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Men, Stop Damaging Women!

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.
Isaiah 41:10

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

16 Comments

  1. I think this is important. It is often left out of purity books aimed at teaching teens how to life a pure life and to wait for marriage to have sex. I don’t think I have ever read one that addresses these “cat calls” that all women experience… the whistling, the hand on the butt pass, the boob stare, the lewd comments & laugh often by older men (even relatives), the sizing up body scan, and of course so much more.

  2. Bravo for speaking up on the behalf of women everywhere.

  3. Thank you for writing about this. I was often the victim of sexual harrassment on the street when I was younger and working. It really bothered me, and at times made me feel sick.

    What’s really bad is when you read the posts by some people in forum groups that have a religious basis that talk about how a woman dresses and how this causes the man to behave in this way. They don’t get that even if a woman were walking in the nude down the street, it is still not appropriate to say sick sexual things in her ear, or to do something worse.

    • I understand! The comments are never okay or acceptable. I do think Christian women need to be aware of what they wear because they shouldn’t be drawing the eyes of other Christian men or other women’s husbands. But the men are as responsible for keeping their eyes somewhere else if a woman is dressed provocatively.

  4. Melinda,

    This is such a good point! I have whistled at women before (when I was young and stupid) and now I’m embarrassed I did it.

    I guess you could say I’ll be stepping up and saying “Cut it out” next time one of my friends does it when I’m hanging out with them.

    • Glad to hear that Duane! I’m sure it is something most give very little, if any thought to.

  5. Mel, thank you for this post! As a survivor and someone who tries to not only speak up for women but also advocate this is an important message that should be heard (and then heard again!). Women (and men, and children) are not objects to be harassed, abused or insulted! As God’s children we are to love one another. I’ll be sharing this post, sorry it took me so long to comment! 🙂 Bright blessings…keep writing you inspire me!

  6. once again your words are power!!! Not only is this important for men to check themselves but also to take a look at the behavior that they are imposing on there children. Little boys who grow up watching woman be subjected as sexual play things grow up with that mentality and that is where it needs to stop. We all have the power to raise our young men to be respectful and loving. Thank you for addressing this.

  7. Thank you so much for writing this. It has taken me years to understand why my heart stops dead whenever a man cats calls or oogles me. I always thought that it was just another example of me being too sensitive for the rest of the world.. another reason why I don’t fit. I didn’t dress provacatively when I was molested as a child and raped in my 20s, and I certainly don’t dress that way now. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I didn’t deserve it and that it wasn’t my fault. God is helping me get through the anger and shame and come to a certain sense of peace about it all. Reading this is another thing kind of thing that will help me get to that point. Thank you.

    • Thank you Becky, that is always one of the best things to hear! Yes, our scars run deep. It’s important to understand some of them and this is one that runs deep for me! Prayers for your continued healing!

  8. Good for you! Lady, did you know that there are some fools telling young men that women actually like to feel sexually objectified, because it makes us realize that we’re attractive? B.S. They also tell them not to be too nice, because women hate vulnerability, not to be too considerate, not to let women be too certain of their devotion. Of course men should never make women goddesses in their minds, but the levels they go to..it dehumanizes men, and women. GREAT post!

  9. Oh, thank you!
    Thank you for standing up and saying what is right and good. Thank you for speaking on my behalf, and for all who feel they want to just curl up on the floor and cry. We all need someone to speak up for us, thank you for being the one to do it.

  10. Amen, sista!
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