The Sad Truth Concerning #Metoo

The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful~ Proverbs 12:5

I will not lie. I had high hopes for the #metoo movement.

 Back in the day, I found myself on the receiving end of some bad behavior from men who were well beyond the point of knowing better. These days, that behavior would without a doubt be considered sexual harassment.

 Back then we called it “boys being boys”. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. It just got a whole lot less attention back then.

 Crude comments, unwelcome touching, and rape are wrong for many reasons, most of which are clearly obvious to thinking people. At the root of every single one of those many reasons is the reality that predatory sexual behavior is an attack on the God-given dignity and personhood of women (Genesis 1:27). For that reason sexual violence against women is an attack on God Himself (as the author of life and giver of human dignity).

 Which brings me back to my original high-hopes for the #metoo movement. I like the idea of drawing attention to the very real problem of sexual violence. I also feel that those who commit acts of sexual violence deserve to have their deeds exposed (Numbers 32:23, Galatians 6:7). For those reasons alone, I wanted so badly for #metoo to be something that I, as a Christian woman, could support and stand behind.

 It’s not.

 For the record, I did not rush to judgment on that pronouncement. I sincerely wanted to see where the movement would go before I made up my mind about how I felt about it. I did this because, generally speaking, I feel that Christians are a little over eager to both condemn and embrace movements.

 When Christians criticize and condemn before getting the facts, we all end up looking like a bunch of small-minded, knee-jerk Judgy McJudgers. Conversely, when Christians choose to embrace movements prior to getting all the facts, we wind up looking ridiculous when we are inevitably forced to backtrack and retract our support.

 I have been observing the #metoo movement for a while now and have concluded that smart, thoughtful Christians should avoid the #metoo movement for at least four reasons:

 The movement is insincere-

 If #metoo were truly serious about ending sexual violence and the exploitation of women they would do more than simply point fingers at high profile predators. They would denounce the porn industry, fight for the end of prostitution and raise money to support those victimized by the sex trade. To my knowledge none of those things are happening, which makes all their talk about being “advocates for women” appear hollow and self-serving.

 Not every man is a bad man-

 One of my biggest concerns with the #metoo movement is that they seem to sincerely believe that every man is a sexual predator and every unsolicited flirtation from a man is somehow a form of rape. One does not need to be clairvoyant to see where this insanity might lead. Innocent interactions between men and women will no longer be seen as innocent, men and women will be further alienated from each other and the war between the sexes will intensify. If that happens we will all lose.

 The movement is quickly becoming one-big witch-hunt-

 The #metoo movement believes that all women should be believed regardless of evidence (or lack there of). They also believe that women should be able to accuse men anonymously. I am all for keeping the identity of victims of sexual violence who have reported the assault to the police out of the public eye. The privacy of victims should be protected from the press. Period. That said, sometimes people lie (Deuteronomy 19:15-17) and in the interest of fairness (and keeping our justice system just) the accused have a right to know who is accusing them.

 #metoo could set women back decades-

 I work in a field (ministry) where men tend to be very reluctant (for obvious reasons) to be seen interacting with a woman. This fact (as understandable as it may be) has not made my life in ministry easy, nor has it helped me to move ahead in a field I love. I’m not complaining. I am simply describing the world I live in. I am fearful that the law of unintended consequences will come into play and my (admittedly weird) problem will become a problem for all women. No man in his right mind will be seen associating with women (even in a business setting) if he knows there is a good chance his reputation will be ruined for it.

 Nothing in this world aggravates me more than the powerful taking advantage of the powerless. It is true that some men (not all) have taken advantage of women in the past and even prevented some from reaching their God-given potential. That said, the way to correct a past injustice is never with more injustice. We correct injustice through understanding, open communication and a commitment to believe the best in others unless there is an obvious reason not to.



4 thoughts on “The Sad Truth Concerning #Metoo

  1. I appreciate what you have to say about the #metoo movement, but I don’t think your proposed solutions will in any way solve the problem. Pornography, prostitution, and the sex trade aren’t related to the issue of men sexually harassing women in a work context. The real issue is men sexually forcing themselves on to women with threats public humiliation, of being fired, or not being able to work in their field anymore. The force can be anything from an unwanted arm around the shoulder to forcible rape. Too many men think they can get away with this and we need to make sure they don’t.

    It seems to me that the best thing to do is to teach males, starting when they are little boys to treat women with respect and dignity. Teach them they are more than just a pretty face. Women are smart and thoughtful, and understanding their perspective benefits you. That way, hopefully when a man is in a position of power he will remember his upbringing and treat the women he works with respectfully. Besides, if a woman is respected she might willing to go on a date if you ask her.

    • Sue, respectfully, I disagree. Pornography, prostitution and the sex trade are all related to how men treat women in the work place. I say that because I firmly believe that at the root of pornography, prostitution and sexual harassment in the work place is a lack of respect for women, a tendency to see women as nothing more than a means to an end (sexual gratification) and a thing (barely a person) to gain power over. These attitudes have to change in order for workplaces to change. Research has proven that men who watch porn are more likely to mistreat women in the home and in the workplace. These men are also more likely to seek out prostitutes for sexual gratification (a very dehumanizing act for the woman involved). I agree that men should never get away with sexual harassment in the workplace. I also agree that little boys need to be taught to respect women from a very young age. That said, I also believe that as long as we as a society tolerate the degradation of women in film and the sex trade we will continue to see women being sexually humiliated and mistreated in the workplace.

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