views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
Entertainment glorifying or excusing predatory male behavior is everywhere—from songs about “blurred lines” to TV shows where rapists marry their victims.
Edward Cullen. Chuck Bass. Lloyd Dobler. Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That guy from Love Actually with the sign. The lead singers of emo bands with their brooding lyrics.
Many of the romantic heroes that made me swoon in my youth followed a pattern and, like a Magic Eye picture, only with a little distance did the shape of it pop out to me. All of these characters in some way crossed, or at least blurred, the lines of consent, aggressively pursuing women with little or no regard for their desires.
But these characters’ actions, and those of countless other leading men across the pop-culture landscape, were more likely to be portrayed as charming than scary.
The Dating Project: A Documentary Movie About Singleness and Dating
I saw one of the movie-makers for The Dating Project interviewed, and she says that this movie is promoting the idea that people start dating again.
The focus is on younger people, but I see this problem among folks over the age of 30 as well. If you are 30 or older now (as of April 2018) and grew up in a conservative Christian family or church, you were probably taught (and still taught) a bunch of dating concepts and ideas that have actually kept you single (see this post as an example).
I am over the age of 40 and have never married. I was engaged in my late 20s to my early 30s but broke up with my fiance. I have always wanted to be married, but I never found the right person.
As far as I could tell in seeing the interview with the woman film-maker of this dating movie, the assumption seems to be that being single is “second best” or weird.
Let me just say, as I’ve said many times on this blog, that on the one hand, while there is nothing wrong with being married or wanting to get married, that there is also nothing wrong with being single, and it is wrong to (Link):to denigrate singleness to promote marriage.
I’d like my desire for marriage to be respected, but at the same time, so long as I remain single, (Link): I’d also like myself and my singlehood status to be respected, not jeered, mocked, or put down by conservatives, who frequently shake their index fingers in the faces of singles like myself, and who write fear-mongering articles about how supposedly single life is so much more horrible than married life (see anything written by (Link): Bradford Wilcox or (Link): Mark Regnerus), all because they are worried about declining marriage rates.
I want to be married one day, and I don’t appreciate Christians telling me that my desire for marriage is “an idol” (for it is not), but I also do not appreciate Christians or secular talking heads on television news stations shaming singles for being single and for making singleness sound as though it’s a disease one should be ashamed of having.
Many times, conservatives (of which I am one) assume, quite wrongly, that any one who is single past the age of 30 is single deliberately. Especially if one is a single female past age 30, Christian talking heads will write blog posts or opine on television news programs that such women must have put career over marriage, or they are harpies who hate men – but this is usually not the case.
As a right wing (conservative) woman who always desired marriage, I find myself single by circumstance, not due to choice. I did not put career above dating or marriage, and so on and so forth. I find such assumptions, which are often held by other conservatives and by many Christians, deeply insulting and ask my fellow conservatives to stop making such assumptions.
The Dating Project Movie
Here are some links to articles about The Dating Project movie (a movie which I’ve only read a little bit about, I have not seen it yet):
The shock of reading Laura Sessions Stepp’s 2007 book, “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both,” hadn’t worn off when I was offered the opportunity to view an advanced screening of “The Dating Project,” a film about modern relationships that will be released nationwide—for one night only—on April 17. Both are a wake-up call for Americans, many of whom are in the dark about how dramatically dating has changed.
So dramatically, in fact, that it no longer exists. Dating is officially dead.
Hollywood Movies: Affirming that Friendship or Platonic Love is Just As Good As Marriage
Certainly Hollywood – like Christianity – has been guilty for years of promoting marriage as being better than singleness, in that they often teach you are nothing and nobody until someone else loves you (romantically), and that you need someone else to “complete” you (and again, it has to be a romantic partner).
However, I’ve seen Hollywood knock out a handful of movies in the last decade that affirm singleness and friendship above marriage.
A new match notification or getting asked out by that hot-but-definitely-a-fuckboy guy you’ve exchanged a stream of witty messages with is not a reward
…Dating in the Tinder-age is particularly triggering for anyone struggling with their mental health. When the next better thing is a mere right swipe away rejection is expected, to be blocked out by seeking more matches, more dates, more distractions from the niggling sense of being not quite good enough.
Speaking to my dating-app-active friends confirms that this issue isn’t just for the perpetually anxious.
Actor Supposedly Too Self-Absorbed to Get or Keep a Girlfriend
I’m not sure if this is true or not – it comes via a celebrity site.
While some women can be very self-absorbed, I think this is more of a male tendency, because it is culturally supported.
Most of us American women are taught while still in childhood that it is selfish for us to get our own needs met, that we should only cater to the needs of those around us, and we should be really nurturing and supportive to those around us. Boys do not usually get this same sort of conditioning.
So, these boys grow into men who are accustomed to females catering to them and listening to them chatter away about themselves endlessly.
Love Does Not Have to Be Romantic or Erotic: Maleficent Movie
Usually, secular culture (including Hollywood) and Christian culture prioritize romantic (or erotic) love.
Jesus Christ taught in the New Testament that his followers are supposed to place him at the center of their lives, with spiritual brothers and sisters taking priority, or at least equal to, their family of origin (read more about that (Link): here).
Christians, however, continue to prioritize biological family or spouse over spiritual family, which alienates the widows, the divorced, and other Christians who are single or who don’t have nuclear families.
Every once in awhile, I come across a movie or television show that “gets it,” which gets that sometimes, friends or friendship means more than “family,” or more than a spouse. Sometimes, you’ll end up alone if you don’t have friends.
Or, sometimes the message presented in entertainment is that family is what you make it – meaning, the friends you choose to associate with, not the family you’re born into.
I’m not opposed to marriage. Part of me would still like to marry eventually, but, I so tire of the culture making the message out to be that the only true, valid form of love is romantic love (i.e., dating or marriage).
I watched the movie “Maleficent” on cable television the other day, and was pleased to see that this story acknowledges that sometimes, “true love” does not come from a Prince Charming, but from one person caring about another one in a platonic way.
WashPost Columnist: ‘Ghostbusters’ Haters Are ‘Virgin Losers’ – (via NewsBusters Site); Both the Right and Left Wing Get Some things Wrong About This
This story comes from NewsBusters, which is discussing a column written for Washington Post newspaper by columnist Kristen Page-Kirby about the new Ghostbusters movie.
The original Ghostbusters movie, released in the 1980s, contained four male leads. The reboot version of the movie, which was released July 15, 2016, contains four women leads instead.
Unfortunately, over a year or more ago, when news came out that there would be four women leads in the film, some of the sexist jerkwads who inhabit the internet started lambasting the movie all over You Tube, Twitter, and where ever else – not because the move was bad (it wasn’t even released yet), but because they were incensed that Hollywood was cramming some form of feminism down their throats.
Interestingly, I didn’t see as much backlash over the main character of the new Star Wars film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” being a woman – Rey.
At any rate, I will be discussing two or three different topics in this post that are related to this new film, or mentioned by the conservative essayist at the NewsBusters site.
This is another story where I am in the middle. I can’t say as though I’m completely on one side or another in regards to some aspects of this story, depending on what is under discussion.
I am currently a moderate right-winger (I used to be more to the right than I am currently. In the last few years, I’ve been reconsidering if some of my former political and Christian beliefs are wrong.)
I’ve been more open the last few years to hearing the criticisms and views of liberals and Non-Christians – which is not to say I agree with everything I see left wingers and Non-Christians espousing or arguing in favor of.
I sometimes think secular, liberal feminists have good points on some topics, but I normally disagree with them.
As far as the Ghostbusters film reboot is concerned, I do think some of the backlash against the movie does in fact stem from sexism. But then, I do think some people may honestly feel that the movie is genuinely bad due to having a poor story line, or what have you.
I have not seen the movie yet. I don’t go to movie theaters that much anymore.
I usually wait until movies air on cable television; I’m willing to bet that this Ghostbusters reboot will probably be shown on F/X channel, or SyFy, or some other cable network in the next two years, and I have cable television, so I don’t know if I want to invest my time and cash into driving down to a theater to see this, since it will eventually be on television.
I saw the original Ghostbusters in a movie theater when it was in theaters in the 1980s. I was a kid at the time.
The original was okay, it was quite enjoyable and plenty of fun, but it was no movie masterpiece, so to all the men online who were griping about the reboot featuring all women leads: get the hell over it already.
And yes, you were, or are, being sexist douche bags about it. I don’t buy for a moment that ALL male griping about the film is based on non-sexist reasons, like shoddy trailers, or supposed poor CG work.
The vast majority of the professional reviews (and I have read a ton of them) for the new Ghostbusters film have deemed it “okay.” -Not terrible. Not great. But just “meh.” It’s so-so, most reviews have said.
What I don’t appreciate is that the columnist for WaPo who was discussing male backlash about the movie is using virginity as an insult.
Romantic Comedies: When Stalking Has a Happy Ending (from The Atlantic)
Some people confuse what this article from The Atlantic terms “persistent pursuing” with courtship. That is, men do it all the time, and some women, due to Hollywood Rom Coms, have been conditioned to view this as normal, romantic behavior.
May I add another related issue: men who mistake platonic chit chat with flirting?
That drives me up the wall. It’s one reason I am usually loathe to enter into pleasantries with men I don’t know when I’m in stores or sitting around in waiting rooms, because many men mistake idle, polite banter for,
“Oooh, this lady is into me, she is warm for my form, she wants to marry me and make babies with me, I am one sexy beast, grrrrr.”
So these men ask for your phone number or they get all flirty back. And you, the woman, are like, “I did NOT send this dude any sexy signals, where is this coming from?”
Me saying stuff like, “Wow, some crazy weather we’ve been having lately, huh?” as we’re sitting in Wal-Mart’s auto care center waiting for our tires to be rotated is not me hitting on you.
Me hitting on you, men of the world, consists of me putting one hand behind my head, one hand on a jutted out hip, head tilted back, eyes narrowly parted, and me saying something (in a seductive sounding, cat like purr), like, “Hey there big boy, you come here all alone? Mama likes what she sees! May I have your phone number? Are you free for a date this Saturday?”
Yes, (Link): this is what a woman who is flirting with you looks like, the facial expression and mannerisms.
About men who refuse to take “no” for an answer from a woman they are interested in, who confuse pursuing with stalking: other than entitlement, I wonder if what drives some of these men is a sense that they HATE to be alone and MUST have a romantic partner to “complete them.”
I know this sort of thinking is very common among a lot of women. I think secular society (and Christian culture) does try to convince people there is no way they can be whole and happy single. There is a lot of pressure on people to pair up and date or marry.
Culture (especially through movies and TV shows) and churches need to stop sending this bogus message that there is something wrong, flawed, or second class about being single as an adult.
There is no disgrace in being single. I understand if you are single and lonely and pine for a significant other how hard it can be at times, but you are okay on your own.
You are not some loser or in-complete if you don’t have a mate, contrary to the messages Christians and Hollywood like to send us all.
Overly persistent pursuit is a staple of movie love stories, but a new study shows that it could normalize some troubling behaviors.
…Reasonable people know that rom-coms aren’t what love is really like, just as reasonable people know that porn is not what sex is really like. But these movies still create an image of romance that leaks into the atmosphere and may subtly shape people’s perceptions and expectations of love.
One troubling way they may do that is by making stalking behaviors seem like a normal part of romance, according to (Link): a new study by Julia Lippman, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of communication studies at the University of Michigan.
…[Lipman says] “Indeed, they may be seen as reflecting one of the great cultural myths of romantic love: that no matter how big the obstacle, love will conquer all.”
The website TV Tropes, which tracks, wiki-style, frequently-used narrative devices—not just on TV, but in all kinds of fiction—has a page for this. It’s aptly titled (Link): “Stalking Is Love.”Lippman files stalking under the broader umbrella of “persistent pursuit,” which can also encompass “more benign and even positively regarded behaviors such as some types of romantic courtship,” she writes.
In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
I told Christian Janeway that sounds pretty much how like most American Christians and churches already treat adult singles. Really.
If this movie ever comes on cable TV, I’ll give it a watch.
‘Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex’ (News Story About Sexual Purity Movie)
There is an auto play video at the top of this page linked to much farther below, with a short article below it. I have not watched the video.
Someone is making a movie about how some evangelicals try to stay sexually pure.
I hope this film does not only focus on homosexuals. Any time anyone these days brings up celibacy and sexual purity, HETERO-sexuals are often ignored; everyone would rather talk about celibacy only in the context of homosexuality.
After having skimmed (Link):the site for the movie, (I’ve not yet watched any of the film clips, don’t know if I ever will), it seems that the film is offering interviews of some Christians who claim that some segments of Christianity demonize sex or sexuality (the word “demonize” was used on the site; that is their term, not mine).
Maybe that is true, perhaps sex has been “demonized” by some Christians, but I am concerned that this film may be trying to demonize adult celibacy and adult virginity themselves. It’s hard for me to say, because the site doesn’t go into much detail about the movie (and I really don’t feel like watching the site’s videos).
I hope that is not so; I hope virginity and adult celibacy are not ridiculed in this film, nor do I hope that the reasons cited by the sexually pure for being sexually pure are chalked up to or presented as being due to “evangelical demonization of sex”.
Not everyone who has abstained sexually into their adult years, as I have, did so only or primarily due to any so-called demonization of sex.
I myself have several reasons why I remain a virgin into my 40s. I would like my choice to abstain sexually to be respected, not mocked, nor attributed to any supposed “demonization” of sex by some evangelicals.
I don’t care to get into a very long rationale here and now as to why I am a virgin in my 40s, but one reason is that I believed that sex should take place only in a committed relationship between two loving partners, and one way to usually ensure that is to wait until marriage.
(I never got married. I was engaged once, but I broke up with the guy I was engaged to.)
Even if I had not been raised in a Southern Baptist, evangelical background, I would probably still hold this same attitude about sex.
If I had been an atheist growing up in a family of atheists, in other words, I seriously doubt I would have been having sex all over the place with a new guy every week.
At any rate, here is a link about the movie, with further comments by me towards the end of the post:
In the forthcoming documentary Give Me Sex Jesus, the filmmakers Brittany Machado and Matt Barber tell personal stories of struggle from within the Evangelical Christian community to remain sexually pure until marriage.