Friday, September 9, 2011

Killing Us Softly

Killing Us Softly is a documentary by Jean Kilbourne about advertising's effect on women. Following my current line of thought on this blog, I couldn't help being disturbed by this 30 minute film. It's a little outdated, there is a newer one, but the effect is the same. Disclaimer: there are some disturbing images in this film, but I think the shock is necessary. It's a good example of destructive creativity. How creativity has been used to distort reality and destroy the image of model womanhood.

My thought after watching this was "I'm out! Take me out of this game." It has me thinking more about some of what has been on my heart, in part, a side project that a friend and class mate and I have been mulling over for a while. The Wildflower Sisterhood. More about this later, I promise. But for now, on my mind and heart has been again the desire to engage creativity. What is constructive creativity? What is pure creative energy of the creator God? How is creativity and creation part of renewal for women? What is true beauty and creation?

Here are a few verses that I am reminded of:

Romans 12:1-3 (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Galatians 6:14-16 (NIV)

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to[b] the Israel of God.

What is beauty and creativity that reflects truth: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control.

When I think about these attributes of the Spirit, I realize that they are mostly what our culture considers feminine qualities, and these are qualities that are grossly devalued. These are distorted and forced upon women in our culture by dominant masculinity. But the fruit of the Spirit is not just for women, and by no means to be forced on anyone. They are fruit.
I almost feel a fear of embracing the Spirit, worried about how gentleness and kindness is taken advantage of in our culture. But is this not the story of Christianity, of people like martyrs, saints. People like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez, Mother Theresa. Truly beautiful people who gently, kindly, boldly and selflessly stood up and said "this is wrong".

I want to take myself out of the game. I'm not playing anymore. The beauty and creativity I long for is a new thing, unacceptable in my world. I want to engage creativity.

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