Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our Morally Confused Society

Posted by Teresa at 11:55 AM
I was reading this great article over at the Financial Times and it
got me thinking about the mixed messages our media sends
about sexual morality. Excerpt:

Getting rid of the old punitive morality that surrounded
sexuality seemed like it would do no one any harm, and
relieve a lot of unnecessary anguish and guilt. But young
people have not reacted to it as theorised. They will
gladly skip the “morality” part. But in a world as socially
competitive as that of teen dating, the “punitive” part
is simply too useful a tool to do without. So people
proclaim themselves free of moral hang-ups, and yet
throw around words like “slut” and “whore” with an
abandon that no previous generation ever did. It is
unlikely there was any moral disapproval in the
taunts to which Prince was allegedly exposed. It
might have been better if there had been. Moral
pretensions might have led her alleged tormentors
to look at their own conduct, and reined them in. In
place of moralism we have nothing but the will to power
and the desire to ostracize – a values system that differs
from the old one only in its arbitrariness.

Our media perpetuates mixed messages on sexual morality. On
the one hand it teaches don't expect young people to abstain from
sex until marriage, it would be puritanical to do so. It also teaches
society not to make people feel guilty for being sexually "free." On
the other hand it has no problem ridiculing the sexually loose people,
the Paris Hilton's of the world.

For an example of this see late night comedian Chelsea Handler.
She pokes fun of the Jonas Brothers for their purity rings but
she also makes fun of celebrities who sleep around. She's obviously
making a moral judgment on promiscuous celebrities but based
on what? If you believe it is insane for young people to abstain
from sex, why are you making a moral judgment about people
who sleep around? Such morality seems arbitrary.

I don't think it's in our nature to have a libertine sexual morality.
God didn't create us that way. That is why the preachers of this
sexual morality oftentimes find themselves judging others.

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