I’m sure you’ve seen it all over your FB feed. Maybe you even added a status of your own. It breaks my heart, the amount of women who have dealt with sexual harassment or are living in the aftermath of assault. More men than I can even imagine have also suffered from this. (Statistically men are much less likely to report or be open about it).
But, what counts as sexual harassment? Can a sly look or wink from someone you don’t fancy count? Do you say #MeToo for that?
An experience that’s still clear in my mind included a trucker. Hubby and I were in his Bonneville a few months before we were married. The CB was on and counted on for information about the roads ahead. I still remember the shirt I was wearing. Short sleeved, large sideways stripes of white, blue and tealish-green, with some sporadic designs here and there. I got it at JcPenney on the clearance rack years before, for like $1.50. It wasn’t tight or low-cut or otherwise attention-getting in any way. In fact, basically the only thing worth mentioning about it was the price.
We were on the way back to Hubby’s parent’s house and in the fast lane as it was a time of day where a lot of semis were on the road. It was sunny, hot. Then, as clear as day, the CB lit up with an old man’s crackly, coarse voice. He was trying to reach the trucker ahead of him by identifying him as the load with the blue tarp. Then he identified a black Bonneville about to go past him. Next he identified a female passenger who had physical features he then crassly described and snickered about, encouraging the other trucker to take them in as the car went by.
It took my brain a second to realize that I was listening to the lustful lewdness of a male who had no respect for women. And then only another to realize it was about ME.
To this day I can still feel what I was feeling then. Objectified, ashamed, mocked, guilty, because why did I wear that stupid shirt today? Even though I knew in my heart, it wasn’t the shirt, it was the dirty mind of a lost man. Hubby got on the CB and yelled at him for talking about his fiancee that way. In between tears I searched for my jacket and covered myself. In the background I could hear the guy yelling back, calling Ryan a liar and to pull over so he could teach him a lesson. I don’t know how Ryan ended it. I do remember that the trucker with the blue tarp never answered, and I hoped that maybe he was a decent man.
Those few moments in time were burned into my memory. My husband still remembers it. I know how it has forever given me a subconsciousness to be suspicious of truckers and to always, always make sure I am turned away or at least covered in layers when we take trips and will be on the highway. I could never, ever discount someone else’s story of sexual harassment, abuse or assault because I know how just those few moments have affected me.
But… what actually counts as sexual harassment?
Does someone whistling as you go by count? What about a flirt that you don’t happen to return? I know we humans have the capacity to take something huge and claim we own it.
The ‘Me Too’ movement claims this:
“If all the men and women who have ever been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘me too’ as a post, maybe we could, in a respectful way, give a voice and give others a sense of the magnitude of the problem.“
I don’t know that anyone thinks this isn’t a huge problem. But what is the end goal of all of it? To make friends on Facebook wonder how badly you were harassed or assaulted? To bring up old wounds that some have worked so hard to heal? I’m sure that wasn’t the intention, but it seems unfitting, unfair, to lump all degrees of this crime together under one heading. I know a strong woman who has to live the rest of her life in the aftermath of a gang rape, and my #MeToo is nothing to hers.
And, sadly, this isn’t a problem we can solve.
Just like lying, stealing, adultery, homosexuality, lust, fornication, murder, jealousy are all sins, so is this prevalent crime. Until we can solve the sin problem, the wickedness of the human heart, we will never be able to address this other than adding our ‘me too’ to movements like this.
My faith in our Creator, the God of the Bible, and His Son, Jesus, is what gives me hope that each and every one of these injustices will be paid for some day. Some will be covered by the blood Jesus shed on the Cross, others will bring forever suffering.
Either way, there will be justice for the abuser and comfort forever for the person who loves the Savior.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 NIV
I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”
Proverbs 21:15 NIV
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Isaiah 30:18 CSB
Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who wait patiently for Him.
Psalm 42:5 NASB
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.
Matthew 5:4 NIV
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Romans 8:28 CSB
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
So, let me add #HeWillRepay.
And most especially, #MyGodHeals.
Please, whatever abuse you’ve gone through, don’t just live with it. I know someone who did and she lost or destroyed relationships with so many of the people she claimed to love because of her refusal to deal with it. Find a Bible believing, Bible preaching church, and start Biblical counseling.
We’re all humans, we’re all imperfect, but we can love and be the hands and feet of Christ. Let us. You can find comfort, and healing, and hope in Jesus.