In today’s world, sexual violence seems to be at an all-time high. One month ago, Elliot Rodger went on a rampage at the University of California, Santa Barbara, fueled by pent-up aggression toward fellow female students who rejected him romantically. What came out of this horrible incident was a popular Twitter hashtag, #YesAllWomen. The hashtag centers on the experiences of sexual harassment and discrimination women face in today’s society. It comes as a backlash against the argument, “Not All Men,” which asserts that not all men treat women in a discriminating or violent way. The hashtag accompanies the sad realities that some women face everyday. And not just die-hard, radical feminists join in the conversation. The trend also features the voices of many men, who empathize with the women who have been affected, and who show their support in the fight against gender inequality and sexual violence. It is important to remember that we are all God’s children, and no one person is less deserving of God’s love than another. It is also important to remember that no one person belongs or is obliged to another, and that no one person is entitled to another: the only person who commands that power over us is God. Share this article with young adults, and start a discussion about societal norms regarding gender:
- What do you see in everyday life that could contribute to making a certain gender fear the other? (male and female)
- In what ways do pop culture or media outlets make it seem safe/unsafe for gender discrimination or intimidation?
- What are some ways in which group settings, like schools, churches, offices, etc., promote gender equality and urge people to bring these practices into the wider world?
- Which core Christian values do you think are most relevant to the #YesAllWomen topic?
- Encourage anyone who has felt harassed or intimidated sexually to talk about his or her experience with someone they trust, and support his or her decision to share.