Rethinking Cultural Attitudes Towards Sex and Violence

The recent stories of sexual harassment being shared through the #MeToo campaign and allegations against Washington, Hollywood and Olympics bigwigs is an opportunity to correct harmful cultural perceptions of sex and violence, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

Sigmund Freud published his book Civilization and Its Discontents in 1930. Having witnessed World War I, Freud knew that discontent was part and parcel of the human condition. The question he sought to answer was why that was so.

“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli, 1781. Oil on Canvas. The painting has been used to symbolize sexuality and the unconscious mind.

The short answer he came up with goes like this:

Human beings have instinctual drives such as sex and violent aggression – expressions of the Id. Left unchecked they would destroy any hope of settled life and high culture. According to Freud, civilization is the vehicle humans have created to control these inherent drives. Civilization and its various component cultures create rules and regulations– as well as feelings of remorse and guilt (expressions of a culturally attuned Superego) – that result in either suppression or sublimation of these primitive drives.

However, the results are not perfect, especially when it comes to controlling violent aggression. Indeed, as a consequence of the mass slaughter that was World War I, Freud came to the conclusion that human beings have a deep and permanent “death wish.” Even at less drastic levels of aggression, most societies experience frequent episodes of domestic violence, and the high degree of across-the-board neuroses.

In the Freudian scheme, control of the instinctual sexual drive (itself another form of aggression) is supposed to be a bit easier. Eros can be sublimated into the creation of beauty (art) as well as various intellectual achievements. Yet here too, what has been evolved are imperfect controls, especially when encapsulated in cultures that promote male domination.

If one does not like Freud’s ideas, the whole issue of the activation and control of aggression and sex can be looked at in terms of brain function. In other words, our brains have evolved to promote survival and reproduction – originally in the pre-state, pre-tribal primate bands of distant prehistory. These tasks involve multiple parts of the cortex and amygdala, thalamus and hypothalamus, and so forth. There is one area of the brain that is particularly important in keeping instinct from running amok – the prefrontal cortex. Slow to mature (it is not fully on-line until one’s mid-twenties) it is this part of the brain that exercises “executive function.” It encourages you “to do the right, though perhaps harder, thing.”

The Role of Culture

Despite the fact that the physical manner in which most individuals experience these primitive and instinctual drives is similar, culture makes a difference in how aggression and sexual urges are expressed. For instance, most of the world’s cultures are patriarchal. That is, they overtly assign authority, both in the public realm and private, to men. Men are supposed to exercise that authority within the confines of their culture’s rules and regulations. Sometimes these are relatively strict, damping down the “macho” impulses that rationalize aggressive physical and sexual behavior. More often they condone or even encourage “macho.”

Keep in mind that the assignment of authority is the assignment of power, and power is the ability to act with aggression. Thus, in a patriarchy, it is with men that the issue of control is most immediate. If there are not sufficient mechanisms within such cultures that identify specific aggressive behavior as unacceptable, or promote public shaming, or just generate a heck of a lot of remorse and guilt, you are going to have high degree male recklessness – everything from schoolyard bullying to criminal violence, as well as the sexual “acting out” we now see as not just rape, but also sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment as a Worldwide Problem

The common definition of sexual harassment is as follows: “uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (such as an employee or student).” The legal definition in the U.S. pertains chiefly to the workplace, where the unwelcome approach has the connotation of blackmail – something like, “Do this with me or you won’t get promoted.” There are also a myriad number of state and local laws that cover a wide range of situations. Many of these have been on the books only since the 1960s and, unfortunately, are not uniformly enforced.

It is hard to get exact numbers unless you start adding up the results of hundreds of surveys and polls that address the whole range of harassment-related situations. And these only give you the approximate numbers of reported incidents. Time magazine had a series of particularly scandalous cases at Cornell and Harvard Universities in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and came up with an estimate that “as many as 18 million American females were harassed sexually while at work in 1979 and 1980.”

If this estimate is anywhere near accurate, the problem of sexual harassment has to be huge. We know it can’t be just a U.S. problem. It has to be a worldwide phenomenon.

Sad to say, such a horrid diagnosis should not be surprising if sexual aggression stems from evolution-based drives and societal accommodation to this primal instinct through the encouragement of machismo male characteristics.

What To Do?

If in nothing else, Freud was correct in seeing that culture is, albeit imperfectly, our only plausible line of defense. It takes on this role by serving as a guide for the prefrontal cortex – a guide to the “right, though harder, thing to do.” The problem is that, to date, patriarchal cultures have not defined the protection of the subordinate gender as a necessarily “right” thing. They are more interested in directing male aggression into pathways compatible with patriarchal power structures. In other words, the guide is corrupt.

Although this is the way it is, it is not the way it has to be. It is possible to reshape cultural concepts. For better or worse, religions and empowered ideologies have been doing this for a long time. However, their targets have not been male aggression, sexual or otherwise.

But now we may have a window of time when this important subject can be rethought – rethought to the end of improving the cultural assistance given to the mature prefrontal cortex. Along these lines, here are some potential steps to consider. All should be pursued in a non-ideological way. Let’s keep religion and politics out of these efforts, and let science and evolutionary awareness be our tutors.

— Educate both men and women about the nature of the primitive instincts they are subject to. As it is, most individuals grow up without having a clue about what they are experiencing. Explain the need to manage these instinctual urges in reasonable ways. Explain that this means maintaining responsible cultural values.

— Sexual egalitarianism should be implemented by law and then taught as “what is right” from kindergarten through college. The gender biases inherent in patriarchy should be seen as part of an unfortunate past history – like racism.

— Devise instructional lessons to prepare young folks for serious relationships and marriage based on egalitarian principles. Such lessons should be at least as detailed as those needed to get a driver’s license.

— Use the media to create a popular cultural environment that strongly condemns sexual harassment and other forms of aggression. The media should encourage serious remorse among bullies and harassers.

Do these suggestions sound like some civil authority should be allowed to shape how we think? Sorry, but in every culture, past and present, something like that has always been the case. You can also safely assume that those primitive instincts have always been playing with your mind.

And what have all the age-old, status quo cultural rules brought us so far? Civilization? Well, perhaps. But it is a civilization that still suffers periodic outbreaks of aggressive violence and rationalizes a tradition of unwanted sexual behavior abetted by patriarchal values. Not surprisingly, current laws, as they reflect the current state of culture, haven’t been very effective holding either form of aggression back.

Now that the sexual harassment genie seems to have escaped the bottle, we can see the problem more clearly. It’s time to pursue serious culture renovation – to take on those primitive instincts and thoughtfully develop better, non-doctrinaire cultural ways to manage them. One thing is for sure, they are not going to go away on their own.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism. He blogs at www.tothepointanalyses.com.

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38 comments for “Rethinking Cultural Attitudes Towards Sex and Violence

  1. Delia Ruhe
    January 29, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    The #MeToo wave will pass, just as does each wave of anger at the absence of rational gun laws, if nothing is done this time to get men to grow up. So long as there are men who do not question the assumption that access to women is one of the perqs of having power and authority in the workplace, there will be sexual predators among them, some of whom will learn the hard way — i.e., when women get fed up and start outing the Harvey Weinsteins and the Charlie Roses — that patriarchy also eats its sons.

    We can see how easy it is to enable sexual predation — even encourage its spread — when we hear of predatory priests who get passed on from parish to parish rather than excommunicated and made answerable for their crimes against children. All kinds of excuses are made for this behaviour: vows of chastity are too cruel; the priesthood is a magnet for homosexual men; in the all-male culture of the church, men to not get proper access to women. Such excuses are the product of denial that men in positions of authority often operate under the assumption that access to sex with those of lesser power is one of the perqs of the profession.

    A predatory priesthood is also evidence that patriarchy is not a case of the oppression of women by men, although that can be one consequence of it. Indeed, patriarchy is all about the shifting power relationships among groups of men. Whether it’s the emperor and his imperialist court’s power over white colonials and colonized non-whites; the corporate class and the billionaires’ power over the professional class, the working class, and the underclass; or whether it’s the top patriarchs and privileged heterosexuals’ power over heterosexual men of lesser power, heterosexual women, individuals of alternative sexualities and genders, what really counts is the interface of power and sexual privilege. And that is what needs to be addressed before the current wave of outrage dies out and we all return to business as usual.

  2. Anon
    January 28, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    The basic definition of harassment is unwanted contact. If I want to force you to do something against your will, that is harassment. By the time one is an adult, it should be obvious that forcing myself on another is not socially acceptable. I think you learn this basic lesson as a child.

    Being a female and having been on the receiving end of this behavior my entire life, I can only say that men who act like this are immature, emotionally stunted, disturbed or suffer from personality disorders. But there is also a component where men who act like this are NOT punished, so it is perpetuated. It is “acceptable” or even considered macho.

    • Greg Schofield
      January 30, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      “The basic definition of harassment is unwanted contact”. No it is not!

      Harassment is repeated contact after it has been made clear (by word of sign), that it is unwelcome.

      Not liking something is life.

  3. Pumpkin
    January 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, that was a chilling article. Straight up authoritarianism, “implemented by law and then taught as “what is right” from kindergarten through college.”

    Fuck this guy, and everything he stands for. At least Hilary gives lip service to democracy. Authoritarianism is never the answer.

    • Tim Chambers
      January 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      How a society sets norms of behavior is a difficult problem to deal with. Should it be done in the schools, or through the media and workplace ‘culture’? I would argue that the schools already have too much to deal with, and should be focused on identifying and developing students’ individual competencies, rather than instilling ‘correct’ social values. To a large extent that can be done by insisting on honesty and fair play (which covers pretty much everything,) but deciding what specific social values to adhere to is a matter for a public conversation, in which all voices can be heard.

  4. Lucifer
    January 27, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    The problem of sex and violence in society are the direct result of power. Therefore, the main problem is too much power in the hands of individuals. Another problem is a human society that does not value women as equal to men. There is NO COUNTY ON EARTH where women are valued as much as men – and that is the problem – even in science – which should know better – women are viewed as inferior. The final problem is money. If all people were born with equal rights and rights to sustenance they would have equal protection from power and sexual assault and violence would decrease. But this is not what occurs. Instead we have a bunch of humans on Earth, majority men but also many women in positions of power, who think it is their right to treat others as inferior to them, which is why homelessness and poverty continue although the resources are available to stop both. In actuality, all humans are the same. They have the same role on planet Earth – to make it a better place. And people in power on this planet had better wake up to the reality that driving people around the world into poverty and stripping them of their rights using sociopathic tactics in business and military operations is going to cause the end of the human race.

    Humans should be careful who they allow into positions of power and the types of leaders in business and government they support with their currency and their voices. Look around you at what happens when power is given to the wrong people and those people begin pulling the levers of power. Then ask yourself how long the aliens running the experiment on this planet are going to continue running this experiment until they decide it is a waste of time and pull the plug using a giant asteroid that NASA and the ESA and JAXA will be powerless to stop.

    Not long is the answer. So, now it is time for the “leaders” on this planet to wake up to the reality that they are not in control. As they are going to soon learn because the people and animals in all countries want to be free of the globalist nonsense that is human elite sociopathic control.

    https://gizmodo.com/reminder-amazon-treats-its-employees-like-shit-1792642652
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/17/facebook-trending-news-team-curators-toxic-work-environment
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/01/military-obscures-bloodshed-number-civilians-killed-us-bombs-soaring-say-watchdogs
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/28/saudi-led-airstrikes-yemen-war-united-nations
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/04/joblessness-and-opioids/523281/
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/01/yes-violent-crime-spiked-sweden-since-open-immigration/

  5. Myles Hagar
    January 27, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Self-control and rational decisions are not possible when the mind is impaired and the body poisoned by the vast array of drugs used in the culture which encourages and normalizes this.

  6. Joe Tedesky
    January 27, 2018 at 11:04 am

    All I can remember, is my mother telling me as she send me out into the world, was ‘to be nice, and always look like you are going somewhere’.

    • Tim Chambers
      January 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      I would modify that to ‘look like you know where you’re going.’ Looking like ‘you’re going somewhere’ won’t get you anywhere you want to go.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 27, 2018 at 10:29 pm

        Funny.

  7. Skip Scott
    January 27, 2018 at 9:17 am

    When I was growing up, it was completely acceptable for the husband to say he was “the man of the house”. In today’s world (at least in the west) it will get you laughed at. Change happens slowly, but it does happen. Part of the problem is that Hollywood still glamorizes the “macho” male, and the “seductive” female. Mutual attraction based on equality needs to be promoted more effectively in the entertainment industry for it to become the predominant social mindset.

    The shaming of the #MeToo movement is a good start, but I worry about it turning into a McCarthyistic undertaking where evidence and the rule of law goes out the window. There are reasons to hate a man other than sexual harassment, and I suspect that some of the ostracized men may actually be innocent. We need to be careful going forward that charges are substantiated.

    Also hand in hand with this new equality must be equal pay in the workplace, and a reworking of divorce statutes. Many men have become scared to death of marriage after seeing friends “taken to the cleaners” in divorce settlements. Child support is one thing, but many alimony settlements are horribly skewed. I have friends whose wives cheated on them, then filed for divorce and got a substantial alimony and half their pension. We need to make societal changes that address injustices for both men and women.

  8. Steven A
    January 27, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Bernstein presents us with feminist-inspired cardboard cut-out notions of patriarchy as if completely unaware of the strong components of gynocentrism in human nature, and in the development of cultures.

    For balancing views, see e.g.

    [1] ICMI’17 Karen Straughan – Evolutionary Realities
    [2] #MeToo: Justice or Lynch Mob? Prof. Janice Fiamengo
    [3] The Unmaking of Albert Schultz
    [4] Jordan Peterson #MeToo
    [5] #MeToo and Feminists’ Male Chastity Crusade – Part 3

    • Steven A
      January 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Oops, I meant to refer to the author of the article above, who is Lawrence Davidson. Apologies for the misidentification.

  9. Jimbobla
    January 27, 2018 at 7:25 am

    You frame your claim as one of a cultural nature, but then suggest that the threat of state violence (laws) should be used to enact these changes. You are being disingenuous in your claim. “Rethinking Cultural Attitudes Towards Sex and Violence” should be “Rethinking Laws Towards Sex and Violence”. You wish to use the threat of violence to change the way we think of violence. Not very well thought out. This is the problem with the left. The club in the hand is always part of the argument.

    • January 28, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Laws (at least SOME of them) exist to respond to HARMS DONE TO PEOPLE. Perhaps, for some men the threat of “the club in hand” is the ONLY way they will take a woman’s NO for an answer. A number of polls taken of college age men found that when asked “if you knew there would be NO CONSEQUENCES if you forced a woman to have sex, would you do it?” over HALF said YES they would force a woman to have sex (which is sexual assault./rape). What’s YOUR solution to widespread sexual harassment in the workplace and sexual abuse/sexual assault in society?

  10. john wilson
    January 27, 2018 at 5:31 am

    The only thing I have to say on this currently popular topic is: those who are now coming forward, complaining and getting themselves into the lime light, were adults when the allegations they claim took place, so they new what they were doing at the time. Lets face it, they were offered parts in show biz for favours on the casting couch. They could have just walked away, but had they done so, they would have walked away into obscurity. “you pays your money, you takes your choice” as the saying goes.

  11. godenich
    January 27, 2018 at 2:30 am

    “Do these suggestions sound like some civil authority should be allowed to shape how we think? Sorry, but in every culture, past and present, something like that has always been the case.”[1-5]

    [1] 10 Teachers Who Seduced Their Students | Youtube
    [2] 10 Things Students Did To Pass Exams | Youtube
    [3] The New Dumbness, by John Taylor Gatto | Youtube
    [4] Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes | Jacques Ellul | 1965| internet archives
    [5] Propaganda, Jacques Ellul, and the Negation of the Political | Youtube

    • godenich
      January 27, 2018 at 4:42 am

      … while the Davos beat goes on[1]

      [1] Sexual Harassment Became a Topic of Discussion at the World Economic Forum | Forturne | 2018

  12. Annie
    January 27, 2018 at 1:50 am

    I don’t know why Lawrence Davidson dragged Freud into explaining cultural dynamics, since for the most part Freud’s take on things has lost a lot of credibility in academic circles. Not to mention in the feminist movement where he’s been renamed F**k. I certainly think some of his ideas are valid, however most of them are not. Living things are driven by survival, and there is no underlying death wish among humans, or any life form. Who we are as individuals is a combination of nature and nurture. Even if I simply stay in the present and look at America’s cultural and political turmoil I place the blame on a bunch of alpha chimps, be they male or female, who have run amok and whose agenda is to dominate the world in their quest for power, and wealth which resides in the resources of other countries, as well as their own.

    • orwell
      January 27, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Annie, are you an experienced psychologist or psychiatrist or psychoanalyst???
      You announce that there is no death drive, or Thanatos, as Freud called it.
      Well, many people, critical thinkers, would completely disagree with you.
      What arrogance you display !!! With all due respect, your ignorance is very sad.
      Your saying something doesn’t make it so. Education, real in-depth education,
      promoting and teaching critical thinking, is absolutely necessary in order to engage in
      serious discussion of serious issues.

      • Annie
        January 27, 2018 at 8:24 pm

        Mr. Orwell, I am not the one who is ignorant here, but suggest you are. As a matter of fact I do have a degree in clinical counseling and from a school whose orientation was Freudian based. Although my career has been teaching in the field of environmental science. I don’t discount all of Freud’s work, but in many things he was in error. Even within the field of psychoanalysis there is a great deal of controversy over this issue. You read up on it. Using my background in biology it really becomes a ridiculous assertion that any life form, including humans has any drive toward self destruction.. Let the psychoanalyst’s and philosophers spin all they want, but it’s a fairy tale.

        • Skip Scott
          January 28, 2018 at 8:26 am

          Wonderful reply, Annie. I would say Mr.Orwell needs to look in the mirror to see arrogance on display.

          • Annie
            January 28, 2018 at 1:43 pm

            Thanks Skip.

      • Gregory Herr
        January 27, 2018 at 10:13 pm

        The concept of the death drive was one of the most controversial concepts introduced by Freud, and many of his disciples rejected it. Way off base dude.

        • Annie
          January 27, 2018 at 10:37 pm

          Thanks Gregory.

  13. Chumpsky
    January 27, 2018 at 1:27 am

    I too, disagree with nearly everything—in this short-sighted article. The issue should not be how do we reconcile “primitive instincts” of human nature in advanced societies, but how do we utilize the demonstrated successes of unfamiliar cultures in maintaining positive relations between the sexes within the context of our own Western culture.

    All forms of modern socialist and capitalist society will never develop nor display an effective way for the sexes to relate. “Responsible cultural values” are not implemented in a majority, hierarchical or paternalistic top-down way, except in the worst type of dehumanizing political systems. We’ve already seen them flow from the barrel of a gun in our lifetimes, and Freud saw them emanate from the decay of European empires. Freud’s pessimism over humanity resulted from his experience in an attempt to rationalize the unexplainable horrors of what was universally believed to be an advanced culture. Neither too, is education over “primitive instincts” useful for aiding our personal relations. There’s no need for discourse on developing theory or practicum here—only transactional activity where learning is achieved by experiencing directly with the unfamiliar (or with the opposite sex) and reaching a win-win solution for each.

    A more appropriate approach would be to examine traditional cultures that are or were in balance. The cultural values of a number of these societies are renewing and self-fulfilling—without any degradation of the relationship between the sexes. Many Native Americans lived in harmony with their environment because they respected it. Hence, the respect for each gender flowed naturally as well. The values beholden of many Native Americans are the only ones that can prevent multiple forms of sexual harassment, physical and mental abuse, misogyny, etc. because people are not perceived as objects of one’s personal exploitation nor priced as a commodity for same. While some may find it all too convenient to dismiss the conquered as primitive, backwards, obsolete or irrelevant to the current crisis, there is a tremendous wealth of sophistication in them that has an important lesson that we should heed before we attempt to invent another solution to sex and violence.

  14. mark
    January 26, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    In London recently there was a charity function attended by top business people.
    Young women were hired for £200 to act as escorts.
    They were given see through mini dresses to wear which showed their underwear.
    Surprisingly enough, after a night’s drinking some of the men started groping the women.
    Shock, horror, gasp.
    Cue moral outrage all round.

  15. Greg Schofield
    January 26, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Nothing bespeaks the need for mature political theory as does this article. Snatching at Freud in such a way is not serious, Freud did not suggest psychological cures for social problems, What held the Id in check was the Ego, what makes the Ego IS NOT EDUCATION, but social life.

    Stay with Freud just a little, if you totally suppress the Id, the desires that make us human, which include sexual drive and physicality then there would be mass violent psychosis. If an argument is to be used do not cherry-pick it. Freud has a lot to offer, but this has been carefully avoided and it just cannot be stretched to the extent it has been.

    Here is the trick, social and cultural tolerance, which means that things will happen that offend, that we do not like, that we would rather not put up with, but we tolerate such things — it’s called life!

    The wowesers of the world disunite, we need robust societies where people are expected to show by word or sign that something is unwelcome with the expectation that the other should desist. We should not accept that all should follow the same behavior, only that whatever that behavior has bounds. People should not need to seek permission before doing something, rather they need to stop when told to; that is if what they are doing seriously effects another — which is what has been done in all societies throughout history.

    When more women and children are suffering, when the US supports mercenaries who actually practices sex slavery, when millions have been forced to leave their homes, escape being killed, and live under insufferable conditions — women suffer more, really suffer. suffer in unimaginable ways.

    If anyone dare suggest they are a feminist or for that cause and do not put these women, whose agony is caused by Western societies at the top of the list pushing all else aside — they are not for women they are for the torturers of women.

    This new wave of fake-feminism has no heart of compassion, it is the feminism of managers it is the power-ploy of the middle, the comfortable and well-off. They are the most offensive abusers of women kind by their neglect of the suffering of real women in the pursuit of madness, please enough of this, no more.

  16. John Neal Spangler
    January 26, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    The Khmer Rouge instituted many of these ideas about sexual equality and ending patriarchy and look what happened there. Freud was a cocaine addict and charlatan, most of whose theories have been proven false. Modern psychology dismisses Freud.

    • Zachary Smith
      January 26, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Modern psychology dismisses Freud.

      Modern psychology also tolerates torturers within its ranks. Anyhow, I share your low opinion of Freud. “Fruitcake with authority” would be how I’d peg him.

      Freud returns? Like a bad dream.

      h**ps://www.scientificamerican.com/article/counterpoint/

      The Fraud of Freud

      h**ps://thesaker.is/the-fraud-of-freud/

      I personally prefer a more simple-minded approach. Men (and a few women) misbehave because they calculate they can get away with it. As Mr. Davidson says, “most of the world’s cultures are patriarchal.” Males wrote the rules/laws, and males decided whether to enforce them – or not.

      Participation by females in lawmaking is a VERY recent thing, and by sheer inertia not a lot has changed. Even when the sexual abuse is an open-and-shut case, women necessarily feared to tell about it – for the simple reason they wouldn’t be believed. And even if they were believed, they’d run into a social system which would blame THEM for their own suffering. So they have tended to keep quiet. Only when the evidence is so overwhelming that they feel safe can they join the chorus of accusers.

      I like the “education” part of Mr. Davidson’s essay, but doubt the chances of it being enacted in any universal fashion way.

      Frankfort

      All sex education classes in Kentucky’s public schools would have to include abstinence education under a proposal approved by a Senate panel Thursday, despite the dramatic testimony of a high school rape survivor who said such efforts shame people.

      Senate Bill 71, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, would require sex education curriculum to include content that says abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage is “the expected standard for all school-age children” and “the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems.”

      When this kind of nonsense can be seriously proposed in 2018 Kentucky, what are the prospects of any kind of “sex abuse” education? Sen. Stephen Meredith appears to be a devout Catholic, and as such sees the world through his personal religious beliefs. Ones which flow directly from the insane Vatican crapola. I’m sure lots of people have read how Pope Francis made a perfect ass of himself in a recent trip to South America. At least that’s how people who don’t buy into his particular Male Dominance view of reality see it.

      We can try to improve matters, but in my opinion there are too many devout fruitcakes like Meredith and Francis out there to get much progress.

      h**p://amp.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article195698624.html

  17. Dariusz Macura
    January 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I’m sorry but I must disagree with you. Sigmound Freud was a right-wing psychoanalyst. He didn’t see that capitalistic culture is also a tool of opression. Sublimation of eros, proposed by you, may be very dengerous. This was shown in Reich’s book “Mass psychology of fascism”. Wilhelm Reich proposed more open relations between women and men. I do not think that harassment is good, but the practical effect of Metoo Movement could be strengthen American puritanical morality. I agree with Catharine Deneuve.

    • turk151
      January 26, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      It’s too bad you did not write this article.

      • Dariusz Macura
        January 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        I don’t understand.. :/

        • turk151
          January 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm

          In a short paragraph, you covered many interesting ideas which I found more compelling.

    • geeyp
      January 27, 2018 at 4:47 am

      The original feminism that I grew up with is unlike much (not all) of what passes for feminism nowadays. I also think Catherine Deneuve is more of a feminist than anyone wearing a pussy hat. Do those people claim themselves feminists?

  18. January 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    This is obviously a discussion aimed at the West. In the world of Islam, from the Middle East through Pakistan, a single woman in public unattended by a male is considered fair game, a situation deeply embedded in their clan-based culture and consanguineous marriage customs. Moreover, if you subscribe to the idea of gene-culture coevolution, it may be partially embedded in biology. This raises the uncomfortable question, mightn’t it be better not to encourage mass immigration from that part of the world into the West. For background see here: https://goo.gl/q18ekk

  19. Kalen
    January 26, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I could not disagree more and would have had to write double the size of this article to present massive, well documented scientifically reality of critical role of particular social structure in creation of surplus social stress detrimental to community and breeedimg aggression and violence inside and outside of the group.

    There is no innate drive to live or to die ( Eros and Thanatos ) we are living for community needs and for their respect and appreciation and that starts within family. We feed ourselves and proliferated for community sake, isolated all those urges become dangerously weak, as will to live for nobody.

    People abandoned and alienated, rejected build up such as social stress that result in suicidal and homocidal thoughts and actions unless stress eases and acceptance returns in some form.

    It is a typical adolesce state of mind when natural alienation from family ties occurs, connections must be loosen , dependency reduced or eliminated, and it causes sometimes violent, irrational behavior even suicidal or outside agression.

    As of wars, all wars were instigated by ruling elites and fought for their their interest alone as R. Luxemburg knew opposing WWI and Freud blaming ordinary people of savagery of war only shows himself as he was paid stooge and propagandist for American oligarchy which he provided with tool of psychological warfare in a class war against working people which his nephew E. Bernays implemented into pre Orwellian propaganda lies selling war the same way as cigarettes.

    Just read “Saving Modern Soul” book by Eva Illouz where that is laid out clearly and documented.

    The manmade by ruling elite society we live in ,(of capitalism) is what breeds sexual abuse nothing innate to men or women.

    Capitalist social relations among people are based as designed on threats intimidation, extortion, coercion, abuse, mental, emotional manipulation and exploitation of any kind including physical, mental and that includes sexual terror and rape just to name few precious little skills any successful capitalist must master.

    And all of that filth is decorated via mass propaganda of capitalist sensibilities of a hook worm kind shared among ruling class under guise of capitalist aesthetics to tell us that hook worms in Armani suits are beautiful and capitalist ethics that tells us that sucking blood from flesh of another human being is a good noble thing.

    This McCarthyite hysteria is a mop up operation by Deep state, by pulling all the dirt obtained by mass survelliance operations on any public persona they consider failing their expectation regarding herding of American sheeple into slaughterhouse of phony decomposing body politics.

    Sexual abuse, rape is the capitalism problem, the central problem or as oligarchs understand it, best feature of capitalist system, slavery with sexual benefits.

    I guess all the campaign #metoo in MSM is for slavery without sexual benefits. And for progressive, touchy-feely gorgeous masters who are in touch with their masculine or feminine self making your suffering look beautiful.

    Not me. I am against all slavery I am for systemic liberation. Only that begins to solve the real problem.

  20. Sally Snyder
    January 26, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Here is an article that looks at the cost of Congressional harassment:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/11/the-cost-of-harassment-in-washington.html

    This speaks volumes about the harassment that goes on in the hallowed halls of Washington.

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