It’s a surreal experience for me whenever I find myself agreeing with the American entertainment industry about anything. Normally, the things those folks celebrate strike me as unnatural and downright sinful. However, apparently we agree with each other when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual abuse. The (spoken, at least) Hollywood consensus is that these things are wrong. I agree. Indeed, I would go so far as to call them evil, a stench in God’s nostrils.
Hooray! However, from our apparent agreement, something seems to be missing. Various actresses, singers, etc., have been tweeting #MeToo as an indication that they were sexually harassed or abused. I suggest, though, that there’s another #MeToo that ought to be going out—an acknowledgement of culpability in creating the sex-obsessed culture that has given rise to all these monstrous abusers and harassers.
Let’s be real here. The likes of Harvey Weinstein weren’t just perverts in their private dealings. They were perverts in crafting the entertainment that they put out for worldwide consumption. They preached the same gospel of unrestrained sexual license that they practiced. There is no disconnect between those two things.
If Hollywood truly is sorry about all of this, then, it needs to collectively repent. Here’s what I think repentance would look like.
Stop acting like skin scenes are art. They aren’t. They’re smut. I suppose that some epicene creature out there truly might appreciate them for their aesthetic value, but 99.9 percent of the people who are watching are watching because they’re sexually stirred (unless they’ve seen so much smut that they’re desensitized). Trash is trash, even with a big-name actress and a soft-focus lens.
Stop cramming them into every single movie that isn’t animated. It’s unnecessary, and if nekkid people do happen to be essential to the plot of some story, it probably isn’t a story that should be told. In real life, you aren’t catering to the artsy crowd. You’re giving aid and comfort to the pervert crowd. Don’t do this and then turn around and complain that men are treating women like sex objects. It’s utterly hypocritical.
Stop pretending that sex has no consequences. As atheists love to remark, the Bible is a fairly R-rated book. You’ve got various characters raping their sisters, sleeping with their father’s concubines, and committing adultery, then murdering to cover it up. The Scriptures are pretty blunt in their discussion of these actions and many more like them.
However, the Bible never pretends that sexual immorality has no consequences. What Paul Harvey would call “the rest of the story” unfolds with remorseless inevitability. Sure, Biblical characters can be immoral, but they generally get clobbered for it. Not surprisingly, since the Bible is a factual book, this tracks the consequences of sexual immorality in our time too. You can buy now, but you’re going to pay later.
Sadly, the treatment of sex in TV shows, movies, etc., does not reflect reality. When such loving attention is paid to the act itself, one might expect equal attention to be paid to the ensuing crash-and-burn disaster. However, that’s not the Hollywood way. Instead, the countless characters who sin generally manage to dance between the raindrops and escape ruin altogether. Sadly, as millions of single parents and broken homes attest, things don’t go so well for the foolish people who try to imitate them.
Stop undermining the family. When you get right down to it, I’m a fairly cautious soul. I don’t use my lawn mower to trim hedges. When I’m ripping boards with my table saw, I use a push stick rather than putting my hand an inch away from the spinning blade. As a rule, when I’m dealing with powerful equipment, I follow the manufacturer’s instructions because I like having ten fingers.
Power tools can tear you up, no doubt, but they’re nothing next to the power of the human sexual impulse. According to our Manufacturer, there’s only one safe way to channel that force, in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Do things any other way, and you’re asking for trouble.
Hollywood sees things differently. To them, the nuclear family is only one of a multitude of equally good options. Same-sex marriage, open marriage, open debauchery—they’re all equally wonderful. One presumes that if handed a lawn mower, the intelligentsia of the entertainment industry would use it not only to trim their hedges, but also to cut their hair. Never mind the silly warning! Look how well this works and how happy we are!
In reality, not all options are created equal, and the health of our families and our nation depends on dropping the pretense that they are. Let’s see some promotion and celebration of God’s plan for the family for a change. The Lord knows that millions of Americans take their moral marching orders from the TV. At least that would get them marching in the right direction.
Of course, I am under no illusions that any of these things will actually happen. With one side of their mouths, the glitterati will decry the shameful, shameful behavior of these monstrous, monstrous men (even though their misdeeds were an open secret for years before it became fashionable to call them out). With the other, they will continue to promote the same sex-drenched worldview that creates monsters.
Not surprisingly, the years ahead will yield more of the same: more promotion of moral decline, more sex scandals, more handwringing, more pious affirmation that at least we’ve left behind the straitjacket of patriarchal morality. A little more progress, and surely we’ll leave behind the harassment and abuse too.
Tragically, all the progress appears to be in the wrong direction.