavior may be understandable, it is inexcusable. Although prevalent, it is intolerable.
It is a societal issue that begs for change. It is a moral issue that leads to the decay of loving and respectful relationships. Does it begin with parents and the values they instill in their children? Does it begin with the clergy, teachers, writers, producers, and artists? Or does it begin with you and me to model the respect each of us is entitled to…and deserves? Is it incumbent upon the entertainment industry to sacrifice the almighty buck and to begin mirroring life with a moral code that aligns with the intent to treat others with kindness and human decency? Or as Thich Nhat Hanh recently asked, “Is it right for people to get rich producing products that are toxic for ourselves and our children”? How do we begin to reverse “centuries old” behavior to a conduct more befitting our true moral compass?
So although the "me, too" concept may be the start of a 10,000 mile journey, we have many steps to go! Someone once said “You cannot change what you refuse to confront” and that is a truth worth carving in gold!