Rape Culture In America, Yes You Too Church

Rape Culture In America, Yes You Too Church

Rape. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women will be raped at some point of their lives.

Rape culture? The idea that a woman holds some responsibility for her objectification by men. That she’s somehow responsible for what this objectification causes a man to do. We see it everyday. As women, we live it. We even have the nerve to tell our young girls that affection from men comes in the form of harassment such as pinching or teasing.

“Don’t wear this or you’re asking for it.” “If you just would’ve danced a little less seductively…” “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have had that many drinks.”

In this male-dominated society where men are given the majority of the responsibility, somehow, when it comes to sexual assault, the majority of the responsibility falls on the woman.

For all of you religious churchgoers who look out into the world as if the world never enters the church, don’t be so naive. The rape culture exists in the church too.

Not too long ago I was at church for a rehearsal. I wore a dress and covered my waist with a shirt, yet was pulled to the side by another woman of the church to be told my outfit was inappropriate. She then proceeded to say that if there had only been women at the rehearsal, I would have been fine, but because men were there I was inappropriately dressed. Now using wisdom, I made sure to verify my outfit was appropriate with my spiritual covering who was also at this rehearsal. She told me I was fine.

To tell a woman that she is solely responsible for the way men view her and how they act towards her is exactly what rape culture is. When are we going to say that men play a role in the way that they think about women when they look at them? When will men be solely responsible for their thoughts and actions?

If what I was wearing that day would have been church appropriate in a congregation of women, then it is just as appropriate in a congregation of men. Oh, and what about homosexuality? If a woman is attracted to me based on what I am wearing am I still dressed appropriately or am I all of a sudden inappropriately dressed?  I am not responsible for what men choose to do with their thoughts. I am not responsible for a man not being able to control his actions. HE is responsible and only him. I am only responsible for presenting myself in a way that pleases God. I am NEVER responsible for someone assaulting me because of what I am wearing.

Instead of only telling our daughters and sisters to change what they are wearing as a result of men, we need to start addressing the mindset men have in regards to how they look at women and what they do about these thoughts. Maybe instead of saying “change your outfit” to women, we say “change your mindset” to men.

Men, take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

Women, be beautiful and love the body you are born with. Dress in a way that makes you happy and is uplifting for yourself. Dress in a way that pleases God and gives your spirit peace. You are not responsible for any sexual assault directed towards you. YOU ARE NEVER RESPONSIBLE. So hold your head high and love every inch of yourself. Your body is beautiful and deserves to be respected and cherished.

We must hold men to a higher standard of thinking. We must tell men that they are the only ones responsible for their actions. THAT is the change that needs to happen. Only then will rape culture find its necessary descent from our present to our past.

3 thoughts on “Rape Culture In America, Yes You Too Church

  1. This is definitely not brought up in church enough, probably why God had me talk about it, although I understand it’s a delicate subject.

    As for men: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery ’; but I say to you that everyone who [so much as] looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    MATTHEW 5:27‭-‬28 AMP
    This is a verse I hold dear to my heart for Self-control and Joy.

    Also women… well everyone in general should be comfortable in who they are and how God made them in his image. Pastor Cathy tought me this
    “God said, “Who told you that you were naked?
    GENESIS 3:11a AMP
    Who told us we are ugly, not the best size,body structure, not perfectly made in His Image!
    Unfortunately we all don’t see ourselves like God see us

    Now with the outfit… you are definitely not wrong for wearing it. you are beautiful and confident in your beauty as God intended… however some people are tormented by… legs lol. Seriously there can be a trigger for others who are still struggling and need major deliverance and help. Now for your situation you may have been fine. However Only be careful that this liberty of yours [this power to choose] does not somehow become a stumbling block [that is, a temptation to sin] to the weak [in conscience].
    There are those we have to be merciful and love because not everyone understand but that definitely doesn’t excuse them…we have to disciple them and they have to give it up….

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I hope my little piece helps in any way.

    1. I definitely agree with you. I believe in not being a temptation. I was more referring to the “it’s ok for women but not for men” portion. Temptation should not be gender specific, but unfortunately that’s how we exercise that verse. As if it only applies to women. When’s the last time someone spoke to a man about temptation in regards to a woman’s dress before or directly after speaking to a woman? Unfortunately that rarely happens. The responsibility solely falls on the women and that’s what stimulates the rape culture we still find in church today.

      1. Very true. These situations are usually brought up in small groups for men and sometimes not at all. For men it may be too embarrasing to share openly, pride thing or just being kind/gentle with them… Some men…well many men spirits break easily so the shut down….

        However women are always given a harder time with one reason being the mind believe’s telling her to change her dress is easier than telling a guy keep your mind under control and don’t think pervertedly/sexualy. This then makes women have to confirm to men that are tempted more, out of love for their brother, than men being shown and taught why we shouldn’t think this way.

        Then there is the whole conversation of Men who deceive and temp women. So yes women are given the responsibility to something a man must be guided by Christ and Holy Spirit to overcome and it’s not right.
        Living free should respect Christ and demand that we grow stronger and overcome beacause of the love of God and our faith family shows us… so this change must start with us letting others know and understand…(well you already have).

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