The latest post on the CBE Scroll articulated something I’ve been thinking about, but hadn’t been able to make ‘sharable’ sense out of. The article questions what our focus has been in the aftermath of the recent school shootings.
It really bothered me that all the victims were women and girls. And clearly the perpetrators intentionally chose the gender of their victims. I could go on and on about what I think it all ‘means’. But I don’t think I know anymore than anyone else. I just know that it’s scary and wrong and most everyone chooses to ignore it.
Violence against women is being perpetuated on a grand and horrific scale in multiple regions of Africa; some Americans are vaguely aware of that. But violence against women is perpetuated on as grand of, although different, scale right here in America. Sexual abuse, when not turned into to a media circus, is typically handled as either a he-said-she-said or a let’s pretend-this-didn’t-happen.
That’s sick. It’s wrong. And it doesn’t help anyone.
And the thing is, it makes no difference whether we’re examining this issue in secular or Christian circles. Sexual and physical abuse against spouses and children happens equally in both circles. What makes me sick though, is that as the CBE also suggests, some of the attitudes so endeared by patriarchal and even complementarian Christians only serve to perpetuate the cycle. One of Bobbi’s recent posts kind of fueled my fire on this.
I don’t necessarily think that all families and couples operating under a headship principle are wrong. I know multiple couples who do. They have thought out, prayed and genuinely pursued such a theology, and it works well for them. However, I don’t think the majority of people making up the church think a whole lot about what it is they believe, especially in terms of male-female relationships. They just do what’s always been done and relate out of habit rather than intention. While these families and institutions, operating under an uninformed and unintentional headship model, may not directly abuse the women and girls in their lives, I do believe they help create victims and perpetrators.
Victims and perpetrators are created in these environments because the definitions of beauty, responsibility, love and conflict-resolution are somehow skewed. Sometimes the communicator is at fault, sometimes the receiver of the message is at fault. Regardless, something big gets ignored.
I don’t know. I guess I am babbled out. I just know that any form of violence against girls and women makes me physically sick. I know that the church is a broken vessel and that no Christian is perfect. But it doesn’t add up when something is so desperately screwed up and wrong and God’s people in general so rarely raise their voices to protest, let alone lift a finger to help change this.
Read Full Post »