Congressional Fund to Cover-up Sexual Harassment
By J. Nick Pitts, PhD
The only thing more reprehensible than a secret sex fund is the sheer existence of such a fund. Budgets reveal values and demonstrate foresight. You put aside money for that which is of importance to you. You reflect on the past as you forecast into the coming year how you anticipate spending that hard-earned money. Our budget not only anticipates reprehensible behavior by our elected officials and their staff, they also plan to keep it private. Some can’t keep their hands to themselves but want to keep these despicable actions to themselves.
Just as these women have said enough is enough, we the people must echo their cry.
From sea to shining sea, what started in Hollywood with Harvey Weinstein has now impacted Washington D.C. with officials such as Congressman John Conyers. Since 1997, there have been more than 200 secret payouts, totaling $17 million. While not every payout in the fund is for sexual misconduct, one payout is one too many. This fund does more than rectify the wrongs of our elected officials, it enables despicable behavior that would get the majority of us fired from our job.
While we don’t know the identities of the predators, we do know how the process works. According to Politico, if a congressional employee is wronged, they go to the compliance office in order to obtain a password to access the necessary forms to file a request for counseling, mediation, or a harassment claim. They are then required to undergo mandatory mediation or counseling themselves. Afterwards, they can then formally pursue a complaint with the compliance office.
A hearing officer examines their allegations and reaches a decision within 90 days. If the officer finds that a payout is necessary, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Administration Committee approve the settlement. Alexis Ronickher, an attorney who has represented several clients pursuing harassment claims through the compliance office, said in an interview with Politico, "The trappings of confidentiality, they permeate the process… the law is written to create a system to disincentivize staffers from coming forward."
Both secretive and significant, the process reflects the worst kept secret in America – our porn addiction.
In 2016 over four and a half billion hours were dedicated to watching porn sites. Human beings have spent one million years watching porn since 2015.
Surveys indicate 79 percent of American men between the ages of 18 and 30 admit to watching porn regularly. 67 percent of men between 31 and 49 admit to it. And concerning men from 50 to 68, 50 percent confess to regular porn viewing. One in three porn users are women. As many as 12 percent of all websites contain porn.
Hollywood makes 400 movies a year; the porn industry produces 11,000. Every second, 28,258 users are watching pornography on the Internet. Every minute, $184,538.49 is being spent on pornography on the Internet. The financial cost to business productivity in the U.S. is estimated at $16.9 billion annually.
These numbers demonstrate the pervasiveness of the problem, but they also reveal a great demand. Where there is demand, supply inevitably follows. And in our environment, the supply has a soul but the men who demand their attention cast aside their manners and the woman’s dignity all for the sake of their selfish pleasure.
Porn creates a demand and alters the mind. Instead of seeing people as image bears worthy of respect and dignity, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, they are seen as pleasure providers worthy of a second look, endowed by their creator with certain appealing characteristics. They are no longer people you respect, they are objects you use.
The pervasiveness of pornography shows the depth of human depravity. But it also demonstrates the human need for intimacy. Porn gives the allusion of intimacy but leaves the victim still lonely. Pornography is bad fruit from the rotten tree of false intimacy. Sexual harassment forces innocent victims to eat that fruit and leaves the tax-payer to foot the bill and pay for the repercussions of the porn industry.
Enough is enough.
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