So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Men, Stop Damaging Women
It’s a bold statement. I want to clarify. The only side of this situation that I have experienced is a damaged view from being abused. I’ve never been on the other side of the fence, so I am only speaking on behalf of victims. While this post is aimed at men, I think it will speak volumes to a lot of others as well.
Do you know what a cat call, ogling, and crude comments do to a woman who has been sexually abused? There’s this shot to the heart that pierces deep. It’s another violation to our body and mind. Another person who only sees us as a means to sexual gratification, instead of a human being to be treasured, loved, and honored.
The cat calls started for me in elementary school – now how sick is that? They only got worse as I continued to mature and develop. The violations were so frequent, I got to where I didn’t trust any men at all. They ranged from a family friend writing “Call me baby” in my address book, to being shoved up against the door and kissed by a man I babysat for, to having an older boy that I had dated in high school constantly stopping me to whisper sick sexual things in my ears as he walked by.
When I worked at a health club, I was very seriously sexually harassed by a man old enough to be my dad. When I finally went to the manager, he told me to just tell him to stop – like I hadn’t thought of that. Thankfully when I told the owner, he took care of it that very second and it was nice to have someone stick up for me for once.
These are just a few of the things that have happened to me and each time someone would say or do something that was inappropriate like this, my feelings of being violated and worthless, rose to the surface. When my manager wasn’t willing to help me, it was like a confirmation that no one really cared what happened to me.
I know that some people don’t think sexual harassment is a big deal. I’ve heard the comments made about it. But here’s the thing. It’s a big deal to someone who has already been damaged and a big deal for all women. It reinforces messages of worthlessness. No one should be made to feel that.
Telling a woman she looks nice or pretty isn’t what I’m talking about. Those kind words are nice to hear. It’s the comments that we’re hot, sexy, or the comments I won’t repeat here, etc that can stir feelings of disgrace because it blatantly ignores the person inside of the body.
We have power to stop sexual harassment. If you see it going on, do something about it. You never know, maybe you will be standing up for someone who has never had anyone stand by her side and support her right to have dignity and importance. If you are a man who has never thought about this, maybe you will reconsider the next time you want to yell something derogatory at a woman.
PS – I realize I’m preaching to the choir here but my hope is that one person who needed to hear this will benefit from it.
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1