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Abuse of Power

Zubair Hayat

London, UK

The beleaguered mogul of Hollywood moguls, Harvey Weinstein, and his alleged licentious escapades has kicked open a Pandora’s box of sexual abuse that has rocked the world. 

The insatiable global media is the battleground for a tsunami of claimants tweeting and posting to display the scalps of society’s leaders and celebrities for wrongs or crimes, present and decades old.

All of us desperately want an end to this appalling blight on humanity, but to do so, we first need to understand the causes. 

Is this simply an issue of sexual gratification gone bad or is it something more complex, more primeval and more insidious? 

Due to the sheer number of people coming forward with their history of sexual harassment, abuse or rape (first it was only women but now it is men too), we can only conclude that the sorry ensemble of perpetrators had varying motivating causes, such as so-called sex “addiction”, being under the influence of drugs, etc.

However, one recurring pattern that emerges is that nearly all these cases show that the person holding a position of power takes advantage of a weaker person, who may be seeking employment from an executive or was simply idolising a celebrity. 

The main motivating factor seems to be that of manifesting one’s power, dominance and so-called superiority over a willing or unwilling person. Such an act of dominance is not driven by sex but by the excitement of being drunk with power and exulting in its thrall. 

The perpetrator appears convinced that the ability to repeatedly and overtly break social taboos without consequence is the sign of his or her domination over other people.

Those in the offender’s social group are aware of that person’s immorality and in many cases, immoral acts, and yet they all keep quiet. This can only be understood as a message of support and encouragement by the offender to push the limits even further. 

One can view mainstream hip-hop videos as a typical sample of the powerfully potent messages being presented daily to young men and women about their respective sexual roles. What is the role of the dominant “player” in the videos and how do all the submissive ones behave?

It is clear that any normal adult who uses his or her power over others, immorally or criminally, is fully aware of and responsible for such actions and needs to be held lawfully accountable. 

Yet to what degree are we, the society, complicit by creating, nurturing and even knowingly harbouring these deviant people by giving them the constant social message that engaging in all types of flirtatious behaviours is actually a “laddish” thing and is amusing to all involved, without clearly stating where the line is drawn?

As much as the society feels the need to immediately censure and ostracise people who have allegations made against them in the media, even before going to the police, it is also the responsibility of the society to demand that an appropriate standard of moral accountability is expected from all its members, more so from the role-models and leaders. 

The education of people, particularly of adults, in morals is not perceived as an obligation on the society and this is where religion has always stepped forward with clear moral guidelines that anyone can train themselves in – as a personal development programme. 

Over the last hundred years, the public has increasingly moved away from organised religion due to the ever-widening media coverage which has exposed the immoral and underhand behaviour of the priesthood of all the religions with an unrelenting stream of priests who perpetrate sexual crimes while their administration has historically covered up for them.

This has resulted in the ordinary person missing out on the moral guidance and training given by humanity’s greatest and most successful teachers, the likes of Muhammadsa,Mosesas, Jesusas, Buddhaas, Krishnaas, Confuciusas, Plato and Socratesas.

It is claimed that religion and its moral code is restrictive and stops an individual from living a normal, happy and successful life. Yet all these great men did not anywhere teach that men and women should enslave themselves to one another as does a sheep, which just follows another sheep. 

All people, whoever they are, whatever they are, are born with morality in their DNA. Nobody is happy to be scammed. Nobody wants their loved ones to suffer any loss at the hands of a bully. We all have an understanding of how we would like to be treated by others – that is morality! 

Our common, natural, inner morality is the reason why the general public collectively becomes upset and outraged when they witness in the media that in another country a stranger has been sexually abused by an unrepentant domineering person. A united call for immediate punishment of the offender rents the airwaves and social media streams.

Instead of only locking the unending torrent of culprits and throwing away the key, why not solve the problem for the future generations by starting a global campaign to teach morality? 

Let people be proud to be icons of morality in the society. This will teach our children, our youth and our senior citizens how to treat others. 

Just as you would teach your little sister or brother not to walk down dark alleyways in the night, so too can you teach them the right social behaviours and be proud to be a social activist and campaigner for morality as well as the right for individuals to be free and protected by abusers.

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