MLM responds to Pretty Women — And Their Pain:
When women are primed/bombarded with cultural messages that their worth relies on their ability to please a man, it’s unsurprising that they can be conned into believing that using their sexuality to gain attention is “empowering”, especially when they’re young. (And neoliberal feminism only stupidly reiterates this).
What would be truly empowering would be to strongly arm girls, from childhood, with messages which encourage them to embrace their own humanity and require men to respect it. And to arm men with the same messages. Men who were genuinely socialised/primed to desire women as fellow/equal human beings would have zero interest in porn. The toxic culture that shapes desire needs to change, for everybody’s sake.
i am not sure we can say conclusively, as MLM does, that “Men who were genuinely socialised/primed to desire women as fellow/equal human beings would have zero interest in porn.” Porn is attractive because sexuality is attractive. Porn has power because sex is powerful and we are deeply sexual beings. Therefore, “zero interest” may not be accurate. However, the general point is correct. And a man who is healed in his view of women and himself, when presented with porn, will actually react very differently.
He will have the strength to reject it as false intimacy and a misrepresentation of authentic sexuality.
One of the big growth points in my own journey was when my view of women changed. i used to have two basic responses to women: i either lusted after them or i looked at them condescendingly. In both cases, it was objectification. Women were valuable strictly from the standpoint of my selfish desire. It was either my desire to lust, or it was my desire to feel superior to them.
Arming young girls with the truth that they are strong and beautiful by definition — not because they have physical beauty — would be great start. Teaching young boys to value young girls because they are created in God’s image and have intrinsic worth and value, is also essential.
Only then will our culture have group of people broadcasting a message to counter the false empowerment narrative that tells young girls — and young boys — that “hot and sexy” is what they should desire. We need to stop being proud of performances such as Beyonce’s Super Bowl half-time show and start telling men and women, young and old, that we are all worth more than that — and we deserve more than that.