Dress and Driscoll

It is often said that pastors fail to speak, or fail to speak enough, on women’s issues such as immodest clothing. This is true, but the reasons offered for why pastors don’t speak on it are, generally not true:

  • The pastors don’t want to interrupt the flow from the purse to the collection plate.

This is repeated by men who don’t go to church, and don’t want to go to church. As such they don’t know who gives, and who doesn’t. A little clear-thinking and honest questioning should lead one to consider these questions: “Who is it that takes church imperatives seriously? Is it women? If it is, then why do we notice so much activity from women that is against the imperatives; such as immodest clothing?” No. It is men–particularly married men–who contribute the bulk of the offering.[1]

  • The pastors don’t want to upset the women because then women will drag their families out of church.

This is also mostly wrong. The truth is that husbands whose wives get upset will drag the family out of church. Sometimes he simply didn’t care to be there anyways; perhaps he was just appeasing the wife, or he somewhat thinks he should attend, but would really rather relax at home. His wife’s offense is enough reason to justify it. But for most husbands, a sermon offensive to modern women’s sensibilities will cause the men to leave the church because they are eager to be offended on behalf of their women; especially their wives. It is a chance to play (what they believe is) the role of “The Man”.

This is counter-intuitive to a lot of the talk in the Men’s Sphere, but it is the absolute truth and it critical to understand. If we’re going to make any headway in leading the correction of problems in each of our own little families and social circles, then this must be recognized. Dalrock’s posts on Mark Driscoll make this plain.

It must be understood that Driscoll railroaded thousands of men for years, and was rewarded for doing so; particularly by the men under him. “Hurts so good!”, as commenter Darwinian Arminian hilariously quipped. While the pile of broken men toppled upon his head as he fell, the real reason for his sacking was his effect on women, and how men responded to that.

If you read the letters and essays of former pastors and parishioners who’d felt his whip, they all reference the breaking point in their support of him as the point at which Driscoll made a wife cry. Journalists who committed themselves to cataloguing Driscoll’s crimes and errors made much of Driscoll being a misogynist even though he slung spittle at men a hundredfold of what went towards women. Yet it was misogyny that ended his career at Mars Hill.[2]

So, why don’t pastors address women’s issues head-on and in a sustained fashion, as they do men?

  • Because women don’t want to hear it.

While men who go to church want to hear how they can be better; women want to be told they are better. There are some proclivities of the female sex involved here, but they are grossly exacerbated by our Feminist, Oprah-fied culture. Any time a pastor spends correcting women will be accompanied by a sense of wasted efforts.

  • Because it is a primary responsibility of a husband and father, and a secondary responsibility of older women.

Any consternation a pastor experiences about whether or not he is passing the buck on women can be ameliorated by the fact that it’s someone else’s job, too. He can tell himself that others are filling in the gaps.[3] This is not so for men. In the church, the only authority over men are pastors and bishops. Some efforts spent on women will be wasted or redundant, but all effort directed at men is profitable; from their perspective.

  • Women routinely (almost automatically!) lie when confronted with unpleasantness about themselves; even the good ones.

There are few things more frustrating to the earnest man than dealing with a flat-out liar whom he is trying to help. A pastor who (for example) says men must be more active gets at least an amen from everyone, even if the follow-up is poor. A pastor who (also for example) says women must be more meek and gentle, gets many understanding nods that he must be talking about someone else, and pensive glares to let him know that her situation is different, you see.

If you add to that the fact that men are ready and waiting to be offended on behalf of their women, then we begin to understand that it takes either a sociopathic, or a supernatural, effort to give a sermon about women dressing immodestly.

[1] Single men give just as faithfully, but they–due to their younger average age and lacking a family-driven impetus to earn more and attend church in the first place–give much less . And, I’m speaking of Protestant churches. Just a glance at the offerings will reveal that American Roman Catholics don’t give as much in comparison to American Protestants. Satirized here as: “If a Catholic couple has $50, they go out to dinner; $20, they go see a movie; $10, they get fast food. But if they have $1, they go to church.”

[2] A dispassionate observer must conclude that in scale of hatred he was a misandrist first, a misanthrope second, and a misogynist last of all…yet it was charges of misogyny they preferred as weapons to attack him, and against which he apologized and defended. No need to defend much against that which no one considers much

[3] This is wrong-headed of him, but today I’m talking about incentives; not what is the exact correct thing to do. 

They Plow with Your Heifer

If anyone doubts that the choice to wear immodest clothing is made knowing they are immodest, then let me put Of Pants and Passions in the light of Sacred Cowgirls, and make my riddle plain.

Cowboy clothes are impractical for everything except being a cowboy, and even that allowance is suspect. A good pair of steel-toed boots or even Keens have more utility. Coveralls provide better hygiene. Nor is there is a need to have a pledge of allegiance and a prayer to open a rodeo. Neither the riders nor the animals gain any skill or rodeoness from them. These body coverings and ceremonious coverings are chosen regardless of their material impracticality because they love them. In the case of cowboy clothes, they love them so much that it is preferred for women to cross-dress and bedazzle their butts, rather than to fail to uphold cowboy culture.

Meanwhile, Christian culture–the aggregate choices of a Christian life– can go to Hell. Because they do not love them. There is a reason that Cowboy Churches seem more cowboy than church; why they fail to produce as many sound, faithful, loving Christians and instead produce shucks-y people who like the idea of country living, low taxes, and sassy, spangled-ass women.

If you are like me and have been seeing and doing things wrong for your whole life, things like this are hard to hear, All the talk of the “utility” of immodest workout clothes, sports uniforms, comfort clothes, etc. is an alluring sidetrack. It appears like a shortcut through the wilderness of moral choices, but it leads to sheol.

Your heart will tell you lies to make sin appear reasonable. Friends and even respected elders will make to you excuses for immodesty. They will gossip about you, talk down to you, call you the American Taliban, project sex-obsession upon you; anything to try to make you feel bad for choosing modesty before trivialities. That’s what uber-efficient work-outs, amateur sports, or a smidgen more comfort in the supermarket are: trivialities. Do not be deceived! You must choose what you love.

To Be Fair…

It must be admitted that not every woman who suits up in yoga pants, tights, leggings, jeggings, pajama-like pants…(Gimme a sec’. I’m out of breath writing out the versions of inappropriate public clothes)…had the intention of men lusting over her body. Yet it cannot be denied that those same women found it acceptable for men to do so. The excuses of comfort, ease, workout needs are irrelevant.

You know what they say about excuses: They are like the only things you can’t see through yoga pants.

Sacred Cowgirls

In yesterday’s post on Passion Conference 2015, I left one observation out of the list of bullet points:

  • None of the women I observed wore a dress or a skirt.

I did not see all of the thousands in attendance, but–of the many hundreds who came into my field of view–zero of them wore the traditional garments of a woman of the West.[1] That brought to mind a tidbit I have been meaning to share.

Last year, about this time, I took the opportunity to work at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. While not as large as the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo, it is still a national event. I met people from Minnesota, Montana, California, Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, the Dakotas…every state with a large agricultural industry.

It must be understood that a stock show and rodeo is a fundamentally conservative occasion, and it selects for those of a conservative frame of mind. Each rodeo event opens with a prayer to God and the National Anthem; which are delivered without apology. There is about them an air of aggressiveness; a daring against modern impiety.[2] The flag of America (and Texas) features often and prominently in clothes, accessories, and advertising. And there are Christian crosses everywhere. Of course, because this is an event centered on rural livelihoods and activities, everyone is wearing cowboy hats, boots, and jeans. Everyone.

A couple days into the event I realized that I had not noticed a single woman in a skirt. I began to keep count. At the end of six to eight hours a day, three to four days a week, for three weeks: I counted a total of six women in a skirt or dress. It must be concluded that conservative, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, goodly-folk in flyover states have zero interest in conserving women’s attire.

Naturally, the women still want to be set apart from the men who are in the exact same attire. I saw lots of yoga pants and leggings. The haut-couture of women’s bottoms were these pajama-like pants worn over cowboy boots. These have the advantage of clinging to the butt and thigh, but hanging loose over the boot upper.

But the most common way of affecting a difference in dress from their male conservative counterparts was for women to wear jeans with rhinestones pasted on the seat. There were as many sparkly designs on butts as there are women, and more available in booths. It must be said that there can be no reason for sparkles on an ass except to call attention to the ass; which is immodest, exhibitionist, and ungodly.

Yet one of the common sparkly ass designs were rhinestone crosses.

[1] Now that I think about it, clothing of wraps like dresses, skirts, and gowns are the traditional garments of women across the globe and history.

[2] At least against their conception of modern impiety, anyways.

Of Pants and Passions

There is a lot to say on the topic of the way Christian women clothe themselves, but before I get into the whys, shoulds, and should nots, I want to relate what I have seen lately. This weekend I had the chance to observe the attendees of the Passion Conference 2015. It’s a sort of rally for Evangelical Christians aged 18-25. It should be noted that while Passion Conference is age-segregated, the organizers have the sexes mixed together. The schedule had them shuffling between buildings, and as they processed from one to another I counted women in yoga pants, leggings, or jeggings; versus any other kind of lower-body clothing. Over 80% of the women attending Passion Conference 2015 wore skin-tight pants.  Some additional observations:

  • If there was a dress-code for the event, then it is reasonable to assume that revealing clothes for women were preferred by the organizers. 80% is a target; not a mishap.
  • There were no exercise courses in the Passion Conference schedule.
  • These were 18 to 25 year olds “worshipping” side-by-side with men aged 18 to 25.
  • I saw no men in Under Armor shirts, open shirts, baggy-pants, or any sort of clothing which one would call immodest.

For the record: I was not part of the conference; just near it.

Doublethinking Lust I: Sex Ed

I fully intended to finish my 1/3 written post on Sunday School, but I don’t feel I’ve done due diligence on the topic of Christians celebrating deviant sex and relationships, and it is nagging at me.  As well, I want to tie in the lengthy conversation about Christians and “bad words” that occurred under the previous post, because it is of a piece with the issue of why so many Christian wives and daughters are so unprotected, undisciplined, indiscriminate, and too often feral.

As I re-read my posts one of the things I failed to do was clearly state my case. Here it is: The media we consume is by-and-large propaganda. It’s intended effect is to destroy authority and create women likely to act on sinful and thoughtless urges, because unregulated urges mean more sales. This dissolution is taught at least somewhere within most television shows, movies, books, and songs.

At the same time, this propaganda machine discourages fathers and husbands from exercising any meaningful authority, and discourages women from taking them seriously if they do. It does so by portraying disapproving fathers and husbands as unreasonable, mistaken, tyrannical, and heartless. Conversely, the only fathers and husbands who are uplifted are those who do not confront actions of rebellion or sin. Theirs is but to give hugs and understanding.

Encouragement of feral female licentiousness and discouragement of the discipline of modesty is omnipresent in the fiction of Western Civilization, and it’s also true of any journalism or editorial that touches on the subject of sex or romance. In effect it is a much more comprehensive sex ed concerned not only with which bit goes where, but how the producers of media believe men and women should relate, how families should be ordered (or not!), and how to make decisions on sexual matters.

Within these (deviously informal but extremely well-funded) sex ed seminars, there are also individual scenes of propaganda are targeted at a particular sex. In the past media was designed to appeal to as broad and general audience as possible, but as liberalism has progressed (and with the aid of technology and increasingly specialized labor) this is no longer necessary to accomplish their goals.

The go-to formula to get men in the theater is to make the protagonist violent. The violence of the protagonist is almost always perpetrated in protection of, or revenge for, some person or people, and the violence is committed against clearly-defined bad guys who–in addition to being generally dastardly–almost always initiate the violence first. There is at least a tenuous relation to the concepts of justice and defense of the weak. Revenge becomes a symbol for justice. (Granted: Somewhere further down the list of tropes to entice men is naked women.)

When media producers want to appeal to women they put the protagonist into a pornographic scene. This is usually fornication and adultery, but an emotional affairs[1] will do. Once in awhile sex and love between a husband and wife is depicted, but by-and-large the captivating moments aimed at women are illicit relationships. These pornographic scenes are intended to appeal to women along the same tenuous lines as the violent revenge and protection themes appeal to men. So, if revenge is meant as a symbol of justice, what ideal is pornography meant to symbolize?

Eros.

Unfortunately for Christians: Eros does not differentiate between good and evil sexual desires. It’s a pagan concept that has no place in the Christian worldview, yet we accept it reflexively because in our society it is the dominant frame of reference for love between a man and a woman. Consequently, deep confusions of the pagan and Biblical worldviews exists in the Church. We can’t articulate the difference between sex with a whore and sex with a wife. There are Christians leaders out there teaching that husbands should stop lusting after their wives, and other Christians teaching how to find a soul-mate; two actions that are fundamentally impossible if Christianity is true.

Now media can be churned out at a very high rate with cheaper and faster production; especially since they regurgitate [remake or adapt] the same films, shows, songs and books over and over. Each rumination is more granular, more targeted propaganda, than the last iteration of the cud. Family films skew chick flick. Adventures become shoot-em-ups. This in itself purposefully divides the audiences; driving fathers and husbands towards one theater, and wives and daughters towards another; segregated sex ed.

When we uncritically watch the propaganda we not only cannot differentiate between love and lust, but are confirmed in our decision not to. Against this, the argument is often put forth that these bits of propaganda are “just movies”, or “just songs”, or whatever; that we don’t really take them seriously, or even pay attention to them. But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Depending on the source: 80-97% of American Christians engage in extra-marital sex. Those figures don’t account for french-kissing, fondling, or day-dreams. Does anyone seriously believe 80-97% of American Christians engage in revenge slayings? How many have even started a fist-fight; maybe 20%?

This is because we have a way to talk about justice, to teach it; to have a discipline about justice because it is common between Christianity and paganism…or at least translatable. There is no direct corollary in Christianity for the concept of Eros. The closest is lust, and we–especially women–are taught explicitly to avoid discipline when in pursuit of lust because Eros is explicitly about loss of control, and madness. We’re supposed to let Eros magically happen and simply enjoy the ride.

We kept on confusing pagan Eros and Christian romantic love until now we are at the point where we have realized Orwell’s doublethink about all things sexual; .

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

It’s so pervasive in the culture, that if you eradicated every piece of media that endorsed Eros, there would be nothing left to entertain women but housekeeping shows. If you bring it up too many times they start to get the idea that you’re serious about closely watching what they watch. That might mean boredom, and them’s fightin’ words. More troubling: We like the way we feel “in love”. We like undisciplined nature. We like uncontrolled emotions. We’re “in love” with Eros.

And if you don’t think this describes you, then what is the Biblical corollary to “in love”?

[1]All Christians accept that sex outside of marriage is illicit, but not all Christians know that–outside of marriage–the expression of emotional romance is usually illicit, too. It is, and it shouldn’t be hard to figure out because these expressions are inherently sexual. In fact, I think it is true to say that we do know this, but we choose not to care because no one says anything, and we really like how it feels.

Don’t Shut Your Eyes When I Turn On The Lights

J asks a question:

Why do so many Christian bloggers use coarse sexual language in their writing? It doesn’t seem necessary. I don’t read SSM any more because I got sick of what amounted to lewdness. Couldn’t the immorality of the song be highlighted in a more dignified way?

I can only speak for myself, but here’s why I write the way I write. Most Christians have shut their eyes and closed their ears. So, I bring the heat, that you might feel it. What prompted this question from J was this paragraph from me:

I do have some questions, though: What are we hoping happens in the good old-fashioned version [of Baby It’s Cold Outside]? Are we satisfied with a paltry dose of disobedience towards her father? It seems maybe some payoff is in order: They definitely need to neck, and I don’t think a bit of slap-n-tickle would go amiss in this cozy situation. It’s not as if they have to have actual sex–maybe we hope she just gives him a blowjob, and then returns to press her brother’s cheek, kiss her father with those lips, and tell him everything is fine. Sounds charming, doesn’t it!

Go, J, to the comments of the post I linked, and judge for yourself which is good: Me pointing out that disobedience and improper conduct leads to more improper conduct of the kind we don’t want to imagine our daughters being engaged, or celebrating the “right” kind of disobedience to God at that time of year when Christians celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior?

Here’s what doesn’t work: Boring moralization; neither in confrontation of sin, nor in wringing our hands about how we approach the truth. You seem to object more to my use of the word “blowjob” than you do about that fact that for the last fifty years we’ve celebrated every Christmas by singing a song that encourages and celebrates immodesty, disobedience, and fornication. We better start checking our priorities.

The word blowjob is a euphemism for oral sex; it’s what we say when we are trying to talk around the concept of oral sex. The Bible–God’s word– is full of euphemisms about sex, and it’s explicit, too. I think I posted this the other day, but I’m going to post it again so that we all understand–really understand–that God is not shy about His invention of sex; He does not demure from uncovering our nakedness and sin so that we will repent:

19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.

That highfalutin English would have read like this to the ancient Israelites:

She started sleeping around again, after thinking about the fun times she had fucking hot guys in the old days. What she loved about them was they were hung like donkeys, and came like horses; so much did she love those things that she did whatever those men wanted for a chance to play with those cocks. That’s how she remembers those happy times of sleeping around, when those guys were pinching her nipples so hard that they bruised her tits.

This is what God sees, and this is how He told us. Would you like to pass judgment on God for speaking to mankind as mankind will hear; for making the putrid state of our affections known to us so that we might repent?

Is what I write fit for church? Probably not; nor do I tell my young children to crack open their Bibles to Ezekiel 23 and start reading. What I write here, I write for men so that they are not caught unprepared. I’m saying the things that we have heard and known, and uttering dark sayings from of old. These are the things our fathers did not say because they were too stupid, weak, and scared; because they worshiped the things of men rather than God.

Retched

I’ve spent the last several posts (here, here, here, here, and here) in what must appear for all the world like a long-winded attempt to flip the script; an attempt at a grown-ups version of “She did it, too!” Consequently, the number of minds that have been changed, or even influenced, appears to approach zero. Those who immediately agreed with me still do, and those who did not, do not.

I think you misheard me. Because this is what I said: Porn is a womanly bad thing. I don’t mean that in a man-up sort of way. Matt Walsh is just the latest boob to corner that particular market when he wrote: “Real men don’t look at pornography.” Indeed they do. That’s the problem.

The reason increased use of pornography among men is concerning is because pornography use is something sinful women do, and it’s concerning because porn use by men is the fruit of the labors of decades of the intentional feminization of men.

The feminization of men is something that was done to them; that is being done to us. If you ignore everything I’ve written over the past week, you can still chart the rise of pornography which profoundly corresponds to the deliberate and increasingly successful machinations to make men more womanly.

Do you see how sick that is, to encourage women–those who benefit most immediately from this grotesque facade–to judge and ridicule and divorce these men, and to do so for the crime of acting like those women?

Do you see why women cannot pity, but only despise men who look at porn; why the mirror causes retching?

Do you see how imperative grace and forgiveness is?

Do you see how necessary it is for women to (at the very least) shut their bile-flecked lips when the urge rises in them to bash men for pornography?

Do you see what a black, pharisaical heart lies beneath the breast that says (without irony!),

“Real men don’t look at pornography”?

If not: Just pass by on the other side of the road. When you get wherever you’re going, there will be plenty of Downton Abbey.

It’s Probably Nothing

The point of my last few posts appear to be lost on more a a few people. In consideration of my readers, I will stick with the example of Jesse Stone because I both enjoy the show, and I also think that it often has a deleterious effect on women’s psyches.

First: We all must agree that violence and sex are similar in that they can both have their place, but use outside of their respective places can cause great destruction. Defense of another or an innocent is almost always good, and outside of that it is usually evil. Likewise, sex in marriage is almost always good, but sex outside of marriage is nearly universally bad. So far, so good, right?

  • If the Jesse Stone character stopped solving murders, men and women would stop watching the show. It would have no purpose.
  • If he unrepentantly murdered a man every episode, and then continued on with his day (and the show in general), we would all stop watching Jesse Stone. We would recoil from the wrongness of it.
  • If he stopped shooting the bad guys men would stop watching the show, because men watch the show to vicariously right wrongs. Men want him to continue dispensing street justice when deserved. It would be a bummer if he quit.
  • If he stopped fornicating women would stop watching the show, because the draw of the show for women is reveling in such a man. Women want to vicariously sleep with Jesse Stone. What upsets women is that he doesn’t continue fornicating long enough to get married. (Catch that?)

If you don’t get understand these principles, then you don’t understand human nature, and you’re not educated enough to make good decisions about what you or others watch. Your eye is too dark, and so everything is darkness to you.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

A darkness so great that men come to me for advice after 20 years of marriage. That’s 20 (more) years of allowing their wives and daughters to soak up any manner of pleasure without guidance, without confrontation.  As long as it had an appropriate rating, or doesn’t use the word “fuck” in it, then it made it past their dim eyes, and their wives dim eyes. The darkness deepened. Then they show up on the doorsteps of the Men’s Sphere; heartbroken by the world, divorced form their wives, and discarded by their children; asking, “What happened? What did I do to deserve this?” The answer is, “Probably nothing.”

Jesse Stone is lawful. Downton Abbey is lawful. The NFL is lawful. All these things can be consumed for nourishment and the waste eliminated by the body.

8 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

A lot of us (including myself) allowed these things in because we were told they were okay; we were told we could trust Disney, and the rating system, and network television, and adult time slots. Implicitly, too, we were told we could trust the the rack behind the counter at the convenience store to contain the lust; that we could trust the neon XXX sign to corral the smut. We were told–even while we read and heard the Bible say that all are sinful and everyone’s heart is deceitful–that Mama is a good person; that girls are pretty because they’re good, and good because they’re pretty. And the truth is that, generally, men will admit that they are sinful; actually sinful; as in right now; as in not because of what they are even doing, but for what they want to do, but aren’t. Women won’t.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Look again at 1 Corithians 8:10-13

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

And then take a look at the devastation of divorces around you; divorces whose causes mirror the lust, dissatisfaction, and thrill-seeking in those shows. Why argue with me? I didn’t accuse any of you.

Jesse Bone: Women on Tap

The as-promised Jesse Stone analysis.

I first heard of the Jesse Stone series a couple years ago when they showed up on Netflix Instant. I tend to like the movies that Tom Selleck picks, and from that I deduced that I would probably like the sort of work produced by the sort of people that would pick Tom Selleck to star in their movie. While Magnum P.I. is his most famous, his cowboy roles are not far behind in popularity. Westerns are one of the few genres where conservative minds are still depicted in an unabashed manner. It’s a natural fit for the outdoorsy and Republican-voting NRA spokesman. So, on that recommendation I watched the first one, “Jesse Stone: Stone Cold”. It was sort of slow, and quite somber; which pretty much describes the whole series…or at least the first five. It’s also directed squarely at the kind of people who would be accused described as conservative-minded; particularly those who are middle-aged (or soon to be) and female.

Jesse Stone is a former Los Angeles homicide detective who takes a job as sheriff of a sleepy New England village. He does this because his wife started having an affair which culminated in her leaving him. In turn, Jesse began drinking heavily, even getting in trouble for doing so on the job. Though he ran away from that life he remains in daily contact with his ex-wife via nightly phone calls; usually with the handset in one hand, and two fingers of Johnnie Walker Red Label in the other. In between solving murder cases, shooting bad guys, talking to his ex, and getting blitzed on good booze, Jesse finds the time to bed a number of women; at a rate of about two per episode. They are all attractive women between 32-to-40 years of age, have their own careers, and are eager to jump in the sack with him. That never occurs later than their first date–if they make it that far.

From a marketing perspective it is very clever. For starters: They managed to combine ALL the conservative heroic career tropes into one character: wrongly disgraced former cop, current cop, cowboy from the wild west, even a Los Angeles noir vibe. The only thing missing is military service, but I’ll bet it’s in the backstory somewhere. As I said: clever. That conglomerated conservative hero outline suggests that a whole lot of thought when into making him as broadly appealing as possible.

Here’s where I think conservatives are confused (see: Sherlock-by-way-of-GKC “You see but you do not observe”): Can you tell me which of the romantic plotlines is meant to appeal to men, and which to women, and why?

The phonecalls with his ex-wife are mostly for the male viewers; men who want their women to appreciate them for who they are, what they’ve done, and what they’ve sacrificed. Granted, this pulls a bit on the heartstrings of women, because they’d really like their respective men to be this hung-up on them, and they believe they’d treat their men better. If you took this storyline out, men would be less satisfied with the show. Women could take it or leave it.

But female characters in the series take their turns on Jesse’s bone for the female viewers; who identify with and idolize the strong female character with a great figure, good career, and space in Jesse’s bed. It doesn’t bother the female audience at all that he’s had many women there; all that matters is that their avatar–the sexy empowered career woman–secures the chance to be the last one there. Men, I think, don’t care about the bed-hopping either way. You could take these parts out of the story and male viewers wouldn’t care at all. Women, however, would stop watching.

If you point out this female preference for illicit sex in film they will deny it all day long, and if that doesn’t silence you then prepare to be called: petty, judgmental, tyrannical, disproportionate, etc. If you were to do the same to a guy about Maxim magazine, he’d shrug, and say, “Yeah, you’re right, but I like boobs.”

The real truth about porn is that it’s not even “mostly” a men’s problem. I have read several times now that porn is “becoming” a problem for women because now they comprise 30% of the hardcore video porn consumers. So that’s…

  • 30% of hardcore video porn
  • 97% of porn literature (smut novels, etc.)
  • 97% of porn in R movies
  • 72% of porn in music (generally, guys don’t listen to female artists, but girls do listen to male artists)
  • 72% of porn in magazine racks (tabloids, Cosmo, Maxim, Redbook, etc.)
  • 2% of porn in adult magazine racks (Playboy, Penthouse, etc.)

I took off 3% for the gays. If we factor in who is creating and modeling all this porn, then the percentages only go up. All I’ve included is (reasonable guesses of) the consumer market.