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Captain Marvel, Disney Princesses, and the “Feminist Agenda,” Part 2

The response to Disney’s Captain Marvel has been fraught with controversy, even before the film was released. Greg Morse, a staff writer at Desiring God, wrote about the movie after seeing it, and his article has received a lot of criticism (rightfully so, in my opinion). Morse makes four dangerous rhetorical errors in his piece, and in my last blog post we examined the first two: unclear language and genre confusion. Now let’s look at the other two problems: reverse chronological snobbery and a demeaning attitude toward women.

3. Reverse Chronological Snobbery
C. S. Lewis coined the term “chronological snobbery” to describe the belief that the “intellectual climate” of our own time is automatically superior to that of the past, as the beliefs and practices of previous generations are outdated and less enlightened. This is a dangerous and pernicious mindset, blocking us from learning from past eras.
Another detrimental mindset is reverse chronological snobbery. This is the belief that t…

Captain Marvel, Disney Princesses, and the “Feminist Agenda”

A few days ago, an international Christian ministry I greatly respect published an article critiquing the new movie Captain Marvel. I found the article to be confusing, troubling, and even dangerous. It doesn’t so much critique the content of the movie as it does the existence of the movie and the reason for the movie. Those are issues I can address without having first watched the film (which, for the record, I have not).

As I see it, there are four main problems with the article: unclear language, genre confusion, reverse chronological snobbery, and (most importantly) a demeaning attitude toward women.
1. Unclear Language
The article’s author, Greg Morse, pushes back against what he calls the “feminist agenda,” but he never clarifies what that term actually means. It may be that he views all forms of feminism as inherently opposed to Scripture; I can’t say for sure. The truth of the matter is that feminism, like many other ideological positions, is too broad a description to condemn or…

Not Quite a Top 10 List, or In Defense of Dan Brown (Sort of)

“What is your favorite phone app?”
The question made me pause. I was sitting across from another business professional in a “speed networking” event as we got to know each other. Neither of us knew how to answer.
I mentally reviewed the apps I use most frequently, but they fell more in the “necessary” category than the “fun” category. Right before settling for a rote answer, it hit me: my favorite app, by far, is Libby.
The service Libby provides isn’t new. In fact, it’s probably old hat for most of you. But as someone who is historically behind the times, I’ve only started taking advantage of technologically-enhanced reading aids this year. Libby allows me and my wife to borrow audiobooks from the library and listen to them while doing dishes, folding clothes, driving, or performing other mindless tasks. It’s free and fun, and why haven’t I been doing this longer?!
If not for Libby, I would have only gotten through two fiction books this year. With Libby’s aid, however, I completed ten f…

The Author Who has Forever Changed My View of Movies

There are times when the best film commentary comes from a pastor. Not just any pastor, mind you. There are some who practice such complete avoidance of movies that they lack a healthy perspective. Their discernment is hindered by a willful ignorance of God’s gift of cinema.

At the same time, there are others (and not just pastors) who practice such complete immersion in the world of movies that they too lack a healthy perspective. Their discernment, however, is hindered, not from ignorance, but from overstimulation.
It can be tricky to find a balance between the two. As I attempt to acquire a greater sense of that balance, I am grateful for one author—one pastor—whose writing on film has dramatically changed my life. Because I have learned so much from him, I wanted to share some of the wealth of his knowledge with my readers.
That is why I am honored and excited to interview Pastor Wayne A. Wilson. He is the author of Worldly Amusements, which is one of the five most influential and li…

The Fault in Our (Movie) Stars’ Simulated Sex

In the last few weeks, we’ve been examining the claim that simulated sex scenes are not real sex. Some argue that, because mainstream movie sets are tightly controlled and highly contained, these scenes cannot be categorized as sexual in nature. As I heard one person put it, “Even when filming sex scenes, film sets are the least erotic places on earth.”

Thus far, we have looked at three problems with that line of reasoning. Let’s complete this blog series by examining two more problems.
4. Sometimes the Sex Isn’t Simulated
I said earlier that a typical sex scene in a film, TV show, or stage play doesn’t involve actual penetrative sex. I used the word “typical” for a reason: there are atypical mainstream forms of entertainment where actual sex does take place on set. I won’t link to them, but there are plenty of lists of which films show actors (or body doubles) engaging in bona fide copulation.
Furthermore, to quote a 2012 article from The Independent, “films where the actors have real, a…

3 Inconvenient Truths from Evangeline Lilly’s LOST Exposé

In 2004, the television series LOST introduced the world to several new (or fairly unknown) faces, not the least of which was Evangeline Lilly. And unknown until very recently, LOST introduced Evangeline Lilly to a seedy undercurrent of Hollywood’s secret subculture.
A few weeks ago, Lilly made a guest appearance on a LOST-related podcast hosted by Jack Shepherd (yes, really) and Jacob Stolworthy. During the interview, Lilly revealed how she was coerced into partially disrobing for a scene:
In Season 3, I’d had a bad experience on set with being basically cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt I had no choice in the matter. And I was mortified and I was trembling. And when it finished, I was crying my eyes out.
She continued by describing a similar situation in Season 4, after which she put her foot down and outright refused to take her clothes off for the show ever again.
At this point, much has been made in the media of these two experiences—and rightly so. What I want …