Long ago, a newspaper posed the question, “What is wrong with the world?” The author G.K. Chesterton wrote back, Dear Sir’s: I am.”
I could write many Pews about Chesterton. If you are not familiar with him, I suggest you click on the link https://www.chesterton.org/who-is-this-guy/. One of my favorites is, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
I thought of Chesterton when I read that dictionary.com had named the word “complicit” as the word of the year, and like most males in society today we grapple with the question, “Was I complicit in a culture that treated women so poorly?” The answer of course is Chestertonlike: “I was.” Maybe, I didn’t treat women like so many of my counterparts, but was I “complicit?” The answer is most assuredly, yes. Silence under the law is deemed consent or approval. I think if men are honest, most of them would admit they were complicit at best, if not much worse.
When one is faced with an injustice we have an obligation to speak. Now comes the hard question. Since so many women and a few men are finding the courage to call inappropriate behavior to task, what do the rest of us do? Support them, yes, but what else? Do we sit on the sidelines and let it all play out? What is the right response? Clearly, if we observe inappropriate conduct we have an obligation to speak, but what about conduct that happened in the past?
I welcome your suggestions.