This is in no way a political post!
The news the last couple of weeks has been centered on the moral issues of our presidential candidates and a video was leaked with some less than flattering words towards women. Within the apology to the degrading remarks was the statement, “It’s just locker room talk”.
I couldn’t disagree more but I get where this is coming from. Before we jump all over what was said, I’d like to challenge us to take a good look at ourselves.
We create, live in, and perpetuate a culture of this behavior. How? The way women are viewed is prominent within our media culture. That “locker room talk” statement is not the first most of us if not all of us have heard it. That’s because it’s said so frequently. When our young boys act a particular way, you’ll hear, “well, boys will be boys”. Look at our commercials and advertisements.
When I heard that statement made, yes I was disgusted. My disgust was against our culture. I’m not willing to crucify one person for what is a culture issue but as a woman, the mother of a daughter and the mother of two sons, I will speak up. What my kids heard that evening from their parents was this…
Locker room talk isn’t just locker room talk. It creates the opportunity for the talk to turn to belief and that belief to turn to action.
So how do we address culture?
1. Have conversations with our sons and daughters. Ask them their views on what’s honoring and appropriate. Don’t argue with them, but have a conversation. It’s in these “along the way” moments that guidance comes.
2. Look at what is allowed in our homes. How are women being portrayed in the movies, shows and music that play within our homes. Parenting can not be “do as I say not as I do”. What we do speaks loudly. It screams.
3. When women are being spoken of in a degrading way, speak up. If as a woman that gets you kicked out of the “boys club” then so be it and speak up in that as well. To those men that I’ve known to speak up when this is being done, THANK YOU! You’ve honored us.
4. Fathers show your sons how to treat a woman and show your daughters how they should be treated.
5. Men, be a mentor. I can’t tell you how many young men have asked for mentoring and how difficult it is to find men that will step in. You don’t need to have all of the answers. Just walk with them. To those men that take time to speak into the next generation, THANK YOU as well!
As I sat reflecting on what I have done and could do to come against this locker room mentality, the list dragged on beyond the five above. While the individual was wrong in what he said, he was speaking out of being a product of his culture. This doesn’t excuse him, but our battle is with culture and culture starts with you and I.
Brenda Renderos (still an undecided voter)