In the past few days, we’ve been subjected to news of Senator Al Franken’s grope fest and Representative Joe Barton’s nude photo sharing. This is in the midst of the Judge Roy Moore For Senate campaign, which continues full steam ahead despite the very serious (and highly-corroborated) allegations against him.
Naturally, these things chip away at the already crumbling confidence we have in those who make up Congress. Not only do too many current members of the “esteemed body” lack moral fortitude, but those seeking to join them are questionable as well.
We look at our options and realize that they are flawed individuals who will most likely disappoint us whether it be through legislation or lifestyle.
So, what’s the solution? Bill Kristol has some thoughts.
It's obviously time for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution: "Until we can figure out what the hell is going on, only Americans of the female sex shall be eligible to serve in the Congress of the United States."
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 22, 2017
Wait, is he joking?
“We should have a constitutional amendment that for the next 2 years only women should be elected to Congress” – @BillKristol w/ @kasie on fixing the sexual misconduct problem on Capitol Hill pic.twitter.com/LiITecs8th
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) November 22, 2017
At the very least, Kristol certainly seems to be taking a rather sarcastic approach to the matter of sexual misconduct among our elected leaders. Kristol’s (perhaps?) tongue-in-cheek statements don’t veer too far off from what others have expressed.
My gender is terrible.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) November 21, 2017
It seems nearly impossible for some to separate individuals and their actions from an entire group. Men as a whole aren’t the problem. Men as a whole do not condone sexual harassment/abuse. The individuals responsible for such heinous acts should be called out, shamed, and prosecuted (as much as possible). Do not blame an entire gender for the actions of the sick few who are drunk with power.
And believe me, it’s more about power than it is pleasure in the case of sex crimes.
But back to Congress.
Once enough men react to their kind as a whole with misplaced contempt, the calls for some sort of solution start pouring in. Now, the answer appears to be “more women in Congress!” And Kristol’s suggestion is not the first I’ve seen.
Recently, The Huffington Post published The Lack Of Women Leaders Is A National Emergency. The idea? That if there were more women in leadership roles (whether they be Congress, business, education, other industries), that sexual harassment would not happen as often, and might even stop completely. This is wishful thinking at best.
I have neither the time nor space to list article upon article citing females, whether they be teachers, church/community leaders, or your regular soccer mom, who have preyed upon and sexually harassed/abused others, most often minors. A simple Google search will bring up endless results, past and present, where women have been the predators and boys and girls the prey. And why is this? Because women are flawed, too. The female gender has some serious issues that need addressing. No, not all of us act in a predatory manner, but some of us do. No, these sick women don’t define us as a whole, but they certainly played the part of doting housewife, 10th-grade teacher, or junior high counselor.
The point is, no category can withstand scrutiny. Electing more women to the Congress – just because they are women – is a grand attempt at a virtuous solution. But it is nothing but sexism.
Morality is not only determined by whether a person has sexually harassed/abused someone else or not. A person’s morality is multi-faceted, and we can’t forget that. Just because I have never stolen doesn’t mean that I have never lied. Believing that the moral ills of Congress will be wiped clean by an increase in the number of females walking its halls is foolish. At worst, it’s setting ourselves up for disappointment as we believe a different gender will save us from a human sin nature that we all share.
I never look at a political candidate’s gender as a determining factor for my vote. If I did, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton. But I didn’t.
I am not against electing more women to Congress if they are capable, experienced, and above all, the best ones for the job. I am not against electing more men to Congress for those same reasons.
But I am against believing that one gender above the other has a tighter grasp on morality than the other. We’re all in this together, and last time I checked, we’re all human.