#MeToo: Please, Keep Your Hands Off My Daughter
What do I tell my daughter?
She’s young, pretty, and just started her favorite job ever…
…and she’s being sexually harassed.
What do I tell her?
“He probably doesn’t mean anything by it?”
He’s old and that’s just the way things used to be.
The man in question is in his 60’s, certainly a product of a different era. Admittedly, I was not in the workplace 30 to 40 years ago, but from what I understand, that’s just how things used to be, or at least that’s how it has been explained.
Women could just expect occasional unprofessional conduct in the workplace, callous jokes, maybe even a wandering hand. After all, boys will be boys. He doesn’t mean anything by it. Don’t take it too personal.
I recall my offense, 20 years ago, at what I perceived as the neutering of the military. I remember my indignation when the Post Exchange stopped carrying pornography. I recollect the institution of sexual harassment training and having to remove our pinup girls and inappropriate calendars from the crew chief hootch.
How dare the powers that be make us behave like…uh, gentlemen.
In my younger years, in my naiveté, I associated audacity, boldness, and masculinity with crudeness and vulgarity. I associated refinement and restraint with weakness. Amazing. Juvenile. Immature.
Apparently, this man feels the same.
And it’s textbook sexual harassment/hostile work environment. He holds no authority over her so it’s not Quid pro Quo. (See how my training paid off!)
Remarks about her looks. Inappropriate comments. Open ogling. And did I mention he’s in his 60’s and that she’s in her 20’s? She is creeped out and I’m just not sure what to tell her.
“Tell your supervisor?”
She’s new to the job and new to the vocation, fresh out of school and ready to stake her claim on life. With a twinkle in her eye, she set out on her first day of work, her initial training, only to have this douche crush her spirit over the next few weeks.
She’s resilient. She just wants to work.
She doesn’t want to make a fuss.
She doesn’t want attention.
She doesn’t want to get this dude in trouble.
She wants to work…but this dude won’t let her just work. And he put his hands on her, the classic hands on the shoulders while standing behind her while she’s seated thing, commenting about her looks.
I am literally snapping this dude’s neck in my mind right now and I still don’t know what to tell her.
“I’m sorry, but this is something you’re going to have to deal with?”
Men excel at the oppression of women. We’re gifted in this regard. I didn’t have to teach my 3-year-old son to be mean to my little granddaughter. He knows how to do it automatically.
It’s been this way since the Fall.
God declared the curse on Eve, for all women, in Genesis 3:16, that her desire shall be for her husband and he will rule over her. From the curse, the woman will seek to usurp the place of the man as the spiritual leader of the home and the church while the man will rule over the woman in an ungodly manner.
Men oppress women in one of two ways, generally speaking.
Many succumb and gladly yield, abdicating their responsibilities in leading the church and the family. These men become flaccid and hollowed-out caricatures, mere shadows of that which God intended for them. Other men lash out and dominate women, ruling over them in a malevolent fashion.
Almost all sexual assault is committed by men.
Almost all domestic violence is committed by men.
Almost all sexual harassment is committed by men.
Yes, I am aware that there are exceptions but I’m speaking collectively. There has never been a maternal society. Women have historically existed at the mercy of men, at the mercy of their weaker bodies and gentler natures—please don’t hear me say that women cannot be as wicked as men, it’s just different, less violent, more subtle. But only in societies based upon a Judeo-Christian ethic do women find protection and equality, stature, regard and even acclaim.
And every man possesses, in his sin nature, the capacity and at some deep level, the desire, to sin against women in some way. It’s there. Scripture affirms it and reality bears it out. Only the common grace of the Lord Jesus restraining sin or the saving grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, changing hearts and giving men a new nature, confront this wickedness.
Trust Jesus. Trust no man unless that man likewise trusts Jesus.
This man may not know Jesus but he may soon meet Jesus and I still don’t know what to tell my daughter.
This guy forced my daughter to make a decision she should never have to make.
She looked inward, summoned her supervisor, and asked if her clothing were inappropriate, if she needed to change. She didn’t. Her supervisor informed her that her clothing was more than professional.
She subtly let her supervisor know that there was a problem and as if on cue, this man walked up and put his hands on her. The supervisor called an immediate ‘come to Jesus’ meeting but again, she never should’ve had to make this decision.
She never sought her own #MeToo moment…but this man gave it to her.
I’m torn some by these accounts and the #MeToo movement in general. I have a hard time with Hollywood women who brazenly leverage their sexuality for personal gain and then cry #MeToo when men respond inappropriately to their inappropriate behavior. Beyonce or some other celebrity crying #MeToo after dry-humping the air clad in little more than her imagination in front of thousands, including many impressionable young women, does not necessarily stoke empathy.
The pornification of our nation and the Sexual Revolution, instead of freeing women, has only solidly enslaved them to their sexuality. If their empowerment comes from their sexuality, then absent their sexuality, there is no empowerment. When we’ve trained an entire generation in this manner, should we be surprised that a generation of men has a lack of regard for women who lack regard for themselves?
But the unscrupulous pandering of some opportunistic women cannot allow us to discount either the nature or the extent of the problem.
Jesus was the greatest advocate for women that ever existed and only in the shadow of the Gospel do women truly find refuge from the hostility of men. Yet, as we are confined to the secular, the notion that women may require refuge meets only hostility. We are left to merely apply band-aids to the hemorrhage and hope that somehow, it’ll work itself out.
And I still don’t know what to tell my daughter.
“I’ll be right there.”
As I envision myself striding into the office and solidly planting the flag of my flock into this man’s chest cavity, I am saddened that my daughter had to learn of the evil that men do in this manner, that this man had to take another chip out of the idealism of her youth.
She confronted him, professionally and rightly.
I didn’t have to tell her anything, it turns out.
And the man apologized profusely, claiming not to even realize what he had done. I cannot see into a man’s heart so this may be true but I wonder if he would’ve conducted himself in such a manner in front of his wife.
You’d have to be a fool or insanely ill-informed to not realize, in today’s highly-charged work environment, that putting your hands on anyone, much less a woman, is essentially begging to be disciplined or even fired.
I’m not sure what to tell my daughter about the next time it happens as sadly, there will likely be a next time. Maybe kick him in the junk and scream “Rape!”
Outside of that, I just don’t know.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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