I’m not here to defend Bill Clinton, whose response a few nights ago to questions about his Monica Lewinsky offenses was considered by many (including me) to be insufficient in the current climate. The only acceptable response today is a sincere and unqualified apology, regardless of how we–as men–feel about the question. We have been wrong for millennia and the bill is due.
I’ll step in with this, “I deeply regret every single sexist remark, unwelcome advance, demeaning attitude and unacceptable action toward women in general or as individuals that I can recall over my life span. I also regret that there are many I don’t remember, didn’t think of as offenses or simply misunderstood. They are offenses, as well. I take full responsibility and if anybody wants a personal apology, I will offer that.”
Our culture, for its existence, has encouraged men to act like asses toward women and I am deeply sorry that I bit into that wrong-headed attitude. I had a choice not to, but didn’t make that choice. I chose, instead, to go along with the crowd, to be the kind of man I hope my son and grandson will never be. In the past few years, I hope I have learned something about human interaction and that my attitudes will reflect more positively on my gender.
Once again, I say without hesitation, “I am sorry.”