I could not bring myself to watch the hearings on Judge Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, but I did watch the alleged "highlights" and read various opinions of the testimonies given by him and Dr. Ford. Like most of you, I alternated between disgust and sympathy for all involved.
I will not add to the debate of who is telling the truth because I know nothing more than what was already presented. Perhaps the FBI investigation, constrained as it is, will reveal more to that end, but I won't hold my breath. I would rather implore the shouting crowds to be quiet and ponder how we have arrived at this point.
Throughout history, males have dominated almost every aspect of life. Men are, for the most part, physically stronger and more aggressive than women. During our "uncivilized" times men simply overpowered women to obtain their way. When laws were put in place to grant some sort of rights to women the use of physical force was considered illegal. However, laws being as they are, evidence was needed to confirm the commission of a crime. Men simply became more careful in their use of force. Acts of abuse or cruelty to women performed in private could not be substantiated without witnesses or hard evidence as proof.
Women's rights, the #MeToo movement and a growing awareness of the subtleties of behavior between the sexes did much to bring the issue to the bright light of justice. Even so, almost every woman, at some time in their life, can recount acts by men that would be construed as inappropriate, embarrassing, or just plain unlawful. Why do men act in this way? Some feel they are simply being humorous, some don't know any better, and some are just horrible specimens of humanity that would have been better off never being born. Granted, probably every man has said or done something to a woman that they should not have. Some of that behavior could be considered low on the spectrum of bad behavior; something said without thinking, that, when confronted with their stupidity, most men would apologize for profusely and learn from their mistake.
I was raised with two sisters. My brother and I were taught at a very early age to never hit them, belittle or embarrass them. We tested the boundaries a few times and paid dearly for it. Our mother was physically small but strong mentally and in character. She did instill in us boys a respect for all girls and my father reinforced that behavior by his actions and words. There were no gray areas and no middle ground. Mom checked with school teachers, principals, mothers of our friends and others to make sure that her teaching was evident in the words and deeds done by her sons. My brother and I had plenty of opportunities for untoward behavior when in college and not under parental supervision. However, those teachings had become ingrained into our personas. We felt that our parents would find out any reprehensible thing we did, so we just didn't do those things.
I believe if you look at the lives of "good" men you will find strong parents that taught moral behaviors as an unwavering absolute; and if you look at the lives of men shown to act in lewd and immoral ways, you most likely find a lack of strong parental teachings. It sounds simplistic and unsophisticated, I know, and I am sure there are a lot more factors involved than just having decent, strong parents. But it is a good place to start. We can't fix what has happened in the past, but we can prevent what may happen in the future. Make sure today's boys become good men.
-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to email@example.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 10/03/2018
Print Headline: When boys go bad