In response to, “The powerful voices of women,” by Arlie Martin

By Rebecca Frazer

A recent opinion in the Collegian denounced the fact that the crowd who attended the “Girl Rising” documentary in the student center was mainly female, declaring this to be a “blatant show of apathy from the men of Asbury.” The article went on to claim that often most guys at Asbury want little to do with  women’s issues and asked, if women are expected to care for and support men in the way we dress, where are the men standing up for our education rights?

Serving the opposite sex is an honor and Christ-mandated mission, not an exchange. As a Christian, I am called to be willing to give everything — even my life — for those around me, including my Christian brothers. Whether or not my brothers choose to, in return, lay down their life for me should not affect my devotion to serving them.

But regardless of Christian obligation, does the fact that not very many men showed up to watch a documentary about girls’ education struggle really prove that the men of Asbury are blatantly apathetic to women’s issues?  

Choosing not to watch a documentary does not equate with apathy. We live in a culture where watching a movie about human rights or “liking” a humanitarian Facebook page is considered action and activism, when in reality, true activism requires true commitment.  

Over 50 people — myself included — showed up to watch the powerful “Girl Rising” documentary. But, after the film and discussion was over, did we do anything to solve the problem? Did we write letters, donate, fundraise or engage in deep prayer for our sisters around the world who are denied an education?  Perhaps some did, but I will hazard to guess that the vast majority of us woke up on Wednesday with nothing having changed in our actions. So why are we blaming our brothers?

When guys hear that something is wrong, they want to fix it. This male tendency is familiar to most of us: many a girl has experienced feeling emotional or sad and telling a guy all about how she is feeling, only to have the guy immediately respond with a three-step plan to fix her problem! This should give us a clue as to why guys might not be as attracted as girls to certain events. Watching a documentary and having a discussion afterwards with no clear solution or action presented does not particularly appeal to guys, regardless of the topic. I am convinced that guys would be much more likely to sign up for a 5K fundraiser to benefit women’s education in foreign countries than to join a discussion group. Perhaps the issue is the event format, not the topic. When raising awareness for social issues, we have to be creative in order to motivate both men and women to get involved. Watching a movie is not activism; not watching a movie is not apathy. I have met male classmates and staff at Asbury who truly are human rights activists, prayer warriors and ultimately world-changers. I agree that men should seek to help the world’s struggling women more and more, but I also rejoice to see all the good that the men I know are already accomplishing. And regardless of how much my brothers in Christ accomplish in the fight against the plights of women, I will continue to serve them with the love of Christ. True love is unconditional. Even more, true love is action.