Archives For sexual harassment

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…

The New York Post had a nude photo of Donald Trump’s wife Melania on its cover this week, with the title “Ogle Office.”  The photo was taken around 20 years ago, when Melania was 25 years old, in the thick of her modeling career and before she met Donald.  It was from a now defunct French men’s magazine, according to CNN.com.

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter

Ironically timed, there’s an article in today’s USA Today with Donald and son Eric’s thoughts on how (Donald’s daughter / Eric’s sister) 34-year-old Ivanka Trump would handle being sexually harassed.  Ivanka is a business woman and former model.  This was a response to a previous USA Today article where Donald says he thinks Ivanka should find a new job if she was being harassed in her workplace.  The articles, written by Mary Bowerman and Kirsten Powers respectively, both denounce Donald for insinuating it’s a woman’s fault if she’s sexually harassed.  Powers’ article sums up the feeling well in her last sentence:

All together now: Women don’t cause sexual harassment, harassers do.

Before I get in to my thoughts, let me say that I agree with Powers’ sentiment here.  As a pastor, I would re-frame it to say that a person (in this case the harasser) is responsible and accountable for their own sin.  No excuses.  Period. Continue Reading…