Before tonight’s post, I just wanted to thank everyone who has been joining me over on Patreon for my Daily Thoughts for Strength series. If you’re interested in that extra perk – or receiving podcast versions of my posts to your inbox – check out my Patreon site!
ALSO! A huge thank you to the reader who ordered a TV through my Amazon link! I got $10 through that purchase, which will go towards the blog! And while I do not see who orders what, I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has been doing their Christmas shopping by going through my link. It’s totally free for you, and your support allows me to continue bringing you BBB every week!
——————- ONTO TONIGHT’S POST! ——————–
I’ve got to be honest here, I really have been avoiding talking about the topic of tonight’s post.
The current social climate around everything that has come to light with Harvey Weinstein and the myriad of other alleged sexual abusers is not something I was too enthusiastic about covering.
But given Matt Lauer’s recent allegations, I can no longer avoid addressing the inevitable.
And my approach avoidance was not for a lack of caring or outrage, but rather, because I felt that I didn’t really have anything of value to add to the conversation. Nothing that hadn’t already been said, anyway.
But eating breakfast this morning, the words finally came to me.
And it came in the form of a quote by none other than the great John Paul II.
Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Roy Moore, Matt Lauer and all the other men facing sexual assault accusations… aside from the despicable lack of respect, abuse of authority and predatory behavior, what it boils down to is this fundamental truth:
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s use.” – JP2
The very act of sexual abuse is so painful because it bastardizes the core human need for love, and the very act of love itself. It takes the beautiful expression of love and twists it into a predatory manifestation of use.
It is the epitome of John Paul II’s quote.
It is the use and exploitation of another person for their own personal benefit. The women were (allegedly) a means to an end for these men. And it is a complete violation and disregard of the dignity and honor that is present in each person as a creation and child of God, in His image and likeness.
It’s the same with pornography.
Whenever we’re using another person for our own selfish desires, we’re distorting authentic love and deeply hurting others in the process.
Because we are all made for love. God is love, and as children made in His image and likeness, we too, have a deep desire for it.
It is in our distortion of that love where the trouble arises.
I think it is heartbreaking that this abuse has been happening for so long, and that it has taken a “strength in numbers” situation for women to feel safe coming forward with their experiences.
What has our society come to where it has come to that? Where we fear for our jobs and reputation if we speak up about abuse or assault?
But what’s more, is how has this behavior become something we could even conceive of? How has a woman’s sexuality become something that can be taken without consent?
And hear me when I say that this is no way, shape, or form an excuse or minimization of what these men allegedly did, but I do think that it’s time that we as a society need to take a cold, hard, look at how we may be inadvertently responsible for the mindset that would allow such horrific violations.
And I think the results are quite sobering.
What kinds of things are we absorbing in our media, or on our computers? The pornography business is a $97 billion dollar industry, with porn-sites getting more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. It has been normalized – nay, glorified! – in our culture, perverting the minds of those exposed to it.
Think about all the pro-rape lyrics in the rap songs we listen to on the radio and in the clubs? What are our advertisements communicating? What kind of behavior has the dating-app culture been normalizing, glorifying, and encouraging?
We have created a society where sex has become a transaction – minimizing and dehumanizing the people involved to mere objects. And frankly, I’m deeply saddened, but not surprised at all by the fallout.
None of these are excuses for a person’s decision to sexually abuse another human being, but with the outpouring of allegations and heartbreaking stories, it begs the question, “What is going on here?”
Something’s gotta give.
My heart and prayers are with all the victims during this time. And especially those who are holding onto their own story, out of shame, or feeling afraid to come forward for fear of repercussion.
I, personally have been the victim of sexual assault, and know that the shame is very real. It happened at a nightclub in the Meatpacking District in NYC, and I wrestled for a long time with the feelings of shame and the constant thought of, “maybe I brought it on myself.” Longer than the bruises lasted.
There is a swell of courageous women coming forward, and I pray that we all can support those brave souls, and help to bring about a change.
***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“***
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to use my link! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog!
For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! You make this blog possible 🙂