Let me start off by saying that this post is completely non-political and is intended to solely raise awareness on a specific issue that affects EVERYONE. This has nothing to do with my political stance, but everything to do with saving our young girls and young boys.
With it being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want to bring awareness to something we usually don’t think about when it comes to this topic, and that is our words. Our words have so much meaning and depth to them. They can hurt, or they can uplift. When we think about domestic violence we tend to think about physical threats and violence, but the words that come out of our mouth can be just as harmful, if not more.
As most of us know, recently there was an audio released of a particular person of high celebrity making some pretty disturbing comments towards women, and even going as far as condoning sexual assault.
The worst of this situation is not the actual words, but what follows after the world hears these words.
“Locker room talk” is what people call it.
Brushing it off as if this is something “normal”. It’s normal to speak vulgarly towards women, right? Every man does it. It’s no big deal.
In actuality, IT IS DEFINITELY A BIG DEAL!
“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.'” -Matthew 15:10-11
Jesus is the wisest teacher! Here, He is teaching us that the words that come out of our mouth not only affect us and those around us, but can even defile us! There is so much power in the tongue to the point of destruction.
Knowing this, why then would we so effortlessly dismiss the words that defile our women and girls?
I have to be honest in that it completely outrages me. It makes girls think, “It is ok for men to talk to me like this. It is ok for men to disrespect me like this. It is ok for men to GRAB me like this.” This is SEXUAL ASSAULT! Women and men have been victims of sexual assault and you are going around saying that this is just merely “locker room talk”. No! That is not ok! As a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault I am telling you that it is not ok! I am more hurt by you accepting these words than the very words themselves!
It is time to stop acting like abuse towards women is “normal”. It is time to stop treating women as if they are merely sexual objects! It is time to stop this so-called “locker room talk”, because the conversations that are being held are actually being portrayed in the real world. Because the words that are being spoken are actually happening and they are destroying lives!
During the time that I was in my abusive relationship, I was so young and dumb that I could have believed anything. I thought that maybe this is the way relationships are. All relationships are rocky and they all have their issues until the issues finally get resolved. If I had constantly been told by others around me that a man can do whatever he wants to me and even grab me, I would have never gotten out. I would have accepted it and would have been abused for my entire life, or worse…dead. That’s what many girls and women are facing right now. We must stand up and speak out against disrespect towards women. Saying “boys will be boys” is not enough. Accepting it as a language that everyone speaks is not enough.
I realize that the individual has taken the time to apologize for the words spoken, which is a great step in the right direction, but again, we cannot then dismiss these words as “locker room talk”. In this instance, forgiveness is not enough, but what also is needed is acknowledging that the conversation is unacceptable. When someone says that it was just a casual conversation between two men, they are then condoning what what said. We condone this type of behavior all the time.
When you whistle at a woman. You are part of the problem.
When you call a woman fat. You are part of the problem.
When you make a sexual pass at a woman. You are part of the problem.
When you call another woman a bitch. You are part of the problem.
When you call a woman a slut. You are part of the problem.
I realized recently that not only is the tongue powerful enough to destroy, but it is powerful enough to uplift. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” -James 3:10
We can do so much good with our mouth. We can raise awareness. We can encourage. We can edify. And we can praise.
These are the conversations we should be having in locker rooms. These are the conversations we should begin to perceive as normal.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14