Now that I have accepted myself for the asshole I am – now what? What is the world going to do with me? Or, rather, what am I going to do with the world?
I’m aware that we life in a highly polarized moral atmosphere. I can admit to myself that I’m not quite sure where I fit in, especially when we are striving to hold our leaders to high standards of moral purity. Our presidents, our judges, our priests, our representatives – we want them to have a clean moral slate. It’s part of what qualifies them to lead. While I have no desire to enter into politics, most leaders are held to the same moral standards.
So where does that leave me? In a world that demands moral purity from its leaders (or, well, you know…times are weird, we at least aspire to demanding moral purity from our leaders at this point), what are the immoral to do? I realize that this is a question that has been framed in an especially poignant tone given the #metoo movement – what are we supposed to do with these men who have transgressed against women sexually? Honestly, I’m not here to answer that question right now, but witnessing that debate go down, it makes me wonder: where do I fit in among the moral leaders?
I eschew power precisely because I know that I do not fit the moral criteria for a leader. However, given the vast unmasking of the sins of our leaders these days, I’ve started to rethink that. I, as a local woman of color without a college education, realize that if I do happen to ascend to power, I can use that opportunity to redistribute power to other people who are fit to lead. I see and understand the opportunity, and, even more than that, I see and understand the urgency to reframe power and shift ownership over to a new demographic. I support that.
So, given these pressing times, sure, I’ll pursue power for the sake of diversifying its presence in our society. But if this weren’t 2018, and women and people of color weren’t systematically oppressed by the government, then, nah, this would not be for me. Which is why I work in the industry I work in – the moral standards for bartenders are relatively low when compared to community leaders. On the other hand, I am also actively participating in redefining those moral standards because, fuck no, men with a history of sexual harassment and abuse should absolutely not be working with both the public and alcohol. Let’s not give them the opportunity.
I know that’s confusing, so let me define what I mean by moral standards and moral purity. I have chronicled a litany of sins on this and other blogs, including but not limited to rampant deviant sexual activity, drug and alcohol abuse, and general day to day asshole-ishness. And while I have detailed my disdain for objective morality extensively, I’m also aware that engaging in those kinds of activities probably doesn’t make me fit to make long lasting and deep decisions that impact people’s lives. Nor do I want to make those decisions, but given the opportunity, I probably shouldn’t do it. (Although, the people doing that currently also shouldn’t do it, regime change, blah, blah, blah.) So, what can I do? Or what am I morally fit to do in this society?
It makes sense that I exist in a realm where the repercussions of my moral ambiguity don’t reverberate too deeply across society. It makes sense for me to exist in a realm where moral ambiguity has no meaningful impact on my source of income or my role in society. Which doesn’t necessarily translate to imposed powerlessness but definitely translates into eschewing certain types of power where I could drastically hurt other people. I have to define and avoid those types of power for the safety of both everyone around me and also myself and my sense of moral worthiness.
I want men in power to assess themselves this way. Especially as it relates to my profession, men who have a history of sexual abuse and harassment should voluntarily recuse themselves from public facing positions of power, especially ones that involve alcohol. If they don’t do it themselves, perhaps we should enact a system that does it for them. Granted, I would like to not have to deal with these people on any echelon of society, but the fact of the matter is, alas, they still have to eat and pay rent. So perhaps they should invest themselves in careers that are suitable for people who have a propensity for harassing other people. Working in male dominated fields that do not interact with the public is a great place to start. Examples of jobs like that would be working on an oil rig, working for the union, working for UPS, or working at an Amazon warehouse.
Or, all I’m saying is: if I can deal with the insanity inside me, can you please deal with the insanity inside you, at least as it relates to your profession? I really don’t need some drunk creep making decisions about me for the rest of my life. Sure, I don’t really have much in common with someone who is morally pure, but I’d also rather have someone who is uncorruptable, stand up and fair making these kinds of decisions. I’d just…feel better about everything.