The Anatomy of Male Privilege

The pathology of this thinking aims the offender in the direction of action: “I must take what I want.” Unfortunately, this thinking derives from a selective reading of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species (competition is the basis for positive change). Sadly, too, this thinking underpins the practice of Capitalism.

#MeToo Campaign is on the Right Track...except for the Ending!

The multitude of women stepping forward to talk publicly about sexual assaults they have endured over past decades is refreshing. Shining light on male privilege and the power that men exert in the workplace to get their sexual gratification is way overdue.

But what is missing? First, there is no meaningful explanation from the offender, no face to face with the victim. A week later, Harvey Weinstein and Charley Rose and the rest are gone, embarrassed perhaps but their wealth insulates them from further rebuke. There is no courtroom trial, no calling the person to account for their behavior.

Transformation of behavior is more like turning a cruise ship around than "turning on a dime."

When working with people who have a conviction for sex offense, it's important to be realistic with your expectations and theirs. What took dozens of  years to put in motion will take years of focused, skilled work on your part and theirs to effect a dramatic change of course.

Mindfulness, in its many forms, is a practice that can make that shift more quickly, with more peace along way.

Eclipse Thinking

As the eclipse approached totality, people's minds shifted away from difference. Under the spell of nature, we became united in awe and wonder. We went a little bit pagan, feeling humbled by the magnificence and the magnitude of our solar system. Our squabbles quieted in concert with a hush that fell everywhere. The birds and bees landed and watched. The flowers blinked too, wondering whether this day would return and sustain them.

The Lust of Youngsters: Today, Romeo Would Be a Sex Offender!

There is a silver lining for the young man, too, but it's a thin one. In order to get out from under the sex offender label, he must be drug free, and crime free for five years. He must visit his probation officer regularly, and be subjected to urinalysis. And he must complete sex offender training. (I told her to tell him that shopping for the right treatment provider is like shopping for a counselor, or a reputable car dealer.)

I’m not an apologist for college athletes who flaunt their stardom with criminal behavior. They should definitely be held to account for their crimes. In the same way, we should not forget what college baseball star Luke Heimlich did to that innocent child when she was six and he was 15.

But there must also be a limit to how long sex offenders are further criminalized by the public after having served their time, after having completed treatment. As a society, we must find a way to allow second chances, lest we be judged by the same yardstick.

Sexual Privilege...who Pays Depends on Gender and Economic Status

A former Oregon Governor admitted to sexually abusing a teenaged neighbor of his for at least a year, while he was mayor of Portland in the 1970s.  The victim died at age 49 a few years ago, after a history of substance abuse and mental illness.

No criminal charges derived from these actions. The lesson? If you’re a powerful male, you can afford the best defense and the criminal justice system will mostly look the other way.

Newer strategies of sex offender treatment begin with the idea that people can only learn and change in a trusted environment. So groups are often arranged in a circle, rather than rows of desks. Trust is built by eliminating the artificial boundary of “us and them”. The “expert” is more of a facilitator. Students are seen as real people, not their criminal record.