6 minute read

5 Things to Do About #MeToo

Last Updated: March 15, 2021

Jen Ferguson

Jen Ferguson is a wife, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping couples thrive in their marriages. She and her husband, Craig, have shared their own hard story in their book, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography. They continue to help couples along in their journeys to freedom and intimacy. She’s also a mama to two girls and two high-maintenance dogs, which is probably why she runs. A lot. Even in the Texas heat.

Scrolling through my Facebook feed earlier this week, every other post resounded with #metoo. If you haven’t seen it, you may be asking, “Me too, what?”

There are now variations of the original post, but here is the gist:

“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Please copy/paste.”

I searched Facebook with the hashtag. Story after story after story broke my heart. I see the revelations and admissions of my friends, of strangers, some feeling guilty because they feel like their harassment was slight compared to the weight of the assault of others, some lamenting how their mistreatment greatly shifted the trajectory of their lives. For some, this was the first time they ever became public with their pain.

#Metoo is a wave of women joining voices together to make a world that routinely objectifies and demeans them notice. Hear. Pay attention.

Today, I added my own #metoo.

As a runner, my stomach has turned numerous times as I have seen men contort their necks so they can ogle me out their car windows. I have passed construction zones and heard whistles and catcalls. I have jumped with fear due to honking horns and words flung out of windows with little thought of how I might feel about them. In those moments, I no longer am a person, I am an object.

Related: Women Are Daughters, Not Objects

One could say I am being overly dramatic. One could say this is some form of appreciation of the female form. One could say, yet again, that boys will be boys. One could say we should just be stronger and blow it off, that this is how the world works and we should just deal with it.

But #metoo says that this way isn’t working. This way is causing destruction, not just to women, but also to girls, to boys, to men. This way is corrupting all the good that God intended for beauty, for sex, for relationship, for words.

#Metoo is a cry for validation. It’s a cry to be seen, to be valued and loved and cherished.

And some of you men, you do such a good job of this. You do see us. You love the women in your life well. You respect our gender. You respect our beauty and you defend it at all costs. You understand that God made us for His purpose and you don’t use us for yours.

If I look at my experience on the trail, on the road, if I sum up all of the encounters through thousands of miles of running, more men have been kind than rude. They have smiled and waved in solidarity of being runners together. They have been polite and respectful. Men I do not know have seen me struggle up a hill in a race and instead of hoarding that coveted oxygen just for themselves, they’ve used it to breathe life into me with words that are encouraging, that make me want to be my best self, that let me know that I’ve got this.

#Metoo can’t be anti-men. #Metoo needs men. #Metoo needs men’s voices to say #nomore. And not just on social media, but in their daily lives, in real-life encounters. #Metoo needs as many people as possible to invest in creating a culture where all life is valued and respected.

Related: The Essential Reason Porn Is Wrong

#Metoo is about changing our mindset in this generation and for every single generation to come. We can’t just talk about how we’re going to raise our kids to be different. Our words of instruction and our intentions have to match our actions. We have to be different today if we want our kids to be different tomorrow. So, what do we do as men and women, for ourselves and for our children?

Take away our filters.

We all have prejudices, times when we are narrow-minded and biased. Instead of ignoring them, do something about them.

When you say the wrong thing in front of your kid (or anyone for that matter), apologize. Then, instead of moving on, move in. Figure out what’s behind that statement, what motivated you to say it in the first place, and what you’re getting out of saying something like that.

All those internal thoughts and beliefs shape how you see the world. How you see the world shapes what you say and how you act. This, in turn, affects the people around you. Your kids absorb this way of thinking and, in many cases, they will perpetuate it.

Related: Dismantling the Myth–“You Can Look, But You Just Can’t Touch”

In Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. You draw light into your body through your eyes, and light shines out to the world through your eyes. So if your eye is well and shows you what is true, then your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is clouded or evil, then your body will be filled with evil and dark clouds. And the darkness that takes over the body of a child of God who has gone astray—that is the deepest, darkest darkness there is” (VOICE).

If you need help uncovering the root of the issues, find a counselor, a pastor, or a trusted friend to help you talk it out.

Have the mind of Christ.

Speaking of Jesus, He loved women. What I mean by that is that He never demeaned them. He was caring, loving, and uplifting. Always. He gave them stature when they were thought of culturally as property. He saw them as worthy and valuable when they had been considered worthless, not only by society, but even by the very men that married them. It’s not that Jesus just acted like He loved them. Jesus’ thoughts matched His actions.

Seriously, thinking dirty thoughts about women is just as bad as saying them out loud. It might make the situation easier for the people around you, but it’s doing damage to your own soul. Take your thoughts captive. Ask Jesus to replace them with how He thinks.

Related: How I Fight Porn Images in My Mind

And before you move on from point number two, there is a line of thinking used quite often to justify porn use that says, “Some women choose to flaunt their bodies and their sexuality. I’m just taking what they’re giving.” But here is the deal: most of these women are flaunting and/or selling themselves because it’s their last resort or because they have been so beaten down with the lie that they aren’t worth anything more than porn (or any type of seductive behavior). Their behavior comes out of pain, of brokenness, of despair.

When Jesus met the adulterous woman, He didn’t look at her with condemnation, nor did He blame her for the mess she was in. He didn’t give her what everyone else thought she had coming. He met her with kindness. He gave her a way out. He paved a road to something new, something different—grace and unconditional love.

See something? Say something.

If you see harassment or assault happening, don’t let it go. Judging by the sheer number of #metoo stories that people are airing for the first time ever, there is a huge need for advocates. People who have been assaulted or harassed end up carrying guilt and shame (that does not belong to them, ever) and it’s crippling.

What do you do when you see a person who is hobbling and needs help physically? You help them get up and where they need to go. Same thing applies to harassment and assault. And if someone continues to injure their legs? You step in. You give them a voice when they forget how to use their own.

Appreciate true beauty.

We all need to appreciate true beauty. God created us to enjoy and seek true beauty. Unfortunately, the world has corrupted what it means to appreciate beauty.

Related: Transformed by Beauty

When you’re having lewd thoughts or you’re tempted to engage in lewd behavior, yes, take the thought captive. Submit it to Jesus. But then go one step further. Thank God for creating beauty. Ask Him to show you how to engage in healthy ways with His creation, with His beauty. Because it all belongs to Him.

It’s not enough just to stop bad behavior. We have to cultivate good behaviors.

It works along the same lines as addiction. For example, we can’t just stop engaging in porn, but we also have to fill our lives with something that is good for us, like intimate relationships. Don’t believe me? Read what Jesus said. God didn’t create us to be empty voids. If we don’t fill our lives with good things, the bad things will multiply.

Be authentic.

If you truly believe that women are worthy of respect and honor intrinsically—no matter what they do or who they are or what they look like—this means you will treat every woman with respect and honor.

Not just your mom or your wife or your daughter, but also the runner on the street or the young lady waiting in line at the club in the miniskirt and low-cut top. It means not catcalling, but it also means not judging her and talking about her behind her back.

It also means you won’t participate in viewing pornography because this behavior feeds the sex-slave trade, reinforces the demand for more porn, and rewires your brain to objectify women and view them differently.

Related: License to Lust–How Porn Trains Objectification

Men and women are different, but we are all part of the human race. As Christians, we are all on the same team. It does nothing to degrade each other, to speak down to each other, to dismiss each other, or to turn a deaf ear to one another’s pain. As men and women, we must truly listen to each other, open our minds to each other’s perspectives, validate each other, and empathize with each other. This is what it means to truly walk in love as Christ loved us. What if one day, #metoo was a movement that recognized not the pain caused by each other, but how we were affected by the great love and care for each other?

  • Comments on: 5 Things to Do About #MeToo
    1. Ina Castillo on

      Hello Jen,
      Thank you for this blog post. It really means a lot to my own heart! Plus, it actually offers a solution or two. A call to action is needed for this #metoo movement. I am beginning my own blog and this topic is something I feel called to talk about. Is it possible, or ok, for me to add a link on my blog that goes to this post as an offering of more for information? Please let me know, I would be grateful!
      God bless,
      Ina

      Reply
      • Jen Ferguson on

        Of course you can, Ina! Thank you so much for your comment!

    2. Samantha on

      As always, Jen, this is a great article! I do want to bring up some concerns. In this article you say that most women act out in a sexual or seductive manner simply because it is a last resort or because they are wounded. This may be true, but by turning them into mere victims of harsh circumstances, we are minimizing the pain and destruction they are bringing upon others: the little boys who are exposed to the sexually explicit material they help create, the married and single men who are already weak and vulnerable because of their own wounds, the women who are made to feel that they will never be able to compete with the false ideals that these women are helping to perpetuate. It is a huge mess that this world is in and I feel that men for the most part get their fair share of reproach for their part of the mess and are held accountable for their poor choices, attitudes and behaviors (as they should). But I feel that the women involved are constantly being made into victims of objectification rather than participants.

      I also think that in our valiant and worthy effort to protect innocent women from objectification and harm, we have somehow blinded ourselves to the fact that it is the GOAL of some women to gather sexual attention and ensnare men. To turn men into objects whose only purpose is to lust after them and feed their ego. The Bible warns men about these types of women. Proverbs 5:3-22, Proverbs 7 to name a couple. Today these women are dominating every form of media with their influence. They are being paid well and given praise and attention. Are these women desperate, broken and wounded individuals who need help? Absolutely! But we aren’t helping them by turning them into victims and telling them that it isn’t their fault that they turned out that way or made poor choices. We need to call them out for allowing their wounds to turn them into predators. They need to hear about the pain and destruction they are bringing upon others. They need compassion, but they also need someone to tell them that their choices are wounding others and they need to stop. We aren’t loving them (or God) well if we stay silent and allow them to continue to harm themselves and others.

      I hope I am not coming off as harsh or unloving. I have felt for a long time that women seem to get away with an awful lot while we are telling men to shape up, stop objectify women and lusting, and take responsibility for the destruction their choices cause others. In other words, we don’t sugar coat the ugly truth about their sins. We do this because we want better for these men. We love and care too much about them to let them continue on the path they are on. But I have NEVER seen the same bold, harsh truth given to women who make deliberate choices to attempt to cause men to lust. I don’t think we can afford to stay silent any longer about the choices that these women are making whether it’s in the media or everyday life. Not if we truly love and value them.

      Reply
      • Jen Ferguson on

        I think can hear what you’re saying, Samantha. Here are my thoughts: Jesus, when He met the adulterous woman didn’t avoid the fact that she had sinned. But He responded to her with love and grace. I think we should treat men who are addicted to porn the very same way. Many people who are porn addicts have this addiction because they have been hurt in the past, too. Yes, our wounds are never an excuse to engage in sinful behavior. But when our sin is born from wounds, it is hard to correct the sinful behavior unless we have real motivation to do so. Jesus’ motivation is His unconditional love and grace (and, of course, His ultimate sacrifice on the cross). As Christians who are called to imitate Jesus, we also can call sin, sin, but it can never come with condemnation. It has to be spoken of in the context of love and grace. We are always called to speak truth in love.

    3. Samantha on

      And just to be super clear, I am NOT talking about women who are actual victims such as in sex trafficking, or girls and women forced or threatened to participate in porn, prostitution or other sexual acts. I am talking about women who make deliberate choices.

      And I am NOT in any way blaming women for men lusting. Lusting is a choice just as attempting to cause lust is a choice. Both are still wrong though and should be addressed equally if we want to even attempt to improve or heal sexual brokenness in this world.

      And, Jen, please know that I did not intend my comment to be confrontational towards you. I respect you and always enjoy your articles! I just felt this was a good opportunity to vent some very real concerns I’ve had for a long time.

      God Bless!

      Reply
      • Caroline on

        Samantha,
        Well said. I agree. We ALL have a part in this problem and we ALL can make it better. Men and Women.

      • Andrew on

        Jen,
        You are right about the adulterous woman. I love to see Jesus lifting her out of despair and giving her value. I also believe that if Jesus caught a man in an adulterous relationship, he would have had grace on him as well. In Jesus’s day it seems that many of the people were harsher on women caught in this circumstance. And today it seems that society is harsher on men. Both men and women have made wrong choices, and both need the love of the Saviour. It seems fashionable in today’s world to see women as victims and men as perpetrators, and certainly that can be the case in domestic abuse and other situations. But for people who are caught in this sin we need to understand that the ground is level at the foot of the cross.

        It does bother me that I many times see women dressed immodestly even in the church. It mostly bothers me in that if I or any other man would address this issue publicly, I don’t believe it would be received very favorably. So most men just keep their mouths shut and take the easy way out. What if men started a #metoo movement based on struggling with our eyes? Perhaps it would be easier for some men to speak out. Non-Christian men probably like the way these women dress, but not someone who fights the battle day in and day out.

    4. Jason Bolster on

      Wow, thank you, Samantha. I’m gobsmacked that a woman would think that way and say so.

      Reply
    5. Bob Jones on

      Samantha, I am in 100% agreement with what you are saying.

      There are women who are truly victims and are exploited against their will, and there are also women who sexualize themselves of their own free will.

      Also, there are men who objectify and demean women freely and without remorse, and there are also men who are fighting the temptation of lust through daily repentance and striving.

      I had an experience at a Walmart (of all places), there was a young man and woman, apparently dressing up as Zombies (this was before Halloween), but the woman was wearing heels, skin tight leggings and a thin white t-shirt, both had many large holes torn in them such that she was barely covered, and it was blatantly obvious she was wearing nothing underneath. She was also a beautiful woman, and she apparently knew it. The level of blatant voyeurism here was shocking. I had to fight and beg God to help me as she walked by. Then I got angry at her. What was she trying to do? It sure didn’t seem like anyone was forcing her to do this against her will, she and her male companion seemed to not care in the slightest that every man in the store was staring. I was mad at her for having such a disturbing effect on me. I was mad at her for knowingly parading herself as a display of sexuality and object of lust in such a public (apparently) family friendly place. I had to surrender my anger as well for many days afterwards. I had to pray for her, that God would reveal to her what she is doing to herself and others, and what is the truly most important thing in life.

      Reply
      • Jen Ferguson on

        I think prayer is such an important part of how we can help change lives. In order to have true accountability that works, we must have a relationship. Often, we’re not going to build a relationship with strangers in Wal-Mart, so the best thing we can do is pray for people and ask God to touch their hearts.

    6. Jason Bolster on

      When I get in a traffic jam behind a bus and on the back of the bus there’s an X-rated picture of the multimillionaire entrepreneur Elle Macpherson, I frantically pray and quote memorised Scripture to avoid feeling what she obviously wants me to feel. I’ve declared one part of the local shopping centre out of bounds to myself to avoid walking past the shop belonging to multimillionaire entrepreneur Victoria Justice (what a sarcastic name!). For a while, there was another area where I had to be careful because yet another multimillionaire entrepreneur, Giselle Bunchen, was selling glasses. To prove that the glasses fixed what was wrong with her eyes, she was naked. It sure doesn’t feel like they’re innocent victims of my tyrannical bullying.
      More relevantly to the “me too” campaign, I, like most males, have been subject to wolf whistles, loud lewd comments, making sure that I was within earshot when they joked about enslaving me, calling me “that” instead of “he” and “something” instead of “someone.” This happened to me in a three-month temp assignment. When it happens to a woman, the victim tells the supervisor and it stops. When it happened to me, the perpetrator told the supervisor and she joined in the fun. I asked women on Facebook whether I could change “If all the women…” to “If all the people…”. They were a lot more gracious than I expected them to be, so I shared the post.
      I wholeheartedly support A21, Jericho Road, Dark Bali, Samaritan’s Purse and the Oaktree Foundation in their opposition to sexual exploitation. I have been attracted to women but I would never act on it unless I were confident that her feelings about me mirrored mine about her. One woman seemed to think that my being attracted to her was funny. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. I walked over to her twice (some will say it should only have been once) to start chatting with her. She just walked away. “OK,” I thought, “if you don’t want to talk to me, I have no choice but to respect that. Unlike the women at that temp assignment, unlike Elle Macpherson, Victoria Justice and Giselle Bunchen, I understand every part of ‘no’.” So I drew right back from her. The fact that I’m in this Covenant Eyes forum proves that I haven’t always been utterly innocent. I take full responsibility for my sins and, by the Lord’s grace and empowerment, I am dealing with them. Does that make it wrong to object to being held responsible for their sins?
      Jen Ferguson says that “me too” needs men because we all have to change our mindsets and commit to stopping it. I say “me too” needs men so that all of the sexual exploitation is recorded instead of just half of it.

      Reply
      • Bob Jones on

        The ladies on the ads aren’t victims of your tyrannical bullying, but the proliferation of hyper sexualized public media (mostly generated by men is my guess) doesn’t help instill a sense of respect and modesty in the people of today, which is one of the largest problems in today’s world (in my opinion), and certainly is the topic of many articles on the CE blog.

        That said, I have the same experiences you do, Jason with regards to public displays of sexuality, however I have never been “hit on” myself, so I can’t say I know what that’s like.

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