A Saint for Our Times
Warren Throckmorton’s Friday Journal piece serves to leaven the surreality of the professor quoted my previous post (and I don’t say that solely because I love the name Throckmorton):
Many make the Santa Claus-like association of this story to Saint Nicholas the gift giver. I see an additional angle. For reasons that often involve money, women today have few benefactors, few Saint Nicks. Bob Dylan sang truly two decades ago that today’s culture seems to promote “old men turning young daughters into whores.” A look at any magazine rack will tell you that there is a market for flesh and the demographic is predominantly male, ages 12 and up. Research company Visiongain estimated that the pornography market was a $70 billion industry in 2006. That is a lot of gold being used to degrade women rather than enhance their virtue.
Blending traditional gender roles has been little help here. Women today are not, nor should they be, as helpless as those three girls aided by Saint Nicholas. However, girls gone wild with sexual freedom most often leads to exploitation by men. I doubt we would see as much skin if there were no gawking male purchasers, eager to buy and sell innocence as commerce.
Harmful to both men and women, graphic sexuality, even the somewhat scaled down prime-time variety, contributes to the overall commodification of sex. Viewed through the eyes of a pornographer, sex is commerce and sexual purity is restraint of trade.
We need Saint Nicholas today. We need his gifts of chastity and modesty. We need more respecters of purity and fewer of those who would sell young people into the brothel of commercialism.
Not a bad message to layer back onto the meaning of Christmas. Now we just need a Charles Dickens for our times (who could surely make use of Warren’s name… consent forthcoming, of course).