An Eye For Beauty
An innocent look
A re-examination of the anti-porn stance
by Rev. I. Seymour Phlesh
Everyone knows that eyeing a shapely woman is a harmless male pastime.
The man gets a cheap thrill – maybe even thanks God for it –
and the woman is flattered, and everything is cozy.
Or is it?
Do we men typically dismiss leering as harmless because we are too engrossed in seizing our own pleasure to give a split second’s consideration to our victims’ feelings?
What would you think of a one-armed man who suddenly grabs a stranger and starts trying to rip off her clothes? She’s struggling to fend him off, frantically trying to protect herself from humiliating exposure, attempting to hold down her skirt with one hand, and clutching her neckline with the other while he’s doing his utmost to expose more of her flesh and underwear.
Doesn’t that same desperate battle take place whenever a
woman with normal feelings is gawked at? The absence of violence makes it no less an assault on a woman’s desperate attempt to preserve her modesty and avoid humiliation. Even if she manages to keep prying eyes out of her private parts, the entire ordeal is an offensive attack on her person. Like struggling with a one-armed man, she has a chance of emerging with some of her modesty intact, but should she have to endure such a degrading battle, tugging at her skirt, calculating how to avoid bending over, knowing that if she relaxes her defenses for a moment filthy eyes could be thrust up or down her dress? Should she have to go through life haunted by the knowledge that at any moment her decency could be violated – even by someone who claims to be a Christian?
‘If women don’t want to be treated as sex objects, why do they go out of their way to dress like sex objects? If any woman really wanted to protect her modesty, why would she wear the ridiculous clothes most women wear – so vulnerable to wind, and riding up, or flopping down?’
Because they feel pressured to walk the thin line between not being looked down upon for dressing in a dowdy manner, while at the same time trying to preserve their decency. Ultimately, men determine women’s fashions. Some women are desperate to appeal to men and the rest follow like sheep, scared to act differently in a world in which so much rides on whether one is fashionably dressed.
In western society, it is usually the case that a woman is either dressed seductively or she is not considered to be well dressed. This is so much the norm that women rarely stop to consider how carefully women’s clothing is designed to maximize sexuality. Despite being quite experienced, there are gaping holes in the average woman’s understanding of male sexuality. A woman can be remarkably naive as to exactly what arouses a man and yet seem highly skilled in dressing provocatively. All she need do is buy fashionable clothes. Women who consider themselves to be well dressed, but modestly so, are usually oblivious to the fact that they display more flesh than their male counterparts; nor do they analyze why their off-the-rack clothes are designed with the tantalizing prospect of revealing even more; nor why the clothes are usually more closely fitting than most men’s clothing. Who, for instance, stops to analyze why even long skirts and dresses reveal more and are more vulnerable to wind and body movement than men’s clothing?
Any woman not dressed provocatively risks so much scorn that most women feel driven to dress within a fraction of an inch of exposing to the world flesh that they long to conceal and reserve for the sanctity of marriage.
‘I’m sick to the stomach of men forever being portrayed as villains and women as innocent victims.’
You’re right. I am explaining, not excusing, women’s actions. Further on in this web series you might be shocked at how strongly supportive I am of your assessment. But as God started with the man after Adam and Eve sinned, that’s where I’m starting. And as Adam’s and then Eve’s attempt at blame-shifting did not work, neither will ours. We will all one day stand before the Judge of all the earth. Temptations must come, said Jesus, but woe to the person who causes them. Nevertheless, no matter what the provocation, the presence of temptation does not diminish our responsibility to do what is right. It just adds to Christ’s glory when through him we find the supernatural power to resist.
Stealing a look is robbing a woman of her modesty. It is violating her person; stripping her of her decency; invading her private parts. It is denying her the right to appear in public without someone using her for his sexual pleasure or having her physical attributes critically compared with a hundred images of airbrushed sluts distorted beyond what any woman can compete with. Stealing a look is to use her up, spit her out, and move on to the next victim; treating her with less respect than a blow-up plastic dummy. With intrusive eyes boring through her, she is allowed no more right of refusal than if she were taken prisoner, and forced to star in the sordid home-made video playing in someone’s mind. Her consent is not sought, nor is payment offered. A whore is treated with more dignity. The victim has no more control over her degradation than if she were abducted and reduced to a sex slave.
It’s worse than robbery. Steal $10,000 and when you come to your senses you can work until you repay it in full, plus interest. Steal a look and you can never repay the woman you have demeaned and defiled, nor the husband (or future husband) you have offended. Through the lens of your eyes photos have developed in your mind and you can never hand over the negatives. Like robbing a woman of her virginity, it can never be returned. It is accurate to call leering visual rape.
‘But if someone sneaks a look, who would know?’
If, by a look, you strip a woman of her personhood, turning her into a centerfold reject – a piece of paper that only exists for your 5 seconds of pleasure – then screw her up and trash her, chances are that she will know it.
Women are uncannily aware of which parts of their body a man is eyeballing, and what is racing through his mind. When a man preys upon a woman, deceitfully trying to use her for his sexual gratification, in his mind she might be naked but he rarely realizes how naked his mind is to her. She’s been sexually invaded; made his unwilling plaything, and she feels it. Sadly, women have had years of practice in picking up the vibes from the stare, the sly look, or the sideways glance, try as you might to conceal it.
The following is not entirely factual, although it is based on an experience a woman shared with me. A woman went forward in a church meeting to give her life to Jesus, and even before he prayed for her, the preacher’s eyes burrowed down her dress, emerging only after he had seized every fraction of forbidden pleasure that he could manage. That look, which he thought he had got away with, could have easily turned the woman so completely against Christianity as to condemn her to hell. She could have been ruined eternally by one look. That filthy invasion of her private parts is indelibly imprinted in her mind and in the mind of God. How would you like to be that preacher when he faces the Judge if he continues to go through life excusing, rather than deeply repenting of the free looks he thinks he gets away with?
Even if your victim remained totally unaware, you know, and God knows.
You can’t degrade others without degrading yourself. To nurture the habit of evaluating women primarily by their physical appearance, not their heart, is the exact opposite of God’s way of viewing people (Scriptures). Since the goal of the Christian life is to become like Christ anyone having this attitude is not doing too well, is he?
A friend of mine felt the need to personally apologize to a woman who had suffered greatly because of breast implants that went horribly wrong. At a glance, his sense of responsibility seems excessive. He was only one of hundreds who had indirectly contributed to this woman’s sense of inadequacy that drove her to plastic surgery. The sobering fact, however, is that over the years hundreds had been victims of that one man's glance.
It’s been said that as long as you act in love towards God and people you can do what you like. That certainly can’t include leering, because there is nothing loving about that selfish act.
‘But it’s a natural male reaction. No normal red-blooded man can be expected to act as if he were castrated.’
Over time your sexual response might change slightly, but especially in the short term no one can control how sexually arousing he finds a particular sight. What you can control, however, is where and how long you will look. Job said he made a pact with his eyes not to look wrongfully at a woman (Job 31:1). He made up his mind not to let his eyes linger where they shouldn’t. ‘Turn my eyes away from worthless things,’ prayed the psalmist (Psalm 119:37).
You don’t have to be a slave of sex. Jesus died to set you free (John 8:34-36). But do you want him to free you? That’s the burning issue. Do you want to go through life without ‘enjoying’ forbidden pleasures, or are you so infatuated with your own selfish pleasure that you would rather grieve God than let him deliver you? ‘Flee youthful lusts,’ says Scripture, (2 Timothy 2:22) but do you want the ability to high tail it out of there, even if, like Lot (Genesis 19:15-17) you have to be almost dragged out, or do you want to break out of Christ’s embrace in order to linger around and enjoy the sights?
By a look you force yourself upon a stranger, violate her right to say no, and shamefully use her for your sexual gratification. Your eyes become loathsome intruders desecrating her secret parts.
Jesus equated hate with murder. To hate is to consciously or unconsciously wish a person were dead. Likewise, to wish you could see more of a woman’s body or underwear than she wishes to reveal is as immoral as forcibly exposing her flesh while she screams in horror.
‘Okay, I admit it’s virtually an act of abuse to deny a woman her right to modesty and violate her sense of decency. From now on I’ll limit myself to women who give their full consent, such as photographic models.’
Excellent! You’ll go from using all good-looking strangers for your sexual pleasure
to using all good-looking strangers for your sexual pleasure who sign on the dotted line. I commend you for gallantly planning to divide your brain into two; treating the woman in front of the billboard in a totally different way to the woman on the billboard; not comparing the women filling your bus with the women filling your mind. Your mental mastery is astounding. If you can maintain this schizophrenia, you have only a hurdle or two to mount and it is my conviction that you can enjoy soft porn with God’s blessing.
The bus girl is on the left.
Hurdle 1: Gaining Godlike knowledge
How can you know that the woman who once allowed herself to be photographed, still wants people to gloat over her exposed body? How do you know that heart-wrenching financial pressures did not drive
Nicole Kidman to do something in a moment of desperation that she now bitterly
regrets, like in her movie, Eyes Wide Shut? Or was
she on a chemical high when lured into signing her rights away? Consider Nicole who, as the only way of making it in the movie business, reluctantly permitted her body a split second’s exposure. How can we be sure she even considered the possibility of being freeze-framed? What if the woman you degrade has since become your sister in the Lord, or fallen in love with a decent man, and is now riddled with shame over what she did?
People move on, but photos remain. You have no way of knowing if any of your frozen-in-time playthings are now devastated that men still defile them by treating them as prostitutes for whom they pay a few cents each. If a woman were raped, at least the violation would finally end. These women sign away their power to end their degradation.
Hurdle 2: Finding the time when stealing is right
If it’s wrong to steal from a woman who tries to protect
what is hers, is it right to steal from someone foolish enough to not lock up her valuables? Or is it right to rip off someone who has been conned into undervaluing her assets; someone so weak-minded as to sell something that is priceless – something money could never buy back? Women who sell their flesh are often victims of
past sexual abuse. They have been tragically brainwashed into thinking themselves worthless sluts. They are hounded by condemnation and the loss of their innocence; fed the satanic lie that they can never reclaim their virginity in God’s eyes. Do you want to be partner to the continued exploitation of her wounded emotions?
So you’re the king of schizophrenia, you’ve found women you supernaturally know will never regret their actions, you’ve somehow found a moral loophole that allows you to exploit a woman’s vulnerability.
Let the good times roll, baby!