On Sexual Harassment

What are we to make of this modern outbreak? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Odds are that before the day is through, a new sexual harassment charge will be brought forward against Roy Moore, Al Franken, or someone else in a position of power. This leaves Christians wondering what is going on exactly. How is it that we respond to this? Why is this such an issue today?

The first thing to say about this is innocent until proven guilty. That’s the American system. If someone does apologize or agree to the charges, then yes, take that as an admission of guilt. I don’t care for the comedy of Louis CK, but when the charges were brought against him, I withheld judgment until he came forward and said that they were true.

Yet there is no doubt some of this happening today and the question is why. Why in our day and age do so many men seem to be accused of this? Please note that a woman can just as much sexually harass a man, but usually, men seem to be the main offenders. It could be because either a man doesn’t want to admit it, or because a man would not consider it harassment if a woman started really coming on to him and doing sexual things to him.

Some of this I think is due to modern feminism. It was this idea that men and women are absolutely equal. Reality check. They’re not. Men and women are vastly different. This does not mean that one is superior to the other. It does not mean that one is more human than the other. It just means that they are different from one another.

Feminism sought to make them all equal and one of the great ways to do this was abortion. After all, once a woman gets pregnant, it could really dampen her career and her sex life. Can’t have that! The oddity is that women who were promoting this were also allowing themselves to be used by men. After all, men have this desire for sex without consequences and if you can remove the consequences even if the woman gets pregnant, then hey, no worries! Sadly, many will happily kill their own children if it means they can get more sex.

I wish I was exaggerating on this point, but I am not. Consider how a few years ago when Texas was passing a bill to limit abortion. Here you have man-child Ben Sherman writing about why this bill should be opposed.

Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.

Note that part. Casual sex outside of relationships. After all, who cares about a relationship with the woman? That takes so much work and such. You might actually have to get to know her, spend time with her, invest in her, and learn to treat her with love and honor. Nah. It’s far easier to just “hit it and quit it.”

You see, if sex is the end and the women don’t matter for a relationship, then the women will be used. Sadly, it’s not because these people have a high view of sex. They actually have a low view of sex. They take one aspect of sex, the physical joy, and remove all the other aspects of it.

One of the great joys of sex in marriage is the bonding it gives with one’s spouse. That happens in relationship. Before I got married, a former pastoral counselor gave me a notecard with some pieces of advice for marriage. One statement on there I remember was “Sex is the thermometer that measures the temperature of the relationship.” That can apply to many men today. If you want to ask a man how his marriage is doing, he could very well base it off of what goes on in the bedroom.

Sex is indeed a physical act, but it is not just physical. It is spiritual. It is emotional. It is relational. If you take the physical, then you’re really just cheapening sex. Now, something that’s incredibly good and cheapened can still be incredibly good. A Corvette can be a great car even if it has a dent in it. It just won’t have the same value.

To get back then to what was being said, a man won’t value a woman as a woman, but see her as just a body. Often times, this will mean that he thinks the same thing that works on him should work on her. The woman should be that if you do X, then Y happens. Do this and you get sex back. Ask any married man and they will tell you the truth about this.

I often think part of the problem in marriages is that men expect women to think like men and vice-versa. It doesn’t work that way. The way men and women think about things is extremely different. The sad thing is many of those things we think should be appreciated. A man thinks his romantic physical gestures should be appreciated. A wife thinks her helpful tips on how to do the dishes should be appreciated.

To get back to harassment, what happens then is that men can make advances they think should be appreciated, but get turned into harassment. They can also treat women as if they were just bodies and nothing more than objects of pleasure for them. It’s quite interesting to think that Mike Pence got a lot of pushback for his rule about relationships with women other than his wife, but a lot of people today would be in a lot less trouble if they followed that rule.

What does it take to change this? It takes a higher view of sex and a higher view of people. Sex has to be more than just a physical activity, though certainly not less. It has to be a spiritual and emotional and relational connection to be saved for the sacred bonds of marriage. Men and women have to be seen as persons in their own right and their very beings are not just means to an end.

As for the current charges, we can discuss, but let us always remember innocent until proven guilty. See what evidence all sides have. I have not looked at any of the cases sufficiently in order to make a judgment, but it is easy to ruin someone over just a claim today and that is something we need to move past. This is not to excuse sexual harassment at all either. It’s a wrong that should not be done, but it does not mean that we decide on a case before the evidence comes forward.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

  • J. Parker

    About 90% of claims are true. That’s research-based, and I can honestly say that it matches my experience of women. Yes, there are false claims, and I agree that in a court of law it’s innocent until proven guilty. But let’s remember that perpetrators are often careful about making sure it’s just him and her in the room, which discourages reporting and makes it hard to prove what happened. When you have multiple charges from women who did not collaborate and their stories are quite similar, we need to pay attention and certainly not shame the victims.

    I think your point about sexuality being too focused on the physical is spot-on. But I think it’s a little easy for men to say that this is a recent phenomenon (like the claim that modern feminism has lent itself to more harassment). History just doesn’t bear that out. Frankly, women have been harassed and assaulted for ages (look at the Bible); it’s just that we have at this moment reached a tipping point where women are stepping forward and saying, “No more!” and finding a supportive environment.

    • I trust your judgment on the statistics.

      For recent phenomenon, of course it’s not that this has never happened before. That it is all over the news is for us something that is different for now. it has been before, such as in the Clinton days with Monica Lewinsky, but this is something happening anew now, not in the case of harassment happening, but it being talked about this much.

      And no, don’t shame the victims, but don’t ruin anyone’s life over it either until we fully look at the evidence.