Posts Tagged ‘pornography’

 

[NOTE: This was originally published in June of 2012, but is being re-posted to foster thoughts about the up-coming release of Fifty Shades of Grey.]

Yesterday we considered many thoughts that surrounded the movie Thor, centering on lust. Is it okay to watch a scene that highlights a certain actor’s – or actresses – physical attributes? Does it bump up too closely to lust? In my opinion, the scene from Thor was designed to make you do so, and other similar scenes do so as well.

These thoughts came about from a post I read on Facebook, the rise of female pornography addiction, and the release of Magic Mike. Here is the synopsis of the film: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. Classy! I promise to stick to some of the same concerns from yesterday and stay away from the question of, why Steven Soderbergh is continuing to throw away his career by making bad movies?

I guess this is the main question I have with the release of Magic Mike, is this a preview of what’s to come? Will films like this become common-place because of the rise in popularity of female porn?

I may be wrong, but I cannot think of a film that has marketed male nudity this explicitly, at least in recent years. The content says “brief graphic nudity”. Some may think, ‘at least it’s brief.’ Yes, but it’s still graphic. This film is dangerous for at least two reasons.

First, the cast is made up of notable actors. Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey are guys that have catered to girls idolatry of love in many romantic comedies. Now, they are going to be leaving little to the imagination in MM, but women will flock to the theaters.

Secondly, the story seems to follow your typical romantic-comedy plot. Rom-coms usually depict rank fornication, but do so in a cutesy way which sells tickets. And even though the story of MM follows male strippers, the added rom-com subplot makes this pill easier to swallow. It makes porn seem cutesy.

To me, a line from the film sums up everything. Dallas (McConaughey) is giving his fellow narcissistic strippers a pep talk and states, “You are the husband she never had.” This statement is wrong on so many levels, but let’s just pick one.

Husbands and wives make a vow before God that death will be the only thing to separate them. Because of this covenant, the man commits to the wife and visa versa, no matter what. In light of the current discussion, this means the wife holds the husband as her standard of beauty – not some stripper.

And this is the true danger of films like this, creating lustful covetousness of a fantasy. You see, many men and women can remain in a marriage, while fulfilling fantasies through movie stars and make-believe characters. The new, exceedingly popular, pornographic novels Fifty Shades of Grey have proved that. Walt Mueller, President of Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, recently wrote an article about the literary porn phenomena. Read what he witnessed at the book table at Costco one afternoon:

A younger woman was holding the book and pondering the purchase. She had an inquisitive and slightly guilty look on her face. An older women standing nearby happened to see the same inquisitive and guilty look and decided to engage the younger lady in conversation. . . . a conversation that pushed the latter to a tipping point. “Thinking about reading it?”, the older woman asked. “Yes, but I hear it’s a little dirty,” the younger woman replied. At that point, the young woman’s husband appeared behind her with their cart. Noticing her husband was now privy to the conversation, the young woman turned a little red and muttered something about her husband showing up. . . as if the conversation needed to come to an end. She looked like a guilty kid who had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. The older woman. . . probably in her mid-60s by my estimation. . . looked at her, gave her a little wink, and said, “It’s ten dollars well spent.” With that, the young woman placed the book in her cart. . . . and I watched her exchange a sly little smile with her husband. That was an interesting mentoring moment that says a lot about who we are and what we’re becoming as a culture [read the full article here].

One can never point out the deceitfulness of our sin enough. Whether it’s Thor with his shirt off, Magic Mike struttin’ his stuff, Twilight vampires glistening in the sun, or new explorations in bondage from Fifty Shades of Grey, we must be cautious of toying with our sin. Remember, sin wants to destroy your marriage, lead you down a path of adultery, and, ultimately, drag you to hell, so be wary of the lie it’s telling. Should you go see Magic Mike? Will it help you appreciate your husband? Will it cause you to lust? You might not have to search your heart too long on this one.

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I am fairly confident that Twilight would not make the top 10 list of “manly movies.” Most men don’t even like to admit they have seem them. They will swear that they only went to the theater or rented these romantic films because their girlfriend or wife made them. Whatever the case, women and men will see this final theatric installment of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire novels.

Whether you are a die-hard fan or a “hater,” Twilight reminds us that fantasy is dangerous.

After reading the first book (yes, I read it) I had mixed emotions. The story is an interesting one. Meyer’s spin on vampire lore is creative to say the least – even biblical. Often the most dangerous things appear the most appealing. In the book of Proverbs we read about the seductive woman. She is depicted as enticing, but ultimately deadly to the man who visits her. The vampires of the Twilight saga are like this – alluring, but hazardous to one’s life.

Like the Meyer vampires, Twilight itself is dangerous. I have and will continue to refer to this story (and all romance novels) as women’s pornography. Twilight is dangerous because, like a pornographic magazine, it presents a false reality – a fantasy world.

[Fellas bear with me, I am risking my “man card” here, I know.]

Many of the women that love this story, love it because of Edward (sorry all you in “Team Jacob”). Men – we can learn something from Edward. Women love Edward because he is eternally faithful. His love for Bella (although definitely undeserved) is unmatched. He is a selfless servant – relentless in his care for her. We should take at least a couple notes from the Edward playbook. We can all use a bit more compassion, selflessness, and fearlessness in our relationships. Superpowers wouldn’t hurt either, of course.

Herein lies the problem. Edward doesn’t exist!! Yes, men could stand to be more sensitive and intentional in their care of their spouses or girlfriends, but come on! How high are you going to set the bar? A powerful, sensitive, vampire-man? He even glows for goodness sake!

Fantasy is dangerous because, if it becomes our reality, it will set us up for failure and disappointment. Ladies, the best men in the world, do not stand a chance against the “Edward” (or Jacob) of you mind. I am not saying that you should stop praying for a man who will treat you right. Pray for that man. But pray for a man who will also repent when he sins against you (which he will). Pray that you will be able to forgive (Colossians 3:13) and overlook the offenses (Proverbs 19:11) of the imperfect man in your life.

Fellas, this goes both ways. Porn is dangerous and destructive for many reasons – not in the least being that it presents you with a false sense of reality. The airbrushed women seduce you to a world that will kill you. They look at you as though you can have what you want, with no responsibility and no consequences. Porn objectifies women and minimizes the image of God to a mere body. Porn deadens you to the beauty and wonder of marriage to one woman. Porn makes you lazy, selfish, and demanding. No wonder why women choose fantasy over the real thing!

We live in a world where the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred. May God give us discernment to recognize the danger of living in a world that doesn’t exist.

Just a few weeks ago my wife and I watched the movie Thor – we were a little behind on this one. To tell you the truth, I hadn’t really wanted to watch this movie. It didn’t look all that great to me, but then I saw The Avengers so I figured I needed to see this one. As you can tell, I had low expectations going into this film but really enjoyed it. It had some fun action and a decent story, and even had some great biblical themes to discuss.

However, I don’t want to discuss any of those themes, I don’t really want to discuss anything that explicitly relates to the story. I want to discuss the actor, Chris Hemsworth and his Thorish physique – he must work out (name the movie quote).

If you’ve seen the film, or the previews, you know there is a scene that highlights Hemsworth’s muscular body. He has his shirt off, trying to appear nonchalant about looking so buff, and the character of Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) says, “He’s pretty cut for a homeless guy.”

Here’s what I want to get us thinking about today, and I will explore this a bit further in tomorrow’s post. Was that scene sinful? I believe the way the scene is setup is designed to create lust, which is sin. We know Hollywood typically employs the right lighting and makeup to highlight every actor’s physical beauty and minimize their physical weaknesses. Therefore, we could say they are trying to make women, young and old, lust.

When the scene came up, it created some good discussion between my wife and I. I asked her if she thought it was wrong. We came to the obvious conclusion that it was a heart issue. The scene could be sinful depending on what the heart does with that scene. I would easily agree that someone could watch a shirtless Hemsworth and not lust, but the movies can make it difficult when they are inviting you to do so. Plus, our sinful hearts are exceedingly wicked, and will deceive us into thinking the scene is harmless because there’s no explicit nudity.

Part of the reason I decided to discuss this today at Reel Thinking was because of a comment I saw on Facebook. A former youth from my church commented on the extreme beauty of Chris Hemsworth. Not only was she very passionate about how beautiful he was, but she communicated it to thousands of people on Facebook; i.e., no shame.

Now, it’s great that we can see and appreciate God’s creation as beautiful, and hopefully, give the Creator glory, but I did not sense this from her comment. I sensed sinful lust. Even worse, it was celebrated lust. This is a dangerous place to be.

I don’t want to get into the details of tomorrow’s post, but it will be discussing the issue of female pornography addiction. This has been a growing concern, because the amount of females looking at pornography has been on the rise over the past decade. And in this humble bloggers opinion, it is these types of scenes in film that are feeding it.
I have been shocked, and embarrassed, at the women who have spoken so openly and boldly about how incredible Taylor Lautner’s body is in the Twilight films. You don’t hear too many males speaking this openly about the females they’re infatuated with. Maybe it is because their infatuations are darker, so they don’t voice them. Therefore, the females thoughts may be somewhat innocent, so they feel a bit more comfortable to speak openly of them. I don’t claim to know what they’re thinking.

However, my concern is that these scenes are feeding the growing porn addiction among females. What do you think? Do I need to lighten up? Is this a nonissue? Is it okay to walk the tight-rope between lust and appreciation? Let’s consider this a bit more tomorrow.

Posted: June 27, 2012 by jperritt in Comedy, Drama, Rom-com [romantic comedy], Romance
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The romantic-comedy-stripper film, Magic Mike is being released this Friday.  The previews make the film look somewhat innocent, but the content doesn’t seem to be all that innocent.  Some might even say it’s pornographic.  What do you think?