This Article is NOT about Donald Trump
Regardless of how you decide to vote, anything less than a flat condemnation of this kind of behavior is reckless. Being a man does not give you a pass to be a pig.
The words and alleged actions of Donald Trump do not shock me. Not that they aren’t repulsive — because they are — but because they aren’t surprising. It’s not as if Mr. Trump put on a facade and then suddenly pulled away the mask. No, nothing that has been revealed is anything but thoroughly consistent with the public persona we’ve seen for years.
So this article isn’t about Trump.
What is shocking to me is the response of men — especially Christian men — who choose to defend this behavior. There they are on social networks, on television and radio, and in every day life. These are our friends and leaders that are trying to convince us (and themselves?) that these things are defensible.
Now I’m not talking about those who say: “These actions are horrible, but I’m still voting for him for other reasons.” (Though I’ve got plenty of thoughts on that as well)
I’m not even talking about those who claim: “This as a long time ago, he has changed, and we should forgive him.” (Although I’m perplexed how they act as if this was in his childhood versus in his late 50s and they overlook his lack of sincere apology as prerequisite to any real redemption)
No, instead I want to address the so-called men out there who seek to excuse this behavior as “locker room talk.” Shall we act as if this is just what men do? Should we accept essentially “boys will be boys” and laugh it off as if that somehow makes it okay?
Many of these same folks seem to dismiss its continuation even into the present. They seem to indicate that it is fine for grown and moral men to conduct themselves in this way. IT IS NOT!
This is not the way men talk. Even to a lesser degree of banter than openly suggesting women should be physically assaulted, this is not how myself or my close friends or my co-workers talk.
Guys are perverts. There I said it. Yes, sadly it is often true. However, under no circumstances does that grant men a blank check to discuss women as objects, to treat them as property, to brag about them as conquests, to make obscene comments to or about them, and certainly not make (or suggest) non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
High school locker rooms? College fraternity houses? It is still inappropriate in these venues, but boys often haven’t learned the decorum and maturity of being a man yet. (Hopefully they will given adequate role models, ahem!)
However, for a grown a$$ man — especially one claiming to be seeking a moral life — to rationalize this as acceptable behavior clearly has neither grasped what it means to seek righteousness nor what it is to be a man.
I am raising a daughter. She is being taught that she is equal in every way to a man. This lovely young lady will know that no one has the right to insult, demean, or make her feel small. No man should dare treat her with anything but the utmost respect.
It’s bad enough that a rich billionaire, whose only religion is his own ego, should think in this way. It’s a whole other disappointing thing entirely that some religious men and evangelical leaders would justify it. No, as for me and my household we will call it what it is and make sure our little one knows never to accept it.
If you are raising a son, I pray you aren’t instilling these misogynistic viewpoints in the future husband you are raising. To think of having another generation of boys who grow up thinking it’s okay to grab a woman’s behind or to steal her dignity is absolutely heartbreaking. If you raise your little man to believe women are there only for man’s sexual fantasies and to head to the kitchen and make you a sandwich… devastating.
One in four college women report being the victim of some kind of sexual assault. Around one in ten have been raped. And yet so many of these victims are too intimidated or embarrassed to come forward. Even when they do many times they aren’t believed or are blamed for getting drunk or wearing tight clothing! In other cases there is a conviction, but all too often the perpetrator may just get a slap on the wrist.
Women are hollered at, looked up, followed, stalked, intimidated, harassed and pressured. Ladies are still fighting to be treated as equals in the home and in the work place. And many of our respected and moralistic voices in society write offenses off as inconsequential. In doing so they continue to stifle women’s progress and set a grievous example for our children.
If you want to vote for Donald Trump in spite of these problematic issues, do whatever allows you to sleep at night. But we owe the women in our lives better than to condone this extreme machismo attitude. Further, if we think of ourselves as godly men then certainly we should strive for a higher standard in ourselves and rebuke it among others in our presence.