Honor at Home: The Five Shades of Shame

Recently, Hollywood marketed a movie that became an instant success. It was based on a bestseller book called Fifty Shades of Grey. According to critics, the plot deals with sexual proclivities that push the boundaries of pain and pleasure.  Besides financial gain, the absurd message targets women. It is designed to redefine abuse as a pleasurable adventure filled with glamor. Sadly, our society responded well to this movie by filling the theaters. No matter in what shade abuse is performed, it is still a shameful and sinful act.  It is hard to believe that worldwide abuse to women is still permitted, endorsed, and even glamorized. All types of abuse to women come in general terms in what I called the five shades of shame.

The first on the list is psychological abuse. This type of treatment sometimes goes on undetected in our society. This abuse happens in environments where women are treated like slaves. Their human right to decide on their own is taken away from them. Sometimes, this is done in a slow process gear to damage their potential to reach for their dreams.  In this case, women are usually coerced into an unhealthy relationship that is male-dominated. In such a relationship, a woman feels hopeless and without dignity. She usually becomes co-dependent on the bully. She wrongly keeps the abuse as a hidden secret from family and friends in order to protect the victimizer.

The second on the list is the physical abuse. In the recent NFL scandals, the public became aware of this abuse going on between famous players and their women partners. It was disgusting to see these strong athletes treating their women like rags. Ironically, some of these women even tried to protect these abusers from the authorities and the media.  They tried hard to excuse their partners misbehavior. This is usually the pattern of the victim until a major injury or death happens.

The third type in these shameful shades is the sexual abuse. It is painful to consider that one out of eight women has experienced some type of sexual abuse before becoming an adult. Sometimes, the abuser is a member of her own family. Most women involved in prostitution usually report a tragic event, which threw them over the cliff to this awful lifestyle. This type of abuse to women is now epidemic. In human trafficking women are the main victims.  Consequently, technology has opened a Pandora’s Box for women to be seen as explicit sexual objects willing to perform all type of shameful acts at a random price. The porn industry is making billions of dollars on the Internet because this phenomenal demand. Also, marketing agencies promote the “ sex appeal” of a woman in order to sell services and products.

The fourth shameful act against women is the financial abuse. Many women work just as hard and sometimes harder than their husbands. Yet, at the end of her “better years”, some of them usually do not have the financial resources to keep them independent after retirement.  In turn, they become vulnerable to the mercy of their family members or community. Some married women do not foresee the damaging possibilities of a poorly planned retirement.  In fact, we see more elderly women working in department stores in order to make ends meet.

Finally, the fifth type of abuse against women is discrimination. The glass ceiling is still a reality for many women to this day around the world and even in developed nations. Many women are discriminated when it comes to job promotions and equality in salary.  In addition, some countries used religion as a deterrent for the advancement of equality for women. Currently in some cultures, women are not allowed to drive, to vote or to get an education. Some do not even see daylight; they are aborted from their mother’s womb just because they are female babies. The abuse to women must be stopped. They are our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters. The proper treatment to women makes a strong community. It starts at home. In fact, God requires the husbands to treat their wives with respect as partners for life. It must continue in the messages from the pulpit, in the schools, in the justice system and in every place where women actively participate for the benefit of a better world.

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” – 1 Peter 3:7