it cuts you… it cuts you down

I’ve been doing some reading on a blog that I really appreciate. I never really comment, thought. Below is the only comment I’ve ever left. Sometimes I see people’s comments on the blog and I find myself first almost irate, then sad. I think Anne’s got some great thoughts, and she’s certainly representing a large portion of the evangelical voice, certainly to some degree venturing further into conversation, etc.

But, I guess my once conservative mind has been released a bit in the past few years. My NT professor the other day mentioned to me that she’s glad about the future of the evangelical church, if people like some in a class are actually the supposed leaders rising up. I’m not quite sure if I am one of those people, per se, but I hope that I can continue to be a voice of something – reason, truth, love, wit. (Ok, so maybe not the last! πŸ™‚ )

The comment I left here is in response to this blog and this one. I’m gonna be honest, it took me about 2 hours to make it through all the comment (and I started writing another blog for another day because of some of the comments. My mind is running circles – too bad its not for my final on Monday. Grace, Jesus?

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I just caught up (thank you grad school for keeping me so far behind on the blogsphere) on the two blogs on breasts, and I have to say my heart is utterly broken at the moment. I’ve having fits of emotions. There are parts of me that want to scream, cry, write, pray, talk, and pontificate. I totally hear the argument that, in essence, loving our brothers means to be modest. Yup, gotcha. And I hear the argument that women judge and compare and must stop. Amen. I used to think something was utterly wrong with me bc I compared.

But, here’s where I get lost…

1) people getting angry and attacking on Part 1 that the negative thoughts are being expressed. Does this issue change your view on salvation? I hope not. If so, wow, I’m sorry. Honestly, I am. It doesn’t mine, at least. It’s a grey area, for sure, in my book. So if someone is offering an alternative experience, especially when they are in the minority, it’s awesome to converse, not blame or talk down to.

2) I don’t understand why Christians are so compelled to to talk about issues that are not the actual issues, but rather the symptoms of issues. We talk about how men struggle with their visual minds because of how women dress. I get that. We talk about how women are catty about how the other woman looks. Yup. But we don’t talk about how by labeling breasts any of the aforementioned names, or by comparing breasts, butts or legs, we are in fact still modeling the very objectification of women (and men, for that matter) that the rest of society does.

If we’re supposed to be fighting the world, does modesty actually cut it? It seems like a band-aid that other cultures have tried for years, and yet I’m pretty sure it’s still just objectifying bodies of women, no matter how un-appealing or unattractive to some it might be.

Our issue, as a culture, and certainly as a Christian subculture is that I don’t see us really addressing the issues, we’re just addressing the symptoms of our issues. And that is not transforming anything.

I’d love to hear people’s thoughts. Maybe I’ve gone coo-coo out in LA in the smog since I got to seminary. Sorry for seeminly hi-jacking this blog with my comment! (And thanks for the freedom to do so!) πŸ˜‰


2 responses to “it cuts you… it cuts you down

  1. Wow, it is hard to see some of those comments on the blog you mention, because the issue is just a bit more complicated in my mind. I think it is so important to talk about how the female body is viewed and objectified (and how women participate in this, too), but gosh, why do these conversations so often lack a critical eye at the power systems embedded in the greater culture? Women do need to be thoughtful about how they present their bodies and their sexuality, but goodness, what about talking about why we live in a culture that makes constant commodities out of female body parts? Why is a woman’s body so quickly consumed, verses enjoyed, respected, and delighted in?

    This conversation just needs to be expanded. I can’t imagine what it is like for guys to live in a world where they are bombarded by women as sex objects in the media, but like you said, let’s talk about the deeper issues and not just the symptoms. What is going on that the pornography is so widespread and how does that effect how a man views a real live woman in front of him (and vise versa, as women also struggle with pornography.)

    I would like some of these men who complain about women as “stumbling blocks” to also take an honest look at how the culture distributes power. Women get tons of power through displaying their sexual appeal; I am not saying that is a good thing, but I am saying that it is a symptom of deeper issues in how women are viewed. Again, I am not advocating that we dress like Britney Spears, I am just saying that the way things currently are set up in this culture, women’s bodies are already a battle ground. Men are already set up to “consume” their bodies, and I don’t think women not showing curves is going to fix this issue. Yes, modesty helps, and I understand that men are visual by nature, but there is just way more going on here in how power differentials play out in a culture.

    On top of all that, you’ve got a Christian subculture that has so much anxiety around sexuality in the first place…where any kind of sexual arousal so often has a level of shame to it. There is a difference between a man noticing a beautiful woman and feeling aroused, vs a man noticing a woman and exploiting her in his mind or actions. I would love to see that nuanced more. I wonder if all the shame around sexuality can actually lead to more addictions to pornography…but that is a conversation for another time!

    Thanks for drawing my attention to the post. I would love to hear more of your thoughts and what you felt as you read through the comments. I totally agree with you that the comment thread itself seem to mindlessly uphold objectification just by the very language used in the conversation. Ugh.

  2. P.S. One more thought…

    I just read Julie Clawson’s blog ( and there were some good comments by her husband I think on this issue of modesty.

    I know you are in finals, but I just thought I would pass it on πŸ™‚ Good luck with all your tests!

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