Within the last two weeks, I found out one of my friends was molested at a party at their college. The perpetrator has been nothing less than flippant and manipulative ever since.
Within this last week, a different friend of mine who was raped in high school received text messages on the anniversary of her rape from her rapist who gloated over what he did to her.
Also within this last week, someone very important to me who was also raped in high school texted me asking how the proposed Trumpcare bill will allow rape to possibly be considered a pre-existing condition.
I’ve had the opportunity to help many friends who were raped talk through their experiences. I’m convinced that rape, sexual assault, and even sexual harassment is the art of stripping somebody of their self-worth. But the seemingly relentless succession of events within the last couple weeks has prompted me to reflect on what the heck is going on in our society, and I decided to share some of those reflections. I can’t possibly expect to fix problems that have plagued humanity since the fall, but if this post in my little corner of the internet changes one man’s views of manhood in relation to women (whether directly or indirectly), I consider it a success.
So why is it the case that in a society so obsessed with women’s rights, social justice, and rape culture we still have rampant sexual assault? Well, obviously the shallow answer is that we still live in a sinful society.
But when we break that down to what it essentially means, what we are really saying is that we live in a society obsessed with self-worship which is what the essence of sin truly is. Within the Christian framework, we are beings created to worship and glorify, yet given the will to determine where we will focus those actions. Satan chose to exult himself, and Adam and Eve desired to glorify themselves when they were told that they could eat the fruit and be like God.
When we lust, cheat, steal, etc. we indulge in an action that sets ourselves up as the gods of our own worlds, determining what seems right and wrong according to our own pleasure. Combine this essence of sin with a society drowning in its own self-empowerment and self-building and one hardly needs to imagine how readily things could go wrong.
Our society is focused on the individual. It tells the individual how great they are. It affirms them no matter what they do. It tells them that they deserve to be happy. None of those things are inherently wrong, but our society (for all its feigned altruism) is one that takes the individual’s focus and turns it to themselves as the god of their world.
This is exactly the kind of mindset that is necessary to be mentally capable of stripping somebody of their self-worth as though they are mere carnal property in order to gratify one’s own desires. We are the gods of our own lives, so of course there is an epidemic of utter disregard for the value of others when we exist only to exult and gratify ourselves.
The answer to this epidemic is a worldview in which one does not exist in order to glorify and satisfy oneself. I believe there are numerous worldviews that satisfy such a broad requirement, but I believe that the most coherent is Christianity.
But even Christian culture has become so steeped in self-empowerment that it seems to have forgotten what Christianity means for the essence of humanity which is that our purpose is to worship God above all and hold the good of others, especially the vulnerable, above our own good.
The answer is not more “Christianity.” The answer is a true internalization of Christianity and a full application of it to what it means to be human.
Regardless of what one’s worldview actually is, it should be taken as axiomatic that men, true men, should be the ones women can rally to, not rally from.
As such, we must reclaim knowledge and application of what it means to be human. We are not here to worship ourselves and our own desires. We exist in order to worship a God before whom we are all equals.
In application to our treatment of women and our recognition of their intrinsic value, men must be taught from the cradle and reminded to the grave that they do not exist to gratify their own carnal desires. They exist to worship God, and put the interests of others before their own which is the antithesis of the self-centered, self worshipping mindset necessary to intentionally reduce a beautiful human being to the status of carnal property.
Ideas matter because they guide our beliefs which guide our actions. In order to defend the vulnerable from those who would do them harm, we must fight against the mindset behind such heinous actions with an impassioned, urgent frenzy. And we must replace that mindset with one in which women will be viewed as intrinsically valuable rather than a means to self-worship.
These are my rambling thoughts, but I pray that they will preemptively protect just one victim. This is not about the debate over gender wage discrepancies or the patriarchy. This is about something much more fundamental. If we are truly to call ourselves Christian, Conservative, or Human we must recognize the intrinsic worth and equality of women, and look to their interests above our own.
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