I recently met a woman who works for a major U.S. airline. She worked as a “stewardess” with them for over twenty years. She said when she first started working for them, the stewardesses wore hot pants, high boots, and cropped tops in flight. In her words, “It was Hooters in the sky.” She (we) is grateful the dress code has changed for flight attendants.
We’ve heard the old saying, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket.” Maybe, but at least the #MeToo movement has made strides in the right direction. Or so I thought. Because just when I thought we were turning the corner on this issue…
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (known as AOC, the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district) relayed her experience of Jan 6th, when an angry mob sacked the US Capitol. Disclaimer: Politically I fall dead center. I’m fundamentally against radicalism. And radically against fundamentalism.
AOC broadcast her experience of hiding in a bathroom fearing for her life. She heard a man enter her office shouting, “Where is she? Where is she?” She thought she might die that day, and for good reason. One of the men who stormed the Capitol got arrested for threatening to assassinate her. She also shared that as a former victim of sexual assault, the events of Jan 6th only compounded her trauma.
I’ve never grabbed lunch with AOC. We never sat on a Starbucks patio catching up on life. I flat-out disagree with some of her political views and personal beliefs. She and I will never become BFF’s. Yet I can’t stop thinking about her trauma that compounded trauma. Although we come from different generations, different social and ethnic backgrounds, and hail from different ends of the nation, I felt deep sorrow upon hearing her story. Unfathomable, right?
The next day I read that several so-called Christians mocked her. Some of these reactions had all the elements of abuse: denial, lack of accountability, sweeping under the rug, and blaming/shaming of victims. The conservative media accused her of using manipulative tactics and playing the victim. Why? Because she holds liberal political views? Does that mean that only those who hold conservative views deserve Christ-like compassion? Give me a sec while I check with Jesus on that…hold on—it’s ringing…Oh, hi Jesus. It’s me again…What’s that? Uh huh. You want me to refer back to the gospel accounts? That’s what I thought. OK, love you too. Talk soon. Bye.
Would Jesus approve of the backlash aimed at sexual abuse victims? When we read the gospels, we find Jesus showing tenderness and kindness to those struggling with fear, grief, mental torment, and physical ailments. Funny that the gospels make no mention of first checking political platforms.
Newsflash: People who experienced food-poisoning from eating goat cheese pizza only deserve warmth and understanding if they prefer oil paintings over acrylic paintings. Because everybody knows that those who prefer acrylic paintings are not civilized. Does it sound like I’ve lost my mind? Good. So you get my point.
Women know the potential risks for speaking up—retaliation and humiliation (Christine Blasey Ford, anyone?) AOC mustered up courage to publicly share a vulnerability—something she’s hardly told anyone. She knew the risks. She did it anyway. And for that I applaud her.
One’s political affiliation holds no relevance to the matter of sexual assault. Herein lies the danger of holding a low view of women—and this goes for men and women alike: it hurts all women. I’m over people using the name of God as an excuse to whittle women down to eye candy, arm candy, body parts, and the obedient property of their husbands. Maybe the “Hooters in the sky” days have ended. But we still have a long way to go. Women have inherent God-given value. If God designed women as trophies, house pets, or lollipops, why would God give us the ability to work as neurosurgeons, software developers, congresswomen, and now VPOTUS?
Those who proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior ought to emulate the one they call their Lord. This means showing Christ-like love toward abuse victims. But only if the victim votes Republican.
I will close with another disclaimer: I did not vote in the 2020 U.S. election. (Dead center, remember?) Just after the election a woman told me she doesn’t believe that a person who voted Democrat can be a true Bible-believing Christian. She went on to say that she doesn’t feel Jesus approves of Democrat ideology. After I flipped my lid, I replied that I don’t think Jesus approves of an insensitive lack of compassion borne of privilege. How interesting that the most devout, mature, faithful, Jesus-emulating Christians I know voted for Biden. BOOM! Jesus ain’t Republican.