WBB and the “Male Gaze”

I tend to be a rather ‘direct’ kind of a person. I like to look a person in the eye when I meet them. Heck, I like to look strangers in the eye as we pass on the sidewalk.

But I learned early that such directness, especially on the street, and especially with women, is usually unwelcome.

I don’t know if other guys reading this email feel the same way, but I am embarrassed that most women that I pass on the street will immediately avert their gaze (often in the direction of looking down at the sidewalk) if I glance their way. I am embarrassed because I understand that ‘looking away’ as a defense mechanism in the face of the “male gaze.”

The male gaze. That look that is undressing a woman. That look that is a potential sexual and violent threat. That look of power. That look that spells ‘threat’. And we wonder why some Islamic women prefer to where the burkha.

Jesus understands the male gaze and names it for what it is. Such a sexually aggressive gaze isn’t just a matter of male hormones kicking in. More importantly this is a matter of the heart. This is a matter of imaginative rape.

Once we started down this path of hanging out with Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount we knew that things were going to get heavy. Like Moses in Sinai, Jesus is going to leave nothing unexamined. That includes our sexual imaginations.

It might be painful.

Andrew will preach and preside.
Jake has crafted our prayers.
We’re praying that Deb Whelan will get over a whopper of a cold so that she can lead our music.

And while Bethany will be baking the bread, we don’t really know who is bringing muffins since no one signed up (hint, hint).

Start Time: 7:22am
Date: 2010-10-19

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