Poor Representation

I’m sick of watching something that portrays men and women poorly.  Let me explain.  I turn on the tv, flip to the latest sitcoms or popular shows, and watch for a while.  Within a sitcom I might find the men to be lazy, mediocre, having poor work ethics, disinterested in anything other than sports or sex, and they are often crude.  However, the women are likely beautiful, capable, strong, carrying the workload, and extremely controlling. But maybe the portrayal that bothers me the most is the very attractive woman who carries a gun, is strong and tough, or punches and kicks down a villain as well as (or better than) the male co-actors.

Further, the other month I happened to catch a showing of a popular television show geared towards teenage girls.  I mentally made a list of the traits these teenage girls portrayed: lying, aggressive, angry, bitter, jealous, deceptive, seductive, secretive, manipulative, flirtatious, impeccably (although immodestly) dressed, popular, catty, and did I mention gorgeous? Is that the profile you’d like?  How about for your future daughter or daughter in law?  Because that’s what’s being sold through media today. And I’m sick of it.

I wasn’t one of those girls. Compared to the 14-year-old girls in this popular show I was boring, poorly dressed, uninteresting, naive, and supremely not cool.  Sigh.  Of course there were really pretty girls in high school, and I’m sure there were groups of girls who acted in the ways described above.  But looking back, I think I was much better off.  God calls us to put off the ways of the world.  God wants a woman’s inner beauty to radiate from within … it’s only then that an attractive outfit or face are truly complete! And don’t get me wrong, I love to dress up and put on makeup!

Oh, and by the way, I’m not all against women heroines.  I do enjoy an occasional episode of Wonder Woman. She is the main star of the show, and she is the one who most often catches the bad guy.  She does kick, fight, and throw a pretty good lasso.  I admit. She also is a fictional, immortal super- heroine.  Yes, she does have powers.  I agree.  She does wear a little bathing suit type outfit.  All true.  The show, therefore, does include some feminist aspects.  I will agree.  However, the show as a whole, has not robbed her of femininity, grace, or womanliness.

I recently read The Feminist Mystique Mistake by Mary Kassian. It is an excellent, although a little heavy, read.  She discusses the waves of feminism that have rolled into our society since the early 1960’s. She quoted an interviewer who interviewed young women; women who did not grow up in the 60’s and 70’s, but rather in the following generations.   “The women had neither adopted nor rejected feminism.  Rather, it had seeped into their minds like intravenous saline into the arm of an unconscious patient.  They were feminists without knowing it.” (p. 279, The Feminist Mistake).

Perhaps this generation of women, portrayed by popular shows, are so seeped into the concept of feminism that we have forgotten what femininity really is. However, I’m glad to say that God is working to conform me to His image that I might properly represent femininity.  I rarely to never watch tv.  Magazines are another thing I try to stay away from.  I’m afraid my self image can’t handle the rejection!  Just kidding — actually, when I look to the Bible and find that charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting (Prov. 31:30), or that inner beauty is of great worth to God (1 Peter 3:4), I know that media and the world’s representation of girls and women sadden the heart of God. It especially grieves His heart because some ladies believe that these women are what they want to be. Oh, let us not conform to the world, but may we be gracious, loving, Spirit-filled woman who radiate a beauty that the watching world can not help but notice! Press on, dear sisters, to be the women God has made you to be!

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