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Karl Menninger wrote a book by that title in 1988. I bought the hardcover edition and saved the book jacket. The book is well worth reading. At the time I was traveling a lot for business and wondering how to ward off unwanted attention from my fellow male air travelers. The book jacket was the perfect solution and it covered many of my other books. It worked like a charm.

“What are you reading, ms?” with a drawn out mzzz was a usual opening line. I would, without comment, tilt my covered book toward the questioner.

“Oh,” they would say. “ I wonder where sin went.” It was a feeble attempt at humor and they knew it.

“This book,” I would reply, “basically asks why no one is ashamed of their actions anymore. The whole point of the book is that we are losing our collective sense of right and wrong. Can you think of anything you might be ashamed of?”

It was a guaranteed conversation stopper and also the best “leave me alone” non-verbal that I have ever come across. Sometimes, if my seatmate was still squirming at the end of our flight and seemed slimy, I would ask, “So, what do you think became of sin?”

This is still an important question. As a society we too often blame the victim and not the perpetrator. Lines like, “She asked for it.” Or “Dressed like that what did she expect?” are excuses for men behaving very badly. It is male privilege over women reminiscent of the days when men owned women. One of the things that allows this to continue without getting into the question of sin is the silence that falls over each violation. If we keep blaming the victim and not the perpetrator the silence will echo through the souls of every violated woman. Whatever became of sin will be answered when the victims are empowered to speak, when they are heard and their traumas listened to and finally when not one of us tolerate men behaving as if they owned us.

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