Barefoot and Pregnant addresses the Fifty Shades of Grey post at Bad Catholic.
There's nothing I'm going to add, except that all I could think when I read it was not about the problems in his particular post, but about the bigger picture. What does it say about our society that this topic is being talked about at all, whether in a Catholic context or not? Just to be clear: talking about rape among conservative Catholics: embarrassing. Talking about perverted sexual fantasies: perfectly fine! Yes, he got reprimanded pretty roundly, and apologized more than once...but he felt comfortable approaching the topic in the first place, and that is where the heart of the problem lies. Not with him but with everyone else, because that is not normal, and it sure as hell ain't how it used to be. And no, it's not just because of the book. The book is the product of this growing trend, not the cause. Kind of like how immodest dress is the product of a culture that treats women like sexual objects, not the cause. Symptoms: that's what they are.
Because it's also gleeful, gruesome violence against women on tv all the time. And the guy from Princess Bride doesn't like it:
“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place,” he says. “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality...I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about.”Oh, but this isn't Chairo; it's not women get harassed in the street or anything. Well, at least they are doing something:
The members of the group patrolled during the recent Eid al-Adha festival celebrations, armed with cans of black and white spray paint, attacking, pinning down, and scarlet-lettering the shit out of grabbers and gropers with the words "I Am a Harasser." Mostly men themselves, the activists wore matching fluoro jackets with "Harassment Prevention" scrawled across their backs in Arabic.Look, all I'm saying about all of this is that it's everywhere, and I want to know why, because something seems to be breaking down in our society. Oh, but oh my gosh, it's just so BORING. Violence against women...it's so trite! It's not sexy like talking about contraception or the Theology of the Body; it doesn't make us feel like heroes by condemning women right and left for getting abortions because, ya know, we don't have to actually do anything about that. It's the laws that have to change, not us.
I spent all last week thinking about the Marshall McLuhan.
Why is this understanding of "the medium is the message" particularly useful? We tend to notice changes - even slight changes (that unfortunately we often tend to discount in significance.) "The medium is the message" tells us that noticing change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium. With this early warning, we can set out to characterize and identify the new medium before it becomes obvious to everyone - a process that often takes years or even decades. And if we discover that the new medium brings along effects that might be detrimental to our society or culture, we have the opportunity to influence the development and evolution of the new innovation before the effects becomes pervasive.Or, in more poetic terms, "it's all I'm doing now / Listening for patterns in the sound / Of an endless static sea."
Well, this was just supposed to be a list of links, and not a cohesive narrative, but so much for that idea and the bulk of my evening. Someday maybe I'll update my other blog.