Interesting, thought-provoking blog post from Amy Frykholm. A penny for your thoughts…

"After teaching a class recently I found
myself confronted by a student about material that he found to be
pornographic. The offending material was in an essay by Jeanne
Kilbourne on advertising and sexual violence, which includes examples
of advertisements found in mainstream publications. This particular
student, who had been homeschooled, had never seen such ads. He was
literally shaking when he approached me after the class. “Do you really
think it is a good idea to put these images in front of young people?”
he asked. “I want to save my eyes for my wife. My purity is for her



“So you think these images are an assault to your purity?”


“Don’t you have some control over how you respond to the images?”

“I don’t,” he said adamantly. “The only choice I have is whether to
look or not to look. That’s how men are wired. They respond sexually to
sexual images.”

Many Christians seem to believe that sexuality is something beyond
their control. One touch, one look, one desire indulged and they will
be overwhelmed. Because “men are visual,” pornography is seen as
especially dangerous to men. Christian self-help books such as Joshua
Harris’s Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) and Every Man’s Battle
assert that pornographic images are ubiquitous—men cannot help seeing
it. When they are assailed by pornography, they feel desire, and desire
inevitably leads to addiction and a disruption to their relationship
with God.

It seems to me that we—women and men—are not such defenseless
receivers of images. We have resources to critique the images we see
and reflect on our own reactions. Kilbourne’s work is part of an
attempt to do this from a mainstream feminist point of view. Christians
have their own ways of helping children think about the images they see
and about how to respond. Wouldn’t this be more helpful than seeing
images simply as an “assault”?