say girl

I don't consider myself an exceptional beauty. Don't read that as self-degradation, I'm aware that I'm an attractive young lady. But I'm also aware I'm not getting all Carrie Underwood up in here either {or whoever you consider really beautiful. you get the point.} So you'll understand my confusion at the cat-calls and honks that happen when I walk down the street, right? I know for a fact I'm not the only girl that happens to, so I can't be the only one that gets confused. Sometimes I kind of whip around to make sure I'm not walking in front of some hottie McBody or something. Nope...that was at me. Okay. Weird. And then there's the quick array of thoughts that follow.

How do you feel when you get cat-called? Do you get angry and defensive? Do you find yourself walking with a little extra pep in your step? Confusion? All of the above? The last answer is me. And sometimes I can feel the entire range in the matter of a minute or two. But I tend to linger on the first for the longest. Anger. My feminist streak rises up & I want to grab the man by the collar and get in his face and ask him a barrage of questions.

Is that how you see women? Just a piece of meat you can honk at and say whatever you want to? And does that work? Do you honk and yell and girls just hop in your car and want you to have your way with them? What socialized you into thinking that kind of behavior is acceptable?! Because it's not...okay. It's not. It's rude and disgusting and sad. Stop it. 

And don't get me wrong, there have been a few men in my day who have gotten that barrage. The complete lack of respect for women in our society sickens me. And our culture really is raising men to believe that women are just something to look at and comment on {yes, this is me hating on the Victoria Secret Fashion Show and everything it stands for. yes I will meet you in the hallway to fight it out later. kidding.} But think about it. Those men who act that way think their actions are completely acceptable and normal. I really want to believe they have no idea how degrading and insulting it is. Do they know how greatly it diminishes our worth, and if we're not 100% invested in the kingdom, completely reduces us to items of lust in an oversexualized society?

It's so easy to be mad. Unfortunately, anger and yelling aren't going to cure that. I wish it would, because sometimes it just makes me feel better. I read this in an article yesterday and got all excited because it was pretty much word-for-word what I was in the middle of typing out for this post: "But, as a daughter of my heavenly king, my actions and my words are worth so much more than these irrational, emotionally-driven responses. Because the Lord has given me words to speak life into death and hope into depression. He has armed me with the creativity to fashion my thoughts and actions into powerful instruments that can influence this world for good and not for bad."

Two middle fingers in the air isn't going to make the situation any better. And neither is wearing no make up and baggy clothes and trying to go unnoticed all the time. You know what the cure is? Prayer and forgiveness. Forgiveness? you may be thinking. But as I thought through and wrote this post, I realized that I needed to start forgiving man-kind as a whole. That I was holding some kind of blanket grudge against every man who had ever cat-called me, or quite frankly, every man who looked like they might. So forgiveness for every man who had ever made me feel like a piece of meat to be bidded on and taken home needed to come. And will continue to have to come, as it continues to occur. And now, prayer. And this, my friends, is going to take training. At least on my part. For my reaction to every whistle, every yell, every honk, every leering look to be to turn my heart to the Savior and pray for the redemption of His people.

How do you pray about that? I guess I can start on an individual basis. That God would redeem that man's view of women, that maybe he could realize that that girl he just yelled at is someone's daughter, someone's sister, and that maybe he wouldn't want someone treating the women he loves that way. And prayer for man-kind as a whole. Interceeding that there would be men who would stand up and begin teaching our boys how to be men & not thugs. That their role models would begin to look more like Matt Chandler & Lecrae, and less like Ashton Kutcher & 50 Cent.  That respect would come, that love would come, and that they would reclaim their rightful place as our protectorers and stop being the thing we need to be protected from. And prayer for us. For women. That every cat-call wouldn't be a chip in our worth, but instead an opportunity for grace and prayer.

You with me girls? Let's give this thing a go. And bros...quit honking your horn at me. You're going to give me heart attack.

1 comment:

The Egg said...

ha! love the last quote!!

xoxo http://theeggoutwest.blogspot.com/2011/08/jackson-folk-meet-ciel.html