It took more than 4000 years to bring women to this moment of solidarity against the sexual harassment, abuse and violence that men have committed unchecked and unquestioned against women and children. Now with dangerous memories voiced and shared publicly it is as if the floodgates have been opened and they have a life and power of their own.
Men are toppling before our eyes from every position of power, including ecclesial. Many men are running for cover lest they become the next ones held accountable for their degradation of women/children. Other men are stunned by the exposed failures to protect women/children and are burdened with the task of restoring the good name of institutions that perpetuated the assaults.
Women have always known about the sexual abuses heaped upon women. In fact the earliest human writings, the old testament, have many a text of terror where women are violated by men. So today’s awful and painful revelations are not shocking. What is shocking is the courage and strength that women are displaying openly against sacred taboos and patriarchal systems that have justified and excused the violation of women for so long.
Some who feel “victimized by the truth” want the women’s “Me Too” movement to stop. Enough already! But hopefully the movement’s momentum will grow and continue until every abused woman and child finds its voice and feels safe enough to tell its story. New testaments are being revealed and recorded in our midst. They have the potential to usher in a new age of equality for all. Meanwhile old testament stories about women need to be retold from the perspective of the abused women of long ago. At the least I am left with a new understanding of the concept “tongues of fire hovered over them”.