Recently, I learned the term "himpathy." This term is used to describe what happens when men rally around men who have been accused of something. They support them simply because they are men and they have put themselves in the shoes of the accused.
You know what I call it? The Old Boys' Club, the idea that men stick together no matter what. It's good in theory, but the reality is this band of brothers has created decades of pain and destruction. It led to the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements.
After months of victims coming forward and sharing their stories, we declared change and vowed to do better. Then, just as we seemed to be making progress we have gone and taken two steps back. The sad fact is, when many men hear about sexual-assault allegations like the ones against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they respond as if they are personally under attack.
In all the media coverage since the allegation against Kavanaugh became public, one quote grabbed my attention. Politico quotes a lawyer "close to the White House" as saying, "If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried. We can all be accused of something."
What an awful thing to say about the state of relationships between men and women in this country! Men that feel this way lack the ability to sympathize with victims of sexual harassment.
But what if their wives or daughters were the victims? I am willing to bet they would look at the situation much differently.
The Bible tells us that as men we are to cherish, respect and love women as Christ loved the Church. But the way some of us are treating women is far from respectful. We have stopped viewing them as who they really are: a child of God, made in his image just like we were. Not only that, they are supposed to be our partners.
The Bible offers a blueprint for how men and women should work together in the story of Deborah and Barak in the Book of Judges. Deborah, a prophet and judge of Israel, calls on Barak to defeat the Canaanites. He agrees – on the condition that she come with him into battle. She consents, and together they win the battle and secure 40 years of peace for Israel.
If we really want to lead, then the smartest thing we could do is invite passionate and wise women into the battles we face. And equally important to note – you don't lose strength and attractiveness, you gain it!
The Old Boys' Club is not going to help us stop sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior; it got us into this problem and will only make it worse.