Eden Chen

Why our takeaways from the Hollywood sex scandals don’t go far enough. I’m part of the problem.

Eden Chen November 13, 2017

Why our takeaways from the Hollywood sex scandals don’t go far enough. I’m part of the problem.

The recent crisis in sexual scandals has me reflecting on my own brokenness and why I think that we as a society have partly missed the mark on the takeaways. Our current takeaway is that there are some evil people out there, and that Hollywood is a broken industry, particularly one where men abuse women. These things are true and worse. And many other industries if they were under a microscope would be as bad or worse. This includes the last industry I was working in (finance), the priesthood, those working in professional sports, and others.

What we’re not talking about is the systemic brokenness that exists in almost all men and the sexual perverseness of our culture.

It was so ridiculous when I saw actors like Ben Affleck coming out and condemning Harvey Weinstein and then Hilary Burton calling Ben Affleck out for groping her. Everyone. Is. Guilty. Men everywhere (including myself) fantasize about sex all the time, and most men think much more perverse thoughts than that but most are too afraid to admit it. We’re all deeply broken — I am constantly fighting my own flesh.

Some of the differences between the men getting caught and everyone else is that they were in these situations, they had enormous power, and there was a lack of societal accountability which allowed them to feel like they could do whatever they wanted without consequences. If you find me an industry with powerful men I guarantee you I will find you a large number of men who have abused women. If we all looked deep enough (in the recesses of our minds), we’d all have dirty secrets. This isn’t to say what these men did isn’t heinous and completely wrong, but it is to say that when we see brokenness as rampant as we’re seeing it we also have to look at the systemic reasons why something like this happens. When I have a daughter I’m going to teach her what my pastor taught me:

Boys are bad except for dad and that’s just a maybe.

Secondly, we can’t have it both ways. I commend that my generation, the millennials, are the ones that aren’t going to take this kind of behavior anymore. I only wish it happened sooner. But if we’re going to call this out, let’s also call out the fact that this generation needs a moral revolution too. Divorce rates are at an all time high, I don’t even think high schoolers date anymore because that’s too much commitment. People are going to get mad that I’m comparing the abuse of women with relationship commitments. I recognize this is on two different moral planes but it’s all interrelated. We’re also not talking about the porn industry (of which I was, and at times still am addicted) which literally is role playing these sexual scandals and worse. These educate and create an acceptance in men everywhere that acting like this is ok and that women like it. I don’t know that there are any accurate stats on this but I’d be willing to bet that a majority of men watch porn at least once a month. Porn hub gets 64 million daily active visits and the most popular search term is “step mom”. It’s not a coincidence that people who watch porn are more likely to get divorced. Let’s not only talk about the scandals as isolated incidences but look inward as well. I need to repent of my own sexual thoughts, I’m a part of the problem. And we are all broken and in need of a savior.

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