Yesterday I learned that my girlfriend is ticklish. Supes totes presh adorbs, I get it. But here’s the thing, I could have tickled her for hours, even if she didn’t want me to, because, well, I’m physically stronger than she is. But through laughter, I could tell she had had enough and of course, I stopped. In turn, if she ever tried tickling me, it would be over in moments.
And this got me thinking… If I could tickle my girlfriend without her being able to do anything about it, what kind of horrible things are happening when men with ill-intent are taking advantage of those who are physically weaker than they are? Sure, not all men are stronger than all women, but you get my point.
If you have a Facebook, chances are you’ve heard of the #MeToo campaign where women are sharing their stories of sexual abuse in their statuses. Personally, I hate reading stories I can’t help. It’s hard having to purely be a spectator as I read through experiences these women have already been through and know I can’t go back and stop these cowardly men.
So what do I do? How can I be a part of the actual solution? I asked a female friend of mine who’s been a victim about how she could feel supported by men and her answer was simple: acknowledge the problem.
I can’t speak for every man, as I know men are abused as well (I was even abused as a child), but I can say these things as a grown adult:
If I ever want someone to stop tickling me, I will make them stop.
If it’s dark outside and I’m pumping gas, I don’t have to look over my shoulder.
If I don’t feel like staying somewhere, I leave.
And no one is ever going to be able to force me to have sex.
I will never be able to understand what it’s like for a girl to duck into a well lit store to avoid the guy following her home. I will never understand what it’s like to be catcalled on my commute home or harassed at a bar. And while I have, and will continue to stand up to men who abuse women, I won’t always be able to be there. But what I can do is talk about how it’s wrong.
It’s wrong because it allows men to view women as sexual objects to be used and abused and not as people.
It’s wrong because when women are viewed in this way, anything that comes as a result of the cheap sexual encounters is seen as disposable—life is cheapened when men can do whatever they want with women. And when the life of a woman and the life of a child is cheapened, abortion can be pushed as a valid solution to a problem that wasn’t caused by the woman, but by the man.
Pro-choice activist Jane Larson praised abortion for the way it has transformed sex for women—“It certainly changed women’s feelings about sexual desire and about themselves as sexual people,” she said. “It made the risks of being sexual far less for women.”
While I can’t even begin to stress how wrong this statement is, I will say this: While abortion has done nothing to reduce the risks of being sexual for women, it most definitely has reduced the risk of sex for men.
Countless men get away with sexual crimes because they can hide behind abortion. While pregnancy for a young girl is often a tell-tale sign of abuse and rape, abortion lets these crimes go unnoticed. And the abortion industry—the industry that apparently stands for women’s rights—is enabling these men.
Abortion has cheapened sexuality and has cheapened human life and dignity to epic proportions. It has made sex a casual encounter, a woman’s body a mere commodity, and a child’s body an inconvenience to be disposed of.
And when human life and sex are cheapened, a logical result is sexual harassment and abuse. A logical result is not a society where women feel empowered, it is a society where women feel powerless. A logical result is men who don’t stand up when women are being harmed.
So men, join me in talking about what’s wrong with sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Join me in making that kind of behavior intolerable among men and in culture at large. And join me in addressing and tackling abortion, one of the greatest root issues in regards to sexual abuse.
Take the first step today by signing our pledge below and standing against this cheapened view of sex and human dignity. You can make a difference.