I have not read Through a Man's Eyes
(other than the free Look Inside part on Amazon), but I have read her book For Women Only
. It has a chapter entitled "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex" on this topic. I am a fan of this author, and appreciate her helping women better understand and accept the visual nature of men.
Frankly, I am surprised that mens' visual orientation is news to so many women. This is in part because of the trend in society of masculinizing women, demasculizing men, and generally discounting the differences between the sexes. I'll bet your grandmother knows that your grandfather likes to check out womens' bodies.
But if you were surprised at the amount of hand-wringing in Feldhahn's book over this, so was I. Consider the tale of Jack as told in the free portion of Through a Man's Eyes
. Jack comes to work, and coworker Abbie walks by. She is "well endowed" and showing a little of the tops of her breasts. He wants to enjoy the sight, but immediately looks away to avoid "temptation". He pretends to concentrate on his paperwork so Abbie won't stop and chat. Throughout the day he has to fight images of Abbie appearing in his mind, including flashbacks of previous encounters with Abbie. My God, Jack. They're just boobs.
What I find perplexing about "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex" and what I have read of Through a Man's Eyes
is that she admits that men are made by God to enjoy looking at women's bodies, and that it doesn't detract from our attraction to our wives. Yet she continues to toe the evangelical line when it comes to what men are to do about it -- namely AVOID looking.
The subtitle of the chapter "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex" is "Why It's So Natural for Him to Look and So Hard to Forget What He's Seen." Then there is a little sidebar which says "Even happily married men struggle with being pulled towards live and recollected images of other women." I have also been reading Every Man's Battle
which is more of the same. Feldhahn references the title of this book when agreeing that it is indeed every man's battle. She is saying, in effect, that we are in a battle with the way God made us.
This phobia of the female form goes way beyond anything scriptural. Nothing in Jack's saga suggests had adulterous lust towards Abbie, or that the encounter had any negative effect on his desire for his wife. Indeed, Feldhahn never mentions Matthew 5:28. Merely avoiding adulterous thoughts is apparently not good enough
Feldhahn does correctly state that it is not a sin to be tempted. But would a kind, benevolent, and loving God place men in a state of constant temptation? No. When we pray the Lord's prayer, we ask Him to "lead us not into temptation."
By placing normal everyday occurances in the forbidden-fruit basket, we are making these situations more sexual than they already are, having the opposite of the desired effect. Jack clearly has an unhealthy obsession with Abbie. And the women on the billboards on the way to his client. Then the girls at the swimming pool. Thoughts of them consume way more of his day then it should, even though he is an upstanding and moral man who did what he believed to be the right thing and tried not to look.
Imagine if men were forbidden to look at other people's cars. That alone would tempt us to look more than we already do. But, we would HAVE to look a LITTLE. We can't go bumping into them. So we get our appetites whetted no matter what we do. No wonder guys are going nuts.
A solution everyone is quick to raise is for women to dress more modestly. Good luck getting everyone to go along with that. But it wouldn't matter if they did. No matter what women cover, our imaginations are still at work, and someone will make an issue of what is visible. Uncovered knees used to be a big deal, then ankles before that.
Someone mentioned men in Muslim countries getting aroused looking thru eye-slits in burkahs. Indeed, if men aren't allowed to enjoy looking at women other then their wives, then Islam has the right idea. Cover everything. A woman's face and hair can be very alluring. If her face and hair are pretty and she has a smile on her face, whatever she has going on below the neck doesn't matter -- she is hot. I have seen a few studies that show that men look at a woman's face first.http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-men-loo ... se-answer/
Suppose Jack lived in a culture where women go topless in public and he wasn't forbidden to look at them, much like women's faces in our culture? Would he notice and appreciate Abbie's breasts? No doubt. But I don't think he would be obsessing about them all day. Realistically, what if he allowed himself a discrete look, think "nice boobs"? Would he not then be better able get on with his life?
Someone asked why God made men to be visual. On page 25 of Through a Man's Eyes
, Feldhahn says that this "presumably so a man will be attracted to a healthy woman with whom he can 'be fruitful and multiply'. But it goes beyond that. God likely also provided this visual wiring to help create a wonderful bond between a husband and wife." But she doesn't discuss why God makes men to continue to get pleasure from looking at other women when we marry. When we are single and dating, we have sexual desire for a lot of women. When we fall in love, get married, and make love to our wife, the desire to have sex with other women goes away. God could have made our visual orientation the same way. But He didn't.
I suggest this is why: In Songs 6:8, Solomon compares his bride to 60 queens, 80 concubines, and countless young women. He concludes that she is more beautiful than all of them. This is not surprising. You see numerous posts here on TMB where men state that their wives became their standard of beauty. Solomon was checking out other women! Otherwise, how could he compare?
God made women's bodies in a wide array of sizes and shapes. My wife's breasts are unquestionably the best
. But, as glorious as they are, they wouldn't be so beautuful and downright sexy if all women had breasts that looked like hers, or if other women somehow managed to dress so that I had no idea what their breasts looked like. The same goes for hair, her face, or anything. It is a combination of love and the unique appearance of our wife that makes her the most visually desirous.
This process of becoming sexually attracted to one woman starts before marriage when a man begins dating. Single men have at least as much opportunity to see other women as married men do, plus they are more free to look. Yet they have no problem choosing one woman to marry. It seems to me that the process that initially attracts a man to his wife's beauty will continue to work after marriage.
1 Peter 5:5 "...be clothed in humility...".
Everything you ever wanted in life is just outside your comfort zone (Jamie Lee Curtis)