Something big is going on - a world-turning-on-its-axis big. Women are rising up against sexual abuse and men are listening. On Monday, the Associated Press quoted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying, “I believe the women,” meaning those who accuse Senate candidate Roy Moore of forcing himself on them when they were teenagers. Even the White House legislative affairs director Marc Short was moved to tell this week’s Meet the Press that Moore has some explaining to do.

The pattern was set long ago

So does Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin - the list grows longer by the day.

An Olympics gymnast told "60 Minutes" this week that the team doctor violated her. Unwanted advances from men seem to have reached critical mass and women are pushing back. What took so long?

Something Viola Davis said Sunday triggers the question. The Academy Award actress told Yahoo Lifestyle that the pattern of abuse in Hollywood is nothing new, “Sexual assault has affected women since the beginning of time.” The Bible makes her point that the misconduct is far from a modern phenomenon. Consider the story of Susannah and the Elders in the Book of Daniel about a pair of aging Peeping Toms ogling a young Hebrew wife bathing in her private garden. They demand sex and threaten that if she rejects them, they would publicly accuse her of adultery, which was punishable by death at the time.

The crux of the matter

And there, right there sits the answer to my question - what took women so long to rise up? Answer: their silence was rooted in a culture that allowed men to assume they would be believed and women would not. To her credit, Susannah didn’t cave and braved arrested and the death sentence until Daniel told the court to question the Elders separately.

Their lies didn’t match and she was set free. But there were no Daniels to save abused women after that. The hard time given to Anita Hill looked like an historic inevitability.

Comes the revolution

Now women are saving themselves and finally, finally, men – well, most - are not scoffing. One more thing; while the male awakening is good news, it comes 370 years late.

That’s when Rembrandt pictured Susannah’s plight and described her pain. Many artists have pictorialized her story but most took the opportunity to focus on female nudity, as if Susannah were some pinup who was asking for it.

In contrast, Rembrandt showed her trying to cover her bare body with a tower as one of the Elders sought to yank it away. He also painted alarm on her face to emphasize that she was a victim, not a vixen. He did this in 1647. Yet, as recently as last year, despite Trump’s self-confessed sexual advances to women on an "Access Hollywood" tape, he was elected president. In the words of Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

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