Sexual Exploitation of Women: It’s Not What You Think

ICYMI:  Last night the NFL put on a concert by Shakira and JLo, with pre- and post-show entertainment provided by the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

Predictably, evangelicals took to social media to criticize the singers for showing a little too much skin during their performance.  (You know who you are.  I’ve seen the Facebook posts.)  Franklin Graham spoke for many of you when he opined that the show “was showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay”.

Okay.  So there is a current in our culture that is increasingly pushing toward the sexualization of women.  That is not news; it has been the case for years if not decades.

Noticeably absent from this discussion is that the same force is just as strongly present in conservative evangelicalism.  Women are just as sexualized in conservative evangelicalism as they are in the secular world.  It just looks different.  In the secular world the drive is for women to please men by making themselves sexually attractive, but in the world of conservative evangelicalism the drive is for women to please men by making themselves sexually unattractive or sexually neutral.  But at the end of the day, women are sexualized and the aim is to please men sexually in one fashion or another.

Would that we could get to a place where women are celebrated and honored for being who they are, and not for whether they are sexually pleasing to men–by showing skin or by not showing it.

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