I think you would expect that a post from me on November 9th would be about the US election. It's not, at least not directly. Yes, I am very happy about the results. First of all because Hillary Clinton and her machine is corrupt to a degree that history has only known in times of fundamental crisis - like with Hitler's 1930s machinations, those of the Bolsheviks, the Jacobins in France, etc. So, I am glad she got what she deserves. At least some of it so far. Faith in democracy restored? Not yet.
No, I want to talk about 'locker room talk.' I was egged on by this article from the NYT. It's actually a letter from some of the Harvard girls soccer team. The title of this post makes clear my view of the subject. Men talk sexually about women. Very much so. I do too, or have, but try not to. I think the 'try not to' part is the key element. Christianity does not make human being into angels; it keeps them from becoming demons. I am only 42 years old, but I can tell you that in regards to sexuality the world has changed significantly even in my life time. The great factors are interdependent: the decrease of Christianity in culture and the increase in pornography. Christianity is the only thing that holds a people as a whole back from the promptings of their baser instincts. Consider the irony of Michelle Obama saying that Trump's words ten years ago were so offensive to her, but then buddying up with trashy rap lyric writers.
When Christianity decreases other things move in to take its place.
Now, on the one hand, I respect what the soccer team wrote. On the other - what reality are they living in? Am I to believe that all of them live in a world free from the values that govern pop culture? In the case of girls, Sex in the City, Harlequin, Beyonce, Forty Shades of Grey, Lady Gaga, Niki Minaj, etc. Just like boys, or perhaps even more so, girls are malleable to what pop culture tells them. Have you seen the covers of women's magazines?
I work now with a pretty good cross-section of people. No one below 30 is married. But they all live together. Some of them have kids and I am sure that all of them watch pornography or soft pornography.
So, are you telling me that the Harvard girls locker room is immune to the forces of pop culture? I would wish it were so. I am constantly telling my girls to resist the folly they see on the internet, etc. But I know they see it online, at school, etc.
I grew up with it too. I gave into part of it, but not nearly as much as was standard. Let's put it this way, when I was a kid, I think the average age for a boy to lose one's virginity was 15. I was a virgin until my early-mid twenties. Not virtue, just a speck less vice. It was only at about 15 or 16 that I finally became disgusted by the culture of my peers. I thought of women differently than my friends' words seem to indicate they thought of women. I was a romantic, and although the 'romantic mindset' has its own problems, it is generally one that idealized women, not one that treated them like sexual objects.
As Hillary Clinton has made clear, people have a public persona and a private one. And this is something all Christians work against in their spiritual life. We like to call it 'integrity.' It used simply to be called honesty. Now, the girls who wrote this letter, I think, knowing people to the degree that I do, don't realize that they are not always what their letter purports them to be. Women are remarkably moody. They change within the month. They feel sexual when they are fertile, and rather prudish when they are not. I am quite certain that there is a lot of locker room talk in the girls' dressing room too. I hope not, but I know so.
What is the case has nothing to do with what should be the case. And nothing has denigrated men more in the last two decades than pornography and rap music. I like some rap music, but let's be honest, if that is black culture, then black culture is depraved. But liberals can't call it out because that seems racist. Just like they can't call terrorism 'Muslim.'
No, it's no more black than it is white; and locker room talk is no more a problem for men than it is for women. It's the culture that was created with the rejection of 'oppressive' 'regressive' Christianity. What kind of world were you thinking you were making with the Sexual Revolution? The fact is, we are spiritual beings as much as we are fleshly, and we find this new world rather unsatisfying. So, for every feminist telling us that women should do whatever they want sexually, there is a feminist complaining about how they are being treated as a result.
At one point in their letter the girls say that the men's team should treat them as sisters. Upon what do they base this supposition? I base it on Christian principles: that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and children of the one God. What do they base it on? And, what obligations to their brothers does their sisterhood place on them - for, you can't have rights without responsibilities? That they all go to Harvard? That they are all soccer players? That they are all Americans? Those are not philosophical bases. And this is the essential problem. We have discarded all primary concepts and yet wish to appeal to the rights these confer when they are useful to us individualists.
The girls' letter recognizes that this is a problem bigger than the locker room. But what should be done about it - outlaw a few words, like they tried with 'bossy'? These well-intentioned young ladies offer no solutions. It's funny how we expect society to act like a family but only when it benefits me. If these girls want to draft a list of, say, twenty words they want men no longer to say, will they gladly receive such a list from the men?
No, we must change our hearts. If you think people will start to act in a socially respectable way just because some girls periodically express discomfort, you are self-deceived. People do what they want, when they want and how they want. We live in a consumerist, greedy, shallow, libidinous society that does not cherish objective moral values. You can't get blood from a stone.
These girls cared enough to write a letter to express their feelings. After having done so, they will rather quickly put back in their earbuds, run around the track a few times, have a shower, read their textbooks for fifteen minutes, go on Facebook for an hour, and then go to bed. Doing nothing for no one but themselves. They do nothing for anyone else and so can expect nothing from others. What they do is what they want; they cannot expect anything different from others. Do I begrudge them their selfishness? Not in any way that singles them out as more selfish than anyone else. But what you give is what you can expect. Give nothing, expect nothing, hashtag warriors.