Patriarchy, Pop Culture, and Pornography

Several years ago, I read “The DaVinci Code” to see what all the fuss was about. It was nothing special—a fast-paced novel with interesting, if inaccurate, historical details woven in—but one line still stands out to me. The leading lady recalls a conversation she had with her grandfather as a child, about the film “The Last Temptation of Christ.” “Would it be so bad if Jesus had a girlfriend?” the old man asks her.

“YES!” I wanted to shout. “Yes, creepy cultic dude, it would be horrible if Jesus had a girlfriend.” I can’t remember the characters names, or most of the details of the story, but that simple question still startles and horrifies me. Here’s why.

Sexuality is a gift from God, but there’s no doubt that sin has screwed it up in the most grotesque ways. That WE have screwed it up in the most grotesque ways. Sex can be beautiful, yes, a wonderful celebration of love, faithfulness, new life, and these brilliantly-designed bodies our Creator so generously gifted us. But in our broken world, sexuality has been twisted to serve other purposes. To control. To harm. To feed addictions. To feed children. Once an expression of a tender, loving relationship, sex has been hardened and depersonalized, turned into a currency that people exploit for money, pleasure, or power.

I thought of this the other night as I drove past the strip clubs on the north end of Tower Avenue, watched middle-aged men weighted down by dust and exhaustion shuffle their feet and smoke cigarettes under a sign promising Girls! Girls! Girls! I wondered about the Girls!, wondered if anyone was loving on them, telling them (and more importantly showing them) that there is Someone who for whom their worth is not tied to their sexuality, in either a negative or positive way.

See, for women, the messages about where our worth comes from start young. As babies, we are beautiful, pretty little preschoolers in adorable dresses, so cute you could just eat us up. By elementary school, we’ve discovered that girls with long blonde hair and trendy, sparkly tops are treated differently than the ones sporting tangled locks and stained sweats. By middle school, we’ve seen enough movies to understand that living happily ever after involves being skinny, beautiful, and having a lot of sex, and by high school fashion magazines have taught us that it’s not so much about being pretty as it is about being sexually attractive to a certain sort of man—by leaning forward and parting your lips slightly when you’re flirting with him at work, by dousing yourself in pheromone-laced perfume available for only $120 at Nordstroms, by learning the Ten Naughty Tricks That Will Drive Him Wild In Bed, dished by a Parisian madame.

The Christian community participates in this as well. On the one hand, you have pastors’ wives taking pole dancing classes, lest they be complicit in their husband’s downfall by “letting themselves go.” Our porn-drenched, sex-obsessed culture has so saturated the church that women are being pressured (from the pulpit!) to perform acts their grandmothers couldn’t even conceive of. On the other, you have the “modest is hottest” crowd, where a woman’s demure virginity is praised as an irresistible turn-on to conquest-oriented males (as if everyone knows that’s the real goal of chaste Christian girlhood—to drive prospective husbands “mad with desire”).

What it comes down to is that in many ways, society ascribes value to women based on how attractive and/or useful they are to men.

What it comes down to is that in many ways, society ascribes value to women based on how attractive they are to men. (This is only exacerbated by women’s idolatrous tendency to base their identity on who they are in relationship with others, rather than on who they are in Christ. But that’s a different post for a different day.) Whether it’s the young intern getting the job the middle-aged mom really should have landed, or the father demanding extra cows in payment for his beautiful daughter’s bride price, this sort of discrimination is widespread. We tsk-tsk over the cost to the women left out in the cold by this silliness, the women who are passed over for the promotions or livestock-laden proposals. But driving past those strip clubs, I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s the women who live into those unrealistic expectations who suffer the most. What happens to a woman’s heart when she embraces (and perhaps monetizes) society’s shallow view of her value?

But it doesn’t just happen in seedy strip clubs, on a Parisian catwalk or under the bright lights of Hollywood. It happens in our churches. The intersection between Christian patriarchy, pop culture, and pornography goes deep. All three rest on the foundational assumption that women exist for men, that their value and purpose lies in what they have to offer males.

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In our churches, this usually comes from a misunderstanding of women’s creation as an ezer kenegdo, a “helper suitable” or “helpmeet.” Instead of being the strong ally, the powerful rescuer the word ezer implies (in the Bible, ezer usually refers to Israel’s military allies, or to God himself–it’s hardly a term of weakness or subservience), some seem to see women as more like the “comfort girls” that used to be (and in some places still are) provided to military men—beautiful, subservient creatures whose job it is to keep the men placated and comfortable while they carry out their important mission. One prominent pastor (who shall remain nameless) quipped that the pastor’s wife had the most important job in the church—having sex with the pastor. There is so much wrong with that, I don’t even know where to begin.

But Jesus never treated women like that. He respected them as persons, and welcomed them as his disciples, co-laborers, benefactors, and friends—a radical, counter-cultural practice that often scandalized even his closest followers.

I’ve often wondered what the “sinful women” described in the gospels thought of Jesus. What was going through their heads as they interacted with this incredibly unusual man? Did they expect that the rabbi to condemn them? Did they wonder if he would seek them out after nightfall, like so many other “good” men did? Desperate for attention, for someone to love and affirm them, did they hope that he would take notice of their feminine charms? Were they befuddled when he didn’t? What was it like for them to be accepted not because of their sexuality, but in spite of it?

No wonder they loved him so lavishly, watering his dusty feet with hard-gained perfume and well-earned tears.

The world tells women that they get their value from how useful or attractive or desirable they are to men, that their purpose is to please men. Jesus treats women with the intrinsic dignity due people created in the image of God, and reminds them that their purpose is not to please men, but to please God.

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!

—-
Jenny Rae Armstrong is an award-winning freelance journalist who blogs about faith, social justice, and women’s issues at http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com/. She is passionate about building up the body of Christ by building up women, in her rural community and around the world. She loves making new friends, so drop by her blog and say hi, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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About the Author

Jenny Rae Armstrong

Jenny Rae ArmstrongJenny Rae Armstrong is an award-winning freelance journalist who blogs about faith, social justice, and women’s issues at http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com/. She is passionate about building up the body of Christ by building up women, in her rural community and around the world. Currently, Jenny is pursuing an MDiv. at North Park Theological Seminary. She loves making new friends, so drop by her blog and say hi, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.View all posts by Jenny Rae Armstrong →

  • Drew

    I mostly agree with the article, and enjoyed it.  Two quibbles though, if you will:

    1) I’m a little tired of the Driscoll-bashing by liberals, but I understand it is a fun hobby.  It’s not a RLC post without a negative comment for conservatives or Driscoll or Tebow.

    2) Society makes it more difficult for women, but women still have to take responsibility for their own actions, just as men need to take responsibility for their own actions.  That’s my least favorite aspect of Sociology, the tendency to shift away personal responsibility.

    Again, I mostly enjoyed the article.  I have two young daughters at home and am much more aware than before of what they face growing up.

    • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

      Thanks Drew!

      1) …which is why I didn’t name names. But if it’s that obvious… ;-)

      2) I SO agree! I actually spoke on that recently–there’s a link to the message on my blog, in the post “Boyfriends, Bad Ideas, and the Bella-Katniss Continuum.” I think you might like it, especially if you are raising daughters. I’d paste a link, but I am typing on a mobile device, and have yet to figure out how to do that without a bunch of hoop-de-do.

    • Erin

      Regarding your points:
      1) Personal responsibility is crucial to males and females, I agree with you. However, as I said in a previous post, we assume too quickly and wrongly that the playing field is equal for both genders. It is not. As a female, I can honestly say that it certainly is not — in families, in churches or the workplace. We must work harder, bear being sexualized (in the church too, as the author says), not disagree with male teaching, and constantly prove ourselves to be equals with men. I’ve met great guys who are totally in agreement and support women in our quest to be allies together, but I have also met men who will “consider” female equality IF we can proves ourselves. There’s the catch. Sorry, men, I’m not created to prove to you who God made me to be. So how you see personal responsibility might look far different than my perceptions of it. In fact, we are often called to be personally responsible far more than men because… we’re women and when we step out of line, the hammer falls fast and hard. Should this negate ALL personal responsibility? No. Absolutely not. That would be just as dehumanizing. I’m just hoping readers will understand that there are so many catch-22s for women in terms of “personal responsibility”. Also, far too often, it is men we are answering to and who says their perceptions of responsibility are the correct ones? Until we can work together as equals, the playing field remains unequal.

      The author speaks of strippers and sex trade workers. Where I’m living, in my advocacy work, the average age of entry for a sex trade worker is 12 years old. How do you think her perceptions of choice and personal responsibility are going to be affected  by this? How often do we demand people take personal responsibility for their actions when they often believe they already are? These girls often sincerely believe they are being responsible… they were created to serve men and they are abiding by that. And yet we still judge them as not being personally responsible enough. Another startling statistic of the past few years around here is that it takes a woman (on average) TWENTY-ONE times before she flees an abusive situation for good. She tries to take personal responsibility, but loves her partner, wants to be faithful, feels church pressure surrounding doctrines regarding divorce, and is downright terrified of being hunted down. 

      As I said, I agree that personal choice is important. However it is only a piece. Until we peel back layers of what’s going on around us, the church will continue to paint wrong assumptions of our world, work off of those assumptions, and continue to wonder why we are being ineffective. To me, 12 year olds growing up as sex trade workers can’t be personally responsible to the degree we’re demanding they be. Not every daughter, wife or mother has had consistent, stable parenting giving her the foundation to make personally accountable choices.

      and…

      2) As for Driscoll… I agree bashing needs to stop, but he’s being bashed by lots of people, not just libs. Bashing, itself, needs to stop from everyone. Period. Having said that, it is tough to submit to male authority who hangs on Driscoll’s words and treats me poorly because apparently I’m a crystal goblet or some such. As soon as his name comes up in teaching or a sermon, I cringe because I know inevitably I’m going to be told that I am less. If the authority is taking Driscoll out of context, that is the authority’s issue, but this is how Driscoll’s teachings are being presented in many faith arenas.

      • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

        Oh, you nailed it, Erin!

        We forget how absolutely saturated we are, from such a young age, in society’s messages about us. This isn’t something we can usually “fix” ourselves, either–it takes the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, minds, bodies, souls and lives for healing to come.

        And, we don’t like to think about the average age of girls going into the sex trade. Vomit-worthy. Poor babies. :-( Makes my mommy-heart want to wail with grief.

        • Erin

          It is staggering… sometimes we get caught up in the AMOUNT of demand for commercial sexual services that we forget to look at the TYPE. If the average is 12… well, not only are 12 year olds not capable to forcing off guys, they struggle with Victoria Secret selling push-up bras to 9 year olds too. The picture is so much bigger that it blows our minds.

          Having said that, it shows all the more the need for us to all dwell as family together in Christ. And I don’t mean that to sound as cliche at all! Gender issues, sexualized society, human trafficking… they are warped versions of  ”family” — and I don’t mean the traditionalist nuclear family of father-mother-2.5 children. In Christ, we are all family and when we shift the paradigm to see others as family too, especially those most vulnerable, our lens changes as well and we see them as our brothers and sisters… not sex objects or objects of our own “coulds, shoulds, and woulds”. 

          When we reach out to “the other” (if there is such a thing), and see a sibling, we want the best for that sibling, not our own interests. In humanizing one who has been dehumanized, we reveal our own deficiencies but also become part of a healing process that we might otherwise miss. 

          It makes the stats not less bearable so much as the hope far more hopeful. :)

      • Drla4

        Who, the heck, is Driscoll? I can’t see a reference to anyone of that namein the article.

        • Drew

          The pastor “who is not named” is Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  He is a favorite pinata for liberals.

      • Benjamin

        I don’t think Driscoll has ever said that he thinks women are worth less. I’m not saying I agree with all of his ideas, as I don’t really understand all of them, but to put words in his mouth doesn’t seem right, regardless of whether his points are valid.

        • Jim

           Thanks Benjamin…….It is funny how the comment sort of twists toward Mark Driscoll, when the dudes name is not even mentioned.  Mark has a bit of an edgy approach and style.  I have know idea what is in his heart, only God does.  But I can say with Master Benjamin, I have never heard him degrade women in any sermons.

          • Drew

            “One prominent pastor (who shall remain nameless) quipped that the
            pastor’s wife had the most important job in the church—having sex with
            the pastor.”

            The unnamed pastor is Driscoll, and if you don’t believe me, just do a quick Google search.  I’m kind of miffed that in 2012 people don’t do this : )

          • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

            I feel the need to point out again that I WAS trying to be nice, refraining from bashing while addressing an issue. My journalist friends accuse me of being too vague–it’s very bad form to just allude to something without backing it up–and savvy readers just dig up the dirt on their own and assume I’m out to get someone. ;-D Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

      • Drew

        Honestly, I never heard of Driscoll until I came to this site a few years ago and saw him negatively referenced biweekly.  I started checking out some of his sermons, and the ones I watched were excellent.  It’s also amazing what he’s doing in one of the least-Churched parts of the United States.  I acknowledge some of the controversies, but he seems to be a pretty self-deprecating guy from what I’ve seen.  Not that the criticism is completely unfounded, but mostly, I’ve seen liberals not like him because he is conservative and has conservative theology (emphasis on mostly).

        Moving on, I think Jenny summed it up best herself – “What it comes down to is that in many ways, society ascribes value to women based on how attractive they are to men. (This
        is only exacerbated by women’s idolatrous tendency to base their
        identity on who they are in relationship with others, rather than on who
        they are in Christ.)”

        This is what I mean by personal responsibility.  It’s not just that society objectifies women, but that many women actively participate in the objectification.  I just watched SNL tonight and had to turn the channel when Rhianna performed because during one of the songs she was slapping her crotch repeatedly, and frankly, it was disgusting.  I lament the fact that society rewards her and encourages her by giving her publicity and buying her albums when she does such things, however, ultimately the choice is with Rhianna, and she chooses money over self-respect or Godliness.  Society might encourage her to make the choice, but she is still making the choice to participate (and certainly has enough money in the bank to not make that choice).

        Society is society – it will only change by individuals taking responsibility one at at time and in aggregate changing society.  One less guy going to a strip club, one less woman working at a strip club.

        • Erin

          As far as Driscoll goes, we are probably just coming at it from different experiential points. My first encounters with  his teachings were in conservative groups fighting over his MMA type preaching v. his “swearing” in sermons, v. his attitude towards authority, and praise for his amazing view of women, lifting them up, etc. For myself, I hadn’t heard a word from libs until people began coming forward who had been personally attacked for their lifestyles from others based on what they said “Pastor Mark said…”. But again… it’s our experience. To point at libs as they only critics is a stretch, and if you’re experience is that Driscoll is being too bashed on this forum, perhaps you’re line of action is to reason out your concern with RLC?

          And again, I’m not negating personal responsibility, but I disagree that it’s just that simple for both genders. “… one less woman working in a strip club”. I’d love ALL women to be out of the clubs & into a new life with Christ. Do you know why I can’t just swoop in and help them all out? Battle tactic #1: if 1 girl chooses to leave (if she has a choice against a pimp, handler or owner), the psychological tactic is to… let her (sometimes). But, all the girls left behind are then abused, their children are abused, or the girl’s family is attacked. The warfare is incredible. The girl might know she needs to leave, but those pulling the strings will pick up the phone and easily destroy her life before she even has the chance to share with someone about her newfound life. This isn’t an exception… this is a reality that many women find themselves in. And that’s just 1 tactic. When a recruiter knows which girl to try and pick up and groom in less than 30 seconds of meeting her, it’s scary how fast things go downhill and how fast the truth gets so blurred, the girl and recruiter really believe they’re doing the right thing.

          As for Rihanna… yup, I’d rather see better role models for the youth I work with. However, I’m learning to be more gracious to celebs. Why? Their signatures on those beautifully legally constructed documents tell them that they WILL perform… or else. Many are monkeys that have no say in their dress, choreography, interview answers or personal “bios”. Their lives become constructed and they have to shut up or… (insert result here). 

          Yup, she can walk away and I pray she does. But the media industry is just that: an industry with no compunction of who it spits out or how. As long as Rihanna makes money for her label, agent, sponsors, advertisers, market players and herself, she’ll be paraded around as she is for a long time. So what if she feels she’s “sexually liberated”? She’s owned by corporate America — critics and all. Perhaps who she needs is a loving person — a real flesh and blood person — to enter her life to lives a different kind of love that draws her attention to Christ. Unless you or I know of that person, we need to be careful how and where we lay blame. “Personal responsibility” is crucial, but I’ve found is also a neat and convenient way to lay blame for us when we’re against someone whose values are different. So if we’re going to claim the corner of personal responsibility, either we choose to pray for that loving person(s) to enter Rihanna’s life, or become them ourselves. After that, we jump easily into the blame game. This is one of the reasons why advocacy is so important to me: if society continues to upheave the playing field against girls and women, I need to back up that stand with carefully chosen words, and those words with action. I can’t just take a viewpoint and say “this is how it is”, because it may very well not be how it is until I take the time to find out.

          • Drew

            I just have a higher opinion on personal responsibility, that is all.  I hear everything you say, and realize the deck is stacked against some people.  However, I’ve also seen far too many people that simply do not have any sense of personal responsibility.

  • Erin

    Thank you… the assumption that the “playing field” is equal between men and women is a fallacy. Yes, personal responsibility is important but it is but a part of who we are, male and female. Perhaps it’s my perspective in advocacy work, but when the average age of a sex trade worker is 12, “personal responsibility” or “choice” takes on a dangerous meaning. 12 year olds don’t have the choice, so by the time a sex trade worker is an adult, their perceptions of personal responsibility becomes that of: “I was created to please men.” Many do believe that they are taking responsibility for their lives already and making an honest living the best way they know how.

    The idea that Jesus did not engage in a romantic relationship (that we know of) so as to further overthrow power structures was striking! I had never thought of that before! Thank you… incredible food for thought.

  • http://hopingforfigs.wordpress.com/ Michael Killick

    In fact Jesus alone of all men who have ever lived had the right to marry, just as he had the right to any other benefit this world has to offer, because he was without sin. Everything we have is by God’s grace, but Jesus had it by right. There would have been nothing wrong or creepy about it because he would have approached the task of being a husband – including sex – selflessly and without sin, as he did everything else. He gave up that right as he did all his other rights, for our sake. It was his choice – it would not have been sin for him to marry, but he chose a much greater expression of love, a much deeper sacrifice, and he chose it freely. Thank you Jesus

  • Doug

    Erin,
    My $0.02c worth. You say the level field is not level. Cant comment for sure I just dont know, Im tempted to take your word for it. I’d like to add this though this forum many not be the place but hear me  out. We men are judged on our looks and earnings potential too. Is that any less demeaning to us than to women being judged by their looks. Now Im not saying you support this I add this only for perspective ( which you may or may not accept). I have worked in an office full of women and have heard their sexist comments about men. They are infinitely more judgmental than those I’ve heard men re women. If we dont make Corporate Vice President Sales/Finance/Marketing we’re not ‘the right stuff’. If you dont you’re ‘discriminated against.’ If you are a short bald man ( without wealth) your success rate with women is not so good, but women aren’t judgemental we’re told. Can you see where Im coming from ? Im not saying you are so shallow but guys sometimes get a bit miffed when told the odds are all in our favour.

    • Anonymous

      Good point Doug.  I think some of this is so hardwired into us that no matter how much we want to treat everyone as equal, we’re still going to judge people and treat people as less than someone else..  But some of this comes to different types of judgment – about potential mates vs. the inherent value of a person.

      It’s a fact of life that, all else being equal, a short, balding, unintelligent man with poor social skills is going to be judged by women as less desirable as a mate.  Just as a 250 pound, unintelligent woman, who complains and is a social bore is going to be judged by men as less desirable as a mate.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this.  However, what a person looks like, their inherent intelligence, their earning potential and even some personality characteristics shouldn’t cause us to think less of them as human beings or treat them like objects.

      I guess it all depends on what kind of “judging” we’re talking about here.

  • Anonymous

    What a great commentary Jenny Rae!  Thank you.

    • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

      Thanks Sam!

      Of course Doug is right–men are judged and objectified by women as well, and not just when it comes to looks. It’s part of our sinful, broken human nature–we look to people for what they can do for us, instead of what we can do to serve God and accomplish God’s purposes together.

      I write primarily about women’s issues, so that’s what I focus on. I don’t mean to leave men and the similar issues they face out in the cold–I just think others could address them more effectively. 

      When it comes to this particular issue, I think it’s a matter of history, social context, and severity. Women, as a group, carry more baggage in this area than men–thousands of years of oppression, misogynistic philosophies still coloring our worldview, society’s expectations, and women’s physical vulnerability (as compared, on average, to men’s) simply make it a bigger problem for women as a whole. Erin is right-it’s easy to tell someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but when it comes to sexual objectification, I would argue that men are wearing boots, and women are wearing ballet flats. Yeah, it’s possible to “pull yourself up” (with the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, of course), but we’d better be ready to show women how to sew some sturdy pink ribbons onto those suckers! (Wow–exhibit A for why I tend to stick to the female perspective. :-D)

  • Eric

    The article was started saying “NO!” to Jesus having a girlfriend. I still don’t truly understand why he couldn’t potentially have one? I mean, take the Mary Magdelene story where she was a prostitute or what-have-you. Wouldn’t this drive your point home? Wouldn’t this help the Jesus-truly-loves-the-women story? He looked past the physical stains of a women, “the sweatpants”, and saw her true spiritual beauty inside and started a fully loving relationship. It seems to have a truly positive message in my mind even if it is only hypothetical. The Messiah loved us not just in the spiritual way preached, but even in a very physical one as well.

    • David

      This was my first thought as well. This article seems to imply that dating or romantic relationships are inherently sinful. That the “right” way for men to treat women is to never be romantically involved with them.

      From the article: “Sexuality is a gift from God, but there’s no doubt that sin has screwed it up in the most grotesque ways. That WE have screwed it up in the most grotesque ways. Sex can be beautiful, yes, a wonderful celebration of love, faithfulness, new life, and these brilliantly-designed bodies our Creator so generously gifted us. But in our broken world, sexuality has been twisted to serve other purposes. To control. To harm. To feed addictions. To feed children. Once an expression of a tender, loving relationship, sex has been hardened and depersonalized, turned into a currency that people exploit for money, pleasure, or power.”

      I don’t disagree with this sentiment as a society, but as individuals sexuality can still be practiced in the way God intended. We shouldn’t completely throw out and demonize a gift from God because society has perverted it, we should instead strive to experience it in the way God intended. If Jesus had dated or married then he wouldn’t have objectified the woman he was with, and neither do all men today.

      • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

        Just replied to some of those thoughts in the comments section–thanks! I didn’t mean to imply that romantic relationships were bad–happily married for 16 years, for my part! :-)

    • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

      Just replied above–thanks!

  • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

    Okay, after several Disqus/iPad fails, I am going to try to respond to the comments of the “WHY shoudn’t Jesus have a girlfriend?” variety (mostly from memory, since I am typing this offline).

    First and foremost, the idea bothers me because I believe that marriage is covenantal and exclusive. I don’t think the exclusivity of marriage fits very well with Jesus’ mission, message, or identity as God. Jesus is for ALL of us, and he’s waiting patiently for his Bride, the church. Plus, the alternative sounds more Zeus than Yahweh. Not lovin’ it.

    Regarding Jesus being a perfect husband–sure, he could have been a perfect husband. But marriage is a covenant, and involves a wife, her experiences, and society’s expectations of what marriage is, too. I am personally glad that Jesus didn’t participate in a system as oppressive as first-century marriage–even if he would have done it differently. 

    Regarding Jesus “loving women fully”–the point is that Jesus DID love women fully, and that it didn’t need to be sexual. Ideally, we will have only one sexual relationship in our lives. (I’m sure that could cause some snickers, but it’s where I’m coming from.) What are our other relationships supposed to look like?

    The point of the article was how the over-sexualization of females harms women, and how healing the fact that Jesus refused to play into that system must have been. Perhaps this is more of a gut-level, female response, but knowing that someone is not interested in you sexually can be quite freeing, and give a sense of security and safety that I’m afraid many women lack on a subconscious level. And this is coming from a woman who has had very positive relationships with men for the most part.

    • Drew

      I’m with you on this one.  I’m surprised that 1 Corinthians 7 has not been mentioned (although you somewhat alluded to it in some of your points).  Funny how we attempt to answer these questions on our own sometimes, while Scripture generally answers them for us!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.botterbusch Kevin Botterbusch

      If we are going to speculate on whether or not Jesus would have made a good husband and lover I think its just as reasonable to ask if Jesus was in fact Gay.
      These kinds of questions are interesting to us, but apparently not so much to the original Gospel writers. I do like though how you have used this portion of the Gospels to challenge our understanding of the subjugation of women in society.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A5OQI4NVEZRESDH6G2CK7NL2RQ Christine

    God this article is the worst thing I’ve ever read… or partly read, I can’t even finish it. You sound like an angry virgin, or a guilty rape victim.

  • Jferris154

    Perhaps it may have slipped your mind that “Jesus was tempted in every way such as we have been, but was without sin.” Think, maybe even pray about it!

    Love!

  • Anonymous

    I also say thank you… very much, thank you

    • http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com Jenny Rae Armstrong

      :-)

  • “Sinful” woman

    Ever since I quit believing the bible is the “word of God” and left Christianity, I have been discovering that everything I thought I knew about sex and sexuality is just plain old-fashioned, sexist, and completely bass-ackwards. I have experienced casual hook-ups which did not leave me feeling dirty or worthless. I have been “tipped” for sexual encounters which did not make me feel cheap, objectified, used, or sinful. This article is designed to make women, who are disrespected and relegated to second-class status by the bible and religion, feel good about themselves in spite of the fact that they are being KEPT by insecure men who need to control and own them in order to feel like “real men.” In real life – aside from patriarchal religion – women are free to have a variety of sexual experiences with no shame, no guilt, no inhibitions. That’s the kind of true freedom which the Jesus-loves-even-sinful-women meme is designed to ensure we never really experience.

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