Sexual harassment

Recently, a woman friend and former colleague asked me what insight I might have into the current sexual harassment issue in America. I have no special insight into what is happening in our crazy, sad world. Only God knows. There has always been a dark side to our culture, and every culture I know about, with regard to sexuality. I didn’t handle mine very well either. We make way too much of it, in both expression and repression, in flaunting and in denial, in shamelessness and shame. The example of our current president is of no help here.

Women have suffered more, but men too have been and are oppressed by cultural expectations and historic patterns that are not caring or kind. Sometimes, less often, women’s desires and actions have been and are disordered, and this has also contributed to men’s “permission" to be disordered too.

Both genders and all sexual orientations are responsible to be caring, faithful, and non-exploitive. This requires a degree of diligent self-awareness and the ability to mindfully manage our emotions. Not easy to come by without therapy or a deep spiritual practice.

We all make mistakes, even serious ones. I know of no one who hasn't. We also need what the New Testament calls repentance, a sincere intention to lead life differently from now on, facing up to the people we have wronged, whenever possible, and a willingness to give and receive forgiveness.

Very limited wisdom here.

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