A Southern Pastor: My Granddaughter Deserves Better Than This

My granddaughter will be five years old in December. Then in February, my niece will turn five as well. My family had nothing but boys for 15 years, and so the arrival of these two precious little girls has brought so much life and joy to us, and they are princesses, cherished and protected by the entire family.

We face the normal trials of bringing up little girls. My niece has the entire world wrapped around her little finger. She pouts, and Mamaw and Papaw run to her rescue to fix whatever Mommy and Daddy might have said “no” to. My granddaughter Facetimes Mimi to get the sympathy she needs if she has been in trouble and needs her legal Mimi advocate. Brother Cody and Uncle Lucas are two teenage boys who are completely at the mercy of these two little girls who know just how to say the word, “Pleeaaasse?” Our little corner of this big wide world finds it’s center in the beautiful eyes of Brenna and Ali Jade.

Our girls biggest problems right now are whether or not they can talk us into taking them to every Disney on Ice which comes through town, and if their My Little Pony collections will get completed at Christmas.

The big thing is, they absolutely know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are loved. They are valuable. They are smart and capable, and there isn’t anything in this world which is unavailable to them, or that they can’t accomplish. They are respected, and the men in their lives respect the women in their lives, and they have been taught to expect nothing less. They are growing into intelligent, creative, strong, and bold young women, and they deserve a world which honors them for doing that.

Proverbs 31:26

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

This election is no longer about Republican and Democratic policy differences. Debates over higher tariffs or trade agreements are not what we are choosing between this election cycle.

In one month, we will go to the polls and decide the atmosphere in which my precious girls will grow up. We will pick a leader of the free world who will set the tone for not just political, but also social precedent in this country. Sexual harassment is not something to joke about or wave around as some sort of trophy. Objectifying and harassing women is not sport.

Galatians 5:22-26

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

My daughter, my sister, my niece, and my granddaughter, the female students in the college classes I teach, and the women in my church, are more than sexual objects to be groped and verbally abused. Their bodies are their own, and not objects for men to judge or ridicule. They decide who touches them and how, and will not be subjected to sexual harassment from the men they work with. And they are beautiful creatures, created in God’s own image, who deserve more than to have a leader of their country who disrespects them, verbally and physically abuses them, and finds no value in them outside of their physical and sexual attributes.

In the summer of 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York, a number of intelligent, strong women organized a convention which would become the very first officially organized call for women’s rights. From that convention came the “Declaration of Sentiments,” modeled on the Declaration of Independence, and it called for equality in law and in life for women. It would be 75 years after the writing of that document and the bravery of those women coming together in 1848 before women would get the right to vote. And women still fight for many of the outcomes called for in that historic gathering in 1848 still today.

But not this. We are above the catcalling, objectifying, belittling, and abusive culture of treating women as mere physical and sexual objects made solely for the entertainment of men. Be offended. Be afraid. And vote. We are better than this.

Melanie Tubbs is a professor, pastor, mother, Mimi, and true Arkansas woman. She lives with nine cats and one dog on a quiet hill in a rural county where she pastors a church and teaches history at the local university. Her slightly addictive personality comes out in shameful Netflix binges and a massive collection of books. Vegetarian cooking, reading mountains of books for her seminary classes, and crocheting for the churches prayer shawl ministry take up most of her free time, and sharing the love of Christ forms the direction of her life. May the Peace of Christ be with You.