New allegations on sexual misconduct are appearing on a nearly daily basis involving politicians and other prominent figures. We should not be surprised when we see how women are treated in the media. Whether watching television programs or the big screen women are not always viewed in an positive light. Their value is often measured by their attractiveness and sexual appeal. Ivanka Trump has become an advocate for women’s abilities and contributions throughout the world. She is an outstanding example of how women can achieve success in their personal life and in the business world as well. Perhaps all of the publicity will result in beneficial changes in attitudes and behaviors. What may be considered harmless actions to one person may be perceived as threatening to another person. The most disturbing aspect to sexual harassment and abuse is the tendency to accept some behaviors by the perpetrators. Although he has apologized on several occasions, Senator Al Franken is not leaving his post in the Senate. Representative John Conyers did step down from his committee position but is not resigning from his seat in the House. Roy Moore is remaining in the Alabama Senate race to replace Jeff Sessions. It seems that sexual abuse is becoming the “new norm” or something that is tolerated as “boys will be boys.”
Unfortunately cases making headlines are only the tip of the iceberg. Most women are probably too uncomfortable bringing up past incidents, forcing themselves to relive their horrors. Others have had their silence bought and paid for by someone representing the abuser. In the case of Congress taxpayers have often footed the bill. I question the motives of all the media who benefit most from airing others “dirty laundry.” Abusers may not have intended to cause harm and perhaps were unaware of the impact from their actions. The best approach in social situations and work settings is to follow the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We can hope that everyone will be enlightened and learn to live by the Golden Rule.