Jeffrey Epstein is morally repugnant, and I don’t know anybody who would disagree. His perversion has not been well-hidden; he has been a registered sex offender since 2008.
But as his moral stench gains wider public recognition, wider questions are raised. How often do offenders like Epstein get a pass? What manifestations of sexuality are helpful to the betterment of our society?
Why is it Epstein’s sexual encounters with a girl over the age of 18 is suddenly acceptable? Where has hyper-sexualization taken us as a society?
I don’t know the full answers to most of these questions. But our country is led by a braggadocious playboy who ran in the same circles as Epstein.
Forget trickle-down economics, perhaps we should worry about a loose morality trickling down from those at the very height of material wealth and societal recognition. This moral looseness is certainly not unique to Trump.
The list is as long as it is depressing. From the political sphere to Hollywood, many people with great influence hide long lists of sexual abuse and promiscuity.
Where are the moral hardlines we are going to defend? If Harvey Weinstein sleeps with an 18-year-old, why is that more morally justifiable than his doing so with a 17-year-old?
Both instances show a great misuse of power, a lack of care for that young person’s well-being, and an immediate desire for carnal pleasure at any cost.
If we are going to hold monogamy as a lifelong standard, maybe we should rethink the hyper-sexuality which permeates so much of day-to-day life. What points of comparison does hookup culture create for a potential future marriage?
Weinstein and Epstein are reprehensible examples of what happens when sex is seen as a goal in-and-of-itself. But that same goal is evident in perfectly legal ways.
Dating apps, apps that propagate hookup culture, like Tinder have permeated popular conscience, and I think they tap into the worst parts of the human brain, the parts that want to commodify and evaluate others on their most superficial characteristics. Is she hot? Swipe right. No? Swipe left.
I catch myself making these same judgments every day, and I try to stop and ask myself: why? What am I looking for out of these relationships?
Where do I want to be in a decade? How will my sexual activities affect where I’ll be later in life?
The answer to those questions lies not only with condemning and calling out the Weinsteins and Epsteins of the world, but also analyzing the hypersexuality that lives in the air today.