". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

On Second Thought

It's a blessed thing when as a parent you can learn from your child.

A few days ago I posted a video on Facebook. It was a response to the recent controversy about the performance of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke on the Video Music Awards, presented by a young wife and mother who has garnered quite a following for her blog and videos. I shared the video because it depicts a beautiful, strong and "modern" young woman extolling traditional values and chastity until marriage.  I think that is a message worth promoting, especially when it comes from someone who is already succeeding in an industry that usually celebrates an alternate view (Jae Tracie, the video blogger, identifies herself as a model, actress, and singer). But I did hesitate slightly before I posted it, and at the time I couldn't quite figure out why. (I've posted the video below if you want to watch. It isn't what it first appears to be.)

Then yesterday my daughter told me that she has been a little bothered by the video and the number of people sharing it. When I asked why, she explained that it seems to her that the video equates a certain type of behavior with the earning of respect. If you behave like a lady, you deserve respect; if you behave in another way, you don't. She made the point that the way a person behaves does not make him or her less worthy of honor. We are all God's children, created by Him. He loves us all, even though we don't deserve it. Are we not called to love one another in the same way? Miley Cyrus, and young women like her, are clearly confused. In many cases their parents have abandoned them to the culture. But they are still human beings deserving of respect. To heap disdain on them in the midst of their waywardness does not help. The videographer in question does not go after Miley personally, but she does make several contemptuous references to "skanky" women, an attitude which is dismissive of their humanity.

I think my daughter makes a great point. I have read the opinions of several others who ask why Miss Cyrus has received so much attention to the exclusion of the 36-year-old married man who was dancing with her. It's a good question. If anything, he has more to answer for than the 20-year-old girl.

Thank you, Caitlin, for teaching me. You are a wise and compassionate young woman, and I am blessed to call you daughter.


Anna Ilona Mussmann said...

I sometimes struggle with the question of HOW to address modesty (of behavior and attire) with girls who reject the idea that immodesty is immoral. It sounds judgmental and fuddy-duddy to say that God wants them to be modest. I think that is why people end up arguing, instead, that modesty shows self-respect (true, but not the whole picture). It's easy to slide from that argument into the idea that girls without self-respect deserve no respect. Perhaps we hope that such "shaming" will influence girls who aren't yet sure how to dress. Yet, as you point out, it is not a true argument.

Susan said...

I see the point that you and Caitlyn are making, and there is truth to it. But I also think that, in the kingdom of the left (that is, in our relationships with each other on earth), God rules by His law. Law is how He keeps order in society. This is not a bad thing.

When girls behave in sleazy ways, the law says that you will be treated without respect. Yes, the gospel declares that those who are sleazy are treated as beautiful brides of Christ, holy and spotless. But the world doesn't usually operate according to the gospel.

In the world, we need to expect "you get what you deserve." You don't show up to work on time, you're lazy, and you pilfer from the employer: being fired is to be expected. Same thing for proper and improper behavior. If you teach the men around you that you are an object to be used and toyed with, don't be surprised when they use you, toy with you, and toss you aside.