Archives For #metoo

Going through adolescence as a boy has never been easy, but in today’s day and age it’s more hazardous than ever.  And for parents, the nightmare is real.  No parent wants their son to be a future perpetrator on a #MeToo headline.  No parent wants their son to abuse women, or to objectify women, or to be in and out of relationships and marriages their whole life.

93.2% of boys and 62.1% of girls have seen online pornography before age 18.
(http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html).  You can read Covenant Eyes’s full statistics pack about porn here.  Here’s what I know anecdotally:

  • The male sex drive is very strong.
  • Kids are being given smartphones and tablets like they are candy.  With full access to any porn they want, or that they accidentally stumble on.
  • When I was in middle school and high school, it was normal for guys to talk about porn in open conversations, even with girls around.
  • People started having in sex in 7th and 8th grade.  It became commonplace by high school.
  • I estimate that many of the attractive, popular guys from my high school have probably had sex with 50+ women by the time they turn 30 (and that’s probably low for some), when they finally marry and “settle down”.  These aren’t “creepy” guys.  These are the guys women see as attractive, fun, desirable, and successful.
  • Movies and shows jam-packed with sex and nudity like Game of Thrones are the most popular entertainment options in our culture.  Expect this trend to continue to the point where there is no more envelope left to be pushed and no more line between what culture calls “porn” and public entertainment.

What feels so defeating Continue Reading…

I’m the dad of 3 girls and am afraid of the world of sexual harassment and abuse my daughters are going to have to navigate.

I’m also the author of Beyond the Battle: a man’s guide to his identity in Christ in an oversexualized world, a book that, among other things, helps men rewire their minds so we don’t become sexual harassers or abusers.

Needless to say, I think (and write) about this subject a lot.  I also live in Lansing, MI, where every day there are new headlines in the paper about Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics’ Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of hundreds of girls and women athletes over a span of decades.  Those could have been my daughters had things been off by a few years.

I put the phrase “an oversexualized world” into the subtitle of my book very intentionally.  No one can argue that our world isn’t oversexualized.  My question is, why aren’t more people doing something about it?  I’m convinced that as a society as a whole, we want the best of both worlds.  We want to have our cake and eat it too.  We want to do whatever we want sexually: have sex before marriage, have casual sex, have porn in our popular movies and Netflix shows, look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and have a general culture that “if you want to have sex, then have it.”  To argue against this puts you in what feels like a small, unpopular minority.  But when this mindset toward sex produces its inevitable result: broken hearts and broken spirits, let alone sexual harassment, rape, and sexual abuse, we are all dumbfounded as to where these things came from. Continue Reading…

My latest post is up on the Covenant Eyes blog: #MeToo and the Deep Cultural Concerns it Highlights.

#metoo

Posts like this are hard to write.  Hard because they are humbling.

I started reading through the #metoo posts on Twitter, at the request of some women in my church.  It’s hard to organize my thoughts so I’m just going to put them out there:

I was wrong.  I do a lot of work around racial reconciliation and talk and preach a lot about racial inequality and the oppression of people of color in America.  When women would talk to me about the oppression women face, and how it should be included in the conversation of oppression, I’ve always resisted.  With race I say, “How can a white person tell you what it’s like to be a person of color in America?”  They obviously can’t, but they try to over and over again (while not listening to people of color’s experiences).  Meanwhile the same applies here, “How can a man tell you what it’s like to be a woman?”  We can’t.  I can’t.  But that’s where I’ve been living.

The response of some men to #metoo is sickening and sad.  The men who are mocking the #metoo movement are sickening to me.  It’s also sad to me the men who feel defensive over this.  How can you feel defensive over this???  Yes, men and boys are sexually abused as well, that’s not the point of the #metoo posts from women.  It’s not a contest!  It’s about giving a voice to a demographic that has been shut up for ages.  Men have never been shut up.  While yes, the male victims of sexual abuse need to share their stories, and those stories are welcome, this is much bigger than that.  It’s about an entire gender that’s been silenced in almost every area of society; the sexual abuse is the tip of the iceberg to the feelings of inferiority women are carrying around with them.  Whether it’s in racial injustice or in these conversations about gender injustice, I will always struggle to understand the response of the white male who feels like they’re being attacked when these important oppressed voices speak up, and then use that feeling to miss the whole point.  This isn’t about you, it’s about the person that’s been oppressed by our society.  Yes, a society that benefited you (and me) at their expense.  But don’t make it about you by feeling attacked or defensive.  And if you’ve been a part of the problem, own it.  Stop acting like you’re innocent of everything; none of us are.  Own up to your part.  Continuing in obstinate pride isn’t going to help anything or change anything.  Why not be a part of the solution? Continue Reading…