From my 4-20-16 post:
. . . after her ordination in her late 20s until about age 45 – there was not a single church meeting, not a single Presbytery Assembly, not a single committee meeting when she was not propositioned in some overt or subtle way by her male colleagues. As one of her colleagues crassly put it, “If you are here, we get to have you.“
I have known for as long as I can remember that women are objectified. Even clergywomen.
Even female surgeons and senators and professors – as well as girls and women with less financial and societal power. Nevertheless though, I have to admit that I’ve been stunned to the point of being sleepless over the weekend as the truth of objectification has blown up since The Video was released. Someone referred to a woman as “it” in the video.
And then – over the weekend – writer Kelly Oxford asked women to share their earliest assault stories on Twitter – in 140 characters or less. Millions responded. At one point there were 50 tweets per minute for 14 hours. Many of the memories were from very young ages: 5, 7, 10, 14. Some of the offenders were family or friends.
Here’s is one of those tweets:
@kellyoxford public library, middle school, boy 2 grades younger grabbed me from behind.
I have always remembered this but I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. I remember that kid’s face. He smiled when I turned around and it still makes me feel sick. I didn’t know his name but I remember his face. If I had a middle school yearbook, I could probably identify him.
Girls and women are touched inappropriately or subjected to creepy comments every day. I was trained to assume that I must have caused such an uncomfortable moment or perhaps I misunderstood what was happening or maybe at some level I believed that this was just the way of the world.
I remember the morning after a slumber party in high school when a girlfriend told me that she was awakened in the middle of the night by the father of our host. I can’t even repeat here what he was doing when he woke up my friend.
I remember traveling in Europe after college with girlfriends and we were regularly grabbed on buses or sidewalks. Seriously, it happened all the time.
What’s positive about the Access Hollywood video is that it can give us a little courage. Women and men who have heard DJT share worse commentary than in 2009 have stepped forward to share what they remember. And hearing those disgusting words (perhaps the worst of which were “give him a hug“) inspired Kelly Oxford and millions of others to share our own experiences.
If you hang out in locker rooms and hear assault language, I hope you will be courageous too. If you find yourself selling your soul in order to stay in the good graces of a wealthy misogynist, wake up and know that you were not created to be an object in someone else’s life.
And if you are offended for your daughters and wives and mothers and sisters at the thought of someone talking about them like DJT has talked about women, please remember that women are people. We are more than being related to you. We are related to God. And no one gets to call any of us an “it.”