Playboy, Lamar Odom, Amnesty International and the Value of Women

This week, Playboy announced that because it is no longer profitable to photograph and print pictures of naked women in their magazines, they won't do it anymore.  Wait, what? 

The value of a woman's nude body has been reduced to a dollar figure so low by producers of pornography that they decided to stop taking pictures of them for the pleasure of men and boys. That means that material for masturbation, self-gratification, and "helping myself" is so common, so a part of our every day reality that a major media company said, "ehh guys, it costs to much to do this, so we are going to invest elsewhere." This has to be supply and demand at its absolute worst as no one questions (at least from what I could find) that this is horribly sad. Not because an iconic magazine changed a decades old tradition; but because if I have a daughter one day, a man looking at her puts her butt and breasts on a stack of hundreds of other images on the hard drive of his brain.

Couple that with the reality of Lamar Odom overdosed at the largest known compound for sexual exploitation in the country. And we are focused not on the women that are there who were recruited from foster care, histories of abuse and generational violence and were groomed for this "industry" as pre-teens and children. Instead we are Tweeting thoughts and prayer emojis for Lamar's recovery and wondering if he and Khloe Kardashian can "hold it together." Now I am all for strong marriages and family and men overcoming drug addiction to lead and love as God intended. I am wondering though how come no one asked the question (at least from what I heard on CNN and other news outlets) "what about the women and the destructive business on which Lamar Odom was spending thousands of dollars."

And I wish this was only a pop culture problem but the personal choices that we (men) make about the consumption of women is de facto legislation and could be legislation if Amnesty International gets their way. Wait, what? We won't give amnesty to undocumented immigrants who flee war, violence and poverty for a better life but we want to freedom from prosecution to men and women who would provide children, women and men for other women and men to pay to rape. 

Read that again. We won't give amnesty to undocumented immigrants who flee war, violence and poverty for a better life.  But we want to ensure freedom from prosecution to men and women who would provide children, women and men for other women and men to pay to rape. 

And that is called good leadership, celebrated by activists and lauded as progress when it couldn't be further from the cesspool of mindsets that now guides our actions that auction women and girls. 

I wanted to find a large scale media effort to reference these thoughts but I can only find fringe articles and people who most folks (liberal and conservatives) would call radical. So I stopped searching. Then I realized it would take me less than 5 seconds to find THOUSANDS of images of naked children involved in sex acts and women and men from any genre of commercial sexual exploitation with which to pleasure myself. I type what I want (not a "who" I want at this point) and it is delivered to me. And if I try to escape this distorted reality, the world of advertising is bent towards reminding me that this devaluation of the male and female is worthy of my time and money. This exploitive theology bombards me on TV, movies and commercials and still some magazines - just not PlayBoy. Lord have mercy. 

What does it profit a man, woman or country to have any sexual fantasy he or she wants and lose the ability to see a woman or man before them as beautiful apart from the size and ability of them to use their private parts for pleasure. It profits us nothing, but Playboy and others ministers of sexual exploitation are soundly invested in this growing market to the point that they will ensure that men, women and children who want to see other men, women and children choked by penises, penetrated by inanimate objects, gangraped or abused by their step-parents - that they will stop taking pictures and printing them to make sure there are more resources for that. 

And since we see exploitation as sound business practice to feed our insatiable need for pleasure, we will celebrate them and continue giving time and money to decreasing the value of men, women and children to holes they have and how often someone puts themselves into them. 

So no wonder no one asked about the women at Cathouse and why they were on a ranch like cattle. And I can't sit in my hotel room tonight and get away from the temptation to want a woman other than my wife. 

Society says it is okay for me to desire, select and posses any woman or man  that I want sexually and then discard them after I've climaxed. And that is to be accepted and celebrated as forward-thinking, progressive and true freedom by acclaimed educators, activists and even theologians. No wonder we "blame the victim" because pimps, traffickers and abusers are simply doing what we are supposed to do - consume. Our words and subsequent actions are the fruit of what we truly think and feel. How profoundly sad it is that mass media provides no compassionate words or actions for the women, men and children who suffer under our "need" for more. 

Jesus, forgive us and have mercy on me.  I can't unlearn what I know or forget what I've seen. I am frustrated, sad and angry and want to drop kick every taxi touting a strip club or peep show and spray paint ads I never asked to see that bombard me daily. I stand in opposition and shout silently at magazine racks that "I never asked for this" but wrestle because I'm being told by the everyone that "this is what you want." Selah. 

God help us to see one another rightly. That women are not bunnies and ball players are people and companies have an opportunity to create systems and structures that build people up or to crush them.