11/14/05

My, haven't we "Progressed"?

The "sexual revolution" that happened in the mid-20th Century was supposed to liberate women from patriarchal oppression and to give women and everyone else sexual "freedom." Gone were the bad old days of taboos and Victorian rigidity, and just around the corner, was a veritable new Eden. A new era of freedom and equality was beginning.

But I wonder if freedom and equality is really what we got? It is true (and good) that much of the institutional hindrance for women, as it was codified in the laws, was torn down.

But I wonder if the decline of traditional (read "Christian") attitudes towards sex -- as having its proper place within a covenanted marriage relationship -- may have created new and more insidious forms of bondage for (espeicially) women.

Perhaps a recent example can begin to illustrate what I am "getting at". We all recently heard about yet another scandal involving Abercrombie and Fitch's products. (It is interesting how many different items you run across if you search the web for "Abercrombie" and "scandal" or "controversy," but that is another issue)

A recent T-shirt line aimed at young women (let us keep in mind that Abercrombie's market is primarily teenagers and high school students) featured such enlightening slogans as "Who needs brains when you have these!" written across the chest, or "I'd look great on you."
See link for more if you haven't heard about it:
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-chifitch1103,0,3539255.story?coll=ny-homepage-mezz

I wonder how much better off our sisters and daughters are now that they understand that their bodies (not their brains) are their tickets to influence (do you remember "The Apprentice"?). That is the new, sexually liberated, progressive, American way, after all. Or perhaps, in case a young woman cannot afford a risky augmentation surgery (or if her parents do not "love" her enough to give her one), then she could try "brains" as plan B? But the best way to be a woman is to be a sex object.

Perhaps I am just over-reacting? Perhaps I just don't realize that young, impressionable teenage girls are strong enough in their self-image and their committments to chatisty (for the sake of their own physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare) not to be influenced at all by billions and billions of dollars spent on putting near-naked swimsuit models on the cover of every magazine, "romantic" one-night-stands in every movie, and catchy slogans on every T-shirt.

The "Christian ethic" boils down to putting the true welfare of others above the desires of the self. We learn this ethic from Jesus' life and death. We call this "love." (this is not to be confused with another word that is both spelled and pronouned the same, but may sometimes have the opposite meaning, and is used in every pop song known to man).

So the Christian ethic of love (welfare of others before the desires of self) has always said that it is better for people, both men and women, to enjoy sex as the cement of a marriage relationship, the source of new life, and as an analogy for the sort of intimacy God desires with his people. Christian love sees the support and security of the traditional family as the best protection from the emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual destruction that something so powerful as sex can cause if it is used in inappropriate ways (and I think we all know something about this).

I realize that these ideas have been at the center of intense debate within our society, and I think it is good for people to stop and really think and talk (and LISTEN) about these things.
It once was said that "For the Christian, freedom does not mean freedom from restrictions so much as the freedom of embracing love." How might this sort of love change the converstation, I wonder?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:42 PM, November 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you really hit the nail on the head with this one. So many girls are taught that it is acceptable to Objectify their bodies in order to advance themselves. What a lucky place the world is to have guys like you... most guys dont understand this concept.

8:54 PM, November 17, 2005  

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