Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Paramore Scandal and Males vs. Men: The Connection

[WARNING: SEXUAL THEMES DISCUSSED. ADULTS ONLY, PLEASE!]

Brethren, we have failed. Again.

(Hold on, it's not what you think. Bear with me, please.)

I'm not sure if any of my readers heard, but last night I was informed that Hayley Williams, lead singer of the rock band Paramore, had a topless photo of herself on her Twitter page.

That may not suprise you; it doesn't really surprise me, I'm sorry to admit. It's so commonplace these days.... So what's the point in my mentioning it?

Firstly, as any of my readers may have guessed, I take pains to know what is going on in these kinds of circles. Why? If you've ever spent even a minimal amount of time with any "young person" (teen, etc.), you'll find it clear that their music influences them very much. Much more, in fact, than many might think, I'd say. (See here, for example--I've seen other studies as well.) And as I both care for this generation, and also practically know that they literally are our very future, I want to know what is behind them.

Secondly, as I've admitted here before, I really like Paramore's music. They're far from perfect, I know it, and I have not placed them, or Miss Williams herself, on any sort of pedestal. I like some of their louder songs (Crushcrushcrush, Fences, and their newer ones Ignorance and Brick by Boring Brick), and their song Decode grabs me every time, even though it was written for the film version of Twilight. Long-time readers may remember my review of one of their songs, here. While I love the sound of the song, the use of God's name in vain was too far for me.

So, that's about as bad as they've yet tread--use of the Lord's name in vain. Sure, the guys in the band are annoying-looking, pierced things, and Miss Williams doesn't exactly dress in the most modest apparel, but when it comes down to it, they're pretty tame, all things considered. While I don't like to rationalize things that way, I've long appreciated Hayley's lack of sexually-charged-ness. For one example, I loved her attitude to being named the "2nd sexiest" rock vocalist by a magazine (see here).

While I don't even own any of their albums (only having bought just a few of their songs via iTunes), and I can't call myself a true fan, I'm still a bit disappointed. Not very surprised, but still a bit disappointed in her. I'm always the first to believe in the good in a girl.

Miss Williams hasn't stated much, but to my knowledge, the picture was real (at first I thought it might be one of those photoshopped fakes that the perverts of the world enjoy creating to plague famous women), she acknowledged taking it, but claims her acoount was hacked. She took down the picture hours after it was posted. She apparently uses Twitpic, and acquired a new phone app around 24 hours or so before this event occurred--what this all has to do with hacking, I'm not sure (I don't even know how to work them, let alone hack them!), but it really is irrelevant. I have to say, I believe her. Why would someone post a nude photo of themselves, pull it, and then go do damage control? Unless she was somehow, extremely intoxicated, I can buy the hacked concept. The ladies who pose nude for public shoots, such as Playboy or something of this sort, do so in a open, perhaps even flaunting manner. The embarrassed response from the singer just doesn't seem to fit the bill here.

Some think she did it accidentally, others say it was an intentional publicity stunt, and many others claim it was indeed a hacker, and his name is known. I really cannot say. Either way...if it was truly a hacker, I look forward to his/her criminal prosecution.

I find this sort of behavior to be morally reprehensible. I heard it said that this photo was meant for her boyfriend and none other. For any said hacker to post it publicly is both unfair and disgusting. Clearly this photo was private and it is really no one else's business.

While this is incredibly tame compared to most stars of the day, our standard must be the Bible, nothing else.

Therefore...I don't get to do this often enough, so let's turn this into a comment discussion. How do you feel about it? How would you think of this reflecting upon their music? Would you boycott, or stop listening? Would you continue? Would you rush to Miss William's defense? Let me know in the comments! (As for myself, I'll admit this will likely spoil my enjoyment of the few tracks that I do own somewhat, but I'm also not interested in a serious boycott either.)

So all of this is getting somewhat irrelevant for my current post topic. What is known is that Miss Williams posed nude for a photograph. This is unacceptable, clearly.

But, a larger question is, why do these sorts of things happen? Why is our world, our culture, falling apart at the seams? Most "celebs" of our day make Miss William's scandal look like a favorite game played in medieval nunneries.

I've talked about it all here before. We could go on and on. But for my personal purposes, let's harp yet again on one of the major issues I am concerned with this day and age.

Males.

What else do we teach our women, our girls? Show your stuff! Flaunt your body! We love it, that's all we want.

Let's digress for a moment. I admit it; we're designed this way. It was not good for man to be alone, so God created woman, it is true....but now due to sin we have our difficulties in this area. It is no simple thing to curb the growling beast within every man (myself included). It is very simple to allow it to vent itself, or even, perhaps, to take over. Every man (And even every woman? ;-D) can attest to this weak area within ourselves.

But I'm not asking for perfection. I'm asking for you to try, for crying out loud!

It is high time that the few changed the many. What I want is a small army of dedicated men to show the males how it is done. It is time to show every girl, every woman, every lady, that we are different.

It is time to show the most precious gift God has given us men on this earth just exactly what matters.

No, you don't need to flirt, flaunt, and expose. You don't need to appeal to our carnal, animal desires to succeed. What we must desire, and what you must do, is the Way of the Woman. Biblical womanhood, true femininity. You've heard it all before here, but I'll say it again. If you've ever seen it yourself, you know it is something to be treasured.

Perhaps, someday, young ladies will wait to "bare all" until they are wedded and can give themselves to their loves in all purity, and we give ourselves to them in turn.

I long for such a day.

Spencer

12 comments:

olde.fashioned said...

You've waxed poetic once again, and I can only add an emphatic AMEN in regards to your sentiments at the end.

As for Hayley Williams and her unfortunate, ah, exposure, I'm not exactly sure what to think about her doing it on purpose or not (I'm inclined to think not, but there have been women who've feigned innocence before, jus' sayin'), but we'll see how this plays out in future. I'm curious to see how she touches on this in her upcoming songs, seeing as she's so open about her personal experiences in her lyrics. If she writes increasingly provocative songs, then I'll think she did this intentionally. If, on the other hand, she writes something indicating that this was a negative experience...you get the picture.

And I totally want to steal your "The Way of the Woman" title now. ;-P

Jonas said...

First off, I had never heard of this band, but that's beside the point I guess.

Anyway, I couldn't agree more with your comment on this: "What else do we teach our women, our girls? Show your stuff! Flaunt your body! We love it, that's all we want!"

I am equally disgusted by this culture that we live in, this culture that revolves around women having to make themselves become sexual objects to have a chance in any way.

However, I don't fully agree with your concerns about nudity in general (which is a bit beside this topic I guess, but that I have seen from you in other instances, often in conjunction with movie reviews and the like). I don't believe in a "growling beast within every man", at least I am sure that it needn't be that way. I do think though, that the less skin you see, the more dramatic it will be when it happens, hiding the body is a big part of what makes it a sexual object. I mean, if I see a naked person in a movie, or a topless woman at a beach for example, I'll just shrug my shoulders and think "whatever..", while for you - it seems - it would ruin the whole movie (or the trip to the beach), no? So, my point is that if there is a thing such as a growling beast within, I think it'll just grow stronger by hiding (and thus by extension mystifying) what it desires. Bodies needn't be sexual objects, they could also be just what they are - bodies.

Nuttycomputer said...

I do hold some different views regarding behavior and human sexuality that I won't go into in these public comments out of the deep respect I have for this author.

However I will point out to always be careful when you read a news snippet of a scientific study. Please go read the study itself or read a scientific review on the study.

In this case the Study is grossly misinterpreted, in my opinion, by the article.

For example on of the findings was that there was a correlation between listening to degrading sexual lyrics and engaging in sexual activity. However, there is a correlation that suggested a decrease if listening to sexual lyrics in general... which I found particularly interesting.

As far as the study itself it was peer reviewed. However I persoally didn't see anywhere they implemented controls regarding embarrasment or seemed to properly define what "degrading" meant.

Just my 2 cents on extrapolating when the news tells you about a "study"

The Warrior said...

Lauren: As always, thanks. :-D And the "title" is yours to use....

Jonas: Thanks for the comment. As to bodies being sexual, I think it's basic that certain parts of human anatomy are sexual. As to movies, a sex/nude scene ruins it primarily for me because I prefer to have it out of my entertainment on a basis of moral criteria. It doesn't make me suddenly not enjoy the film, perse. I just don't appreciate it, at all.

Nuttycomputer: Thanks for stopping by again! Hope all is well?

As to said study, I admit I didn't look at this article that much, and for that I apologize. I had been attempting to find a link to a very recent study, but could not. I think the connection between the sex culture we live in directly influences the way our young people behave. As to your warning about the media hype about "studies"...I couldn't agree with you one bit more.

And on your views of of sexuality and such, I must say I appreciate that very much, but you are free to speak and it will not offend me. You can continue to discuss anything you want here on my blog as long as it meets the parameters on the "Leave your comment" page, and yours always have. If you would prefer a more private venue, you know how to reach me.

Thanks for reading this, and God bless, all!

Spencer

Jonas said...

As to bodies being sexual, I think it's basic that certain parts of human anatomy are sexual.

Well, you're right in this of course, but I still think we sexualize more of the body than what needs be "sexual". Then again, I don't want people walking around half-naked either, I prefer clothes too ;)

Lizzy said...

Well, I'm not familiar with Paramore, so I have no 'real' informed opinion as to whether or not it would have been purposeful... I suppose my first thought would be "stupid girl to have a picture like that in the first place!" but that's just my thought process.

I must say I agree with you completely! Though coming from your point of view as a man, it's different from what I have contemplated, (obviously.) I have kinda always thought of girls/women as the guilty ones in most situations. While men treating us women with respect may teach us that we don't need to 'show it off' I think the same thing could be said in that, if we women dressed and acted with more modesty and respect for ourselves (and in a way, showing respect also for men by dressing decently,) men would treat us with respect. (Of course, nothing could be better if both men and women did their parts, all at once.)

And as usual, a good post, and wonderfully put. :)

@Jonas: Again, I know little of the male point of view, but I just had to say (with all due respect,) You're right in that bodies do not need to be sexual objects- but it is instilled in both genders to be attracted to the opposite gender- so, from my moral and spiritual point of view, and I would gather most others who simply want to live decently, in a half-way decent world would agree; there is no reason to showcase our bodies (sexual objects or no) before the world (i.e the opposite gender) and thus ignite lust and the natural emotions that rise from such brazen, shameless exposure, on either gender's side (regardless of how severe that response may be, 'beast' or no 'beast'.) Now, you said:

...if there is a thing such as a growling beast within, I think it'll just grow stronger by hiding (and thus by extension mystifying) what it desires.

Again, I'm not a man, so I may not know much about it- but I do know that feeding something (example: the growling beast) on a certain diet will only create a habit. Bad diets create bad eating habits. Not the other way 'round.

IMHO, men were created to enjoy women- we were in fact, created by God, for men. Men were made to pursue, and we to be pursued. A true man (to use Spencer's destinction) will keep his raw emotions in control until he can lavish his love and affection on his beloved wife. And all women should assist in that by dressing and acting decently. It's just that simple.

Sorry Spencer, world's longest comment here. :P

Jonas said...

Lizzy:

Again, I'm not a man, so I may not know much about it- but I do know that feeding something (example: the growling beast) on a certain diet will only create a habit.

I wasn't talking of feeding the "beast", I was talking of desexualizing the body (as much as possible, see my above comment). Forgive me for probably going a bit vulgar but I stand by my comment that I feel nothing upon seeing a topless woman, no arousing, no stirring, nothing. And that I think is because I am used to it, because it's pretty every day, and everything but dramatic; you can for example see women breastfeeding their infants out in a park anywhere here in Sweden. Again, I don't advocate people walking around half-naked (myself, I'm actually pretty Victorian in my taste for clothing), but neither do I think being frightened of human flesh is good for anything. I often encounter American people on the Net who advocate censorship and heavy filtering to avoid porn for example, motivating it by saying things like "I might accidentally click a link and then become addicted to porn!" and while being quite a ridiculous comment it shows an attitude that is quite alien, and almost slightly frightening to me. Sure, I'll be among the first to condemn porn, I find it disgusting on most levels, mostly for objectifying women, but I don't find it dangerous and if by chance I encounter anything I'll just feel disgust, or perhaps laugh a bit about it all and then close the window. It needn't be more dramatic than that, that's what I'm trying to say.

I must also say that I find it slightly curious that the reasoning of Spencer and you sounds eerily alike the reasoning of Muslims (nothing necessarily wrong with reasoning like a Muslim) advocating veiling their women, while at least Spencer seems to concemn them in most ways. Perhaps you actually have more in common ;)

By the way, it can't be a coincidence that I got the word verification "chast" (can't expect blogger to get their spelling right on all accounts, huh?), can it? ;)

Lizzy said...

Jonas: I can see that your view point would be very different to that of those in a less liberal country. Also, I am keen to keep this as a friendly conversation, so I hope that nothing I say would be construed as offensive or unkind. I’m simply of a blunt nature.

While risking perhaps sounding like a prude, and while trying to see it from your viewpoint as much as possible, I would say that pornography and the like is a very dangerous thing- and no offence, but just because perhaps you have no weaknesses in that area, it does not lessen the severity of the danger. I know a lot of men suffer from addictions of that sort, and it's not something to be laughed at or disregarded. Not only is it a sin before God, but it's detrimental to the decency and upstanding quality of any society- as you have already said, ‘objectifying women’.

My main point is that because it does not affect you, (‘you’ in a general sense) - whether it be the women in all sorts of undress, or the disgusting pages one might stumble upon at any turn on the Internet, one cannot simply dismiss things such as that as ‘unimportant’.

I must also say that I find it slightly curious that the reasoning of Spencer and you sounds eerily alike the reasoning of Muslims (nothing necessarily wrong with reasoning like a Muslim) advocating veiling their women, while at least Spencer seems to concemn them in most ways. Perhaps you actually have more in common ;)

I doubt very much any commonality between Muslim beliefs and my own. While I do have the conviction (from The Holy Scriptures) to wear a head covering, and do indeed wear one, there is little else to compare. I am simply one seeking after my Heavenly Father’s will. (As opposed to working my way to Paradise by killing any and all infidels. :)) ---- 'sides, far as I'm concerned, expecting women to actually dress decently, (i.e that they actually wear something substantial) is a far cry from the Muslims forcing their women to the extremes of dress (the chador, burka and hijab) as they do.

(Oh, and while not speaking for Spencer, I do believe he and I both share the same concerns for Muslims; that they be stopped from taking lives, and that they be brought to a knowing and understanding of Jesus Christ and all He has done for us. --- This is just me laying it out for clarity’s sake. :))

LOL, That word verification certainly couldn’t have been more appropriate, misspelled though it is.

The Warrior said...

Whoo, this is what happens when I take a few days off blogging! :-D

Lizzy: I have kinda always thought of girls/women as the guilty ones in most situations.

Totally understand what you mean. But from where I stand, I can't tackle everything. I'm not a woman and I can't think like one. So, as far as I'm concerned, I'll deal with the issues I understand--the issues males deal with. I'll leave harangueing the women to the women, I guess is how you might put it bluntly. :-P

Good points, thanks very much for coming to check it out for me. :-) Appreciate it!

Jonas: I stand by my comment that I feel nothing upon seeing a topless woman, no arousing, no stirring, nothing.

Well I must say that I am a little bit surprised by that, perhaps because I don't really understand it, but let's get past ourselves for just a moment, and we have to admit that at least the vast majority of males are "stirred" in some sort of way. And as to the evils of pornography...I believe Lizzy's latest comment will due nicely. :-)

And don't be worried about the "vulgar" comment; I didn't find it so. As long as there's a disclaimer for readers who wish to avoid or younger readers (I placed it in my post, so we're good) and it's on topic, I'm all good. Personally, I'm a bit open to these sorts of discussions. Staying close-mouthed about all this is part of the problem with the sexual issues of the church body, IMVHO.

And as to Muslims...I don't see anything similar. I'm interested in the Bible, not beating down my women and forcing them to dress like they are somehow less than human. My greatest "pet peeve" (to put it far, far too lightly) are males who mistreat their women. Such germs are uninterested in following some Godly path, rather controlling their surroundings, up to and including their women, is the name of the game. That's my blunt opinion.

And that should be it before I begin ranting. :-P

So thanks, guys, this is interesting! :-)

Spencer

Nuttycomputer said...

JonasI wasn't talking of feeding the "beast", I was talking of desexualizing the body

LizzyI would say that pornography and the like is a very dangerous thing- and no offence, but just because perhaps you have no weaknesses in that area, it does not lessen the severity of the danger.

Well I tried to stay out of it Spencer :P

The problem of course when discussing human sexuality is that the sides of each argument are really subjective either because of differing religious views, environment, or personal history. (Or a combination of all three) *Note I use personal history and environment loosely as I'm sure there are more correct terms for what makes us us.

Consequently what constitutes pornography, nudity, suggestive attire, etc. is also subjective in accordance with the above three.

For example civilizations that lived (or "do live" in some native secluded tribes) when clothes were/are a luxury were/are probably indifferent to less than dressed women/men as it was/is the norm. On the flip side men living in an environment where showing even a hint of skin could be considered "flaunting" probably found even the sight of a female ankle "feeding the beast"

So is porn, nudity, sexuality, etc. bad? Dangerous? The answers are as subjective as the terms themselves.

What I will end with is individuals are generally pretty good with separating fantasy and reality be it violent video games, movies, porn, etc. and as such they don't seem to have any correlation with violence, rape, or the "degredation" of our society. Then again "degredation" is a subjective term too.... lots of subjectivities (word?) in philosophical subjects like this. So from a strictly libertarian standpoint (nothing illegal/wrong unless it breaches the rights of another) I don't see anything wrong.

So your best bet I guess is to find someone who shares your beliefs in words and actions. If everyone did that Men and Women would get along just fine.

The Warrior said...

For example civilizations that lived (or "do live" in some native secluded tribes) when clothes were/are a luxury were/are probably indifferent to less than dressed women/men as it was/is the norm. On the flip side men living in an environment where showing even a hint of skin could be considered "flaunting" probably found even the sight of a female ankle "feeding the beast"

Exactly. Which is why the only standard that will work is the standard of the Word of God. No other standard is going to work here. If we start from the Bible, then, and only then, can we begin to unravel human sexuality.

Spencer

Jonas said...

I think nuttycomputer hit the head on the nail here, on how nudity is perceived differently in different cultures because of the norms. That's why I mean it's possible to (at least in part) desexualize the body by changing how we perceive it, changing said norms.

In short, I don't think there's anything superhuman about my self-control, I think anyone living under similar circumstances could (should) work in the same way.