If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times in this era of #MeToo: There are many good and godly men out there.
Unfortunately, guys, some of your gender have done such a terrible job representing that various women wonder at times whether all men are pigs. Or at least a high majority of men.
Apparently it seems that you could stand in Hollywood, Corporate America, or Capitol Hill; yell, “Pig!”; and within earshot there would be a sexual harasser or assaulter who deserves the epithet. Our human tendency is to notice what’s askew in our environment rather than what’s normal, so we can end up focusing so much on the stink of the sty in our noses rather than the aroma of goodness from all the other men in our presence.
I know this is true, because when I walked out of the movie Blade Runner 2049, I was really glad my husband was walking beside me as a reminder of honorable masculinity. Otherwise, I might have fallen prey to a general rant about “men!” with a disgusted snort every minute or so.
Now I rarely see R-rated movies anymore. I just don’t want to be bombarded by all the filth along with the other stuff. So maybe this is the new standard, but the amount of female nudity shown in close-up was utterly appalling to me. It was not done in a particularly titillating way; however, it was as if they thought nothing whatsoever of saying to an actress, or rather several actresses, “Hey, strip down, and we’re going to show off your body.” And there was no story reason why private parts had to be shown. Every single point they wanted to make could have been made with strategic hints and better filming.
I emerged from the darkness of the theater with my muscles clenched, nausea in my stomach, and my head reeling. I went off for a full three minutes or so—bless my patient husband—about how the film was written by men, directed by a man, had starring roles for men, and what did they do? They treated women like sex objects, to be displayed and used in whatever way the men wanted.
Yes, the actresses went along with it, and that does not make me happy. Plenty of times I’ve wanted to say to some woman, “Please stop! Your willingness to be treated purely as a sex object makes things worse for the rest of us.”
And in a world that consumes porn like air, I guess I shouldn’t be so shocked by a flesh-filled, R-rated film. But I’m still regularly shocked by blatant mistreatment of women.I'm still regularly shocked by blatant mistreatment of women. Click To Tweet
Unfortunately, too many “pigs” exist, who belittle women as little more than a collection of sexual body parts. Who watch porn daily with no remorse, who argue with me on my blog or Facebook that lusting after women is just what men do, who harass and assault women for their own jollies, who blame women for their willingness to go along with the sex object fantasy, who expect their own wives to be their personal porn star. Yeah, there are plenty of men mucking around in the mud of the pen.
But like I said, I walked out of that theater with my good and godly husband. So I kept my post-movie rant directed at the “pigs” out there, not men in general.
I am blessed to have amazing men in my life! My husband and my sons don’t treat women poorly. I have male friends who are upstanding husbands and fathers and spiritual leaders, for whom respect of women is given. And many men out there are just as bothered by sexual harassers and assaulters as many of us women are.
Have these men never struggled with lust? Have they have never responded viscerally to an unclad woman on screen? Has porn never been an issue for them? No, some have struggled with these issues. But they have overcome or continue to improve, because they get it — they understand that the difference between a “pig” and a good man is this:
“Then [Jesus] turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?'” (Luke 7:44)
Jesus knew Simon literally saw the woman. Before this verse comes this passage:
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner” (Luke 7:36-39).
Jesus is asking if Simon really sees her—sees beyond the “kind of woman she is” to the woman God created her to be. Does Simon really see the person there? A person who deserves, just by being made in the image of God, to be treated with gentleness and respect.
Good men use their unique gifts to protect women, as Jesus spoke up for this woman in the presence of other men. Good men really see the women they interact with.
As I once said to my son, “Look, I get it: Women have very interesting parts. But remember that they are more than their parts.”
Want to stay out of the pig pen? Treat women like Jesus did. You can find some great examples in these passages:
And if you’re ever struggling, men, ask yourself Jesus’s question: Do you see this woman?
79 thoughts on “On “Pigs,” Good Men, and the Difference”
Bingo on the movie critique regarding unnecessary sex scenes! Perhaps the producers know something we don’t? After all, they’re after the money, not virtue. However, I think we must accept the fact that women in one sense are made to be sex objects. Song of Solomon: “Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies.” What’s missing from men is the love. What’s missing from men is a desire for virtue and self control. At root this is a spiritual problem. Sodom and godlessness go hand in hand.
But that’s not objectification in Song of Solomon. I reject “we must accept the fact that women in one sense are to made to be sex objects.” The husband is well-aware the whole time that those “two fawns” are special because they belong to the woman he loves and married. In turn, the wife talks about his body in Song of Songs 5 in the same way. They really see each other — including body parts, but not just that.
J, you are absolutely right. However, with all the negative emphasis on “objectivization of women” in our day, I can see where a man might feel guilty for admiring his wife’s body. That said, your post makes me think of a fictitious scene described by Karen Brody in her book “Open Her.” She describes the scene of two men walking their dogs in the park. One man has his dog totally in control, obedient to his every command. The other man is being uncontrollably dragged around by his dog that’s attempting to hump every female dog in the park. Sadly, the church has done little good in helping the situation. Boys may be taught by their parents about the mechanics of sex, but they are taught little if any about how to deal with their sexual nature and drive. They need a daddy to set an example.
I just had an interesting discussion with a fellow marriage blogger (won’t name her, because I didn’t ask first) in which I said that maybe part of the problem is what connotation men versus women bring to the term “sex object.” When men say that, I and many other women hear “object.” It’s THE THING I hear. And being called an object is offensive. But maybe men hear “sex object” as an object of desire, with an emphasis on the desire part.
If that’s true, we’d be wise to listen to one another: Women taking it less personally when men use that phrase, and men — quite honestly — not using that phrase because it does not come across well to many women. As was said in another movie once, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride. At least not what it means to women.
Part of the disconnect is that most men would love to be seen as “sex objects.” I’ve gotten a random wolf whistle twice in my life, and I remember both instance vividly – as a positive event.
Well, women may not like that they are sex objects, but in part that is literally the truth. However, that isn’t all that they are. If you were not the object of our sexual desire, I hate to break it to you but we men wouldn’t have much to do with women. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t so much more to you, but it’s the primary thing that draws us to you, that entices us to you, that drives us to want to know you and love you.
That being said, of course there are men who ONLY view women as objects, and perhaps these men have tainted the water for us all. But this is like women that only view men in terms of the ultility and money they can provide (otherwise know as gold diggers). Some men come to view all women as gold diggers and this is just as incorrect.
By the way, as you pointed out men are also objects of women’s sexual desire or we should be anyway. That doesn’t offend me in the least, and in fact I wish I were more a sex object to my wife.
It’s not just that we don’t like it; it’s that we find that term OFFENSIVE! Not to mention that my husband would not agree that sex is the primary thing. It’s definitely a thing, but if sex was the biggest thing, men wouldn’t have written so many love songs, romantic poems, and sworn vows to their wives.
I’m really trying to get across the idea to men that you may think “sex object” is a compliment, but please rethink calling women that. Because it’s not getting across the meaning you desire.
I wouldn’t call a woman that simply because I know women hate it, even if it’s technically true.
Now, ask your husband (or any husband), if he had not been physically attracted and sexually drawn to the object of his desire….would he have wanted to get to know you so intimately and wanted to spend time with you and marry you?
Why is it insulting to think that God put this into men to ensure that we wanted to interact with women to know them? I’m sorry but sexual desire is what starts the whole process in motion and makes men risk rejection, loss of freedom, potential heartache, and the potential for messy divorce. I’d be willing to bet that very few men would ever be willing to do any of those things if were not for this sexual drive we have. I don’t find that offensive, I see it as the genius and beautiful imagination of God.
Jacob agreed to work for a total of 14 years for a man just because of his sexual desire for a woman. Now, we call that romantic because he sacrificed so much to be with her, but I can almost promise you that it wasn’t her hobbies, work ethic, or virtue that drove him to those lengths primarily.
If you as a woman think this is offensive maybe it’s a combination of what the culture has taught you as well as you seeing romance and sex from a very female point of view. I don’t fault you for that, and I’m still trying to understand female sexuality myself.
Here’s the thing, Brian. As much as I believe in sex being a part of marriage — and the Bible makes that imminently clear in many respects — that aspect is actually missing from the list of virtues of a noble wife in Proverbs 31:10-31. She is appreciate for far more than being a sexually attractive and engaged wife. Intimating that sex is the reason a man marries makes a woman feel like she’s just a compilation of body parts, rather than a friend and partner in life. Of course, sex is one form of intimacy we must have in marriage, but it isn’t the only one.
Also, your last paragraph is dismissive of my opinion, chalking it up to “a combination of what the culture has taught you as well as you seeing romance and sex from a very female point of view.” Female is one important aspect of who I am, but I am more than that too, in my eyes and God’s. I think men and women share more than they differ, so we really can have conversation in which we respect one another’s views and try to come to some understanding and even agreement. Let’s at least try.
Its all in the heart. For example, i have told my wife that she alone is “the object of my desire”.
My heart is true and right.
I have also said something to the effect that she should be “my own personal pornstar” … it was said playfully, and I’m sure her reply was playful in return.
My heart is true and right.
Just as you saw poor representation of sexuality in the movie, sometimes the same words,, spoken in a different tone or mindset, can represent something completely different.
But in light of the current mode of people’s mindset.. those comments will become…
” the only woman i desire”
” my personal Smokin Red Hot Lover … ”
Okay, sometimes I’m not so good with words but my heart is true and right.
The first thread within the thread, and I can tell this is going to be a lively discussion. Let me see if some of these thoughts help….
First, I completely agree with you, J, that us men really have to be more careful with how we phrase things. My own blood pressure rises (not easy to do, since I am a rather low key kind of guy) when I hear the term “sex object”. Applied to anybody, though it seems much more in use toward women. I’m not saying that out of guilt, or because it “sounds good”; I believe it is sound biblical doctrine to have a high level of respect for women, and (in different, unique ways) for men. Also, I happen to be the son of a woman who was a pioneer in her field – economics. That kind of reinforces the mindset for me.
Now, I do hear what the guys on this thread are saying, in different ways; it’s kind of hard to read them all at the same time on here, so bear with my response. I do feel us men are often unnecessarily shamed or accused as voyeurs, or perverts. I felt that long before now, like about two presidential administrations ago, not just today. Just for being ourselves. I get that; I’m a man myself, progressive upbringing by a forward looking mom, or no. I just think we need to find ways of expressing better who we are, and even different ways of saying the same thing. We’re smart enough to do this, and even if we’re not, the Holy Spirit is, if we’ll listen.
Oh, and to Brent’s point about what we say to our wives: I wholeheartedly encourage bedroom talk….in the bedroom. And playful, risque, romantic banter, during a romantic dinner. Yeah, even bending the “rules” of acceptable lingo once in a while. Memories of our most recent Valentine’s Day in Jamaica will be with me for a long time. One of us had to tell the other “shhhh!” in order not to be too obvious or overheard saying something scandalous. Or ‘scandalous’. Whatever. Bless her heart, it was my wife who initiated said banter, though I encouraged it. Just saying. It’s a fine line to walk.
(I’m not saying who had to shush the other, or who said what. You understand.) 😉
Tom, would you consider it a positive to get wolf whistles from other men? Because there’s a HUGE difference. You know, full well, that a woman couldn’t tear your flesh without your permission to get sexual gratification. Imagine a large, muscular man whistling and making comments about your sex appeal as you walked alone down a sidewalk.
Still think it’s a compliment?
Lisa, I admit that you have a point to a degree. Most men (me included) would be walking on clouds is a woman wolf whistled at is, because we never get that kind of attention and never get made to feel like we are sexy. But, yes you are right, that mostly we don’t feel an inherent vulnerability about our sexuality. I’ve never felt scared that a woman might forcefully take what she wants from me whether I want it or not. That doesn’t change my thought that I still hunger deep down to be wanted like that, but I can understand that it’s not quite the same.
When we talk about what men do, it makes me think of what I say about my wife and I having Aspergers. When we act different from other people I always say our Aspergers is an explanation, but not a justification. Maybe it’s nothing wrong we’re doing and it’s okay. Maybe it is. Aspergers can explain why we do it, but it doesn’t justify it. Being a man can explain why I have a tendency to lust. It does not justify it.
And as Christians, we’re not supposed to do what we would do naturally in the flesh. We’re supposed to be like Jesus, people of the new covenant, not people of the old.
I think just about everything can be summed up in this phrase you used: “Good men use their unique gifts to protect women…”
As Christians this is our role as men and I believe that with all my heart. No matter what most of the celebrities in Hollywood tweet or say, we know that it is nothing more than virtue signaling the vast majority of the time. But if you are a man and you follow Christ, protecting women is what you are called to do even if the culture tells us that women don’t need men as protectors anymore.
I think as men sometimes we want to give up on this for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that most women today don’t seem to be worthy of much respect. We see so many women acting like prostitutes and so the average man probably thinks that this is how they should be treated. Well, regardless of how women act, we are called to be better than that.
It’s not easy to view women as more than sex objects, not for me and not for the vast majority of men. Most women will never understand this and I don’t don’t blame them for that. I highly respect and envy men who have conquered their primal lust for the female body, because this is what I struggle with more than anything else in my life. If I had my way I would strip myself of all desire for women completely because it would make my life infinitely easier. But that’s not going to happen, so struggle I shall.
Yes, deep down this post stings because I know that at my core I’m one of the pigs you are referring to. A naked woman’s body thrills me in a way I can’t even begin to describe. As I walk around town and see women dressed in tight, form-fitting clothes it takes a huge act of will to not linger on her with my eyes. I’m a pig and I deserve all the bad things you said about all those other bad men, because the truth is that I don’t always win the struggle to turn my eyes away, and sometimes my thoughts go to places they should never go.
Despite all this we can’t give up the fight. The life of Christ demands more from us, and so we push forward one day at a time.
What’s fascinating about that story with Jesus is that the woman he spoke about obviously acted in sinful ways — she was well-known for it, as Simon commented to himself. But Jesus didn’t hold that against her. He didn’t say, “This woman behaved like a whore, so I can treat her like one.” Yes, I know at that moment, she wasn’t behaving that way, but He saw her. He really saw her. So while, YES, there are definitely scriptures that women should heed about modesty in dress, demeanor, and behavior, that doesn’t appear to be an excuse for poor treatment of women. (See the Samaritan woman for another back-up story on that point.)
As for your self-proclaimed piggishness, I have great faith and hope in those who admit struggles and ask God for help to work through them. That’s not piggish behavior; it’s Christ-like. May God bring you to victory in this area!
J, you’re absolutely right. There is never an excuse that is justified to make sin acceptable. Jesus gave us example after example, starting with the very beginning of his ministry when he fasted for fourty days. He was starving literally to death before Satan tempted him with food, and yet Jesus resisted. So even starvation isn’t a good enough reason to sin.
Some of us are starving for sexual satisfaction, and yet yielding to sexual sin is still sin. I know this in my mind and in my heart. I just wish it were so easy to enact.
Thank you for this post and for not dragging us all down. Thank you for encouraging those of us who do struggle. Who do and act a lot like pigs but really don’t want too. We sit there with the pigs and in their dirt and many of us are very tempted to eat what they it too because we don’t see ourselves ever coming back to live with humans again. Some of us are starting to realize that we have a father who waits for us and we are trying to rise but te guilt and shame often bring us back. Reading that I am not as worthless as I feel and that there is hope to rise from this dirt and stench that has such a hard grip on me makes me even more eager to come to my Father and ask Him to wash me clean and help me stay away from the dirt. So thank you for this post. It really touched my heart , just now that I needed it.
The difference is that pigs feel entitled. They don’t care. They mow down boundaries and fences, uproot what they want, and just go for it. (Can you tell I lived on a farm?) They will even devour their human if they had a mind to.
I would say a man knowing it is wrong and struggling and crying out to God is far less a pig than the man who doesn’t look at porn but deceives himself into enjoying the dopamine rushes of those little sex scenes and nudity bits in movies and tv shows by saying they don’t affect him, he isn’t watching it for that, and he isn’t giving up good movies just because there’s some breast in it. It’s the attitude of “I am entitled to look, to see, to watch and no jealous, hurt wife of mine is going to tell me not to,” attitude that is piggish. The sense of entitlement to sinfulness, the carnal, and wordliness is the problem.
We are all prodigals in the pig sty. Some of us realize we are eating pig food and sitting in muck. Others seem to justify it as fine dining and spa mud baths, while those “legalists” over there call it pig food and poop-filled muck.
Some good points here.
I think it’s impotant to remember that temptation is not sin. And that temptation does not define who you are as a person. I have almost no temptation to carnal and sensual sins. Gluttony, lust and greed really aren’t a problem for me. Unfortunately, that aggravates the problem I do have and that is apparently endemic to my nature, the temptation to arrogance, pride and despair. Which are all spiritual sins and according to many Christian writers through the ages much worse than the carnal ones.
The second and third circle of Dante’s hell is for lust and gluttony (the first being limbo, not hell proper) ; 8 and 9 are for fraud and treachery. For anyone who is interested, herecy is 6 and hippocrates, sourcerors, seducers and corrupt politicians and all in 8.
In the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Lust, Gluttony and Greed are the most “human”, sympathetic, and incidentally the weakest of the humonculi. Sloth, Wrath and Envy are much worse and much stronger and Pride is basically the devil himself. Now these are literary sources and obviously extra-Biblical, but I think there is something in them.
That is to say, our brothers in Christ fighting these temptations: keep fighting the good fight and don’t lose heart.
Incidentally: what do you think about Japanese street fashions like Lolita, Fairy Kei, or Mori kei in relation to modesty? Or corseting, or wearing basically Victorian dress. These are all “modest” by Western standards in that the don’t show skin. For Lolita proper you must be wearing a petticoat, your skirt must be at least knee length and you should be wearing a blouse under your jumper skirt. No blouse and socks (instead of tights) are only ok in extreme heat. Cleavage is a big no-no. If you’re going all out you have tights, knickers and petticoat(s) under your dress. Mori kei and Victorian have floor length skirts. But the styles are pretty flashy, in that you will definitely stand out in a crowd, and they are Expensive.
Thanks for the comment. Lots to think about.
And as to “what do you think about Japanese street fashions like Lolita, Fairy Kei, or Mori kei in relation to modesty?” I think I won’t get into that here. Because honestly, as a woman, I’m really tired that every time this subject gets brought up, we have to talk about women’s modesty. I already did that here. I’m not saying your question doesn’t matter, but I agree with Sheila Gregoire that women are just exhausted. I’ll be sticking to the topic I introduced, and I’ll deal with questions like yours later. Thanks for understanding!
I’ll be brief.
The good news:Hollywood is spiraling down financially, largely due to the content of its movies.
The bad news:knowing Hollywood, I expect them to “double down” and include more of the junk that’s keeping moviegoers away.
It’s interesting how well faith-based movies have been doing lately, isn’t it? Not to mention that if you look at the 20 highest grossing movies just last year, only 2 of them were R and 8 were PG. This year so far, the highest grossing movie is Beauty and the Beast, rated PG. You’d think Hollywood would at least pay attention to the numbers.
That’s wonderful to hear!
There is an interesting story line in the musical “Man of La Mancha.” Aldonza, the bar maid and town prostitute, is very bitter about life in general and men in particular. Along comes Don Quixote, who calls her “Dulcinea,” meaning sweet one. He’s the first man who ever saw something different in her and therefore treated her like a lady, with honor and respect. And she starts to see that something different, too, and it changes her life.
I would challenge all Christian men to honor, first, the specific women in their lives: wives, mothers, sisters, daughters. And then to honor women in general. If that means walking out of movies, or not even going at all, or refraining from “locker room talk,” or turning off tv’s, whatever it takes. Any one man may not change the world, but he can change his little corner of it.
Lovely thought. Thank you.
Oh, wow, J, I got chills reading this (just like you got chills reading mine!). We talked about the same Bible passage the same way! That’s really cool.
I think that’s what Jesus is doing–He’s asking men to truly see women. And that is a good thing! I hope the Christian culture changes to embrace it, rather than rejecting it in the name of “feminism”.
Here’s mine: Stop Trivializing #MeToo!
I hadn’t read your post when I published mine, but I am thrilled to point others to go read your post! Well worth it. Thanks, Sheila.
Being an “object of desire” and a “sex object” are two totally different things. I want to be the object (TARGET, FOCUS, DIRECTION) of my hisband’s desire, but never his “sex object.” Same word, but totally different definitions and connotations.
YES! I entirely agree.
Well, you can call it whatever you want, but I don’t think the definition is different at all. What can be and should be different is how your husband, or any man attracted to a woman for that matter, reacts. Maybe it’s offensive because it makes you think that you are nothing but sex to him if you are a “sex object”, and if that’s the way he treats you then the answer is “yes”. But if he doesn’t just treat you like a walking pair of breasts and a vagina then he is reacting to you in a way that makes you feel valued.
Okay, Brian, I’m close to cutting off your part of conversation if this is where you want to repeatedly go. Are you seriously telling Kay what kind of feelings she should have? Can you not see that this line of argument is belittling? As if you, as a man, get to tell us, women, what’s valuing and what’s offensive?
Please take a deep breath, set aside your prejudices about this points, and listen to what we’re saying. I dare say if you experienced what too many women have gone through, you wouldn’t want to be called a “sex object” either.
You’re right. I apologize for causing offense and the semantics involved aren’t worth the argument if they make people angry. I won’t comment further on this. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you, Brian! I appreciate that a great deal.
I wish there was a like button!
Your clear and succinct words help shape a proper mindset and perspective.
I’ve been hurt in my life. Really let down by some of the men in it. Thankfully I don’t have a #metoo story. But my life isn’t over, and this is a sick world. What’s keeping me from disgust for all men is some of the awesome, godly men I know and have known: my Dad, my brother, some of the men in my church, male friends from my past and present. Sadly sometimes I wonder if the “pig” group outnumbers the ones worth knowing.
I know what you mean, Ashley. It is disheartening just how many “pigs” there are. And I also get disheartened by how some otherwise good men don’t seem to “get it” —how their attitudes and statements about women can be offensive to us women. But I salute your Dad, your brother, those men in the church, and male friends you’ve had! Yes, there are good and godly men. I’ve known them to, and I thank God for them.
May God heal all your broken places!
Have a couple of thoughts on this, even though the thread has been going for some time.
I think the concern of many men is the assumption that “the pigs outnumber the ones worth knowing.” Of course, there’s no “pigs vs. gentlemen” survey to give us numbers, but I think the perception has been affected by the high profile pigs and the coverage brought on by #metoo.
My own experience in observing the male sex from the inside, is that the pigs are in the minority. I won’t even guess the size of the minority, but I believe gentlemen outnumber the pigs. But just like murders getting news coverage over the daily kindnesses of people, the pigs get all the press.
Being a teacher of teenagers for many years, I have observed thousands of boys during the hormones-on-legs phase. Even there, I would say the decent boys outnumber the pigs-in-training.
On another note, I think there is a valid basis, at least for some men, to long to feel like a sex object. When a man has been on the receiving end of sexual refusal by his wife, he begins to long for something that would reaffirm his sexuality. Even if that’s a random wolf whistle or grope. I know that’s not the right answer, but desperation does crazy things.
Even wives who are not sexually refusing their husbands would do well to (privately) give him a sexual grope or say how sexy he is to you. Anything to let him know that, in your eyes, he’s a stud.
I think it would be natural for women to think that the bad men outnumber the good ones, because we talk about and give disproportionate attention to bad things over good things. It’s just natural really. I think men do the same thing to women. Men are afraid to get married now because of terrible experiences their friends or fathers experienced (or they themselves went through with a previous relationship). Seeing a woman disrespect, not give sex, cheat on him, or any other kind of bad thing can make much more of an impression than a woman that quietly makes her husband very happy. Even if it’s a minority of women it might seem to a man that it’s most women. We must all watch out for this.
Brian, “I hate to break it to you, but if you women were not the object of our sexual desire, we men wouldn’t have much to do with you.”
Well, I am deeply thankful that our Savior didn’t share your view at all. If you have little to do with women who aren’t the objects of your sexual desire, I hate to break it to you Brian, but you are nothing like Him.
Come on, I think it’s obvious I’m not talking about platonic relationships. This is s sex blog.
But my post included how Jesus treated women generally, and how men should treat women, including those they aren’t married to. The filmmakers and sexual harassment accused in the news are not married to those women. But then you talked about women’s worth based on what they sexually have to offer. Could you perhaps see how that might be construed unfavorably?
Well, those filmmakers were not interested in a purely platonic relationship and I think that’s obvious, but yes I can see how my comment could be confused as meaning all interactions with women in retrospect. Again, I apologize and that’s not what I meant at all.
Honestly, that’s a good point. Jesus had no intention whatsoever to be romantically/sexually with a woman, and yet He dealt with women a lot.
Julie, I believe that last line is too harsh (“nothing like Him), because we don’t the whole of a person who comments here on this blog. So let’s refrain from such blanket statements, but on this particular topic I agree that saying you wouldn’t care much for women if they didn’t have parts is not a Christ-like attitude toward women.
Yeah, I don’t get it.
If my husband wouldn’t be interested in a relationship with me if I wasn’t his sex object, then my platonic male friendships would mean a whole lot more than a marriage, because at least my platonic male friends see the human me and not just a sex object.
If marriage was “I don’t want to treat you well unless I get sex,” then my male friends are more kind and loving.
If marriage was “I am not going to touch you unless I can grab your parts,” then hugs or a handshake from my male friends would mean more to me.
I get that sex and being lovely to behold is part and parcel of a marriage, but I think women, in general are crying out to be seen holistically. I even considered finding gay male friends just to see what it felt like to be loved and cared for by a man who didn’t want to do whatever it takes to get in my pants…a man who cared about the soul behind the boobs, butt, and vagina.
Hubby and I had a little tiff over my sleepwear. It is winter here and I have been loving my cotton shirt and pants sets. He wants me in slinky lingerie every night. Wearing that sexy lingerie all the time doesn’t feel sexy to me. It does to him, but to me it gets annoying after a while. What would be really sexy is if he didn’t bug me about my cotton sets (which are still nice and give glimpses of the “goods”) and encouraged me to be warm and comfortable. If he put my human need for warmth and comfort over his desire to see me as a sex object, then I find that very sexy because it speaks to my heart and not just my parts.
Wow, this statement really struck me: “If marriage was ‘I don’t want to treat you well unless I get sex,’ then my male friends are more kind and loving.” I hope some readers really think about that. Thanks!
libl writes “I get that sex and being lovely to behold is part and parcel of a marriage, but I think women, in general are crying out to be seen holistically.” I hear you, libl. I hear this – it’s what women want desperately. And men want desperately to be seen as physical creatures, as sexy creatures. Women are sad for what guys don’t see enough in them. Men are sad for what women don’t see enough in them. Sigh.
Wow, that is a great point right there. A lot of truth in that for many women and men. Thanks, Thomas.
Thomas Smith, I think this is your first comment on this blog and TLHV that has made me smile! I LOVE the fact that you are hearing what women want, and I hope and pray that you find a woman who sees you the way that you want to be seen (I think you are single? If I remember correctly?) I also pray that women read your comment, and that it helps them to understand what their husbands might be longing for too!
And for either gender (and for those people whose roles might be switched – eg higher drive wives who want to be seen as sexy, physical creatures by their husbands), please keep in mind that YOU might have to be the one who has to change your attitude first, before you see a change of attitude in your spouse.
Thank you, Thomas, for this great comment that has encouraged me to keep focussing on my husbands sexiness, and to let him know! ?
To all the men who keep talking about how hard it is to not look at a woman lustfully, my question is this: Who gave you that right? Who gave you the right to look at a woman’s body in that way? Did the woman? I doubt many of you walk up to a woman and ask her permission to undress her with your eyes. So why do you think you have the right? Because that’s what we’re made for?! My God did not make me to be a sex object. Nor did He give you the right to look at me, or any woman lustfully. I am not saying He did not give you desires (He gave them to women as well), but I am saying that type of lust is not from God. Lust is a heart issue…your heart is searching to fill a void, and believing the lie that lust can fill what only God can fill. Think about it- would there ever be enough women to look at, enough porn to watch, enough sex that would leave you satisfied once and for all? It is good that you acknowledge a problem, that is a start. But trying to be better, attempting to stop looking solely out of your own will is not going to help. “Sin can look like bad behavior, but sin is really the absence of God from a disconnected, self-initiating soul.” (Bob Hamp, The Problem Jesus Came to Solve Part 4)
If you struggle not to look every time you see a attractive woman, like my husband did, the answer isn’t to attempt to keep yourself from thinking and feeling the lustful thoughts. If you are doing this, you are still focusing on the problem, giving it more power. And along with that comes feelings of condemnation, shame, I’m a failure, I’m never gonna change. You have to Seek First the Kingdom of God, but not so that He’ll make your problem go away. If you are seeking Him for that the focus is still on you and your problem. Bob Hamp says the thing you seek first organizes your life, and has the most power in your soul.
“The trap here is that many people hear this and the first thing they do is shift their attention SO THAT the problem will go away. When we do this we may have moved the Kingdom up on our priority list, but it has not arrived at first place. We have actually asked God’s Kingdom to serve our needs, and this leaves our needs still in the position of ‘seek first’’. We must come to the place where we are seeking first the Present activity of God for the sake of the present activity of God, regardless of whether or not it seems to help with our problem. See, I told you, simple but not easy.” (Bob Hamp, Fear and Lust)
This is how my husband overcame his struggle with lust.
Sorry for the long comment but I pray it helps someone struggling with lust. God wants to see you set free because He loves you, not because you’re a bad person doing bad things.
J, your concern about blanket statements duly noted, and I’ll respect that. I actually thought long and hard about that comment before posting, because I seldom resort to those. I chose to use it then, because Brian’s comment showed to me such a monumental missing of all that Christ’s Gospel is about that I couldn’t express it deeply enough with less piercing words.
I just know from experience on the blog, too, than people stop listening when blanket statements are made. I’m mindful of trying to have debates here that will help us hear each other and learn the truth. (God’s truth, that is.) Thanks, Julie! Many blessings.
Well Julie, I admit that you are right. I am nothing like Jesus because I fail every single day of my life. But that being said, I stand behind the intent of my statement. I didn’t at all mean for my comment to extend to platonic relationships between men and women.
Do you think it makes me more worldly and less like Christ that I would never pursue marriage if sex wasn’t a central and expected part of the equation? If so, then you are right. However, I’m of a mind that sex was supposed to be a central part of marriage and was the thing God put into men to cause us to seek women out for lifelong commitment. If I’m wrong then show me how.
The issue is, Brian, that that was not the point of this post. Obviously, I think sex is a crucial ingredient in marriage or I wouldn’t have this blog. (See Sex Is Not the Icing on the Cake, for example.) But this post was about how Jesus treated women as people, and from that context, you went into a conversation about how female sexuality is of primary importance to men. Again, can you see how that comes across? I’m just hoping to make you understand here why your statements struck a chord, the wrong chord in fact.
Yes, I can definitely see how it would strike a cord and I won’t further derail this topic.
I hear you. That makes sense, and blessings to all here as well.
Another great post on this subject, J! I LOVE how you have included so much scripture backing up your opinion, I think this is very important in Christianity today, as I believe that too many Christians are actually biblically illiterate (not saying I’m an expert or anything!) and they truly don’t know what Jesus would do if confronted with a situation such as this. I really think the ‘Church’ as an institution has a lot to answer for in this regard, and that too much emphasis has been placed on ‘winning’ believers (who don’t even really grow in understanding of what they are believing in). I feel like too many churches are run as a business, with the customer as their primary focus, rather than keeping God and Jesus as the focus. Sorry about that rabbit trail, I really just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the time and effort you put in to making sure your posts are biblically sound!
I also really love how courteous and civil the comments on this thread have been – that’s not something you often see on the Internet! I LOVE how people have recognised and apologised when their meaning didn’t quite come across, or if they offended someone.
There are so many excellent points made above, I don’t really have anything to add, except AMEN! To Kay and the difference between ‘sex object’ and ‘object of his desire’! And another AMEN to Brent for his comment about it all being about where your heart is at! Oh, and another AMEN to Nick Peters for pointing out that a reason for doing something isn’t a justification for doing it (the analogy of a murder comes to mind…having motive (a reason to do it) doesn’t make it justified!)
Once again, I love your work, J, keep up your amazing work for His Kingdom! Stay strong in the Lord! ❤️
Thanks so much, E! I also love the civility. A few comments over the years y’all haven’t seen that weren’t quite so courteous, but overall the commenters are really great. Blessings!
“Yes, the actresses went along with it, and that does not make me happy. Plenty of times I’ve wanted to say to some woman, “Please stop! Your willingness to be treated purely as a sex object makes things worse for the rest of us.””
THIS! WE NEED SO MUCH MORE OF THIS! I cannot tell you how angry it makes me that nobody ever seems to point out the fact that there are women who willingly participate in objectifying themselves and that they are responsible for making things worse for the rest of us. And nobody ever talks about these women. It’s always the men who make the movies, music videos, advertisements who are solely to blame. But these women keep saying yes! And for what? Money and attention. I tend to think women like this struggle with a very real lust to be lusted after. It is truly sad that no one bothers to call them to a better way of living because we have all of our focus on the men involved. Either that or we don’t want to be accused of body or “sl*t” shaming. The men involved should have their fair share of the blame and we shouldn’t sit back and be silent about what they are doing. But for the most part people who are angered by these types of movies usually don’t place much responsibility on the women involved and I believe that it is high time that we start doing so.
When we sit back and only point the finger at the men involved, these women get away with cheapening what it means to be a woman and what we should be valued for. They get away with distorting men’s views of how women in real life should look, act and respond to their unwanted sexual attention. They get away with robbing women of their husband’s attention and affection (although it is the man’s CHOICE to give that attention to someone other than his wife). They get away with it and continue to have successful careers without anybody saying much about their choices.
Women can absolutely be pigs too and they need pulled out of that filth and mud just as much as the men. Everything you said was absolutely correct. But I do believe that it’s about time we start talking about the women: what they are doing wrong, how they are damaging both women and men with their choices, and speaking out and urging them to see their true worth and start saying no to rolling around in the filth.
Sadly, we ladies won’t gain much ground while there are women out there sending the polar opposite message to men. We won’t gain much ground if we continue to ignore their actions in an effort to present a united front with ALL women. They are destroying our message that we want to be seen and valued for more than our bodies. Unfortunately, many men will continue to believe the message that these women send because it plays into their lust very nicely. They will consider the rest of us to be either jealous or prudes. Or even worse… both!
We all should be requesting and expecting more respect for women, we women included. It’s a mixed message, to some extent, to say “Respect my body!” and then do very disrespectful things to your own body in others’ presence. What I desperately want is for women to treat themselves with the same kind of respect they want others to treat them with.
I know you don’t want this derailed to a discussion of women’s modesty, but there is a huge connection. A woman says “Respect my body. And now I’m going to dress in such a manner that you can see most of it in a provocative way.” In the grocery store, at the mall, on the street, and (alas!) even in church, I see women dressing (and acting) in such a way as to advertise themselves as sexual beings. And I get back to my daily task of averting my eyes and disciplining my thoughts. There is truth in the adage the respect is earned.
There is truth in that adage that respect is earned. However, many of us women have experienced a man being entirely inappropriate even when we are presenting ourselves with respect and professionalism. But even when a woman doesn’t do that, the man is still responsible for his actions. Check out this post from pastor Kevin A. Thompson: What a Drunk Girl Deserves.
So on this sexual harassment topic J, i want to ask your readers for their opinions on something. With this #metoo movement many are asking why men don’t intervene more when they witness harassment. So let me tell you about a time when i did just that and what happened.
So i worke in england for a summer when i was in college. And i rode the bus to and from work. And everyday coming home on the bus, there was this very attractive woman that would get on the bus a few stops after me and would get off the bus a few stops before me. So one day i get on the bus and there are these three little jerks (boys age 10-13 or so) already on the bus. At her usual stop, attractive woman gets on the bus. One of the little jerks makes a highly inappropriate comment. It was not directed at her, it was directed to his buddy in the form of a question. But it was about her, and everyone on the bus knew it, and everyone on the bus heard it. I snapped. So i turned around and said ” i dont want to hear another word out of your mouths unless it is an apology.” I think the combination of an american accent and my deep voice threw them. And they stopped talking. As i turned back around, i made brief eye contact with the woman. The look on her face was total anger…….at me. She then got off the bus at the next stop, which was not her usual stop. I got home and called my then girlfriend (now wife) and told herthe whole story. I explained my bewilderment with the womans angry reaction towards me. The only thing she could think of was that maybe the woman was upset that by speaking up about it, i had just called more attention to it. Any women readers here at HHH have any thoughts as to why she would react this way towards someone who was standing up for her?
I don’t understand that reaction. I would have been thanking you. I think you did the right thing.
Yeah, either she didn’t like that you drew more attention to the situation, or she actually liked being spoken of like that by the boys. :-/ Either early, you, sir, did the right thing.
I think most actors see themselves as artists. Art and nudity have gone hand-in-hand for thousands of years. Most movie starts that appear naked probably would say they weren’t exploited, they did it for artistic expression of their own free will. I’d guess the ones that were exploited were the ones who did it out of desperation for money or a shot at fame, and somebody used that desperation to get them to do it.
As for art and nudity, if a woman admires Michelangelo’s naked statue of David, is she sinning? How about the man admiring a 500 year-old painting of a naked lady? Were the models that posed for this art “exploited”?
Personally, I’m uncomfortable with nude art. Why? As Christians, do we believe the world of art has been sinning with nudity for thousands of years, or do us Christians need to be less prudish about nudity?
As for “exploitation”, I kind of believe professional football players are exploited. We watch them risk life-long injuries for our fun; they are merely objects for our entertainment.
It’s true that exploitation isn’t only present with regard to nudity. But on the skin exposure side, I agree that many actors and actresses would consider that their artistic self-expression. I just happen to really like what a former preacher of mine said: “A self-inflicted wound still hurts.” And those of us who not only go along with letting someone wound themselves but encourage it bear some responsibility as well.
Oh, and the art… You know, even with sculptures and paintings, you can usually tell a difference in how the subject’s body was treated. For instance, I toured an exhibit at the Houston Museum of Fine Art, and there were nudes very tastefully done from the back without any sense of titillation whatsoever and others where prostitutes were sprawled out in ways that made me very uncomfortable. The problem, of course, is: where exactly should we draw the line? That is an answer I don’t readily have.
Actually, it’s fascinating that we’d just had this conversation about actors agreeing to nudity for artistic self-expression, and then I popped over to a different window on my computer and saw that a personal friend of mine had sent me an article written by actress Selma Hayek in which she was coerced into doing a nude sex scene as part of the harassment she endured from Harvey Weinstein: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/13/opinion/contributors/salma-hayek-harvey-weinstein.html So maybe not all of those situations are as clear-cut as we’d like to think. Just food for thought.
As I see it, the problem is that our culture tells us there is no need to draw a line at all. And as a Christian man, I would rather err on the side of modesty and prudence. Let’s take the explicit expression, and even the implicit expression, of sex and put it back were it belongs: in the marriage bed. The idea of seeing sex as entertaining is creepily put into perspective if you imagine someone watching you, for entertainment purposes, make love with your spouse.
Yes, that is a creepy thought, for the vast majority of people. Unfortunately, a few find that thought arousing (exhibitionism). But I agree entirely that sex belongs in the marriage bed.
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