Have we really come a long way?


Well my friends, you know by now that I love to have a good bone to pick at and today I have a mega one (maybe this is part of my cultural heritage since I was raised in Argentina chewing on barbecue bones from early childhood and loving them to this day.) And one of the things I love about this forum is that some of you love it, others hate it (I am not sure of that) and others, truly don't care, which is, of course, your prerogative.

In today's world, with everybody either a documentarist or autobiographist and above all, follower of reality TV as if that was truly life, even the most imaginative genius could not have dreamt of a gold mine as the one we have today: the sexual harassment endless saga.

But, before I continue, I do have a major disclaimer: I do not condone in any way, shape or form of any form of sexual abuse particularly when minors are involved, especially small children (shall we mention how social media and the internet have totally facilitated the predatory practices of pedophiles and pornographers? Well maybe later … ). But children are not the focus of the widespread media coverage - as always, they fall through society's cracks. Let us also mention that if the culprit is a female teacher who happened to have totally illegal relations with an underage student, she is quickly taken to court, sentenced to multiple years in prison and forgotten about. In this present public frenzy, when is the last criminal proceeding we have had with any of the male abusers? I am afraid that somebody may be asleep at the switch.

Another of the problems I have with this incessant coverage is that the coverage is for events that happened a long time ago. Where are the present ones? Is somebody going to tell me that sexual harassment or abuse has disappeared today and it is only a figment of history? Well friends, I don't think so.

Another big problem I have is, how come there are no males coming forward alleging sexual harassment or abuse from females in positions of power? Women may not have achieved yet as much as men, but we do have a few that could exploit their powerful positions. But therein lies the problem. The word du jour is "power." Somehow whatever is happening to poor, helpless females is a mere show of male power. Suddenly, the word power carries only a terribly negative connotation. Excuse me, what happened with the power to overcome misfortune? What happened with the inner power we all need to face the uncertain future? In today's health crisis, what happened with the power people need to overcome addiction? What happened with the power to overcome bigotry, racism and many other bad isms? That requires power (we could possibly use also the word "force" as an equivalent), inner, intellectual, emotional power, but in a totally homogenized society are we going to be able to distinguish between good and evil?

We may have come a long way but truthfully, no one knew how long the road was nor how difficult it would be to traverse it. It is not only necessary to wear comfortable shoes, we must be dressed accordingly for good and bad weather, for downpours and drought, for unexpected "hiccups" along the way, but above all we must never relinquish the power to be the masters or mistresses of our own destiny.

The Spanish version of this story is on Page C4.