Dad to Dad

Posted by Doug White under Personal

Much has been written and said about the Brock Turner case in the national spotlight lately, a man who was convicted of raping a woman who was intoxicated past the point of being able to consent. I’m sure I’m not saying anything really that new, but I still feel the need to say it.

This young man’s Dad lamented about the punishment his son was facing over ’20 minutes of action’. I, as a father of two young girls, one college age, am both disgusted and outraged at the idea that this man equates young women such as my own daughters as a piece of meat. Worse, he doesn’t even seem to recognize the woman exists. Instead this woman was just a vehicle for his son to have some fun. She was just a means to an end. This Dad’s comments weren’t just reprehensible, they, in a sense, allowed this woman to be raped again.

Additionally, much has been said about the amount of alcohol that this young woman drank.

Let’s stop right there a moment.

How much she drank, is completely, one hundred percent – irrelevant.

If people want to talk about the stupidity of drinking to the point of obliviousness, or drinking at all for that matter, feel free. I’m with you. I used to drink when I was younger and I quite foolishly got intoxicated beyond the point of being able to take care of myself and I look back on those days with a bit of mild disgust as to how stupid I was. I quite honestly put myself, and others at one point, in some danger with my foolishness.

So, feel free to talk about limiting alcohol or not using it at all.

But do so outside discussion of this story.

The moment that you add that topic to this story, you are in effect saying that this is the young woman’s fault. That she is somehow to blame for this man dragging her behind a dumpster and putting his finger’s inside of her and violating her. You are blaming the victim.

I personally wish people wouldn’t drink. At all. Nothing good comes of it. But people can legally drink and they can legally drink to the point of blacking out. And you still don’t get to rape them. Period.

We have for a very long time on this planet, in various cultures including our own, treated women not only as second class citizens, but as property. We have treated women as conquests for men and it is only recently that women have started coming into their own place in society, as equals with men.

And we have a long way to go.

I, like I mentioned, have two beautiful girls. I worry about them everyday. I have one who is in college, which means that for nine months of the year, I have no idea what is happening to her at any given moment. As a parent, that has been incredibly tough for me to deal with.

I realize boys will find my girls attractive. I also know that my girls may find those boys attractive too and at some point, that relationship may become sexual. Their mother and I have taught them that it is far better to wait until marriage but we are also realists and understand the world our girls live in.

I am terrified of the idea that someday though, a boy will try to force himself on either of my girls. Why am I terrified of this? Because it happens to more women than we like to admit.

In the span of one year, several years ago, we encountered, not one, not two, but three men who took advantage of young girls. One of these was in a former church of ours. We left this church because it generally took the same approach that the people around Brock Turner did. Yes, the law punished the young man who assaulted the women but not before the church completely turned it’s back on each victim in the church and then rallied around the young man – whose father held a position within the church.

What I remember most about that incident? When the incident was brought up in the church, one man looked at another afterwords and said, “Well, kids will be kids.”

The assaulter was eighteen.

The victim was EIGHT.

That man may not have known that, but do you see what I’m getting at? We continue to discount the attacks on women in society because we don’t want to deal with the honest truth, which is that in a society where women are still considered to be the weaker sex, there are men who are going to use that to their advantage.

For many years in my life, I have been bombarded with the idea, that even God Himself thinks that men have dominion over women. Men are the head of the house, women are to be his help mate. I even wrote about this on this blog page years ago as I tried to put justification around this belief that I have personally struggled with my entire adult life. I struggle with it, because I don’t believe it. I am not better than my wife. I am her equal. And she is mine. We each have strengths and weaknesses and hopefully we accent each others weaknesses with our strengths. But I reject the notion I rule over her.

If I face some sort of retribution for that in the afterlife, so be it.

I have taught my girls the same. They are not less than the person they choose to be their spouse. I have taught them that while dating, if a boy starts trying to exert his will over them, dump that dude fast. They are their own person and the choices they make as adults are theirs to make.

Some might say this makes me a feminist. I don’t know about that. I’m not overly fond of feminism, I have seen it used to try to make women better than men. I reject that too.

Men and women are different. But neither is better than the other.

And neither has the right to do anything harmful to the other.

So, from this Dad to Brock Turner’s dad, I say this:

Sir, you are not a father. Not in any sense of the word. You have raised a man who sees women as something to get pleasure off of. You have taught him, that ’20 minutes of action’ is more important than treating someone with dignity, no matter what they have done to themselves. You are not a man. You are a weak, evil, little being who has raised another person to be the same. You believe that women, like my own girls, are not entitled to be treated in the same way as your boy, simply because they are a different gender.

I find you sir, disgusting. And a sad excuse for a person. You are the reason I, and many other Dad’s who have daughters of their own, have trouble sleeping at night.

I sincerely hope that the mindset you vomit out into the world is quickly dying a slow death and someday will be gone from this planet. Hopefully someday, people like you will be gone and girls like my own daughters can live in this world with a sense of peace, safe from the likes of you.

My daughters deserve that kind of world.

The woman your boy assaulted deserves that kind of world.

All women do.

Flawed but Loved

Posted by Doug White under Personal, Spiritual

This week, in a scene that is becoming all too common in our country, an evil, twisted person walked into a public area and killed nine people, injured several others before killing himself.

Also in a scene that is becoming all too common, both sides of the gun debate issue began screaming their collective talking points and neither side listed to the other. So, again, nothing will be done and we will continue to have more and more of these senseless acts of violence and our response will continue to be the same.

As frustrating and depressing as all of that is, it is not the purpose of why I’m writing today. Rather, I want to reflect on why this madman killed the people he killed. If reports are true – and there’s no reason to doubt them – this person went on a deliberate attack on Christians. For the first time in my lifetime – or at least that I’m aware of – people were executed simply because they stood for Jesus Christ.

This shooter walked up to nine of these people and asked them if they were Christian. When they said yes, he shot them and killed them. These people are heroes in my eyes.

They’ve given me pause though. Could I be that strong? If an evil being, who most definitely was under control of Satan, stood before me with a gun pointed at my head and asked, “Are you a Christian?” would I say yes? Knowing that I would never see my beautiful girls or my lovely wife on this earth again?

My first instinct is to answer loudly, “Absolutely! Of course I would! There’s no way I would forsake my Creator!”

And then I think of the apostle Peter. He was mentioned in church today and that’s part of the reason I’m writing this. Peter is the apostle I’m sure I would have been in Jesus’ day. The impulsive one. The loud mouth one. The one who told Christ that he would never forsake him.

And then forsook him three times the day Christ died.

Is that me? If given a chance, would I forsake him? Man, I hope not.

One thing that I’ve noticed about Peter though. Christ loved him anyway. Not because of his flaws or his sins, but despite them. This didn’t make what Peter did ok. It meant that despite what he did, Christ still had faith in him and that led to Peter doing many great things for God.

This gives me hope. That if I were to fail Him, He’d love me anyway and still find use for me.

For me, in the horror of what happened in Oregon, nine people showed that dying for God is noble. But they also made me take a long look at myself in the mirror and question just how noble am I.

I am a Christian. I am proud to be one.

I am also a flawed human being.

Yet God loves me anyway.

The Path

Posted by Doug White under Personal, Uncategorized

For years we’d been walking down this path together. It was a comfortable path. There were few rocks to stumble over and the flowers were bright and filled with interesting aromas.

One day something changed. I ran to my wife, filled with concern.

“HONEY!”

“Yes, dear?” was her calm reply.

“There’s something in our path! I almost stepped on it! What is it?”

I grabbed her hand and ran to where I saw the thing in our path. It lay there on the ground. When it looked at me, it began to cry.

“It’s a Baby, sweetheart. She’s ours.”

“Huh? Really? Does it walk with us on this path?”

“No, silly. She can’t walk yet. We have to help her with her needs. For now.”

My wife picked the Baby up and with a smile carefully handed it to me. It was still crying. And it had a smell. “What on earth is that?”

“She needs changing.”

“Honey, I just want to walk down the path. This is going to change everything.”

“Exactly. And that’s okay,” my wife told me.

My wife changed the diapers on this new creature I found on our path and we continued on our way. I didn’t know what to make of this little person. She cried. She was hungry. She needed changing. It was a disruption to the path.

Until it wasn’t.

“HONEY!”

“Yes, dear, what is it?”

“The Baby! She walks!”

“Well, that’s a good thing, right?”

“Yeah, and she smiles, and she laughs and she likes to play!” I told her, filled with wonder.

“She’s not a Baby, anymore, Doug.”

“What is she?”

“She’s a Little Girl.”

“What do I do with her?”

“That’s easy. Play with her. Teach her what you know.”

“I don’t know much, hon.”

“You know more than you think. She’s waiting for you.”

I walked over to the Little Girl and grabbed her little hand. She took me down the path a ways, where the flowers changed into something marvelous. There were butterflies, and candy hanging off the trees. There were princes and princesses. There were fairy tales to explore and games to play. The path before us was filled with Imagination. This path was her part of our path and it was where I learned that this Little Girl was going to teach me, not the other way around.

“HONEY!”

“Yes dear?”

“There’s another one! Another Baby right down the path a bit!”

“I know, dear.”

“What do we do?”

“The same as before. We take care of it and carry it with us down the path.”

“What about the other one?”

“She’ll help. She’s got a new title. Big Sister.”

I walked over to the newest creature laying on the ground in our path. The Big Sister was standing over it, sizing it up. She bent down and poked this new Baby. It looked at her and laughed. Big Sister laughed back.

I bent down and picked this new Baby up and grabbed Big Sister’s hand. My wife grabbed her other and the four of us continued on.

“HONEY?”

“Yes, dear?”

“Big Sister is different! What is going on?”

“She’s a Teenager, sweetheart. It’s okay.”

“What does this mean? What do I do?”

“It means we have to be careful. She wants to travel down paths by herself. We have to keep an eye out.”

“For what?”

“You’ll know it when you see it.” my bride told me cryptically.

I walked over to the Teenager and grabbed her hand. She pulled her hand away but kept close by. I looked back and could see the path of Imagination behind us. I wanted to go back there. The Teenager came to a stop at an arc in the path. She stepped forward a couple steps.

“Is this it?” I asked my wife.

“It is. This path is called Boys.”

I didn’t like this path at all. It was filled with dark corners and thorns and thistles. I looked at the Teenager, “Why this path?”

“Because,” was her simple reply and she stepped into this path without hesitation.

I felt something suddenly in my hand. I looked down and saw I was holding an ax.

“What do you plan to do with that, honey?” my wife asked.

“Nothing. Unless I have to. And if I do, it’s all coming down.” I said grimly.

But, despite my instant dislike of that path, she managed to walk in and out of it without harm. For now. I knew however, that path would be one I would always keep an eye on.

“HONEY!”

“Yes, dear?”

“The Teenager! What is going on now?”

“She’s grown up. She’s an Adult now.”

“What does that mean? What do we do?”

“Honey, this is the hard part. Going forward, there’s not much more we can do.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

My wife grabbed my hand and walked me towards the new Adult who was staring down a path I couldn’t see. “Watch her,” my wife said.

The new Adult turned towards us, smiled, waved and then turned back to the direction she had been facing. She then took off walking down this new path.

“Wait!” I said and took off after her. I came to a stop as some sort of invisible wall appeared before me.

“Doug. This isn’t our path. It’s hers. We can’t go.”

“What do we do?”

“We watch. We pray. And we love her.”

“Is it enough?” I asked her.

“It’ll have to be, honey.”

As the new Adult faded into the distance, I looked down to the other person who had entered our life on this path. She had turned into a Teenager as well. I bent down and grabbed her hand. “Fine, but this one we can keep around for the rest of our path, right?”

That Teenager pulled her hand out of mine and like her Big Sister walked down the road away from me a bit. Not far, but enough to know that I wasn’t going to like what my wife said.

“No dear, she will have her own path to go down one day.”

I stood up and hugged my wife and we watched as the new Adult disappear from sight. I gave my wife a look, “What do we do when they’re both on their own path?”

“We continue down ours. Their paths will intertwine with ours again, I promise.”

“How is it that you know all this?”

“I’m a Mom. I’ve known this for a long time.”

“I’m not sure I can do this.” I said, trying to wipe away the tears in my eyes.

“That’s why YOU aren’t doing it. WE are.”

With that, the two of us, with the Teenager, continued on down the path.