Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Seductive Mask

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I hope you've been gleaning insight from the recent mask entries. Today, we're going to focus on a mask that women have worn since the beginning of time, a mask that so many young women (older gals, too) continue to embrace and wear boldly today. Ladies, as daughters of the King of Kings, using our womanly wiles to achieve results is not in anyone's best interest. Unfortunately, everywhere we turn this mask is touted as the one to wear. Remember, we are to be set apart from the world. Just because "everyone else is doing it" doesn't mean we should.

The following entry is adapated from Real Women Don't Wear Masks, Carol Van Atta and Dr. Kathy Rodriguez. (Yet to be published)

Removing the Seductive Mask
A sex symbol becomes a thing.... I just hate to be a thing.
Marilyn Monroe

Just the sight of her husband’s most trusted employee, Joseph, gave Mrs. PT a reason to stop and stare. She wanted Joseph in her bed and under her control.

As the wife a prominent military commander, Mrs. PT had dozens of servants under her authority. Her household was everything she’d dreamt of as a child — well-furnished, clean, stylish, and filled with gorgeous art pieces. As a woman of wealth and influence, she was envied by many in Pharaoh’s court. Her elevated social status coupled with supervising household affairs gave her a comfortable sense of power and confidence.

However, lately, her husband had entrusted all the affairs of their estate to the new, Hebrew heartthrob, Joseph. To Mrs. PT the young man appeared to be just and fair, and more than competent in all his dealings, but to her dismay, he had taken on many of her prior responsibilities as his own. Although she knew he was doing as her husband instructed, she felt slighted, bored, and antsy.

To make matters worse, when not working, her husband, Potiphar, spent long- hours indulging in his first love — eating. Food had become his most cherished lover. Mrs. PT had not been called to his bed chamber for several months. Although he proclaimed his love to her in passing, she felt alone.

One morning, after carefully applying her best cosmetics and perfumed creams, she slipped into a revealing gown of purple silk. The fabric clung snuggly to her form, making a soft swishing sound around her muscular calves as she eagerly prowled the corridors seeking her prey. Yes, prey. She was the hunter — a pleasure hunter.

She could no longer ignore the handsome Hebrew who moved through her treasured household as if it were his own. She would show Joseph who was boss and give them both great pleasures in the process. It had been far too long since she had felt the sensations coursing through her. Seducing this young man would prove she was still an exotic beauty with the insurmountable power of persuasion. Ah, yes, the challenge was intriguing and the capture would taste even sweeter.

“Joseph …” she called huskily. “Come here, please. I need your help.”

Thankfully, our Bible hero, Joseph, did not give into his mistress’ advances. He remained loyal to his earthly master and his God.

For a seductress like Potiphar’s wife, his refusal would have sliced through her heart with the agonizing force of rejection. A woman, who uses the Seductive Mask may do so for many reasons. In this case, control was a primary reason. Although attracted to Joseph, Mrs. PT was a woman likely used to getting what she wanted. Not only would she enjoy the results of the seduction, but also, most likely, she would find the so-called “chase” even more alluring. Using her feminine whiles to enchant and capture a man would be what gave her a renewed sense of control.

The Seductive Mask has been worn since the beginning of time for numerous reasons. We could write an entire book on this particular mask. Although, as Christian women, we may not behave as blatantly as Potiphar’s wife (yet, there are many proclaiming Christians who do) we still struggle with the lies and beliefs in our society that lead us to believe this mask is still somehow worth wearing.

Embracing the Lie

Carrie Anne hurried home as fast as she possibly could with the freezing wind whipping through her open jacket, its icy fingers chilling her. She wished her coat had buttons or a secure zipper like the other children’s. Carrie Anne understood though that her mother had to work extra hard to make ends meet, but, today, her mom’s two jobs were bound to payoff. This year, her mom had promised to have a special gift waiting when Carrie Anne arrived home to celebrate her ninth birthday — just the two of them.

Surprised to see another car in the driveway, Carrie Anne approached the house with cautious anticipation. Visitors were not common in their humble household. Maybe her mom had put together a surprise party. Just the thought of such an extravagant gift caused any lingering chill to flee as her body flushed with new warmth at the thought of such an unprecedented birthday treat. After all, nine was a big year. It was her last single digit birthday.

Playing along with the potential surprise party, Carrie Anne entered the house barely breathing. She could feel her heart pounding wildly. What she saw next startled her more than a room of party guests. In the kitchen, her mom was pressed up against Ray, the nice neighbor down the street. Her mom, normally a conservative dresser was wearing a silky red robe that barely covered her full figure.

“Ray, I promise to pay you back in the next few weeks. This means so much to Carrie Anne. And if the money doesn’t come in, well, I can make sure to pay you back in a way that will more than satisfy.” She trailed her fingers down the side of Ray’s neck.
“I think I might just like that payoff better. Yeah, forget the money. When’s your next day off?” He cupped her face in his hands.

“Mom …?” Carrie Ann questioned unable to remain hidden another second. “What are you doing?”

“Oh! Carrie Ann, your home early. Happy birthday, hon.”

Ray made a quick exit leaving Carrie Anne alone with her mom. Not knowing what to say, Carrie Anne fled to her room.

Later that evening after presenting Carrie Ann with a brand new winter jacket, her mother shared the following with her nine year old daughter.

“Honey, I’m sorry you had to see that. It’s just something that women gotta do when times get tough, or they need something. Men really like to spend time with pretty ladies. We have a gift, you know — the gift of persuasion. You’ll see when you get older. Survival is hard for a woman raising a kid on her own. You just do what you have to in order to make ends meet. Did you like you new coat?”

That image remained with Carrie Anne through grade school, middle school, and eventually, in high school, when her mom couldn’t always afford the things she wanted, Carrie Anne decided to put her mom’s theory to the test. She was amazed that she could actually get what she wanted and needed simply by acting seductively. Sure, she ended up crossing lines that she had promised herself she wouldn’t, but the payoff was worth it; wasn’t it?
Hopefully, you know the answer to that final question Carrie Anne asked. The payoff is never worth the spiritual, emotional, and even physical pricetags we end up paying when we wear the seductive mask.
Join me next time for more about this mask and how to wear Beauty and Modesty instead.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Fantastic post... I love how you presented this lesson.

I never saw this behavior before... but I'm pretty naive. I do remember seeing scenes like this but never putting 2+2 together until now.

Thank you.