Saturday, August 29, 2009

Body as battlefield

Every time I get to the point where I stop being aware of the fact that as women we are still underlyingly seen as body/sex object, I am smacked in the face with a stark reminder.Whether you want to accept it or not from the beginning of history to now women's bodies are a battlefield of gender and power dynamics the place where control and domination are proven. How often is a man in public leadership critiqued first and foremost on his looks or attractiveness, yet any woman in a position of power is ALWAYS described first by her subsequent attractive (or hotness) factor even before we speak about her qualifications.

Yesterday afternoon a dear friend and I on a respite from the city began talking about how we are taught to hate our bodies and how the most harmful experiences we have had are around sexuality, desire, attraction and our bodies. As we spoke I started to cry because I want so badly for this not to be true for this not to happen for women to be seen as beautiful in the diverse and lovely ways they all ready are. Today reading through an article on "feeding porn" ( in on of my favorite cultural critiquing feminist magazines I felt the anger and sorrow filling up again. I keep thinking about taking Women and the Bible and reading biblical texts like the Rape of Tamar. Why do these things still happen? Why do we let them? Why are women still seen as objects and things for men to dominate and conquer...and why do we encourage mentalities that feed this understanding? I know many good and kind men but I also grieve for men that the gift of maleness being the expression of God in that manner is not honored and because of that seeks to destroy the beauty of God's femaleness that is present in women. I believe and hope to see God's presence in the restoration of male and female relationships both in moments now and in the final recreation.

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