The feminist movement was right, in part. American culture is anti-woman.
I am not a feminist nor do I support their entire agenda. I do, however, recognize that our culture is becoming increasingly hostile to women. Donald Trump’s comments should cause us to recoil in horror because it represents one of the most egregious examples of America’s anti-woman bent. And while that tape makes me shutter, I fear that we are missing a more systemic problem, the wholesale objectification of women.
The proliferation of pornography has done more to objectify women than any medium in human history. Women become objects of lust and desire rather than people made in the image of God. With their dignity is stripped, many are used and cast aside. Neither the woman caught in human trafficking nor the porn star are given love and affection. Rather, they are both used as objects of another’s satisfaction.
While throwing rocks at the porn industry requires little effort, we cannot overlook the trickle-down effect that has seeped into the fiber of our culture. As pornography has become more ubiquitous, so has sexual violence. But even more fundamentally, we have thrust those ideals upon women in general. Our culture is increasingly misogynistic, and the misogyny that permeates our culture is more toxic than any previous time in human history. Our culture now defines beauty in terms of sexiness.
By equating beauty with sexiness, what others find sexually appealing defines women rather than who they are as persons. This redefinition means that every woman is measured by standards of what men find physically stimulating and attractive, rather than by the totality of their personhoods. Unfortunately, this permeates every age group within our culture, from youth to adulthood.
Bikinis, once scandalous, are now made for toddlers. Teenage girls are told to dress certain ways to gain the attention of boys. Some older women dress like women much younger than themselves to gain the attention of men and feel attractive. Behind this lay a fashion industry that advertises clothing with the subtle message that what men find attractive is the standard of beauty and fashion.
Christians cannot be silent. We cannot sit idly by while a war rages within our homes. We have an obligation to stand up against the pervasive objectification of those made in the image of God. Just like we stand up for the sanctity and dignity of the unborn, so we must stand up for the sanctity and dignity of the countless women oppressed by the toxically misogynistic American culture.
Christians are called to live pure and holy lives and to speak out prophetically to our fallen culture for the glory of God. War is being waged, and our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are in the crosshairs. The war rages late at night in front of computer screens. It rages on billboards and television ads. It rages in the clothing section of department stores. But ultimately, it war rages deep within the human heart. The battle for the dignity and value of women is where our faith intersects with culture, and we cannot remain silent.