WARNING: BRUTAL FRANKNESS AHEAD.
The worst, most heartbreaking thing to come out of the emerging scandal surrounding state senator Paul Stanley, is the revelation that many if not most male legislators act like the session is one big frat party with the female interns. From an intern’s email to Post Politics:
What I can also tell you is that almost every man up there feels entitled to look, touch, and flirt with any female in that place, regardless of whether she is an intern, lobbyist, guest, etc.
I was shocked when I heard about this, but not really. The ego that exists in most men up there is enough to make me sick. There are people that you respect and admire who wouldn’t think twice about giving you a good up and down look in the elevator.
I had been given looks, creepy smiles, and strong drinks made by those very legislators who are probably laughing right now at all of this, those hypocrites. most of them married, too.
I’d like to talk to the men of of the state’s Capitol Hill, especially the ones who hang their hats as social conservatives.
This is wrong. It has to stop, now.
No, I’m not going to wag my finger at you about sin, the commitment of marriage, and prayer. I could, and probably should, but I’ll leave that to others. You are political animals, though, so let’s talk about your behavior politically, shall we?
Certainly you know that with every revelation of bad behavior, small minded people with an agenda proclaim very loudly that our worldview is invalid, or at the very least that we do not have any right to pursue any legislation that advances that worldview (not recognizing that they do the very same thing themselves with different values). Since nobody likes a lech, and the world does not share our view of human frailty and forgiveness, you lose any high ground you might have had.
But, let’s go a little deeper, OK?
If you are a predatory person, if you glare and grope and improperly propose and otherwise act like a jackass toward women in your office, just stop reading now. I have nothing to say to you, and I hope you are exposed and lose your position as soon as possible.
But, for the rest of you, whole truly struggle with temptation and unfortunately sometimes give in to it, I’d like to talk about that temptation.
First off, know that simply having the temptation is not a sin. It isn’t a personal failing. Christ was tempted, after all. Too many Christian men think that, because we are Christians, when a temptation comes along we should be able to extend our hands Gandalf-like, say some incantation like “the power of Christ compels you!”, and the temptation will go away. When it doesn’t, they view it as a personal failure, and give in.
In my experience, this is not how things work. I can only tell you my experience. I have been married for 22 years, and I have managed to not only stay faithful to my lovely wife, am blessed to have a thriving, soul-sustaining marriage.
Yet, I am no eunuch. I understand temptation. I understand the psychological confusion a man feels when a beautiful young woman is friendly with him. And I understand the darker temptation, where thoughts unbidden come, where availabilities are considered, where the thoughts almost consume you.
But God did not give me a magic wand to wave while chanting “Away, evil temptress!” (which isn’t really fair anyway to someone who’s just being friendly, anyway). No, I was given a more powerful gift: the ability to see things as they are.
First, this kind of temptation is never really about sex, it’s about ego. It is so incredibly gratifying, especially as a man gets older, to think “this beautiful young woman is interested in ME! She finds ME attractive!” Trust me, this allure is almost impossible to resist for a man. Our main need, no matter what anyone else says, is to be considered Good Enough. Worthy.
When this happens to you, do me a favor. Go home, strip down naked, and look in the mirror. What, are you in your late 30’s? Your forties? Fifties or even later? Look at yourself, then do it again. It should become clear, even if a young, beautiful woman really is flirting with you, that it’s not YOU she’s attracted to.
Oh, she might be attracted to your power. Or maybe your charisma, or your money, or what she thinks you can do for her.
But, there is no way, outside your current position, this young girl could be chomping at the bit to have YOU.
Just look at yourself.
Do you think she stays up at night, fantasizing about your bald spot? Although she’s surrounded by hard-bodied young men at school, do you really think ear hair is what turns her on? That she can really, really relate to your stories of the Frampton concert in 1977? That she prefers a flabby belly and disappearing butt? Do you really believe that she thinks it’s cute the way your breath whistles when you take out your partials? Really?
No, if a young woman is flirting with you, or just being very friendly, you can be rest assured that it isn’t because she’s just got to have YOU.
You ain’t all that. Maybe at one time you were, but that ship sailed long ago. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
If you give in to a sexual temptation, you will not find the validation you are looking for. It’s hard to admit, but it’s all an illusion. You may be a great guy, but you won’t find what you are looking for, deep down, by pursuing a woman young enough to be your daughter.
Your emptiness will only grow more profound, and that’s after you’ve destroyed everything you hold dear.
You will not find the validation you are looking for. If you can strip things down to the harsh realities, you can overcome temptations that are sure to come along, some real, some just a psychological misunderstanding.
And the amazing thing? God has given you an incredible gift. Your wife, unlike some 20-something who doesn’t really know you, actually does want YOU. She has been given eyes to see you as you are and still want you, even love you. It is there you will find some of the validation you are looking for. And only God can give you the rest.
So, if you have been participating in this circus, and you aren’t evil and lecherous (just tempted), I’m begging you, stop this, now. The young women in your midst are not there to hook up with you. NOR DO THEY WANT TO.
See things as they truly are. Be a real man.