Is Sexual Assault the New Normal in America Today ?

“Words, not deeds” was the quote of Donald Trump as he attempted to compare his somewhat strange divide between himself and President Clinton regarding their infidelities towards women, during the Second Debate with Hillary Clinton.

Problem with making a statement on national TV is that you are going to be found out. And so he was. Women have begun going public about the actual offences committed by Trump which went way beyond words and well into the “deed” side of sexual assault. And, we can be assured, what may begin just as a trickle of individuals going public with Trump’s attacks against them, will soon explode into a perfect storm of women claiming he assaulted them too.

So, to claim a well – worn conclusion of obvious logic, there you have it. Trump is a philanderer who sees himself as a rightful predator to use women and their bodies in ways that panders to his needs. But this whole sordid series of details hardly begins and ends with Trump. Of course, the most obvious association we can make is with President Clinton, whose own sordid actions with a string of women, in and out of the White House, stained and shamed the office he held, and strained his marriage to his wife to ever – stretching elastic limits. She has been accused of being an enabler. But do give her some credit. The President was her husband, father of their daughter, and she so desperately wanted to believe in him, as well as his character. That he failed her numerous times is not her fault. And so President Clinton becomes the standard against whom others are to be compared. And in this regard, Donald Trump has met his equal.

Sadly, the story broadens both ways in history. For it is well documented that Roosevelt and, especially, John Kennedy had numerous illicit affairs during their years in office, and neither of their wives left them. And have we already forgotten the numerous number of women (doesn’t it already approach fifty by now ?) who have claimed Bill Cosby assaulted them over a period of time lasting 40 years while he evolved into this spokesman for a decent and moral America – and his wife continues to stand by his side. And lately, Roger Aisles was forced out of Fox News as a result of his verbal and threatening innuendos against those women who worked in his company as he led the Republican agenda for America.

There do not seem to be too many innocent parties here. The culture for attacking women, and seeing them as victims, seems to dominate our changing mores, both in the social, professional, and political fields in this country, and the future of being a woman in America is very frightening indeed. It might have been thought that this could have been a “class” thing, in that the lower classes, being less educated, having limited social experiences, without much hope of higher job prospects, would give free reign to their animal instincts as they groped and attacked women in their immediate surroundings, on public transportation, parties, social gatherings. But, we would have thought, those representing the higher echelons of society, being more educated, achieving levels of power and affluence, would have felt more constrained by their social mores to act in a more disciplined and appropriate manner.

This no longer holds true. Power, Affluence and Prestige (PAPs) are no longer any safe barriers to guarantee the respectability and protection of women anywhere. America has descended into a third – world culture, where the opposite sex, in the year 2016 within the most powerful country in the world, are seen as nothing other than sexual creatures to be used, abused, assaulted and raped. And this will only get worse, because there is a major component lacking within society that could have put the brakes on all of this. And that is: there is no shame anymore, anywhere. It used to be the constraint that stopped such behavior, no matter who you were, the social class from which you came, the position you held in society. Shame has gone out of the window. And with that, the protection of women has collapsed. So that today, women can expect to be raped on college campuses all across the country, groped on airlines and trains, verbally assaulted in the workplace and professional office, and depending on the judge overseeing the case, will result on a slap on the hand of the offender, or, heaven forbid (!) community service. And the rapists will hail from all sections of society, from the less privileged to those who feel entitled because of their highly prestigious positions.

We really do not know why, how or when this became such a storm, but it could be said that liberals and Democrats, who gave President Clinton a free lease in his position of President in his behavior, even while Jennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky were hitting the headlines, are now the ones screaming every kind of sexual crime against Donald Trump. But it really doesn’t matter. Find your excuse, create your reason. The end result is that, if you are a woman, America has become a very dangerous place, and when the news gives precedence to what Donald Trump says regarding women’s private parts and they are quoted verbatim (without any attempt at gentle censorship) on all the media stations and papers – all this, mind you, while hundreds are dead in Haiti because of storms, Aleppo going up in flames, hundreds of thousands fleeing their countries all over the African and Middle Eastern continents – then what you have is a recipe for the disastrous downfall of this country. When the bottom line of this presidential election has come down to only one topic, and one word: SEX….we are indeed witnessing the beginning of the end of a civilized, powerful and wonderful country.

About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Landau is Emeritus Rabbi and President of the Baltimore Board of Rabbis. He served the Bnai Jacob Congregation and later Ner Tamid Congregation in Baltimore. He was born in the UK, graduated Jews College with Bachelors Degree in Jewish Studies, has Smichah from Israel.