Through time, I continue to have compassion for women that stay with a man that has confessed to have molested children. My tolerance for their staying, wanes however, even as the love and compassion remains.
Tolerance as we now use the word, is NOT a good thing. It is tolerating something you feel to be wrong. We rarely use this word to mean “I tolerate her chewing her nails at the table” any more.
Perhaps you are a racist and you “tolerate” people of color, or hate children and “tolerate” the smallest of humanity. Perhaps you support war and violence or theft of property.
Even in the event that you are a racist or you are ageist or some other generalizing-of-hatred thing, the problem with advocating tolerance is that no one has to grow or change or be anything better or different. In our minds, “you do your creepy/weird/different thing there and I will leave you to it, and I will do my good thing here and you leave me to it.”
It really robs us of community in reality.
In the event of a woman staying with a child molester, she is letting him know through the act of staying that he can literally do some of the most heinous acts – betraying a child’s trust through physical exploitation in any sexualized way (a kiss on the mouth, a breast grope, a slide of the hand over the groin, etc) – and she will basically look the other way and “stick it out” with him. I HAVE been there. We tell ourselves this is “God’s way” (nope, it’s not) or “who will love him like I do?” (maybe no one or maybe a thousand others… so?) or even, “if I don’t stay, he will only get worse” (he’s already worse and you enable him to think you’ll be there no matter how sh*tty he choses to be).
I loved a child molester. Without understanding/knowing the end results, I did see his grooming, his mind games, and I downplayed them to myself and to others. The reality was, my love was not actually loving. It takes acknowledging that it is something rotten within us to see it is not actually Christ’s love to be “tolerant” in *many* situations.
Don’t take this as me blaming the female for what her male partner does – it’s all on him that he is doing it. She does not cause him to be a child molester. She is simply deceiving herself in every reason she gives herself for her staying, believing tolerance equals love or that tolerating evil is somehow good and holy.
My tolerance for that tolerance is stretched thin – and I am tired of trying to pretend like tolerance in the way we use it any more is a “good” thing.
There are many social and political situations that I currently see this “tolerance” for evil and harmful practices advocated for, and I am, quite simply, done with it.