A few weeks ago I organized my DVD collection (you can read about it here) and noticed how extensive my Rom-Com selection was. I’m pretty sure I own every movie inspired by an Austen novel or with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in it. Don’t even get me started on Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock.
Luckily for me, I married a man who loves chick-flicks as much as I do. (To be fair I should mention my absolute love of sports shows, war movies and action shows. I practically forced Matt to take me to Gladiator 3 times, I’ve seen the Italian Job so many times that I consider myself an expert Mini-Cooper driver despite never having been in one, and I still get goose bumps from Rudy, Invincible, Hoosiers, Remember the Titans …). We’re movie compatible—for the most part.
Matt and I parted movie ways when Twilight came out. And this is when I started to notice a slightly unhealthy obsession with women (not tweens—grown, married women).
I’ve already shared my thoughts on Edward but as I think more critically, I wonder if there is something wrong with the female consumption of chick-flicks.
Are chick flicks emotional porn?
When I started looking into this topic, I ran across the article “You’ve Got Lies” by Beth Spraul. In her article, Spraul asserts that as pornography appeals to men’s visual instincts and creates a false ideal of the female body and interest in sex, chick flicks create a false emotional ideal of the role of men in romance and marriage. Through chick-flicks, Spraul contends that women learn to believe these lies:
- Men and women view emotional and relational intimacy in the same way.
- Marrying the right man will make everything perfect in my life.
- I’ll know he’s the “right” man by the feelings I have when I’m around him.
By accepting these lies as truth, many women compare men to fictional heartthrobs and disregard important qualities like faith, character, and humility because of physical attraction or “chemistry.” (P.S. I hated chemistry).
I’ll admit that I’ve bought the “lies” in the past. I’ve been swept up in “feelings” that weren’t ok and have placed super unhealthy expectations on males in relationships. But now, I think I’m healthy enough to know that life with Matt isn’t perfect. He’s going to make me mad and offend me and not defend me when I need him to. Only God is my all in all. And trust me, after being around Matt for nearly 11 years, I’ve pretty much caught on to the fact that we view romance and intimacy in vastly different ways (and I didn’t even need to read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus).
Are women are being subtly attacked? Are the emotional lies told in chick-flicks less harmful than the lies portrayed in pornography? Spraul states, “Like pornography, chick-flicks take a good gift from God (romance, relational intimacy) that women are created to desire, and distort it by presenting as “normal” an unbiblical and unrealistic picture of men, love and marriage. And just like men who buy into the lies of pornography, women who believe that their husbands and marriages should always be like what they see on the screen will be sinfully dissatisfied with God’s good gift to them of a “normal” husband and marriage.”
I have to admit I struggle with this because I believe pornography actually IS sinful whereas I think chick-flicks can be viewed without sin.
Suffice it to say, I don’t know what I think about Chick Flicks though research has encouraged me to be a more conscious consumer for the sake of my marriage and Mr. Darcy Matt.
I’d love to know your thoughts (since mine are so scattered)! Are chick flicks emotional porn?
The comment line is open!
The comment line is open!