Sexual Exploitation

Three Pillar Strategy – Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization 2018

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This Concerned Women for America “The Counterpoint” policy paper suggests a “Three Pillar Strategy” to better prioritize and focus Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funds, programming, and other resources to uphold the Act’s original intent: to reduce violence against women and to strengthen services and administer justice to women victims of violence.

The Mainstreaming of Child Sexual Exploitation

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The so-called transgender moment that followed the celebration of homosexual behavior is giving way to an even darker effort to normalize child sexual exploitation. The Daily Wire report of an 11-year-old dancing on stage at a gay bar, simulating stripping, while even getting money from adults in the audience, is nothing short of that, the sexual exploitation of children.  From the story:

On December 1, an 11-year-old boy dressed in drag danced on stage in a sexual manner at a gay bar in Brooklyn, NY, called 3 Dollar Bill. The child, Desmond Napoles, was dressed as a Gwen Stefani-lookalike — full drag makeup, a blonde wig, and crop top included — as he bounced around onstage to No Doubt’s “Like a Girl” and collected dollar bills from male adults viewing the number.

The written account was disturbing enough, but I was not prepared to see the actual footage of this perversion. Here it is as it was featured on the Ben Shapiro Show:



We should weep for a country and a people that find this acceptable. It is utterly frightening to know it is happening in our country — we are that people.

Friends, the Church cannot stay silent while the mainstreaming of sexual exploitation continues to spread around us.  Most people know deep inside this is a terrible development, yet they remain silent, perhaps fearing the cultural cost. Therefore, it is up to you and me, as believers in Truth, to speak out. We are those who have counted the cost and have chosen to still follow Christ. We must stand and speak light into this darkness.

Let us be despised, that God may be glorified.

Children should not be sexually exploited for any reason. This may be a radical statement in this day and age, but it is true. And we must shout it from the rooftops at every turn. It is not liberating or empowering to affirm gender confusion in children for the sake of affirming the rightness of the lifestyle and worldview of adults.

We must identify this as exploitation because the focus of these efforts is the adults who promote it. The pride and self-centeredness of man, this idolatry of the self, is at the center of this movement. It is not scientific or logical or compassionate.

What we are witnessing actually affirms the Scriptures, even while many proport to be breaking out from under its grip. There is a darkening of the mind that occurs when we turn to worship the creatures rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-32). That is what our generation has chosen — to pursue personal appetites without regard to the common good. “If it feels good, it must be right” is a foolish philosophy. That its popularity continues to grow guarantees us a fool’s harvest. We reap what we sow. And we have sown unrighteousness for far too long for us to expect anything different than what we are seeing today.

Therefore, we must be prepared to be that voice crying out in the wilderness for repentance. We must fight the good fight of faith, that the next generation may turn from our wicked ways and desire to live by faith. But it all starts with our voice. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:27).

So, let us speak then, brothers and sisters. Boldly and faithfully. The time is near.

Let’s unite to support justice for the millions of brave women who’ve survived sexual assault

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This week I am scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine federal funding of DNA analysis — with the goal of promoting justice for victims of crime.  As a survivor of assault and attempted rape on a Virginia running path, I am honored to testify in regard to the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act, a program within the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that funds the processing of DNA rape kits.

First enacted in 1994 by President Clinton, VAWA has been a hotbed of conflict, deeply dividing party lines — with both sides taking part in public mud-slinging and scare tactics. But, now more than ever, it is time to try to find common ground, and focus on bringing justice and relief to the millions of brave American women who have survived violence and sexual assault.

Over the twenty-four years of VAWA’s existence, the Office of Violence Against Women has distributed over 7.6 billion dollars to VAWA grant recipients.  During this time, Concerned Women for America has had a love-hate relationship with VAWA.  The fight against sexual exploitation is one of CWA’s seven core issues, and as the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, we applaud any efforts to reduce violence or bring support to victims.

However, we believed combating violence against women was (in most cases) most effectively organized at the state level.  In addition, we have been concerned over the lack of conscience provisions for faith-based service providers.  For example, in 2011 after five years of providing services to sex trafficking victims in 44 states, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was denied participation in the program which many believed was due to their position on abortion and HHS preference for “full-range” of family planning services.

Equally frustrating is the lack of oversight and accountability, fraud, and abuse of VAWA funds. We know that between 1993 and 2010, the Inspector General reviewed twenty-two individual grantees that received VAWA funding.  Of those twenty-two, twenty-one grantees were found to have some form of “violation of grant requirements” which included unauthorized or unallowable expenditures, slipshod record keeping, and failure to report in a timely manner. And these are just a few examples.

The Debbie Smith Act is one small program within VAWA.  This program is an abundantly worthy effort and an example of the kind of work that can be achieved when we work together on a bipartisan basis.  The program has made great strides in helping states begin the hard work to clean up the backlog of unprocessed DNA but we can do better.  Through the Debbie Smith Act, we have spent over $1.2 billion to clean up state rape kit backlogs since 2004. However, due to a lack of accountability and prioritization in this program, we still have little to no idea of whether or not these funds have reached this objective.

What we do know is that in many states the rape kit backlog is still unaccounted for, and in some cases forgotten, such as in the instance of the eleven thousand kits found in an abandoned Detroit warehouse; some of these kits lay unopened and wasting for twenty five years while rape victims waited for justice.

In recent years, CWA has realized we would rather work to improve the Act and focus real and effective help to women.  Instead of raging at the darkness, we are ready to light a candle.  It is for this reason I will testify for the Debbie Smith Act, in a spirit of bi-partisan cooperation and to be sure that the next reauthorization of Debbie Smith will promote justice for victims of sexual assault. That I am sure, is something on which we can all agree.

To that goal, when I testify, I will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee for greater accountability in the Debbie Smith Act — specifically to account for the rape kit backlog — and for prioritizing the processing of rape kits over other crimes. As a condition of receipt of funds, states must be willing to come clean about the number of rape kits awaiting processing.  

Secondly, we must prioritize the DNA processing of the sexual assault kits of rape victims. We understand that processing other types of crimes can increase the chance of getting DNA hits for perpetrators of sexual assault through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and we fully support those efforts. But let’s not forget that the first priority should be for the victims who have been waiting for justice for many years, often while enduring significant physical and psychological trauma. Justice demands that every woman represented in each of those forgotten rape kits be accounted for and their evidence processed.

Rarely can I remember a time when our nation was so deeply divided on current issues.  In an era of bi-partisan name-calling, dirt-throwing, and rampant distrust, now more than ever we must unite on an issue on which we can agree: justice and relief for the millions of brave women who have survived violence and sexual assault.

Now is the time for us to demand justice and accountability from both state and federal governments.  Each of the rape kits waiting represents a woman praying that the monster who violated her will be prosecuted before the statute of limitations’ clock runs out.  Let’s make that happen.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to see it there.

President Trump signs anti-sex-trafficking bill

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Washington, D.C. — This morning, President Trump signed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), into law. 

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, had this to say: 

“The President is standing up to Silicon Valley and standing with victims of abuse. FOSTA is the biggest anti-sex trafficking bill that has been signed into law since The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003. This bill closes the loophole that allowed bad-actor websites to not only knowingly facilitate prostitution and sex trafficking, but also to profit from the ads selling women and children against their will.

“Evangelical women see this as ‘caring for the least of these.’ This is a huge victory for all the victims who have been impacted by the compliance, negligence, and intentional exploitation by websites like that allowed them to be sold and repeatedly raped.  Concerned Women for America strongly supported this legislation to the point that we were able to thwart efforts by big-money media to sink the bill.

“President Trump signed this bill today, but the reality is that even before the bill was signed, it was driving change., a classified ad listing service, was seized by the Department of Justice for ‘knowingly facilitating’ prostitution ads as well as covering up sexually trafficked children while publically pretending to do something about it. Not even a full day had passed after the Senate’s passage before the first website that advertised ‘adult escort’ services had been shut down.

“CWA is thankful to our friend, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), for putting countless hours into writing this bill, working with other members, the Department of Justice, state and local law enforcement, and victims to improve this bill, and seeing it through to the end. Lives are being changed, because of her willingness to stand up for those who need an advocate. We are honored to have stood alongside her in this process and championed the cause.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Senate Passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act

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Washington, D.C. — Penny Young Nance, the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement following the Senate passage of H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). The legislation now heads to the president’s desk: 

“Yesterday the Senate made crucial strides to curtail the gruesome practice of selling human beings online, a practice our laws were never meant to enable. Once the president signs FOSTA, survivors and law enforcement will have new tools available to hold bad actor websites that are knowingly participating in sex trafficking accountable.

 “While the Internet has given us so much good, Congress could not have foreseen the depravity and exploitation that it has caused, and if they could have, they certainly would have never condoned this behavior. The laws put in place to foster innovation were never meant to enable sex trafficking. This concept is so obvious; it is absurd that we even had to clarify it.

 “This is a victory for law enforcement officers who are working relentlessly to combat sex trafficking in their communities. This is a victory for prosecutors and the 50 state attorneys general who support FOSTA and who have asked for better tools and resources so that they can better prosecute those involved in sex trafficking. Perhaps most importantly, this is a victory for victims who have encountered substantial obstacles while trying to achieve justice against those found complicit in their trafficking.

“I applaud the tireless work of Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) and her staff who have worked on the federal, state, and local level to preserve the freedom of the Internet while holding bad actor websites accountable. I also applaud Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), House and Senate leadership, and all those involved in making this legislation stronger and moving it forward.”

Senate Passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA)

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

Washington, D.C. — Penny Young Nance, the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement following the Senate passage of H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). The legislation now heads to the President’s desk:

“Yesterday the Senate made crucial strides to curtail the gruesome practice of selling human beings online, a practice our laws were never meant to enable. Once the president signs FOSTA, survivors and law enforcement will have new tools available to hold bad actor websites that are knowingly participating in sex trafficking accountable.

“While the Internet has given us so much good, Congress could not have foreseen the depravity and exploitation that it has caused, and if they could have, they certainly would have never condoned this behavior. The laws put in place to foster innovation were never meant to enable sex trafficking. This concept is so obvious; it is absurd that we even had to clarify it.

“This is a victory for law enforcement officers who are working relentlessly to combat sex trafficking in their communities. This is a victory for prosecutors and the 50 state attorneys general who support FOSTA and who have asked for better tools and resources so that they can better prosecute those involved in sex trafficking. Perhaps most importantly, this is a victory for victims who have encountered substantial obstacles while trying to achieve justice against those found complicit in their trafficking.

“I applaud the tireless work of Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) and her staff who have worked on the federal, state, and local level to preserve the freedom of the Internet while holding bad actor websites accountable. I also applaud Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), House and Senate leadership, and all those involved in making this legislation stronger and moving it forward.”

For an interview with Penny Nance, contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Not Your Grandfather’s Pornography: the Problem, the Harm, and a Policy Response

By | Legal, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

As the country wrestles with the widespread problem of sexual assault (as embodied in the recent “#MeToo” phenomena) and how to respond to it, we must consider the multiple factors that lie at the root of the issue. The rapid spread of online pornography, with its decisive sexual objectification of women, is one area that should be explored and prioritized among policymakers.

The violent, sexual subjugation of women is not an unfortunate byproduct of pornography but one of its main selling points. Physical and mental abuse of women is not uncommon — both on and off camera — in the porn industry. It is an industry that rewards risky sexual behavior and preys on the minds of both young men and women by appealing to their prurient instincts and feeding their most debased desires.

Pornography, taken as a whole, lacks any serious societal value, and whatever value it may have is greatly outweighed by the numerous unintended consequences it continues to produce in our society.

This paper discusses the problem of online pornography, the numerous harms that make it a public health hazard, and suggests a three-pronged approach (three “E”s) to tackle the issue going forward: education, enforcement, and empathy.

International Women’s Day: Is #MeToo Yesterday’s Hashtag, or Will it Bring True Change?

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Five months out from the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the subsequent launch of #MeToo, we find ourselves celebrating International Women’s Day on Thursday with a focus on gender parity.

Concerned Women for America members join in the celebration. Thankfully, American women enjoy more freedom, opportunity and legal protection than most, if not the entire, world. This is no secret.

The majority of legal immigrants to the United States are women who yearn to join our ranks. Even Hillary Clinton recognized this fact when she said in 2015: “There has never been a better time in history to be born female.” We are doctors, lawyers, and governors. We are CEOs and astronauts. Women are on the move.

First, are women actually more inclined to speak up about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace today than they were five months ago? Did the show of support from Hollywood during the awards season or black-garbed senators during the State of the Union really change anything?

Last year saw women take on the tough topic of sexual assault, but we should take a moment to reflect on the current cultural phenomena of the #MeToo movement. What started here has spread to become an international inflection point for women to discuss sexual harassment and assault. It is no surprise that even other Western nations struggle, because this is a matter of the heart. Mankind is broken.

While the movement has left a trail of abusive men and women who have been fired from their lofty positions, or are at least are under investigation, it’s difficult to say with any authority that it will permanently change our institutions.

It took over 30 years for one Harvard professor, who was accused of sexual harassment over three decades by female colleagues and students, to finally be placed on leave. Women left their jobs at Harvard because of this man during all these years and only now are seeing justice.

However, despite decades of stories filtering out from the ivory towers of academia, for the most part, higher education is slipping undeservedly under the radar. One will know things have changed when universities stop predatory professors.

Secondly, is Hollywood serious?  Several Hollywood actresses have indeed broken their silence and named the men who made their lives a living hell. Those men have fallen hard from the top, but then Hollywood chooses this week to give an Oscar to Kobe Bryant, who was arrested and charged with sexual assault in 2003 after a 19-year-old woman accused him of rape. The case against Bryant was dropped a year later when the woman said she wasn’t willing to testify in court.

Hollywood also has made a huge show of appointing Anita Hill as head of a commission against sexual harassment. Yet, it was Hill who defended President Bill Clinton during one of his many alleged sexual escapades, several of which were reportedly unwanted advances. Conservative women are left to wonder Hollywood is just content to score political points.

And when is Congress going to come clean?  A few members have resigned in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but others are hiding behind a secret list from the Office of Compliance that paid over $17 million in taxpayer money to settle workplace disputes – including sexual harassment settlements.

This is only in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate paid separately and also concealed the identities of the guilty. The taxpayers rightfully deserve to know how our money was spent and which lawmakers were involved.

The whole ordeal is rife with contradictions and seems to always be one step forward and two steps back.

What about lower-paid working women?  Is the demand for zero tolerance of boorish behavior going to trickle down to them? Thus far, there are no stories of the hospitality industry and restaurant chains clamping down on grabby bosses or patrons.

So what makes a woman working a blue collar job who is sexually harassed think she stands a chance of not facing retribution should she report what is happening? This becomes real when reporters cover stories of new accountability at places like McDonald’s and TGI Fridays.

The final question: When will the #MeToo movement realize that there can be no left or right litmus test for members? You think the mean-girl stage ends in high school, but no.

“You can’t sit with us” has just turned into “you can’t stand with us.” Many women feel as if they have no recourse in the public square, because in order to join other women in the #MeToo movement they think they must be liberal feminists.

So as women celebrate living in an exceptional nation, it’s good to consider ways to improve our nation for all women, regardless of socioeconomic class or political bent. The #MeToo movement needs consistency and inclusion in order to be both sustainable and effective. If gender equality is to happen, it must first happen among women leading the way by embracing the Golden Rule for each other.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to see it.

Another Hard-fought Victory This Week – Sex Trafficking

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This week the House passed a sex trafficking bill (H.R. 1865) that would allow state attorneys general and victims to sue websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. This bill was created to target sites like, which is currently under Senate investigation because of the hosting of ads that promoted the trafficking of minors. The legislation passed changes Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which the first circuit ruled shields websites from lawsuits over user-generated content.

This bill was a fight from the very beginning. Fortunately, human trafficking is a big issue nationally, and generally, everyone agrees it is a horrid practice that must be stopped. However, this issue has a lot of money surrounding it, and that means there are a lot of anti-sex trafficking groups with a lot of opinions about how this type of legislation should be handled. This issue also touched the bipartisan golden child of Congress: the tech industry. Democrat and Republican leadership are both heavily funded by the tech industry, and, unfortunately, they hated this bill when it was originally introduced, so we had our work cut out for us.

CWA worked with Rep. Ann Wagner’s (R-Missouri) office almost weekly for a year, meeting and strategizing how to get people in D.C. on board with something for which states were asking. The original bill was altered several times to appease not only the trafficking groups, but also was altered per DOJ’s request. When it passed, it was supported by all 50 state attorneys general. The final bill is a reflection of what should happen in Washington. Everyone: groups, congressional Democrats and Republicans, and the administration, worked together (eventually, not everyone was on board initially) to make a stronger and better piece of legislation.

We were not happy with the Senate counterpart for the House bill. It is what I would refer to as a “pat ourselves on the back” bill; it seems like it is accomplishing something, and it sounds really good, but ultimately it was not as strong as the House bill, and we had major concerns. Unfortunately, we were one of the few who did have major concerns with only the Senate language, and many sex trafficking groups loved the Senate language, but we vocalized those concerns and worked with Rep. Wagner’s office to educate members and leadership on why the House bill is better.

H.R. 1865 passed the U.S. House by a vote of 388-25.   The Senate will take up the House-passed bill the week of March 12.  Congratulations to Rep. Wagner who led the charge on the passage of this bill.  CWA worked long and hard on this legislation.  We look forward to seeing it through to passage in the Senate, also.


Nassar Case Demonstrates Harms of Pornography

By | LBB, Legal, Sex Trafficking / Pornography, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

The pornography cancer that continues to consume our nation reared its ugly head again as the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar concluded this week. The former USA Gymnastics doctor was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who told him, “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”

Nassar abused more than 150 girls over the past two decades. He got less than what he deserves.

But those getting acquainted with the case now might miss that, just like virtually every other predator in the history of sexual assault, Nassar fed, groomed, and rotted his brain on pornography before and after abusing girls for years.

It was pornography that did him in…

Read the rest of this op-ed as featured exclusively on

Mario Diaz, Esq. is Concerned Women for America’s legal counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Congress: Back in Black?

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The Golden Globe Awards show was viewed by 19 million people, and many women in entertainment used it as a platform to stand in solidarity with victims of assault and sexual harassment by powerful men in the industry. They did this by wearing black, which successfully grabbed the national spotlight and drove the media conversation for a solid day, maybe two.  Piggy-backing off this media attention, some members of Congress are planning to wear black to the president’s State of the Union Address later this month.

The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace has finally broken into the national consciousness, as it should have years ago. We applaud the likes of Eva Longoria who launched “Time’s Up,” which has raised millions of dollars for a legal fund to help disadvantaged women who have been sexually harassed. We all agree that #TimesUp on sexual harassment, and now, as a nation, we’re on the edge of our seats; how will this be handled both by specific industries as well as on a congressional level?

#TimesUp for sexual harassment in the workplace, but time is also up for replacing action with slogans and hashtag campaigns. Time’s up for fawning over an actress who calls for the rejection of abject poverty while wearing a $380 sweatshirt declaring said rejection. Time’s up for buying into the illusion that donning a certain color garment is something powerful.

It is not. These are nothing more than gestures.

How does wearing a black dress to an awards show help the waitress with the grabby boss? How does it help the rape victim whose DNA evidence sits unprocessed by state law enforcement for years?

To our congresswomen and senators specifically, how does the choice of a black suit help the low-level staffer who was forced to quit her job because her boss – your colleague – couldn’t keep his hands in his pockets?

What can Hollywood, the media, and Congress actually do besides use hashtags and designer gowns to prove they are in solidarity with the victims of abuse? There are real steps that can be taken.

Congress can start by releasing the list of congressmen and senators who have used taxpayer dollars to keep their victims quiet. Until that list is released, no one is going to take a campaign of color-coordinated outfits seriously. Demand accountability for whatever portion of the $17+ million of tax dollars that was used to cover up the workplace violations and sexual harassment claims against elected officials.

Currently, there is limited process and no accountability. That low-level staffer will still leave her job – or stay and endure the harassment because she needs the money and a resume boost. She does not feel supported because celebrities and senators look like they are going to a funeral for a night.

Some men have been called to task for their despicable behavior and rightly fired. But Congress is way behind the curve on this issue. At least the media and Hollywood have acted quickly to remove from their payrolls the men who behaved badly; Congress acts as if they are on a leisurely Sunday stroll to nowhere when it comes to accountability when they should be setting the example.

While Eva Longoria seems to be on the right track, another group of Hollywood executives from all the big labels blew it.  This was their moment to own their sin and to find a way forward, but, sadly, they chose politics over people.

The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace could have chosen anyone from a large number of qualified women, but instead, powerful insiders chose Anita Hill to lead the commission. While Miss Hill is a hero for the left due to her opposition and testimony against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991, they conveniently forget the incident a few years later during a Meet the Press interview when she chose not to support women who were sexually harassed by President Bill Clinton.  Instead, she deferred to, and then sided with, the most powerful man in the world.

These kinds of stunts get us nowhere. They only serve to exacerbate an already politically charged and contentious topic. Hollywood and Congress are wearing black this January, and if they want to use their power to dress alike, fine. However, if they want to use their power to help women who have been forced to be silent in the face of harassment, Hollywood needs to find someone new to head up their Commission on Sexual Harassment, and members of Congress must demand that the list of fellow colleagues who used taxpayer dollars to cover their tracks be released.

Time’s up for inaction and posturing.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was posted by Fox News. Read it here.


Playboy and the Way of the World

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It is the way of the world that corporations tend to be corrupted as each successive generation takes control. Sometimes men start companies with all the best intentions, eschewing the making of a cheap buck for the sake of their principles. This tends to be something their children fail to understand, or it at least tends to be discounted in favor of getting dad to go a different direction to increase the company’s bottom line. But oftentimes, dad won’t budge. The company will operate as he sees it — as his vision dictates … until he dies. Then, without their father to stand in the way, the children turn the company down darker paths and make darker alliances. In the case of a company that’s already bad, well, things get worse.

In the case of Playboy — while Hugh Hefner’s dead body was still warm — the floundering magazine for “men” introduced its first transgendered playmate. (Links are for sourcing purposes only. Let the curious be forewarned.)

Let that sink in for a moment. They went from the exploitation of women, to the exploitation of a man who feels like a woman. Playboy has definitely taken a darker turn, coming down on the side of sexual confusion. But then, the whole empire was built on sexual confusion as a founding principle. “The human body is beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with that; no one is getting hurt. This is empowering to women.”

Really? Then why do we have a #MeToo culture? Why do we have porn addicts assaulting children in libraries, Target stores, and elsewhere across this porn-soaked planet? Why is the FBI rescuing a five-year-old girl and her three-month-old sister from a sex trafficking ring? Who really gets empowered in all this — and who gets fooled into believing they’re empowered? Sex and sexuality as a tool of empowerment is absolute confusion. It is used by the Hefners and Weinsteins of the world to control and exploit.

But God never intended sex as a tool or weapon. He never created a harem — virtual or otherwise. He created us male and female. One man and one woman in the beginning. God instituted one man/one woman marriage, and by extension that means a man should only really see his wife’s body and she his. Every Playboy playmate — and every woman caught in the web of lies that is pornography — is offered up as an opportunity for every man to look at the body of a woman who is, or has the potential to be, someone else’s wife. And that fits perfectly the Lord’s definition of adultery.

Playboy has, for years, tried to tell men what kind of body shapes they should find attractive. That effort has been mimicked to softer — but no less insidious — degrees by the marketing industry. The trickledown effect has been monumentally destructive for young girls, who see the thin, busty models and then look at their still-developing bodies and well up in a rage and hatred that points inward and warps their sense of self, playing out in eating disorders and other forms of self-harm.

On top of those unrealistic expectations — because, let’s be real, every image in Playboy is heavily Photoshopped — our daughters have to contend with porn-soaked boys, who look at Playboy and worse, and expect girls to be the easy, slutty porn princesses of their lurid, little dreams.

The #MeToo culture isn’t going anywhere, because sexual predators will continue to feed on Playboy and the rotten fruits of the industry it spawned, until they are no longer sated by mere images and venture out into the real world for victims.

This latest envelope pushing by Playboy shows that they’re not done yet — that they’re willing to sink deeper into sexually deviant realms. Their callous disregard for women, under the guise of empowerment, simultaneously sickens me and chills me to the bone.

I fear for my daughter. I fear for my sons. And I fear for an America that has turned from the Lord to engage in such a twisted, base worship of the human form. God help us all.

Anita Hill is not Hollywood’s answer. Her ‘they all do it’ defense of Clinton doesn’t fly.

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Aspiring actresses and Hollywood career women may have cheered when they heard Show Biz execs tapped Anita Hill to lead a sexual harassment commission examining issues of sexual misconduct and inequality in the entertainment industry.  As a former victim of an actual physical attack and attempted rape over 20 years ago, all I can say is, “I wish this was truly a win for women.”

Besides the obvious problem of Hollywood big wigs choosing to politicize this problem, the deeper issue is that Ms. Hill is not the advocate for whom women are looking, especially in an industry that is led by many clearly hypocritical men.  The women of Hollywood may have grown up learning about Anita Hill as a heroine, but as we’ve come – all too painfully – to learn, academia and media have painted a picture of her over the past quarter century that is conveniently divorced from reality.

Ms. Hill had the chance to stand up for numerous women who were being sexually mistreated by a powerful man. Instead she chose to defend that man and cast doubt on his accusers.  So much for every woman deserving to be believed.

During President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct scandals, Ms. Hill was interviewed by Tim Russert and Gwen Ifill of NBC News on Meet the Press.  They asked her directly about accusations made by Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and others. Her reaction would cause a great deal of shock today, and the women of entertainment need to know what she said then, because it affects how much confidence they should invest in her now.

Kathleen Willey, once an enthusiastic fundraiser for, and supporter of, Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaigns, came to see him in the Oval Office. She was in financial trouble.  He chose this moment to assault her.  When asked about Willey’s accusations on Meet the PressMs. Hill dismissed them.

“We don’t have Ms. Willey claiming that this behavior was severe and ongoing, or pervasive enough that it became a condition of her employment. She’s not making that claim at all. And, in fact, no one has made that claim. She says in the deposition, I believe, that she was not given any particular favor at the White House because of this incident nor could she say that she suffered any disadvantage because of this incident.”

Russert pushed: “So, do we dismiss the president’s alleged behavior … because he backed off when he was told ‘no?’ It’s acceptable.”

Hill: “Well I’m not sure. I think that we have to evaluate it not on the basis of whether it’s sexual harassment, but evaluate it on the basis of what we would like to see in terms of the behavior and the moral decisions and judgments of the president.”

She then inexplicably launched into the “they all do it” defense, citing Presidents Kennedy and Johnson among others.

“I think the American public has heard so much about the sexual activities and the sex lives of these individuals, and we’ve sort of become cynical and said, ‘Well, if he did it, maybe that’s OK; they all do it.”

If you’re a woman in the entertainment industry – or any victim of sexual misconduct or physical assault – and you’re watching this or reading the transcript, it does not inspire confidence.  Quite the opposite, especially in light of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein and others.

Hill kept going and even more inexplicably compounded the “they all do it” defense with the now unfathomable double-standard reasoning that President Clinton should get a pass because … he’s a liberal and supports so-called “women’s issues.”  Sound familiar?

This is utterly ridiculous given today’s revelations. Before he was outed as a predator, Harvey Weinstein took a back seat to no one as a liberal advocate on what Hill referred to as “women’s issues generally.”

When Ms. Hill had the opportunity to step up and defend the powerless against the most powerful man in the world, her instinct was to defend him, because his politics happened to be liberal. Well, it’ll come as no shock to every woman in Hollywood that their town is replete with countless powerful men whose politics just happen to be liberal.

It doesn’t take a great intellectual leap to posit this is why, in all their insecurity (and condescension), the Hollywood moguls picked her to lead the commission in the first place.  If these leaders truly care about the women in their industry, they’ll find someone way better to lead this effort than Anita Hill.  As it stands, with Anita Hill at the helm, this effort must be viewed as unserious.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by USA Today. Click here to read it.

His Standard of Righteousness

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Lately, we have seen so many situations involving people stepping down from their positions because of inappropriate behavior.

It’s all very disturbing, and yet it’s also no surprise that sin and perversion is so rampant in our society. Now it’s just more evident than ever and out in the open for all to see. The church isn’t exempt either. The Bible says in I Peter 4:17 that judgment begins in the house of God.

Thank God for His standard of righteousness and for His mercy. He is exposing what is hidden in the darkness and bringing it into the light. Now it can be dealt with so redemption can begin to take place. He’s all about redeeming what is broken, twisted, and lost and making people and society whole and in alignment with His Word.

If there was no standard of right and wrong, none of this would even be happening. The fact that it is happening indicates that there is still some moral code remaining in our country, despite how far we have drifted from Biblical standards as a nation.

In the midst of this, there are also situations where some are being falsely accused. We must pray for truth to be made known in each situation and for God’s protection for those who are innocent.

It’s possible that what has been hidden in darkness needs to be dealt with and exposed, because God wants to pour out His Spirit once again on America. As we pray for a thorough house cleaning, may the King of Glory enter in! (Psalm 24)

Denise Cappuccio serves as Director of Finance for Concerned Women for America.

Sexual Assault: A Free Pass for Congress?

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Another one bites the dust – this time, “Today Show” host Matt Lauer, whose firing for “inappropriate sexual behavior” in the workplace was announced Wednesday morning. This comes only a week after rival morning show host Charlie Rose of CBS was fired for the same thing.

News reports indicate this is merely the beginning for women who have bided their time, suffered in silence and dealt with sexual harassment or worse in the workplace for decades. Now they are coming forward to finally obtain justice

Matt Lauer is only the latest to be fired from his high-profile job in recent weeks in Hollywood, the news media and elsewhere.

These men were in powerful positions, as were most of the men who have been outed for their gross mistreatment of women.  Predators prey on the weak, not the strong. The cockroaches scatter when the cleansing light illuminates darkness.

NBC, CBS, PBS, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Amazon Studios, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, MSNBC, ABC, NPR, Fox News and Vox Media are just some of the companies that have moved swiftly to terminate relationships or positions where powerful men were accused of behaving badly towards women (or men, in the case of Netflix and Kevin Spacey).

But what about the U.S. Congress?

The Associated Press reports that “Congress has paid out more than $17 million in taxpayer money over the last 20 years to resolve claims of sexual harassment, overtime pay disputes and other workplace violations filed by employees of Congress.” There were 264 settlements and awards, but the Office of Compliance in Congress did not release a breakdown showing how many involved alleged sexual misconduct, the AP reported.

According to the law that created the slush fund, accusers must go through 90 days of dispute resolution, including counseling.

This is an atrocity and the names of members of Congress reaching settlements need to be released immediately. Congressional leaders can put their members through sexual harassment training all they want, but taxpayers deserve to know who exactly they have been covering for all these years and, further, we deserve restitution.

Who have the American taxpayers been protecting all these years?

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.,  has been credibly accused of sexual harassment, yet he is still in power. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., was pictured with his hands over the breasts of a sleeping woman. He gave a half-baked apology this week, and he has no intention of giving up his seat.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  called Rep. Conyers an “icon” this past Sunday on “Meet the Press” on NBC and had to quickly backtrack her remarks after realizing they were terrible.

But Pelosi is used to defending men who are Democrats and were caught in compromising positions: These are former Reps. David Wu of Oregon, Eric Massa of New York and Anthony Weiner  of New York, plus former San Diego mayor Bob Filner, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was in a consensual relationship but deserves a mention for the stupidity for appearing in nude photos.

Even when an ultra-feminist is in charge of her party in Congress, victims didn’t get a fair shake.  Professor Jonathan Turley calls this “transactional ethics,” meaning each party protecting their own. That’s just depressing.

We are still waiting.

Congress should follow the lead of the private sector. Transparency is necessary. The American people can mete out justice at the voting booth if we are told the truth.

How many more women need to come forward to tell their stories before Congress will act?

#MeToo: Sexual harassment is bi-partisan

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Early on in my career, I briefly had a despicable boss who tried to manipulate me into a relationship with him. I found him repugnant but tried to politely avoid his unseemly attention and advances. I would come home and cry at night because of the things he said and the way he behaved.  He knew that he could get away with making my life miserable on a daily basis and that my career would be in jeopardy if I ever sued for sexual harassment. I eventually quit a job I needed because of him. Thankfully, I was able to find another job, but I should not have had to look.

Apparently, I am not alone. Actress Alyssa Milano asked women who have been sexually harassed or worse, assaulted, to take to their social media pages with the hashtag, #MeToo. Twitter has reported that the hashtag has been tweeted over half-a-million times. I’ve seen friends on Facebook use the hashtag as well − women I’ve known for years but had no knowledge that they were part of this awful club.

Some of the women I saw post are much older than me, but why should that surprise me? Sexual harassment has been an issue since women entered the workforce.

According to a 2015 survey from Cosmopolitan magazine, one-in-three women have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the workplace, and 71 percent did not report it. And why would they? Stats from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) report that over half of claims are found to have resulted in no charges. The risk of losing their jobs or being blackballed in their industry are just too high.

Hollywood in all its excesses is, of course, the perfect incubator for the worst in human behavior. The Harvey Weinstein story is just the tip of the iceberg.  It’s my hope that Hollywood’s Pandora’s Box is open, because of the brave women who have come forward to tell their stories. Yet it’s not only the women who have suffered at the hands of powerful men.

Child actor Corey Feldman has courageously spoken out against the culture of pedophilia in Hollywood. He said it wasn’t only him, that his friend Corey Haim was raped as a child. Yet, while he wouldn’t “name names,” he maintains that one of his attackers is a prominent person who still works in the Hollywood business today. This is only the beginning of the offenses in the entertainment industry. I hope Corey starts naming names soon.

Sadly, this is one of those rare issues in which people of every political ilk can find common ground. This issue is not about liberals or conservatives, race or religion. It’s about something deeper and more primal. This is about our sinful human nature left unchecked and given over to evil. Man (and Woman) is fallen and in need of redemption.  If we every doubted our need of a Savior for our souls, all we have to do is look in our Facebook feed.  #MeToo