"Fifty Shades" of Double Standards

2595_539461289940_1979914_nThe ways that men and women experience most things in life differ more often than not. Women tend to experience life through words. Men tend to do so through images. Because of these differences, it can be hard to know when a double standard occurs. As a woman, I feel the impact of double standards on almost a daily basis.  Men can talk a certain way, act a certain way, and be treated a certain way…I can’t.

Double standards hurt when they impact me as a woman.  I should be equally as appalled when a double standard impact the men around me.

When I married my husband, I did so for better or for worse.  Over the course of our seventeen years of marriage, there have been times of each.  Never, however, have we had to deal with issues that would arise from him watching or looking at porn.  I cannot imagine what that would do to me as his wife.  I cannot imagine what that would do to our marriage.  I just simply cannot imagine it.  As I write these words, I get a little anxious knowing full well that many women have dealt with this or do deal with it.  I doubt that it would be a marriage breaker for us because I believe in the power of Christ, but it would be a pretty hard thing to deal with.

As the Fifty Shades of Grey has recently swept across my radar, I have had little to no interest in reading the book.  I never thought that I would write a blog post about the book (not having read it – I am typically pretty opposed to doing something like that), but I found that I had to defend why I was not reading it and encourage others to stay away as well.  I shared my reasons in a post a few days ago.  Several friends had asked why I was not reading it, and it just became easier to write a blog post.

I never thought that I would write a follow up post, but the comments on the various blogs have led me to write this post.

My favorite:

We would have a cow if our Christian bros were reading/watching this type of stuff and supporting the objectification of women… so why is the reverse considered acceptable? Um, it’s not.

So true…

If we, as women, are opposed to our husbands, brothers, fathers, and male friends watching  or looking at pornography, we – as women –  have to oppose reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  In the same way that I do not have to watch a pornographic film to know that I should not watch it, I do not have to read the book to know that I should not read it.

Because we (male vs female) tend to experience life differently, men are drawn to images while women are drawn to words.  This is only difference between “adult” films and “adult” reading.  If we, as women, do not recognize this in ourselves, we need to step back and consider.  They both have the same end through different means. And the same end needs to be avoided.

If not, then a double standard is being applied.  We, as women, are continuously up in arms about the double standards that we seem to encounter often.  We should be able to spot a double standard when we see it.  And when we do, we need to acknowledge it and listen to it.

What is not good for the goose is also not good for the gander.

What happens if the double standard continues in this area?  The men in our lives will soon realize it, and the voice against “adult entertainment”…an industry that damages so many…will fall on deaf ears. If that happens, our world will see a new era of darkness.

Mark, a commenter from the areavoices.com site on which I post, stated it perfectly:

When do we as individuals and as a nation start to mourn, rather than celebrate, the slow but sure degradation of our morals into a miry shade of grey where war can be peace and hate can be love? I fear the wake-up call for many will be at the moment when they desperately need human compassion to rescue them from a helpless situation and they only receive cold indifference from those whom they thought were family and friends.

It’s time for us to wake up and stand up – stand against all forms of entertainment that blur the lines of appropriate and healthy relationships.  It is time to face the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey is porn for the woman’s mind.  If we say no to the image-based porn, we have to say no to word-based porn.

I know that I am drawing the line in the sand with these posts.  I know that I have taken a stand that may be unpopular.  But when my gut says that something is ugly, it is usually right.  And if my gut asks me to share my view with others, the mind will not quiet until the fingers obey and share what is on my heart.  I respectfully welcome the thoughts of others and only ask that you be respectful toward me in your disagreement. 

Through all who have disagreed with me so far, the one thing that I have yet to hear is what redeeming value this book has. Is there any?

6 Comments

Filed under faith, health, Social Justice

6 responses to “"Fifty Shades" of Double Standards

  1. Kimberly Wegleitner

    Well said! I never really thought of the double-standard issue in my decision not to read “Fifty,” but I would say this is probably the most compelling argument not to.

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  2. Trinette Kaiser

    I would say that the only redeeming quality (and that phrased used LOOSELY) this whole series has, is that it has opened up the conversation about double standards, porn, healthy and unhealthy relationships, and the objectification of both women and men (because I truly believe the tables are turned and in the case of FSOG it\’s the handsome, young billionaire man that is being objectified).

    Hooray for posts like this – and all the other social media shares – where women are taking a stand saying they are not going to read this series. Let those strong, fearless voices ring! Refusal to read this book is tantamount to the other social media blurbs I\’ve been seeing lately of celebrity men holding up signs that say \”Real Men Don\’t Buy Women\”. I only hope & pray that the FSOG protest shares get as much attention as those.

    Let\’s see a post now on exactly WHY a series like this appeals to women today (my theory is that in it they find the attention, adoration and pursuit that they aren\’t getting from the men in their life and don\’t recognize from their heavenly Father). I believe that examining the \”why\” will help more women understand what they\’re missing and hopefully keep them away from this counterfit thief of true love and intimacy!

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    • Thanks, TK! I would love to write the WHY post that you have suggested…I’m not sure that I am the right person to address it, though. Perhaps I will figure it all out over the next week. 🙂

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    • YES to the above comment! The why related to our desire to be pursued, our love for the pursuer – Being pursued is a powerful thing for a woman. If we are not being pursued, where is the temptation to see this elsewhere through as Stacy puts so well the power of the written word. There are a million ways to counterfeit love, to give just enough of a picture of the real thing for it to be appealing but on closer examination to realize it’s a fake jewel that will tarnish and not last. Bravo Stacey for a great couple of posts.

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