We are in a watershed moment of sexual and cultural mores today in the United States. Every day news breaks of another man accused, and often punished swiftly and immediately, for behavior that is either outright criminal or way outside of of the spectrum of what is considered acceptable in today’s culture (and outside of what should have ever been considered acceptable in any culture at any time). Today Matt Lauer, himself a newsman, is all over the news, swiftly fired with no warning and apparently very little due process like many before him. And Garrison Keillor fired too. I am not arguing against those actions, nor against any of the swift and probably, at least in these initial moments of this paradigm shift, proper backlash against any of the men who have perpetrated awful behavior whether heterosexual or homosexual that has come to light over the past few weeks since Harvey Weinstein broke the dam thanks to the New York Times. What I am questioning is the incredible damage it is doing to young boys and girls and adult men and women and whole industries and constituencies and the whole country and world right now, right this minute, that we are not holding the president of the United States to the same standard to which we are holding all of these other men in arguably much less important functional roles in society albeit the behavior and crimes are all the same. Weinstein. Affleck. Toback. Bush. C.K. Conyers. Dick. Dreyfuss. Franken. Halperin. Hoffman. Jurvetson. Piven. Price. Spacey. Seagal. Tambor. Takei. Simmons. Ratner. Sizemore. Stallone. Thrush. Moore. Rose. Lauer. Keillor. And many more, most having already faced or facing severe consequences ranging from criminal investigations to getting fired to issuing humiliating and probably career-ending public apologies to dropping in election polls to be being generally and immediately convicted in the court of public opinion.
Every man except Trump.
Not only have the at least 17 women who have credibly accused Trump — just as or more credibly than the accusers of any or all of the above alleged perpetrators — been not believed and called Liars, but Trump, whose name is so distasteful to me I really wish we could come up with a code or stop saying it out loud like we do with the similarly culpable mass shooters to whom we deny Fame by refusing to say their names, continues to tweet and assault and mis-lead his way to being perhaps the most destructive force in the history of the United States, continues to get away with so much more than just the sexual assault and harassment that should have alone long ago gotten him fired, forced to apologize, forced to resign, drop out of campaigns, or be put in jail or at the very least banished from public thought.
I do not have any worthwhile speculation or answers to why this is happening. If you started reading this piece hoping for answers, sorry. I only believe deep in my heart of hearts that there will be a horrible Reckoning for all of us who are pretending to have this watershed moment, pretending to have a cultural sea change, pretending that men are having a new Awakening and a new dialogue with themselves and each other and with women about our behavior and forcing real change, when we can’t even be bothered to hold the supposed president of the United States to account.
Why do we even have time to talk about Matt Lauer today? Let’s start with Trump and then work even farther down from there.
Shame on us.