Bad Behavior

A few weeks ago while visiting with friends the conversation circled around to current events.  That particular week the current event was the firing of award winning newsman Charlie Rose and morning show host Matt Lauer.  It was a shock to learn of Charlie Rose actions but not so surprising about Matt Lauer.   Earlier in November on Facebook near the time allegations against Kevin Spacey came out regarding sexual inappropriateness a friend asked, “who would we be shocked by if they were outed? ” There are a few people men and women that I would hope will never be on the list but as more celebrities are added it becomes less shocking.

My friend Craig (name changed for privacy) asked the question “when will boys be taught not to be inappropriate?” He and his wife the parents of a daughter just one year in this world have the daunting task of teaching her to protect herself.  It seems that if parents approached the importance of teaching boys how to behave respectfully the need to teach girls to defend themselves would be less needed.  Note that more girls are behaving like bullies against both boys and girls, so girls don’t get a pass either.

The latest celebrity (as of this writing) to be taken down by inappropriate sexual behavior is Mario Batali.  Yes the chef who wears the orange crocs…I know it surprised me too.  Moreover though there was no denial but admission that the recalections of his accusers were accurate.  It is less common for those accused of inappropriate behavior to admit to the wrong doing, there is mostly denial or the response that they didn’t intend to offend.

In addition to celebrities of various levels, there are a number of elected officials being accused of inappropriate behavior.  It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle or political party affiliation, consistently there are individuals in office or seeking office that are impacted.  This is sad and disturbing to see and hear elected officials who are responsible for creating legislation, act in an inappropriate manner.  Unethical behavior should not be tolerated from anyone but especially local, state and national political figures who create the laws of the land.

I am going to take a minute here and provide some advice.  Touching another individual, displaying your genitalia, or making comments of sexual nature are all inappropriate.  This includes adults pursuing a young person female or male who is under the age of 18 years.  Especially if you are in a position of power and can influence the other persons livelihood.  There is a fine line if you are a counterpart or co-worker; however, if your advances are received with a repulsed expression they may not have been received well.

I have heard comments that men will not be able to even flirt any more.  There is a great difference between flirtation and assault.  And the time is now to understand the difference.  In addition to men and women knowing where the line is on flirting, the best method is to ask if your behavior is offensive.  Sometimes the best way to avoid confusion is a direct question…something like “does this make you uncomfortable or feel violated?”  However if you have to ask that question more than likely your behavior is inappropriate.

Finally to all the parents start early with your children both boys and girls.  Let them know what behavior is appropriate and what is not.  I know the reality that some parents themselves may be the problem, therefore for all parents do some self reflection.  Look at yourself and think if you are displaying bad behavior that is mirrored by by your children?  This is for any and all behavior not merely related to sexual inappropriateness.  There certainly will be another person in the public eye called on bad behavior but let’s help stop the madness.


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