Let us not reflexively listen to the feminists on this question, but, rather use a little common sense here.
Men notice quite readily and do appreciate and admire women’s beauty. There is no question about that. Can a man enjoy the sight of female beauty without in his mind and heart “lusting” after that beautiful “object”? Let us briefly explore this as nowadays, more often than before, men are being called out over this and are even being shamed or vilified for their natural reactions to seeing beautiful women.
Bear in mind, that the sex hormones (androgens, including testosterone) that course through our arteries are some of the most powerful brain chemistry altering bio-chemicals known. As well, the male brain in humans is hard wired differently than the female brain (at least that is what the neuroscientists tell us). So, yes, visual stimuli (the beauty of the female body form, and/or the pleasing lines and curves of a woman’s face) can and does affect males in an immediate and deep or profound way. (During those years when the hormones truly are raging as in the mid to late teens and early 20s, such intense visual stimuli can rapidly cause a young man’s body to prepare for sex, and thus he often gets an unwanted or untimely erection.)
But, is the double take, or even a little staring in wordless awe at a beautiful woman’s appearance, on a public sidewalk downtown at lunch time in the spring or summer, or along the boardwalk at the beach while on holiday, lust? And, could this reaction lead to an objectification of women in our minds?
The short answers are no, and not necessarily. Stay with me here.
In the Western world, we have distorted the meaning of the term lust over the centuries. Sadly, now the word lust for many people indicates any and all things related to sex and sexuality. Thus, mere sexual arousal or simply thinking about sex are deemed to be “lustful” and, by not a few churches, sinful. (We have previously addressed this in an essay on this blog.) But, in the more original sense of the term, lust involves covetousness, or the desire to possess the object that one is lusting or hankering for. And, that is why lust is correctly classed as one of the 7 “deadly” sins because, if not checked, it can motivate a person to commit very grave, harmful, destructive sins. If a man does lust in his heart for a woman and allows that desire to possess to motivate him to actions to obtain that person he wants, he goes on to commit adultery or fornication, (if he can charm or seduce the woman he desires) or in more extreme cases, he commits violent sexual assault and rape. The key here is how the individual man reacts internally, and that depends on how he consciously chooses to react to the sight of a beautiful woman.
The bottom line is that a man or even adolescent male can appreciate, admire and enjoy the sight of a beautiful woman without necessarily lusting after or for her, or objectifying her in his mind and heart. I see beautiful, attractive women from time to time out in public and even as I note and enjoy the sight of their physical beauty, I do not lust after them. Those beautiful women that I am acquainted with through work or social life, and I know them to be good women, I respect and admire them for their qualities and achievements in their various roles of wife, mother and working woman (in that order, by the way).
As to female beauty, if only women’s attitudes, dispositions and personalities were as pleasing in these terrible times . . . if only. But, that is a topic for another time.
other related thoughts
Men and masculine traits and characteristics are under frequent, even constant attack in our toxic society today. We all know this, so we do not need to fool or deceive ourselves here. We can be honest with ourselves and each other.
Do not base your feelings of self-worth or self-esteem on the approval of others, that kind of thinking is for the school yard and for immature children. The test or challenge in life is often in the form of choices to do what is right and moral versus doing popular things which are often not right nor moral. The lesson here is to do the right (moral) thing even when it is unpopular to do so.
No man ought to allow himself to become so beaten down psychologically and emotionally (and, dare I say, spiritually, too) that he begins to reject and detest his own masculine traits and qualities. (The Christian churches here, both Catholic and Protestant, have much to answer for in this regard as these have too often pandered to the feminists and feminist thinking.) It really sickens me to see Beta (or worse) males effectively pandering to pushy, aggressive, self-righteous, feminist women. These “men” have been beaten down psychologically or they were always weak psychologically. (Avoid these feminist women, do not date or court them, and woe to any man who is foolish enough to wed such a woman.)
Think positive about your natural masculine nature and masculine qualities. Do not be ashamed of yourself for being a man! Do not let anyone try to put you to shame for your natural masculinity.
That said, we are not saying that it is okay to be brutish, a lout, an oaf, lacking in manners and/or personal hygiene, addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, etc. Work at bettering yourself, take your responsibilities seriously, work at being a good, loving husband to your wife, and a good, loving father to your children. You can be a role model or hero in your family and circle of friends, and in your local church, and community.
Next post, we will address some other societal issues of concern. Stay tuned.
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