In October 2006, Megan Meier was found hanging in her bedroom closet.
Prior to her death, she met a boy on MySpace named Josh Evans, and the two quickly hit it off. While she never met Josh in the flesh, Megan grew used to his regular emails, which sent her heart soaring. For the first time in her young life, someone noticed how beautiful, special, and important she was.
Unbeknownst to Megan, Josh was – in fact – a fake character created by Lori Drew, the mother of Megan’s friend. Lori was upset with Megan for starting an argument with her daughter, and turned to cyberspace for revenge. No sooner had “Josh” wooed Megan did he turn on her, stating that “Everybody knows how you are” and “Have a shitty rest of your life.”
Crushed by despair, Megan did the unthinkable. Through the vulnerability of Megan’s heart, her life was ended. She was thirteen years old.
Like Megan, Hope Witsell was also found hanging in her bedroom closet last September.
Intent on gaining the attention of a boy in her class, Hope sent him a topless photo via text messaging. She hoped that – through the use of her body – she would gain his approval. She received a broken heart, instead.
Within days, Hope’s picture reached the inboxes of her entire middle school, not to mention the nearby high school. Not only was her body unappreciated by the object of her affection, but it was mocked and disrespected by countless strangers. The blow was felt deep within her soul, and it was too much to bear.
At thirteen years old, she felt it easier to die.
These are just two examples of evil attacks on femininity, and by “evil,” I mean the real deal.
While it’s easy to blame such tragedies on depression, drugs or other problems, the issue delves much deeper. One flip through a magazine or the television, and you can see that there’s more at play than teenage angst and Zoloft. Society needs to wake up, and it can start by pulling the wool from over its eyes.
I was born well after the Sexual Revolution, but I’m not too young to see how out-of-hand it’s grown. What was once a sacred sanctuary known as the female body has become an object, and a disrespected one at that. By today’s standards, a woman “owns” her body by barely dressing it, only to give it to someone who never deserved it in the first place.
The worst part is that it’s not her fault.
Maybe her father was absent during her childhood, or perhaps she was sexually abused at an earlier age. These problems are common, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Add into the mixture an onslaught of pornographic images from the media, and young girls receive the message that their value is determined by a boy’s response to them.
Because of their feminine instinct to love and be loved, they deject themselves.
But are they ever fully satisfied? If the examples of Megan and Hope are any indication, I should say not. These young lives were lost, and for no reason other than they wanted be cherished. Their feminine spirits – given to them by God – were used and abused, and senselessly so.
Evil is real, folks, so stop kidding yourselves. If you don’t, then consider yourself duped. I’m not a prude, and I’m not a Bible thumper either. I’m just an average girl with two, opened eyes, and they’re appalled at what they see around her.
They’re appalled at what they’ve seen happen to her.
As some of you already know, I was raped a few years ago. Never before had I felt so dirty, ashamed, and dehumanized. One minute, I was just Tara. I was no one extraordinary, but nevertheless, I was a person. The next minute, I was reduced to a numb, inanimate piece of pulp. I lost all of my value.
There’s a reason why they call rape “soul murder,” and that’s because it is. When sex is consensual, your entire being participates – body, mind, and yes…soul. You and your partner are united in a mutual love for one another, making for a powerful and spiritual experience. When it comes to rape, the soul is uninvolved, but not absent. Like an empty shell, your body takes the beating, and your mind sends the foul message to your inner self.
From there, you’re forever changed.
One cannot separate the soul from sexuality; that’s not how God made us. Through our sexuality, we are uniquely male and female, made in His image and likeness. When we come together in love and intimacy, we experience the bliss of becoming one person. We feel what it’s like to be as close to God as humanly possible. Through our sexuality, our soul is nourished…
But it can also become starved.
All around the world, women are being raped. While some suffer the same brutality as I did, many are victimized by their own will, yet at no fault of their own. Through their instinctual desire to be cherished, some women seek love through sex. Needing to feel beautiful, they barely dress their bodies. Wanting to be important to a man, they behave scandalously towards him. In self defense, they lie to themselves, saying that it’s their bodies to do what they want with. Unfortunately, the body isn’t all that’s at play…
The soul is also involved, and it’s become damaged.
What you then have is a viscous and maddening downward spiral, with no signs of an end. Once rejected, a woman’s soul feels the punch, and her esteem dies. Instead of realizing the truth, she furthers her attempt to find love by acting more promiscuously, or dressing even racier.
Still, no dice.
She begins to take the rejection personally, convincing herself that she’s undeserving of love. Something about her isn’t sexy, beautiful or desirable enough, beliefs that can have dire consequences for her life. What she fails to realize is that she was already beautiful to begin with, perfect. In God’s eyes, she is a princess.
In her book, Pure Womanhood, author Crystalina Evert says, “A woman should hide her heart in God, and a man must go there to find it. She should be so hidden in Christ that a man has to see Christ just to see her.”
Can you imagine a world where women knew their worth, and didn’t need men or the media to define it? I mentor teens at my church, and always tell the girls that if they want to stand out in today’s society, they should respect themselves. In doing so, not only will they weed out the boys with little to no regard for them, but they might also teach these young men a little something about valuing women.
The power is in their hands, and in all of ours as well.
I found this essay, written by Tara, a contributor to skirt! Magazine. Read her blog here. As a mother of daughters, this especially touched my heart. It is high time that our society started instilling pride and sense of self in our young women. It is the greatest gift that we can give them.
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