How Vulgarity Normalizes Predators

“In the office, vulgarity similarly functions as near-harassment, even when a raunchy joke is genuinely appreciated by its hearers. Every moment of crudity normalizes sex-as-assault, if only at the level of making someone else uncomfortable.

C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, distinguishes between raunchiness as a sin against chastity (when it is “in order to excite lust in themselves or others”) and as a sin against charity (“in order to shock or embarrass others”). I’d add that sometimes it is a sin against conscience, as when people engage in depravity to maintain a callus on their soul. Friends who play Cards Against Humanity (“a party game for terrible people”) will learn to dismiss the small still voice of conscience as mere squeamishness.

The more we embrace vulgarity and the breaking of taboos as liberating, the more predators will flourish. In their wake, more well-intentioned people will do violence to their friends and colleagues, thinking that because their behavior was normal it was safe.”

Read more at First Things