Questions answered by our consumer culture now are crucial in the formation of young people: What does it mean to be a girl? What makes a boy a man? Too often, answers in popular culture are laden with sexist, racist, homophobic, and otherwise dehumanizing messages that increase, rather than decrease, collective fears.
As a theologian, Luther began to ask questions through the radical wager of justification by grace through faith. In a similar fashion, feminist, womanist, and mujerista theologians ask questions through the radical wager that women and girls in all their multiplicity are fully human — equally created, equally sinful, and equally redeemed.12
1. Peggy Orenstein, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, (New York: HarperCollins, 2011) 13.
2. Jennifer Pozner, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, (Berkeley: Seal, 2010) 9–10.
3. Orenstein, Cinderella, 35–36.
4. Catherine Price, "Tonka trucks are made for boys!" Salon Broadsheet, October 30, 2007. www.salon.com/2007/10/30/boys_built_different (accessed December 6, 2011).
5. Orenstein, Cinderella, 25.
6. "The Bush Speech: How to Rally a Nation," Time Magazine, September 21, 2001. www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,175757,00.html (accessed December 6, 2011).
7. Michael Kimmel, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men — Understanding the Critical Years Between 16 and 26, (New York: HarperCollins, 2008) 4–5.
8. Kimmel, Guyland, 45.
9. Pozner and other reporters describe this phenomenon of editing sound bites and altering words spoken by participants in television shows in order to construct the reality that the producers desire, Reality Bites Back, 26–27.
10. "Mad World: The Axe Effect" by Kelsey Wallace, Bitch Magazine blog, March 23, 2010. http://bitchmagazine.org/post/mad-world-the-axe-effect (accessed December 6, 2011).
11. Pozner, Reality Bites Back, 240–242.
12. Mary J. Streufert, "Introduction," in Transformative Lutheran Theologies: Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista Perspectives, ed. Mary J. Streufert, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010) 4.
13. Martin Luther, Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses (1518), in Luther's Works, vol. 31, ed. Harold J. Grimm, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1957) 204.
14. Gerhard Ebeling, Luther: An Introducton to His Thought, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1970) 176–191.
15. Orenstein, Cinderella, 182.
16. Ibid, 185.
17. Take American Idol for example. Squares might include: the Coca-Cola logo appears on screen, the judges describe a contestant as a "total package," a stock phrase like "you made it your own" is used. When it happens, you get a square! Pozner, Reality Bites Back, 302–308.
18. Kimmel, Guyland, 280.
© January 2012
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 12, Issue 1