The Lie About Sexual Inequality

Due to the extraordinary response to yesterday’s blog post “Homogenized Religion, Inc. – Where Are The Women?” I decided to post all of Chapter 6 from Sex, Lies & Religion for free. Enjoy!

“You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.”Jane Galvin Lewis

When it comes to promoting full equality of the sexes, religion has a decidedly mixed reputation. Organized religion’s treatment of women throughout the ages has been little different than secular culture. In general, religious women have derived their identity through males and are most often prized for their reproductive capabilities. A study of Mary, the mother of Jesus, reveals a figure that has been socially and sexually constructed (primarily by men) in such a way that her traditional titles of handmaid of the Lord, virgin, and mother have come to be controlling images in the Christian feminine ideal.1

Granted, I understand religion is only one of the vehicles of sexual inequality. The true origin of inequality is sin. In Genesis 5:1-2, God created man in His image, “male and female”—before the separation of Eve out of the body of Adam. Genesis makes this clear when God describes (not prescribes as many evangelical/conservatives have interpreted the text) what happens to relationships between men and women because of sin. When mankind (male and female) rejects God’s rule, we become self-protective and self-centered.

God describes that as a result of sin, man will “rule over” the woman and the woman will have a “desire for the man.” Van Leewan calls this “domination and enmeshment.”2 Men will seek power over women in order to dominate, and women will submit to it at any cost in order to maintain a relationship. Her “desire” will be for the man rather than for her own God-given authentic and individual personhood.  Women throughout history have demonstrated this giving up of themselves for relationship by putting aside their gifts and calling, or tragically, submitting to abuse of all kinds—all to keep the man.

But scripture makes it very clear this was not God’s plan. It is precisely because of the equality of the sexes, that Adam’s unitive poem in Gen. 2:23 is followed immediately by the description of marriage, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (2:24). Man and woman together were given the task of ruling (shared dominion) the world and multiplying. Only after sin was this distorted, which set the tone for stereotypes and inequality throughout history.

The apostle Paul (used by some religious leaders to promote a hierarchical view of men over women) wrote definitively in 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 that anyone—man or woman—who is in Christ is a new creation and all are given “the ministry of reconciliation as an ambassador for Christ.”

However, it was not until the advent of the feminist movement (the first wave was in the 1920s and the second wave was from the 60s to the 80s) that women gradually begin to gain recognition as equals. Many religions, including most Sacramentalist denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the “biblically inerrant” denominations such as the Conservative Baptist Association still do not accept women for ordination into the ministry and continue to exclude them from major leadership positions.

As recently as June of 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention raised considerable controversy by an addition to its Baptist Faith and Message concerning the sexes.  To many, the language of the amendment seems to place women in a subservient position. Judge for yourself:

The husband and wife are of equal worth to God,
since both are created in God’s image.
The marriage relationship models the way
God relates to His people. A husband is to
love his wife as Christ loved the church. He
has the God-given responsibility to provide
for, to protect, and to lead his family. A
wife is to submit herself graciously to the
servant leadership of her husband even as
the church willingly submits to the headship
of Christ. She, being in the image of God
as is her husband and thus equal to him,
has the God-given responsibility to respect
her husband and to serve him as helper in
managing the household and nurturing the
next generation.3

The Bible, in contrast to religion, is replete with examples of teaching and history that are contrary to the pattern of objectification of women. Rev. Candie Blankman points out that even though the Old Testament law seems archaic and oppressive, to the 21st century mind, it actually moved women toward more equal treatment. For instance, in ancient Hebrew culture, women were property. They had no status apart from the husband or head of household that owned them. However, the Old Testament law insisted that when a woman was put out or divorced, she was given “papers” to identify who she was and why she was outside the common relationship of wife, concubine, or slave/ household worker.

This was a huge step forward for women, particularly when you consider this brutal story. In the book of Judges chapter nineteen, a Levite, his concubine and his servant were traveling from Bethlehem back to their homes in the hills of Ephraim. During the night a mob, with homosexual rape in mind, surrounded the house in which they were staying and demanded the Levite be sent out. The host offered them his virgin daughter and the concubine instead; eventually the poor concubine was thrown to the mob. At dawn the Levite found her either dead or comatose on the doorstep. He took her inside and cut her up into 12 pieces.  Perhaps because of behavior such as this, the Old Testament law also put limitations on the kind of horrifying treatment that women could be given.

Abraham was instructed to actually listen to his wife Sarah. Deborah was designated as a judge of Israel. Miriam led alongside Moses and Aaron. Though incremental at times, there was still movement forward.

Rev. Blankman goes on to recount a remarkable fact in the Exodus story—the single most significant historical memory of the Israelites—the first five people named in the record are women, including two mid-wives, Puah and Shiphrah. Not even the most powerful man in the story is named. He is just referred to as the Pharaoh. But five women are cited and identified as the most significant players in God’s story of redemption.

Jesus welcomed women into His cadre of male disciples and treated them with an unusually high degree of respect. The encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well and His relationship with Mary Magdalene provide examples of precedent-setting approaches to the female-male relationship.

Jesus also allowed women to be testimony bearers of His resurrection in a time when women could not even be used as witnesses in a court of law. He was simply living out what was originally intended from the beginning.  In Galatians 3, Paul, who usually gets tagged with the title of male chauvinist, gives the quintessential statement of equality when he says that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female, but all are one (equal) in Christ. So we see that in the community and kingdom where Jesus reigns and rules—equality is for all.

Now would be a good time to explain that during my years of research for the historical context of this book, two overarching themes emerged. Those issues were first, female inequality and the resulting dehumanization of women, and second, a hierarchical alpha leadership of religious control.

In culture and religion, women have long been objectified and despite valiant feminist efforts, this mindset of dehumanization persists. Sexual objectification has been defined as the separating of a person’s body, body parts, or sexual functions, from his or her person, reducing them to the status of mere instruments.4 The sad reality is that at some levels of consciousness, most religions and men view women as objects to be repressed and controlled. It seems that this false division of body and soul permeates every aspect of our lives.

The media have played a particularly insidious role in promoting the dehumanization of sexual objectification. Studies have characterized sexual objectification by the media as instances in which the focus is on isolated body parts, such as a bare stomach, buttocks, cleavage, a bare chest, or reproductive capabilities in the absence of a focus on the rest of the person. The general conclusion of these studies is that the media often focus on the body and appearance as the most important components of sexual desirability.5

Only by understanding the unity and diversity of the sexes do we begin to fathom male and female distinctions and the mystery inherent in sexual equality and communion. Dr. Louis Markos describes this paradox of unity and diversity as, “a fittedness of the sexes; both are distinct, both are equally created in the image of God, and yet both belong together.”6

There is danger in viewing a human being as a thing, rather than the miraculous interrelation of body and soul that God originally created. Unfortunately, it is the female sex that has suffered the majority of harm from sexual, self, and religious objectification. Let’s first examine each area of objectification and finish by exploring the hopeful possibilities that God’s original plan of unity within diversity has to offer.

Objectification of women occurs primarily within three interrelated dimensions:

  • Sexual Objectification — is characterized by cultural expectations and values that are communicated in myriad ways, including through the media.  Our culture has been infused with sexualized representations of girls and women, suggesting that such sexual objectification is good and normal.
  • Self-Objectification — occurs when women treat and experience themselves as sexual objects.7 If women learn that sexualized behavior and appearance are approved of and rewarded by society and by the people (e.g., peers and religion) whose opinions matter most to them, they are likely to internalize these standards, thus engaging in self-objectification.
  • Religious Objectification — occurs when women are treated as, and encouraged to be, sexual objects by religion. This happens by treating a woman as a religious thing. The working definition of “thing” is that which is one dimensional, incapable of independent thought, autonomous decision-making and self-sufficiency.

Sexual Objectification

Perhaps the most pervasive form of objectification is sexual and therefore deserves a closer look. The different components of sexual objectification set it apart from healthy sexuality, which is an important part of both physical and mental health. A healthy sexuality fosters intimacy, bonding, and shared pleasure, and involves mutual respect between consenting partners.8

In contrast, sexual objectification occurs when:

  • A person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
  • A person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
  • A person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision-making.

All three conditions need not be present; each one on its own can be an indication of sexual objectification. Anyone (girls, boys, men, and women) can be sexualized. A central assumption of sexual objectification is that women in particular, exist in a culture in which their bodies are “looked at, evaluated, and always potentially objectified.”9

Media

Throughout U.S. culture, and particularly in mainstream media, women and girls are depicted in a sexualizing manner. It is important to consider this staggering statistic: the average child views over six hours of media per day.  The Kaiser Family Foundation (2003) reports that 68% of children have a TV in their bedroom. These massive doses of media among youth create the potential for prolonged exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and teach girls that women are sexual objects.

In their analysis of sexual harassment on primetime programming, Grauerholz and King report a focus on the denigration of women that alluded to their sexuality and lack of intellect and that objectified their bodies.10 Of the episodes analyzed, 84 percent contained at least one incident of sexual harassment.

The most frequent acts were  sexist comments in which a wide variety of deprecating words were used to describe women (e.g., broad, bimbo, dumb ass chick, toots, fox, babe, blondie). The next most frequent occurrences were verbal sexual comments. These comments typically focused on women’s bodies or body parts, especially breasts, which were referred to as jugs, boobs, knockers, hooters, cookware, and canned goods. The third most common category was body language and generally involved men or adolescent boys leering at women or girls.

In total, researchers report that approximately 78 percent of the harassment focused on demeaning terms for women or on the sexual objectification of their bodies. This means that adolescents are learning how to behave, interact, speak, dress, and conceptualize themselves based on shows such as these. Tops are getting tighter. Jeans are getting lower. Skirts are getting shorter and the conversations that adolescents are having these days sometimes borders on pornographic. Scary isn’t it?

It is important to remember that these shows are where adolescents learn much of their behavior (cultural and sexual), language, interactions and self-worth. If you find this hard to believe, answer this. What parent, no matter how nurturing, is spending six hours every day with their child?

Music Videos & Lyrics

Ever since the advent of MTV, viewers have been eager to visualize their favorite songs and be entertained. As our senses have been slightly dulled by the constant barrage of sex in the media, the artists and producers constantly have to push the envelope to boost sales and maintain the audience’s interest by means of shock value. That means more sex, more visual stimulation, crude lyrics, and more objectification.

The lyrics of many recent popular songs sexually objectify women or refer to them in highly degrading ways, or both. Some examples include the following:

  • “So blow me bitch I don’t rock for cancer/I rock for the cash and the topless dancers.” (Kid Rock, 1998)
  • “Don’tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”(Pussycat Dolls, 2005)
  • “That’s the way you like to f*** . . . rough sex make it hurt, in the garden all in the dirt.” (Ludacris, 2000)
  • “I tell the hos all the time, Bitch get in my car.” (50 Cent, 2005)
  • “Ho shake your ass.” (Ying Yang Twins, 2003)

In music videos, sexually objectifying images of women constitute a large portion of the prolific sexual content. Women, more frequently than men, are presented in provocative and revealing clothing, and typically serve as decorative objects that dance and pose and do not play any instruments. They are often displayed in ways that emphasize their bodies, body parts, facial features, and sexual readiness. Even though in female singer’s videos, men are also objectified, we somehow don’t seem to notice, because the majority of these types of videos are by male singers.

Studies found that over half of the videos featured a woman portrayed exclusively as a decorative sexual object. In the videos analyzed, almost 40 percent of women wore revealing clothing, compared with four percent of men. A more recent analysis of the most popular music videos on Black Entertainment Television (BET) found sexual imagery in over 80 percent of the videos; the two most frequently occurring sexual behaviors were sexual objectification and women dancing sexually. Seventy-one percent of women in these videos were dressed in provocative clothing or wore no clothing at all causing the television network to employ a censor bar because of FCC regulations.11

Movies

Nudity is not unlike violence in movies in that subsequent movies have more and more of it, as if to out-do any previous movie in its genre. We want graphic and we want passion.  We’re a culture thirsty for visual stimulation and we prove our devotion by record-breaking box office sales.

One of the patterns that has been studied in movies is the disproportional presence of nudity. In R-rated movies of the last two decades, instances of female nudity were reported to exceed those of male nudity by a 4 to 1 ratio.12 An increasing number of movies with sexual themes have plots that appeal primarily to teen and young adult audiences.  And adolescents (lots of them) are at the front of the ticket line. They constitute the largest demographic segment of moviegoers. If you don’t believe this, try going to your local cinema any Friday or Saturday evening. At my theatre, adolescents routinely purchase tickets for PG-rated movies and after showing their ticket, simply walk into the R-rated movie of their choice.

These R-rated movies contain sex scenes on a regular basis that would have been subjugated to seedy adults-only XXX theatres only a few short years ago. Recent movies such as Black Snake Moan and A History of Violence are two examples of many that contain brutal rape and mistreatment of female characters; these films are a short walk across the hallway for any enterprising adolescent.

Another notable trend is the near absence of female characters in the top-grossing motion pictures and in G-rated movies. A study by the research firm Kelly and Smith evaluated the 101 top-grossing G-rated films (including the lie about sexual equality 71 Disney) from 1990 to 2004. Of the over 4,000 characters in these films, 75% overall were male, 83% of characters in crowds were male, 83% of narrators were male, and 72% of speaking characters were male.13

This gross under-representation of women or girls in films with family-friendly content reflects a missed opportunity to present a broad spectrum of women in roles that are nonsexualized. It also leaves a younger generation lacking healthy role models and worse, it cheats us of the opportunity for better role models in the future.

Magazines

Sex sells. And magazines know it. They grab your attention weekly with airbrushed pictures of your favorite celebrity and promise tips on how to please a man or how to make a woman beg for more sex. It’s not too surprising that even women’s magazines objectify women in the images they show and the tips they give. Women’s magazines generally give hints to women on how to improve themselves and make themselves more desirable in the eyes of a man. Men’s magazines, however, focus on how to seduce women. In both cases, a woman is seen as a sexual item, able to be seduced, but never complete without the desire from a man.

Women are repeatedly encouraged to look and dress in specific ways to look sexy for men. They are also bombarded with advertisements to use products in order to be more attractive to and desired by men. This phenomenon has been labeled “costuming for seduction.”14

These studies document that attracting the attention of males by looking “hot” and “sexy” is the point of many of the articles, text, cover lines, ads, and photographs. Repeated attempts are made, in the form of advice about hairstyles, cosmetics, clothing, diet, and exercise, to remake the reader as an object of male desire.

Sports Media

Sports are certainly not immune to sexualization. Several targeted studies of specific media genres, sports, or sporting events have documented the frequency with which female athletes are sexualized. One study found that only 10% of the photographs in Sports Illustrated were of female athletes. And five percent of those were “pornographic or sexually suggestive,” such as women dressed provocatively or photographed in such a way as to focus solely on sexual attributes (e.g., photograph framed on an athlete’s breasts).

Less than one percent of the photographs of men fell into this category. Sixty-six percent of the photographs of men showed them actively engaged in a sport versus 34% of the photographs of women. Representations of women in Sports Illustrated for Women were only slightly better; 56% of photographs of women in SIW depicted them actively engaged in sports, and 2% were pornographic.15 This suggests in a crude way that no matter how talented a female athlete is, she is only popular because she has a nice figure, perhaps a pretty face, and breasts.

Advertising

The sexual objectification of women is particularly prominent in the world of advertising. In prime-time television commercials, for example, women were twice more likely than men to be shown in a state of undress, to exhibit more “sexiness,” and depicted as sexual objects. Alcohol is sold by young, curvaceous women on billboards and now even websites have turned to sex to sell, such as the ridiculous GoDaddy commercials during the Superbowl. The frequency with which young women and adult women are consistently and increasingly presented in sexualized ways in advertising, creates an environment in which being female becomes nearly synonymous with being a sexual object.

News stories over the last 25 years have documented ads—both successful and controversial—that have been debated and sometimes pulled because of their presentation of sexualized young girls. The Brooke Shields Calvin Klein jeans ad, and in more recent years, the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue, the Calvin Klein child underwear ads, the Christina Aguilera Sketchers ads, and the “children” utilized in highly sexual fashion ads for Dolce & Gabbana are among some of the more risqué.

Such ads often take a star popular with teens and preteens and present her in highly sexualized poses. Some explicitly play up innocence as sexy, as in one of the Sketchers “naughty and nice” ads that featured Aguilera dressed as a schoolgirl in pigtails, with her shirt unbuttoned, licking a lollipop. One study concludes that the message from advertisers and the mass media to girls (as eventual women) is they should always be sexually available, always have sex on their minds, be willing to be dominated and even sexually aggressed against, and they will be gazed on as sexual objects.16

The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that women and girls are more likely than men and boys to be objectified and sexualized in a variety of media outlets (including television, magazines, sports media, and music videos), and in advertising. Portrayals of adult women provide girls with models they can use to fashion their own behaviors, self-concepts, and identities after. In this way, girls learn from a very young age that they are sexual objects, even before they truly know what sex is.

Self-Objectification

Self-objectification involves adopting a third-person perspective on the physical self and constantly assessing one’s own body in an effort to conform to the culture’s standards of attractiveness. A woman is a “good object” when she meets the salient cultural standard of “sexy.” But this leads girls to evaluate and control their own bodies more in terms of their sexual desirability to others than in terms of their own desires, health, or competence.

There is ample evidence that self-objectification is common among girls and women. For example, one study found that girls as young as 12 years old placed greater emphasis on their body’s appearance than on its ability. In addition, many studies have demonstrated that girls and women self-objectify much more than boys and men.17 Although influences on self-objectification might include a variety of interpersonal, social, cultural, and even biological factors such as physical strength, two aggressive purveyors of sexual objectification are religion and the mass media. Thus, it stands to reason that religion and media exposure high in sexual objectification can socialize women to objectify themselves as inferiors. Both young and adult women who continuously see others’ sexuality objectified in religion and the media, seem prone to view themselves as objects to be looked at and used by others.

Likewise, self-objectification in a religious culture suggests that sexualization practices may function to keep women “in their place” as objects of beauty, art, and property, significantly limiting their ability to think freely and exert influence.

Religious Objectification

Both religious objectification and sexual objectification of women seem to be two threads in the same strand. That strand leads back to the three major Western religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. As the thread unravels, there seems to be a direct correlation: The more conservative the sect or branch, the less equality for women.

These threads of objectification have turned women into a religious thing. Remember that one may define “thing” as one dimensional, incapable of independent thought, autonomous decision-making and self-sufficiency. Religious objectification is a consequence of the need for alpha male leadership to demonize and marginalize women to solidify the controlling power of the religious hierarchy.  Now, that’s a lot of fancy words to say basically that the preachers and other religious heads got together and said, “Let’s eliminate the competition (read: women) by convincing everyone that women are inferior, subservient and useful only for beauty, labor, and reproduction.” The post-modern version of this imperative is “keep all women in their place by grouping them with other sexualized women in Bible Study cliques, as makers and teachers of children, and as pretty singers since they have nothing of value to offer religious male leadership who have been appointed as God’s intermediaries.”

In the end, the sexualization and objectification of women in religion teaches girls that as women, all they have to offer is their body and reproductive capabilities and therefore they should expend all their effort on appearances.  When women are seen exclusively as sexualized beings rather than multi-dimensional persons with many interests, talents, and identities, men have difficulty relating to them on any other than surface level. This dramatically limits the opportunities men have to interact spiritually and intellectually with women, to create with them, to work together for higher causes (e.g., leadership), or to enjoy their company as equals. It also promotes unhealthy sexual relationships.

A Healthy Equality

This begs the question, how can a couple possibly enjoy complete respect and intimacy without acknowledging that each has a responsibility to allow the other to bring all that they are as equal human beings to the sexual experience?  And, can a true recognition of simultaneous unity and division combined with an attitude of mutual reverence and respect provide the opportunity for both woman and man to see the face of God in each other through sacred sexuality?

First, to address the former question: A woman who has learned to fear negative evaluations of her body may be more focused on her partner’s judgments of her than on her own desires, safety, and pleasure. Focusing critically and excessively on one’s own appearance can limit the pleasure drawn from sexual experiences and can make it difficult for women to wholly engage. At the same time, a woman who has been socialized to separate from her inner feelings and experiences of arousal and desire may find it difficult to assert her desires or feel entitled to mutual satisfaction in sexual situations. She may instead opt to let events unfold based on her partner’s wants and interests. I might note here that many men are socialized to internalize emotions and feelings as well, so they are also often troubled in expressing wants and desires and emotions, especially during sex.  This perceived inequality creates an unhealthy sexual and spiritual relationship. It is impossible for the woman (or man) to find a spiritual awareness or completeness when sexual communion takes place on uneven ground. It cannot be stressed enough; a healthy sacred sexual relationship requires a paradox of unity and diversity, a fittedness of the sexes; both distinct, both equally created in the image of God, and both belonging together.

Second, sacred sexuality offers women important practical and psychological alternatives to the values conveyed by popular culture. When healthy couples through their personal sacred practices, communicate the message that other characteristics such as emotional and spiritual intelligence, are just as important as sexuality, they help to counteract the strong and prevalent message that only sexuality makes a person interesting, desirable, or valuable.  By insisting that both sexes be allowed freedom—not pushed into a self-objectification mindset, a haven develops where women and men can flourish as equals. In addition, religious institutions should be encouraged to offer open and honest classes and seminars in sacred sexuality so that healthy and unhealthy couples can enjoy the support, not condemnation, of their church or parish.

One of my favorite writers, Madeline L’Engle says it this way, “I am a female of the species, man. Genesis is very explicit that it takes both male and female to make the image of God, and that the generic word, man, includes both. God created man in His own image, male and female. That is scripture, therefore I refuse to be timid about being part of mankind. We of the female sex are half of mankind, and it is cowardly to resort to he/she, him/her, or even worse, android words. I have a hunch that those who would do so have forgotten their rightful heritage.”18

Thanks for reading all of Chapter 6. If you enjoyed this, I will give you the Sex, Lies & Religion e-book free. All you need do is leave a comment on this post and say “I want the book” and I will send it to you my compliments. Thanks again for reading the entire chapter.

Credits

1. Manning and Zuckerman, Sex & Religion, Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, CA, 2005, p. 127.
2. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwans, Gender and Grace.
3. Baptist Faith and Message, section XVIII, “The Family,” retrieved Dec. 29, 2009, from http://sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp.
4. Bartky, Sandra Lee, Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Routledge, 1990), p. 26.
5. Ward, L.M. (2002). Does television exposure affect emerging adults’ attitudes and assumptions about sexual relationships? Correlational and experimental confirmation. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 31, 1–15.
6. Dr. Louis Markos, from his personal writings, Houston, TX.
7. American Psychological Association, “Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls” (2007). Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from www.apa.org/pi/wpo/sexualization.html.
8. Satcher, 2001; Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States [SIECUS], 2004.
9. Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). “Objectification theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experience and mental health risks.” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, pp. 173-206.
10. Grauerholz, E., & King, A. (1997). Primetime sexual harassment. Violence Against Women, 3, pp. 129-148.
11. Ibid., Does television exposure affect emerging adults’ attitudes and assumptions about sexual relationships? Correlational and experimental confirmation. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 31, 1–15.
12. Greenberg, B. S., Siemicki, M., Dorfman, S., Heeter, C., Stanley, C., Soderman, A., & Linsangan, R. (1993). Sex content in R-rated films viewed by adolescents. In B. S. Greenberg, J. D. Brown, & N. Buerkel- Rothfuss (Eds.), Media, Sex, and the Adolescent (pp. 45-58). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
13. Kelly, J., & Smith, S. L. (2006). “Where the girls aren’t: Gender disparity saturates G-rated films” [Research brief]. Retrieved August 31, 2006, from www.thriveoncreative.com/clients/seejane/pdfs/where.the.girls.arent.pdf.
14. Duffy, M., & Gotcher, J.M. (1996). Crucial advice on how to get the guy: The rhetorical vision of power and seduction in the teen magazine YM. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 20, pp. 32-48.
15. Fink, J .S., & Kensicki, L. J. (2002). “An imperceptible difference: Visual and textual constructions of femininity in Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for Women.” Mass Communication & Society, 5, pp. 317-339.
16. Merskin, D. (2004). “Reviving Lolita? A media literacy examination of sexual portrayals of girls in fashion advertising.” American Behavioral Scientist, 48, pp. 119-129.
17. Slater, A., & Tiggemann, M. (2002). “A test of objectification theory in adolescent girls.” Sex Roles, 46, pp. 343-349.
18. Madeline L’Engle, Walking on Water, Crosswicks, Wheaton, Ill, 1980, p. 36.

26 Responses to “The Lie About Sexual Inequality”

  1. wow, this chapter blew my mind. I am going to have to go re-read it again when I have more time. But let me say THANK YOU and AMEN. Inequality between the sexes is a result of the fallen world, not the way things are supposed to be. Thank you for giving me the words to express what I have been trying to explain to people!
    .-= Orual´s last blog ..Christian music, female artists, and sex bombs =-.

  2. Hahaha…When I want to be!
    .-= Orual´s last blog ..Christian music, female artists, and sex bombs =-.

  3. Elke Speliopoulos June 8, 2010 at 13:57

    Randy, what an absolutely fascinating read. While working for a global software company, I created a business case for a Chief Global Diversity Officer to address gender diversity, so this topic is near and dear to me. Having recently graduated from seminary, I see this issue as even more pronounced in church world. I would love to read your book! Blessings, Elke

  4. As a husband to a beautiful and talented wife and father to two beautiful and intelligent daughters, this hits the deep part of my heart! I long for them to be able to live from their hearts pursuing the desires God lays upon them, without sociological or religious hindrances!!

    Thanks for ‘speaking’ about this!!
    .-= Rocco´s last blog ..The Prodigal… =-.

  5. Having grown up in a strict fundamentalist setting where women were dfinitely second-class, I’m still trying to get my head around the whole egalatarian versus complementarian theology thing … which would you call yourself and why?
    .-= Michelle George´s last blog ..Redefining Beautiful – Book review and giveaway! =-.

    • @Michelle George, Michelle, If I were forced to take a side-I suppose it would be egalitarianism. It is more biblical in my opinion. My chapter really reinforces that stance. As Dr. Louis Markos states: Only by understanding the unity and diversity of the sexes do we begin to fathom male and female distinctions and the mystery inherent in sexual equality and communion. Dr. Louis Markos describes this paradox of unity and diversity as, “a fittedness of the sexes; both are distinct, both are equally created in the image of God, and yet both belong together.”6

  6. Count me in, Randy. Loved the chapter.

  7. I read the whole chapter and found it quite interesting. I would love the book and thank you for sharing! God bless!!

  8. i want the book :) this was fascinating. such a breath of fresh air.

  9. I’d like to read on as well … thanks! :-)

  10. Tim Hutchings June 9, 2010 at 02:35

    The CT article that started this debate seems (to me) to go further than this book chapter, because the article actually talks about (and to) real people. This chapter looks at official pronouncements and Bible stories, and that’s one important half of the story, but ignores actual people as if they had no active role in religion – just brainwashed puppets of the pastors and media tycoons who objectify them. Actually, women and men have their own reasons for and thoughts about watching TV/buying music/going to church, and the CT article does a good job trying to find out what those are.

    Good chapter – but only half the story.

    • @Tim Hutchings, Tim, good point. This chapter is excerpted from my book, out of context, if you will. The previous 5 chapters lead up to it. It was not intended to compete with the article-it was intended to compliment it. Thus, two halves hopefully make a whole—point!

  11. Jeremy Cobb June 9, 2010 at 09:09

    Randy…Very thought provoking and stimulating chapter…

    A great resource you might enjoy is Dwight Pryor’s teaching seminar on “The Ministry of Women in the Early Church and Synagogue” (www.jcstudies.com)…also very challenging in causing us to examine the roles women have played throughout the Scriptures…thanks for sharing, would love to read the rest of your book. Blessings my friend!

    Tell your family hi from us!

    Jeremy

  12. Thanks so much for bringing this subject to the forefront, Randy. It’s time for the Church to lead the way. I would love a copy of your e-book!
    Leo
    .-= Leo Gallant´s last blog ..Summertime Fun! =-.

  13. I want the book…

  14. I enjoyed your writing, Randy. It is especially powerful coming from a male, who doesn’t have to think about or consider these things if he doesn’t want to. Please count me in for the download.

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