I got a lot of feedback on my little "Emotional Immodesty" blog that I wrote last month. Not so much through comments, but through conversations that it sparked with my friends. One particular girlfriend and I were talking about it, and she posed the question (more or less), "If men have pornography to satisfy their visual sexual temptations, then what would the equivalent be for women?" And I just blurted out, "Soap Operas". She laughed, but I stand by the gist of the response.
To quickly review, men are generally more sexually stimulated visually, while women more emotionally. So as my friend was saying, if men turn to porn, what to women turn to? I think we turn to fantasy.
Romance novels and soap operas come to mind first. Although this may surprise you, I have watched Days of our Lives for over ten years. Well, I've been on and off. Much more off than on for the past several years. So I feel I'm qualified to speak on this subject. :) Traditionally, soap operas are about stories. About drama and difficult decisions and passion. (I say "traditionally" because in recent years the shows have become much more sexualized, I think). So women watch these shows in droves, right? Why? Because we love the emotion. We like to wonder what we would do in those situation of being caught between two lovers, and maybe honestly hoping it happens to us one day.
And if you ladies are thinking, "Oh but I don't watch that trash!", I think the same concept can apply to romantic movies in general. Or how about those "medical dramas" which are really soaps in disguise?
But the question is, what do these types of emotionally manipulative shows and other media teach women about love? I believe that it basically does the same damage that pornography has done to men. It teaches girls that love is driven by passion and excitement, and rarely if ever found in the mundane dealings of day to day. It develops and fosters fantasy that will never live up to reality.
And then the poor boys? They're left trying to measure up to some perverted image of what it is to be a good man. Much like women left in the wake of a pornography and sex saturated culture.
I preach to myself as much or more than anyone else. I think if women receive the brunt of chastisement about dressing properly, then boys receive the brunt when it comes to indulging their fantasies. Feminine propriety isn't just about dressing appropriately, it's about guarding your heart. Not just from boys practicing emotional immodesty, but from indulging yourself in fantasies of what you wish love would look like.
Love is different than you think, it's never in a song or on a TV screen.
-- Derek Webb, Caedmon's Call