Horrifying reports of women and children being sold into sex slavery in Iraq and northern Africa strike a chord of fear in our hearts, as women. We know our vulnerability, our intimate, fragile self that is so easily violated by the strong and ruthless.
I hear the reports and I also notice when they fade away with the news cycle. My imagination follows those dear girls and women into the life to which many will now be captive. I give, I pray, I care… but I am also infinitely grateful for our much safer culture.
And there I stop.
Is our culture so much safer? Is there no sex slavery here in North America? Perhaps you now think of sex trafficking or prostitution, and those are evils that certainly must be fought.
But there’s another kind of sex slavery that we’ve grown accustomed to. In our culture, it surrounds us on every side and dogs our upbringing.
When I was six, an older girl at school sneered at the up-do my big sister had done for me that day.
“You think you’re so sexy,” she said.
[My mom’s explanation that sex was the difference between boys and girls didn’t clear things up for me. Poor Mom! :)] I knew that the way the girl had said it, to be “sexy” was something desirable. Something like, “You think you’re so smart”.
And so, for many girls and women, the natural longing for significance and love morphs into a slavery to being thought beautiful and sexy.
Not content with just beauty and desirability though, music and the media drive us to be found sexually aggressive as well. It drops to new lows with the “hook-up” culture and “friends with benefits”. I wonder if the feminists of the 70s anticipated this new slavery.
Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)
In seeking emancipation from men and the confines of proscribed roles, the movement arrived at today’s deeper bondage. Girls are sex slaves if they think no guy will ever be interested in them unless they dress and act sexy. Women and girls are sex slaves when they believe the lie of casual sex only to experience the emptiness, betrayal and rejection of being used. Girls are in bondage when they assume they must give sex in order to gain love.
When God makes laws against sex outside of marriage, and guidelines for our behaviour and appearance, we’re wise to remember that the Manufacturer gets to write the manual for optimal use.
And with that, may God make us truly content.
~Eleanor, August 20, 2014