Speak up, sisters…one and all!
I am beginning to suspect that this is not just a problem in the tech arena…but rather it is a problem because women are socialized to never ever speak up about this problem!
The problem? That men are socialized to believe that it is okay to go ahead and harass women, and then to shame them, demean them or dehumanize them if they dare speak out.
It is the ultimate objectification, and I assert it is an extension of porn culture.
Well? Isn’t the essence of porn that women are objects, present for physical pleasure and then cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper? Yes, it is…and taking away from a woman her story, her history, her right to be present and autonomous is pornography by extension. Puts a different light on it when you think of it that way, no?
I have been thinking back…and I am remembering my mom teaching my sister things about “how to handle men”…and teaching her that men just automatically do things…as if that was normal and allowed…and I remember being horrified and vowing that I would never do that, forced into that label as I was and thrust into those territories. And I saw it…just as my sister did, except I saw it from the other side.
Sisters it is worse than you know…they truly do not give a crap, and the ones that do still have patriarchal beliefs that drive their good behaviour! Such as “women are weaker vessels so a man worth his salt should take care of them and respect them” and endless variations on that theme.
I advocate a new paradigm of gender relationships modelled on the New Testament prescriptions for all believers. Starting with Paul’s powerful repudiation of the power/privilege dynamic extant in the world in the book of Ephesians “…for in Christ there is no longer slave nor free, greek nor jew, male nor female…” (Paul’s 3 pronged skewer of economic privilege, national-political privilege, and gender privilege) all the way to Philippians 2, and those sections in between.
I believe that this modelling of behaviour needs to be rigorously parsed for cultural expectations and read for the true literal meaning of the words…whether those words be directly true, or whether they are metaphor and intended to be understood as metaphor and sifted for their spiritual truth.
Start with this idea: what does life and human relationship look like if we are all truly on level ground at the foot of the cross, where the only power and right left standing is the right of the one who paid the ultimate price, broke down all dividing walls and set us truly free? If we all start out as equal, theologically, morally, and spiritually…new…why then do we import back onto ourselves a yoke of bondage?
Brothers…if there are any who still read here…you must understand that you are equally enslaved when you participate in this paradigm, for you cut yourself off from the incredible potential that resides untapped in half the human race, and you cut yourself off from half of human experience, and you will continue to walk off balance and wounded and raising your sons up to oppress your daughters.
Hey…chains of gold and ropes of velvet are still implements of bondage.
Okay…there is material in there for a thousand posts. There is a worthy series of posts on rightly dividing the word of Truth…avoiding the equal errors of unquestioning literal swallowing of everything with no effort to think through the meaning, and the error of parsing everything so minutely that you kill the life of the word and instead read the sacred thoughts as a multiple choice smorgasbord for your convenience.
There is a dynamic tension there…put there on purpose by the God of paradox who tells us that if we want to live, we must die, if we want to be first we must be last, if we want to be rich we must become poor…
…but for sure we can start with this: It isn’t, never has been, and never will be okay to treat women in any way different than how Jesus Himself treated them in His time on the planet bodily.
Please read the article? Make the application? Think? And then…rend your hearts and not your garments, and let us start again.
Soberly and purposefully blazing,