Ignorance On Twitter Kept Me Up All Night

My friends have gotten an earful from me about people saying “gay” as in “stupid.”
There’s a whole website dedicated to ending the derogatory use of retard(ed).
People on my campus debate all the time about who can use the N-word and who can’t.
But it’s time we talked about another word/phrase that we need to stop using.

And for those of you who just read that, rolled your eyes, and thought “People need to stop being so sensitive!”

Shut up.  Just shut up, sit down, and listen to me.

It’s time we stop joking about sexual abuse, not only joking, but trivializing it.

If you did an awesome job on a test, good job.  You did an awesome job on the test.  But no, you didn’t “rape it.”

If someone says they were raped, assaulted, abused, molested, used, etc. No matter what their character is, no matter how they present themselves, no matter how they dress, no matter how many hook ups they’ve had, no matter how many times you’ve caught them lying before… You believe them, you support them, and you find them help.  You don’t laugh about it to your friends or brush it off.

And seriously, if I hear one more trivialized comparison between a sexual remark and sexual abuse, I will throw my already-broken-laptop out the window.

Don’t understand what I’m talking about?  Let me explain…

Some students from my university put together a page where people could anonymously submit crushes and flirty remarks. Some of the comments have said things like “Jane Doe has the best butt on campus” “I’d like to ride John Smith” and “SoAndSo can pop out of a cake for me ;)”  Yes, they are sexual.  Yes, they are over-the-top.  Yes, they are inappropriate.  But the responses I’ve seen against this page have boiled my blood.

Obviously, people have spoken out against this page.  Calling it “immature” “rude” “offensive” “degrading” “disgusting” “childish” and many… MANY.. other words.  Seeing as how most of the posts on the page are silly, humorous, or things like “This guy is such a cutie” “She is so gorgeous” and seeing how even the inappropriate comments are mild… I think it is an overreaction. Out of the 54 posts on that site 12 could be stretched to be considered inappropriate.   BUT on to my point…

One dissenter of the page wrote “it is nothing less than a form of sexual abuse.” and that’s when I knew I would write this post.

Sexual abuse is “a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat.”  Yes, those remarks can be considered inappropriate.  But sexually abusive?  Not a chance.  Degrading?  I wouldn’t even go there either.  Degrading is to de-grade someone, to lower them down in rank.  These comments, although inappropriate and immature, were intended to give someone a confidence boost, not to humiliate someone.  I can’t bring myself to call them degrading.  It’s just mindless people.  Not abusive.  And honestly, half of those posts were probably written by guys and their roommates about each other as jokes.

If you still stand by this idea that the people posting on the site are hypocrites and dirty pigs… and if you still think that what is being said on that site is sexually abusive.  Consider this.  Have you ever been locked in a room, pinned down, struggling to keep unfriendly hands and other body parts away from exploiting you?  I have.  I am a survivor of sexual abuse.  Survivor.  It’s a term applied to victims to honor and empower their strength to heal.  And I find it offensive that my assault gets classified in the same category as “That guy, the crazy one on the volleyball team, he can give it to me any day.”

To the person who said “it is nothing less than a form of sexual abuse,” I don’t know you.  I don’t even think we’ve ever said hi to each other.  But I will say this.  That page is MANY things less than a form of sexual abuse.  I’m not saying this to attack you or vent my anger.  I’m saying this to open people’s eyes.

I understand that the Christian community can be highly sheltered and doesn’t talk about sexual things outside of “I get to have sex because I’m married!  It’s awesome!” “Ye perverse sinners.  How dare you look at porn or quote Family Guy!” or “This is my testimony… BUT JESUS.” I would be willing to say that Christians are so afraid of how desensitized our culture is to sexuality, that they have over-sensitized themselves.  But seriously, let’s get our definitions right.  Don’t confuse stupid innuendos with sexual abuse.  Doing that trivializes the traumatic experience that someone has gone through.

Sexual abuse can tear apart families, destroy marriages, and ruin lives.  I’ve seen it cause problems for my friends and their relationships.  I’ve seen it make peers run out of classrooms sobbing from triggered memories.  I’ve seen it take over and consume my mind.  It is real.  And it is serious.

People need to understand the weight their words have.  No more talk of how your team “raped” the other team.  No more disregarding or worse, laughing at, that girl’s claims that she got molested by her date.  And no more labeling things as “sexual abuse” that are merely inappropriate.

Don’t be so quick to give something a weighty label in order to drive home your message.   You have no idea who you can hurt by doing that.

Sex: It’s Harder Than It Looks.


I have recently become very annoyed with Christians talking about sex.  Why?  Because in the Christian world apparently only men care about sex.

 

How many times have you been in youth group, church, chapel, Bible study, etc. and heard someone say something specifically addressed to men about sex, lust, physicality, and struggles and then add something about women and vanity, gossip, or self-image as almost an “oh yeah, gotta add in a female problem”?  I hear this ALL THE TIME.  And it drives me nuts.

 

Too often women are discounted from having sexual desires.  A pastor will say something about how he knows what it’s like struggling with lust because he’s a guy too.   “Because I’m a guy”  Why does that give him credentials? Would you believe that person if they were a woman saying that?  What if the person said “I know what it’s like struggling with lust because I’m a woman.”?  How many men in the room would think, “Ha! She has no idea!”?   You know… maybe.. maybe we don’t.  I’d be more inclined to say “maybe some women have no idea” but have you ever thought to yourself… maybe women do have some sort of idea, but because our Christian culture with its patriarchal roots has told us it’s not possible for us to want sex as much as men, we shut our mouths.

 

Someone please find for me a verse that talks about men being more sexually wired than women. (that’s not a challenge.. that’s a request)

 

In the same vein, what do you think the difference is between the number of guys vs girls who clicked on my post just for the title? or maybe avoided my post because of the title? (yes, it was 100% intentionally worded that way)  Do you think there is much of a tangible difference?

 

Let’s talk about the implications.  People grow up in the church hearing “Men you need to stop lusting after women” “Women, be careful of  those guys, because I’m a man and I know how sick a guy’s mind can be.” Men. Sex. Men. Porn. Men. Lust. Men. Masturbation. MENMENMENMEN!  What does that tell you?  That says, obviously the struggle to be pure is harder for men than it is for women, which is pretty much saying men want sex more than women do.  (WE DONT WANT SEX?!)  Therefor a lot of Christian guys come to this unconscious belief that since it must be easier for women to say no that WE should be the ones to stop them.  (….say what?) Don’t wait for us to tell you “when.”  We have to stop ourselves AND you on top of that?  So. Messed. Up.  Ever think about how men are (Biblically) supposed to be the leaders in the relationship.  Lead us towards purity.  Don’t wait for us to stop the physical progression.  If you want us to be trying to stop it, think about ways that YOU can stop it too.

 

Men, do you think it would be as much of a struggle if you weren’t the gender that the preaching was focused on?  -Yes?  Still?  Well, it’s still a struggle for women too.  Even though we’re not the ones being preached at.  -No?  You sure?  I know a lot of guys who say they struggle with self-image, and yet all the “You’re beautiful because you’re created in the image of God” talks are aimed at women.  I don’t think self-image is less of a struggle for guys.  Just the same, sex is not less of a struggle for women.

 

Saying that women don’t struggle as much, means they don’t think about it as much.  If they don’t think about it as much, therefor they don’t care about it as much.  Excuse me?  We don’t care about sex?  Do you think the way we were biologically created was not intended to care about sex?  Do you realize that women, (yes women.. not men) have the only body part created for humans with the sole purpose of sexual pleasure (aka the clitoris).  Every other body part that gives sexual pleasure has another purpose.  God made extra sure to point out that sex is for pleasure too… and gave WOMEN the painfully obvious evidence of that, not men.  And women were given the body that carry the implications of sex 9 months past sex itself.

 

PLUS!  You’re the ones always saying we’re complicated.  You think our complicated minds can’t come up with “sick” “twisted” thoughts like yours can?  Think again.

 

Then you add in emotions.  Now, if I want men to stop saying that women’s physical desires aren’t as strong, I will not deny that men probably have just as strong of emotions as well.  Here’s the thing though, men’s brains run parallel.  They know how to separate emotion from logic.  Women… not so much.  Then factor in that women produce more oxytocin (the bonding hormone).  Like a lot more.  We can even make it while we’re talking.   So on top of having our bodies and minds screaming for sex, our emotions are all “love me!” “appreciate me!” “bond with me!”  Oofta…

 

And also, the language surround sex in the Christian world gets gender assigned.   Women are encouraged/instructed to remain pure.  Everything is about “purity” with women.  But with men? “struggle” “avoiding temptation” “lust”  Why aren’t men talked to about purity?  Why aren’t women scolded about lusting?

 

I really have no idea how to end this post.  I guess I just want to say… Stop thinking sex isn’t a problem for women or that it isn’t a significant problem.  Stop disregarding the fact that we struggle physically and mentally.  Recognize that we carry those physical and mental struggles on top of the emotional need for acceptance and reassurance.  Stop thinking that our minds aren’t wrapped around sex as much as yours.  Give us credit.  We like sex.  We want sex.  Sex is not an afterthought for women.

 

Yes, there are exceptions.  There could be women who will read this and say “what the heck are you talking about?” just like I’m sure that there are men who sit in church and wonder why they keep getting lectured on sex because it’s not as big of a struggle for them.

 

I just want people to stop thinking that abstaining from sex, lust, etc. is easier for women.  If I didn’t think it was as big of a struggle, would I be writing this post?  Probably not.  So please don’t count me out and don’t put all the pressure to have it under control on me.

 

Thoughts? Questions?  Comment away.