There is no way in polite society I can discuss pro-feminist issues like a lady.
Imagine this scenario: a church potluck; families in their Sunday best, ignoring the slight discomfort of their full bellies , reclining, slightly in their folding chairs around long, out-dated banquet tables… to your left, Aunt Irma is starting to nod-off… on right side, a tired mother, holding a baby on her lap, watching lazily, as he throws his whole body weight into a failed grab for the food on her plate… children, running off their spare energy. The pastor has just given a very thought-provoking message on the blessings of tithing, and you feel inspired to study out the scriptures he used and increase your giving.
Just then, as you least suspect it, that crazy redhead across the table from you (that would be me) leans in your direction and says in a loud voice,
“Did you know that so-and-so’s daughter was acquaintance raped while walking back from the campus library last Wednesday? I understand she reported it to campus security, but after taking her report, she’s been on the receiving end of some pretty abusive comments and slut-shaming. I’m worried. We should get involved!”
You won’t need to stretch yourself to imagine the abrupt silence that would follow.
In the United States today, one in four women experience sexual abuse by the time they turn eighteen. Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. That’s nearly a quarter of a million each year. The most jaw-dropping part of all is that less than half sexual assaults are reported, and of those, a shocking ninety-seven percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail.
How can this happen?
We exist in a culture that maintains a silence around topics of a taboo nature. This is particularly true of issues pertaining to women, such as those addressing sexual and gender violence. Discussion of those subjects is perceived as unseemly, even among small groups of women friends. Its as if the mere subject of gender violence would taint all within hearing radius; defiling our hearts and rendering us unpure.
True enough, the Word clarifies that its not what we eat or drink that defileth a (woah,) man, but that which pertaineth to the heart, yet, we still close up our mouths in silence regarding topics of sexual and gender violence; subjects that affect us all, either directly or through someone we love. We are terrified that we will be seen as unclean in our speech, but again, its not what comes from our heart through our mouths. Mathew 15:17-20 says it so well:
17 Do ye not yet understand that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the drain? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 these are the things which defile a man.
I don’t know how to say it more clearly, more direct. I want arrows to shoot this truth into the heart of every man and woman who has ever kept their mouth sealed shut and unwittingly reinforced the culture of silence that sets the stage for acquaintance rape, incest, marital rape, child sex abuse, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, child sex trafficking, stalking, dating and domestic violence, drug facilitated sexual violence, sexual hate crimes, and stranger rape.
It is not speaking out on behalf of women who live in a male-dominated society who fall prey to sex crimes and become the nameless victims of perpetrators who will never be punished that defile us.
It is our complacency.
It is that which proceedeth from our hearts.
God save us from our complacency.
To my Sisters, who have been abused; this scripture is for you.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
You have not been forgotten, daughters of Zion. The Lord sees what's been done to you, and He. Is. Furious. You've been bought with a price, and the Lord wants what's His. The love He has for you has not changed because you've been violated; it cannot, because His love is perfect, just as He is perfect. You are still His bride, and the Bridegroom cometh. Keep yourself ready, my Sister, because He's gonna take you away from all this... oh, how He's gonna take you away!