Guest Writer: Chandler Clark
Men, I write this letter with the intention of describing a problem with which I hope you
will resonate. Ladies, although my intended audience is men, I encourage you to proceed reading in order that you may verify my words and spread this message.
I want to preface this by acknowledging that what I am about to say will not apply to every man. Please join me in calling out and discouraging the toxic problem I am about to describe.
Let me narrow my intended audience to those of you who 1. shout provocative comments
at women you find attractive, 2. whistle/catcall females while driving, running, walking or working out, 3. conspicuously and unapologetically stare at a woman’s body when she is passing by and 4. go to the gym for the sheer purpose of watching ladies work out.
More specifically, this message is intended for those of you who are promoting and cultivating a culture of fear and intimidation for women when you have been called and commissioned for a higher purpose.
Men, you are getting it wrong. I hear stories far too often of women who experience
sexual harassment on the road, walking to class, at the gym and at their place of work. These women have described circumstances in which a vehicle full of men recklessly swerve around traffic in order to position themselves next to the female’s car and shout objectifying comments from their open windows.
Further, I have heard stories concerning a group of men observing females during their workout routines, pointing and making comments regarding the female’s physical features. Men conducting themselves in this way are emotionally void, narcissistic beings whose animal instincts overcome that of their humanity.
These stories leave me perplexed as to the intentions of those participating in this behavior. Two observations leave me convinced power and insecurity are the motivating factors.
First, each of these examples of sexual harassment involve a group of men acting inappropriately.
I have never heard an example of a single individual behaving in such a way. This highlights an element of cowardice inherent in these individuals who demand strength in numbers in order to compensate for areas of insecurity in other aspects of their lives.
Second, never once have I seen a relationship begin when a man and his friends shamelessly “holla” at a girl in compliment of her physical features.
The results of this behavior have contributed to a culture in which women are objectified, their humanity is overlooked and hidden beneath the cloak of their bodies and the gender power imbalance is perpetuated in both educational and vocational spheres.
In 1 Timothy, Paul encourages his male audience to respect women; he states, “[treat] older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters.”
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul encourages his audience to “abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires.”
Lastly, men—recognize that women were made in God’s image and are deserving of your respect: “So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female” (Genesis 1:27).
What can we do about this perpetual problem?
First, respect women. Set an example by which women are regarded as more than “eye candy.” Second, rebuke this conduct. If you see anyone participating in this behavior, call them out for their wrongdoings.
Third, draw attention to the issue. Shed light in an area where darkness and ignorance has dampened discourse of the issue.
Finally, spread this message so that it can reach those with whom it is intended to resonate.
Chandler is a senior political science major from Anderson, Indiana.