Loving words, and loving to play with them, I’ve always been taken by the turn-of-phrase, “I often turn my objects into women” as opposed to the lamentation of “turning women into objects.” But my focus today is on the objectification of women, an offense of which I am guilty as charged…I admit. For, I was raised in a culture where women were a mere commodity and this is still the case today, though there is much greater awareness of the problem. Fortunately, though still “cursed” with the “male gaze” that objectifies women, I have another dimension in my heart where I can see that women have value other than in gratifying my sexual urges.
Sex, like the rest of life, will never be “done” perfectly. Our sexuality always has a flavor that is determined by the time and place of our birth and upraising and it often takes decades to slough-off the unnecessary and unwholesome dimensions of “sex.” We must always remember that a primary function of sex is “making babies” and to carry out this primary need of the species, the human imagination is left to its own devices, including some that are immature and even “nasty” or brutal.
Sex, like everything else, comes to us as a packaged product. (Yes, even religion and spirituality does!) It takes a while to determine what parts of the package we wish to keep and maintain. And, we must remember, most people on this earth will never have the luxury of distinguishing between the “packaging” of any cultural contrivance and the “thing-in-itself.” I’m fortunate to be living in a culture, in an era where distinctions can be made…if one dares.
I’m in love with Maureen Down, a columnist for the New York Times. Merely look at her picture and you will see why! But it is more than her physical beauty that I enjoy. She is acid-tongued, brilliant, erudite, and adept at cutting to the core on issues in our culture. In today’s NYT, she addresses the aforementioned “packaging” of women through the ages.
Here is the link to Dowd’s column: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/opinion/sunday/dowd-the-tortured-mechanics-of-eroticism.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
And I close with my favorite line from Woody Allen, “Of course sex is dirty…if you do it right!”