Part 1 - "Adult" Halloween
Part 2 - The Secular and the Religious Celebrate the Pornification of Christmas
The Male Gaze (Part 2):
The Secular and the Religious Celebrate the Pornification of Christmas
"Some of us don't believe in Christmas unless we see that awful lamp made to look like a call girl's leg"
~Amy Laura Hall, a professor of theological ethics at Duke University, on NPR.
"I was really hoping for more pictures [of porn]."
~Nick Farrantello, Universal Studios employee and self-described atheist, whose quip was showcased on the same NPR story.
'Tis the season for giving, so the majority of my time is currently filled with feminist charity work in preparation for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in January.
But for most people, the entire season of giving is crammed into 30-second ad spots from desperate and financially-flattened charities (fuck you Bernard Madoff!). These small inklings of seasonable charity are quickly overwhelmed by the pugnent fumes of the Megatheo-klepto-corporatocracy and all the dehumanizing misogyny that it can cram into the festivities. Right on the heels of their exploitation of young women and girls at Halloween, we get the exploitation of young women and girls at Christmas.
Different holiday, same shit .
And when it comes to the rampant pornification of society, have you ever felt that you were caught between a pimp and a FLDS prairie burqa? Ever notice that the media only gives us two sides on the subject? So are you for pornography, or are you in favor of worshipping your fundamentalist husband-deity?
Well, it turns out you were wrong: there is only one side.
Duke University theological ethics professor and regular Planned Parenthood basher  Amy Laura Hall presents this smoking gun:
"Christmas was, from the beginning, both holy and horrible, sacred and scary...There isn't an easy way to make it all hygienic, because the incarnation [in Jesus's birth] mixes God up with sheep poop and sinners."She concludes with an apologist spiel arguing that the pornification of Christmas is not necessarily a bad thing; arguing that it is somewhat fitting that Christmas has become, "an admixture of naughtiness and niceness" [sic].
Such a dismissive attitude towards pornography from a theologian might come to you as a surprise. After all, you might have thought that conservative religion was the mortal enemy of pornography. However, look past the superficial anti-pornography political rhetoric, and you soon discover that many religious leaders happily coexist with the sexual exploitation of women.
One hideous example is the theocracy of Iran. For a country that touts its own moral supremacy as often as it rails against the UN, prostitution is rampant in Iran. This is no surprise considering that the country's religious leaders actively promote prostitution . It is an open secret that the Holy city of Qom, the Shiite equivalent of the Vatican, runs a massive prostitution ring for its religious leaders.
In the US, 48% of Christian families say that pornography is a major problem in their home. Where is the Christian leadership on this problem? Well, the Catholic Church silenced the victims of sexual abuse while shuffling rapists and pedophiles off to safety. World-renowned pastor and songwriter Michael Guglielmucci, faked cancer to hide his porn addiction. Evangelist Scott Nute offers a mea culpa on his own lifelong porn use in which he condones the Male Gaze . While, most churches have simply ignored the problem up to now. Religious leaders such as these encourage a dismissive look-the-other-way moral lassitude towards the sexual exploitation of women.
Fortunately, there are some religious groups that side with feminists against pornography (such as the United Methodist Church). However, with the mainstream adamantly ignoring the evils of women's exploitation , and with other religious scholars and leaders giving a knowing wink to the Male Gaze, the only 'choice' women have is to either condone the pornification of our society, or to support patriarchal religions that condone the pornification of our society. This false dichotomy was constructed by mutually assenting misogynists to leave women with a Sophie's Choice while deflecting blame from themselves.
The Patriarchy is playing both sides of the table.
Male privilege is so deeply rooted into religious institutions that genuine attempts by religion to fight the rampant abuse of women in our daily lives (for example, by condemning johns for participating in the sexual exploitation of women, by supporting women in the fight against the degrading and dehumanizing pornification of society, by blaming rapists for rape instead of "licentious women", and by prosecuting rapists and pedophiles instead of shielding them) are fraught with opposition to the point that entire denominations are torn apart . Religious institutions are led by men, and most of those men are huge fans of the Patriarchy. Justice for women stays in the rear pews, right next to the female worshipers.
So instead of, "justice bringing joy to the righteous" (Proverbs 21:15), we get theologian Hall celebrating the "naughtiness" of Christmas through the sexual exploitation of women.
 Although the media won't call it "shit". They use a slew more favorable terms for this particular brand of misogyny. NPR, for example, chooses "bawdy", "suggestive", "naughty", "naughtification" , "racy", "sexy", "provocative", "adult-oriented", and I kid you not, "potty-mouth". These are all chuckling, nod-and-wink dismissive terms used to assuage listeners' concerns about this dehumanizing, anti-woman hate speech.
 Are you pottying me, NPR? Come on! Just break down and say "pornification"! SAY IT! You'll release a whole lot of pent-up tension that you obviously have on the subject, and you'll make yourself feel a lot more honest.
 Hall has equated Planned Parenthood's contraception programs with eugenics. Ironically, it is actually the rampant mandatory child-birthing encouraged by Hall that constitutes the eugenics of Patriarchy, but THAT is another post...
 Through the nod-and-wink practice they call "temporary marriage".
 He defends the male gaze as, "innocent glances at women" . He also espouses the hackneyed biology-as-destiny crapshoot that, "Men are made primarily to look at women and women are made primarily to be looked at by men," and ultimately acquits himself by saying that he has never resorted to, "visiting porn-stores or purchasing magazines and videotapes." So is the underwear section of the Sears catalog condoned by Jesus? Nute is unclear on the issue.
 If you have ever spotted Scott Nute on Holla Back, please let me know!
 Yale University's annual "analysis" of porn leads to the usual one-sided shit, with only XXXChurch.com (a ministry which coddles porn consumers and glosses over their abuse of women) invited to speak against porn.
 The churches have enough trouble advancing men's rights, let alone women's rights. The Anglican Church nearly schismed over the consecration of gay priests, and several churches that opposed the show of tolerance turned to Nigeria and Rwanda for moral support.
Copyright December 2008 by F*ck M*sculinity