Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Bad Rap Guys Get

Every day, we're bombarded with a lot of junk in the media. Most of the time, I pay little attention to it.

Today though, I heard one of those comments that just threw my whole day off. The morning radio deejay on a secular station was taking pot-shots at Christian-themes in entertainment, and her favorite target was the young man, Landon Carter, played by actor Shane West, in the movie A Walk to Remember.

Now, I've seen this movie a number of times. There's a group of teens from the church where I used to serve as youth minister who would come to my house weekly, and we always passed the tissues amongst ourselves as we huddled on the sofa reciting lines from that movie. We love that movie. I don't think its one of the classics of our time, but I do value the messages that it portrays.

So, this deejay, she was cracking on Landon, calling him the most unrealistic character ever in a movie. She went on and on through two commercial breaks and some songs ranting about the fact that he was so fake because no teenaged guy would give up his senior year in such an unselfish way and that no grown MAN for that matter has the capability to give of himself that way. Males only think in one way, she went on to say, and that's all about themselves. A Walk to Remember was a ridiculous movie, she went on to conclude, because this young man wasn't capable of being in love and being unselfish-- completely because he was a guy. Boys are yucky, she proclaimed, so just kick them all.

For awhile I was angry. I'm the mother of boys! I don't want my sons to be stereotyped as uncaring, selfish doofs incapable of showing emotion. My husband and I work hard to train them up to be like Jesus, and, even at their young ages, they are two very kind little boys. My husband has his moments-- but that's because he's human, not just because he's a guy! (I, of course, never act selfishly.... right...)

As the day went on, I couldn't shake this woman's comments from my head. Anger turned to concern and finally a bit of sorrow for her. Was she simply propogating a stereotype for laughs, or did she really believe the words she was saying? Had she never really known a man of integrity, a man who tried to mirror His Savior?

Sometimes I forget how many people there are out there who've been hurt and don't see Christ in the lives of others around them. Instead of getting mad at her for what she said, I could have done something to mirror some of that love myself-- told her about some of the unselfish things I have seen my husband or my father do throughout my life. I did pray that men of integrity be present in her life.

And I pray for the real-life Landons and the little boys out there being raised in Christ-- that they do not get jaded by the jokes and the stereotypes about what a real man is. I also pray that we ladies remember that sayings like "boys are yucky. Kick them all" are being played up as "girl empowerment" fun, but in reality there's nothing funny about being mean to someone else.

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