I recently stumbled across an article by Matt Fradd entitled "He Doesn't Need Your Sext: A Response To Jennifer Lawrence." The article addresses (from a highly religious standpoint) the leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and her response to said photos.
I typically try to keep my opinions on situations such as this on the down low, especially when religion enters the mix, but this response article pissed me off to the point that I felt inclined to write a response to Fradd's response.
To begin, the title. Of course he doesn't "need your sext." He wants it. There is a large difference, not to mention that Lawrence never claimed that the recipient of her photos "needed" them. The author puts his foot in his mouth and we've only made it through the title.
Fradd begins by stating, "I don't want to spend time talking about what a stupid idea it is to take and upload explicit photos of yourself (a.k.a. porn)." Wrong again.
First off, Fradd, if that isn't your intent then don't include the "a.k.a. porn" jab. And second, no. Just straight up no. Any explicit photo of oneself is not automatically categorized as pornography. Oxford dictionary defines pornography as "printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings."
Yes, Lawrence's leaked photos included sexual organs. But who is anyone to say that her intent was to stimulate erotic feelings? Sure, that was probably the case. But no one except Lawrence can or should attest to that.
Lawrence is quoted as stating, "I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long-distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he's going to look at you." The author attacked Lawrence for this claim, stating he found it "sexist, false, and sad."
Both claims are extreme -- I can recognize that. Lawrence's claim that he's "going to look at porn or he's going to look at you" is broad, as is Fradd's claim that her sentiment is "sexist, false and sad." But let's examine Fradd's reasoning behind the "sexist, false and sad" claim.
Fradd addresses the sexism aspect by countering Lawrence's claim in a "holier-than-thou" tone, stating "It doesn't describe many of the men I know -- men who are virtuous despite the temptations the world throws at them, who fight valiantly against selfishness, and desire to love the women they're with as Christ loved the Church."
Oh please. Come on. Sexism exists for a reason. Hell, Lawrence is probably correct in that most males will view porn in the absence of female presence. No male, no human for that matter, can act as if they have never lusted after something or someone. Not to mention, no one "fights valiantly" anymore. Fradd's response is a mechanism to make himself feel as if he is surrounded by the right people, people who live and love in the name of Christ. Sorry Fradd, but those people are still men, and men (as do women) occasionally think about sex with someone other than their partner -- it's involuntary.
Fradd then addresses the falsity of her claim, stating "And by 'look at you,' I assume she doesn't mean, 'look at you while you're praying the rosary on your evening walk together.'" No shit, Sherlock. She uses that phrase in the same sentence as the word porn -- of course she means "look at you" as in look at and appreciate your nude body. No one is denying that, including Lawrence. Fradd argues that Lawrence addresses the situation as "either/or" when in reality there is a third option -- chastity. Yes, chastity, right in line with "fighting valiantly."
Fradd goes on to state, "A person who cultivates the virtue of chastity is one who is in control of their sexual desire, rather than their sexual desire being in control of him or her." I'm sorry, but I do not know a single person who is literally controlled by their sexual desire. Swayed by it, maybe. Controlled, no. Lack of control implies addiction, in which case that person probably needs help. Fradd fails yet again at proving Lawrence's claim "false."
And third, her claim as "sad." Lawrence's statement is not sad. It is realistic. Fradd writes, "It's as if she's resigned herself to the belief that men are weak and lustful and so the best you can hope for is that they'll lust over you instead of the women in porn." Well... men are weak and lustful. So are women. It is a human fault.
But finally Fradd makes a point I can agree with: "She at least doesn't want a man she dates to lust over other women. That is, she wants a love that is faithful and exclusive." DUH. So do most people I know who are in a four-year relationship, like Lawrence was. At least he could pick up on that much.
Fradd ends on this holier-than-thou note: "It is our work to be examples today. You can show the world that there is a better, healthier way to love. True love is not resigned to the inevitability of lust. True love does not mean you need to take off your clothes so that your boyfriend or girlfriend will remain faithful to you. True love is found in the freedom of chastity."
I hate to break it to you buddy, but part of "true love" is a sexual relationship, and if I recall, that requires taking clothes off -- maybe not in the name of remaining faithful, but still. Lawrence was only trying to keep the spark in her relationship alive, and chastising her for that through religious angles achieves nothing.
If Lawrence wants to send nude photos to someone she has been in a long-term, long-distance relationship with, more power to her. She's hot, she's confident -- she should feel comfortable sending photos without fear of her privacy being impeded.
The bottom line of this entire scandal is not Lawrence's actions and the religious morals behind them, but the actions of the person or persons who invaded her privacy and allowed the world to see a very personal, private side of her.
And she shouldn't take the heat for that.