Three Cheers for the Irish Farmer

October 25, 2011 at 2:23 am 3 comments

 A few weeks ago – eons, in the stream of consciousness that is pop culture – a previously unknown 61-year-old Irish farmer and father of four named Alan Graham made international headlines by requesting that the film crew to whom he had given permission to use his acreage take their little soft-porn production elsewhere. 

An internet search on the topic turns up lots of sensational claims:  “Topless Rihanna outrages Irish farmer,” according to omg.online.  “This story is hilarious,” to the YouTube contributor who posted about it.  “A Democratic Unionist Party councilor found his Christian values [insert smirk] challenged by the scantily-clad R&B singer who was shooting her new video on his property.” 

Reuters news service shouts, “Global pop star Rihanna was thrown out of a corn field by an angry farmer in Northern Ireland after he spotted her posing for cameras in a skimpy top,” and  Yahoo declares, “Northern Irish farmer boots scantily clad Rihanna off land.”

But stripping down to one’s bikini bottom goes beyond most definitions of “scantily clad,” and a People.com quote from the “angry farmer” sounds immanently reasonable to me:  “I have an ethos, and I felt that [Rihanna’s state of undress] was inappropriate.  I requested them to stop, and they did.  She was most gracious and we shook hands and we parted on good enough terms.”

As reported by the BBC, the landowner added, “I wish them no ill will.  Perhaps they could acquaint themselves with a greater God.”   Wow.  Principled and articulate.  No wonder there was a clash of understandings.   

On September 27, 2011, the day this story buzzed through the airwaves like a cartoon boll weevil mowing down a cotton plant, the BBC quoted a young local journalist as saying that the farmer’s actions had made her homeland “a laughing stock” in the eyes of the world.  Her inverted concept of shame is saddening.  But then, so are the related Facebook observations. 

“Heck,” chirps the junior high locker room crowd.  “Just sit back and enjoy the view.”  And the Neanderthal echo follows, “She can take off as many pieces of clothing as she likes on my land.”  But there is a thread of contrarian sentiment, as in, “Fair play, farmer.  Too many people are scared to speak up and say what they believe.”  I find myself surprised by social network comments in support of the fellow baring his scruples in response to Rihanna’s baring hers. 

I recently purchased a paperback entitled Female Chauvinist Pigs:  Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, by Ariel Levy, which explores this general topic.  I’ll say up front that the book is not on my list of recommended reading, for a couple of reasons.  I only made it through the first 117 pages before deciding to just skim the last 100, but I could have used a Prozac and a hot, soapy shower after even that abbreviated tour of the sad universe of everyday smut the title characters inhabit. 

The Spring Break mentality evident on Girls Gone Wild videos, I learned, is only the tip of the iceberg for many of these females, some of whom who have grown up to the beat of indecent rap lyrics, paternity-testing as entertainment, and primetime airings of Victoria’s Secret models b-b-b-bouncing down the runway.  They know nothing other than the vulgar, bawdy culture into which they were born, so they have no societal standard of decency to compare it too – absent diligent parents and a close relationship with that greater God to whom Mr. Graham makes reference. 

And then there’s the fact that the author dives a bit too enthusiastically into the lewd and obscene language of her subject for my comfort.  Pass the Zest, please. 

But in wading through, a number of explanations for the dominant Facebook mind-set rise from the muck.  At the base of the New Amorality – which allows for Family Hour profanity, pole-dancing as a mainstream diversion, and pornography as an element of sex education – are some gritty misconceptions about the supposedly uncontainable urges thought to rule the males of our species. 

 This “men as barnyard animals” precept swirls together with militant feminism’s demand for “absolute reproductive freedom” to wreak havoc with the traditional values of chastity and self-respect.  It’s a quandary for Ms. Levy, a second-generation liberationist:  The trend seems degrading to women, but somehow, in her view, having all the privileges of a man translates to sexual promiscuity divorced from emotional connections. 

Boiled down, the struggle of modern-day suffragettes for “equality” seems to have been perverted by this errant underlying assumption about men and their presumed license to behave immorally.  Female Chauvinist Pigs introduces the reader to former “Take Back the Night” feminists who have become captivated by the “liberating environments” of strip clubs and the unfettered lifestyles of porn stars, and to female entertainment executives who unabashedly produce exploitative trampoline-jumping-bimbo segments on cable television.  

Thanks to mainstream acceptance of such celebrities as Paris Hilton (famous for her unpaid xxx-rated video performances), Pamela Anderson (well known for her ability to afford silicone enhancements), and the indefatigable Madonna (queen of vulgar opportunism), sex appeal has become a raw commodity.  Thus, performers like Rihanna become more purveyors of their sexuality than of their music.  This demeaning process extends to proprietors soliciting beyond-kissing, girl-on-girl performances by corner bar patrons and the participation of strippers in middle school career day events. 

According to Christy Hefner, CEO of and heir to the Playboy dynasty, today’s youth have a more “grown-up…comfortable and healthy attitude” toward physical intimacy than their ancestors did, and today’s women have a “take control attitude” in this arena.  What is grown-up about simulating – for a centerfold or in a hip-hop video – the gyrations of a carnally frustrated simian, I have no idea, but there is only one reason for women to expose or waggle their private parts in public places, and that would be to elicit illicit responses from random males.  

The “hip,” we are further informed,  insist that equating physical intimacy with affection is nothing more than a “culturally conditioned assumption.”  This assertion gets made in a values-vacuum, which complicates the discussion for the non-hip among us. 

The whole wobbly defense for gratuitous, ignominious displays of nudity appears to be deduced from the flawed premise that there are only two extremes to sexual expression:  a crippling discomfort over anything related to physical desire or total abandonment to any and all sensual urges, wherever they may be experienced and whatever the stimulus. 

Ms. Levy portrays her subjects as wanting to make a proclivity to view or participate in the pornographic “as essentially feminine as it is essentially masculine,” when the argument can be made that such a preoccupation with erotic fantasy is, in fact, dangerous, a threat to committed relationships – no matter your gender.     

Allowing the values of modesty and restraint to be redefined as “repressive,” and crass exhibitionism to be redefined as “healthy,” cheapens sexuality for everyone and confuses the heck out of people, yet it is currently “uncool” to question female self-debasement.  Maybe that’s why Howard Stern-types draw a large audience of 20-something women who are learning to equate “power” with the misuse of one’s physical gifts.  

And what is the reward for all of this permissiveness, freedom from inhibitions or a paralyzing fixation on the superficial?  There are consequences to such a libertarian view of personal freedoms, from pop stars exploiting their influence in order to lure adolescent fans into the realm of debauchery to the flawed conclusion that celibacy among teens has somehow become a ridiculous expectation.  In this context, what’s the big deal about a little intentional wardrobe malfunction once in a while?  

The feminists who once marched under the Robin Morgan banner, “Pornography is the Philosophy, Rape is the Act,” may find themselves in a bind now that their short-sighted support of the sexual revolution has taken us all to a spot where too many women are mistaking the ability to manipulate for the ability to be effective.  But thankfully the foundation of clear vision, cause-and-effect-reasoning, and godly values still holds firm for certain steadfast church bodies, some well-grounded parents, and at least one Northern Irish farmer we know of. 

Hip, hip, hooray for the holdouts.  May they continue to “speak up and say what they believe.”

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Entry filed under: Advice For Life. Tags: , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Keith  |  October 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Well stated. One of my favorite flippant observations made to me some number of years ago was “oh, isn’t that quaint!”.

    Quaint maybe, Scriptural definitely.

    As long as people/societies/countries continue to believe The Big Lie these things will continue to escalate, but the good news for the Believer is that we know the ultimate end game and can rest in it’s assurance.

    All the best! K

    Reply
    • 2. kirkhams  |  October 27, 2011 at 3:44 am

      Thank you for commenting. I always look forward to hearing your feedback – and appreciate the reminder not to get too discouraged about the state of things in this world of sin. It’s a comfort sharing these exchanges with fellow believers, especially when they are also friends.

      Reply
  • 3. bethany  |  December 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    As a woman of generation-X, I have seen all of this change since my childhood. A Victoria’s Secret runway show would never have been featured on prime-time TV. Things you mention in your post would just never have happened.
    It’s not progress; it’s a sad attempt to fill some kind of hole in our society for desire, for real joy, for true entertainment, for lots of things. Mostly for God.
    Thanks for writing about this. I’ll have to share this on Facebook!

    Reply

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Recipe. According to Encarta, "a list of ingredients and instructions for making something." The thesaurus offers the alternate terms, "formula, guidelines, directions, steps, technique."

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