“I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir.” This statement was made by the judge in the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, who has been convicted of serial sexual abuse of young girls and women. One hundred sixty-eight people, women and their families, gave impact statements against him at his sentencing. He used little girls to pleasure himself. He stole their innocence from them and then blamed them and the media for his being convicted. Why was he not accepting responsibility? There were so many witnesses against him, yet he refused to face his guilt. To face his responsibility would mean having to face the horrors of what he was doing. As the judge told him, he knew he had a problem even before he became a doctor. If he had admitted it then and sought help with the willingness to change, none of these women would have been hurt.
This man was trusted because he was a well-known doctor in the sports world. Girls had been referred to him from those they trusted so they figured what they were experiencing had to be okay, especially since he would abuse them even with their mothers and coaches in the room. He used and abused them with no thought about them. Then he had the audacity to write a letter pleading the judge to not make him listen to the statements from the women he repeatedly hurt. He said it would be too hard on his heart. Excuse me for my break in decorum here, but boo hoo! I think his heart needed to be affected by the damage that had been done, and that’s exactly what the judge told him.
The impact statements were devastating. Many of the women spoke about how he had befriended them and seemed to care for them before the abuse started. He groomed these girls for his future abuse by treating them as special first and then gaining their trust and respect before abusing them. This grooming only made the damage more devastating. Many of the women spoke of how the abuse still affected their relationships. He had stolen their ability to trust others, especially men. He played with their emotions so he could manipulate them with the ultimate goal of using them for his pleasure. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. It’s all too common.
This man emotionally abused these girls. Every abuser uses verbal and emotional abuse to manipulate, control, and silence their targets. Many will groom their targets, as this man did, easing them into a trusting relationship. But to the abuser, the target is really not a person. They are an object to be used completely for their pleasure, to feel in control, or whatever other purpose the abuser is seeking by their abuse.They don’t care about the other person. The target is only seen as a means to an end.
People Become Objects
The sad truth, though, is that so much of our society has done the same thing. People have become mere objects for our pleasure, and it only gets worse with every new app, show, song, book, etc. Society has glorified sex to a place of greater importance than people. I can’t even begin to list the number of network television shows I’ve seen where people have just met, maybe share a line or two of dialogue, and then they are having sex. There are numerous apps that have been created for the sole purpose of meeting some to have sex. Porn, in whatever form you prefer, is readily available merely by lifting up your phone and hitting a few keys. It is celebrated as as a freedom to enhance and explore sexual desires. It’s considered to be a normal activity, and even seen as a good thing, but it is anything but good. It is simply another form of objectifying people for pleasure.
All of this is labeled as sexual freedom. It’s the mantra spoken everywhere you turn. It’s all about giving freedom to everyone to do whatever they want. People believe there is no harm done by casual sex or viewing porn, but it’s just not true. When you’re only looking at a person as a means for sexual gratification, either by having sex with them or watching porn, you have taken a person and reduced them down to body parts. When taken as the norm and even lauded, things only get worse. As our perspectives begin to degrade, it leads to worse and worse things.
There is a very real link between sex trafficking, pornography and prostitution. Many of the women in these “professions” have been trafficked. Child pornography is on the rise. That is sick. The very people who need the most protection, nurturing and care are being viewed as objects of desire. It seems like every other day there is someone in the news who has been arrested for having sexual relations with a minor.
Our desires are not pure. We’re only looking out for ourselves and what we want. We’re not looking out for each other or the greater good. However, we are responsible for each other. Things will only get better when we start accepting responsibility for the choices we’re making. Each person is alive for a reason and it’s not to be used as an object.
~ Joanna Lynn