She was 13. He was 21. Their names wouldn’t be recognized if I mentioned them. He should have known better, but he didn’t. He was punished for his crime against this young teenage girl, including a lifetime of registration as a sex offender.
Roman Polanski, who admittedly drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, is free to make movies and is celebrated in Hollyweird. Why is his crime somehow okay? Why was he never punished? Because he had enough clout and money to leave the US, all the while still venerated as a film maker.
This kind of double-standard has to stop. It sends the wrong message. It tells us some people are above the law.
Just as deviant are the recalcitrant stars of today who hide while “seeking treatment,” after news breaks of their various sex crimes. Funny how none of them offer to pay for the treatment costs of their victims.
The message we send to our children, most of whom are saturated with social media, television, movies and classrooms, is there are no consequences for abberant behavior.
Moreover, shows like “Shameless,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” and “Game of Thrones,” to name a few, glorify horrific adult behavior.
What is the result? A society run amok. Adult men carrying on inappropriate relationships with teen girls online, who themselves are sexualized more and more in the media. No clear social boundaries exist today that might halt this kind of overreach.
It isn’t surprising then to see relationships in the workplace degenerating at the same pace. Companies find it very hard to set boundaries with workers who don’t understand the concept.
It’s time to take our lives back. It’s past time to protect our children. Recent events should be enough of a wake-up call for all of us.
In the coming week I will devote my time to addressing healthy relationships at home and in the workplace. Employers must see the overlap. Employees who do not have strong social relationships outside work are vulnerable to behavior that can take down a company, while destroying lives outside of work in the process.
We are born social animals. It’s in our biology. We aren’t born deviant. That’s our environment, our understanding of right and wrong. When we rely on the outside world to shape our inside mind, most of us inevitably end up a product of our circumstances.
Be mindful of what you surround yourself with and who. Be even more cautious with your kids. Talk to them. Look at their smartphones, their tablets and computers. Be a strong, involved parent. If you aren’t, someone else will fill the void.
The time of sitting back, thinking everything works itself out in the end is over. We must reclaim our humanity while we still have the opportunity to do so. We must be responsible for our lives and cognizant of what happens when they collide. Our children are watching.
Originally published at medium.com