Women are abused and harassed at an alarming rate.
On a daily basis.
Men like you and me.
Men like the ones we know and work with.
Men who go to church or temple or mosque with us.
Men who we see at the Post Office or the grocery store.
Women bear the brunt of the problem, but let’s be clear.
They are not the problem.
Too much history.
Too much bad theology.
Too deeply embedded cultural norms.
Make it easy to push what happens/what we do aside with some excuse.
After all boys will be boys.
Or, they were just sowing their wild oats.
Or, she asked for it.
All of that is WRONG.
And, we have to be the ones who stand up and say it is wrong.
Not Christine Blasey Ford.
Not Chris Wallace’s daughters.
Not the women who confronted Senator Jeff Flake in the elevator.
Not all the women who called the local and national abuse hotlines following the Senate hearing on Thursday to report abuse. Many calling and speaking out for the very first time.
Here are some statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experience sexual violence
And, from a report by NPR…
81% of women have experienced sexual harassment.
A friend and colleague wrote this yesterday on his Facebook page. I share it with his permission.
One thing that ought not get lost in the he said she said of Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing is that regardless of the out come of this particular case there continues to be an ongoing tragedy in our culture. Women are assaulted, demeaned, raped and disrespected all the time. That is the truth no matter the facts of this case. Dr. Ford spoke the truth and it is an ugly truth very much alive in our world. This must be addressed no matter how much the power structure wants to avoid it. Shame on us for this state of affairs where so many women relate to her tragedy and too many men act like it just doesn’t exist.
And, this which a friend shared on her Facebook page.
We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women. We talked about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenage girls got pregnant last year, rather than how many boys and men impregnated teenage girls. So you can see how the use of the passive voice has a political effect. It shifts the focus of men and boys and onto girls and women. Even the term “violence against women” is problematic. It’s a passive construction; there is no active agent in the sentence. It’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at the term “violence against women,” nobody is doing it to them. It just happens to them. Men aren’t even a part of it.
Men we have a problem.