I was reading the New York Times article on Women's Halloween Costumes today and was VERY impressed with the counter cultural discernment the author demonstrated.
As a father of two girls I tend to be a true feminist. To clarify I don't mean to have being a feminist confused with being a fem-nazi. Fem-Nazis are plagued with a reactionary philosophy that thinks women should abhor children, be compelled to work, and other misguided conceptions like that. As a feminist instead, I think that women should be valued, no treasured, as the Jewel of their people.
We live in a culture that does not endorse that perception at all. My daughters will grow up being told by the media industry, and their peers, that they are objects of sensuality; that their value is in beauty and their duty is in satisfaction. That idea sickens me, and so I therefore work very hard at showing my daughters another value system.
Jesus was radically counter-cultural to his time because of his feminist views. Last night my oldest daughter and I read John 11. As you read his interactions with Martha and Mary at the death of their brother look at how Jesus values their femininity. Jesus knows what miracle he is about to perform, but he values these sisters as women enough to participate in their mourning, to empathize and share the compassion they were created to desire.
As a father I want to celebrate my daughter's God given femininity, and part of the way I try to do this is in my relationship to their mother. My nature as a man is not to be empathetic or compassionate. I tend to be selfish and unconcerned with others, however when I practice the discipline of compassion I know that demonstrates to my wife the value she has to me. In the same way when I demonstrate my wife's value to me to her through acts of service and compassion, I am demonstrating to my daughters their value as women.
It is very important to never view my wife as a sexual being. What I mean is, to never view her as existing for my sexual pleasure. My wife and I share sexuality because we are deeply emotionally connected. I love talking to my wife. I know that is not true of a lot of men, and I think this stems from their views of their wife as a sexual being. These men loving having sex and see conversation as a necessary component of "foreplay." This is simply not the case with m. This isn't something I have need to work hard at, it is just the reality. I deeply treasure conversation with my wife.
I want my daughter's to have this kind of relationship. I believe the only way to ensure they choose men who will value them and celebrate their femininity is to start now by celebrating my wife's femininity in front of them. I need to deprogram the media-centric idea that a girl needs to wear a size two, look good in a slutty nurse costume, and be available for her mates pleasure. I need to be more of a servant, more compassionate, and more participatory in the household management. To put it concisely, I need to value my wife more.
I have more to say about this... But I am pausing for now.
Great thoughts Kevin...and thanks for the suggestion. It's posted on the S, L, and M blog.
We should chat sometime soon!
this reminds me of a myspace Bulletin...
it went like this....
"I know way too many really beautiful girls who think they don't look good... It hurts... because it's our fault, guys I mean. We make girls feel like they have to be perfect. You know what I mean, flat stomach, huge boobs, round booty, long legs, big lips, and on top of all that, they have to dress like a whore, and be one as well... nobody can measure up to that... and its not fair... because nobody should have to. The little imperfections are what make people special. If everyone was perfect the world would be so boring, variety is what makes life interesting. So guys, stop making girls have to live up to your, I'm sorry, our... deluded fantasy visions of perfection. Stop acting like boys and start being men... realize that women don't exist to fufill our sexual desires. Stop talking to them solely to get with them, be nice to them because you want to be their friend, not because you want to hook up with them. Say nice things about them not to flatter them in hopes that you'll get some, but because you know they like to hear them. In short... we need to grow up and stop acting like freakin retarded little boys"
thats just my 2cents.....
Kevin - great post. In our culture, so much has been placed on the image of "physical perfection" and devaluation, that we have lost something very valuable. To see a woman or girl as an object rather than as a soul and a person God loves, is a travesty, and we have been fed this poison one drop a a time, faster and faster through media, sales, and practically every channel available.
And to be a woman or girl and measure yourself up to the airbrushed images that are everywhere is so demeaning and destructive to identity. Even in many church settings, females are discredited or looked upon as "second class" citizens. I think it's time we recognize the gift and treasure that God has placed in the women and girls that we come into contact with, and help them recognize it in themselves as well.
Post a Comment