Tuesday
Jul142009

Seductress

The seductress is everywhere – not that the seducer isn’t as well.

In Bible times, the wise father would warn his naive son about the potential for meeting a woman whose designs were less than honorable, who would offer her body willingly, but at a price. At times, she was a lady of the evening, but at others, she might simply be a bored housewife like the spouse of Potiphar. Sometimes she was easy to recognize – the attire of a harlot sends a certain message – but at other times she was as subtle as a predator, for that she was.

“She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait” (Proverbs 7:11-12).

She was the forbidden woman – an adulteress on the prowl while her husband was away. Today she is as likely to be a young, single woman bent on the kind of conquest that once was the exclusive domain of worldly men. Times have changed and women have come a long way, baby, but not all of it is good.

There is another seductress today who promotes her body and offers her prey nothing but dissatisfaction and frustration. She is the pixellated seductress of mass and personal media who shares images of herself with any who care to look, to leer or to lust. Her godmother adorned pinup calendars in the early twentieth-century, but she reached a zenith when Farrah Fawcett attached her angelic visage and red swimsuit to a popular poster in the late 1970s. From there, the seductress spread her couch with coverings in the movies, on television, in magazines and on record album covers. On MTV, she perfumed her bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

It is the internet, however, on which she pays her vows. The seductress photographs herself in various states of undress by the pool or in front of the bathroom mirror and shares the images with all would care to look. She has no shame, no sense of decency. At times, she will even use her cell phone camera to go further in exploiting her nakedness for popularity. She is a seductress of self-promotion.

The young man who sees her on the poster, the TV show, the movie poster, Myspace or at the mall quivers with vulnerability and desire. “All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life” (Proverbs 7:22-23).

Few would equate such displays with pornography, but the desired and actual effect is certainly similar. Lust is aroused and someone stumbles to his spiritual death. The seductress is doomed, but so is the dumb ox who slaughters his soul to worship her (see Matthew 5:27-30, 18:7-9).