Monday, September 29, 2008

Treating Women as Sex Objects - Something You'd Think Both Conservative and Liberal Christians Would Be Against

It's no surprise that conservatives and liberals (to say nothing of those of us in between) have very different ideas about what proper gender roles look like. Some people have these differences of opinion based on religious beliefs, while others have more secular reasons for their opinions. But for those of us who call ourselves Christian, one would think that treating women with respect would be something we can agree on.

I find myself completely dumb-founded by the fact that one of my conservative Christian acquaintances seems to have no problem with this image (one that I'm actually a bit embarrassed to post, although I think it's "clean" enough and is necessary for proper discussion):
For those who somehow don't know, "MILF" is shorthand for a vulgar statement (that I won't spell out here!) suggesting an older woman deemed sexually attractive. My acquaintance has been challenged as to the appropriateness of this image, being told that it's not a positive term, but has simply responded that she thinks it's a compliment in the context of a candidate who's both "pro-life" and "beautiful."

I still disagree (Actually, the fact that my acquaintance is, herself, a woman only adds to my surprise).

Sarah Palin's name isn't even used here! The vice-presidential candidate has been reduced to a term (a vulgar term!) pointing out that some people think she's sexually desirable. Even if you like her as a political candidate (perhaps especially if you like her), that should not be an appropriate measure for Christians, who are called to treat people with respect.

How is it that people can't see that? This should be one of those things that conservatives and liberals can find common ground on!

Can anyone help me understand this?

1 comment:

  1. i confess to finding the phenomenon both fascinating and more than a little revolting as well, especially, as you point out, in the way it's manifested in christian circles. thought you might find this article in Slate interesting for it's take on the subject, i.e. that palin actually fits nicely into an archetype that has been around for quite some time amongst conservative christian circles, "the sexy puritan." i've got some quibbles with the author's analysis and it doesn't get directly at the point of your post -why isn't this implicit objectification recognized and condemned explicitly by christians - but i can testify that such a type does carry powerful cultural weight, at least amongst the southern-evangelical background that i came out of.

    by the way, haven't been following your blog for all that long but i do enjoy it and share a similar fondness for your name sake interests.



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