Friday, May 20, 2011

Power & Corruption *Updated

This has been quite a week with news items ranging from President Obama's speech on the Middle East, to Newt Gingrich's turbulent comments on his entry into the Republican Presidential campaign, to the annoyingly prevalent news coverage of the sexual misdeeds and alleged assaults of powerful men on women.

I am going to focus on the latter issue as it comes up so often, persistently gets people's attention and from my perspective continually astounds me.  The issue of powerful men factually and/or allegedly having liaison's with or attacking women in their personal and professional lives.  What is this about?  Of course, the clinicians, the anthropologists, the historians and the mavens among us have their views. The clinicians may give it a CPT code labeling the dysfunction with a variety of diagnostic categories.  The anthropologists may say that the behavior is primal and has to do with the male of the species declaring their territoriality for survival purposes.  The historians just may say that it is part of the human historical experience.  And the mavens?  Well, their unempirical view may range from "Ladies, watch out.  Proceed with caution.  Pay attention. Be on guard" to "It all goes back to the relationship with Mommy and Daddy."

I imagine that the answer to this 'phenomenon' may contain elements of all the above.  And what do we do about this reoccurring violation?  I am interested in your ideas and your responses.  I will be watching the responses to this blog, closely, and will be sharing some of the responses next week.

My own response is incredulous whenever I hear of powerful men who in their public lives have contributed in highly meaningful and valuable ways and who then behave in harmful and often illegal ways.

Standing by for your thoughts.

I am attaching the following article written by a clinical social worker who takes a clinical look at the issue of ‘sexual misbehaviors’ vs. “sex addiction.”  I would take a harder view and call those sexual actions by men or women who are in more powerful positions than the partner they ‘connect’ with, misguided from the most benign perspective to felonious, for those that exert physical and psychological force on the victim.
Sex Addict? 

Carol J. Trust

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