When I first saw the #YesAllWomen tag show up in social media I was skeptical and a bit defensive. But as I have continued to read the tweets and articles I’ve had a change of heart. The social media movement is diverse and so are the messages. Certainly various groups are using the #YesAllWomen tag to promote things I disagree with (i.e., pro-abortion). But there are many constructive voices in the conversation as well and, I think, there’s a lot men can learn from this movement. And so, instead of staying out of the fray like I probably should, here are 6 things men (especially godly men) would be wise to learn from the #YesAllWomen campaign.
1) Misogyny really is pervasive. I was skeptical of the “All” part of the tag at first but as I thought through the women in my life who I have known particularly well I realized that all of them have faced some kind of misogyny from men because they are women. The point of the #YesAllWomen campaign is to give voice to women who have faced violence or abuse. As men, we’re wise to open our eyes and our ears.
2) Popular media promotes the objectification of women. I read a devastating article (caution: strong language!) about misogyny in Geek culture. Popular movies and culture promote a conquest mentality when it comes to sexuality. Men are “manly” because they get (and bed) the girl. Men, this is a lie! Don’t believe what the broader culture tells you about being a man. This vision of the sexual conqueror is antithetical to God’s vision of a one-woman-man.
3) Pornography is like pop-culture on steroids. I feel like there’s an elephant in the room that I hardly ever see connected to the #YesAllWomen campaign: Pornography. Pornography is everything bad about cultural misogyny to the Nth degree: Objectification of women. Promotion of male entitlement. Pervasive aggression. Pornography is creating a generation of men with unrealistic and misogynistic views of women and sex.
4) Fathers, teach your sons to be protectors, not perpetrators. We need men who view women as people created in the image of God, due respect, honor, and dignity, and not as objects used for pleasure. Teach your sons to treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity (1 Timothy 5:2).
5) Fathers, love your daughters. Teach them that their value doesn’t lie in their physical appearance. Show them that their value comes from God, that they are made in his image, and that this worth and dignity can never be taken away. Finally, be a father who protects and cares for his daughter. Girls who have supportive fathers are far better off than those who don’t.
6) Husbands, follow the example and commands of Christ. Love your spouse as Christ loved the church. Husbands are to love their wives not with selfishness but with sacrifice. In loving your wife in this way you will model to your sons how to treat women and to your daughters how they should expect to be treated.
What are your thoughts on the #YesAllWomen campaign? What constructive things can we learn from it?