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Aug 24, 2007

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Dan Anderson-Little

Mike,

As the father of an 8 year old girl, I share the author's concern about our oversexualized culture--it is ubiquitous and it is scary. However, I am troubled by the author's assertion that this sexual libertinism is the result of radical feminism. Feminism (the notion that women are due the same rights, opportunities, and respect as men) has certainly helped women take control of their bodies and celebrate their sexuality; but to place the blame for for the oversexualization of our culture on feminists is serious charge that requires a lot more evidence and analysis than mere assertion. Do you really think that the "sexual virtue imposed by the patriarchy" was all that viruous? In the past, many small towns had brothels, and rape was not unheard of only covered up with the victim being blamed. Conservative Fox TV is one of the biggest purveyors of this kind of sexualization--so to lay this at the feet of feminists seems disingenuous at best and despicable at worst. There is certainly a correlation between the rise of feminism and the rise of this grotesque objectification of women, but a correlation is in no way a causation. This reminds me of the common conservative complaint that the adoption of liberal policies by the PCUSA is somehow the cause of numerical decline--such arguments may make us feel good as they allow us to imagine that what we dislike is somehow the problem, but they do damage to having any real dialogue and finding any real solutions.

Dan

Dana Ames

Dan makes a good point.

I am not sure that there has ever been "sexual libertinism imposed by the matriarchy". I think rather that sexual libertinism is the evidence of something very hurt and broken in males and females, and is at least sometimes used by some men to legitimize immaturity, irresponsibility, sexual addiction, and lack of love and care for the "other".

A few years ago I watched The History Channel series on Sex in the Ancient World. The most remarkable thing I remember from it was the hundreds of examples they showed from archeological digs from the Roman Empire of one everyday object, an oil lamp. They were of every size, ornamented and plain- and they were all one shape: that of a male member. Fascinating...

(The euphemism is not said because I'm squeamish about writing the word itself, but because I don't want to your blog to be inundated with unwelcome spam...)

It's the same old stuff. We have technology to distribute it faster than ever before, but it's the same old stuff. Christians had to deal with it then too. We might investigate how they dealt with it then- maybe there is some help for us in history.

Dana

Michael W. Kruse

Dan, I didn’t understand the article to be singing the praises of patriarchy. My perception was that she was saying that the recent circumstances are not real improvement over matriarchy. No, I don’t support a return to patriarchy.

Feminism has a history going back well into the 19th Century before the Civil War. I think what she would argue, as I have heard many argue, is that up into the mid-twentieth century feminism had been about gaining rights for women but with an assumption that the world and experience of women will is different then that of men. Certainly by the 1960s the movement shifted to throwing of any encumbrance that prevented women from living with the same licentious abandon as men. Children are an encumbrance to that objective. The pill and abortion become central to the agenda of achieving that “equality.” This was marked difference from the staunchly pro-life perspectives of early feminists who saw “equality” as gaining respect, legal protection, and support for aspects of life that are particular to the world of many women (ex. motherhood.). The argument is that a move was made from women being recognized as equal alongside men to women being equal by behaving like men. That shift has had the ironic effect of simply making women for sexually available to licentious men rather than evolving an environment that is more respectful of women their world. I

I’m oversimplifying but that is my interpretation of what she is getting at, and if so, I think there is truth in it.

Dana, very old indeed. I think it goes all the way back to a certain couple partaking of an apple from a certain tree.

:)

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