Not buying false choices: The Christian vision for sex is better

Jun 8, 2023 by

by John Stonestreet and G Shane Morris, Christian Post:

In his recent and remarkable book, Biblical Critical Theory, theologian Christopher Watkin points out how often our thinking falls into false dichotomies. Humans are either animals or gods; the planet is either progressing toward utopia or doomed to catastrophe; sex is either no big deal or our whole identity. Back and forth the cultural pendulum swings, never considering that there may be another option: a story that transcends these dichotomies and makes better sense of the way the world is.

Sex in particular has been subject to ideological extremes. For most of my lifetime, pop culture has followed the maxim that “sex sells.” So, scantily clad women have been used to market everything from cars and football to movies and music. Beer companies often took the lead, featuring provocative models in swimsuits unabashedly pandering to the lust of their predominantly male customers.

The pendulum seems to have swung the other direction, though the undisguised profit motive remains. For example, Miller Lite’s messaging has done a 180. In a new ad, the beer company chose to appeal to faddish feminist sensibilities. In it, actress Ilana Glazer indignantly tears down beer ads featuring women in bikinis while announcing that Miller Lite is now a champion of women’s dignity and women brewers. The company is doing the right thing and, to quote David Spade from Tommy Boy, “in just a shade under a decade, too … Alright!”

If it weren’t laced with profanity, I could get behind this new direction. I fully support any move away from cynically exploiting women for marketing, whatever the motive. Unlike Bud Light’s recent, disastrous choice to feature transgender actor Dylan Mulvaney (a man) on its cans, Miller is at least gesturing toward an ideal that companies should sell products, not objectify people.

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