Sex, Power, and Consent: How to Interpret the Media Frenzy Around Sexual Assault

By Joe Jarvis

The same media that covered for the rich and powerful is now delighting in throwing them one by one under the sexual assault bus.

I can’t deny that it is a joy to watch liberal elites like Al Franken and Harvey Weinstein fall from grace.

But a chill goes down my spine when I think, but why now? Why has the media suddenly done a complete 180?

Don’t get me wrong, it is great to hold sexual predators accountable. But the first thing that doesn’t feel right is “convicting” people in the court of public opinion based only on an accusation.

Okay, so for people like Weinstein and Spacey, there are enough people coming forward with enough verifiable evidence that they are beyond a reasonable doubt sexual predators. Al Franken posed in a photo that confirms his harassment.

But could this be the media’s angle? The first step is to accuse all the easy targets. Get the public whipped into a frenzy. Once everyone has the torches and pitchforks, all that will be required is an accusation, and the mob will burn the witches. And at that point, no one will wait to see if the evidence pans out. A simple accusation, true or false will condemn a man and destroy his career.

Unfortunately, these conditions will make liars and exploiters come out of the woodwork. It’s now trendy to accuse someone, and a consensual one night stand might turn into borderline rape in decades-old retrospect. You will have some people who want attention and money. You will also have some people who simply want to ruin a famous person.

And you will have elites picking targets in their games of power. Just consider how Julian Assange and Dominique Strauss-Kahn were accused of rape at opportune times to ruin them. Both charges were later dropped. Perhaps today in the witch-hunt mindset, the charges would have been further pursued.

Is the Media Offering a Solution?

It is great that men and women who have been victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment can now come forward and expect mainstream support. It is a serious problem. And just because some will abuse the witch-hunt for their own ends does not mean it is fair to the real victims to ignore or marginalize anyone who comes forward.

In this sense, it seems like the reporting from the media is beneficial. Most of the cases focus on a disparity of power. It is rich and famous people taking advantage of young fans, their students, aspiring actors, interns, or employees.

Maybe people with power will think twice. They may think of their careers, their marriages, their future, and decide it’s not worth it to be a creep.

But doesn’t it also divide society further? It creates suspicion and tension between multiple groups. Men versus women. Rich versus poor. Celebrity versus normie. Politician versus citizen.

And it is worth noting that many accused have been politicians. Unfortunately, the underlying fabric of a society is woven by politicians. They have the power to pass laws and regulations which drastically alter behavior. People even take cues from their government. Debt-laden governments produce debt-laden citizens.

Doesn’t that say something about what kind of society these sexual predators have created? It certainly won’t be one based on consent.

The Solution is Consent.

Sounds obvious, right? Sex requires consent at every level.

But on other subjects besides sex, consent is not held in such high esteem. Consent in general, in every aspect of our lives, should be held as the golden standard. Under these conditions, we will see consent respected in all aspects of life, including sex.

This is not a new concept. You’ll know the tree by the fruit it bears. In a society based on consent, fewer people will be taken advantage of sexually.

The root of the issue is a coercive society. It starts with people wanting their kids to be obedient to authority or elders, without ever explaining why. But obedience is not a virtue. As annoying as it can be for kids to constantly ask why, or assert their own attitudes and desires, this is a good thing. It doesn’t mean giving in to every demand of a child. It means recognizing their autonomy and largely allowing them to make their own decisions.

I have discussed how a coercive society breeds psychological distress on those forced to act a certain way. But missing was an assessment of the psychological conditions of those who exert the coercion. The actual coercive agents of the state go equally crazy. But they go crazy with power instead of crazy with desperation to be an individual.

And the rich, powerful, and famous have access to the power of the government. They have access to the same coercion they use against their victims.

The way the government treats the citizens is the exact same way sexual predators treat their victims.

There are different levels of manipulation. Some victims are groomed with gifts and kindness. Sometimes the abuser uses intimidation and threats. Sometimes victims are enticed by the promise of being elevated to the position of the abuser, with all the power that comes with it. Sometimes the abuser downright rapes the victims who won’t comply.

And our political structure is not based on consent. Democracy is not consent, it is mob rule. It is the will of the majority dominating the will of the minority. Nor does living in a society mean you consent to be governed. It should not be up to victims to flee in the face of a threat. Saying everything the government does is fine because you continue to live in a country is like saying if a victim of sexual assault didn’t want it, they wouldn’t put themselves in that situation.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have an organized society based on consent. After all, if the government services are truly desired by the people, why do they have to be forced on them? Why do we have to be forced to pay taxes, instead of enticed with a good offer?

I am not saying ending the abusive relationship between government and citizen will eliminate sexual violence. I am simply saying it will set a consistent precedent for behavior. By acknowledging that all interactions must be consensual, there would be no double standard. These abusers would not get used to operating without the consent of others.

Yes, what I am suggesting means a vast restructuring of society. It certainly wouldn’t happen overnight. But as victims begin to stand up to their abusers, it is time all non-consensual relationships are called out for what they are.

If we really want to get to the root of this issue, we will examine the fundamental nature of the relationship between governments and citizens.

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