Puerto Rico and The U.S. : Us At Our Worst?

Puerto Ricans are human. That ought to be enough for us to help them after a natural disaster. People who live in the U.S. Virgin Islands, who I never hear about, are also human beings. They, too, deserve help if they need it. In addition to that, of course, they are our human beings. Is it better to neglect a child who doesn’t cry or one who does? Both are unconscionable if they are your family.

I say “child” not because the Puerto Rican people are “babies”, but because they are –for better or worse — dependents. We have a moral imperative to help them if they are equals, we have more than that if they are our dependents. We have still more ethical crisis if we made them dependent.

Before all of this, I knew nothing of Puerto Rican history, but a fair amount Puerto Rico today from clients over the last 10 years. As I understood it, Puerto Rico is loved by people who live there. I gather it was busy, teeming with life, but often hard to make a living in. People come to Massachusetts because there is work and education on the mainland, but they frequently travelled back home to see relatives. They are proud of both lives. There are long, white beaches there.and houses with tin roofs and crime and gangs.

Among White people here, there is a legend that there is a sign at the San Juan airport that says, “Fly to Holyoke, Mass. They give out the most in Welfare payments” (“I seen it!” Or “My cousin’s uncle saw it once!” is always added, just to make sure you believe it). I have heard that story hundreds of times in my life, but, amazingly, never from my Puerto Rican clients. I tend to trust experience over “knowledge”, so I’m going to guess that there isn’t really a sign there… I say this, because I bet Donald Trump has heard this story all of his life as well, probably replacing “Holyoke” with the words “New York City”.

Prior to the hurricane last year, the above was all I knew about the island off our shores. That, and I knew there was a controversy over statehood vs. independence, but I didn’t know much about why.

Since the hurricane, I have learned that many people don’t think of Puerto Rico as American because of that messy status of “not really a colony but not really a state”. I have also learned that there is an arcane shipping rule that makes it difficult to get aid or other things shipped there. Regarding tax policy, we once made it almost tax free for corporations to move there, and that Big Pharma did. When that tax break was removed, many of the businesses immediately left at the prospect of having to pay any taxes to be there. They used the resources of the labor but gave little or nothing to the country/state (though, to be fair, I bet Puerto Ricans pay income taxes to the island, so it wasn’t totally unfair to the island). To make matters worse, when the money dried up, big banks restructured their loans to make it nearly impossible for the government there to get out of debt. This is colonialism at its worst.

We say we own them, we mess with their laws, and our own, to bankrupt their economy, and once that’s in place, we claim no responsibility for them until they can pay their debt. We told them they are dependent on us, we made them dependent on us, and now when they want us to be dependable, we refuse. This is a chapter in U.S. history to be ashamed of. The country of Puerto Rico would have been better off if we had never claimed them in the first place.

So, months after a natural disaster hit the island, 1/3 of the Place still has no power, and our government blames it on them. Then there was a scandal about who we gave a contract to fix things. (Yes, we tried to screw them once again — when they were down). Their debt is more important to our government than the lives of their people. This is unconscionable. This is not how we are supposed to treat human beings!

Let us live up to our responsibilities. Let us live up to the morals that allow us to believe we’re a Christian Nation. At least two churches, the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches,USA have made long-term commitments to be their with them, and bring aid. That’s the difference between a moral view rather than an economic view. We need, as a country, to fix this whole mess, and I hope we will. In the meantime, though, people die and get illnesses that will read havoc there. If ever there was a way to make gangs powerful, this is the way to do it. We raise crime, while ending lives, through our actions. This must change!

Resisting with Peace,

John

A special shout-out to Bruce MacCullagh for reminding me of this moral crisis.

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Liberal Clergy: It’s Good We Are Here

I’m sitting here on Christmas Eve trying to get all jazzed for Service tonight, and Christmas tomorrow and I keep thinking about President Trump and the current set of Republicans in Congress and all the damage to God’s world and God’s people that they have done. I’m thinking, “If it’s hard for me to get past, and I’m clergy, it’s got to be a killer for those who aren’t”. Those with no faith, a faith that hates them, or discourages them from becoming their best self, it’s got to be worse.

We have let a fox into the henhouse and he/they are making a real mess of things, destroying the hope symbolized by the eggs that are lying around. The administration seems bent on hiring people who either hate the organization they run or are incompetent to run it. Every day brings a new choice between neglect and abuse of our people and the people around the world — all of whom God created.

Into this we walk, as we always have– seeing the people that Trump would rather we forget — the immigrant, the poor, the female, the intelligent, Black people, Puerto Rican people, South and North Korean people, the mentally ill, the physically ill, Palestinians, Muslims, the elderly and children. Did I miss anyone? They’ll be “up” tomorrow.

I’m pretty sure the male, the super-rich, and the fascists have a government that takes care of them. Everybody else will look to us. OK, they will look to God for relief, as they always have. But the gates to God will seem to be blocked by the Religious Right. That’s where we come in. After years of caring more about who people sleep with than they get to sleep at all, the Religious Right has shown its stripes. When they sign up with the Nazis and the swindlers, the corporate masquerading as the Just, they point the way to very different Jesus than the times call for… the same Jesus the times have always called for. That Jesus — the One with compassion, the One who redeems instead of remaining angry, the One who seeks mercy, not sacrifice — that Jesus is ours. As a therapist, I feel the same way that I do as clergy: I will never run out of work. Even if I like my job, I’d rather be out of business. If I ever doubted my job security, Mr. Trump and his cohort have certainly given me that.

It’s not that we’re better people at our core than the Right, but I’m more likely to trust a Right-Wing congregant than a massive-church-with-a-TV-ministry that always needs money. For all of our lack of Pronounced Piety, we never lack for pronounced (or, better yet, unseen) compassion.

The little baby from out-of-town, his unwed mother, and their father who “lets” them live in a barn don’t stand a chance in Trump’s world. Neither will the homeless preacher who dares heal anyone without asking to be paid for it. Since God has the final word on the itinerant preacher, it’s up to us to protect the baby and it’s family. It helps that we would be looking amongst the dregs Caesar wouldn’t even contemplate living with.

So, once again, we have have what the world needs. There are those who will argue about Jesus’ call to charity vs. Jesus’ call to justice. The Jesus that the Left knows is — and should be — both. Martin Luther King is our kind of radical. St. Francis and Audre Lorde are too, just like the little old lady that shows kindness in a soup kitchen.

There will — and in some places, there already are — a lot of people who will need help simply to exist under this government. It’s good that we are here. But because of that we need to take care of ourselves, empower others, and develop long-term strategies for coping– including prayer, exercise and spending time in nature — after we take care of the immediate needs of people our government doesn’t think should exist, or — if they do — should have no rights.

Lots of people will come to our God if things don’t change soon. We need to be ready to let them into the waiting room until the Cosmic Physician can get to them. It’s a good thing we’re here.

Peace,

John

Al Franken Takes One For The Human Team…

I listen to two podcasts most days as I drive to and from work: last night’s Rachel Maddow for about an hour and that morning’s Morning Joe. This amounts to an hour and a half to two hours of news. Yes, Maddow is biased, but she’s intelligent, thorough, non-sensationalist, and everything I would hope for in a journalist. Morning Joe is a relatively balanced hour with a round-robin of guests and is also in-depth. I also watch CBS This Morning if I have to get up. On all of these programs, it’s been hard to watch as apparently good people lose their careers because, well, they were bad people in some part of their lives regarding sexual abuse, assault, or harassment.

Today, Morning Joe was heartbreaking, as Mika Breshinzki with two or three other women, talked about the resignation of Al Franken from the Senate after 7 or 8 women made complaints about him. The women on the panel, especially Breshinzki, were trying to cope with the loss of a senator who had crafted pro-women’s rights bill, while they were also choosing to believe the women involved. There were the questions and talk about due process, the need for The Moment in our history, and the larger question: is Franken a good man or bad person? How do you hold both of those pictures in your heart with any sense of integrity? It seems impossible, especially when you realize that the word “integrity” has the same root as “integer” — a whole number 1. In other words, to have integrity is to be of one whole mind about something. How can you have 1 mind about opposites? Bill Clinton compartmentalized, but Franken couldn’t as part of his personality/style.

The Morning Joe team played a lengthy segment of Franken’s resignation speech, which I had not been able to find anywhere. Franken’s voice shook throughout the speech as he laid out his contentions: 1) As a Senator, he had done work that supported women; 2) that he had a different understanding of events than his accusers and yes, someone was lying, though he didn’t say who, because it wasn’t relevant; 3) That he was willing to sit through an investigation to see what his colleagues thought of his actions; 4) He didn’t want to step down but …5) he worked for the people of Minnesota, and it was impossible under these conditions to do that well. Furthermore, and this is key to his testimony : “no woman should be afraid to speak out again”. The time has come to represent their interests, even if it wasn’t in his interest.

Also, of course, he noted the irony of his being asked to leave, while a President recorded bragging about sexual assault and an accused pedophile were either in power or being supported by the RNC.

Ok. What’s the take away from this? Did he do these things or not? Is he a good man or not? Should he still be in his job or should he be fired by an ethics committee? How does this work? What do we do now? What is the difference between Franken, Moore, and the President? Are they individuals with a gradient or is this proof of their sameness as men in power? Put another way, is Al Franken just as bad as Roy Moire and Donald Trump if they all did basically the same thing, or at least variations on a common theme?

Let me suggest that we already know the answer, and the answer is no… because it could be yes. Al Franken is a better person than the other two not based on his actions, good or bad. We will never know if Franken is a predator or not. Only his accusers, he, and God know what the truth really is. That part is indisputable. .We know that Moore doesn’t really deny his actions, and that Trump bragged about it.

What proves that Al Franken is a good (or better) man is that he did less wrong, took more responsibility and more loss for it. Franken sees that there are causes that are bigger than his life or his career, or just plain him. Franken was — regardless of the reality of the situation, — which, again , we will never know — willing to sacrifice a large part of his life to say that his accusers deserve respect, and that women in general do, as well.

Roy Moore can claim his Christianity all he wants. Franken acted like a Christian in his response to all of this. In fact, this is the essential irony of Christianity — that good people are willing to sacrifice themselves for a cause bigger than them. They refuse to do further harm in the world.

I don’t want to stretch the metaphor any further, but the way some women felt at the loss of Franken — respected by everyone for his work — multiplied by 100 is the way the disciples felt watching Jesus die on the cross. The difference, of course, is that we believe Jesus was sin free, and hadn’t hurt anyone, but to the extent that it fits, Franken’s resignation allows for healing in ways that Trump and Moore’s denials will never do.

A few spare thoughts: 1) Why has no one asked Roy Moore’s wife why she is standing by her man, like they did Hillary Clinton about Bill? 2) I don’t believe this is a Democrat/Republican issue. John Conyers has his own issues. His resignation, however, is shows more of a conscience than Moore or Trump have proven to yet have.

None of this should be construed to say I disbelieve the woman accusers of Franken, though — truth be told — I believe the first one (the Republican Trump supporter) more than I believe the last one (a Democrat, I believe). That’s just a vibe though,

FINAL THOUGHTS: At some point, we’re going to have sort all of this out. Maybe Congress have what we in the UCC — often a Committee on Ministry will ask a person to complete a “program of growth” : therapy, etc, before they can be at full standing after misconduct. The first step in determining what justice looks like is being able to differentiate between actions, and to determine if a person is sorry for what they have done, and want to change (actual repentance, not cheap grace). Even as I type this, I can hear the question ” but what if a person didn’t do it. There’s nothing to repent for“. Without proof, we have witch hunts. In the cases of all the men here, I believe that they all did something. Others will not have.

In any case, my point here is the humble, the contrite, and the people who grow from their bad actions are better than those who don’t. The irony is, of course, that only those with enough conscience to admit mistakes will be prosecuted. The good ones are the bad ones with enough conscience to know it. Al Franken is a good one.

Resisting with Peace,

John

Fools Rush In…Early Thoughts On The Abuse Scandals

As a therapist, I have wanted to write this piece for a while now, but I didn’t want to seem like I was “mansplaining”. Even now, I wonder, but I promise I won’t excuse anyone, so see if this helps…

When I see clients who are beginning to deal with trauma, I describe the healing process like this: A traumatic event happens, and it’s like someone put it in a bottle. If it happens in a healthy place, you simply pour it out to deal with it. But if not, it’s like someone put a cap on the bottle. The cap is something like shame, or fear, or blame, or people pretending it didn’t happen. In any case, what was once a possibly benign thing isn’t anymore. Inside the bottle, it rots, festers, and/or ferments. The longer it does, the more pressure builds up. When the cap is lifted, the whole thing shoots out of the bottle with an explosion. There really is no way to control the explosion. It has to happen. After that, you can clean up the mess, and see what’s in the bottle, which is probably a lot smaller than it felt when it exploded — still gross, but now ready to be dealt with, and poured out.

This is what happens for the individual when trauma happens. It’s also what happens in society. For centuries now, abuse, assault and harassment have happened to women (and some men), and it felt horrible. For whatever reasons — the need to eat while having no means of support but the abuser, the fear of losing children to the system, being told that they “wanted it”, are to blame for it because they are women, or whatever oppressive systems there are, the cap was put on the bottle.

It’s a big bottle, and it’s fermented a long time, so when the cap is removed, there is going to be a big “boom”, and it will feel un-nerving and violent and larger than anyone could have imagined, and it will go everywhere. That’s where we are as a society right now. This will go on for awhile until the pus is done. Then we, as a society will clean up the mess, see what’s left in the bottle, have less fear about the stuff still there, and deal with what’s left.

During the explosive period, there really is nothing to do but let it happen. It’s natural and has to happen. It’s futile to try to put the cap back on it. It’s simply too much pressure to fight with. Moreover, we shouldn’t even try if we want to heal. When that part is over, the rest is a whole lot more manageable, and maybe there’s very little left in the bottle to be poured out. We’ll see, and then w’ll deal with it, in the end, we’ll deal with it and move on to a new and better, much more stable, place. I know this because the original trauma has already been survived. It’s already inert now, and a lot easier to deal with.

Ok. If we’re in the explosive phase, it’s going to be scary, it’s going to be stressful, some things that we didn’t mean to get broken will be broken. Good people (men who have matured), innocent bystanders (see Savannah Guthrie and Gayle King) will be effected when they didn’t even do anything wrong. There will be some mishaps. It’s impossible to avoid, and we’ll have to grieve their losses. Then, we’ll take stock and deal with it calmly and without uproar, and process it all, making sure it doesn’t happen again.

So, that’s what to expect.

Here’s what will be left:

1) Among the millions of Truths being told, there will be a few lies. People who are psychopathic or people who are trying to avoid some other penalty or truth, will use this as a time to mis-use the situation. This does not make the Truths any less real, but they will make it hard to separate out what’s what. We’re going to need a way to deal with this.

2) There will be degrees of illness in the men, (and women) because everybody has been affected by this poison. We will see that there is a difference between a comment which wears down resistance, a grope which is irritating,, and the God-awful horror of the serial rapist. This is a big deal and will take a lot of discernment on our part. None of them are right or justifiable, and both are painful no doubt, but “akin to rape” is not the same as “actual rape”, in the same way that a paper cut is not losing a limb. Different size of tragedies should create different responses and different treatments. The trick is to keep what’s saving while getting rid of the pus. This may be easier said than done, but it is worth doing. The determinant here is the amount of damage done to the victim not the supposed “worth” of the perpetrator to society. If we had relied on “worth of the perpetrator” to serve as the factor to be taken into account, Matt Lauer would still have his job, and many women would still be suffering.

3) There will be levels of apologies. There will be the person who apologizes because their publicist said to, the person who is starting to understand it was wrong, and there will be the person who really means it. Amazingly, there will also be the person who refuses to apologize, because… well, they’re evil. Apologies are necessary for healing society and relationships, but they are not the end of the process. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

4) Changes in understanding and behavior both need to be made. Many, or more most, people will grow from it.Many will not.

5) Now comes the hard part: figuring out what needs to happen from there. I’m hoping something like Truth Commissions, which believe that mercy leads to truth and justice, would be a part of it, but that’s not my call. Shame and anger aren’t going to help us heal, as much as they seem like they should.

There aren’t a lot of solutions here, but it’s not my place to offer solutions to this crisis. That’s for victims to determine. It’s only my job to say what I know about the process. I hope this helps.

Resisting Hate With Peace,

John

A Retelling

And behold, in the first year of the Trump administration, a pundit asked Jesus “Who is the strongest political candidate in the race… is it the one whose base watched Fox News or the one whose base watched MSNBC?. People are asking on Facebook and your answer will be placed against theirs. Jesus responded: “What exactly does a politician do?”. The pundits asked, in unison, “They wield power and affect the lives of those around them”. Jesus answered, “The person who does that best”.

But the troll, seeking to justify himself, said “And who is that?”.

Jesus replied, “There was a town nearby the capital of a country, not so far that it had no influence, but not so close that it wasn’t independent and free-thinking.” And lo, there was a town looking to elect a candidate from their district. The town was burdened by a changing economy, a lack of jobs for years, poor education, a lack of food, and rampant addictions had fueled a great anger amongst the people which led to violence among its citizens…

Three candidates approached the people of the town. One was a Law-and-Order candidate who said to the people, “I understand your anger. I feel the same way. I’ll go to the Capitol and give them what for! They can’t tell us how to run our lives while desecrating our Laws and Traditions! I’ll bring your anger to them!” He threatened to use his anger to overthrow the educated, elite people in the town if he won. That candidate lost.”

“The second candidate had compassion for the people, but no knowledge of how to fix things, as they didn’t agree with the Laws and Traditions of the people. They were determined to rid the backward ways of the people. That candidate also lost”.

“There was a third candidate, a transgender woman, who both loved the people and knew how to fix things, because she knew the law and had compassion because she understood their pain. She made no such promise of retribution. That candidate won”.

Jesus asked the troll, “Who do you think was the strongest candidate?”. The troll grumbled… “The one who won.”

“And how did that candidate win?”, Jesus asked.

The troll, lacking any understanding, said, “I’m as confused as you are”.

Jesus answered, “Because she cared about the people, including those she didn’t agree with. of Go and do likewise”.

And the troll remained confused.

Resisting with Peace,

John

John

We Were ALL Right! 

I frequently tell clients that they know what they see and feel.  America, you know what you see and feel. All of you.  American government does not work. It hasn’t for quite some time. You work harder and get less. Your kids can’t afford college, but school departments don’t fund High Schools. They can’t. The money is gone to politicians and bankers and lobbyists and lawyers, and yes, politicians who are all of those, depending on whether they are in office or out of it. 

Yes, many elected officials no longer go into the job to represent you. They go into office to represent themselves. They like the power. They like writing the rules to benefit themselves. They like getting rich and having the “freedom” to get richer.

Now, here’s the thing. Is Donald Trump corrupt? Yes, in ways we can’t even imagine yet. Is Hillary Clinton corrupt? With Donna Brazile’s new book coming out, it seems that they answer is yes, as well. Both things can be true. Are Donna Brazile’s hands clean. I gather they aren’t. The system is rigged. And we have been too busy fighting among ourselves to notice.

In the last election, populism raised its head. On the right, people were fed up with Clinton and voted for Trump. On the left, people were fed up with every Republican that wants to turn back the clock and bows to the god of “trickle down”. Meanwhile, 90% of Americans lives don’t work financially. Yes, Bill, “It is the economy, stupid”. What you did about it didn’t help. Nor did what George W did. I still think Obama was a statesman, and a good man, but that doesn’t matter anymore. He may have been too late to save politics, especially post- Citizen’s United. In any case, he’s not the President anymore, and he’s not coming back. 

So what’s the solution? We are the solution. If it’s not working, make it work. 

Since some politicians are still in it to represent us, support them. You know if they are. Your life works better than many. But if your elected official is in it for the power, or the money, get involved in politics yourself. My friend Rick is. Other people are. Even if you think you don’t have the brains God gave a horse, could you be any worse than who is in power now? If you have an iota of morality, intelligence, and willingness to serve others, to make people’s lives better, you’ve got what it takes! The rest is style points and details. You can figure it out from there. The joy of having this many corrupt politicians, is that you — even on your worst day, could do better than that. Why? Because you know what you see, America. You know what you see.

Resisting with Peace,

John

One Guy’s Thoughts on Sexual Violence and Equality 

There is a new story in the Huffington Post that talks about Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer, and his alleged history of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment. The headline says “men’s silence is deafening” about the issue. On Twitter there is a flame war about who’s worse, Trump or Weinstein. There is so much to talk about here, so I will expand the topic beyond those two men and deal with related issues, as well.
 As a therapist, I see this kind of deflection all the time. “He did it first!” “Yeah? He did it worse!” In politics, as in my office, this kind of shit must stop. [That’s not a polite to say it, I know, but this isn’t a polite subject. Sometimes you have to use the appropriate clinical terms. ] I don’t give a rat’s behind about what some other person did. The person who did whatever it is needs to a) stop doing it; b) apologize for doing it; c) do what they can to fix it and d) realize that the victim and relationship may never be the same; e) cope with that. 
The amount of wreckage that comes from sexual assault or sexual harassment is absolutely incredible. The number of people I see in my office that are coping with sexual trauma and the length of time that I have to work with them about it is huge. The effect that this has on relationships of all kinds is staggering. People who have been abused often hate themselves so much for “letting” it happen and spend their entire lives trying to kill themselves, either quickly or slowly. Ways they try to cope: drugs or other addictions, cutting themselves, suicide attempts, banging their heads against walls, developing multiple personalities to wall off their feelings, and the list goes on. If you think about how much of our mental health and justice system is involved with these coping mechanisms, you see just how tragic it is.
In addition to that, there are quite a few people that act out their anger violently, or try to control everything and everyone around them, trying to quell their feelings of powerlessness and being out of control. That takes less of my time as a therapist, but takes up way more of the justice system. All of that comes from sexual abuse. So many of our resources, so many lives destroyed, so many relationships crushed beneath the weight of this thing, that we must address it as a society, not as titillation, but as the disgusting thing it is.
Sexual harassment is harder for guys to understand, because we don’t experience it much (even if, like myself, we know we’re gorgeous. Guffaw. Just kidding). The knowledge that abuse can happen, and does, makes harassment all the more toxic for those who have been abused. But, as I understand it, wolf-whistling, making comments about breasts, butts, legs, is harassing a woman. Putting pictures up in the office of naked women when women work there is considered harassment. Being a boss to someone or in charge of their fate in some way and making sexual advances is harassment. They distract from the day’s work. They’re an irritant, and they simply suck the energy out of the woman being harassed. Don’t do these things.
All of this harassment comes from two ideas 1) the idea that men are more important than women; and 2) men know women better than women themselves do. With those two ideas, men and women can get into all kinds of stupid, horrible stuff. What those two ideas, women can be made to do all kinds of things that they shouldn’t have to — giving up education, giving up birth control, or other reproductive rights, not driving cars, being genitally mutilated, sexual slavery, being raped as the spoils of war, giving up a career to tend to the family because that’s the way it’s supposed to be (versus consciously making that choice), having boob jobs done, or injecting botulism toxin into their foreheads, being forced to wear a certain type of clothes so they don’t get raped, and so on. 
Those two ideas make society hell for women around the world and are all feminist issues. 
Therefore, we have to have these beliefs if we’re going to change things, decrease trauma and its resultant crime: 1) Women and men have equal value; and 2) Men need to listen to women to find out what they actually think and feel, and take those thoughts and feelings seriously. That is the feminism I believe in. If we think that way, the world will change.   
                     
                    ****** Ok, the guy stuff no one else is probably telling you*****
1) Having male genitalia doesn’t mean you hate women. Some guys do, in fact, hate women. We call them “assholes”. Men do not respect a man who beats his wife. We never really have. We think that means that they’re out of control. Men aren’t supposed to be out of control. If you hit a woman, you can’t think of anything else to do. So now, in addition to being out of control, you’re stupid as well. Men aren’t supposed to be stupid. 
Actual men think that any kind of mutilation is gross. 
Actual men take responsibility for their sexuality. If a man gets a woman pregnant, he is responsible to take care of that child in one way or another. I don’t know of a man alive who doesn’t think getting someone pregnant and abandoning them and the child isn’t being a loser. If a man had sex with a woman, he has promised that he will take care of the woman (whom he loves) and the child that results from sex. A man’s word is his bond. 
Yes, men like sex. Yes, that’s a given. But having a woman choose to give herself to you/be intimate with you/have sex with you may well be the best feeling ever. Less than that is much less fun.
2) Women have expectations of men that are too low. 
Men are not walking penises. Sometimes, men think with their “little head” rather than their “big head”. They still have a brain. Their brain has to walk their body over to you. Not using your brain makes you an idiot. Sometimes, men are idiots, but it’s not a permanent condition. They’re still responsible for being an idiot. 
“Boys will be boys” and “girls will be girls” aren’t particularly helpful ideas. Boys shouldn’t be having sex. Girls shouldn’t be having sex. Only adult men and women should. If a guy isn’t man enough to take responsibility for his actions, he’s just a boy. If he is man enough, he doesn’t like little girls. 
Men can do dishes, take out the trash, wash clothes, change the baby, and so on. We’re not crippled. It’s ok to expect that, unless of course we are crippled. Guys hate not being able to impact their environment. We don’t probably have as much experience or training or belief that we should do those things, but it doesn’t mean we can’t. Cut us some slack, but don’t let us off the hook.
3) Men and boys get raped. Yes, and they get raped by men and women. Women rape women. Men rape men. Adults rape children. That’s the thing that throws off the idea that all men have all the power in society, that it’s some conspiracy, that all men want to rape all women. That’s the part of identity politics that no one talks about. It certainly happens less often to men, and harassment far less. 
All of the things that I have described about women’s response to sexual trauma, are also true about men’s response to sexual trauma. Anybody can be an asshole. Anyone who chooses to be — or thinks they can’t stop themselves from being one — has stopped being human. They don’t earn respect, and they don’t deserve it. That blows the whole idea that one sex is better than the other. If you can’t control yourself, you’re not better than anyone. If men can’t control themselves, they are not better people than women. They’re just not. 
4) Most men don’t think of themselves as “MEN!”. They think of themselves as guys. Guys don’t want to have power over anybody. They want to have power over themselves. Yes, they have genitals, and yes, they have sex drive, but so what. If you’re playing hockey or football, or baseball, or bowling, that’s what you’re thinking about most of the time. Even in competition, the most competitive guy isn’t necessarily the most liked – respected, perhaps, but not liked. Ty Cobb was extremely competitive. He was also an asshole that no one liked. 
Guys who want to prove their manhood are just plain weird. Who has to prove what they already are? Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast” is a boor. He’s not Everyman. And every guy there knows it.
I hope this clarifies things. Among other things, it proves that Weinstein and Trump are not men, they’re not guys. They are assholes.
Resisting with Peace, 

John