Friday, December 14, 2007

Papa Knows Best

"Undoubtedly poverty is a major factor underlying this phenomenon and one which the Church constantly addresses. It must also be acknowledged that the decline in moral values, fueled by the trivialization of sexuality in the media and entertainment industries, leads to the degradation of women and even the abuse of children." - excerpted from a papal address to Thailand's newly appointed ambassador to the Holy See

There is an undeniable connection between the hypersexualization of women, the airbrushed representation of younger and younger looking female icons in pornography and popular advertising, and the devaluing and denigration of the female person at every age. What kind of compartmentalization do we hope the human brain capable of, that we encourage the habit of consumption of pornographic entertainment in adult males, and then step back and feign horror when these same men abuse their wives, girlfriends, and daughters?

The girl on the page or the screen before you is still someone's daughter, unless she is a completely fabricated animation; you are still reducing someone's little girl to a product to be consumed, a means to satisfy some need or impulse. "But it's these women's free choice to do with their bodies as they choose, they have rights too." Well, yes, I suppose you do have the right to take your clothes off and have pictures snapped of you. But I'd say your right to bare your assets effectively ends when your cleavage is elevated to a billboard above a major intersection and my father, brothers, and male friends have to turn their heads out of respect for you and in response to their own human struggles with lust and impurity.

What about their rights? And what about little girls who are bombarded from birth by a constant barrage of scintillating and scandalous images of feminine beauty, trained to pull their shirts down and their skirts up in order to become what the boys are looking for. What about their rights? And what about that girl whose picture you snapped at a party or a bar while she was falling down drunk, and then posted on facebook or some other sharing sight for everyone to chuckle over? She may be laughing at it too right now, but it remains an undeniable assault on her dignity that wounds deeply. She might be so numb at 19 that she doesn't mind, but that doesn't change the reality of the evil which is being done to her person.

Pornography and sexualized images of women and men are poisoning human hearts and minds, further obfuscating our vision of the human person already sullied by original sin. There is an undeniable connection here, and as long as we tolerate the perversion and degradation of the human body in print and on screen, we oughtn't be surprised when it spills over into 'reality', translating into domestic abuse, sexual assault, and an alarming increase in pedophilia.

Check out the Pope's full address here: http://www.zenit.org/article-21274?l=english

2 comments:

  1. Yes, sadly it is true. The compartmentalization of the American life is the most baffling part of it. Our society wants to affirm everyone’s right to all kinds of sexual activity in one sphere, while simultaneously denying the unavoidable effects of those activities, ie addiction, rape. That’s how we can get to a point where it doesn’t bother us if our President commits adultery as long as he does it on his own time. You can be dishonest, immoral, and a scoundrel over there, just leave those traits at the door when you come in here.

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  2. This is SO true. You are really fortunate that you realize this at a young age. I know so many women who fell into our culture's lies when they were in their late teens and early 20's and now are left with major regrets!

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