I’ve been a little late on this one. Simply because I’m more ready today to stir things up than I was at the beginning of the month when it counted. Anyways, it’s almost the end of International Women’s History Month and this is the post that I was afraid to post:
There is one thing that every culture on Earth has in common and it is the horrible way we treat our women.
I was afraid to post it because I was afraid that it came across as too flippant toward women and I held it back. It’s all true. There is no nation on earth that holds its women in high esteem. Here in America #BlackLivesMatter but women are still objects of violence and subservience.
Women have claimed that while we may have abolished slavery, we have put in its place a culture of rape. You and I can argue about pay equality and women’s liberation, but where there is an agreement in my mind is that violent nature that men exhibit toward women. Take, for example, Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. She takes the bold step to speak out about feminism and instead of logical facts and opposing viewpoints, she is inundated with threats of rape and violence on every social media platform available.
Essentially, rape culture is a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. I got that from Wikipedia. To men, rape is our weapon. It is the ultimate form of dominance that man can display over any person, male or female. I once sat in the green room of one of the improv shows I perform, and one of my fellow actors asked the ladies, “why do you dislike rape so much?” Normally, I don’t respond to conversations that I’m not directly a part of, but I just had to. “Tell me what part of being violently forced into sex, do you not find exciting.” I believe that was the last time I ever performed with that person.
As much as women present a preponderance of the evidence that a rape culture exists and as much as women on a daily basis fall victim to it, we do nothing about it. That’s where the word, “culture” comes into play. It’s normal to us, men. Women are sexual conquests. Our threats are always sexual in nature. As men, we do nothing about it.
“Nothing?” you say, I say. “Nothing!” We perpetuate this rape culture in two ways. The first is by shifting blame. It’s not my fault, I treat women so horribly. It’s the way they dress and the amount of makeup they apply. The string bikinis, short-shorts and perfume are essentially pheromones.
There we sit on the witness stand, explaining that the sex was consensual. “It was obvious to me by the way she dressed, that we wanted to have sex.” “She made a porno, of course, she wanted sex.”
Growing up as a teen, I went to my church’s summer camp every year. There was Bible study in the morning and Bible study at night. But in the afternoon was free time. Free time meant swimming and that meant seeing my girl-friends in bikinis. Being smart adults, the camp counselors put an end to it before it could begin and all the girls had to cover up and wear a large t-shirt over their swimsuits. Girls should not be a “stumbling block” (1 Cor. 8:9) to the boys. That’s right. It’s the girls fault boys can’t handle themselves.
As Christians, we teach girls not to wear make-up until they are adults. We monitor the lengths of their skirts. We place rules on ear piercings. Listen to what girls are hearing from our attempt to protect them. It is a sin for you to wear make-up. It is a sin for you to wear provocative clothes. It is a sin for you to be a stumbling block to men. If you violate these sins, whatever happens to you is your fault.
The second way that Christians perpetuate the rape culture is what we don’t do. We don’t teach our boys to exercise a little thing we call “self-control.” Here’s something you never hear a father say. “Son, when you and Jane go out tonight. Don’t rape her!” I would personally add the phrase, “or I’ll shoot you!” In those all-important teen years, parents are not setting their sons aside and explaining that women are not prey for sexual hunting. Or that there is no such game called “Get In Her Pants.” No, instead we tell our women, not to sexually stimulate guys or there will be consequences. Boys are then unleashed on college campuses scoping out their first, second and third target for the upcoming semester.
Oh my God. I’m ranting. I’m a self-righteous prick. Ladies. All I can say is I’m sorry for my behavior and that of my fellow men. Not that it changes much.