Defending the indefensible: the demise of American decency

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So I was really looking forward to writing about something fun today. I was planning on writing about the use of feral cats to curb the rat population in New York City. Frankly I think it’s genius.

Unfortunately I’ve got more serious things on my mind. Or more accurately, with the U.S. election looming, there’s something important I’ve got to get off my chest. So the post about feral cats being put to work in the Big Apple will just have to wait.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Today I am completely fed up — not only with presidential politics — but with hyper-partisan behavior in general. Americans on both sides of the aisle are happily defending the indefensible and justifying their behavior by saying “well at least he’s not as bad as she is,” or vice-versa.

Frankly it is deeply disturbing on many levels — for many reasons. But the partisan defense of the indefensible is especially troubling when it comes to Donald J. Trump’s (actual and alleged) behavior, Bill Clinton’s (actual and alleged) behavior and Hillary Clinton’s (actual and alleged) behavior.

Let’s begin with Donald J. Trump and Former President Bill Clinton. Both men have been accused of committing serious crimes against women. Trump is currently facing numerous sexual assault allegations. Yet Trump’s supporter loudly proclaim, “at least he’s not as bad as Bill Clinton.” Or something to that effect.” For his part, Former President Clinton has also been accused of sexual assault — and rape.

If nothing else, both men have demonstrated a proclivity for objectifying women. As everyone knows by now, Trump’s tendency to do so recently surfaced when his comments caught on that “hot mic” 11 years ago became public. As for Bill Clinton — well, there was that affair with a White House intern while he was president — among other things. Allegedly.

So what is the objectification of women? Objectification is commonly defined as “viewing and/or treating a person as an object, devoid of thought or feeling.” The definition of sexual objectification is ” the reduction of people to physical objects of sexual desire.”

So what’s the big deal? According to The Huffington Post, a recent study that included nearly 300 participants found that “over one-third of the participants had experienced sexual victimization as defined by the study.” The study also found that participants who experienced unwanted sexual advances — and worse — also reported experiencing objectification at one time or another.

In that sense, the study didn’t break new ground. It merely confirmed prior findings. It also confirmed what I witnessed as a crime reporter. As soon as someone stops seeing a person or group of people as human beings, it is easy to engage in criminal activity targeting that person or group of people.

In other words, it’s all “locker room talk” and “boy talk” until people get hurt. And then it’s not so funny anymore.

Listen Up, Ladies…

If there’s one thing worse than a man who mistreats women, it’s a woman who defends him. Hillary Clinton — who may very well be the leader of the free world come January — is accused of not only enabling her husband’s behavior, but verbally attacking his accusers.

And then there’s Melania Trump, who recently blamed everyone except Donald J. Trump for the comments that he made back in 2005. To her, Donald’s comments were just “boy talk.”

Really? Unbelievable.

Listen up, ladies. It is not okay. It is not acceptable. It is not a joke, and it is not funny.

It is inexcusable. And indefensible.

Period.

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