IT. IS. NOT. OK.
It is far from OK.
The world is fired up over the fact that women are routinely harassed or assaulted.
The discussion continues, today. But, tomorrow, it will fade to the background. We’ll say to ourselves “it’s wrong”, but the cycle of abuse will continue and no one will stop it.
In the early 1990s, a woman accused a US Supreme Court nominee of harassment. The country took notice and discussed it. Companies adopted “no harassment” policies. The nominee became a justice. We moved on and rolled our eyes at the woman and every woman since who dares talk about their oppression and suppression and abuse.
Oh, we’ll pat them on the back. Tell them that things will get better, they’ll heal. Advise them to move forward with their lives. On to the next situation where they have to compromise their humanity or face a fallout none of us could handle.
Or, we blame them. The way the dress, the way they walk, or the fact that they dared smile or laugh.
It is not OK.
When I say we, I include me.
When my wife told me a doctor made her feel uncomfortable, years ago, because he touched her shoulder or her knee, I said he’s an older guy and didn’t mean anything by it. Just the old Southern ways.
Stupid fool. Me, not her.
I tried to tell myself that the stories of harassment and abuse I heard either on TV or elsewhere were isolated. Not all men were like that. They were the few, demented individuals.
I’m tired of playing the fool. I’m tired of letting this go by without anything being done about it. I’m tired of hearing women tell us the terror that they face on a daily basis and brushing it off as either their fault or “boys being boys”.
It’s sick. Something needs to be done.
They cycle needs to be broken.
But, to be honest, I have no more answers on how to stop this than the women who hide because of shame or fear or the millions of other reasons.
Because society, the world at large, doesn’t see the problem. They pat the perpetrators on the back, give them their dream job, elect them as President, sweep all those “nasty women” under the rug and move on with life.
So, world, I’m asking you. What do we do now?
Moving on with our lives is not the answer.
Sweeping all the #metoo stories under the rug is not the answer.
We need to keep the conversation going. We need to flip the culture on its head and break the cycle.
We need to finally get it in our heads that we can’t just take what we want without consent. Men against women. Women against men. Men against men and women against women. It doesn’t matter who does the taking, it needs to stop.
You and I were created equal. Both imprinted with the image of God. Whatever power I may have in this world does not give me ownership of you.
No one has ownership of anyone else.
Let’s fix this, not forget it.
Let’s keep the conversation going. How do you think we can fix this and not simply move on?
If you’ve been a victim, what do you want fools like me to understand? How do you think we can change this culture?
I recommend reading these two blog posts to stir our thoughts and get us moving toward answers and healing. Tell me your thoughts on them, too:
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Need a good book? These are what you’re looking for:
Yanka and the Dragons:
Ten year-old Yanka Ouedraogo finds that dragons are not monsters of stories. They are real, and they are coming. After the arrival of mysterious Princess Su Yin, Yanka discovers her mama once bore the title of Dragon Watcher for the legendary Knights of Tiqvah. Mama leaves to stop the onslaught of dragons and tasks Yanka with protecting her two younger brothers. One problem: after her father’s death, Yanka fears she’s the last person to protect anyone. When dragons invade her village, Yanka learns they want one thing: her. Can she escape the invasion and prove able to protect her brothers? Will the mysterious Knights of Tiqvah arrive to save the day? Or will a new Dragon Watcher appear and stop the carnage in time? (Middle Grade level, but good for the whole family!)
The Piano Player:
World famous musician Mike Jonas broke a promise. Greek muse of music, Euterpe, gave him fame and fortune in return for his complete devotion. When a new love enters his life, Euterpe strikes. She kidnaps Mike’s fiancée Megan and threatens her life unless Mike proves that he still belongs to her. In his quest to fulfill Euterpe’s test, Mike is shaken to his core and all he holds as true is questioned. (Does contain language that might not be suitable for children.)