How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D. C. McAllister
This is rather long, but well worth the read:
(Link): How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D C McAllister
- Our society needs a phileo resurgence so we can express ourselves with the nonsexual passion and love we really feel.
- … I guess I am kind of weird. I confess: I’m very passionate about my friends. But am I the abnormal one, or is there something wrong with our society? My daughter isn’t unusual, and her response was pretty typical. Many people have that reaction to women who are passionate about their friends—and even more so for men!…I wish “bromance” would disappear from the American lexicon forever.
- That’s because it represents everything that’s wrong with our culture when it comes to friendship.Instead of friendship being noble, nonromantic, and normal, it has become the exception, romanticized to the point that we’re uncomfortable describing it and experiencing it for what it is. Even as we try to distinguish it from homosexuality, we are corrupting real friendship by placing it in the context of romance….How Romanticism and Puritanism Corrupts Friendship
The problem with our modern culture is friendship has been corrupted. Lewis says it began with the age of sentimentality and romanticism.
Friendship love, with its blend of individuality and community, rationality and freedom of choice, as well as its deep intimacy, raises us “to the level of gods or angels.”
But then came romanticism with its return to nature and exaltation of sentiment, instinct, and the “dark gods in the blood.”
“Under this new dispensation,” Lewis writes, “all that had once commended this love [friendship] now began to work against it.” A culture riding the wave of passion abandoned phileo for eros, and the effects on society have been devastating in ways people don’t begin to understand.
While Lewis puts the blame of phileo’s decline at the feet of romanticism, I think there is another culprit. Puritanism and Victorian sensibilities have also played a role in friendship’s decline.
Puritanism put a damper on passions as if they are the seat of evil within the soul.
Passionate friendships between opposite sexes weren’t allowed as women were shuffled into the kitchen while the men discussed business among themselves in the study.
Showing feeling—especially in a physical way—even in same-sex friendships was discouraged, and while the Puritans were hardly stoic, they guarded against passion outside of marriage and the expression of too much “worldly” feeling.
This tight control on feelings seeped into our culture, worsened by Victorian aloofness. We became a society that shook hands instead of kissed.
….But something else was also taking place [in American culture]—the sexual revolution, a romanticized reaction to America’s Puritanical attitudes.
Everything became about sex, and this sexualization of our culture has become more intense over time.
Just look at advertising. Teeth whitening, floor cleaners, automobiles, dolls, food, drinks, make-up, even bubble gum—all associated with sex. Common things that are completely asexual have sexuality attached to it. Everything is about sex. We’re saturated with it.
The effect of these two warring attitudes—Puritanism and sexualization—has had a distorting effect on friendship. On the one hand, people don’t feel free to show emotions. On the other, when they do, those feelings are sexualized.
…. The more friendship is misunderstood and ignored, the more people will identify as homosexual and bisexual.
The more we condition our perceptions in a sexual way and the more children are exposed to sex even before they develop meaningful friendships, the less likely they will be able to separate healthy nonsexual feelings from sexual ones.
Sex will become the defining feature of all their feelings. Eros will have slain phileo.
….. I think one of the greatest dangers of our sexualized culture has nothing to do with typical morality about sex as we understand it. It has to do with the deterioration of true, deep friendships.
… Friendship makes people happy and actually strengthens marriages. The rise of polyamory is one example relating to this final point. One of the biggest arguments for polyamory (many sexual partners in a relationship) is that one person isn’t enough. “I need more than just my husband,” one polyamorist told me.
…. Nothing (besides being completely alone) is more unfulfilling than to have no friends and just be with one person your whole life. That person simply can’t meet all your emotional needs (especially if you’re a deep-feeling personality). You need more people. But what you need are friends—real, loving friends—not more sexual relationships.
… Our society needs a phileo resurgence, to discard the sexualized overlay on our relationships and express ourselves with the nonsexual passion and love we really feel. The reward is stability, wholeness, and a deep satisfaction as we connect with other people in an intimate way.
Related Posts On This Blog:
(Link): Reclaiming Stolen Friendships – a blog post criticizing the Sexist, Anti – Singles Christian Billy Graham Rule
(Link): Halloween Pole-Dancing Lawn Skeletons Deemed Too Risque’ For ‘Family-Friendly’ Block
(Link): Christian Patriarchalists and Gender Complementarians Sexualizing the Trinity and Insisting Sexual Activity is Necessary to Fully Know God (via Under Much Grace blog)
(Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments
(Link): Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”
Link): Why Comic Characters and Super Heroes Can’t Marry – Marriage Makes People Selfish
(Link): Married Virgin Asexual Woman Allows Her Husband To Have Sex with Other Women – Why Christians Need to Emphasize Sexual Self Control For Everyone, Not Just Teen Girls
(Link): Perverted Christian Couple Wants to “Wife Swap” (For Sex) With Other Christian Couple – Why Christians Need to Uphold Chastity / Celibacy For All People Even Married Couples Not Just Teens
(Link): John Hugh Morgan Continues to Copy Stuff from my Blog / Report Inaccurate Information / Other Critiques
(Link): John Hugh Morgan Still Lurking At My Blog as of summer 2015 – What Nerve
(Link): Patriarchy tends to sexualize all male / female relationships (article via Junia Project blog)
(Link): Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships
(Link): Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships
(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both
(Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles
(Link): The Sexualization of God and Jesus
(Link): Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church – article about sexual abuse in Baptist churches -article mentions how Baptist preacher sexualized Jesus
(Link): Paul, Singleness, And Mutuality: Three Proposals for The Church (from Junia Project)
(Link): The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers
(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity or Self Control
(Link): Is Jesus Too Sexy? Too Sexy for His Hat, Too Sexy for His Shirt? And What About Salome in Movies? / Re: Actor Diogo Morgado and Depictions of Jesus in Movies – Including Son of God
(Link): Think The “Billy Graham Rule” Would Have Saved Tullian? Think Again… (Billy Graham rule has all Christians treating single adult women as though they are harlots who cannot be trusted)
(Link): Singles Advocate DePaulo Responds to Right Wing, Conservative Critics of Singlehood, Who Blame Singles For Breakdown of The Family
(Link): Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)
(Link): Marketing Companies Offering ‘Sexy Jesus’ Calendar, Selfies With Jesus
(Link): Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work
(Link): Does God Require Singles to Be Perfect Before He Will Send Them a Spouse
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear
(Link): The Death of Romance (How Christians Have Made Romantic Relationships and Marriage Into Idols) from CT
(Link): A Critique of – 10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry by J. Lee Grady / And on Christians Marrying Non Christians -and- Unrealistic, Too Rigid Spouse Selection Lists by Christians
2 thoughts on “How To Stop Sexualizing Everything by D. C. McAllister”
Hi, I just found this blog. 29 year old single, Christian male. Just wanted to say I appreciate this space.
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