My Family

My Family

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Yes All Women

      Recently there has been a trending of hashtags #Yesallwomen, after the Santa Barbara killings where a young man went on a rampage murdering in the name of hate and revenge towards women. The idea is that not all men are sexual deviants, yet ALL women experience harassment or worse from men in their lives. I have been really impacted by reading these tweets and blogs out there where women have shared their stories of how violence and misogyny against women have affected them. My heart breaks for our broken world and what women all over this world experience on daily basis. The mistreatment and violence against women is at unbelievable rates. The tragedy is how society has reacted to the yes all women hashtags. So many have opposed the movement, calling it feminist and ridiculous. This blows my mind. This issue is incredibly personal to me, so I felt compelled to share my feelings on this issue.
          Before September 8, 2012, I knew about violence against women. I understood misogyny existed, but like so many other girls for the most part I accepted it as cultural. I really didn't study it out or ask my friends about their experiences with harassment. I didn't talk about sexual abuse hardly ever. I was ignorant and indifferent. Don't get me wrong, I would be stirred in my soul when I heard about sex trafficking or rape, but I did nothing with the information.  Since I was brutally attacked and raped, my views have changed drastically. When I hear a story about violence against women in any form, I am more than just stirred in my soul, I am passionate and desire justice more than ever. I want to see change.
          One way we can make a change is the way that we treat victims.This is one of the biggest factors that angers me. The blaming the victim card that still exists so often in the case of rape or abuse. In my case, I was attacked in the middle of a beautiful day, in a so called "safe area", while serving the community that I lived in. I had keys in my hand that I could use as a weapon. I fought back. I did everything "right", however when I got to the hospital, my X-ray tech made the comment how I should have looked behind me because that's what she always does to protect herself. This quick off handed comment from a woman nonetheless, really showed me the complete ignorance that people have about violence and the attitude that surrounds it. If I didn't have the grace of God over me at that time, that one comment could easily have destroyed me. A victim of sexual assault is already judging their own actions and blaming themselves for what has happened to them. They are already living in shame, and the last thing they need is someone telling them what they could have done better to prevent the act of violence. Instead we need someone telling us, that its not our fault, that's its completely unacceptable to be treated violently no matter what.

Here are some of my favorite tweets/examples of how violence against women is not only ignored but encouranged even if our society....
The cops who asked me "Well, what were you wearing?" when I reported an attack and attempted rape.

I shouldn't have to hold my car keys in hand like a weapon & check over my shoulder every few seconds when I walk at night

Because women are taught to hate themselves if men reject them, and men are taught to hate women if women reject them.

Because children are taught "if he's mean to you, he likes you" without thinking about the implications.

Because teenage girls are sent home from their prom because their dress is turning on the dads who are chaperoning.

Because society is more comfortable with people telling jokes about rape than it is with people revealing they have been raped

Because we teach girls how not to get raped, instead of teaching boys not to rape.

These are just a few of examples, and each one hits home to me. I am so much more aware about this issue now and want to do my best to help bring awareness and change to our world. I am getting ready to bring a boy into this world. You can guarantee that I will do my best at teaching him to love and respect women and to do anything he can to be a change in our world. I want him to be a man who sees women as God does, a beautiful creation put on earth for God's glory and not man's. As a Christian, I must say that I see so much misogyny existing in the church as well. I have been horrified at the amount of my christian friends who have been raped or abused by so called "Christian" men as well. I've heard stories of these men who have told my friends that they were created to be sex slaves for their pleasure. This is outrageous and cannot be tolerated anywhere, let alone inside church community. Something is missing here. The statistics say that one in every 4 women have been assaulted. I absolutely believe it. At the same time, I have often heard, teenagers and young adult women in the church making jokes about rape and treating it as an unlikely reality. They view it as entertainment from a criminal TV show or horror movie instead of the tragedy it truly is. We as believers in Jesus need to be stepping out and speaking for the oppressed and broken. We need to make a stand against injustice and violence. Let's be a voice for those who can't speak up and not silencers.