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I watched, almost daily, as more and more women came forward to announce to the world who their abuser or assaulters were, and the world watched as some of these men who seemed so powerful were taken down one by one. We also watched as some mighty men were able to escape justice again. For a moment it looked like this new movement was going somewhere good.
Then things turned, and my red flags started to wave. I watched as women came out and made allegations that sounded bad but when you peeled back the layers of the onion, you found out the allegations were coming more from guilt and shame associated with their own sinful choices. Let me stop right here and explain what I mean.
Some women came out and claimed that they were victims of unwanted sexual encounters, but the men claimed it was consensual. As a result, some men were being taken down for consensual fornication. The shame and guilt these women were feeling for participating in consensual fornication were now being interpreted as crimes by these women, and they were succeeding in destroying their object of guilt and shame, the man.
That’s when I decided #notme. As someone who has been through sexual abuse, I understand the feelings of anger, shame, confusion, etc. I even understand why some women want to take down their abuser or assaulter. There is a real temptation to believe that if I can take down this person, I will somehow feel better about what happened to me.
But it is one of the biggest lies. The truth is that the woman who succeeds in taking down her “enemy” will only become more bitter because she has not been taught one thing, how to forgive. Justice can still be served, but healing only comes through forgiveness.
Sexual crime can be one of the hardest crimes to prove because most criminals do not commit this crime in the open. My abuse as a child took place over several years without anyone knowing. This reality is why it is so vital for the victim to understand their prompt reporting of the crime is critical. Silence is not helpful in this area.
If a man is committing a sexual crime against a woman, she has the right to report it and be heard. That sounds logical and fair. But let me frame this issue another way so you can understand why I no longer want anything to do with #metoo. If a woman is committing a sexual crime against a man, he has the right to report it and be heard.
Some of you may have bristled at that, but I must say it. As I watched the men who were being taken down in the early days of #metoo, I noticed quite a few news stories swept under the rug. These stories included the accounts of young boys who were being abused or sexually used by their school teachers.
If you think sex crimes are only against women, you are closing your eyes to the other half of humanity. I wonder if these young boys were to join the movement if they would be allowed to bring down their female abusers, would they even be heard?
Sometimes only giving a voice to one side succeeds in silencing the other side. And that is what we have seen taking place over the past few weeks in our political stage. The destruction and silencing of men, conservative men in particular.
When #metoo turned to #destroymen, I was out for one simple reason: all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Every sin that a man is capable of committing so is a woman. If a man can lie about sexual crimes, so can a woman. If a man can hurt a woman sexually, so can a woman.
Silencing men and giving a voice only to women is not the answer. Victims of sexual crime have the right to be heard no matter what their gender. But victims of false allegations also have the right to be heard. How can I as a woman say this? Simple, I have had just as many women hurt me as men.
I have yet to find one gender more sanctified and perfect than the other. Both genders are capable of heinous crimes, and both genders should be treated respectfully. Just as important, both genders are capable of forgiveness, and this is not being taught to victims.
One thing the Christian has to keep in mind is that we are never to fear the one who can kill the body, but we are to fear the one who has the power to kill the body and the soul. In other words, we will always be able to forgive the worst criminal because they have no way to kill our soul.
Yes, they may succeed in “destroying” us on this earth, but they will never have the power to destroy our souls. God has that power, and that’s where the ultimate justice is served. My abuser died knowing that I had forgiven him, but still rejecting God’s forgiveness.
I do not take any delight in knowing that my abuser is now suffering the ultimate justice for his sins. I truly wish he would have come to repentance and that I would have been able to witness the transformation of a wretched soul. I wish he would have seen his sin in light of a forgiving savior who took that burden on the cross for him.
Christ would have saved him had he humbled his heart and repented. How do I know this, because God has extended that same offer to me. He has accepted my sinful and wretched soul so that I now have no reason to fear.
As the #metoo movement flounders and struggles to find a real direction other than destroy, we will continue to watch men be taken down, and women raised to an elevation of undeserved sainthood.
We will continue to see men who are also victims of sexual crimes sit in silence and be told it’s their fault for merely being male. We will watch as women who are controlled by rage, instead of forgiveness, believe they are superior to all humanity. I hope that #metoo will be taken over by a movement called #forgiveness.