Here’s a though provoking TEDx talk from Caroline Heldman.
This approach to analyzing sexuality in society is a possible antidote to the toxicity of Christian purity culture. There’s a danger among social liberalism that well-intentioned efforts to empower women can backfire, leading to both women and feminism being co-opted by a male-dominant, consumerist culture. Teaching that women ought to dress modestly to protect men from being tempted is wrong, because it says that women exist–or at least must make their clothing choices–for the benefit of men. Teaching what sexual objectification is and how women can rebel against it, however, replaces the subservient motivation with a genuinely empowering one. If women want to wear “sexy” clothing: OK. I support their choice. But if the consequences are habitual body monitoring and degradation of cognitive function (two of the most shocking aspects of the video for me), then women ought to know that.
But there’s an even simpler antidote to the toxicity of Christian purity culture that I also want to reference, however. It’s a video that Reece linked to in the comments to a previous post here at DR, and I loved it so much I wanted to post it on the front page here.
“Jesus wants the rose.” The passionate declaration has been ringing in my mind ever since I first saw the video. What could be more simple, more profound, and more Christian? Modesty and virtue are important, and I believe that they should be taught and celebrated, but as a matter of priority the really fundamental message is that Jesus wants the rose. No matter what.