Friday, February 13, 2015

Albert Mohler: Fifty Shades of Shame — The Evolution of Pornography

February 13, 2015

The explosive sales of the Fifty Shades book series alerted many Christians to the fact of female-oriented pornography. While far more attention had been devoted to the visual nature of most male-oriented pornography, the Fifty Shades phenomenon underlined the public mainstreaming of pornography that would find a primary audience among women — narrative pornography in book form.

While many had noted the attraction of so-called “romance novels” to many women, the arrival of the Fifty Shades series announced that the culture at large was ready to shift to what can only be described as explicitly pornographic. Furthermore, the plot line of the series, now quite well known in the larger society, is devoted to forms of sexuality that had historically been defined as perverse and abusive.

The lost sense of shame is not only documented in the unprecedented sales of the series in book form, but also by the mainstream celebration of the movie.

A culture that is determined to reduce all sexual morality to the issue of adult consent is now ready to eat popcorn while watching the corruption of the gift of sex and, in effect, granting approval to the vision of sexuality that is the film’s very essence.

This next stage in the evolution of pornography combines, in an unprecedented way, male-oriented visual pornography with female-oriented narrative pornography. The movie is being marketed on Valentine’s Day as an adventure for couples — something offered to both men and women.

That something is a lie. The late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan spoke of our tendency to “define deviancy down.” That is one of the marks of our age. The Fifty Shades movie will not be legally defined as obscenity or pornography. In our age, almost nothing is. But biblically speaking, there can be no question about the fact that the Fifty Shades phenomenon is explicitly pornographic — defined in the New Testament by the Greek word porneia — which refers directly to any illicit sexual impulse or act. Pornography, whatever its form, is intended to produce that wrongful sexual impulse.  the rest

The Real Abuse at the Heart of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
...While there have been several well-rendered and moving depictions of abuse in media, all of these recognize domestic violence as a cardinal sin; none are as bafflingly oblivious as Fifty Shades of Grey. The marketing for the film is sickening: posited as “an incredible fairytale love story,” encouraged as a date-night movie, and set to release just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades barrels ahead without an ounce of self-awareness—or, perhaps, of conscience. The abusive behaviors are treated as adorably flirtatious interaction; here, domestic violence is met with the enthusiastic approval of the story’s protagonists.

The message is clear: by turning these same behaviors around to market them as “romance,” this film effectively silences the experience of millions of victims of abuse. She might not think that she likes being mistreated, it says, but in the end, isn’t it what she really wanted? Christian Grey can do no wrong, so the fault must lie squarely on the shoulders of the 21-year-old college student in a relationship with a rich older man...


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