Ladies, has anyone ever told you that you’re worthy of defending yourself and setting boundaries? If not, they should have.
It blows my mind how many women in this country are abused by a predator using emotional and psychological manipulation.
One example: Harvey Weinstein and his decades perpetrating sexual abuse, in which he often used psychological pressure, against so many women.
Why does this keep happening?
The victims aren’t at fault. Clearly the predator knew how to pressure and manipulate them into doing things they didn’t want to do, and the predator is responsible for that evil.
To avoid misunderstanding, yes, I know men can be victims, women can be abusers and neither of those situations is acceptable. I also know sometimes victims are overpowered despite intense resistance.
For this column, I’m focusing on situations of people being abused because they didn’t know to resist, and I’m doing so from a female perspective — because I’m female.
I’ve wondered why women didn’t walk away from predators trying to manipulate them. Didn’t they know they didn’t have to put up with it? I’ve realized the answer seems to be, “No, they didn’t know.”
Why haven’t more women been taught that they have the ability and right to stick to their boundaries and defend themselves, even when other people don’t like it?
I was blessed to grow up in a family where I and all other members were treated as incontrovertibly valuable and taught to protect ourselves accordingly.
I learned others have no right to mistreat me, as I have no right to mistreat them, and I can resist abuse.
I’ve come to realize those attitudes aren’t as common as I’d assumed.
That boggles my mind.
I’ve heard stories of women accepting abuse because they thought saying no was rude or because they’d been punished for defending themselves as children until they believed they existed to be used and abused.
I’ve met women who seem to believe their value and ability to be OK are dependent on a romantic relationship, regardless of their partner’s behavior.
I don’t know how many women learn those attitudes, but it’s too many.
So, ladies, woman to woman, let me say: You’re valuable.
As a Christian, I believe your value is incontrovertible and inextinguishable because you’re made in the image of God, the King of the Universe. And it’s not OK to mess with someone favored by the King so much as to have his image, is it?
If you don’t believe in Christianity, at least believe the doctrine of equality this country touts.
You’re just as good as anyone else, just as much of a special human being. No one has any right to abuse you.
You can, and should, be kind and gracious. But there’s no justification for one person using and harming another, and setting boundaries to fight that abuse is good.
There’s no quick fix for abuse. But each of us — male and female — knowing our value and knowing we don’t have to allow abuse is a start.