Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
Yesterday, we talked about the rising tide of the Slutwalk movement. What is the real source of the frustration behind this movement? To explain this, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Speaking of which:
In essence, the point of Slutwalkers is a fair one. We should all be able, technically, to walk around naked, or in any other state of dress, everywhere, without fear of being seen solely as sexual objects. Trust me; if it could happen, I’d be the first one out there. Maybe then I’d lose the weight.
To that luxury, though, I would add that we should all be able to leave our doors open at night, drop our million dollar jewelry on the ground in front of the World Cup concession stand, and leave our children alone for a day to sell lemonade on street corners in Thailand. But we can’t do those things without significant risk of great loss. It’s not fair that we can’t. But it is reality, and it’s not going to change before the sky cracks open and everything is made new.
Bare breasted walks, titillating as they are, won’t change that reality. You heard me: hard as it is to believe, ladies, visually parading yourselves through the public streets as overtly sexual objects while yelling to get men’s attention to tell them that you don’t want to be prejudged as overtly sexual objects won’t cause men to view you less as sexual objects, no matter how big your sign, how naked you are, or how loudly you chant. In fact, it could — possibly — reinforce that inclination in them to view you as a means to an end, although the yelling might indeed deter any other interest they might have in you, as well.
So why does this form of protest miss the mark? We live in a fallen world. It wasn’t always this way, but Eden lasted for the blink of an eye, and almost no one lived to tell about it. That’s why today we have so much trouble believing it.
I know it’s disappointing. We want to think the best of ourselves and each other. We’d like to think that our politicians will keep their promises; that our parents will never hurt us; that our spouses will always be faithful; that our neighbors will leave our stuff alone; and that, in general, if we just all agree to try a little harder, the best of humans is yet to come. You know, the Age of Aquarius and all that. Yea, well, your stockbrokers, CEO’s, university presidents, attorneys, and these days, many of your grandparents, used to be hippies. Ask them if they remember the last time they checked their horoscope. The Age of Aquarius is experiencing some technical difficulties. Or, in the words of the Secular Prophet, “This brave new world’s done gone bad again.”
Many of us operate under the belief that humanity is prone to basic goodness. This is the mother of all delusions, and we pay for it dearly every day. Six thousand years of human history should tell us this plainly. Somebody out there read a history book. We’re just not good. In fact, the best of us are rotten to the core. Show me an Achilles, and I’ll show you his heel. Don’t get me wrong; we were all designed for perfection, prosperity, and eternity. But we chose a different fate. From here, there’s only one way out, and it doesn’t involve exposed garter belts.
History is not full of benevolent dictators, with a bad apple in the basket on occasion. Instead, human history is chock full of war, treachery, human sacrifice, betrayal, debauchery, mutilation, rape, pillaging, oppression, and torture. The few instances of these things ebbing instead of flowing have been exceptional, localized, and brief. Here in modern America, we are living in such an ebb right now, although I’m not betting on it to continue forever.
Given enough power, most of us would eventually kill anyone who threatened our comfort or security. Lord Of The Flies, anyone? We are our leaders, with less control. Left alone, that’s the brightest outlook we have as a species.
This is why we have rules, standards, and civilization. Ask anyone who knows me; it rubs me the wrong way, too. And like all good things, including sex, these can be abused, and often are. But they were created for our good, and there isn’t a healthy alternative. They serve a legitimate purpose. They maintain a modicum of order and discourage us, individually and collectively, from following the straightest, most natural path to self-destruction. They give us pause, creating a buffer between our thoughts and our actions. And we all need that, whether we want it or not. This, if we are honest, we know.
In subsequent articles, we will talk about the relationship between thought and action, and how our buffers are holding up. Please feel free to subscribe and chime in!