getting overly upset about society’s portrayal of women as sex
objects. . . . I would just like to be able to not have an
emotional reaction every time Howard Stern comes on, or I find the Maxim
magazine my boyfriend hid under the couch. I just want to not
care. . . . This is, obviously, having a negative effect on
my current relationship. I am interested in self-help. . . .
I don’t want the “easy way,” I want the cold hard
ell, if you want the cold hard
truth, you shall have it. Sit down.
To begin with, imagine one group of
women who do not concern themselves with make-up, or fashion, or mindless chatting
on social media and texting on their cell phones. They aren’t troubled by how society
“sees” women. They’re nuns, and they have dedicated their lives to serving their
God in devout prayer and selfless service.
Now, maybe this image, as perfectly
Christian as it is, is too difficult for you. So imagine another group
of women who also live in calm certainty about their lives: married women
who through Holy Matrimony have bonded with their husbands—as their
husbands have bonded with them—in devout service to their God. To them,
marriage is not a way to fill their emotional
emptiness with self-satisfaction, but it is an act of lifetime service to
God through family with undoubted fidelity and no escape clause but
Most likely, that’s still an image
that makes you nervous. In fact, it makes almost everyone nervous when they
fear the loneliness of being rejected by their
friends and relatives if they live the true faith. For example, most persons in
this world today cannot sit in a car without turning on the radio to drown out
their emotional loneliness.
So let’s look at your real
problem. You say you have a boyfriend, and most likely you are not
living in chaste anticipation of Holy Matrimony.
You’re involved in a sexual relationship, and
that in itself causes the very problem that troubles you.
Once you strip the concept of
“relationship” of its chaste and holy dignity and reduce it essentially
to a self-satisfying sport—a game designed to drown out your emotional
loneliness—then you place yourself on the playing field as a blatant
sex object in full competition with all the other players. Any woman who
has a more pretty face or larger breasts or more shapely legs, or who is
taller or thinner or more rich or more socially connected or more glamorous
or more fashionably dressed is, by definition, a rival and a threat to your
security. And even if in anger you try to assault
the gaze of the world with body fat,
tattoos, body piercings, and purple hair,
you don’t really leave the playing field, you just take up new, sometimes
covert, tactics in the competitive game.
Moreover, when you step into the
competitive game of making yourself into a sex toy, you commit
First, you defile
Christian charity, because competition is a rejection
of the Christian call to be mutually cooperative (Philippians 2:3-4).
Second, you evince
a lack of trust in God; instead of praying for God’s will to be done,
you take matters into your own hands to get the social acceptance that you
believe you need in order to survive in the world—a world that actually
Third, you incite
lust, because, to be competitive with other women, you have to dress sexy
to get attention, and sexy is, well, a vice, not a Christian virtue.
When a woman dresses
like a sex toy, acts like a sex toy, and speaks like a sex toy, she is a
sex toy. It should be no surprise that she is not treated like a lady. No matter
how intelligent or talented she might perceive herself to be, she is inviting
everyone who sees her to rape her visually. She has forsaken her feminine dignity
and is nothing more than a sex toy in the eyes of others.
You See Yourself
So, in the end, realize that
you can’t be a Christian by doing what “everyone else” does
in an anti-Christian society. Realize also that
it’s futile to try to battle society itself. It’s useless to try to use
politics to change the
spiritual blindness of human society. All
you can do is change how you “see” yourself. And when you learn
to see yourself from the perspective of true love
and self-giving, not from the perspective of a mere sex toy, you shall have
found the cold, hard truth about genuine, meaningful life.