The “Me Too” Syndrome: Questioning Western Values!

Apologizing and asking for forgiveness has been the common cautious response of western men facing sexual misconduct allegations inspired by the current “Me Too” campaign. Westerners, who generally know how to turn their unpleasant pages speedily to refocus on their daily routines, should not consider themselves cleansed of these allegations; living in an advanced nation does not automatically qualify them as moral citizens.

The Pandora’s Box of sexual misconduct that was recently opened in the United States raises clear questions concerning Westerners’ professed moral values! The fact that some of this misconduct occurred decades ago highlights a serious deficiency in Western society; the likelihood of living with shameful acts for years. Meanwhile, those who, convicted of sexual abuse, were forced to resign due to the publicity of the campaign would certainly have kept their jobs had their respective scandals not been revealed.

The West tends to define moral values based on its society’s evolution! Westerners praise or condemn their citizens’ behavior according to their personal perspective and what is culturally acceptable to them. Sexual misconduct is completely unacceptable in Western society; nevertheless, Westerners are able to maintain their transgressions as long as their power accords them the necessary immunity. In the West, apparently, power grants huge privileges to citizens, enabling them to behave immorally in public with impunity.

“When in Rome do as the Romans do” portrays how many Westerners think and behave! They tend to abide by the rules of the game in their host countries, even when these rules sometimes conflict with the moral values they claim to hold. Regardless of its nature, as long as there is a safe channel for their misconduct – or even illegal activity – many Westerners will pursue it! Powerful men, such as celebrities, politicians and the wealthy, are the ones most repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct – because they know that their power grants them immunity.

Western nations are often proud of their ethical work policies (gender equality, obligatory hiring of a percentage of people with disabilities), yet they may actually be forced to apply these policies by their governments’ regulations, rather than because they are morally driven towards less fortune citizens or truly believe in gender equality. Other work related misdeeds, such as the promotion of incompetent executives or the firing of qualified ones, may be widespread but unnoticed due to lack of monitoring.

That sexual abusers manage to commit their offences (of which their peers and superiors are aware) for years, that many women prefer keeping quiet about being sexually abused rather than risk losing their jobs, as well as the financial settlements that some women accept in exchange for their silence are clear indications of Western society’s defects and the low moral values that many abide by.

Furthermore, those who have been accused of sexual misconduct are celebrities in their societies who certainly help to shape social norms! It has become obvious that not only does power matter in those countries, but also that, in the United States, the relative political superiority of Democrats vs. Republicans is of more value to the ruling mechanism than morality. It is clear that Western politics empowers politicians to defend their convicted colleagues! Thus, the claim made by many Westerners that moral values are natural Western values is completely flawed!

We non-westerners believe that Western society applies a double standard to moral values! To a great extent, Westerners adhere by what they claim as “Western values” within the context of their internal disputes; however, when it comes to external politics or business, they are happy to distance themselves from the values they tend to abide by in their countries! Most of the current sexual misbehavior allegations concern powerful men who knew that they could get away with their wrongdoings at home. The same class of men could easily disengage further from their moral values when abroad.

Western nations tend to measure their success by the fact that they are far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of freedom and modernity. However, these attributes have nothing to do with moral values, which are more personally driven obligations – an area in which the West is still behind. The supremacy of Western society is revealed in its ability to establish an efficient and functioning ruling mechanism and in its effective application of law enforcement. The “Me Too” campaign should prompt Westerners to revisit what they so often claim as Western moral values.

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