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Showing posts from March, 2018

Finding the Gospel in (Spite of) “Red Sparrow”

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With the amount of time I have taken to write about Jennifer Lawrence, one might assume either that I am obsessed with her or that I have something against her. Neither is true. It just so happens that my desire to write about loving our entertainers as we love ourselves keeps intersecting with news developments related to Jennifer Lawrence. And so I keep writing about her. #SorryNotSorry

In a recent blog entry, I examined Lawrence’s starring role in the sexually violent film Red Sparrow, and how she claimed in an interview that the movie helped her feel empowered. After being the victim of a photo hack that released nude pictures of Lawrence onto the internet, her choice to go nude (and much more) for Red Sparrow allowed her to reclaim what the photo hack had stolen: her autonomy.

To a degree, I get where Lawrence is coming from. The sexual offenses committed against her in real life took place without her consent, so she turned the tables (so to speak) by willingly participating in si…

My Appeal to Those Suspicious of #MeToo

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It was quite a controversial piece, written by a political activist. This piece addressed the entertainment industry, and how women have been especially susceptible to abuse and degradation. To be honest, the hard-nosed emphasis on how women are at most risk of victimization came across to me as a bit sexist: as if women were somehow inferior to men. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure if I could get behind it.

Now, if you think I’m describing a modern-day op-ed, you would actually be mistaken. I am referring, rather, to the words of the eighteenth-century abolitionist William Wilberforce in his mouthful-of-a-title bookA Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. In section five of chapter four, Wilberforce addresses a problem in the performing arts in particular. Here’s how he begins this section (and I encourage you to read it in its entirety):
It is an undeniable fact, for …

Jennifer Lawrence’s Tragic Sexual “Empowerment”

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If asked to pick my favorite actor working today, I would be hard pressed not to choose Jennifer Lawrence. An exceptional thespian, Lawrence is especially skilled at communicating raw emotions through characters facing extreme trials: Ree in Winter’s Bone, Katniss in the Hunger Games films, Aurora in Passengers, and the nameless woman in mother! My admiration for her acting ability has only increased with the passage of time.

As one interested in Lawrence’s development as an actor, I thought it appropriate to examine her most recent project: the sexually violent spy thriller Red Sparrow. In the words of Refinery29’s Anne Cohen, “An actress famous for her reluctance to shoot nude scenes doesn’t just suddenly decide to go full-frontal, which makes this decision worth examining.”
Consider just one sequence in the film, once again in the words of Anne Cohen:
In the late stages of her training as a Sparrow, an elite breed of Russian spies taught to extract information with their bodies and th…