Sunday, November 6, 2016

How sex plays a role in this election (and probably not what you were thinking)

Part  II of my little "We DO get what we want" election series.
How sex plays a role in this election
(and probably not what you were thinking)

If  you read yesterday's post, you know what I think of the choices we have made as our party representatives for President, so I will just start with ... And finally (well not finally, but I've had enough) ...

Why are we surprised that there are some powerful men (including a presidential candidate and a candidate's husband)?:
1. Have a history of (or history of accusations of) objectifying women;
2. Would try to avoid talking about it; and
3. Have women in their lives who stand by them.

We are also oddly surprised that some women who have been objectified or used sexually:
1. Would not come forward right away;
2. Would only do so years later and in the safety of numbers;
3. Had even possibly hoped to get something out of it - whether defensively, like keeping their jobs, or actively in hopes of getting ahead.

Neither of these should be a surprise when our culture is shockingly full of women competing and begging for male attention, or attempting to get ahead in life using their sexuality - I mean that's what advertisements and pop culture (music videos, concerts, movies, TV, news stories)  try to teach us in necessary, isn't it?

Of course in real life many women (even most, go figure) actually get ahead by being smart, talented and educated, having connections, friends and determination. But at the same time, perhaps because of wanting a dream at all costs, or the economy making it hard to get a job, or single motherhood and costs of childcare, or inequitable pay for equal work, or pressure by a boss to give in or keep quiet, and many other reasons...some women may feel they need to do whatever it takes to get or keep a job.

Many women know that it means pretending not to notice a brush of a hand against a body part, or competing with coworkers for the bosses attention in ways that may put other women down.

And then whether they fit that stereotype or not - women who are groped or assaulted or even have sex because they feel it is required, or at least very helpful, to keep their jobs, fail to come forward for fear of being blamed or not being believed.

So again I say this is, at least in part, our own fault.

We apparently think it is okay to have Victoria Secret's fashion shows on TV, with commercials running during prime time family programs. We let our girls wear short shorts because they insist their friends are. We take or send them to concerts with women wearing hardly anything, or men simulating sex on stage. We tell our adult friends to suck it up at work or dress hotter or go ahead and have that affair with the boss - it will be worth it. And so on...

We say boys will be boys. Men don't call their friend's on their behavior because they don't want to be seen as wooses or 'homos" or disloyal to the "male race". We say our athletes, movie starts or musicians wouldn't "need" to pay or force women to have sex. We shut our eyes when we see women who are repeatedly 'walk into doorknobs". And so on... 

Why then are we surprised that we are all messed up sexually as a nation.

Oh, some of you think I've gone too far now... And why? Because I've stopped talking about the candidates and slipped into what we accept as acceptable...or do nothing about. Because I am saying that we explain away too often others behaviors by saying 'to each his own'.

So, if you want to get back to the candidates, fine. One is a wealthy powerful man who many women have come forward to say they were treated like a piece of meat or sexually assaulted. One's husband, as President of the United States, used his power and position to manipulate at least one young female intern, and paid off several lawsuits to keep other women quiet. And this candidate did not appear to hold him accountable. Or her own ambition was great enough to stick with him anyway.

So in my opinion, the lesser of two evils is a terrible way to choose, but at least one has not already played a role in defiling the Oval Room.

What women rightly long for is spiritual and moral initiative from a man, not spiritual and moral domination.- John Piper, Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary

Blessings to My Purposeful People, Heather J. Kirk

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#election #responsibility #vote# women #sexualassault #victim #popularculture #hillary #bill #clinton #thedonald #trump #equalpay #sexuality, 

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