I don’t feel qualified to write about this. I have not done enough research. I feel like I am failing in this area, but I am driven today to write. To write ferociously and angrily and at the top of my lungs.
I am truly blessed to have so many women in my life. These women are at all stages of life, come from many backgrounds, have varying degrees of intelligence, monitory standing and clout. They are black and white and hispanic. They are young and old, big and small, happy and mad. I love them, deeply, and so I am pained.
In JUST the last week, here are some of the narratives I have heard; (I am paraphrasing for anonymity sake)
“I can’t help it. He says to jump and I jump.” – After losing a bed in one of the few group homes for women in this area.
“He told me that if he was my husband, he would grab my hair and pull me down.” – Then the man described several graphic sexual acts. During a 12-step meeting.
“If I hadn’t told the police then we would still be a family and my mom wouldn’t hate me.” – In reference to her dad who started abusing her at 4
“I’ve worked with him for a long time. We have a mutually respectful relationship, but when he told me he was attracted to another woman in our office, my feelings were hurt. Why isn’t he attracted to me?’ – Stated by one of the most well-rounded. intelligent women I’ve ever met.
“He asked me what I had done to cause the rape.”
“It’s the only thing I’m good for.”
And from my own bank of thoughts, feelings and experiences, after receiving a picture of a “friends” genitalia, “I’m so sorry, ” he said, “I just couldn’t help myself. I was looking at your pictures (on FB, all super g-rated, mostly with my husband and son) and just had to send you this.”
I’m completely broken. My heart is shattered into a thousand pieces. I have no idea how to respond appropriately to any of this. I found myself scream crying on the phone with one of my best friends husbands yesterday, begging him to tell me why.
Why do men, even ones I have so much respect for, still view women as objects for possession? Why do I sometimes believe that I am only worth what I look like? Why did Lady Gaga get called fat? Why can’t I seem to shake this feeling that we are doomed to stay in this current state of patriarchy? And how do I fight against it?
I broke yesterday when I found out about a man who was in authority over a venerable woman recently, who is now dating her. I have known this man to do the same thing before, repent from that behavior and ask for forgiveness, and yet, here we are again.
A few hours later I found myself across the table from a beautiful, young sex worker who is truly convinced that her only value is sex, even though she hates the very thought of it.
Then even further into my day I sat in a room full of ladies who are working hard to stay sober and the issue of men arises, yet again.
I cried myself to sleep last night, scooted over as far on my side fo the bed as I could reach. Afraid to be touched at the notion that I might just crumble. unjustifiably angry at my husband for being a man and knowing these men. My level of trust diminished and I found myself questioning everyone and everything.
But I do know this; my God did not create a victim, he created a warrior. He built these men in His image and I believe that they too can be redeemed. I believe that their minds can and will be renewed. I know that I can be the voice in a dark, quiet place that shepherds hurting women to the light. Lord, let me be your Kingdom come, let this light shine, let women, created equally and perfectly in your image be sanctified, adored and loved. Let these men be mighty, powerful men of God that set this wrong right, let them pioneer a movement of change. Let it start here, now, today.
I also know that I am not alone. I am continually surrounded by women who sharpen the dull points, who point me in the direction of Love and who remind me that God is in all.
I am not qualified to write about this, but how in the world can I not?