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#MeToo — Are Men Willing to Take Responsibility for How We Have Pained Women?

- Christopher West

If you’ve been living on a deserted island for the last few weeks, the Me Too movement (originally launched 10ago by Tarana Burke) launched into hyper-drive recently when, in response to the sexual assault charges against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano invited women who had been sexually assaulted or harassed to write “#MeToo” in response to her tweet. Millions have done just that.

I pray this becomes an opportunity for our entire culture to take an honest look at the roots of the crisis. Does anyone take us to these roots more directly than Christ in his teaching from the Sermon on the Mount? “You have heard the commandment not to commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:27-28).

Of course, it’s a two-way street. History demonstrates that women know how to use and manipulate men just as much as men know how to use and manipulate women. That said, women have suffered in a particular way throughout history at the hands of male lust and domination. And it would seem that men have a special responsibility to restore the balance of love and respect between the sexes.

How do we begin the long journey toward healing? Christ calls us first and foremost to repentance. In that light, I would like to ask all the women reading this to allow me, as a representative of the male side of the human race, to apologize humbly for the way male lust and domination have wounded you. The wounds go so very deep in a woman’s soul, and I am very, very sorry.

For the ways we have treated you in thought or deed as an object for our own pleasure and enjoyment, please forgive us.

For the ways we have ignored you or rejected you because you haven’t met our impossible standards of “beauty” or haven’t aroused our lusts, please forgive us.

For the ways we have seen your differences as a threat to our own fragile sense of security rather than a complement and a gift, please forgive us.

For the ways we have used our strength to manipulate and control you rather than honor and serve you, please forgive us.

For the pride and sense of superiority that have led us to ignore your counsel and belittle your point of view, please forgive us.

In all the ways we have failed to love you as Christ loves the Church, please forgive us. We know not what we do., please lead us to the fullness of healing.