By Lynda Lamp
Al Franken resigned from the Senate in December 2017 for what is being called sexually inappropriate behavior. He is among many men in powerful places who have had to step down from their positions for inappropriate behavior. America seems to be falling apart at the seams. Who knew men were so pervasive in their abuse of power? Oh, gee, women throughout time, that’s who. Finally, a balance is coming into being.
History Will Tell a Different Story
But in the case of Al Franken’s demise, which at first blush appears to be a result of the same sexual disrespect as the scores of other men, there’s a good chance the history books will tell a different story.
If America hears the call that is. You’ve figured it out by now, right? America is going through some kind of re-definition. Right now everything we know to be familiar and dear to is getting challenged. Is there a label for it yet? I am calling it the 3rd Reconstruction. But we’re we’re a long way from the start actually; we are still in the destruction period at the moment.
There are two takeaways society has an opportunity to learn from Al Franken’s demise. The first is that we should consider implementing some formal etiquette. Politicians and others need to adhere to a strict code of conduct that keeps men and women from engaging in “greetings” and meetings that lead to uncomfortable experiences or questionable encounters. No hugging or kissing. No touching would cover it.
Redefine and Adhere to Public Etiquette
The Japanese got it right, and perhaps we should follow their model. It would have saved Al Franken most of the embarrassment he’s experienced about the “sexual harassment” claims. A simple nod or bow is sufficient. Typically there are six feet or so between the Japanese. Shaking hands in Japan is rare. There is no touching and as a result, not only no chance for any misunderstanding of where a person’s hands end up. Another advantage is a highly reduced transmission of germs.
How did it come to be that politicians are hugging and kissing constituents, etc.? Many of the problems in workplaces around the country could be eliminated if we enhanced our ethics to something that neutralizes the ability for males to abuse females and for females to be put in situations that make them feel powerless. No touching would be a reasonable place to start.
But the Real Opportunity is About Redefining What We Find Funny
There is the seed of a beautiful country and world in something about Al Franken’s situation. Because as most people are aware, the photograph of Franken grabbing a woman’s breasts was supposed to be a joke. Let’s be honest! It was a joke, and lots of people laughed. If you aren’t aware, he wasn’t touching her, there were at least eight inches between his hands and her chest. The joke was she was sleeping, and he could “get away” with something. Not dissimilar to the famous quote: “when you are rich you can do anything….grab them … ”
Society is faced at this moment in time with the opportunity of evolving not only our politics and policies but our humor. It was funny. But it was funny at a cost to another. Most of what humans find comic falls into that category.
There is a new world emerging. It’s a world of oneness. If we are all one, is it amusing when one of us is suffering in some way? When we are one, what we do to another, we do to ourselves. We laugh when people hurt themselves. We laugh when people are embarrassed. We laugh when we trick or prank people. None of these laughs contain love. And none of them are energetically good for the person laughing. In the grand scheme of things.
Much of our humor is mean and unloving.
What Al Franken has done is to pave the way to a whole new discussion about who we want to declare ourselves to be and what kind of society, country and of a world we want to live in.
I for one look forward to a world where laughter only comes through joy and never at anyone’s expense. If we lived in that world now, Al Franken would not have had to resign because no one would have laughed (and hence he would never have made that joke.)