By Ta-ning Connai
Wow, I feel like when a singer steps out onto the stage for the first time, looks out over the crowd and says to themselves, “MAMA I MADE IT!” Yeah, I’m a drama queen, but darn it, that’s exactly how I feel! No I don’t sing, and thank God you’ll never have to hear me try. And even though I’ve done A LOT of different things (I’m like a cat with 9 lives!), I always wanted my own column with an awesome online magazine! Ooooooh Weeee, welcome to TA-NING’S TELL IT TUESDAY!
Um, I think I heard someone say, “Who the heck are you and what do you have to say?!”
My name is Ta-ning Connai and basically I’m a self-proclaimed “bridge” between the secular world and the church and I do my best to bring understanding and relatability between the two. The gap is way too big and it’s causing people to fall, be hurt and get lost. I’m soooooo through with all that, aren’t you?!
Now here’s what you can expect…A mix of spiritual grit and humorous wit, while I take on topics like the pressure behind beauty trends, getting cheated on, haters, sexual harassment and more. Sometimes I rant and rave and throw my hands in the air, but it won’t be as fun unless you do it with me. So come on, read along, and let’s do this!
And speaking of sexual harassment, today’s article is about how some women have it worse than others. So, whether you’re a woman who says #metoo or a man simply trying to understand…there’s more to the story, and I’m gonna be the one to tell it…
It took the lewd indiscretions of a famous Hollywood producer to spark mass media outrage about something that’s been happening to the average woman by not-so-famous men for years. And while I thank the brave, innocent women that provoked so many (myself included) to band together through what I call the “virtual support group” #metoo, I can’t help but think about the women whose shame and guilt from bad choices cause them to remain silent and in the dark.
Strippers, video vixens, pornstars. Groupies, goldiggers, prostitutes. Reports show that these women are sexually harassed, verbally abused and raped in rising numbers, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Their cry is just a whisper and tells of “fun times” gone wrong and propositions that seemed way too good to pass on. But adage like, “Oh well you asked for it” and “You made your bed now lie in it” serve as the escape clause that allows perpetrators to go scott free and rape culture to remain alive and well. When we imagine the victims of sexual crimes, their faces are not the ones we see. But where’s our compassion and outrage for them? What about #themtoo? Just because a person doesn’t have enough self love to pump the brakes on their own self destruction, doesn’t mean abuse is alright. It’s not ok, it’s not ok, NO it’s not ok.
The Bible has very choice words about The Seductress and the fiery warning for men to stay away rings loud like a smoke alarm (Proverbs 5:3-22). But there are also plenty of stories in which Jesus used a different frame of reference when forced to judge their situation. Jesus recognized the culture they faced back then (and He recognizes the culture women face today). He took into consideration everything that went into their decision making, including the voices that persuaded them to do so. He knew they were in the wrong place, but He knew they didn’t get there on their own. So in essence, He blamed the men, forgave the women and challenged society to rid itself of the discriminating mindset that breeded ill treatment of God’s most beloved creation. Jesus is still challenging us TODAY.
We have to start doing our part to make sure women feel better about themselves. No one’s worth should be limited to their looks and their sex appeal. If we help women to find out who they are, in spite of what the ads, videos and song lyrics have to say, more women will be less apted to resort to low levels of acknowledgement just to feel like they belong. And they don’t deserve to be VIOLATED! They shouldn’t have to sleep with the club’s best client just because it’s their night to dance. A call girl doesn’t deserve to be RAPED just because she put her own body up for sale.
Studies indicate that women who’s earliest sexual experiences have been tainted with degradation of any kind, are more likely to become promiscuous, have some distorted view of sex and relationships, or engage in high risk sexual activities causing them the possibility of further violations.
We don’t know the level of brokenness that gets such women where they are. But one thing we ought to know for sure. If we all got what we deserved, the planet would be HUMAN-FREE, we’d all be DEAD! The Bible says that “we are all like an unclean thing; all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” and that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:23).
We are no better and they are no worse. So, don’t let me be the only one, come on and say it with me… #themtoo #themtoo #themtoo.
Do you feel we pick and choose who gets to be a part of #metoo?
TA-NING is a former model (Essence, Vogue) and clothing designer (Neiman-Marcus, Saks) who one day got the “call” to leave the fab world of fashion behind. While in Bible College, she discovered her knack for mixing her quirky style of writing with her gift to teach. She taught in ministry for several years, but always felt the tug to “go beyond”… TA-NING’S TELL IT TUESDAY is a weekly column (originally launched on Facebook) that uses doses of pop culture to tear down the walls of churchy tradition, change the face of Christianity, and present it’s message in a lively way. Ta-ning resides in Santa Monica (by way of Brooklyn), is obsessed with dogs, and is an old school Hip-Hop junkie!