I am watching my social media feed fill with a singular hashtag, #MeToo. Friends, dear friends, are sharing it. Women in my congregation have been sexually abused or sexually harassed. I didn’t know. They had never shared that with me. Nor would I expect them too.
Yet, there it is, #MeToo.
I am shaking in sadness, anger, rage, and frustration.
My eyes are welling with tears as I think about my friends being treated this way. The lump in my throat is growing as #MeToo pops up next to more and more of my friends.
Then it hits me, my God, my daughter.
What would I do if I saw the #MeToo next to her name? How can I protect her from this terror? Is there some way to keep her from this evil? Has it already happened? Would she know she can tell me? Would my precious daughter trust me enough to share this with me?
What about my son? Have I raised him to know that he is not to be a predator? Does he know that he is not an animal and that women owe him nothing? Will he know to treat women with honor, respect, and kindness? In other words, will he treat them as people, not as objects to be used and discarded?
Do men experience sexual abuse? Yes. Do men experience sexual harassment? Yes. The rate at which we do is so much less than that of women though.
One in three.
1 in 3.
One in three women are sexually abused. Let that sink in. 1 in 3. I can not wrap my mind around this reality. When my daughter has friends over, 1 in 3. When I am with women in my congregation, 1 in 3.
As I look at my son, I know that I must speak into his life. Over and over again, I have to remind him what being a man is all about. Being a man is to control himself. Being a man is to see women as human beings, created in God’s image. Being a man is to protect those around you. Being a man is to stop other men from doing this to women. Being a man is to raise the next generation of men to never do this.
Men, we have to change.
Women, it is not your fault.
To those of you courageously saying, #MeToo, I believe you. It was not your fault.