Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Rep. John Conyers, Sen. Al Franken. Those are just a few of the prominent men facing allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
And it seems, everyday the net of of those caught or accused of these sexual acts grows ever wider. Every day I think my shock and my horror could grow no further, and yet they do.
But this isn't a political, industry or male problem; it's a cultural one.
We live in a world that glories in sexual "freedom" for everyone, aka almost everything goes.
And in one sense there is nothing wrong with that. I embedded the tweet above, to illustrate that point as a Catholic myself. Our culture today moved the pendulum away from the Puritanical idea that "sex is bad" and pleasure is always sinful. However, it has now gone too far in the other direction.
Now, as demonstrated by these powerful and prominent men, pleasure at any cost has become the norm for far too many people.
The dignity of other men and women meant nothing to these people. These men, if proven to be predators, sought to fill an emptiness in themselves, but their actions have only managed to create a greater emptiness and foster distrust among all of us.
Their actions are miserable, their behavior like-wise. And this isn't a matter of "boys being boys" or anything like that.
This is all because the culture we live in revels in relativism and the misguided ability to do almost anything you want.
Freedom is not, I repeat NOT, doing whatever you want. Freedom is knowing what you ought to do.
I'm not some Puritanical preacher trying to tell you that sex is bad, etc etc. But our complete lack of sexual ethics and the massive gray zone involved are a problem.
What I'm saying is the opposite of what our contemporary culture says. Actions have consequences, sex should be meaningful and fulfilling, that like the tweet above says, "pornified and selfish pleasure leads to misery."
We think those desires and pleasures will fulfill us, but they won't.
Those predators I listed at the beginning thought they would be fulfilled through their actions and selfish desires, and now look at them.
Torn down at last, after years.
They had the freedom promised by the world and they now suffer accordingly.
What we need is a cultural revival for the type of freedom, joy and pleasure which emphasizes the incalculable dignity of the human person, both male and female.
What we need is a cultural project by which we can change the underlining assumptions that these people, these predators, thought gave them the right to do this.
Nobody has the right to sexually harass someone. Nobody has the sexual "freedom" to commit sexual assault.
So let's stop calling it a male problem, or an industry problem or even a political one. This is about having a complete lack of sexual ethics.
And that is the greatest crime, the greatest blight and disease in our culture. But one that we can change if we have the courage to do so.
The question is, are we brave enough?