A sincere plea from someone who doesn’t want to see Kardashian’s nude selfie but isn’t a “slut shamer”

A sincere plea from someone who doesn’t want to see Kardashian’s nude selfie but isn’t a “slut shamer” March 16, 2016

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Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve heard about Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie.  Yes, that’s the kind of culture we live in now: the kind in which you know that Kim Kardashian apparently had “nothing to wear.” The kind in which, as Bette Midler pointed out, the only way Kardashian could show us anything we hadn’t seen would be for her to “swallow the camera.” The kind in which dismay about this trend gets a person vilely attacked on social media as a “slut shamer.”

So what’s the problem with this picture? (Yes, pun intended.) Of course I’m five degrees of furious that my 13-year-old son can’t turn on television without having that image tempt his visually-wired brain without his consent, as news channels broadcast the latest example of Kardashian excess. And I’m intensely worried about the inevitable, silent comparisons my 15-year-old daughter and her friends will make between the perfectly toned (and let’s be honest, photoshopped) body in the selfie and their own perfectly normal, healthy adolescent figures.

But all that isn’t my main problem: my main problem is that concerned citizens can’t even say this is a problem without people calling us slut-shamers. Without people telling us (paraphrasing an actual comment about my book Through A Man’s Eyes on this topic), “Go to that really hot place for eternity with all those other bigoted, idiotic people like you who need to go have sex with themselves.”

Hm.

Raise your hand if you think we should be having a conversation about two different types of decency here.

If some women are perfectly fine with taking nude selfies, and speaking out against it becomes a societal no-no, where is the line? When does pushing the envelope become too much? And how will there ever be a “too much” if we don’t fight the censors who say that politely asking for a return of old fashioned modesty is slut-shaming?

Yes, millions of Americans eagerly await anything Kim Kardashian wants to show off. It’s a free country, so she should be able to post whatever she wants, and others should be free to view it. But precisely because it is a free country I should also be able to tell Ms. Kardashian I wish she would stop, for the sake of boys like my son and girls like my daughter. Because it is a free country I should be able to tell Instagram they need to tighten their nudity policies so we don’t broadcast pornography so openly. Because it is a free country I should be able to encourage viewers to stop putting pornography into their brains and desensitizing themselves to something that both objectifies women and harms the men who most want to honor women.

To those women who get indignant at me, I ask: instead of trying to silence my message, look at it more closely. You may still disagree, but you’ll realize the intention is respectful, not the opposite.

To those people who agree with me, I ask: speak up. Say your piece. Don’t stoop to the level of the haters, but continue to take your place in the public square. Don’t cede the ground to those who try to silence you. Because just imagine: if you let them push you out of the square the only thing left will be Kim Kardashian’s nude figure standing as a testimony to free speech.

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Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

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  • My thoughts exactly

  • agkcrbs

    Wow, there are people who care about decency who still have a television in their house?