Hey girl. I’m sitting here on a bright Sunday morning after devotions, scrolling through Facebook catching up on the latest news and drama. My heart is heavy as I see post after post from angry women desperate to be heard. I read yours, too, where you stood tall with a political shirt and demanded that women be respected.
Stand for women.
Don’t stare at me.
Don’t lust over me.
I have a soul.
I get it, I really do. Girls are angry. Many of the reasons are perfectly justifiable. We’ve struggled for ages to feel relevant and valuable and to fight for equality in many areas. And we often struggle to feel valued for more than our bodies, whether we’re overweight or supermodel status. As the internet and social media grows, we see more of the darkest secrets being exposed. We hear grotesque things that devalue us into nothing more than play things. It hurts. Especially if you or someone you know has been violated.
But the more that I hear the outrage, the more I feel the urge to bring up a subject that I rarely – probably never – hear talked about publicly. Today was the last straw. I simply can’t stay silent anymore. If you are one of these angry young women feeling disrespected today and demanding to be seen as more than an object,
I have just one question for you.
Please, hear me out.
Because just a couple years ago, 50 Shades of Grey became the fastest book to sell 1 million copies, beating out even J.K. Rowling’s records. It was on the New York Times best-seller list for 16 weeks along with 50 Shades Darker. The film adaptation made $94.4 million on opening weekend. And yet, it’s a story built entirely around a dominant/submissive (I’ll say abusive) relationship. It follows an insecure and sex-addicted man who preys on a quiet virgin and takes advantage of her naivety. Yet it didn’t take me long to find articles explaining why girls love this Mr. Grey so much: “He’s in control. He’s possessive of her. He is a master of seduction, mysterious….”
Oy, he sounds like a king. Women of all ages flocked to the theaters to drool over the actor playing Christian. But – isn’t he the same example of the men you’re fighting against today? Who apparently see women as objects and not much more?
Is it different for you, then, to fawn over a naked actor and fantasize about a relationship with someone like him?
Is reading a porn novel and arousing sexual desires for a man different than a man watching it and desiring women?
We all know about Magic Mike, too, the male stripper movie that made $40 million its opening weekend, and attracted a 96% female audience for its sequel. In fact, you may have even seen it, along with millions of other screaming women packing the theaters. Nearly every coworker in my office saw it, from young to old, married or not.
So can women ogle over men’s bodies, too? Or is it not considered lust…
I recently saw a video where a young girl filmed herself walking up to random young guys, grabbing them in the crotch and running away. It went viral, and among the mixed comments, I saw hundreds of girls gleefully commending this girl and saying how “lucky” she was. It got me thinking: where does it become okay for girls to do to men, the same thing that they are offended by men doing to them? I saw another viral meme recently that said, “If you think Trumps comments are bad, clearly you haven’t heard conversations at girls night out!”
You see, I’m having a hard time finding where the difference is, when you cry for men to respect you for more than your body, but you talk about explicit details and fantasies with girlfriends, read porn novels (cause if we’re being honest, that’s exactly what 50 Shades is), and post photos of half-naked greased men all over your social media. If your secret talks about men and sex suddenly became public: would you be innocent?
I’ll be honest, I’m a woman just like you. I’m attracted to men. And I’ve always been more attracted to the swole, chiseled ab-type dudes (I’m lookin’ at you, babes!). I made the personal decision to stay home and never watch either of the movies I’ve mentioned, or to read the steamy novels.
Because girls lust, too.
Because I think there’s a double standard in telling my husband to look away in the bikini scenes, but then to stare at a gyrating half-naked man myself. I can’t disrespect him like that. I can’t justify putting a pornography blocker on his computer and not my own. While our own struggles might differ as man and woman, the reality is that we are both fallen creatures. And we both crave sexual fulfillment regardless of how it looks. We are both susceptible to objectifying the opposite sex, and both accountable to respecting the boundaries and bodies of each other.
I understand the sensitivity of rape culture that is so prevalent today. I’m not speaking to the masses of young girls that have been brutally attacked, subtly seduced, or blatantly disrespected. Please don’t think I’m trying to ignore or mask or excuse those issues. I see you, girl. I feel for you. And I will fight for you. (It’s why I’ve pledged a percentage of my photography work to non-profit organizations rescuing and rehabilitating trafficked girls.)
I’m asking you – the girl holding the picket sign and wearing the t-shirt and screaming with the masses – if you’ve evaluated your own actions, too. Are you innocent? Do you live a double standard? Are you objectifying the same men you’re accusing?
Or is it different because you’re a girl… and it’s different.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 2 Cor 6:19-20