Are They Savages?


Are They Savages?

You can’t open a web page or a newspaper or magazine without some article about the scandals in  Hollywood, DC, or Big Business. And they appear to be related to those in power taking advantage of those who are not. And of course that advantage is pressing for favors and attention that is not requested and unwanted.

Like it or not, men and women are different. Men are typically aggressive, women for the most part, not so much. Its how nature made us. But we have evolved, over the millennia, to take those tendencies for what they are and suppress them so we can live in a civil society.

In the Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon, Kirk is on a planet that has been at war for 1000 years and is told by its head that all humans are killers. His response:

“We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers . . . but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! Knowing that we’re not going to kill — today!”

Those million savage years also put the male as aggressors against females. Nature needed us to procreate at all cost. But there is no need for “at all cost” any more. We can admit that we are savages, but we will not be savages — today.

Except for the odd psychopath, we all know right from wrong. There is no great mystery. We have evolved. But knowing and acting on that knowledge are two different things.

When we see those in power acting as savages, we see how thin the veneer of civilization is. The citizens of the planet in the Star Trek episode acknowledged a weak part of their being and learned to live with it. Have we done the same.

The problem isn’t that there are savages, the problem is that we turn a blind eye. Then when the news breaks, we grasp our pearls, fall onto a fainting couch and can’t believe its going on. Yet its right there before our eyes every day. And we do nothing.

This savagery is not about pleasure, its about power. I have power over you and I will demonstrate it by … well you know the rest. Being in a position of power isn’t enough. I must act on it in savage ways.

The savages in media and politics honestly believe that they are above a code of conduct the rest of us follow. They are too powerful, too important, too successful to be called out on their actions. And when they are, the penalty will be minimal. Roman Polanski continues to make pictures and be revered by his peers. Bill Clinton receives half million dollar speaking fees. Do you think for a moment that Harvey Weinstein won’t land on his feet?

There’s too much money, too much power involved.

A friend of mine told me that early in her career a coworker touched her inappropriately. She hit him as hard as she could in his face. Not only did it never happen again, but they became friends. He just needed a lesson.

Am I saying every woman should cold cock every jerk that tries something. No. That can be dangerous. But this type of behavior needs to be nipped in the bud. The very first time there needs to be consequences. There must be a process where such behavior results in shame and degradation. Its simply not acceptable. The strong must support the weak. That’s what it takes.

Oh, and the answer to the headline questions.  Yes, absolutely. They are savages. And do not deserve a place in society.



Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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