It seems like something might actually be shifting in the relationship between men and women.
In a world where the moral compass has felt like it was spinning out of control, the hashtag #metoo has become a vehicle of protest that seems actually to be heard…
It is almost like each story of men using women as objects to gratify themselves hit a little bit harder and Harvey Weinstein was the tipping point where women around the world began to speak up.
I was fascinated to see CNN host Jake Tapper blurt out his shock at what he saw on social media. With a stunned tone, he told the latest victim of abuse he was interviewing that it felt like every woman he knew was sharing a #MeToo story.
Initially, commentators were saying it couldn’t last and nothing would change. Too often we have seen public outrage dissipate within a week no matter how outrageous the story seemed to be.This time, however, it seems that just as one story began to fade, another took its place. A single wave has seemingly turned into a tide… at least I hope it has.
I have two beautiful daughters who are getting ready to make their way in the world. I hope and pray for their sakes that things actually are changing.
There is one major concern for me as I watch these stories unfold. It seems that we are rewarding those who cover up and deny their historic actions and punish those who come clean.
Senator Al Franken and Louis CK both declared their own guilt and remorse in response to allegations. Both have been hammered by commentators and CK has already paid a stiff penalty in lost career opportunities.
An Alabama Senate Candidate and the current President responded quite differently. When presented with charges that seem significantly more serious than Franken and CK, both Roy Moore and Donald Trump have issued denials in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Louis C.K. had a movie cancelled. Donald Trump became President.
There is a real danger that men all around the world will be learning the wrong lesson. Rather than facing their own tendency to objectify women, men will be seeing that they can get away with horrible abuse as long as they are not honest.
As men, we need to hear the stories of abuse, and allow ourselves to be confronted. However, confrontation is not enough. Confrontation will not make the world safer for my daughters.
Nothing will change unless our the way we manage our sexuality changes.
We have to come to terms with the biblical reality that there are two sides to us. While all of us have a part that cares about truth and love, there is also another part.
While all of us have a part that cares about truth and love, there is also another part. One of the guys trusted to write half the New Testament said:
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (Romans 7:18-19)
My girls will be safer in a world where all of us can acknowledge the battle that goes on inside us.
No-one is completely evil or perfectly good. We are all a mess of contradictions.
For most people, and men in particular, (but certainly not only men) the sex drive is strong and needs to be managed intentionally.
I am yet to meet someone over the age of 25, who is not carrying some level of emotional scarring because of their own, or other people’s mismanagement of their sexuality. I am no exception to this.
I am grateful I follow a bloke who promised that the path to freedom comes through truth (John 8:32) and that the pattern for the church was as a bunch of people who spoke the truth in love to one another (Eph 4:15) which will help us all grow up.
A while ago I wrote about how impressed I was with Mike Pence’s adoption of the “Billy Graham rule” to ensure his relationships were safe. A number of people at the time spoke against Pence’s code, but in the current climate, his approach seems very wise.
The strength of what Pence did was acknowledge his own weakness and establish a structure that protected him and the women he related to.
This is at least part of the real answer to the dilemma posed by the #MeToo phenomenon.
We need men who can acknowledge the two sides of themselves and put strategies in place to foster their hearts and manage the crap.
It won’t happen accidentally. It will require new levels of honesty, courage and grace, but this is how we create a better world for my daughters.