Quick Take 1 – What Was I Doing?
Friday evening found me driving like a mad woman across town to the movie theater. Late. I’m never late. That should have been a clue. My sub-conscience was trying to stop me. I’m on this quest that began two years ago with a pair of pink socks and girlie tennis shoes to understand my feminine side. Not an easy task. I’ve been wearing pink underwear for a year now allowing the girlie to filter into my body.
So now here I was trying to not be late. Well really, not be TOO late. I was already late. I was rushing down the highway only to exit my car to step into the raging river of estrogen – the opening night of the new Twilight movie. Yes, you read correctly – the 6:30 showing of the New Moon movie on a Friday night.
Quick Take 2 – What was I Thinking?
I have read the books. That in and and of its self is a confession of how far I’ve come in the process of understanding my feminine side. It took a lot of intervention from coworkers giving me books and insisting, “I HAD to read them.” I liked them – simple, girlie, lovie, and interesting constructs to get from point A to B. Very high school. The idealism was a welcome escape from a rough time at my job. I was thinking, this movie could be interesting to see how the long book is interpreted – myself and 200 other women and 12 year-old girls.
Quick Take 3 – The Myth of the Idealized Male
A conversation I had with a student’s mom during car loop last year returned to my mind during the movie:
Mom: “Oh I hear you are reading the Twilight series.”
Me: “Uhhh. I am.” (be proactive in stressful situations) “I’m enjoying them.”
Mom: “They are soooooo amazingly good.”
Mom: “Edward is the best. He is like a symbol of Jesus.”
Me: “Ohh.” (Get out of Dodge.) “Your daughter is buckled in. Bye.”
(What I wanted to say went something like: “Yes, I always like how Jesus just keeps trying to stop himself from killing me and sucking out my blood.”)
So, there I was sitting in a darkened theater next to my friend who was there to coach me through it – boy did I need it when the 12 year olds started screaming. On the other side of me was a middle aged couple. She was officially a Twilight Mom. She regularly told her long-suffering husband what was not in the book. I craned my neck. I wanted to see his face. Why was he here? I could barely manage the estrogen. This man – how was he surviving. What was HE thinking?
Quick Take 4 – It’s Not About the Face
As the movie ended and we steamed out. I partook of a favorite ADHD pass time – listening to other’s conversations. I spotted a hand full of couples and angle myself near one:
“Ohhh that was the best.” (Hands clasped to her chest.)
“Umm.” (Blank look.)
“I really liked it; didn’t you?” (Enraptured look at the credits.)
“Yes, it was good.” (What else could he say here?)
“I leaves you feeling warm.”
It wasn’t just the estrogen ocean that was overwhelming the guy. It was a gut reaction to the emotional objectification of the male. The male characters were airbrushed to idealized perfection like centerfold women in Playboy. No mere man could be Edward. (Insert 12 year-old’s scream here.)
This genre damages the expectations for relationships. Men are lectured by society and the Church for the physical objectification of women, but Christian romance novels are sold in the millions, and women are not chastised for their emotional objectification of men.
Quick Take 5 – Love Your Wife Like Christ Loves the Church
High School Girl 1: “Oh Edward is sooooo. dreamy – perfect.”
Hight School Girl 2: “Like. I know. All he cares about is Bella.”
HSG 1: “He would sacrifice himself just to keep her alive.”
HSG 2: “I wish I had a guy like that.”
(Agggg. Maybe I should take meds so the ADHD will quiet down. Am I getting more girlie because I wanted to slap HSG 2 not punch her?)
Should a husband strive to be Christ-like in his relationship with his wife? Absolutely. The onus is on the husband. The unattainable goal is one he must set for himself. It is his charge. A wife can only strive to call forth the hope of the transformed life within the husband by prayer and by calling forth her own transformation through the grace of God. The wife can not have this ideal. An ideal that a human can’t meet. This sets men up for failure and damages relationships. We take our gold and spin it into straw.*
Quick Take 6 – Deadly Thoughts
Middle-aged Mom 1: “Don’t tell Dan, but I am in Loooove with Edward.”
Middle-aged Mom 2: “Oh really – isn’t he a little too young for you.”
(giggle like a 12 year-old girl.)
M-a M 1: “He is a god. I’ve been married long enough to know what a man should be like.”
(sigh like a 16 year-old girl.)
M-a M 2: “Yeah. You said it.”
(sigh like a 53 year-old woman.)
(I resist the urge to smash my head into the carpeted wall next to the overflowing garbage can.)
It is easier to preach against the outward actions of the person rather than the inward actions. Men tend to be outward in their actions. That hungry look of misplaced passions, the rage of anger, the roar of victory; while women’s more inward actions are more commonly overlooked by society. It is always easier to have the Catholic concept of seven deadly sins over the Coptic’s concept of eight deadly thoughts. Yet what is more real to God?
I find my mind veering into the subject of our “are being saved” part of our salvation and delving deeper into the idea of submission to God’s ideal. Can we discuss this? I do wonder if the cause of our need for an ideal shouldn’t be sought within us.
Quick Take 7 – The Caveat
*This whole paragraph is not meant to say that there should be not standards. This paragraph assumes females have some realistic expectations and a functional understanding of themselves and their worth before God.