An online acquaintance shared this yesterday, and it broke my heart:
I realized why I hadn't been particularly struck by #MeToo.
It's because I assume every woman I know has been hollered at, grabbed, insulted, objectified, or violated at some point.
It's terrible that that's the norm. And me too.
— kate shellnutt (@kateshellnutt) October 16, 2017
What’s heartbreaking about it for me isn’t a realization that anyone assumes this is the norm. What’s heartbreaking for me is that I generally assume it, too. I think about people in my life, and I can create a frighteningly long list of women (and men) who have been violated. Dehumanized.
What’s heartbreaking for me is that there’s always a possibility of my daughters and son experiencing it too.
My son is still deep in the throws of learning to people; developing empathy and consideration for others. Recognizing that others are worthy of dignity and respect by virtue of being people. That showing love includes being kind and helpful. That hurting others, whether with his fists or his words, is never acceptable. That he would never be the type of “man” who would dare say, “She asked for it.”
My daughters have been taught from a very early age that their bodies belong to them, but it’s something Emily and I always trying to reinforce. They have freedom to say no to anyone—even us—if they’re uncomfortable with anything. And our rule is that we always respect the “no.” They know what they’re supposed to do if anyone asks them to keep a secret, ever: tell mom and dad, always.
But there’s part of me that fears that no matter how much we try, they could still have a “me too” story. That they would experience the same pain, guilt, and shame that so many others have in a world that encourages the abuses it then decries.1 But where I find hope is that even though all this could happen, God will not leave it unanswered.
Despite how it may seem at times, “God is not standing idly by to watch evil run its course he will not allow evil to have the final word. His response to evil and violence is redemption, renewal, and recreation.”2 Suffering and pain are real. But even if it doesn’t come how or when we might wish, deliverance is real too. Lord, may it come quickly.
- Don’t believe me? Then tell me why 50 Shades of Creepy was a bestselling series and a box office hit. ↵
- Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence, 113 ↵