Are They Savages?


Are They Savages?

You can’t open a website or a newspaper or magazine without some article about the scandals in Hollywood, on Capitol Hill, or in 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 not wanted.

Like it or not, men and women are different. In the corporate workplace, those differences need to be acknowledged and taken into consideration so we can live and work together in a civil and complementary manner. We are adults, time to act like it.

In the “Star Trek” episode A Taste of Armageddon, Capt. Kirk is on a planet that has been at war for 500 years and is told by its leader 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 won’t 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.

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 it’s going on. Yet it’s right there before our eyes every day. And we do nothing.

This “savagery” is not about pleasure; it’s 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.

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 in his face as hard as she could. Not only did it never happen again, but they became friends. He needed a lesson.

Am I saying every woman should cold-cock every jerk who tries something? No. That can be dangerous. But this type of behavior needs to be nipped in the bud. The very first time it happens, there need to be consequences. There must be a process where such behavior results in shame and degradation. It’s 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.


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