Adam Finley at Cinematical wrote in "Emma Watson is still young, hands off" about an Internet site that countdowns until Emma Watson will reach age of consent. "If you're old, perverted, and tend to cruise junior high schools in a dilapidated van with a glove box full of candy, the folks over at Yeeeah have created something just for you. It's a countdown to when Harry Potter's Emma Watson will be of legal age." Some of the comments on the site include someone who called Emma a "conservative, reserved young lady" who "will NOT become a sex symbol by choice." However, someone else said, "Bitch, you shut your mouth. Women are made for looking at, even the young ones, so why don't you shut up, and maybe look at this picture of Emma Watson's underwear?"
This attitude by some towards casual sex among young people is also encapsulated by a recent (1991) study of college freshmen showing that "about two-thirds of men (66.3 percent) and slightly more than one-third of the women (37.9 percent) support the idea of sex between people who have known each other only for a short time." (1)
One question that remains unclear is whether the casualization of sex among youths is good for feminism. On one hand, casualization of sex makes women sex objects instead of human beings. On the other hand, casualization of sex destroys the traditional and sexist idea that a woman is meant to give herself to only one man who will give her protection and security.
Ray and Sue Bohlin (2) in a book by Probe Ministries say that "at the end of the twentieth century, the culture is finally recognizing what the Bible has declared for millennia. Men and women are different!" They then go on to list some of these differences. One of them is that a man "primarily needs respect (trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, encouragement)" and that he "needs to be needed." Women, on the other hand, "primarily needs cherishing (tender care, understanding, respect, devotion, validation, reassurance)" and that she "needs to be protected." The authors then go on to say that males and females need to be raised according to these differences if there is to be no gender confusion. Evidence is then given from the Bible. The authors says that "with the understanding of how God created men and women to be different, it is not surprising to find how many of our uniquenesses and needs are addressed by God's commands and precepts." The list of biblical quotes is given below:
Women need to be cherished: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Eph. 5:25) and "You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way" (1 Peter 3:7a).
Women need security: "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim. 5:8)
Women need to be treated with tenderness and gentleness: "You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman" (1 Peter 3:7).
Women are verbal creatures: "You wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior" (1 Peter 3:1-2).
Men need respect and support: "Wives, submit to your husbands" (Eph. 5:22; 1 Peter 3:1) and "let the wife see to it that she respects her husband" (Eph. 5:33).
Men are naturally self-oriented: "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies" (Eph. 5:28, 33).
Now that we understand the Christian attitude towards gender roles, perhaps we will look at the Emma Watson issue and see that the two opposed comments are actually compatible with Christian attitude towards gender. The first commenter who told others to lay their hands off the girl and that she is a "conservative, reserved young lady" who "will NOT become a sex symbol by choice" is responding because he is protecting, something that the Bible states women need. Some claim that this is the reason why women like men with money-because of greater security and protection, since money is power. This is captured in a quote in the movie Scarface in which Tony Montana says, "First you get the money. When you get the money, you get the power. Then when the get the power, then you get the women." Ray Bohlin even quote Stu Weber in a book called Tender Warrior: "Men, as husbands you have been given a trust-a stewardship, a responsibility, a duty-to husband, or manage, or care for the gifts of your wife. If you abuse that trust, you fail at the very heart of your manhood. In effect, if you abuse the trust, you die. Adam did, and Adam died. It's part of the deathly nature of sin and disobedience. Let me put it a little more bluntly-if you lay a hand on a woman, you should be shot, okay? A woman was made to be provided for, protected, and cared for. A man was made to be a provider, protector, and care-giver. Nothing is more pitiful than a man forfeiting his masculinity or a woman her femininity by transgressing the created order." (3)
However, the other comment that said "Bitch, you shut your mouth. Women are made for looking at..." is also compatible with Christian thought as women are made for man, that a woman must give herself to man to express respect for him. Bohlin says that the role of men and women are captured in Genesis that "Eve was made for man. According to specifications, she was divinely designed to fit his needs exactly-an adapter, a responder. Eve was brought to the man. Eve was a present to Adam, not the other way around." A biblical quote is given: "For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake (1 Cor. 11:8-9)."
This is related to casualization of sex because if woman is designed for man, as the Bible states, then a woman is to be prepared for a lifetime of service to the husband while the husband seeks power to give to the woman, who needs it because of her God-given need for security and protection. This traditional view says that marriage is a trade between man and woman of protection and respect, that it fits in with what women and men really (or should) are like. The attitudes that have spread throughout our culture today, of the dominant man who protects the weak woman who needs security, can be seen as a direct result of Christian tradition and interpretation of Scripture.
While a significant proportion of women accept the traditional roles as described by Christian tradition and scripture, a rapidly growing number of women (mainly young and university-educated women) are defying these traditions to elevate the status of the woman into more than just a homemaker who serves the husband. Since the 1970s the gender wage gap has been converging. Women are starting to earn more, although the gap is still persistent and in the '90s it seems like the gap has no closed much. Some feminists believe this is because a persistent number of women are still stuck in the traditional belief that it is a woman's duty to stay in the home to take care of the children and cook food for the man and that there are many traditionalist men who try to enforce this repressive norm. Some believe that sexism is too deeply woven in society to be destroyed while others remain hopeful that equality can be reached. Today, many females go to university and focus after their careers after graduation to create their own security and win respect, but many females also opt for the traditional life, giving up independence instead for nurturing and caring, hoping that a man out there with money and power can provide the security and protection she doesn't choose to give herself. Some feminists believe that these women have betrayed the movement.
Word Count: 1,450
1. Eric L. Dey, Alexander W. Astin, and William S. Korn, The American Freshman: Twenty-Five-Year Trends, 1966- 1990 (Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, 1991), 21.
2. Search "Guys Are From Mars, Girls Are From Venus" on Google.
3. Stu Weber, Tender Warrior (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah, 1993),