These are perilous times for heterosexual males. It is open season on male sex offenders and, to add to the hazard, the definition of sexual offence is imprecise and subject to individual judgment. The potential roles of temptresses and extortionists are confounding factors. All this in a cultural environment that exalts permissive, casual sex and denigrates the importance of sexual morality.
Numerous egregious examples of sexual predation by prominent males are being reported day by day. By and large, the perpetrators are being appropriately punished. Meanwhile, thousands (maybe, millions) of "guilty" males are waiting nervously for the same whistle to blow in their vicinity. In truth, the current scandal is not unique in history. What is probably different in this environment is the willingness or proclivity of women to report transgressions which they have personally experienced and previously, silently endured. To explain this widespread affront to civil behavior you must go back a long way - a very long way.
The Darwinian Theory that all life on Earth has evolved through natural selection and survival of the fittest is generally accepted (the theory of intelligent design is not pertinent to this discussion). Teleologically speaking, one of the key strategies for survival, and perhaps the most important one, is reproductive efficiency. Individuals and species which have not been competitive in this arena are no longer extant, because their genes will not have been preserved in a competitive gene pool. Those sexually apathetic specimens can only be found nowadays in fossil remains. Hence, a vigorous and aggressive interest in sex among the members of a species is a vital condition of survival in a world that ruthlessly exterminates noncompetitive forms which, as Darwin defined, serves to drive the upward thrust of evolution.
Homo sapiens (us) must have, in the natural order of things, emerged from this milieu with no sense of morality or comity. One might imagine that sexual relationships in that prehistoric era are pretty accurately depicted by the comic strip picture of the cave man dragging his female companion along by her hair. There was no sin in those days, no right and no wrong. Jesus, a few hundred thousand years later said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty. Since you say, we see, your guilt remains (John 9:41)". Sometime, somehow our species acquired self-awareness, free will, and a sense of right and wrong. Maybe some prehistoric tribes survived better than others when they learned to live together under a set of rules. For Jews and Christians this transition metaphorically occurred in the Garden of Eden when Adam ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. St Augustine tied the sin of Adam to sex, and imagined that, since sex was required for procreation, all subsequent humans are forever infested with original sin. Augustine didn't know Darwin. Sexual aggression is built into the genes of the species because those who didn't possess it are long since extinct.
Fortunately, humans have come a long way culturally since the cave man. The dignity and independence of the individual was well defined by John Stuart Mills in his classic, Essay on Liberty: “The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he (sic) is amenable to society is that which concerns others. In the part which only concerns himself, his independence is, of a right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” A woman has a right to say no, the prevailing hedonism of the day notwithstanding. Laws and mores must enforce this dictum. The sexual dance between men and women, boys and girls is complicated and difficult to referee, but most bases can be covered by advice I received from my mother when I first set out on the adventure of courtship. Like the Golden Rule, her admonition to me was simple, but profound: Treat your date like you would want other boys to treat your sister.
Lamar Weems is a Northsider.