An article titled “A Gentleman’s Take On Why Women Should Never Settle For Less Than They Deserve” showed up in my Facebook feed today. I don’t know what is more funny/sad; the article itself or the commentary it is accumulating. Go read it for yourself ladies and see what it makes you feel. Guys go and read it too and ask yourself if you want this man around your wife, sister, daughter, grandmother…any female you actually love and respect. Does this sound like a gentleman? The author obviously believes he is a gentleman, many of the commenters agree, both male and female, and over 40k people shared it so far. Why is this getting so much traction? This article’s take on women is so demeaning as to be a bad joke; a parody I’d expect out of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The author unknowingly illustrates his own point. The reason so many women lower their standards is that the standard is so low that he can seriously pass off patronizing womanization as gentlemanly! The question is, how did the standard get so low??
Earlier this week I wrote an article about the effect of more and more men using pornography. Ultimately that effect is the objectification of women; reducing women to things rather than beings. A Gentleman’s Take shows you the result of a porn saturated male mentality. Not that the author himself is a porn user, I have no idea about that, but he writes from a culture where porn has dumbed down both men and women to the point where a man can assign himself not only the title of gentleman, but can purport to speak for all gentlemen on a web site that calls itself “The Voice of Generation Y,” in an article so silly, immature, and condescending as to be written by any horny 13 year old boy in a high school freshman english class. The picture accompanying the article itself contains specifically pornographic elements intended to do what porn does; titillate and attract. The content reveals that gentlemen read poetry, roll their r’s, and like to get a few vodkas into a woman before they gently and oh-so-politely invite her into their bedroom (which is probably in their parent’s basement). Evidently gentlemen are not very humble because other men are just “losers” who are “not worth the squeeze.” The author ends by suggesting that women go out there and find a hopeless romantic (like him) because they are men not boys.
To the porn saturated mind, women are primarily objects of desire. Men and women alike adjust to this reality. Men maneuver to obtain the object and women maneuver to become more desirable. Men who lack one tool to obtain their desired objects will find others (like vodka and rolled r’s). The same with women. The interplay between the sexes has always operated like this to one extent or another, but porn amplifies it by making sexual satisfaction of desire so readily obtainable that men can get whatever they want out of a digital woman without opening a door, buying a dinner, or meeting her mother. Women are competing with cheap digital hookers for the attention of men. This is how an article written by an obvious womanizer gets widespread acceptance.
How can we all, men and women, escape the pornographic distortion and lowering of standards? Go on a war against pornography? Root it out of popular culture? This is treating the symptom and leaving the disease. Men need to become men and women need to become women, not within the confines of a romantic relationship, but before the eyes of God. Kierkegaard said there was only one “sin unto death” – one sin that would kill us as dead as dead can be – and that it was trying to become a self outside the presence of God. Ladies, if you try to become your self merely in the presence of a man, even the best man, a true gentleman, you will never be all you were meant to be. Your standard is too low. Gentlemen, if you try to shape your self in a way that makes you acceptable to a woman, even the most lovely and worthy lady, you will not become all you were meant to be. Your standard is too low. God’s opinion of us is so high that every other opinion is not only a low opinion, it is a life-stealing opinion; it is death unless it is taken in relation to his opinion. Don’t think so? Try consoling your daughter when the boy she is dating decides someone else is better than she is. Watch her wither. What will you do for her? Tell her another boy will come along? His opinion will restore her to life? For how long? The best boy may grow into a man and give his whole life to her, but there is a day coming when sweet lips cease to speak and a gentleman’s touch is cooled by death. And that opinion is forever lost. She must have a higher opinion and truer opinion, a permanent opinion. There is only one man who gives this and gave it and promises to keep giving it. The gospel is God’s opinion of us. It is the promise not to hold us to a higher standard, but to lift us to an impossible standard. This is the answer to our pornographically broken world; to accept his elevation.
“And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” – Soren Kierkegaard
(this is a repost of an earlier blog by a different title)