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We cheer women gaining voice, hoping it challenges the culture

Do we cheer for women finally speaking out? Do we weep that the assaults, harassment, groping and indecency happened? Do we cheer or weep based on the political affiliation of the person abusing power?

Who will stay in power and who will fall?  Who will lose everything and who will maintain their fortunes and leadership?

We must be aware of how the violence against women plays out so that women do not lose rights and voice.

Never!! should men misuse their power or assume they know what women want.  No man should do that, especially those who ostensibly advocate for women’s rights, jobs, equality, safety and justice.

To violate women’s dignity and respect in the workplace, in congregations, in communities, in political halls, anywhere, has no excuse, no matter if the man is blind to the impact of his actions. The abuse is about not seeing another human being.

We must cheer as women feel freed finally to speak out.

 Abuse of persons and abuse of power from the right, left or middle is inconsistent with democracy, human rights, loving neighbors or living faithfully.

Hopefully, the result will be looking at standards of behavior and engaging in a national conversation to raise the standards, so men and women understand what behavior is appropriate and what is inappropriate

Meanwhile there are some cautions that those the “right” political views to the right do not get a pass and forgiven, while other those more moderate or left leaning lose voice, power and money.

We must watch that media help foster conversation, and deal with the fact that  there is too much sex in media. We hope media will not just have a heyday of covering reports because they are about sex, controversy, division and celebrity, and make money for media moguls.

We must watch that the freedom of women to speak not succumb under views that would silence and squelch women’s rights. 

We must use resources at hand, like the YWCA and Lutheran Community Services Northwest, which offer help for survivors, and chance to work for change for survivors and the culture.

Women need not only to disclose the misconduct but also safe places to share, seek support and heal.

“Heal” is an important word for people of faith.  Will we just leave a gaping wound for women who have shared and men who have violated them? 

Will the shaming and loss of money, power and position be enough to make men accountable and change their ways? What do we need to do to change the culture that allows misconduct and assault to happen?

May we in the faith community engage in this discussion and bring to bear what we have learned through years of challenging clergy sexual misconduct, requiring ethics training and peer accountability as part of prevention.

Mary Stamp – Editor

Copyright © December 2017 - The Fig Tree