I'm all for therapy. It can help someone through a difficult time, and help those not in an immediate emotional or mental crisis to understand both their own and others' better.
What therapy does not do is cure someone of being a criminal or a jerk.
Case in point is Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man just sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars after abducting, abusing and repeatedly raping three women. In court this week and speaking about his situation, Castro said, "I'm not a monster. I need help." He suggested he was some sort of sex addict or porn addict.
No, he's not. He's just a criminal and a misogynist who undoubtedly would have kept abusing these women – and perhaps more – if one of them had not escaped. He's a violent criminal, pure and simple. The idea that he casts himself as a victim, after he spent so many years brutally victimizing women, is beyond appalling.
Then we have Bob Filner, the mayor of San Diego and former Democratic congressman who has been accused by eight women now of sexual harassment. This behavior includes not just wildly offensive and inappropriate comments – such as telling a staffer she should work without wearing underwear – but by putting women in headlocks and aggressively trying to force a kiss on them. Despite calls even from people in his own party to resign, Filner has decided all he needs is a little sensitivity training.
More insulting, his lawyer has said Filner himself was not given the mandatory training for government workers on sexual harassment. Does either mean to say that the reason Filner verged on sexually assaulting his staff is that he simply had never been told, officially, that it was wrong? It's reminiscent of a great Steve Martin bit, wherein the comic suggested that accused criminals simply claim ignorance. "I forgot!" Martin recommends saying, arms in the air in mock self-deprecation. "I forgot that armed robbery is illegal!"
The rest of won't forget these men's disgusting behavior, however. No amount of therapy can erase it.
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