Just a warning–this post is about sexuality and a couple parts are probably rated PG-13.
Having kids gives you a whole new perspective on sexuality. As a hormone-laden teenager (who am I kidding, 13-25 year old) I wasn’t as offended as I should have been by the scantily-clad women on TV, in magazines, and at my institutions of learning; or by the sexually loaded lyrics of the music being played on the radio and in my CD player. Well-meaning pastors and youth leaders told me I should be disgusted by such things, and I tried to be. But now, time has passed, my hormones have cooled a bit, and I have kids who are entering a sexually charged culture. Take for instance, a sampling of the lyrics from two of the top ten songs on the Billboard chart (I chose not to use #1 since it’s even worse than these two).
Love in This Club, Usher
If you didn’t know you’re the only thing that’s on my mind.
Cause the way I’m starin’ Miss you’ve got me wantin’ to give it to you all night.
I wanna make love in this club
I wanna make love in this club
Might as well give me a kiss, if we keep touchin’ like this
I know you’re scared girl they don’t know what we’re doing
Let’s both get undressed right here, keep up girl and I swear
I’m going to give it to you non-stop and I don’t care who’s watchin’.
(Ok, so just to be clear, you just met a girl in a club who’s dancing provocatively which indicates to you that she wants/deserves for you to have sex with her right then and there. Because in the heat of the moment even going to someone’s house, let alone developing some sort of relationship is either cumbersome or impossible based on the gyrations taking place.)
Touch My Body: Mariah Carey
Touch my body, put me on the floor
Wrestle me around, play with me some more
Touch my body, throw me on the bed
I just wanna make you feel like you never did.
Touch my body, let me wrap my thighs
All around your waist, just a little taste
Touch my body, know you love my curves
Come on and give me what I deserve
And touch my body.
(There’s the same thought as the first song, “give me what I deserve.” What does she deserve? In the context I’d say she’s begging for someone to interact with her sexually. She says she deserves to have a man have sex with her.)
The thing that bothers me most about these songs, tons of other popular ones, sexuality on TV, in movies, and on and on is that it basically communicates that women exist primarily to get men hot and then to satisfy them. They are apparently sex-starved creatures who find no greater pleasure than pleasuring any man who wants them at the moment. And this is a message conveyed across communicative genres by both men and women.
This utterly devalues women (and girls) and teaches men (and boys) that women should do whatever they want. I can’t stand the thought of my son viewing women as an object for his selfish pleasure or my daughter believing that she will be valued based on how sexually useful men find her. As someone who believes that all people are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect, I find this concept of sexuality to be thoroughly reprehensible.
My views on sexuality are shaped by a biblical perspective on the topic, but even if you put that aside, I find it unbelievable that people accept this view of sexuality. I’m sure there’s more to be said on the subject, but I just hope I can shape my kids as they grow up to have a view of sexuality that gives dignity to all people.