Showing posts from October, 2014

Should We Label Hollywood as “Evil”?

“ Every year, thousands of children swarm Hollywood in search of fame, but what they often find under the surface is a deep and disturbing underbelly of manipulation and abuse.” So reads part of the description of An Open Secret , a new documentary set to premiere at DOC NY this year. The film is helmed by Amy Berg, the Oscar-nominated director of another documentary that deals with the theme of sexual abuse. An Open Secret is “a sobering look at the lives of children who were exploited and assaulted by some of Hollywood’s most powerful players.” The film’s title suggests that these secret crimes weren’t so much secret as they were ignored or glossed over. If the content of the movie is true, it’s a scathing indictment of the culture in which much of moviemaking takes place. It reminds me of my blog post Hollywood’s Secret Rape Culture , in which I talk about the many ways actors—especially women—are abused and mistreated in the process of filming scenes that require nu

When Did Voyeurism Stop Being a Vice?

Did you know that the term “peeping Tom” was inspired by an 18th-century story? As legend goes,  Lady Godiva persistently begged her husband, the Earl of Coventry, to ease the tax burden of the people under him. Finally, in exasperation, he promised to acquiesce only if she rode through the town on horseback—in the nude. She agreed. During her ride, the townsfolk remained indoors out of respect—all of them, that is, except one man. This person’s “ lustful curiosity compelled him to gaze at her and [he] was then, according to various versions of the legend, struck either blind or dead in punishment.” What was the pervert’s name? I’ll give you a three-lettered guess. No Christian would want to be labeled a peeping Tom. After all, it is indecent and immoral to receive sexual pleasure by watching someone other than your spouse undress or engage in sexual activity. We fully acknowledge that. Or do we? Douglas Wilson says we do not. In his book Reforming Marriage , he lays

Turning Sex Into a Spectator Sport

In the wonderfully entertaining film Captain America: Winter Soldier , there’s a scene where two fugitives, a man and a woman, are trying to avoid being caught. A corrupt official who knows them is about to walk by, so the lady turns to the guy with a plan: he needs to kiss her. Confused, he asks why. She answers, “Public displays of affection make people very uncomfortable.” And so they kiss. It’s not a racy kiss, but it still causes the corrupt official to turn his head slightly away, effectively causing him to miss the fact that he just passed by his targets. We all instinctively respond the same way, don’t we? As a culture, we may be more comfortable with PDA than we were, say, a couple decades ago, but we still don’t automatically gawk when two lovebirds share airtime. Rather, if we see a couple making out in public, our inclination is to turn away. This response hints at something we all instinctually know: intimate moments are not for public observation. Sexual intima