Disclaimer: This post is not meant to start a long political debate about who is right and who is wrong. It is also not meant to start a long political debate about a person’s ability to govern our country. This is not my endorsement of one candidate over the other. This post is only meant to speak to a larger topic that has come to the forefront during an already tumultuous campaign season.
For days, I have seen responses to Trump’s words about his treatment of women and a large majority of them have been done well; however, it seems that the majority of the articles have been written from a non-male, non-Christian perspective. This post is an attempt to fill that small gap that has been noticed and why as a Christian male I am outraged and you should be too over the words spoken by Donald Trump.
That was the excuse that was given for the words that were shared between Trump and a producer during an off-camera conversation. Why did Trump use that excuse? In my opinion, he used that excuse because he knew that it would work with the majority of men in our society. Perhaps, that is a more disastrous inditement on the country than it is on Trump.
Commenting on a woman’s appearance in a way that robs her of her personhood and depicts her as an object of nothing more than sexual desire is an all too common occurrence. Unfortunately men have been doing that for as long as language has existed. We often dismiss it as, “Boys will be Boys” and allow it to continue because “they didn’t really mean it.”
That’s not good enough! They did mean it! That’s why they said it!
Why do we continue to allow this ridiculous excuse as a way of side stepping responsibility for what men choose to say about women? Why are we not holding men accountable? How is it that we can hear one of the most prominent men in America say such vulgar things and simply shrug it off? This has to be something that as a society we stand up and say that we will no longer accept.
Why it Matters?
What does it hurt if we’re just talking? It’s just words, I’m not acting on it. What’s the big deal? Perhaps the most frustrating part of understanding why we allow this kind of conversation to continue is the incorrect assumption that words are just words and without inappropriate action words don’t hurt. This false assumption in itself is harmful.
Words become actions. If a person is thinking it, or speaking it then it would follow that they would wish it to be true. If you are willing to talk about a woman in a way that is unwholesome and disrespectful then you have shown that you do not value them inherently. You have taken away their God given purpose and replaced it with your selfish desire. They are no longer people they have become nothing more than an object. They have at that point become “things” that you feel you have the right to use as you see fit.
Instead, we should see women as inherently having worth. They are valuable for who they are not because we view them as sexual beings but because they are persons. They have been created in the image of God. When a woman is viewed as a lesser being or as an object for sexual satisfaction we have robbed her of God’s purpose for His creation and her of her personhood.
What we should do about it?
First, If you’re a man who is currently engaging in these kinds of conversations and saying things that even resemble those things Trump has said, STOP IT! You have to understand that God has called upon you to love others. These are women who are worth so much more than simply what their bodies have to offer. They are people who have thoughts, ideas and opinions. They by simply being created have been created in the image of God and have an innate value worth respecting. If that doesn’t make you feel as though you should stop, perhaps putting a personal touch on things as you re-evaluate your stance would be more effective. How would you feel if you heard someone speaking that way about your mother, your sister, any family member or close friend? If they are worth being respected and valued as women, shouldn’t all women receive the same treatment?
Second, if you are someone who has heard this kind of conversation speak up. Start the conversation with your family, friends, and coworkers. Our unwillingness to talk about these issues, especially when they come up in such big ways, allows other to see us as condoning of that particular behavior. If we remain silent about these issues then we are in many ways complicit. Discuss why it is that this kind of conversation needs to change. Talking about issues such as these is the only way that things change. It’s how we advance ourselves to become better people.
Lastly, learn to replace the negative words that you’ve spoken or heard about women with good encouraging statements. Allow for your words to heal wounds and not create new ones.
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
(Ephesians 5:4 ESV)