Do you get this? I sure don't.
The culture has become so bizarre and so twisted, that I'm not sure what to say or how to comment on it. While I'm a huge advocate of calling out those individuals who have sexually harassed and assaulted people for years and years, I've got some concerns.
Personally, I have no problem with people losing their jobs because of chronic and until now, unchecked sexual misconduct. Hearing the sordid details about the secret button in Matt Lauer's office, for example, makes it clear to me that he deserved to get booted from NBC. I was equally happy to see the likes of pervs like Al Franken and John Conyers get tossed from Congress - honestly, the last thing we need is a Congress busy pinching pages and assaulting interns. I wish we had held the same standard for President back in the 90's.
Does anyone find it strange, however, that the new voice of morality and propriety are Hollywood celebrities? Any actress or any individual has every right to speak up about bad behavior, of course, so I don't mean to play the morally superior game or anything. But out of one side of their mouths, they call for respectful treatment and sexual restraint, whether in the workplace, at an event, or anywhere else. All of that is great, and I totally agree. But then these same individuals turn around, put on their p-hats, and advocate for the freedom to be as sexually promiscuous as they want, without being "slut-shamed." What's more, these same women militantly advocate for the freedom to have as many abortions as they want, for any reason, and at any time during pregnancy.
And what are people shouting? "Oprah for President!!!" Seriously.
What's astonishing to me is the failure of many in the general public to see that these two sides don't match up. On the one hand, the #MeToo movement has taken on almost a Puritanical attitude, in the Salem Witch Trials sense, that is. On the other hand, many in this same #TimesUp movement don't seem to recognize that they should also restrain their own sexual behavior and behave in the same way that they wish to be treated.
This isn't about victim-blaming or anything like that. Every person should feel perfectly free to move about in society and work and do whatever they want without worrying that someone's going to grab their backside or worse. But there's a consistency missing here, and as far as I've seen, no one is calling these women to task for representing themselves as sex objects in their own movies and shows. It's sort of like these anti-gun celebrities who make millions of dollars in movies and TV shows that glorify gun violence. It reminds me a bit of the Abigail Warren character in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, calling for so-called witches to be punished, all the while covering up her own immoral behavior. I guess it's just I don't believe that Hollywood should be the moral arbiter of anything, because they don't deserve that honor. They make their money by portraying themselves in disgraceful ways, so when the likes of Angelina Jolie or Meryl Streep turn around and try to proclaim what's good and what's not, I'm going to have to question that. Big time.
All of this confusion is the result of a culture that turned away from God long ago, and thus has become morally unmoored. Secular morality can only go so far, as we've seen these last 50+ years, and as younger generations are nurtured in this conflicted climate, the problem gets deeper and harder to resolve. Hollywood has always been a moral cesspool, but the larger culture that was still rooted in faith managed to hold them in check. But now, with the larger culture religiously ambiguous, there's nothing to hold Hollywood back from its own depravity, taking us in all the while. Now that they've literally been caught with their pants down, however, everyone's in a panic.
It shouldn't be a big surprise, though. The whole Hollywood climate is steeped in depravity, so when a lot of stars and producers start behaving badly, we shouldn't be shocked. Disgusted, yes, but shocked, no way. The same holds true for Washington. Take Kirsten Gillibrand, for example. On one hand, she came out strongly against sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace, which is great, but then again, this is the same woman who recently sent warm birthday greetings to Bill Clinton. This is also the same woman who is extremely pro-abortion. So she expects good behavior from her colleagues but she has no problem with a doctor killing a baby?
If this culture is to heal, we have to embrace consistency. We have to behave as we wish to be treated, and we really need to raise our standards regarding what we would regard as entertainment. If we don't want sexual harassment, then we should not permit sexually explicit material in our homes. That's the stuff that teaches kids, both boys and girls, that open sexuality is just fine, which thus creates the confusion. People are naturally modest, regardless of what the culture teaches us. How often do you see a girl in a super-short skirt constantly tugging it down a bit? That's her natural modesty at play.
This is what makes the Hollywood culture so pernicious and vile. It makes our own instincts our enemies and it tears at our self-confidence. Not so long ago, girls would be embarrassed if anyone knew they'd had sex before marriage. These days, people are laughed at if they're "still a virgin." Again, this goes against our own nature to be monogamous with one special person, and it certainly explains so much anxiety, depression, and dissatisfaction with self.
Maybe we need a new Hays Code, let entertainment and entertainers focus on just that: entertainment. Of course, that might sound silly, to return to a restrictive code of what can and can't be depicted in a movie, and of course, I wouldn't want the government getting involved with that. I do, however, believe that we all need to ask ourselves some big questions about what we allow ourselves to see, and how that can affect us, even subconsciously. Unless you're a regular viewer of pornography, do you really need to see people going at it in bed? Do you need to see their tongues slurping on each other? Isn't there more to a story than just sex? And not, shouldn't there be?
Hollywood has gotten lazy, but so have viewers. Part of it is that technology is so advanced that movie-makers want to take full advantage, and viewers want to see that. No problem there. But that's also led to stories fueled by action, violence, sexuality, and shallow dialogue. Stories are regurgitated again and again, and most big movies are either about superheroes or emojis or they're based on a TV show or a cartoon or even a commercial. Then again, our schools don't exactly demand that we think deeply about anything, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that writers are equally shallow.
So where is this all leading? The more I write this, the more I realize how much we need to fix in this society if we are to get back to a place of true virtue and respect, starting with each of us taking a hard look at ourselves. What do we, as children of God, deserve? How should we truly be treated? To what are we willing expose ourselves? Are we letting ourselves down by falling prey to Hollywood depravity? Are we ready to behave the same way we demand others treat us? Will we respect every human life?
Those are all big questions, Are we ready for the answers?
witty; cunning; crafty
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