A few days ago a standup comedian named John Crist posted a guest entry entitled Stuff Christian (Guys) Like: Girls That Have a Past on Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like blog and the Christian blog world went CRAZY. The post intended to criticize Christian men and how they view women by stating women with a past are more desirable than women who are sweet and kind and have always obeyed the rules. John Crist proceeded to list a point scale of how Christian women are rated in the minds of men. His intent was not to criticize women, his intent was to criticize men. Laura Ortberg Turner had a great response to the piece here, explaining how the piece did get its point across (pun), but the use of a point system in any situation to grade women is terrible. I agree with Turner, but I also believe this post would not have garnered so much attention from the online Christian community without use of the point system.
- Point system in any respect to grade women = bad.
- Point system to bring light to a demeaning practice used by some Christian men to evaluate the attractiveness of Christian women = Effective, but I still hate point systems for grading women. There will always be some stupid person who doesn’t view it correctly and prints the list off and tapes it to their wall at home.
Some of the comments on his post argue that satire is better done mildly, and not quite as bluntly as John Crist has written. Other comments argue that this post deserved more explanation from the author. In both cases, I agree. But my agreement with those comments does not discount the fact that this post does what the author intended for it to do. Satire is proven successful when riots and debates are spurred, which is exactly what happened here. Without the point system in this post, good luck addressing the issue as effectively with long, boring paragraphs. And considering the author is a standup comedian, the post is written exactly as I would expect it to be written, similarly to a standup routine with snippets of witty comments.
This piece is brilliant. Another, less obvious point of beauty I took from this satirical piece is how it insinuates that as Christian women we do not tend to judge men as superficially as they judge us. (Although we may judge ourselves as superficially as men judge us — not good.) I have compiled a short list in response.
Stuff Christian Women Like : A man who…
Loves God: +50
Loves Jesus: +50
Acts like it: +100
Doesn’t judge women based on irrelevant criteria, demeaning our attractiveness with a point system: +5
Makes women who are trying to act according to God’s will feel attractive for their beliefs and actions: +5
Is sweet to children: +5
Is considerate of elderly: +5
Actually knows a bible verse other than “Jesus Wept”: +10
Wears pants above buttocks (no saggy diaper syndrome): +2
Does not flip collar under any circumstance except for acting in VBS skit: +2
Chose to act in VBS skit: +2
Is confident not cocky: +2
I appreciate the purpose of John Crist’s piece. Yes, women are judged in every aspect of life — by men and by other women. Unfortunately, in the church where women should find refuge from such judgement, there can be more judgement stemming from worldly influence and Christian expectations for women.
But there are also Christian expectations for men — expectations which certainly do not include a point system for women. Which is why this piece, although controversial, was spot on. Christian men need to recognize how easy it can be to fall into the trap of viewing women through a worldly lens on a Christian camera.
As Christians we (women AND men) should strive to allow the love of Christ to shine through us so brightly that our actions are always of God and for God. Easier said than done. But isn’t everything Christ commanded of us easier said than done?
What do you think?
What do you think?