On Louis C.K. in the era of Weinstein

Dear Men,

 Asking a women with whom you do not have an intimate relationship to watch you masturbate is abusive. Posing the question without ever doing anything else, is abusive. Any woman who hears that question walks away from it horrified and sad and angry. Any person who would put a woman in that position is contemptible and deserves to be ashamed.

Abusive behavior does not have to be illegal to be shameful. Weinstein appears to have been a rapist and, perhaps broke the law. Louis C.K. did not break the law and his violations are every bit as deserving of condemnation. The violation isn't the act, it's the effect on women.

Louis C.K. made many women feel unsafe, disrespected, worried, angry, sad and abused. Without breaking the law or injuring the victim, perhaps a person who recoils at the realization of what he has done and never does it again can be forgiven. A person who does it repeatedly, should not.

Louis C.K.'s violation is made even worse by the fact that he knew it. That he apologized to some women for this behavior makes clear that he knew that he was harming them. Yet, he kept doing it.

This has to stop. I look forward to all sexual predators being exposed and penalized. I hope for the day when all men understand that women are not their toys and that they are always to be treated with a complete lack of sexual innuendo.

Just as there was no room in our culture for racism once it was discovered and we rightly see racism as intrinsically bad, it is now time for us to understand that viewing women as sex objects is always vile. Women have the right to live their lives without fear of being approached sexually by people without permission, just as black people have the right to live without fear that they will be treated as less human.

This is the next, great civil rights moment. It is time for our society to make the transition to one where it is considered shameful to engage women sexually in looks, thoughts or deeds without a pre-existing relationship that grants permission for that to happen.