April Fool’s Day is globally a day to trick others, usually in harmless ways, although many times the trickery and deception can be dangerous endeavors. There is a fitting irony in April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month which is opened up with a day to examine behaviors of foolishness.
A definition is in order. Foolish means:
- Marked with or exhibiting folly; void of understanding; weak in intellect; without judgment or discretion; silly; unwise
- Such as a fool would do; proceeding from weakness of mind or silliness; exhibiting a want of judgment or discretion; as a foolish act
- Absurd, ridiculous; despicable; contemptible
Name-calling is abhorrent, and these words are not directed at any person. The intent here is to describe behaviors that result in severely damaging the body and soul and spirit of a young girl or boy, or woman or man, who is subjected to sexually assaultive activities.
One of the most severe forms of sexual assault is repeated, ongoing rape–also known as forced prostitution, sex slavery, sex trafficking, or child-rape-for-profit. Lies and deceit are often used as bait to get unsuspecting victims to cooperate with selling their bodies and being subjected to the worst that humanity has to offer from the pimps and the johns. Control, threats, manipulation and physical violence are used to keep the victim living in fear, too traumatized to think that he or she might have some options for getting out.
One who is wise will know how to honor and value people and will seek to bring out the best in them without harming them. One who understands basic principles of life will seek to protect the most vulnerable and will have concern for seeing that others’ needs are met. One who desires honor from honorable people will show good judgment in his behaviors and will live a life of integrity in his dealings with people.
These are not the qualities of one who abducts children and rapes them or invites others, singly or in gangs, to play out perverse sexual fantasies while getting paid handsomely as a life is destroyed, over and over again. There is no integrity or wisdom in photographing children, even babies, as lewd sexual acts are done against them, then selling the videos on the internet. There is no moral or intellectual honesty in beating and torturing women and girls so they will submit to unimaginable vices of multitudes of men.
Patrick Cunnningham, the Phoenix Criminal Division Chief of the US Attorney’s office in Phoenix, was recently at the Combatting Human Trafficking Conference at Arizona State University. He advocates courageously that men of moral character need to be the ones speaking out to other men against trafficking and sexual violence toward women and children.
“The silence of the friends and peers of the purchasers (and suppliers) of sex speaks louder than the condemnation of the law. It is the condemnation of peers that will make a difference. Martin Luther King has said, ‘History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.'”
What do you think? Is sexual assault and violence foolish behavior? Are you willing to take a stand and speak up when you encounter or observe sexually assaultive behavior among friends, co-workers, family members or on the media?
“It’s time . . . to get involved.”