I want to talk about this issue of men and women and what has come to be known as the “Billy Graham Rule.” Most of the pushback by progressives and libertarians has been mostly of two strands.
1. Women won’t have access to powerful men.
2. It reduces women to sexual temptations. Related to this is something that Cathy Young brought up and that has to do with stunting interactions and relationships between the sexes, which of course, has to do with adhering to “social distancing” to use today’s vernacular.
In response to this, I like like to listen and heed the moral wisdom of others who have come before us which seems linguistically speaking, is counter to the cultural speak that infuses psychology to the point of undermining morality.
Yesterday, I was listening to a radio show in which a lady called to say that she thinks her husband was cheating on her (she thinks it’s happened on more than one occasion) and where the host makes an exceptional point. It went like this:
The caller: I have a little bit of a marital issue going on. This happened last night. The second incident where my husband sometimes travels for work and there is a co-worker that lives out of state that goes on these trips (with her husband to Tahiti?) The first time it happened was about 10 months ago. It happened again last night.
Host: Can you tell me what happened? You keep saying it happened, it happened. What happened?
Caller: They go out drinking, schmoozing, dinner.
Host: Who is THEY?
Caller: My husband and his co-worker who is a female. And they ended up continuing to go to bars and stuff and they close the bars down and he ended up spending the night at her home and he is saying, nothing happened and nothing would ever happen. I’m struggling because….
Host: OK, do you know anything about Judaism?
Host: They have a million rules. 632. If you’re Christian, you guys have got 10. You know. So never whine. One of the 632 rules is that you are not supposed to do anything that looks like you are doing something wrong because it influences others in a negative way. That’s an interesting rule. And the story goes like this:
A rabbi on Saturday (and Saturday is the holy day if you are a Jew, you’re not suppose to shop, etc, even cut up toilet paper, I mean no work, OK? But you can walk)! So this Orthodox Jew is walking by this bakery and his friend is in the bakery and his friend is not Jewish and his friend says, “Come on in! Come on in!” The rabbi wouldn’t go in! The guy came out and said, “Why don’t you just come in?” (The rabbi says) “Cause I can’t give the IMPRESSION that I’m doing something wrong. Because I’m a role model, as a rabbi, as a Jew, as a man, as a father, as a husband. I’m a role model to people walking up and down the streets who wonder what a Jew is. I’m a role model! Constantly!”
And whether you’re Jewish or not, that’s true! Everything we do is role modelling. This goes for everybody. Which is why a lot of very famous people who are very religious, like Billy Graham for example and other people and military and…I was going to say politics but I don’t know if that exists anymore but…will never be in the room with the opposite sex without a door open or somebody else there. Because:
A. They don’t want temptation.
C. Role modelling.
So what your husband has been doing is extremely wrong, it’s counter-productive to…it’s, it’s…it spits on the vows, it’s disrespectful to you and to the marriage. What you are going to do about this, I have no clue. But what he is doing, is terribly wrong whether he humped her or not.
Caller: Correct. And that’s how I feel about it.
Host: I’m not talking about your feelings at all. I can guess that you’re hurt. That’s a feeling. But we don’t feel facts. We know them. And the fact is, a loving responsible man who is married does not behave like this. He disrespects you. He disrespects the vows. Pretty self-centered and probably has a drinking problem. So when you put that all together, I don’t know what you are going to do with it.
Caller: I don’t know either.
Host: Can’t tell you that.
Caller: (sobbing) OK.
Host: But that wouldn’t happen on my turf.
Caller: (sobbing) Agreed. Thank you.
Host: And I’m very sorry. Hate to hear you hurt like that by somebody who made vows, to love, to honour and to cherish you. Certainly isn’t following those. I’m sorry.
Why is this problematic for women connecting to men in power? People like Pence or Billy Graham did NOT say they would never meet with women. They said they would not be ALONE with them. So, for example, if there was a need to meet with the second most powerful man in the world, how is that a problem? He could meet during business hours with other people present, or cameras, etc. It really is a straw man argument. For radical leftist feminists to make the argument that it reduces women to sexual temptations for men is disingenuous in this era of #metoo and “all men are potential rapists.” Lastly, I fail to see how men and women in the work place or outside of it fail to have flourishing interactions between themselves when there are numerous occasions to do so (even in situations where they are not married but can be in the appropriate company of each other in a public place).