“Oh my gosh, I can not believe this – I am leaving!”
Our anniversary trip was almost without blemish. The one blot on the whole celebration was an incident Friday night. A woman and her boyfriend walked into a piano bar and were seated at the table next to us. She had a signficantly medically enhanced chest and a little black dress that barely covered her top or bottom. She was noticably inebriated and kept standing up to dance in front of the audience. Throughout this display I primarily felt sad for her. Saddened that this was her life and the only way she knew to get attention. My sadness quickly turned to ire when she allowed her boyfriend to pull the top of her dress down. Leaving what little was left to the imagination to vanish. I was equally angered by the fact that no one else seemed outraged. There was a nonchallance that this is what happens in New Orleans when people drink. I got up, notified the manager, and she was removed, but I couldn’t get past my mix of anger and sadness for the remainder of the evening. I was mad that she had so little regard or respect for the other women in the room. And sad that she had so little regard or respect for herself.
This is a post I didn’t plan to write. Mainly because this is my soap box issue, so I avoid it like the plague. I get so exercised about it that I often don’t make any sense. I initially drafted this post on Saturday on my blackberry because I was so angry and sad and frustrated, but God wisely had me accidentally delete it when I was trying to send it instead. So that very impassioned draft is gone and in its place came a draft more deliberate and thoughtful. But then Blogger deleted that draft from my blog the day after I posted it. How can that even happen? Is someone trying to tell me something? I’m going to try one more time – if it disappears a third time, I’ll stop trying to write it.
That isolated incident last weekend highlighted how desensitized our culture has become to the image of a woman’s bare breasts. It is de rigeur. Playboy magazines and worse, pornography, topless bars, movies and television shows, emails, internet, you name it and there they are. And it seems as though since that incident occurred, I’ve been barraged by the widespread acceptance. Signs and screams in the streets of the city over our weekend away. In a hospital waiting room, as I waited for my mom to be released from surgery, a husband waiting for his wife was regaling his parents with the story of how his boys at prom had seen a topless woman at a party and he had encouraged it. Sharing the story of this weekend with a female co-worker this week and her being completely perplexed that I’d been bothered in the least by the incident. An email from mainstream TripAdvisor touting the world’s best nude beaches.
I heard on the radio recently, “thought is Father to the deed.” So it isn’t bare breasts that offend me. It’s what it represents and what results. It represents the oversexualization of women and our society – one in which my 19 month old daughter will be raised. It represents the dismissal of anything sacred about seeing a woman unclothed. It represents the degradation and objectification of an entire gender. And it results in sexual additions. Adulterous relationships. Increased violence against women. Sexual trafficking. Unrealistic perceptions. Lust. And everyone, men and women, are responsible for changing the course. Men must be willing to stand up and speak out against this disrespectful pandemic. And women must take responsibility for their actions and their attire. Unless we take affirmative steps to stem the tide, it’s only going to get worse.
It’s not just about being topless. It’s about becoming soulless.
Job 31 – I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? For what is the allotment of God from above? And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps? If I have walked with falsehood, Or if my foot has hastened to deceit, Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity. If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart walked after my eyes, Or if any spot adheres to my hands, Then let me sow, and another eat;Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.
I Peter 5 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Matthew 5 – You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.