Tuesday, November 21

It's Not Different

I couldn't stand it anymore, so I put down my embroidery to write this.  When the reports about men making unwanted sexual advances toward women and girls started popping up, I was angry but not surprised.

But I began to wonder whether I would hear the same outrage on TV when a democrat was called out. I wondered what I would tell myself when it was someone whom I had respected. It didn't take long for the universe to answer with the allegations about Senator Al Franken. I was so sad. I like the Senator. I think that he is a good Senator. Soon, the folks on my favorite news channel started talking about whose actions were worse. "This is different," they were saying.

It's not different. Yes, the acts different men committed against women and girls were very different. But the foundation for the actions is not. Men who treat women as objects for their own gratification have placed women in a category labelled "Less Than". Because they see women as "less than" men, they feel free to act on women without thinking. They don't think the women matter or have real worth.

This kind of thinking isn't limited to men who make unwanted sexual advances. Many more men see women as less than. Less intelligent than, less able than, less worthy than. Therefore they see no need to treat women equally in the workplace, or listen without interrupting when they speak, or value their opinions, observations, and ideas.

Because we devalue others because they are just that: not us, we have built a foundation for a society that rapes and abuses and murders. We are now living in a society in which people commit mass murder because they are angry, or because they want to be famous. Some of those killed are men. When we have a foundation of "less than," there's no telling who might put whom in that category.

Let's all just take a minute and go to our thinking places. Let's think about who we see as "less than." Then let's make a concentrated effort to catch ourselves in that kind of thinking and to change those thoughts before they lead to words or actions. Let's include the way we think about ourselves. I can't help but think that there are a lot of women who think that they are less worthy than men.

On the television, people are saying that because women are standing up and saying, "Me, too," the world is about to change. I sure hope so. But I think we got stuck on the sex. What about a "Me, too" for women overlooked for employment, promotion, home loans? And what if that starts changing? I sure hope so.

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